DIY Composite Flatbed Camper Build

lostih

Observer
Looks really nice! Is that the shower door I see in one of those pics? Could you tell us more about that? I'm on the panel learning curve at the moment and forgive the noob question, but I've heard some FRP panels aren't very UV resistant and fade/chalk earlier than is ideal. I assume these fiberglass ones won't behave that way. How can you tell which FRP panels are UV stable and which aren't?
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
Looks really nice! Is that the shower door I see in one of those pics? Could you tell us more about that? I'm on the panel learning curve at the moment and forgive the noob question, but I've heard some FRP panels aren't very UV resistant and fade/chalk earlier than is ideal. I assume these fiberglass ones won't behave that way. How can you tell which FRP panels are UV stable and which aren't?
The shower door. I spent so much time looking for one of those retractable roll up doors thinking it would save space. Then it dawned on me, why not make a slider out of two frp skins epoxied together? It worked out great. Used 1/4 inch aluminum c channel at top and bottom as tracks for the door to slide in.
Regarding UV stability. I asked the manufacturer, also suppose its in the spec sheet. I haven't heard of a panel fading to the point of chalk. Perhaps it depends on the designed application. Another manufacturer I interviewed said that if the panel begins to yellow/fade, vinyl wrap is a good solution.
 

rruff

Explorer
How can you tell which FRP panels are UV stable and which aren't?
I think you are talking about the stuff sold in sheets at the hardware store. These are much more fiber dense and rigid, and I think made for exterior use while the others are not. Some I looked art previously had gelcoat on the outside; not sure about these.

If UV stability is concern wouldn't a little sanding and paint should do the trick?
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
Next stage will be the plumbing. Currently waiting on 18 gallon fresh water tank, pump, propane tankless water heater, etc.
This will be located under the sink specifically for weight purposes. It will also be convenient for plumbing the bathroom.
Electrical will be located exact opposite of the plumbing, also for weight purposes and keeping water/electricity separate.

I'm still undecided about the inverter. I was thinking Magnum 2000 watt with charger. I now see Go Power has something similar but also offers solar kit along with.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcomed.
Here is what I'll need to power; propex 12v heater, 12v back pack AC, 800w microwave, single burner induction cooktop, Norcold fridge and various external LED lights.
I'm thinking a 300ah lithium battery should be sufficient, not sure so I welcome thoughts on this as well. I have a blue sea relay charger already installed on the truck. This combined
with Solar should be sufficient charging. Any thoughts or recommended vendors??
 
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ersatzknarf

lost, but making time
Really enjoying this thread, thank you ! ! !

Wonderful of you to share this great DIY project.

Think that this approach may well help a lot of folks to give it a go.

May I ask about the interior angle pieces, please ? Did you paint them prior to installation ?

By the way, had tried to contact Creative Pultrusions about the Transonite panels they offer, but no response. Think you are absolutely correct about companies not wanting to deal with little guys... too bad.
 

rruff

Explorer
By the way, had tried to contact Creative Pultrusions about the Transonite panels they offer, but no response. Think you are absolutely correct about companies not wanting to deal with little guys... too bad.
Two I know of that will: There is a company called Durasip that sells phenolic resin and FG sheets that are affordable.
Some on the forum have bought panels from Carbon Core. These are Chinese built panels similar to Nidacore.

I also know that FG skins intended for RVs and campers are available from a lot of places.

I decided to go with wet layup on mine.
 

rruff

Explorer
A note to anyone considering wet layup, it can be done affordably (epoxy FG over hardware store XPS foam), and it isn't that hard. Should be more efficient than gluing on sheets (strength/weight). You can also more easily do curves. Reinforcing edges and corners is also easy, just add more layers.

But if you want a really nice smooth even surface you'll kill a lot of time trying to acheive it. I knew this from the start, and I'm not going to try. I'm planning a final texture coat to sorta make it look ok.
 
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