The First Design of the WeekenderIt all started when I was thinking about a design that could be built faster than the first two teardrops I built. The original Benroy
and later the Baja Benroy
both took about 6 months from start to finish. I worked on them on weekends, and not every weekend, but still it seemed to take way too long. I went back and estimated the actual hours that I worked on these, and the Benroy took about 200 hours, while the Baja Benroy took about 260 hours.
Sure there are a lot of wood workers out there that don't mind spending that kind of time on a nifty wood project, but I recognized that there are others that would really like to camp, rather than build. So I spent many days thinking about this... and then suddenly one day, just out of the blue it all came together.
The secret, I reckoned, was plywood! If you could just cut a bunch of plywood sheets up into squares and screw them together, you could have a teardrop in a day... at the most 2. Granted, it's not a teardrop any more, because it doesn't have those antique looking curves, but it's still a viable tiny travel trailer.
Given a trailer to put this body on, we could figure on 1 weekend to build the body and 1 weekend to paint it. Sure some people are going to build it a lot faster, and others will take more time, but what's a few weekends, compared to many many months?
So out came the CAD software, and I modeled up what I thought would be a quick and easy tiny travel trailer. Here's what I came up with...
This first view shows how the plywood could be cut and screwed together. Notice that instead of doors and drawers, there are just openings for easy construction. And rather than have cabinet doors in the back, I made it a simple hinged counter. That, btw, was the first and biggest objection to this design on the board. As you'll see later, that quickly changed, and then changed again. But for now, lets proceed with reviewing the original design.
Here's the final design I came up with for the weekender. I still have to make a pretty drawing for it, but all the numbers are here!
Some more thoughts about this design.
* It's built on a 4x8 trailer, not my favorite size, but it's very easy to get trailers in the 4x8 size, and it's also easy to find materials in the 4x8 size.
*It's painted with epoxy paint. No need to buy aluminum for the sides, no need to bend angle or t-molding, or put in a million and 1 screws
* It uses a fantastic fan (vent) instead of an air conditioner. I later worked on some air conditioner designs, but if you're looking to minimize your woodworking, stay away from the a/c at first. You can always go back and add it later.
* It uses windows and door handles from Grant Whipp. I'll give you his URL in the links section
* It uses fenders from Northern Tool
* It can be a very affordable, and quick design, albeit a little bit on the heavy side.
* You can build the body with about 8 sheets of plywood. The interior plywood is additional...
* The plan is to use a battery to run the fantastic fan and the lights.
* The hatch is easy to build. Just cut a piece of plywood to the right size.
* The 4x8 version will take a 3/4 full mattress
So with this design in mind, the next step is to build a mockup... Join us here...
All Contents Copyright 2004 by Mike Schneider
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