fit-out of a box/cage trailer for sleeping in

Submitted: Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 00:08
ThreadID: 131636 Views:3871 Replies:7 FollowUps:9
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Hi there,

I am fitting-out a cage/box trailer for sleeping in - with PVC or canvas sides, a vertical zip near each corner to allow rolling up or propping out on struts as a kind of of awning. It has enough horizontal bars on top to support PVC or canvas, though I'm thinking maybe sealed marine ply for the roof will keep it cooler underneath. Anyone here put plywood on top or anything else to improve the insulation?

Also, dust is going to be a pain with zips being fouled by it, so I'm thinking of having the zips under a flap in the PVC or canvas, & compressed air on hand to blow before opening up after a dusty drive. Along the bottom of the fabric will be a horizontal strip of filter foam all 4 sides to bridge any gap to the trailer side. If all else fails, may have to look at an air scoop/snorkel to pressurize inside. Your thoughts from anyone who has tried to minimize dust in a trailer?

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 07:54

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 07:54
G'day, had a trailer with a vinyl cover on it, the vinyl came down the sides, held in place with elastic rope and it never got dust in it.
John and Jan

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Reply By: Geepeem - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 11:24

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 11:24
Sounds like a good project.
For the roof if its going to be solid I would not use marine ply as it will add a lot of weight.
I would look at some of the composite panels that are available.
Ullrich make Aluwell an aluminium composite panel that comes in big sheets so no joins.
These are also good insulators. My cousin bought a full pack of these sheets and re lined the rusted outer skin of his motor home. They are not that expensive. Just glue on with a special sikoflex.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Cybermike - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 18:02

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 18:02
Am I looking at the right product here - just had a quote back on a Aluwell 1500*3000*4mm piece for $222.56 PLUS GST. There's a lot of ply that could be bought for that!
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Follow Up By: Geepeem - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 19:32

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 19:32
Do a search on Ebay for "Aluminium Composite Panel" and there are plenty there for around the $70 mark for a sheet 1.2m x 2.4m. The sheet you quoted is very large. My cousin bought a whole pack and was quite reasonable but I can't recall what he paid.
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 14:19

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 14:19
Years ago my brother had a roof top camper he put on a metal frame above the trailer and then had the trailer and under the camper as extra storage /carrying space and it seemed to work well for him.

Alan
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 15:21

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 15:21
Like my old camper trailer....................worked very well until knees made it bloody difficult to climb into and out of
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Follow Up By: Cybermike - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 15:37

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 15:37
Sounds good Alan - for those who can do it. I've been there, done that with rooftop camping - now am at the stage I can't stray so far from terra firma.
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Reply By: RobMac (QLD_Member) - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 20:16

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 20:16
I've recently our 4x7 DuraGal Trailer to a RTT Camper. I've built a frame and then just used 5mm plywood to enclose it so the inside of the trailer is hopefully fairly waterproof but unsure yet as to whether its dust proof..... We took it up to Double Island Point the other weekend and it went quite well but do need a few improvements before we think about using it on our Darling River Trip
Cheers..... RobM
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Follow Up By: Cybermike - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 13:27

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 13:27
Well done Rob! So the sides are plywood framed by aluminium, & pained white or covered with aluminium sheet? Regards, Mike.
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Follow Up By: RobMac (QLD_Member) - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 02:46

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 02:46
Yeah, just 5 or 6mm plywood painted white and edged with Angle Aluminium. I've then just bought some of that 6mm x 20mm foam seal with self adhesive and put this around the doors for Dust and water. Also fitted one of those HD thick walled Water Tanks under the Trailer (65ltrs)

The plan now is to make a support frame at the from for the spare tyre to lay horizontal on the drawer bar and have a frame over the top where I can mount a Box or a cage where I can through some firewood.
I've also got to replace the Hitch as I don't reckon it will handle the conditions long term.....

Cheers..... RobM
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 21:49

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 21:49
G`day,
Marine ply is heavy and expensive, try using ordinary ply or some other type panel board and paint it with "Bondcrete" to seal it and make it waterproof.

This works great for the floor of a tinny boat prior to gluing the marine carpet on.

You could glue Styrofoam sheet to the inside to assist insulation.

Scrubby.
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:03

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:03
Marine ply isn't necessarily heavy, the only difference between marine ply & good quality exterior grade ply is the quality of the veneers, which is reflected in the price. Coachwood marine ply is heavier than maple, also stronger.

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Reply By: GREG T11 - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:31

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:31
Hi Mike, your idea is a great one. My thoughts though are stay away from the vinyl products, they may have the 100 % waterproof side covered but do not breath at all, in fact sweat is more the term. A good quality Australian canvas will last longer and has a side benefit of being easier to sew with longer lasting seams if made correctly.

I recently sold a ute with a P.V.C canopy and whilst it was perfect for what I used it for it was a heat soak, Even with all 3 sides up I would be loath to leave my dog in it during the day whilst doing a quick shop if it wasn't in the shade.

One more thing, regards covering the zips. Put more effort into the rear, that is where the dust seems to have a bigger affect due to aerodynamics bla bla. The sides while appearing to be a problem do not suffer as much.

I have a similar concept to yours built on a box trailer except it stands 1900 mm at its highest point. It has bungee loops every 20 cm or so around the perimeter of the 3 sides and doesn't appear to cop much dust.

Google " LIGHTWEIGHT CAMPERS BALLINA " for a idea of what I am on about. No longer in business but the concept is the same.
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Reply By: Bob R4 - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:42

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 22:42
Hi Mike,
if you use marine grade (AA) or (AB), or Exterior grade plywood (BB) or (BC), you will achieve the benefits of using plywood. Don't get duped into using "marine grade" plywood as it is just overpriced. The (AA), (AB), (BB), (BC), refers to the quality (read appearance) of the surface veneers, and has nothing to do with the structural strength or durability.
Exterior grade plywood is used for boat construction (I'm building a boat at the moment using such material, with an expected value of about $50k, and the plywood is the least cost for the boat because that grade of plywood has the properties needed).
It has the waterproof adhesive and is generally constructed from hardwood.
For 2400 x1200 x6mm sheets, expect to pay about $20. It generally weighs about 600kg per cubic metre. A 2400 x 1200 x 6mm sheet weighs about 10kg.
Weight for strength plywood is stronger than steel and aluminium.
Epoxy resin will render it waterproof if a couple of coats are applied wet-on-wet. No paint will do this, and it must be epoxy resin. (definitely NOT polyester resin)
As for dust exclusion, I had a Kimberley Kamper, and that was dust proof. Didn't look too hard at how they achieved that, but I guess it's possible.

Hope this can be of help.
Cheers, Bob
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Follow Up By: Cybermike - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 18:08

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 18:08
Yes - a lot of help - thanks Bob. Do you reckon the epoxy resin would stop the wood being gouged out in case I ever need to slide something on top (maybe a tinny)? Otherwise I might cap it with sheet metal.
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Follow Up By: Bob R4 - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 22:30

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 22:30
If you want to fibreglass the plywood, it will be quite a lot stronger and be tougher with more wear resistance. There are plenty of youtube videos to show you how, but always be sure to use epoxy resin and not polyester resin. For supplies of info and materials, I use Nuplex, but have no connection except as a happy customer.
Incidentally, epoxy with graphite paste embedded in it will be almost wear proof, but some good advice is needed, because I don't think you can sand it, and maybe painting could be a possible problem. But I don't know that for sure, as the epoxy may completely seal the graphite and painting is a non issue.
2 coats of epoxy alone will moisture seal the plywood, fibreglass will strengthen and toughen, but I think sheet metal will only increase weight and allow the trapping of moisture which alone will be a long term problem.

My 2 bob's worth.

Cheers, Bob
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