ultra compact slide in / sleeper

CoyoteThistle

Adventurer
Wow, excellent progress! Looking great.

I'm hoping to avoid the usual outside the bed tie downs too. Seems the trick with ratchet straps or any internal tie down (especially in the front) is reaching it to tighten it down. If you have that part figured out, should work. I think Four Wheel Campers uses little hatches on the inside of the camper to reach the front tie downs. Not sure how others do it.

There's also endless debate out there on spring-loaded versus non-spring-loaded tie downs where the truck/bed may flex under certain conditions and stress the camper. Something else to think about...
 

Gunner207

Observer
I'll be using 4 inch screw in marine access hatches to reach the tie downs. They'll be in the forward storage compartments under the bed space and in two rear compartments accessable with the tailgate down.the flex part does need to be worked out, but I don't expect to do much frame twisting technical off-road stuff.
 

Gunner207

Observer
When there isn't much time to build there is even less time to upload to the build thread, so I will try to catch this up over the next couple days. As of tonight the whole shell is assembled. The outer seams are glassed and the interior is being finished up. Tomorrow I will make the door and it should start down the home stretch. I am planning on getting the first coat of primer on it Wednesday.

Here are some pics:

IMG_0154.jpg
 

rruff

Explorer
The quick work you've made is very impressive!

Remind me again how you made all those facets so precisely?
 

Gunner207

Observer
The angles or facets are critical for the design as it relates to overall strength. They are not difficult. Some have commented on getting more interior space by not using the 45 degree front corners, but think of it this way, two faces come together to form a 90 degree corner and it has one seam. The 45 has two seams accomplishing the same 90 degrees so the forces acting on that corner are shared by two seams. This makes the corner inherently stronger.

Most people go for lightweight construction and then completely overbuild a component such as seam reinforcement. For example lightweight panels and three layers of fiberglass and epoxy on both sides of the panel seams. That's a lot of time and expense. The corner becomes too heavy and too rigid.

The people who are using aluminum channel with poly sulfide adhesives (Sika) have a good combination of weight and performance. On a small slide in like mine the aluminum would be overkill. Plus the angles are so varied I would have to form the aluminum as I went, again more time and expense than necessary.

You asked how and I ranted about why instead. When I get in the shop this morning I will take some detailed photos and explain.
 
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rruff

Explorer
You asked how and I ranted about why instead. When I get in the shop this morning I will take some detailed photos and explain.
I understand the benefits, but it's geometrically very difficult for a hack. I'm guessing you used CAD and a CNC mill?
 

Gunner207

Observer
I use a small DeWalt table saw, a sliding miter saw, and a festool track saw.

One face of the adjacent panels is a tight fit, the other side is open a 1/4 inch or so. Each panel gets thickened epoxy to fill the open honeycomb. Then a little more is added and the panels joined. The epoxy keys the honeycomb cores together. You can use clamps, temporary screws, or even real good duct tape like gorilla tape to keep things lined up until the epoxy cures.

Plus with epoxy and fiberglass a gap is your friend and actually makes a stronger joint potentially than tight fitting surfaces.
 
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