Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

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Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

Postby SkyNerd » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:09 am

It’s the walls that get me every time... I read over and over about 2” stud walls being over kill. Despite the extra labor involved I see so many benefits. Running wires and switches, additional insulation. The biggest for me is more of an on the fly build. if I build a basic stud wall I can skin the inside with a nice 1/4 or 1/8 birch and start building it out if I decide I want my cabinets to be taller or one of the bunks needs higher or lower or maybe i want to add a shelf i hadn’t planned for, I can just add an additional cross beam 2x2 and I have support. It seems once you skeletonize a sheet of plywood your stuck. With the 2x2 I can completely build out the entire camper before adding insulation and skinning the outside - this seems a huge advantage for a 1st time camper builder specially since I’m working with an atypical design. I also feel like with the 2x2 skeleton vs plywood I will have a larger area to add insulation, so not just thicker but also a larger coverage area. I’ve also already sourced doors and windows that will fit a 2” wall and a vendor that will sell an hurricane hinge long enough to cover the 78” trailer roof.

What am I missing or what haven’t I thought about? This camper will spend at least one week a year on a trout fishing trip, day time temps are 40-60 while nights can drop in the teens and some years there has even been snow. While our lodge tent and pot belly stove has done pretty well I would love to be able to sleep cozy in my tiny camper with a propex HS2000 heater and some nicely insulated walls. I realize it will still have to be vented. But I can crack the fantastic fan hatch and make a vent to pull the cold fresh air in to the heater so cold air never reaches the cabin. (I’ve tried to think of everything)

I also live in very humid Texas and I would think the additional insulation would help prevent with the condensation. No plans on AC, if it’s that hot at night, it’s probably to hot during the day, I’m looking to camp earlier in the spring and later in the fall and potentially during the winter in addition to my trout trip. Usually the day time temps are beautiful 70’s-80’s but nights can drop to 40’s.
The insulation is important for the heater, If I can retain some heat I can decrease the duty cycle of the heater and save on propane, I’ve seen videos of some campers in the teen temps have their propex heater run non stop only to maintain 68 degrees. While the 68 degree temp is ok the propane consumption is quite high. With the propane running 8 hours a night on a 15lb propane tank it only goes about 6 days. I could easily be off grid up to 10 days.

And what do I do for the galley? My thoughts was to build the walls to the hatch support beam and then just do 3/4’ plywood all they way to the rear and follow a more traditional build for the galley walls and hatch.


I’m building a 12’ x 6.5’ teardrop trailer. I know it’s on the larger side of things but I’m adding forward bunks for some kids and looking to make good use of a wide galley. I’m adding solar panels & battery system, lights, USB charge ports, 120v outlets, fantastic fan, a HS2000 Propex heater.

When it’s all said and done and lets say it doesn’t change anything and the extra insulation didn’t help because I added the extra windows or whatever... what do I have to lose other than the extra time it took to build it? It should still be strong enough to tow a 70-80mph, the interior will be built to specs I needed.

I’m just really ready to go buy wood and start working this weekend... I have the trailer in my garage with the floor installed, I want to have it functionally by late January and I need to get working/building. I think I just need a push to go do it LOL

- Jes
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Re: Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

Postby tony.latham » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:28 pm

I will have a larger area to add insulation...


You're talking about an r-factor of 3.75 vs. 7.5. In reality, you'll never know the difference. Small campers with multiple people in them need lots of ventilation to get rid of the moisture and to allow oxygen in ––even when it's cold-- so the windows need to be cracked and maybe the roof vent a bit to get some flow.

Image

The insulation keeps the condensation from occurring on the walls.

The insulation is important for the heater, If I can retain some heat I can decrease the duty cycle of the heater and save on propane, I’ve seen videos of some campers in the teen temps have their propex heater run non stop only to maintain 68 degrees.


I've only bench tested my Propex heater but it puts out a relatively large volume of air at 180º (65,000 BTU) and burns 1/3 pound of fuel per hour. I'll have mine up and running today, but I'll bet it heats up the cabin within a few minutes on cold nights and then we're good.

They do consume a bit of juice. 1.6 amps/hour while running so figure that into your electrical system.

Good luck with your build! :beer:

Tony
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Re: Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

Postby troubleScottie » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:27 pm

Technically you do not have to vent the heater to the outside. The combustion chamber needs an outside intake and outlet. The actual air flow is over the combustion chamber, not through it.

So the air intake could be inside. Heating preheated air is more efficient.

Alternatively you could make the air intake outside -- bringing in fresh air, possibly at a lower temperature in spite of the heating. Or have 2 intakes, one outside and one inside. Open and close the outside one as desired. There are some installation requirements for this (one intake always is to be open, and some issues with Y's in the intake hose )

In any case, you are now discussing does your TD need ventilation. Yes, it does as your personal carbon dioxide generation could be deadly. And the heater is not always on. So an open window and/or fan are a good plan (as is a CO2/CO detector)
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Re: Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

Postby pchast » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:39 pm

Conventional 2X construction is Heavy....
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Re: Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

Postby Squigie » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:39 pm

SkyNerd wrote:I also live in very humid Texas and I would think the additional insulation would help prevent with the condensation. No plans on AC, if it’s that hot at night, it’s probably to hot during the day, I’m looking to camp earlier in the spring and later in the fall and potentially during the winter in addition to my trout trip. Usually the day time temps are beautiful 70’s-80’s but nights can drop to 40’s.
The insulation is important for the heater, If I can retain some heat I can decrease the duty cycle of the heater and save on propane, I’ve seen videos of some campers in the teen temps have their propex heater run non stop only to maintain 68 degrees. While the 68 degree temp is ok the propane consumption is quite high. With the propane running 8 hours a night on a 15lb propane tank it only goes about 6 days. I could easily be off grid up to 10 days.

Remember: You're camping.
This isn't a luxury hotel or your bedroom at home.
It's a simple trailer, off the grid.

Wear warm clothing, use better bedding, and set the furnace to 50 degrees (or less). Battery power and propane consumption drop substantially. Furnaces in off-grid tiny trailers aren't for keeping things toasty and perfect. They're to keep things slightly better than terrible, or slightly above freezing (depending upon the season). Waking up, sliding out from under the covers, and thinking "OOohh, it's a bit chilly" is still a whole lot better than waking up, checking the thermostat, flipping the main power switch to see if that helps, checking the thermostat again, scraping the frost off your eyelashes, then shivering like a man in the electric chair, while donning ice-cold clothes, and going outside to find that you burned the last seven pounds in your only propane tank last night, because the thermostat was set at "Aspiring Capitalist" rather than "Adaptable Realist".

If you want 68+ degrees in the trailer on sub-40 degree nights, you need to: A) Get more batteries and carry more propane. B) Go electric and carry a generator. Or, C) Stay at home.
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Re: Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

Postby tony.latham » Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:27 pm

The combustion chamber needs an outside intake and outlet. The actual air flow is over the combustion chamber, not through it.


TroubleScottie: Is that for me or the OP? :thinking:

Here's my Propex install:

Image

Tony
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Re: Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

Postby SkyNerd » Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:47 pm

tony.latham wrote:
The combustion chamber needs an outside intake and outlet. The actual air flow is over the combustion chamber, not through it.


TroubleScottie: Is that for me or the OP? :thinking:

Here's my Propex install:

Image

Tony


Awesome! I can’t wait to get mine setup. How well do you feel it works? I probably won’t be camping in much less than 40-50 degree weather. At least with the family anyway. We love the fall and spring daytime weather but nights are too cold for tent camping. I’m hoping my teardrop will solve that problem.

- Jes


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Re: Walls.. ready to build and need some co-signers

Postby rjgimp » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:05 pm

SkyNerd wrote:I’m just really ready to go buy wood and start working this weekend... I have the trailer in my garage with the floor installed, I want to have it functionally by late January and I need to get working/building. I think I just need a push to go do it LOL

- Jes


Go, man. GO! lol

I have determined that "perfect" is the arch enemy of "perfectly acceptable". You can cogitate and weigh options and research for weeks and months and even years but until you actually start sticking pieces of SOMETHING together, you will have... nothing. You can't comfortably camp in nothing. It's far better to have something, however imperfect it may be.
-Rob


I hope to make it to a Procrastinators Anonymous meeting someday...
just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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