using DIY boat FG techniques on travel trailer

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by colorado_hick, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. colorado_hick
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 2
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    Location: colorado

    colorado_hick New Member

    I have always been a fan of fiberglass shell travel trailers (like scamps), and have come up with a unique design that I would like to build from the ground up and I think that boat building techniques will be my best bet. goal is ultra light weight and durable (aluminum frame and decking, fiberglass walls and ceiling, no steel or wood)

    I am picturing building vertical/roof supports 4' on center out of aluminum angle iron with horizontal aluminum flatbar ribs that tie the supports together. The ribs would have spacers so they were not flush with the supports. THere would be a 1/2 plywood form that was flush with the supports. THen I was going to paint on a release agent and spray on fiberglass so that the ribs were embedded in the final product. All door/cabinets/etc would be hung from aluminum supports.

    Then the plywood would come out, and I would do some sort of honeycomb spacer on the inside that is the same thickness ans the angle iron, and a another light coat would go on the inside.


    Is there a better approach for a one off design? maybe something like corecell panels that I can use instead of plywood that would give me insulation and end up embedded in the final product? Other general advice from DIY glassers out there? a good book or website to get me started?

    thanks!
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    If you are going to build with fiberglass, scrap the aluminum idea. Go one way or the other. Also, they make structural panels with either fiberglass or aluminum skins and foam core. They already have the insulation. If you are looking for ultralight, aircraft plywood is hard to beat.
     
  3. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    Why not build a stich and glue ply epoxy trailer. It would be strong and light. And a monocoque structure rather than fitting all different parts together. You seem to be against plywood when it is a fantastic material to work with. And epoxy sheathed lasts forever.
     
  4. colorado_hick
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: colorado

    colorado_hick New Member

    thanks for the feedback

    I am against plywood mainly because of the weight. I guess there are some specialty plywood products out there but for this size project I can not afford to special order large materials.

    I like the fiberglass and epoxy resin over foam idea. That gives me some more freedom to come up with the shape I want. Probably 3/4 inch extruded polystyrene (blue/pink stuff) ?

    The aluminum frame is mainly for other things that I do not want to hang of the shell, like a rollout canopy, doors, cabinets, roof rack, bunk bed, and maybe even the door. I could probably get by with out it if I build up some ribs out of foam on the inside that would stiffen things up. Then I can glass in some aluminum or plywood anchors where I know I will attach stuff.

    Also can someone recommend a good website / book that would set up a novice to do a decent layup job?
     

  5. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 5,852
    Likes: 290, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1749
    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    YOUTUBE is full of FG techniques
     
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