Water crossings

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Water crossings

Postby Steve F » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:33 pm

Is there anything special I need to do when building the teardrop to make it more suitable for water crossings? I'm thinking of some sort of plate at the front of the trailer where the body mounts that is angled back like the front of a flat bottom boat. I'd hope this would create a small bow wave and push the water under and around the trailer, but I dont want it to start floating :shock:

My Jeep does not see water crossings every trip but one of my favourite spots has several fords (7) to go through and then a river crossing which can be anywhere from half way up my wheels to just over the front bumper. I'm not sure what that actually is in real measurements so I'll post a pic of the Jeep for you to get an idea.

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These are actually the wheels and tyres it will be running on the trailer as I have larger ones going on the jeep in about a week

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Steve
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Postby PaulC » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:40 pm

Steve, I guess it all depends on what the final weight of your build will be. Mine came in at 600kg(1300lbs for you merkans) and I have not worried about any special treatment re water crossings. I'd be more concerned with sealing it rather than worrying about it floating. Floating would only be a concern if it came unhitched. Have a look at this site http://outbackteardrop.com/ Larry's done a great job on this offroader. It's where I got my idea from.
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Postby Kens » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:33 pm

Floating may be bad. Figure the current swinging it around and hitting the car or pulling it down stream :shock:
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Postby Gerdo » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:27 pm

How deep are you talking? How about building it so the bottom stays out of the water.
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Postby Steve F » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:54 pm

Gerdo wrote:How deep are you talking? How about building it so the bottom stays out of the water.


Depth could be anything up to 3' (I've had water over the bonnet and in the drivers window but wouldn't tow through that). The Jeep punches a hole and creates a bow wave as it goes so I would hope that directly behind it it would be shallower. I plan to have the floor pretty high if I can, possibly the same height as the jeep floor but that's getting pretty tall, about 23" (might need a step as well for my wife). I think the best option is also some sort of plate, like the plate under the front of the Jeep, which will help create a bow wave and push the water out and around the trailer. Of course door seals are going to be pretty important as well, I might actually use some wet floor sealer on the inside and up the walls a little, say the height of the mattress and then store the mattress prior to any deepish crossings, then I could just wipe out any water.

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Postby PaulC » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:58 pm

I'd be real careful with what your thinking re the height. I've seen normal trailer type camper trailers doing Cape York just after the wet. Keep on planning before you decide on final height. Even the T-Van is not as high as you are talking.
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Postby Steve F » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:05 am

PaulC wrote:I'd be real careful with what your thinking re the height. I've seen normal trailer type camper trailers doing Cape York just after the wet. Keep on planning before you decide on final height. Even the T-Van is not as high as you are talking.
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Agreed, I really do think the same height as the jeep is too tall. Maybe I'll just sit it at a lower,safer height and pick my water crossings a bit better ;)

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Postby Gerdo » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:27 am

Having the floor 3' off the ground is probably too high. I see what you mean now.

Now back to your question. If you have your lower front edge either rounded (Cub) or angular (Grasshopper) it will want to ride up on the water and push water under. If you have the front side leading edges rounded or angular it will want to push the water to the sides. Yopu will want to realy seal any points where walls meet the floor.

You will want to rethink hatch construction. Maybe have it only open from a midpoint, up keeping the bottom sealed with the floor and walls. You can have storage below the counter top, access from a lift up counter top/panels.

You can have, at least the lower portion, of the exterior sprayed with Line-X (spray on truck bed liner)

As far as your floating predicament. I don't build boats but it sounds like your going to build one. I'm guessing that it will float. The problem that I see is that it won't have a bow. It may want to roll to one side.

If you make your doors with all rounded "corners" you will be able to seal them better. I have 90* corners on my doors and I had to cut my weatherstrip and put a piece on each side. On rounded corners you can have a continious piece around the whole door (have the start and stop ends toward the top on the rear side). In the corners where the seal meets is where I have gaps, potential leaks.
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Postby Steve F » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:29 pm

I'm thinking now I can do what I do with the front of the Jeep on deep crossings, put on a blind. Basically have attachment points on the frame for a tarp of some sort and put it over the front of the TD and up the sides past the door as well as under the frame. As long as I keep moving water ingress is not so much a problem with a blind and most crossings are fairly short. I also like the idea of the curved door to allow a continual seal all the way around.

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Postby Cruiser » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:14 pm

Floating may not be a bad idea,, the military 1/4 ton trailers floated, with 500# in them too. As long as you have a good coupler the trailer should stay behind well, as long as its not heavily flowing water, but then its not good to cross flowing water straight but to go more upstream as you cross. The floating would keep the trailer axle up away from hanging up on rocks.
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Postby lucky » Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:53 am

I agree that floating isn't a bad thing as long as the water is really fast. i have pulled my M101 1/4 ton trailer thru fairly deep crossing behind my landcruiser without it swinging around. I am starting to build my first tear, and it will be on 35" tires and be about as high as my landcruiser. I am hoping it will float, but it will still be around 800#'s

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Postby angib » Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:51 am

Before anyone asks, I have put my extensive training as a naval architect to good use and divided one number by two others (it was hard, but I stuck at it....) and come up with the following:

An 8ft x 4ft trailer weighing 1000 pounds will float at a draught (depth) of 6.0in.

In practice the trailer may float slightly higher than this as the tyres will contribute quite a bit of buoyancy before the trailer body ever reaches the water - a pair of 205/75-15 tyres will carry about 100 pounds when immersed halfway (ie, 200 pounds per pair fully immersed).

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Postby Cruiser » Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:21 pm

Andrew,,
Very impressive,, very impressive,,
There used to be a vidio on the net somewhere of a guy using the m416 as a boat, had a 9hp outboard tooling around a lake.. If I find it I'll post a link.
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Postby Jonkayak » Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:34 pm

Just a thought but what about making a combing around your door so that you could place a water proofed spray skirt aournd the exterior of your door opening. It would be similar to a spray skirt like that found on white water kayaks. They are real easy to make and while not 100 water proof they will keep 99% of the water out. should work rather well.

Another idea is to build the camper off frame with a flat bottom and to fiberglass the bottom and wrap it up the sides a few feet to keep the water out. Or if you weld buy some alum and make the floor out of if and weld some side panels to the floor panel once again creating a tub style structure. Just make sure your welds are good.

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Water Crossings

Postby Dave Nathanson » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:04 pm

Piano hinges leak. They leak even worse when dragged through water. (same goes for speeding down the interstate in a rainstorm) You can cover them with neoprene, or Naugahyde, or You might consider a gear hinge for your TD cabin doors SoCalTearDrops sells those. Not cheap at $20 a foot, but my neighbor is still happy with it. http://socalteardrops.com/hinge.html

The bottom edge of our TD cabin doors are about 6" up from the bottom of the sides, (the sides overhang the frame, which I might not do again, actually) so the water has to get that much higher before it gets inside the cabin. In my experience, water dries out, so even if we get a little wet, we're usually in a desert anyway. If we traveled to more humid areas, I might think about it differently.

I used the same aluminum on the bottom of the TD as we used on the sides. The idea being to try & protect it the bottom, not just leave it as bare wood. I'm going to go around the bottom & reseal it with silicone too.

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Last edited by Dave Nathanson on Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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