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Thread: POD: Homebuilt foam core fiberglass skin pop-up camper build thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    957

    Default POD: Homebuilt foam core fiberglass skin pop-up camper build thread

    This is the build thread steaming off my design thread: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=54664

    General design concept picture:


    NOTE: First off this is a spare time project in my garage, I work full time and have a 10mo old son needing attention as well so folks will need to bear with in terms of progress, it'll be what it will be.

    Personally I've always wondered the time spent doing some of the builds I've read about so I'm going to try and keep a running hours log going as I post updates (this doesn't touch on design/research time). A lot of my initial progress will likely be a couple hours here and there, which for the time being works since I have to wait for epoxy to cure. I'll just give a quick summary and a picture or two.

    UPDATE #1 (5hrs in): A bulk order of epoxy was placed last week which should be arriving this Friday. This likely won't be enough epoxy to finish things off but will go a long ways while I refine the final number needed later on. Friday I picked up a load of foamular 600 that I'll be using as the core. Over the weekend I ripped a sheet of plywood into 2" strips to use in my core build, cut the bulk floor foam pieces and started putting them together. I still have some epoxy left from testing so I was able to get going this weekend with that. The first pieces I put together made me realize I needed some long pipe clams so I stopped after the first seam and picked up some clamps the next day to finish putting the other chunks together. After this cures I'll cut this into slices and add wood strips in the other direction to form a grid. I plan to sheet the floor core with 1/8" plywood which I'll epoxy and narrow crown staple down, then I'll glass over the top of it. Probably more robust than needed but off all things the floor needs to be strong.

    I also made up four final test laminates since my earlier pieces were made with foamular 250, also I'm trying another fabric in there. I'll make a final decision after these pieces cure for a week or so and place my bulk fiberglass fabric order.




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sierra Nevada Mountains
    Posts
    53
    Very cool! Looking forward to seeing this one take shape.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    zu ui umop
    Posts
    110
    It is good to see you go forward with this project. I will be watching with a great deal of interest. All the best.

    Cheers,

    Phil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Woollamia, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    189
    Go for it pods8!!!

    I'm really looking forward to watching your build take shape after all the design discussions. I'm sure you will change your ideas and refine others on the journey. It only gets better from here.

    Do you fancy putting a time frame on this?

    HB
    2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee WH 3.0 TD Auto, QD-II, 3" OME HD Lift, 255/65 R17 BFG AT KO
    2004 Track Trailer Tvan, Custom Modified
    SOLD - 2004 Holden Rodeo RA 3.0 TD Auto Crew Cab, Cooper 265/75 ST's, 2" OME Lift, ARB Delux Bar, Warn M8000 Winch, Long Ranger Tank, Safari Snorkel.
    SOLD - Custom Camper Box Ver 2.0 Build Thread - http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=56146

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Nelson, BC
    Posts
    175
    subscribed!

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    957
    Quote Originally Posted by Heifer Boy View Post
    Go for it pods8!!!

    I'm really looking forward to watching your build take shape after all the design discussions. I'm sure you will change your ideas and refine others on the journey. It only gets better from here.

    Do you fancy putting a time frame on this?

    HB
    Well since half of the fine details are still in the air I'd definitely say stuff will change. Juggling a bunch of details right now that need to start getting checked off the list to allow progress on the other sections. That is why I've started on the floor first, fairly straight forward. I'll have some extra hard point blocking to allow some mounting flexibility, etc. Plus I can likely utilized the floor up on some saw horses as a work table.

    Timeframe? Well in my ideal world I'd like the shell done in early summer followed my the bulk interior frame in. I don't mind if the finer details of cabinetry, etc. carried into the fall/winter if needed. However as mentioned it will be what it will be and I just need to manage my expectations. In my excitement I had hoped to cut up the floor slices last night so one of the days this week I could run out and glue in the perpendicular wood runs. However it was dry outside (with rain predicted the rest of the week) so the lawn took priority and I was only able to trim up the edges*** on the test pieces I made up before I had to move on with dinner/family time. I still hope to knock some of this stuff out mid week. Again in my ideal schedule, I'd like to sheet the floor with the 1/8" ply this weekend.

    *** Technical note for anyone wanting to learn about fiberglass work, when you're finishing cloth lamination on a edge of a piece an easy way to get a clean edge is to lay up the cloth with 1/4-1/2" overhang (too much overhang and it'll sag and potentially lift the cloth off the edge), then let it partially cure till the epoxy is no longer sticky but still has some pliability. At this point you can slice right along your piece with a knife to trim up the edge and then smooth it the rest of the way with a few swipes of a sanding block. However if you miss this window the stuff is MUCH harder to cut/sand. Since I'm working in cooler temps right now I fortunately am able to still be able to do this trim work 24hrs later.
    Last edited by pods8; 03-29-2011 at 03:27 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    570
    Your reason #1 is the reason I started with a fixer upper from craigslist. I have something that with a little bit of work can be used now even if its old and ugly. I can then work on replacing a part at a time over a longer period of time by building a new part then swapping it for the old. For example when I first got it i measured and duplicated the kitchen counter then swapped it out. Then did the roof one side at a time., then went on to the back door then the back wall then the floor and cabinets. I make each new section and then replace the old. So I have a pattern to copy off of and hold the new up against to check before removing whats there.
    Yes I had a little more up front cost buying the old camper but I also was able to skip all the design and trial and error for the layout because I have an existing layout and can just make changes or improvements to it. And if I were in a state where i had to register a camper then i can show its still a repaired palimino bronco instead of having to go through any home designed paperwork,
    2004 Chevrolet Silverado ECSB z71
    1982 Palomino Bronco 186

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    957
    Quote Originally Posted by eugene View Post
    Your reason #1 is the reason I started with a fixer upper from craigslist. I have something that with a little bit of work can be used now even if its old and ugly. I can then work on replacing a part at a time over a longer period of time by building a new part then swapping it for the old. For example when I first got it i measured and duplicated the kitchen counter then swapped it out. Then did the roof one side at a time., then went on to the back door then the back wall then the floor and cabinets. I make each new section and then replace the old. So I have a pattern to copy off of and hold the new up against to check before removing whats there.
    Yes I had a little more up front cost buying the old camper but I also was able to skip all the design and trial and error for the layout because I have an existing layout and can just make changes or improvements to it. And if I were in a state where i had to register a camper then i can show its still a repaired palimino bronco instead of having to go through any home designed paperwork,
    No other older camper on the market would fit the bill as a doner. I don't want soft sides, I want it to fit a flat bed, side access door, etc. An older alaskan might be a really rough starting block but I'd end up redoing 95% of it so might as well start from scratch.

    I should note I already have a FWC hawk so its not like I don't have a camper in the meantime, technically this project could take as long as it needs and I can still camp. My time frame goals are to free up the garage and put this new on to use! Once I'm satisfied in the status of this one I'll be selling off my FWC which will offset a portion of this build cost.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central Coast of CA
    Posts
    614
    pods,
    Looking forward to watching your build. I was following the DD thread. Keep it up!
    The Rig: Early 1999 Ford F-250 7.3L CC 4x4 (Build Date-02/98) - 217,xxx miles
    DIY Intake with S&B Filter, FBD 4" Exhaust, leveling kit, 285's, Mag-Hytec Diff Covers, 203* thermostat, CCV Mod, DP-Tuner, and Bilstein 5150's
    The Campers:
    1990 FWC Hawk. In the process of a refurb!
    1989 Skamper 0S06 Sold, Adios Amigo

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