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Trapping Vardo


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#1 Larry

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 05:12 AM

I started my new home away from home. Talking advantage of the warm weather a week ago I bought nearly 50 Western Red Cedar 1 x 6 Tongue and Groove boards. Then I applied Thompson water seal while still loose. It took up all of one side of the garage floor plus the trailer bed. I applied it with a  garden sprayer set to a fine mist. That worked great and was super fast. As the water seal takes 48 hours to permeate with temps above 50 and no water intrusion, the boards on the trailer were covered. Attached File  IMG_1885.JPG   105.94KB   15 downloadsAttached File  IMG_1886.JPG   102.97KB   10 downloads.

 

BTW with my back and legs it took all summer to get my 23 year old dual axle 7,000 lb car trailer up to a safe operating condition. (new AXLE, Brakes, Wiring, Brake Controller, New Bearings, spindle resurfacing on old axle etc.) Man am I lucky to have such a great grandson that doesn't mind turning a wrench or getting dirty.  At 14 I am very proud to say I spent a summer working alongside a great young man. 

 

Impatient to check my plans and ensure the height was correct, I temporarily raised the walls (see below) on almost completely overhauled trailer. The trailer is 100% complete now with new tires and new sprayed on truck bed liner on the metal. Oh yeah I to time to cleaned up the old rims and add some wrinkle paint to them from Rust Oleum

 

Attached File  IMG_1897.jpg   263.58KB   10 downloadsAttached File  IMG_1887.JPG   175.51KB   10 downloads

 

People are asking what the weight will be.

- Lets start with the trailer. With the new tire the dry weight is 1850 lb's weighed one week ago on certified scales. Yes it was detached from the Suburban.

 

- Using the Menards online shipping weights for each piece my best estimate right now for the Vardo Cabin Shell with a green steel roof will be 1120 lbs. Since I have an accurate tear weight of an empty trailer  Ill go back to the scales and see how close I am. My goal is to make a Vardo cabin shell with a permanent bed and mattress installed , enclosed restroom, heater/propane tanks,  and cooking accessories to be less than 3500 lb's  Yes this season will be a bare bones Vardo. My wife indicated she would like to camp with me. So next spring and summer she will design the interior, At 6'6" tall and at 12' x 8'  feet I think she can really turn this into home. 

 

-Cedar is light and that is one reason I chose it. It is about 1/3 less weight than pine. a 12' Cedar weighs 6.7 lbs and Pine weighs almost 10 lb's. Also Cedar is naturally rot and insect resistant. Not to mention its natural good looks. Okay I lucked out, Menards had it on sale a month ago for $5.50 a board cheaper then regular price. That was a favorite too!! 

 

No insulation if I have my way. I like the wood exposure to much. As you know I have spent many a winter at sub zero in a canvas tent. If I can survive an uninsulated canvas tent 1/2 inch of wood should be just fine. 

 

Hey any comments or questions...please don't hesitate. It will help during the actual build which by the way starts tomorrow. And with the assistance of my grandson should be 3/4 complete by sunset Sunday! 


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  


#2 hassell

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 05:49 AM

Well done, you're lucky to have a great helper.



#3 Larry

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 05:58 AM

Thank you, I am very lucky to have all my grandkids.   Stand by I'll have allot of photos this weekend to share. 


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  


#4 prairiewolf

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 06:04 AM

cant wait to see finished pics,  I like the idea of cedar siding . thats what I used on my house


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#5 glenway

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 11:03 AM

Love the cedar, too.  I used T/G knotty cedar on my garage and added a touch of it to a gable on my house that I'm siding now.

 

Don't need any insulation anyway, just a good heater.

 

Great work, Larry.



#6 Larry

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 12:15 PM

Glen thank-you it means allot!


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  


#7 Larry

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 02:07 PM

Okay got a good start yesterday.  Temporarily screwed in the old sashes to get some ideas.  Today did not do much except buy wood for the rear wall. I also laid out the main bed and tiny 3 x 4 foot bathroom with tape. In the bathroom I put in a 5- bucketo get the feeling for size. I am sticking with its small size. Next year it will have a shower floor and the sink,composting loo (5-gallon bucket) will all be one, including a small sink. 

 

 

(Just look at how blue the sky is....)

 

Attached File  Trailer Start 11-6-2015.jpg   301.55KB   2 downloads


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  


#8 glenway

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:42 PM

House trailer.



#9 pokeyjeeper

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 04:02 PM

great looking home away from home


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#10 Larry

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 05:01 PM

Nope it's a storage shed that can do 65!  On HGTV they call them Tiny Homes.  :fryingpan:


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  


#11 hassell

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 06:56 PM

Its getting there, there was some actual blue sky showing up here today, after a record breaking 27 days of rain in Oct..



#12 prairiewolf

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 05:46 AM

Hey, I thought the sides were going to over hang on both sides.


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#13 Larry

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 08:14 AM

Hey, I thought the sides were going to over hang on both sides.

 

Changed my mind. I have 82 inches inches inside sidewall to sidewall. You need 80 inches for any mattress size larger than a twin. Thus I do not gain anything in my opinion other than added wind resistance. I will be sleeping on a twin  mattress for now 39 x 75. However....if my great wife loves it after its completed. I may go to a queen mattress at 60"x 80".  No adjustments to the trailer as the bed frame will slide out to fit the new mattress. 

 

It will still sleep three comfortably as the main bed will be high enough so two Cabela's Outfitters Cots 85"x37"x20" from my tent will fit under the main bed frame. My Plan is to have about 40" of the cot length under the main bed as that is where the sleepers feet will go. 

 

 

Other changes:

1) I considered making it like a pickup camper and have it removable. Nope its there to stay and I used the trailer frame as wall supports. (you can see the bolts in the photo on the right corner.) '''Yeppers''' I sacrificed my $600,  7,000lb GVWR  trailer bought in the 1993 floods oh well! 

 

2) No wood stove either. I decided to use a propane Mr. Big Buddy 18K BTU to be more convenient. That decision was  partly from reviews on this site. The primary finally resulted from Iowa Law. We now have a quarantine on all hardwood firewood leaving the state do to the infestation of emerald ash borer.  Thus,  I would be forced to burn white pine only instead of mixing it with hardwood. Fact is I hate the hassle of cleaning flues,  plus an occasional plugged spark arrestor on the chimney if I forget to look at it each morning. (I did that once and the tent got a tad smokey) My backup heat will be from my generator powering a 1500 watt electric milkhouse heater.

3) There will be a limited amount of built-ins this year . Yes Ill have a bed frame and maybe a temporary restroom wall for exterior side support. The wall may have some pegs for coats/clothes.   Next spring/summer will be the interior build. My inclination right now is it will emulate my tent use. (Just a shell with some folding cots, table chairs)  I have an old one burner butane stove for cooking indoors and a brand new still in the box small propane BBQ for use on the porch. My pooper will be my my Luggable Loo a 1 gallon pee jug.  My bathing be done with water heated on the butane stove and a folding chair with two legs in a  small galvanized tub. Yes folks you can scrub very well with just 2 gallons of river water. One for soaping and one for rinse.  

 

Time to get to work as the dew is leaving!


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  


#14 glenway

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 11:17 AM

A great project and something to be proud of.  One of a kind.  You'll be tweaking that thing for quite some time, Larry, but you've got a good start.



#15 prairiewolf

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 05:12 PM

Can hardly wait to see the finished project !


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One died for your soul, the other for your freedom


#16 youngdon

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 06:38 PM

Really nice Larry !


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#17 Larry

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 06:44 AM

Thank you all. I am really posting this not to get back-pats but to let others see how easy it is to make their own camper.  With campers costing $20,000.00 these days why not make your own for $2-3000. The trailer would be your biggest cost, but no need to go overboard at use a monster car hauler like me. A 10 to 12 foot long by 6 feet wide with single 3500lb axles is all you need.

 

Anyone can do it trust me and with minimal tools. If your doing it alone buy some clamps. Primary tools are drill, a circular saw or a chop saw, a measuring tape, a 4 foot level. And yes clamps really help. The drill is for driving screws and making pilot holes near edges to avoid spitting, The saw is self explanatory. Measuring tape is use a little but is you use dimensional lumber like 2 x 3 x 8, 2 x 2 x 8 and tongue and groove siding its not used that much. 

 

The secret to building a box on a frame with wheels is this. It's your level. Make the trailer level and plumb to the ground. I hooked mine on to the Suburban hitch fits for steadiness and also to back it up onto boards placed on the ground for height. To tweak all of this a jack was then placed in the corner to eliminate any twisting. Yes it takes a few extra minutes, but like any good foundation its now level and plumb. 

 

Then when you begin erecting the walls using that level and double and triple checking it, always comparing horizontal levelness and vertical plumb to the trailer level and plumb. No need for a square if you do this. Start with any front corner stud (with no twist or bow) and that will be your baseline for levelness and plumb for the rest of your build. Anchor it firmly with a two bolts, one on the top and one on the bottom. This is not a home build, and their are not that many studs, baseplates or top plates. Thus the level will be used on each. 

 

Its just that simple. With good weather, a good back and some assistance from the misses or a friend....I see why no one cannot build a box on a trailer in a week. Mine of course is taking longer because I get stoved up after a couple of hours of work. 

 

My materials for the shell will cost me $850.00 total.  All will come from Menards and I took my time acquiring them all summer watching sales. The biggest price being the red cedar tongue and groove siding $490.00 for some 50 pieces. I would not of bought it,  but luck was with me and I saved $5/board when it was on sale. I went with red cedar because of its natural weather resistance properties and its light weight. Next big price is the steel roof. It will be $120.00 unless I can get lucky again. The you add in for hinges, trim boards, locks, screws, studs etc. 

 

As for windows mine were free, they are just sashes so the jams will have to be built.  I got them from a neighbor replacing her windows and one day I was just driving by. I think a person could do the same if they contacted a window replacement company and asked them if they are replacing windows anywhere. Ask them if you can have any small sashes. I bet they would oblige you. 

 

Ill have some more photos coming later today....thanks again for the kind words, you are all the best!


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  


#18 Larry

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 08:51 AM

I picked this up yesterday at a Antique Shop. It was a little sticky but after tearing it apart and adding some oil it works fine. Very little wear on the inside. 

 

Attached File  Door Lock set.jpg   297.12KB   2 downloads

 

 


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  


#19 prairiewolf

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 10:02 AM

I have one almost just like that one ! How much did they charge you or in other words if I sell it, am I rich !!!!


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One died for your soul, the other for your freedom


#20 Larry

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 02:47 PM

I have one almost just like that one ! How much did they charge you or in other words if I sell it, am I rich !!!!

 

Maybe not rich but you could make enough for a nice gift. 

 

I would check check ebay for reference in your area.  I paid $38.00 for mine and I feel very fortunate.  Mine did have a skeleton key and although the deadbolt and latch bolt worked rough when operated,  it worked and I figured I would clean it up myself. 

 

My purchase also had no strike plate that we could find. So the sales lady and I took some paper,  laid it on top the deadbolt and latch bolt and made a pattern buy rubbing a pencil over the paper. I then labeled all openings. An hour later I received a call from her husband and he found a strike plate. 

 

I just cleaned mine up with my trapping solution of powdered citric acid and water.  It has stamped copper face plates. While I was at it I dipped the steel and brass parts also to remove any contaminates and rust. Final polishing was with a "greenie" pad.  I then took all parts and put them in oversize plastic cups such as large plastic drink cups. When I do traps I boil them to remove the acid, in this case I ran warm water over them in the cups for ~5 mins each. Then I added dish soap and let them set for a couple of hours. 

 

Prior to reassembly all parts were sprayed with liquid wrench silicone spray, allowed to sit for a few minutes then lightly wiped off. 

 

Attached File  Door lock set 1.jpg   232.54KB   2 downloads

 

I would believe if you did what I did and clean it all up especially the backing plates. Then you ensured it worked smoothly with no apparent wear on cams, no broken springs and it had a strike plate and maybe glass door knobs,  plus at least one skeleton key.... Your value be as much as $150.00 as that is what interior door replicas are going for without any dead bolt or lock. 

 

FYI...these are called full mortise locks. The face and back plates on mine is styled as Colonial Revival Rope. These are called "Full Mortise" because the entire lock assembly plus the deadbolt/latch face is morticed 3-4 inches into a solid wood door. 


COYOTES CANNOT FLY

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH>  I once shopped for a hat made from a Jupiters little dog tail and a prickle, but all I could find was a hair roach in Tuscon.  





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