Not fiberglass, but why not wooden trailers? - Fiberglass RV

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-10-2014, 01:27 PM   #1
Senior Member
John Linck's Avatar
Name: John Michael
Trailer: Scamp 13
Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 653
Not fiberglass, but why not wooden trailers?

This house designed by students at Green Mountain College offers 70 square feet of living space and can be towed behind a 4-cylinder car. Click here for more.
Attached Thumbnails
Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 1.17.36 PM.jpg  
John Michael Linck - Toymaker
Camping since 1960 - Scamp 13' Oak
Subaru Outback 4 cyl cvt
John Linck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 01:54 PM   #2
Senior Member
Bob Miller's Avatar
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,912
Ahhhh Design Students, Ya Gotta Love Em.....

There is no indication of weight, no insulation, untold places for leaks, potentially high maintenance costs with all that wood and very thin fiberglass(?) sheeting, no visable ventilation and best of all, 70 sq. ft. of. living space on an 8' long trailer. Even if it was 8' wide (and it's not) that's still only 64 sq.ft.

Back in the day, when Dr. Wayne Champion (real name) was my advisor in design classes @ SJSU, he made it clear that design was for designers, making it actually work was a problem for the engineers.....

I know, picky, picky, picky.... but it would be nice if they spent time learning about how projects were to used before trying to design them.....

Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 04:55 PM   #3
Senior Member
carlkeigley's Avatar
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,358
You got to remember we use that new fangled
"new math" these days. When 8X6 = 92.

Looks nice in a picture though..........LOL

And since it's a "green" project it doesn't
really have to function or anything.

How many d$llars were given for this by
us tax payers?............LOL
carlkeigley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 06:03 PM   #4
Senior Member
Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 25,169
The problem too is designers no nothing (and care nothing) about usability. It's form over function.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 06:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
Bobbie Mayer's Avatar
Name: Bobbie
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 3,346
When I was a kid my dad's friend made a camper shell for his pickup. It had a curved top like a covered wagon and built-in bunks. It lasted quite awhile and I doubt cost much to build. You could build a trailer in a similar fashion, and if it were garaged and only used outside in the rain occasionally, it might hold up quite well. Fiberglass is lighter, but more expensive to build.
Bobbie Mayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
Senior Member
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,185
In defense of design students, projects like these are intended to explore design. If the intent was to design a trailer, they'd only have to re-create an existing trailer, and nothing new would ever be discovered.
Think ox-cart.
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 06:31 PM   #7
Jim Bennett's Avatar
Name: Jim
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 5,810
I think it is great that they have them thinking and planning along this line. Whether or not the resultant is something that will be a success, it is good for them to go through the processes involved. A great learning tool.

I think I will be keeping my FG trailer though.
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
ďMost folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.Ē ó Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 06:52 PM   #8
Senior Member
Name: Rene
Trailer: Bigfoot 2500 truck camper
British Columbia
Posts: 233
They do a pretty poor job of explaining the details of this structure. There are certain things I like about this unit. It has rainwater collection, insulation and a wood stove. I would love to see wood stoves modernized into RV's. I may start tinkering.
Rene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 06:55 PM   #9
Senior Member
honda03842's Avatar
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,485
I would assume the wood stove problem would be too much heat.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 07:00 PM   #10
Senior Member
John Linck's Avatar
Name: John Michael
Trailer: Scamp 13
Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 653
I am a fan of hands on learning at any age. This class sounds great. I sat thru a lot of sage on the stage classes. Most were good, but many were so inefficient. And some were less than useless, outright curiosity killing.

I too will be keeping my fiberglass rv.

John Linck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 10:57 PM   #11
Senior Member
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Posts: 5,892
Speaking of that curved camper shell, back in the '80s I saw an article in Popular Science that outlined how to build a pickup topper by soaking thin wood so it was pliable, then coating the wood strips in fiberglass resin and placing them onto a curved frame. I believe some fiberglass mat was interspersed in there somewhere, too, but I don't recall now if it was between wood layers or what.

By this method the shell was gradually built up. The final result was a beautiful, shiny wood topper that appeared to have good strength and water resistance. I have sometimes thought that an egg-shaped trailer body could be made in the same way. It would certainly take long hours of messy labor, though.
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 10:59 PM   #12
Commercial Member
tractors1's Avatar
Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 1,430
A design class such as this is a mental exercise. It doesn't have to develop a product that can go to market. The value of the class is interaction amongst the students to define a common goal/vision. Fairly lightweight in my book.

The next level engineering class would be Design for Manufacturing - where you figure out how to build a trailer with enough appealing features at a cost that the market will buy and you can make a profit at the same time. Whole different ball game....

Charlie Y
Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design:
tractors1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2014, 07:14 AM   #13
Senior Member
Raz's Avatar
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Posts: 4,787
Green Mountain College is a small private liberal arts college on the Vermont -New York border, about an hour from the Killington ski area. Like many of the small colleges in the state, they specialize in environmental studies and sustainable living. Beautiful campus. Large tree filled quad. Lots of old buildings. If you're one the 31% that graduates in 4 years it will only cost about $200k.

About the author. The very old author.....

Holly Richmond ( writes and edits things for fun and money. She worked for Grist in the 1890s. Please follow her on Twitter because that is the entire basis of her self-esteem.

Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2014, 11:07 PM   #14
Senior Member
Name: Rene
Trailer: Bigfoot 2500 truck camper
British Columbia
Posts: 233
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I would assume the wood stove problem would be too much heat.
Yes it is definitely all about the heat. Doing research right now on rocket stoves. Similar to the Volcano you have. Only with a chimney or exhaust. The size and weight limitations of retrofitting RVs is the biggest issue I am finding.

The rocket stove is fed small amounts of fuel that burn up in a relatively short time. This will limit heat somewhat if you are just cooking up a quick meal say. Using it as a heater is where things are likely to get much hotter.

Thinking about the old gravity propane heater in my boler. It is just a small drum with a burner inside that radiates heat that is reflected by metal sides of the furnace and convected out into the room by cool air entering the cabinet at the base and exiting as it is heated at the top. I wonder if I could not put a metal cylinder over a rocket stove in the same way and heat and cook at the same time.

Then there's the chimney. Thinking about some ceramic materials to insulate from the heat. Thats where weight starts to become an issue but light weight materials are available.

It looks like I will end up designing and experimenting with a simple stoves that I can use outdoors for cooking and then engineer the heater and chimney after that.
Rene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2014, 10:57 AM   #15
Senior Member
Paul O.'s Avatar
Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
Posts: 1,647
This house ... uses a composting toilet.
I thought the question about traveling with a full black tank was settled on this forum already! Interesting at first glance, but that's about it.
Paul O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2014, 11:25 AM   #16
Senior Member
2yax2go's Avatar
Name: Josie&Craig
Trailer: Escape 21
South Carolina
Posts: 351
Nice...I like it.

"Not all those who wander are lost." (J.R.R. Tolkein from Lord of the Rings..."Strider's Poem")
2yax2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2014, 11:49 AM   #17
Senior Member
rabbit's Avatar
Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Posts: 2,548
I was never "into mortgages" either but there came a time when I could see that living out of a hearse wasn't going to work. The silver spooners who infest these New Age daycare academies don't have to worry about insulation; they live in the biggest and best transparent bubble money can buy!

rabbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2018, 02:51 PM   #18
Name: G
Trailer: Damon
Posts: 43
"can be towed by a four cylinder Car!!

Utterly meaningless!! Most present day 4 bangers make more horse power and torque than a mid seventies small block chevy!!
workhorsed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2018, 03:12 PM   #19
Senior Member
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 2,088
yes, but most modern cars are FWD overgrown econoboxes with no frame and low payload, particularly rear axle. horsepower/torque is only part of the picture in towing
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2018, 04:23 PM   #20
Senior Member
Jon in AZ's Avatar
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 9,347
John, I happen to disagree completely regarding modern front wheel/all wheel drive, unibody vehicles (in general, without referencing any specific vehicle). But it misses the point of this (4-year-old) thread...

As does the previous post about modern 4-bangers, which is true but irrelevant. The OP's point was that the trailer is as light as fiberglass and towable by a smaller vehicle, that is all.

Since there are no molds involved, and you can't spray it out of a chopper gun, though, it is (1) outside the scope of this forum and (2) impractical for mass production. It's a lot like a hand-made wooden canoe: beautiful to look at but expensive to make, an exercise in craftsmanship over practicality.
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wooden home built trailer Tom Trostel General Chat 20 12-13-2012 09:25 PM
Pierce-Arrow Travelodge Trailers - Not Fiberglass, but Neat! Adrian W General Chat 0 09-07-2010 08:19 PM
wooden "tires" for winter storage? GordM Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 12 08-16-2010 05:59 PM
Surf Side- interior wooden window trim Jason, M Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 5 08-03-2008 12:31 PM
Just an adjustment to hanging out the wooden plaque Legacy Posts General Chat 1 07-14-2003 06:29 PM

» Trailer Showcase


Chris Z


Grady K
» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:05 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.