Super lightweight rigid/strong materials for custom built campers? help?

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Contributor I

60
Ladysmith BC
First Name
Darrin
Last Name
Pritchett
Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this, but I guess this could be also put towards drawers/shells/etc for a rig too.

This is the premise: The wifey and kidlet are super interested in camping trips (even trail based exploration, nothing hard core, but a lil more difficult then like a fire/logging road) with their main absolute requirement being a toilet (and expressly told a foam topped bucket don't count LOL ). I must say I'm not really against the idea myself even under the premise of having it while traveling to a camp ground or whatever.

I'm working on a design that is a mixture of popup tent trailer and an offroad teardrop ish.. with a 10ft footprint for the camper itself, not including the tongue (so... 14ish ft total length) . Folded up, the height (and door size) will be just enough for someone 6ft tall (ie me) to stoop or crouch to enter with toilet and some immediate storage accessible.

Requirements: 1500lbs max loaded for camping (3-4 people, 5ishdays, grand cherokee for stuff storage too to shift weight too) ... and able to run down to 1200lbs or less so a 'new' challenger can tow it too (short distances type stuff)

I'm thinking alot of aluminum, but I've seen stuff here and there with plastics etc... I'll probably do the foam thing for the inside cabinets and stuff. I don't need the outside to be able to withstand bouncing off a tree, but it will be towed offroad so having some impact resistance is a definite good idea.

It will have a pull out stove/fridge/sink thing... that can be accessed from inside if the weather is horrible (it won't be an ideal or comfortable scenerio, but it could be done) ... and its main use will be sleeping, storage, and somewhere to wait out really bad weather. Everything else outside like proper camping (whats the point going out there if your gonna sit inside a box?? )

so whats suggestions for materials? (links def help) ... oh .. build start platform will probably be a cheap/beat up tiny pop up camper to have a VIN'd frame and some kitchen stuff to start with (and hopefully some helpful hardware etc)
 

Contributor I

60
Ladysmith BC
First Name
Darrin
Last Name
Pritchett
I should also note, that yes, I am searching the web and looking through ideas and stuff, but my google fu is amateur and I'm sure I'm missing things
 

smritte

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Traveler I

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Ontario California
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KO6BI
I'm in the planning stages of something similar. My thoughts were using a 1" thick frame, bonding a fiber panel like the ones on campers and motor homes. A thin wood on the inside and insulation in the center. I saw a small trailer that folded down and looked like an "A" frame house folded up.
I need to get away from the RTT. Most of my trips end up being windy and I'm leaning towards a hard sided trailer.
 

Boort

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@smritte
... I saw a small trailer that folded down and looked like an "A" frame house folded up.
I need to get away from the RTT. Most of my trips end up being windy and I'm leaning towards a hard sided trailer.
If you are looking to get away from your RTT due to wind. Be aware that A-frames Don't like Wind. Nor are they really all that light. My Chalet weighs in about 3k. It is constructed of 2x2's with filon(SP?) sheeting on the outside and 1/8" ply inside. A bit of metal here and there for reinforcement. I think the newer ones are using a welded Aluminum and may or may not have insulated walls depending on where they are sold.

@RecklessCreation
You mention foam for the interior. Have you investigated the "foamie" community? (Also called "poor man’s fiberglass" or "PMF") They are building extremely light weight rigs from Closed EPS Insulation sheets, Canvass/Fiberglass Door Screan and Epoxy. Not sure how long they last as campers and trailers, but I've been on old boats that use a similar construction method and they lasted well. Lots of good info at
  • Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers • View forum - Foamies
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Boort
 

Contributor I

60
Ladysmith BC
First Name
Darrin
Last Name
Pritchett
i'm wandering my way through the foamie build stuff ...

the conqueror commander trailer is my inspiration... however its WAY overbuilt for anything i'll need it for, and equipped with way more goodies ... but that general config and fold out style is what i'm after.

the 1000-1200 lb barely loaded weight would be so the challenger I'm looking at could tow it for a weekend event out of town or something .... the Jeeps rated up to 5000lbs .. but offroad I really wouldn't want to drag more then 1800-2000lbs .. even on the barely moderate stuff I would bother with a trailer.

I'm thinking the foam core stuff is doable ... but I'm thinking the bottom foot or two of the body will be some form of cored aluminum just so it has some ability to bounce off/get drug over a rock/stump...
 

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RainCityRider

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Contributor I

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Seattle, WA
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Kyle
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Fisher
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17990

Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this, but I guess this could be also put towards drawers/shells/etc for a rig too.

This is the premise: The wifey and kidlet are super interested in camping trips (even trail based exploration, nothing hard core, but a lil more difficult then like a fire/logging road) with their main absolute requirement being a toilet (and expressly told a foam topped bucket don't count LOL ). I must say I'm not really against the idea myself even under the premise of having it while traveling to a camp ground or whatever.

I'm working on a design that is a mixture of popup tent trailer and an offroad teardrop ish.. with a 10ft footprint for the camper itself, not including the tongue (so... 14ish ft total length) . Folded up, the height (and door size) will be just enough for someone 6ft tall (ie me) to stoop or crouch to enter with toilet and some immediate storage accessible.

Requirements: 1500lbs max loaded for camping (3-4 people, 5ishdays, grand cherokee for stuff storage too to shift weight too) ... and able to run down to 1200lbs or less so a 'new' challenger can tow it too (short distances type stuff)

I'm thinking alot of aluminum, but I've seen stuff here and there with plastics etc... I'll probably do the foam thing for the inside cabinets and stuff. I don't need the outside to be able to withstand bouncing off a tree, but it will be towed offroad so having some impact resistance is a definite good idea.

It will have a pull out stove/fridge/sink thing... that can be accessed from inside if the weather is horrible (it won't be an ideal or comfortable scenerio, but it could be done) ... and its main use will be sleeping, storage, and somewhere to wait out really bad weather. Everything else outside like proper camping (whats the point going out there if your gonna sit inside a box?? )

so whats suggestions for materials? (links def help) ... oh .. build start platform will probably be a cheap/beat up tiny pop up camper to have a VIN'd frame and some kitchen stuff to start with (and hopefully some helpful hardware etc)
Here is a good spot to get a Pooper