Looking for help building a fiberglass camper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2018, 12:22 PM   #1
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Name: Bob
Trailer: In the Market
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Looking for help building a fiberglass camper

Hello Everyone,

I am looking for engineering and mold making help to produce a 16' fiberglass camper for myself. If anyone has expertise you'd like to share please let me know. Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:59 AM   #2
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
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Hi, that sounds like a fabulously fun project. We've thought about such a project ourselves, but after we found our Amerigo, we had enough trailer and merely rebuilt the inside of that one (and half the outside). But how great it would be to start from scratch. Talk about making it your own!

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Old 07-01-2018, 06:51 PM   #3
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I am assuming that this is your first attempt to build a FG trailer from scratch? I have only limited experience with FG projects, My 1st one was a FJ sailboat, the next one was a shell 13 ft Trillium that was just a shell without gellcoat and had no interior except the bed and cupboard FG parts designed into the frame. My last one was a 15 ft Trillium that had lots of gellcoat holes due to improper storage and lack of maintenance. I had to reseal the mid-section where the 2 halves meet, all the windows and the door. I had to completely install all the appliances and wiring including the exterior lights used for road safety. If this is your first project I advise to not do it unless you are very experienced in all parts of the project and have a very understanding wife/partner that has a lot of patience and is good with sewing cushions and drapes. I suggest to try a fixer-upper for your first project. Most people that I have seen, build their trailer too heavy which totally changes the use and need for hitch and tow vehicle. If you want to talk to me about this project, I can make myself available (I am retired), if you let me know the date and time that is convenient. Cheers and good luck
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Old 07-01-2018, 10:16 PM   #4
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I am under the impression that creating molds for a trailer shell would cost tens of thousands of dollars. One could buy an empty shell for less. Or maybe offer to buy the molds from Eggcamper in MI; Jim Palmer the owner has not been producing trailers for a couple years now.
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:49 AM   #5
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Name: K C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by restorationwhole View Post
Hello Everyone,

I am looking for engineering and mold making help to produce a 16' fiberglass camper for myself. If anyone has expertise you'd like to share please let me know. Thanks!
The first thing to know about making fiberglass molds is the need for using draft, meaning you need an angle on the sides and typically the roof is not flat either, it will have a slope to it starting at the midline length wise. The second thing to know is you need a radius on all corners. You have to have those two things in order to be able to get the parts to release from a mold.

You should have at least 3 degrees of draft so the parts release form the mold. But on large pieces such as a travel trailer a typical angle of draft is about 7 degrees, and of course it can be more depending on the styling you want.

If you are having trouble finding information for fiberglass mold making related to trailers I suggest you start your learning curve by looking at the marine industry. For instance here is one person's first journey into learning to make molds. SCEADU DESIGN


There will also be technical books available on the subject of making fiberglass plugs and molds. But as before they are more likely to be focused on boat building rather than travel trailers.


I would also strongly suggest you take some road trips to places that are producing fiberglass shells. There likely will be a few within a days drive.


But for a self build I would suggest you consider purchasing composite sheets that have a fiberglass covering. You can build a frame out of aluminum and then you will have a nice lightweight home built trailer. The skills required and the time required for that type of build are substantially less with quite good results.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:31 AM   #6
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Name: Gerry
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After building canoes I was thinking of building a cedar strip camper and use just frames not molds to shape the two separate shells then join them in much the same fashion as the Boler or Casita.
Someday when I am probably too old to do this I may start the project. I have loads of 1/4 cedar all cut already just need to build the frame work out of plywood and start gluing the strips. Then glass the whole thing.
All holes would be cut out after.
UHG too much work.
Let's just go camping by the lake.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:20 PM   #7
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I used to teach ceramics, and sometimes made my own molds...materials would be different, and scale, but concept would be the same. MUST be smooth enough and rounded enough and not undercut anywhere in order to release. Fun, yes. A lot of work? Yes.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:36 PM   #8
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Start digging around U-Tube. So much information available you will never even start your project.
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:29 PM   #9
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If I wanted to build just one, or only a few, I would look into this guy's 3D printed RV. It is a different direction. We chuckled quite a bit, but it came together. It was done at a technical school in Saskatoon.

You may find updates on-line. Someone was trying to take it commercial.

https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/world-s...toon-1.3817082
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:44 PM   #10
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of course, for far less than the price of a large enough 3D printer, which would be something you would have to custom build, you could buy a fully equipped brand new Oliver.
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:19 PM   #11
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I was more than half serious. I imagine that that Randy Janes, who owns the 3D printer used, at Create Cafe, 3D printing in Saskatoon may be receptive to a potential customer. 3D printers excel at prototypes and small production runs.

Like Randy Janes, I think 3D printing has potential. I also wouldn't be surprised if his isn't the only large format machine available. But he's likely done tons of R&D. Well worth looking into before ruling it out. Good luck.

Saskatchewan Firm to Build a 3-D Printed Camper | RV Business
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