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Robert Johans 03-16-2014 11:37 AM

Nest Caravans Building a new FG trailer, step by step
 
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Note: This thread has been split away from the other Nest Caravan thread, in order for Robert to be able to take us through the process of building the molds for the new trailer. Please try to keep this thread on the topic of the Nest's mold-building process. Separate threads should be started for any other topics regarding Nest Caravans.

Our CNC files are finally finished and we are at last cutting forms for our pre-mold patterns — aka: "plugs".

Our fabrication shop uses a two-axis cutter to shape 4" thick pieces of foam. Here you can see how the router tool cuts the foam.

Robert Johans 03-16-2014 11:41 AM

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After cutting, these many separate layers of foam are then stacked and glued together to complete the total shape.

After gluing, the total assembly is hand sanded, then measured with a scope for accuracy.

Tomorrow, a layer of fiberglass will be applied to the foam. This top coating then gets prepped and polished for the construction of the actual mold. Stay tuned for that!

Jim Bennett 03-16-2014 11:45 AM

Very cool, Robert. Do keep us informed of the progress, and you know we all just love photos. :)

Francesca Knowles 03-16-2014 12:05 PM

Cool! Hopin' to see the whole process, step-by-step...

carlkeigley 03-16-2014 12:39 PM

Great shots.........I'm a big fan of step by step shots.
The naked truth and all that.........

WildBirder 03-16-2014 04:39 PM

Wow, very interesting. Thanks for letting us in on the process. :thumb:

Francesca Knowles 03-17-2014 01:13 PM

Feelin' like an onlooker at a birth; thanks for letting us into the delivery room, Robert!

Robert Johans 03-17-2014 04:28 PM

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As mentioned above, the foam form gets covered with fiberglass. Today three layers of FG cloth will be cut to shape and draped over the form. Tomorrow, resin is to be applied to the cloth, followed by shaping and polishing.

carlkeigley 03-17-2014 05:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles (Post 447235)
Feelin' like an onlooker at a birth; thanks for letting us into the delivery room, Robert!

That's a great way of putting it.
Just like watching a colt or calf or even a human baby.

Love to watch the birth of any brand trailer.

Jim Bennett 03-17-2014 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles (Post 447235)
Feelin' like an onlooker at a birth; thanks for letting us into the delivery room, Robert!

And we all get to be godparents. :D

carlkeigley 03-17-2014 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Bennett (Post 447263)
And we all get to be godparents. :D

Jim, that's the emotion.................thanks.

Godparents.......ain't we lucky.

Jim Bennett 03-17-2014 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Johans (Post 447256)
As mentioned above, the foam form gets covered with fiberglass. Today three layers of FG cloth will be cut to shape and draped over the form. Tomorrow, resin is to be applied to the cloth, followed by shaping and polishing.

I see lots of squeegeeing in your future. :D
It reminds me of glassing my cedar strip canoe, just on a WAY larger scale.

Robert Johans 03-22-2014 09:54 AM

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All hands on deck as the resin is applied to the fiberglass fabric. Even the fabrication company's president pulled on gloves and a respirator to help.

Robert Johans 03-22-2014 10:00 AM

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After the resin sets, the crew goes to work smoothing out the body. Gaps and cracks are filled with Bondo. Then everything is re-sanded. When this is completed a few coats of primer are applied, then more sanding.

All this work to make the plug/pattern perfect for the actual mold...

kdhanso 03-22-2014 11:07 AM

Robert, This is so much fun to see. Thanks for sharing the details.

brian m. 03-22-2014 02:20 PM

Yes, very exciting! Can't wait to see one in person someday.

Robert Johans 03-31-2014 06:15 PM

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More hand work to clean up the form before the primer goes down.

Can you get a sense of some of the body lines yet?

Jim Bennett 03-31-2014 07:49 PM

Looking good. Does the prime coat reveal any additional imperfections that need to be faired out before you make the mould?

Andrew Gibbens 04-01-2014 04:35 AM

Robert, should you not put an advisory note in the thread title - "Beware, contains images of hand sanding"?

Amateurs normally assume that power tools must be used for everything, so they need to be protected from this assault on their senses and beliefs.

My thoughts are with your fairing guys and their finger ends....;)

CindyL 04-01-2014 06:52 AM

Very interesting. Like 3D printing with the layers.

CindyL

Robert Johans 04-03-2014 03:52 PM

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More body work, then a coat of primer, then more body work...

Jim Bennett 04-04-2014 05:07 AM

Looking slick.

cpaharley2008 04-04-2014 06:37 AM

What is your estimate of the weight of the mold we are seeing take shape?

Robert Johans 04-05-2014 08:13 PM

Weight of the mold? No clue... Why do you ask?

cpaharley2008 04-06-2014 06:30 AM

Just curious as to ease of movement and actually upon second thought, I was more interested in the weight of the composite shell coming out of the mold.

Andrew Gibbens 04-06-2014 07:01 AM

Surely what Robert is posting photos of is the 'plug' - the single-use male shape from which the female production 'mold' is taken, with (male) production parts being molded inside the mold.

Ian G. 04-06-2014 07:54 AM

Great progress Robert. This helps everyone appreciate the amount of work that goes into just the shell ... not to mention all the other components.

Vicki A. 04-06-2014 08:32 AM

Love how it's coming along, Robert!

Robert Johans 04-06-2014 06:28 PM

Thanks all for your comments.

Yes, these photos show the development of the "plug" for the top shell. Obviously, the plug must be perfect to build a perfect mold from which to pull perfect parts.

As the finishing for top shell plug gets dialed in, the bottom shell plug form is being cut and assembled, and the "rear cap" works its way through final engineering.

The process is arduous, but I am confident that we'll have a beautiful product when finally finished.

carlkeigley 04-06-2014 06:31 PM

I appreciate it isn't a "government job."
And "good enough" isn't good enough.

As you say, a perfect mold takes a perfect plug.

Robert Johans 05-04-2014 11:54 AM

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Hi Folks, been about a month since my last post. Here's an update on the progress of our Nest:

The fine details of the upper shell "plug" are being dialed in. The foam for the lower shell plug has been cut, assembled, and encased in fiberglass. (Photos below show bottom form upside down.) The "rear cap" has completed engineering and files are on the way to the CNC machine.

Again, the process has been excruciatingly slow. I am no longer making predictions about the delivery of the first prototype! Gotta stay patient, take our time and ensure perfect results.

Robert Johans 05-04-2014 12:01 PM

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More photos...

After the foam is cut and assembled, it is encased in a coat of fiberglass and resin. Then automotive body filler is worked onto the form and shaped. When this is near perfect, the form will get a coat of primer and reworked as necessary.

reeves99 05-04-2014 12:13 PM

fascinating Robert. Thanks for sharing that. From your avatar it looks like it may be the "Airstream" of the FG world. Wishing you best.

cpaharley2008 05-04-2014 12:14 PM

Amazing…..

Robert Johans 05-04-2014 12:21 PM

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Meanwhile, the interior furniture components have been designed and translated to CNC files for the cabinet maker. Yes, real wood, high-end cabinetry...

The left side of the Nest will feature the the sink and shower enclosure; the right side has the cooktop, refrigerator, and countertop. The front end contains the queen-size mattress, with access to storage in front and below.

War Eagle 05-18-2014 09:03 PM

Looking great! Please keep the photos coming! I appreciate that you're taking your time to do it right, but I sure hope you can get a prototype to some rallies this Summer. I'm sure it will draw a huge crowd wherever it goes. I can't wait to step inside one and "try it on for size"!

brian m. 05-20-2014 07:02 PM

Fascinating stuff Robert!
Thanks for allowing us to watch the process from the very beginning.
I too can't wait to see one in person.

Francesca Knowles 05-22-2014 06:32 PM

Will you wait until both bottom and top half plugs are finished before proceeding to making the molds and casting the first actual body?

Also, I know you asked us all to limit discussion in this thread to the making of the plugs, but I hope if you don't go on to post the next processes here you do so in another thread. I'm really hoping to watch this from start to finish...

Jim Bennett 05-22-2014 09:03 PM

Francesca, my purpose for starting this thread (as per your request), was so we could watch and drool over the whole process, and that any discussion over the merits of components and other decisions made, be done elsewhere.

The thread title, Nest Caravans — Building a new FG trailer, step by step, kinda tells it better than my blurb at the beginning.

I too am enjoying the photos shared by Robert. Let's keep 'em comin'. :)

War Eagle 09-04-2014 10:31 PM

Robert, It's been four months since we've heard from you. Summer has come and almost gone. What's happening with the Nest? Any production models on the road yet? Any photos of actual camped-in-the-boonies Nest caravans we can analyze, scrutinize, drool over and dream about? Dale

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 04:41 PM

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Hello everybody!

Yep, it's been a while since my last post, but that does not mean we haven't been working everyday to bring Nest to reality.

Fact is, we had some unforeseen production problems with our plugs that put us way behind, but those issues have been resolved and we are now making some real progress.

Because of the several automotive styling details inherent to our design, ironically, a tremendous amount of hand work is required to give the plugs a "machined" look. All of the lines need to be absolutely clean, true and consistent.

Here is a look at the top shell plug as it nears finishing form before the mold is built around it.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 04:53 PM

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The lower shell is also nearing completion. It is now in the middle of final primer coats and "blocking" where the surface is repeatedly re-sanded with ever decreasing grits of paper.

These shots show the shell upside down, giving you a good view of the "frameless" design. You'll see channels upfront that provide anchoring points for our towing "delta." The torsion axle, of course, spans between the wheel wells, and is mounted via custom brackets through the shell body. (Unlike most other FG trailers, ours features a floor nearly 2" thick built up with a variety of composite materials, including structural foam and "hard" panels for the attachment points.)

The close-up shot of a wheel well shows the various engineered surface "joggles" that accommodate the custom axle brackets, as well as the wheel flares.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 05:01 PM

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The Nest shell body consists of three main components: upper and lower shells, plus our rear "cap" which accommodates the entry door.

Here are a couple images of the foam cut by the CNC machine of the rear cap. These, obviously, get glued together and then get sprayed with primer and worked with sand paper to a finished lustre.

Also shown, is a CNC test mold that we'll prepare to use for our wheel flares.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 07:05 PM

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Just got a sample wheel flare pulled from the mold to lay up against our lower shell. We also placed our wheel/tire assembly into place to check for fit. We are featuring a 16" wheel in order to better match the scale of a typical modern tow vehicle.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 07:10 PM

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Here's another look at the rear "cap" plug. Again, this gets primer and lots of sanding and polishing before the mold is made. (Sorry, this is upside down.) Also, a look at the entry door plug. (Right side up.)This shows the finished product, polished and ready for the mold.

Robert Johans 09-05-2014 07:14 PM

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The top shell plug is now encapsulated by the mold. A steel armature, or in our case, a "rotisserie" will be built around the mold to facilitate the FG material lay-up and infusion process.

Donna D. 09-05-2014 08:29 PM

Thanks for checking in Robert! So many of us were wondering how the NEST was coming along. Lookin' GREAT

Hot Rodders are very familiar with a "rotisserie" :wink

War Eagle 09-05-2014 08:57 PM

Looking great! Really coming along nicely! Please don't make us wait so long for the next update and photos.

Jim Bennett 09-05-2014 11:30 PM

Great to see the progress, Robert. Looking forward to seeing it develop further.

papa-t 09-06-2014 06:35 AM

Can't wait to see the rest and finished egg.

honda03842 09-06-2014 06:49 AM

Thank you for sharing, it helps make us part of the birth.

Robert Johans 09-11-2014 02:54 PM

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Here are a couple shots of the top shell plug, and followed by a few of the actual mold suspended within the rotisserie armature.

Robert Johans 09-11-2014 02:57 PM

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Top shell mold...

Donna D. 09-11-2014 06:31 PM

Isn't this fun! We get to see how everything comes together and those that are thinking a Nest are in their future... will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY love to follow along.

:aplas

FRED SMAILES 09-12-2014 08:56 AM

Robert! thanks very much for the blow by blow of the build!
Enjoying every pic
Fred

David Tilston 09-12-2014 08:58 AM

just out of curiosity, does the plug survive the creation of the mold?

Nate R 09-12-2014 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Tilston (Post 482300)
just out of curiosity, does the plug survive the creation of the mold?

In the work I've done in this field, it does. (Hand layup carbon fiber.)

Robert Johans 09-12-2014 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Tilston (Post 482300)
just out of curiosity, does the plug survive the creation of the mold?


Yes it does. In fact, we'll keep it stored and secured in case we need to build another mold someday.


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV

ruscal 09-12-2014 10:26 PM

I was worried the plug would not strip out of the mold due to the recessed sides! Now I can rest easy. Looking good!
Russ

Robert Johans 09-13-2014 09:31 AM

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We were very careful to ensure that there would be no negative "draft" issues with this design.

Though the window chamfers imply a possible sticking point, the geometry of the shell form actually mitigates any problems with those angles.

That said, there were some concerns about removing the plug from the mold due to its sheer size and associated surface tension, et al. But it slipped out with just a little coaxing which bodes well for us when we get to removing the actual parts.

This image shows the intact plug in the foreground, with the mold in the background, suspended at 90 within its "rotisserie" armature.

Timber Wolf 09-13-2014 02:00 PM

Yes, please keep posting progress. It is very interesting seeing modern egg construction. I really like your layout too.

Nelmes 09-15-2014 12:55 PM

Amazing Post!! Looking forward to reading more!!

Ken C 09-23-2014 09:41 AM

3 more pics posted https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...6936952&type=3

David Tilston 09-23-2014 10:58 AM

Is it just me, or do the first five pictures look like a scale model?

Jim Bennett 09-23-2014 11:46 AM

Either that, or they have a drill bit the size of a power pole. ;)

Robert Johans 09-23-2014 01:24 PM

About the posted Composite Approach Facebook photos... Yes, that was an scale model of an earlier concept. The actual product has since evolved, as shown on this forum thread.

Robert Johans 09-23-2014 01:33 PM

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Tremendous amount of handwork to ensure that the mold is absolutely true and defect-free. Obviously, any imperfections in the mold are transferred to the actual part.

The production team has been meticulous in their approach often returning to areas already buffed out just to resolve the slightest of inaccuracies.

Robert Johans 09-23-2014 01:37 PM

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The lower shell plug has been finished and encapsulated to create the mold. Like the upper shell, this mold also gets a "rotisserie" frame work built around it.

Robert Johans 09-23-2014 01:53 PM

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The Nest is comprised of three major FG parts: the upper and lower shells, and the "rear cap." As shown in the previous post, the rear cap features integrated hinging for the entry door, as well as an integrated upper "light bar" three equally spaced red lights required to indicate a vehicle of 80" or more.

The Nest also features a front storage compartment we're calling the "nosecone." This will hide the propane tank and provide extra space for stashing stuff best kept outside. Equally important, is the streamline aesthetic this adds to the front end.

For this plug, layers of an "MDF" type of wood product were cut to shape, stacked, and glued. Then sanded, primed and sanded again. Over and over until the finish is ready for a final polish.

Ken C 09-23-2014 02:14 PM

Your new avatar reminded me of battlestar for some reason :D
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/i...CBH2HgrUGGxsGw

Robert Johans 09-23-2014 02:43 PM

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Funny, we too often make reference to the "Cylon" shape of the front wind screen. But actually, the design is more influenced by the shape of modern ski goggles.

Green Frog 09-23-2014 03:01 PM

I'm coming to this thread really late, but boy howdy am I ever impressed! I especially like the idea of a complete "tub" for the bottom and having a unit-body type frame arrangement. I think this is going to be a real winner. I'm wondering though, why use wood cabinetry rather than the inner layer fiberglass units like the old Burro? It seems like that would increase shell strength while saving weight. Regardless, it looks like a great project and further, it appears you are making every effort to do it all as well as it can possibly be done.

Best Wishes,
Froggie

Mike Magee 09-23-2014 06:06 PM

Some of us like the look of wood. That might be one reason, but only the builder knows for sure.

Jim Bennett 09-23-2014 06:18 PM

While I understand some of the benefits of an inner shell, I MUCH prefer the look of real wood. Trailers like the Oliver with its white interior look very institutional, kinda like a hospital, to me. Maybe if it was coloured right like some trailers, but still, wood is my first choice too.

David B. 09-23-2014 06:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Bennett (Post 484220)
While I understand some of the benefits of an inner shell, I MUCH prefer the look of real wood. Trailers like the Oliver with its white interior look very institutional, kinda like a hospital, to me. Maybe if it was coloured right like some trailers, but still, wood is my first choice too.

One could have the best of both worlds (lightness & durability of fiberglass) with this 3M product.
fellers.com/3m/cat/3m-colored-patterned-wrap-vinyls/sub/wood-grain-vinyl

honda03842 09-23-2014 07:15 PM

This company makes all kinds of vinyl, some specifically for curved surfaces.

Graphic Products - Graphic Products

Steve Outlaw 09-23-2014 07:58 PM

We have an Oliver (our second one actually) and we love the white interior. As far as it looking "institutional...like a hospital" I'm unclear on where that notion has come from. I've worked in the largest hospital in rural America for the last 40 years and I can't think of a single white wall in all of its several million square feet. Don't misunderstand, I love wood. Our home has a custom built oak library and it's beautiful (I know, I built it.) The problem I have with the "wood" in most of our trailers is that it is not cabinet grade hardwood rather being, at best, nice Veneered Plywood going downhill toward MDF or vinyl covered whatever. I agree that a colored gel-coat on the interior would be nice but not very feasible from a production standpoint. Besides, the white gel-coat is the most versatile as a basis for any color palate.

Robert Johans 09-23-2014 10:16 PM

Our intention is to create a modern, "mid-century" design aesthetic with the interior. In fact, our furniture has been inspired by that of some pieces designed by Charles and Ray Eames. Because the space is relatively compact, the cabinetry must feature clean lines, simple forms, and light tones.

I don't agree that fiberglass furniture is necessarily lighter than wood. In our case, much depends upon construction methodology and material choices. However, you won't ever find MDF, particleboard, or any other "fake" wood used anywhere on the Nest.


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV

Robert Johans 09-25-2014 01:13 PM

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More tooling updates!

The bottom shell form has now been separated from the mold. The mold is completely framed within its rotisserie armature. As per the top shell mold, this gets QC'd for surface imperfections and then buffed out.

Robert Johans 09-25-2014 01:16 PM

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The top shell mold has been completely buffed out now and is ready to produce actual parts.

Our first "pull" occurs next Wednesday!

Robert Johans 09-25-2014 01:24 PM

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Concurrently, the rear cap is being framed or "blocked" to prepare for the mold building process. White melamine is cut to fit tight around the perimeter of the form. The nosecone storage unit stands ready to follow.

The entry door is comprised of two parts and inner and outer skin. The outer skin mold is complete and will be used to help create the plug for the inner skin.

Jim Bennett 09-25-2014 02:54 PM

Can't wait to see the birthing of the first trailer shell, Robert. :)

Rob Outlaw 09-25-2014 03:17 PM

Just spent some time looking at the Nest website. All I can say is this is a very cool looking camper, well done indeed. Love the contemporary Euro styling, and aerodynamic look. Some of the attributes that caught my attention were cork flooring, Alde H2O heating system, large rims and tires, attention to detail and craftsmanship, the Hehr crank out jalousie windows, and efficient use of what seems to be a small space. However I am not convinced of the dexter axels mounted straight to the body of the pod itself even though I know there is a reinforced floor/bottom. I have no doubt these will be head turners out on the roads and campgrounds.

I do agree with Steve however regarding the Oliver having just toured the factory a couple of weeks ago (and put down my deposit for one too) there was nothing about them that conveyed an institutional look to me, let alone hospital type of environment. But we all have our own aesthetic sensibilities which is ok.

Hopefully you will do very well with these campers Robert, certainly can't see any reason why not other than the rather steep price of admission. Very impressive.

rob

D White 09-25-2014 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob Outlaw (Post 484501)
Just spent some time looking at the Nest website. All I can say is this is a very cool looking camper, well done indeed. Love the contemporary Euro styling, and aerodynamic look. Some of the attributes that caught my attention were cork flooring, Alde H2O heating system, large rims and tires, attention to detail and craftsmanship, the Hehr crank out jalousie windows, and efficient use of what seems to be a small space. However I am not convinced of the dexter axels mounted straight to the body of the pod itself even though I know there is a reinforced floor/bottom. I have no doubt these will be head turners out on the roads and campgrounds.

I do agree with Steve however regarding the Oliver having just toured the factory a couple of weeks ago (and put down my deposit for one too) there was nothing about them that conveyed an institutional look to me, let alone hospital type of environment. But we all have our own aesthetic sensibilities which is ok.

Hopefully you will do very well with these campers Robert, certainly can't see any reason why not other than the rather steep price of admission. Very impressive.

rob

Having done this procedure several times, I think this shows why the "steep price of admission" I assure you, Robert has way more invested in this project than you could ever imagine. I am totally impressed with his high quality and well researched, educated and well thought out design. He has an artists passion on this project and deserves lauds on even taking it on. His payoff will be every time he sees one on the road. He is building camping monuments that will last long after he is gone, and people will be on a forum somewhere discussing how to renovate these 40 years from now. I'm totally excited for you Robert, and I salute you, sir. Dave

Pat Thomson 09-25-2014 06:57 PM

Just found this thread today, and I will definitely follow it. As someone who binge watches 'How it is Made', I can't wait for more!

Robert Johans 09-26-2014 09:48 AM

Thank you all for your very generous posts. I am personally gratified to see that our fundamental build philosophy of "design, quality and innovation" is being received positively.

It is true that our product will be more expensive than most FG trailer manufacturers that have preceded us. But Cadillacs cost more than Chevys. Even with that said, the Nest will still be less than the current, comparably-sized Airstream Sport 16. And I believe our price point will be comparable to that of the Oliver Legacy 17 when it was first launched several years ago.

The Nest will not be for everyone. And it won't meet everyone's expectations perfectly. But we're literally betting the farm that there will be enough folks out there that will appreciate it's beauty and features to want to buy one.

Fingers crossed!

stevebaz 09-26-2014 11:18 AM

Robert,

Boy I know your betting the farm on this one. Dollars flowing like Niagara Falls. It looks like you have a well thought out plan and execution of that plan. I'll bet you didn't see this one coming 10 years ago. Its impressive what can be done using modern manufacturing practice's. You have a great team in getting your molds done. I wouldn't want the nightmares you must be having. I wish the best for you guys and hope soon your nightmares move to happy dreams. I am honored that you are sharing this process with us mere mortals.
Wish you much success in your venture.

Steve

Ken C 09-26-2014 11:42 AM

Elite was more (post 47)(roof a/c standard) but The Oliver 17 classic was 17,500 when first launched with shower, permanent toilet. An amazing deal now that I look back on it with me crying at the keyboard here. :weep
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post346239

Do you have a price list/build-sheet for folks yet or is it too early still? You mentioned your first mold pull next week so I thought I would ask :) the mold sure looks sharp.

Jim Bennett 09-26-2014 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Johans (Post 484614)
The Nest will not be for everyone. And it won't meet everyone's expectations perfectly. But we're literally betting the farm that there will be enough folks out there that will appreciate it's beauty and features to want to buy one.

Fingers crossed!

It will be a select market, for discerning buyers, but I am pretty confident you will get to keep the farm with this trailer.

Mr. W. 09-26-2014 01:59 PM

The Nest Caravan website is listing the standard version at $29,995. That is no doubt subject to adjustment. So, don't confuse this as being an entry-level trailer! But, what I see so far is really beautiful.

Robert Johans 09-26-2014 08:12 PM

Thanks for the intel regarding Oliver Legacy Classic. Best to keep my facts straight and not make any unintended false claims! They sure did pack a lot of standard features into $17.5K.


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV

Robert Johans 09-29-2014 12:22 PM

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As you may have read, the Nest features a "monocoque" design which requires no steel frame under the shell body. The nearly 2" thick shell floor will be reinforced with layers of various composite materials.

Custom brackets have been built to which the axle assembly will be fastened. These brackets will be mounted both vertically through the floor, and horizontally through the wheel well. (You'll notice that we designed a recess into the shell body to allow the brackets to nestle into a fixed position within the wheel well.)

For the prototypes, we have spec'd "Flex-Ride" axles with adjustable arms and 10" drums to accommodate our 16" wheels. We tested the fit of all the components on the lower shell "plug" this morning.

(True confessions: I messed up and ordered hubs with five lugs. Should be six. Oops!)

Andrew Gibbens 09-29-2014 12:31 PM

That looks a superb structural design, with the big bracket transferring loads straight into the sidewall of the trailer (far, far stronger than any metal frame).

Are you just bolting the bracket to the fender well or bonding it as well? It looks like a perfect example of where 3M 5200 sealant/adhesive would do a good job and yet allow the bracket to be replaced if it was ever necessary.

Robert Johans 09-29-2014 12:57 PM

Thanks Andrew, for the note, and the tip.

My understanding is that we will use mechanical fasteners. However, I have passed your suggestion on to our fabricator. These guys have tons of experience building both aircraft and boats, so I'm sure they will have some thoughts about supplementing nuts and bolts with an appropriate adhesive.

Jim Bennett 09-29-2014 04:39 PM

Now, that is a clean looking undercarriage.

Will the 3 water tanks all be inside, or will they (or at least the waste ones) be mounted underneath? I assume the sewer drains will be outside below, no?

I really do enjoy watching something like this come together. As exciting as it is for me, I image you must be stoked, seeing it all come together.

carlkeigley 09-29-2014 05:29 PM

I love the nestles in the nest.

Robert Johans 09-29-2014 05:34 PM

Jim, this may disappoint you (and maybe others) but the Nest will not feature on-board waste tanks. Perhaps controversial, but based upon research we conducted before we began designing, we decided to go along with the slight majority that preferred to keep things simple.

So, Nest will instead feature the design-award winning Thetford "Curve" porta-potty, and a gray water external tote.

Of course, should we get enough push-back, back to the drawing board!


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honda03842 09-29-2014 05:48 PM

I really love this thread. Actually educational for many of us.

To me there should be waste tanks.

Nelmes 09-29-2014 05:48 PM

I love the fact you dropped the tanks, in the winter they freeze and cause problems, and in the summer the simpler unit is better anyway (and for us we sometime move the toilet to a tent to keep the kids out of the trailer).

Also love the fact you dropped the metal frame, I have wondered why this is not common with composite trailers!

Beautiful Trailer, looking forward to reading more :)

Jim Bennett 09-29-2014 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Johans (Post 485071)
Jim, this may disappoint you (and maybe others) but the Nest will not feature on-board waste tanks. Perhaps controversial, but based upon research we conducted before we began designing, we decided to go along with the slight majority that preferred to keep things simple.

So, Nest will instead feature the design-award winning Thetford "Curve" porta-potty, and a gray water external tote.

Of course, should we get enough push-back, back to the drawing board!

Hey Robert, not really disappointed at all, just have to make my thinker work towards that direction. I do remember the cassette toilet now, and actually quite like that idea. Being off grid most of the time, it would actually be easier to deal with than a holding tank.

For grey water will there just be a garden hose connection then? Again with mostly boondocking, and unless I trailed the hose off behind the trailer somewhere, one would have to bring some kind of holding container along, which could be a bit of a hassle. Maybe an option for a grey water tank underneath (though that clean look is sure nice right now), or incorporated as a bottom layer in a cabinet???

Just some random thoughts. No doubt you have gone through all these many times already.

And


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