Hi from Canada - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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Lots of great information here, thanks for a forum on this topic.

Although we've been using dome tents for years without trouble some of the areas where we camp have had increased bear encounters and problems so I've been looking into building something like a small trailer type hard shell sleeping area for increased safety during the night for 3 - 4 family members.

The idea would be to build the sleeping shell of about 6.5' x 6.5' x about 10' long as light and aerodynamic as possible, using things like T6 aluminum square tube framing for the trailer and probably a T6 aluminum structure covered with a resin fabric combo
such as carbon fiber with kevlar but I'd like to get some ideas about other ways
to lighten construction. Thanks.

This is sort of what I might be interested in building, a concept model that I saw on the net which shows some good aerodynamics and small volume, about halfway down the page. The drawing doesn't show it well but think a 6.5' diameter ball trailed by
about a 4 - 5' smaller ball with something cut off the bottom for road clearance.
Bed space would be raised to somewhere close to the center diameter of the balls
with storage space under that.

http://www.textualcreations.ca/Turbo...1_Gallery.html
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L__il_Egg002.jpg   L__il_Egg001.jpg  

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Old 04-30-2008, 06:25 PM   #2
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Hi Ken, welcome to FiberglassRV.

Cute little concept trailer, I can't imagine 3 people sleeping in it, unless one is an infant. Looks like an egg-shaped teardrop. I think you'll get a number of ideas from members here, everything from aluminum frames to a waffle board composite floor should help lighten the load.

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Old 04-30-2008, 07:08 PM   #3
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to our nest of Eggs Ken!!

Thanks for sharin' that with us, it sure is fodder for thought

Canada IS a rather large country , would ya at least give us a LITTLE clue where you are, like MAYBE a province....
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:12 PM   #4
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Umm, Doug, right there on the screen I read "Poplar Grove, Alberta, Canada". Even an EhLander from BC (Backwoods Canada?) should have seen that...
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:19 PM   #5
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Umm, Doug, right there on the screen I read "Poplar Grove, Alberta, Canada". Even an EhLander from BC (Backwoods Canada?) should have seen that...
Pete----I think Poplar Grove, Alberta was just recently added. It did just say Canada or both Doug and I are wrong.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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Pete----I think Poplar Grove, Alberta was just recently added. It did just say Canada or both Doug and I are wrong.
What can I say, Ches? You're both from BC!
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:29 PM   #7
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Hi folks, yep just changed the profile so no worries. Back to the trailer, we come from the ultralight camping world so think in terms of ounc es instead of pounds. One of
my questions though is how light would be too light for a trailer this ap roximate size,
ie: would a 500 pound trailer get too unstable in side winds. Thanks.

In terms of interior space 60 - 70 square feet is usually what's given in dome tents for 4 people which works fine and really this is just a rolling bedroom, not a living area,
although could probably seat 4 people for a meal if needed.

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Old 04-30-2008, 08:40 PM   #8
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What can I say, Ches? You're both from BC!
No Pete---I live in Alberta now --OK enought of this thread killing. Lets let the proper topic take over.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:41 PM   #9
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Hi folks, yep just changed the profile so no worries. Back to the trailer, we come from the ultralight camping world so think in terms of ounces instead of pounds. One of
my questions though is how light would be too light for a trailer this aproximate size,
ie: would a 500 pound trailer get too unstable in side winds. Thanks.

In terms of interior space 60 - 70 square feet is usually what's given in dome tents for 4 people which works fine and really this is just a rolling bedroom, not a living area,
although could probably seat 4 people for a meal if needed.
What size of tow vehical are you going to use?
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:43 PM   #10
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Paint that thing like an Eskimo's helmet and you really got something.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:56 PM   #11
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What size of tow vehical are you going to use?
We use an 07 Nissan Pathfinder and with the dimensions mentioned the trailer
would mostly be in the trucks wake. The pointy rear end of the trailer should
help minimize rear drag I think. Also on something this light I am thinking
motorcycle wheels or similar.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:59 PM   #12
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I was thinking about the aero-dynamics of that thing... Looks the side winds COULD very well be an issue no matter what it weighs, too many rounded corners on the bottom half of the trailer. Lets see now.... where DID I leave my engineering certificate??
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:00 PM   #13
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I don't think you will have any problems . I would just follow normal trailering practices and it should be fine.
Others will jump in here with there ideas.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:28 PM   #14
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Five hundred pounds is what small tent trailers and teardrops weigh, so that's not much problem. It might be more aerodynamic if backward (look at whale or nuc submarine).

PS Ches, you can take the boy out of BC, but you can't take BC out of the boy!
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:46 PM   #15
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I was thinking about the aero-dynamics of that thing... Looks the side winds COULD very well be an issue no matter what it weighs, too many rounded corners on the bottom half of the trailer.
Thanks Doug, I've given some thought to that as well. One of the things Formula F1 builders tried until it was disallowed because it worked too well was to create a reverse air foil under their cars by getting rid of the flat bottom, installing rails and rounding it out to about a 22 degree departure zone at the rear, counter balancing the lift created by the round top of the car. Problem with this trailer concept drawing though is that the rear is too small to do much in that regard I think and
might not work without doing some serious air damming along the sides, although
there is some area to work with behind the wheels. I'll look at that, thanks.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
The pointy rear end of the trailer should help minimize rear drag I think. Also on something this light I am thinking
motorcycle wheels or similar.

Douglas Keister Photo Gallery
Look for image 48 of the 572 photos in this category, number [b]MM0061.
Quote:
Originally posted by Photo #MM0061 caption
[b]Rarest of the rare. This [b]1935 Bowlus Papoose (only four are known to exist) is a mere eleven feet six inches in length, six feet wide, seven feet high and weights in at seven hundred pounds. Like the Road Chief, the Papoose is entered from the fore end.
I just noticed a similarity in your design to this trailer.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:31 PM   #17
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Thanks Frederick, sorry I can't take credit for the posted egg shaped concept trailer, it did draw my eye however and it's my reason for posting here.

Interesting that the Bowlus Papoose weighs in so low in comparision to most
trailers. The height of that trailer in relation to width and weight would worry me in
cross wind situations though. Aluminum skin is good I th ink but carbon fiber and
kevlar over an aluminum skeleton may bring the weight down to almost half of
the Bowlus P imo. I like the placement of the wheels and door, and your posting
got me thinking of whether or not slightly standing rails along the trailer surface
would add something to the aerodynamics of the trailer, something present car
builders seem to limit other than on the unseen roof lines of taller vehicles.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:49 PM   #18
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ANYONE GOT A CLUE as to what Ken's talkin' 'bout??
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Aluminum skin is good I think but [b]carbon fiber and kevlar over an aluminum skeleton may bring the weight down to almost half of the Bowlus P
OR, mold the body out of Fiberglass, doing away with a skeleton entirely. That will really bring the weight down.

Quote:
I like the placement of the wheels and door, and your posting got me thinking of whether or not [b]slightly standing rails along the trailer surface would add something to the aerodynamics of the trailer, something present car builders seem to limit other than on the unseen roof lines of taller vehicles.
You mean like on the hood of the 2008 Chrysler Sebring?
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:15 PM   #20
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Did you read his first post on the first page Doug? Ken wants to build a lightweight trailer. Beyond that... the technical stuff is beyond me....
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