Patience...

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Patience...

Postby Squigie » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:58 am

I've always been a patient person, but I'm still glad it improves with age.

I've been trying to work out the design of my "rough road" TD for months - arguably years, if you include general plans and rough sketches.
Things have really been coming together as I obtain the actual components that I'll be using, such as suspension, the furnace, lights, electrical components, etc.

Last night, I fleshed out 95% of the construction and layout details for a 5x10. ...Which, when driven by needs and the puzzle pieces on hand, turned into sort of a rounded-off 'square drop'. (Very similar to the styling of Oregon Trail'R, even though they were no inspiration.)

I told my son, "I think that's it. That's the best packaging and layout I've come up with yet, and everything will work well this way."

"Can we start building it, then?" he inquired with excitement.

I replied, "No, not yet. We need to wait and think about it a bit more. Something needing just a little change somewhere can cause more changes that go through the whole trailer, all the way down to the bottom of the tire. At the very least, I have to sleep on it."

There was a brief exchange explaining what it means to 'sleep on it'.

He went to bed. I piled the plans next to my laptop and went on to other things. -- (I'm old fashioned and backward for my age, and work things out on graph paper before any CAD modeling.)

This morning, I got up, went about my predictable routine, and kept glancing at the graph paper TD plans while I leafed through the newspaper. Eventually, I put the paper down and picked the plans up.

My son came over and asked, "Can we start building stuff, now?"

"Nope," I said. "Sorry, but I don't like it. The rear doors [yes, plural] are wrong. I think it could be a dust problem, and the spot for the cooler just isn't right. I think I need to move the furnace and redesign the whole rear end."

"Awwwww," he moaned, "That will take forever. I wanted to use the welder!"

-

I would have had this nailed down a week ago, if it wasn't for the furnace. That bloody furnace, even though only occupying 2 cubic feet, is a packaging nightmare due to plumbing, wiring, and ventilation requirements. But it's not going to be omitted. My wife "needs" it. I would like to have it. And, I already bought it.

I know where it needs to go. I've drawn at least three variations of that layout. I think I'll get it 'right' with the next one. :designing:

Patience...

-

Laughing at myself right now. While proof-reading this post, I thought of an alternative to explore, which would "salvage" the current plan by making the lower half of the rear end solid and adding an access door on the left side.
I guess I have a few things to work through after lunch. But, for now... It's desperately-needed-hair-cut time.
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Re: Patience...

Postby TimC » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:21 am

Your son isn't the only one patiently waiting... about a gazillion crazy TNTTTers waiting to follow along... :R
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Re: Patience...

Postby Squigie » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:22 pm

I'm sure a few people will find it interesting. My needs, desires, constraints, and budget are leading to somewhat unusual layouts.

:R


Where did the day go? It's time to start thinking about dinner, and I haven't so much as picked up the pencil sitting on the pile of TD sketches and plans, let alone gotten any work done.
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Re: Patience...

Postby tony.latham » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:50 pm

"Can we start building it, then?" he inquired with excitement.


Dialogue. Storyline. You write like a writer.

Tony
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Re: Patience...

Postby Squigie » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:44 pm

tony.latham wrote:
"Can we start building it, then?" he inquired with excitement.


Dialogue. Storyline. You write like a writer.

Tony

Thanks. (I think.)

I had some embarrassing moments in my early professional life. I had to revisit the high school English lessons that I had ignored.

Motivation to learn on one's own is always more powerful than when it's merely compulsory.

Once I had established linguistic dominance over my peers as a helicopter mechanic later on, it was difficult to stop trying harder. ;)

Reconnecting with one of my father's friends from my childhood was certainly an influence, as well. About the time we lost touch in the '80s, he started writing limited-run books, as well as articles for outdoor, hunting, law enforcement, and firearm magazines. By the time we crossed paths again, he was well-respected in the industry and kept prodding me to prepare for the "passing of the torch" so to speak.

That didn't really work out for me, though. The few articles that I submitted were rejected because I was writing above the level of the target audience (subject matter, not language). Trying to break things down to simpler concepts, while eliminating other information in order to stay within the prescribed article length was very annoying to me. It felt like being asked to write a 3,500 word article on "How to Build a Teardrop Trailer on a Budget - With All New Materials" and then having to break it down to, "put some plywood or particle board walls on a cheap trailer, and then throw a tarp over it, because proper roofs and doors are expensive."
(I've had some issues with this throughout my life -- not fully grasping the 'layman's' understanding of a subject or concept, because I've studied it for decades, or I've been exposed to it for my entire life.)

My friend passed away suddenly in May. Since then, I've been finding myself getting even more wordy than usual, with many more narrative-style stories being posted.
...It is probably not coincidental.

I've always had great respect and admiration for true 'Wordsmiths', and I considered him to be one.
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Re: Patience...

Postby tony.latham » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:52 pm

I've always had great respect and admiration for true 'Wordsmiths', and I considered him to be one.


Winter is coming. That's writing season.

T
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Re: Patience...

Postby Squigie » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:15 pm

I had another conversation with my son today.
Short version:
"I wanna build stuff! Let's just build it!"
-We can't, buddy. It needs to be just right.
"But it's really cool! It's good enough."
-I don't want good enough. I want to feel like it's as good as it can be - good enough that I can't figure out how to make it better.
"Aawwwww...."


Whatever the latest revision number is managed to make it to a (crude) paper model.
Somehow, I even managed to trim the length by 6".
It is currently sitting at 60" wide (outside of walls) by 114" (9'6").
Overall width (for all designs, not just this revision) will fall between 70-71" at the tire sidewall. I can't be more precise than that (or figure out fenders) until I know exactly what tire I'm using.
Don't worry about the fender guards peeking out. Pretty much just doodles and 'visual brainstorming'.

I have two revision options to work through and see if they interest me more (one loses weight and storage space, one gains weight and relocates some storage space).
This appears to tick all the boxes, though.
I'm not concerned about the somewhat unsupported wall at the rear of the hatch on the left side, but definitely keeping it in mind as something that could be better.

Image

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And I just thought of a completely different layout to explore... :thinking:
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Re: Patience...

Postby Squigie » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:33 pm

Bah. Resizing those photos really killed them with compression.
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Re: Patience...

Postby tony.latham » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:32 pm

That's some serious 3D modeling.

Is that the mattress drawn in? Make sure the bottom of your door openings are half-way into the mattress so that you sit on the mattress, not the top of the door opening.

T
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Re: Patience...

Postby Aguyfromohio » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:44 am

Great paper model, that sort of effort pays off big time.
Have you cut out scale human figures yet? That really helps to get a feel for the size of things.
Our paper doll set had them in a standing position and a sitting position to better understand the galley, entry door and interior while we were planning.
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Re: Patience...

Postby Squigie » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:43 am

Thanks, guys.

I know I'm not really asking for feedback here, but if anyone wants to chime in, feel free to do so.
I may respond to something with a very blunt, "I can't do that because of [insert complication / conflict]," but don't take it as an insult or me dismissing the suggestion/idea. It's just how I respond some times, after putting considerable thought into something, deciding it is not viable, and then having the subject brought up again. When I'm not long-winded, I'm short and to the point.

Yesterday's "revisions" and "different layout" were non-viable. Glad I worked through them, but it turned out to be a cul-de-sac that sent me back where I started.

tony.latham wrote:That's some serious 3D modeling.

Is that the mattress drawn in? Make sure the bottom of your door openings are half-way into the mattress so that you sit on the mattress, not the top of the door opening.

T

Yes, that's a representation of a mattress. It lost its label when copied. I intend to find or assemble a multi-layer foam pad. As such, thickness is not set quite yet. Based on my experience, I figured 5-6" was a safe bet for thickness.

I appreciate the suggestion to keep the door sill below the top of the mattress. I had seen that advice around here several other times (probably from you), and kept it in mind.
The door type, sill height, and size are not set, though. I don't want to make a decision there until I know what I'm doing for windows. It would be rather unfortunate, for example, if I were to decide that a 26" door width was adequate, start cutting, and then come across a screaming deal on a pair of 24" wide windows.
About all I have nailed down for the door right now is that it will be hinged within 2" of the forward bulkhead. - With this design, anyway.

The mattress and door are also related to Aguyfromohio's reply.

Aguyfromohio wrote:Great paper model, that sort of effort pays off big time.
Have you cut out scale human figures yet? That really helps to get a feel for the size of things.
Our paper doll set had them in a standing position and a sitting position to better understand the galley, entry door and interior while we were planning.

I haven't done anything with paper dolls or figures. I considered it, but opted for quite a bit of real life mock-up and measuring.

Some of yesterday's mock up goes back to the mattress...
I discovered that a table that I leg-chopped and rebuilt as a drawing table (with storage) for the kids was a dead-ringer for the cabinet overhang at the foot of the bed. My wife and I slid our legs under it, laid down, moved around a bit, and discovered that it's too tight. Foot room wasn't much of a problem. But we kept bashing our shins and knees. It might not be as big of an issue with an 80" mattress, but I shaved the space here to a hair over 74" when I shortened the whole trailer by 6".

So, the rear, interior cabinets (with furnace) need to go back up to a more reasonable height. (To reduce frequency of the events, but allow more acceleration of the leg and make the impact much more painful when it does happen.)
I don't remember when the cabinets moved down, or why I thought I could get away with just 15-16" of clearance; or if it was just a mistake made at some point - such as possibly drawing in the cabinets before the mattress and not realizing the discrepancy.
But, it's gotta be fixed!

We'll see what that does to the "galley" cabinets, as they somewhat have to follow the interior. I have to have access to the furnace wiring and propane connection from the back side.
...Unless the furnace is on the other side, but then there's a longer, more complicated propane run.
...Unless I move the furnace back to the front (it's been there before), where the propane run and wiring are nearly ideal; but then it's next to my head and installation/repair access requires some removable cabinetry. ...Because it has to go on the left side, if up front, in order to not create the potential for melting/burning the door if left open with the furnace on; which puts the propane and wiring connections forward.

I'm sure you guys know how it goes.

So, let's continue: :R

I'd really like to elevate the bed by about 6", to include under-bed storage and simplify other storage areas. But if I'm doing that, I might as well eliminate wheel well intrusion into the sleeping area, which requires 9" of elevation (from the frame - ~7.75" from the current floor). I just can't convince myself that the extra height necessary is the right thing to do. This thing is already set to be pretty tall for what it is. I have already calculated roof height, without the vent, to be 67-68".

Adding another 9" of height would be pushing 80"+ with a vent, which makes me uncomfortable and could be disadvantageous on some roads (lots of leaning trees / low branches). But, possibly more importantly, it would put the mattress top 33-34" off the ground ... on level ground. On uneven ground, which is very frequently encountered where I camp, we could be looking at a non-viable 40" to the mattress. That problem is easily solved with a step; but that's another thing that must be considered in the trailer design, and/or hauled around everywhere the trailer goes and leveled before use.

The extra height leads to a debate about availability of materials and methods for skinning, as well.
And, lest we forget, more weight!


Juggler of 471 things, master of ... wait, I started with 1,000!
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Re: Patience...

Postby Squigie » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:41 pm

Started working on fixing the layout for the design represented by the paper model. Got distracted and tried something else. Ended up with a 8'3"x5' design that shows promise (with space and 'wants' sacrificed for lighter weight and a simpler build).

I spent a bit of time carefully calculating estimated weights for the 'paper model' design, too.
WITHOUT the frame, windows, stove, spare tire, lights, wiring, electrical outlets, vent(s), smoke/CO/propane alarms, jacks, propane plumbing, planned stowable table, hardware (hinges, screws, etc.), or any form of skin;
but WITH the suspension, tires, wheels, wheel spacers, and a hefty foam mattress estimate (30 lb);
I come up with 733.88 lb.

Add the battery and propane tank, and it's at 821.78 lb.

I probably missed enough miscellaneous stuff above the frame to tip that to 900+ lb (still without skin). Theoretically viable, but weight loss would be beneficial.

I may take a day off tomorrow. My eyes are bleeding...
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Re: Patience...

Postby Squigie » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:49 am

Pulled the tape measure out.
Checked a few things.

Ordered another set of hubs.
It's more expense. But if it works (my measurements say it should!), it saves headaches and 'wasted' time designing around dimensions that just aren't as good as they could be.

I'd really like electric brakes and a parking brake, but just can't justify the expense. It's not like this thing will weigh as much as my truck...
So, idler hubs it is.

...
I don't know if I've mentioned it, but my tire/wheel dimensions have (until now) been based on Timbren standard "off road" spindles with 5-4.5" hubs and 15x7" wheels. However, those wheels had the wrong backspacing and had to be returned (retailer measured, agreed, and gave 100% refund). So I shifted to 1" spacers to adapt to 5-4.75", to use wheels on-hand. (2 varieties representing two manufacturers in the muscle car era. But, common theme and I like both.) The backspacing was close enough to "no-go" that I was hesitant to commit to them in the past.
I do also have some 12, 13, and 14-inch wheels on hand that are all 5-4.5"; but I really don't care to deal with them.
I want my muscle car wheels!

...
One of the "alternate" layouts (@ 99" length) came back today and proved itself viable after some brainstorming. It needs some tweaks, but I'll dial it in.
I like it. I just don't "love" it yet.

The sky's the limit. Who knows where this project will take me...
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Re: Patience...

Postby Squigie » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:32 pm

I think I got 'er did.

I'm gonna sleep on it.
Then make a model.
Then lay it out full-size, if it passes the sleep and model tests.
If that goes well, I'll post here for feedback.
After that, I'll probably start the build thread.
Then it's on to CAD. (I'm very rusty. There will be many Fusion 360 tutorials in my future.)

---

Many more design attempts crossed the table. Some failed quickly. Some made it to additional views. (I usually start with a side profile, then go to floor plan, and then on to section views of various bulkheads. Most didn't get a finished profile view.)

In the end, I ended up with a condensed and compromised design very reminiscent of the paper model, even though I wasn't attempting such when the new design was started. This one was based on geometry and dimensions (of needs) more than aesthetics and "I want..."

99" length (not the aforementioned 99" plan). Much less plywood in it than the 114" design.
And, even though I lost a lot of "wants", I gained a few unexpected things, as well - like the possibility of an inverter and battery fitting in the 'galley', if I desire to have such (not a big fan of the inverter; and having a battery inside has its own issues ... but that's another topic).

Definitely some things to fine-tune and tweak, even if it does pass the sleep and model tests. For example, my fender and spindle height 'standards' have somehow gradually shifted to the point that my "standard dimensions" have the wheel into the fender at full compression. I need to figure out where things went wrong there.
I also need the new hubs to arrive, so I can confirm or refute that I'm an idiot (in other words: whether or not I can use a tape measure and a square).
And I still have no idea what I'm doing for windows. I'd like to buy. But I can't find that much more money in the budget.


Time for a cold one before bed.
I foresee dreams of pink erasers, straight edges, stray pencil marks, dimensions that don't add up, and a 'teardrop' trailer being destroyed on a bumpy road... :beer:
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