DIY Composite Flatbed Camper Build

DzlToy

Explorer
I figured that is what you did, lol.

If the OP is concerned about the skins delaminating from the foam, then I would encourage some research and/or testing to ensure proper bonding between materials, compatible adhesives or tapes, etc.

If the concern is pieces of foam tearing away from "other foam" with the skin still attached to the outside foam pieces, then a honeycomb core or a structural foam is the answer, as they do not tear away like EPS and XPS do.

Blocks, tubes or plates can be inserted into the foam core during construction, thereby giving you an attachment point for "xyz part". This is a common practice in the composites world and is preferable to bonding on a plate after the fact. For a camper, you could use darn near anything that serves your purposes. Just remember to make a drawing showing exactly where the blocks are, measured from a fixed point that is accessible after the camper is completely finished. Ask me how I know. :D
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
Thanks very much for the details. Maybe you could stay with the 2" thick foam and use the fiberglass angles that Bedford Reinforced sells. https://bedfordreinforced.com/products/proforms-structural-shapes/ I'm guessing you couldn't screw and tap a bolt hole into them like aluminum but maybe the weight savings would be enough to make their use attractive. Am planning on making panels next summer when the garage will be 80+ degrees naturally.

I could kick myself for not seeing you at Expo East 2018. I was there in the mud Friday and part of Saturday. I couldn't make it to East 2019. Will you be in Flagstaff for Expo West 2020?
Yeah it was quite the mud-fest. I have been wanting to do expo west, timing just hasn't allowed. If your ever in the neighborhood, give me a shout.
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
Thanks for this, very interesting. When I initially thought about drilling and filling the panels, it wasn't concern for delamination. Instead, it was reinforcement for the less dense and less expensive pink XPS foam board. Also by having attachment points between the FRP, you no longer have a "sandwich panel". The various points of connection unify and strengthen the overall structure. I'm by no means an expert on this, just sharing thoughts and experience. Very cool to see the testing in the article.
 

brian94ht

Chateau spotter
Thanks for this, very interesting. When I initially thought about drilling and filling the panels, it wasn't concern for delamination. Instead, it was reinforcement for the less dense and less expensive pink XPS foam board. Also by having attachment points between the FRP, you no longer have a "sandwich panel". The various points of connection unify and strengthen the overall structure. I'm by no means an expert on this, just sharing thoughts and experience. Very cool to see the testing in the article.
Your thoughts on this have merit.
Are you familiar with "Dropstitch" inflatable SUPaddleboard design?
The threads are attached to the top and bottom panels. When the board is inflated the threads become taunt. The board becomes stiff as a result of the two exterior panels not being able to move independently of each other.
 

rruff

Explorer
Blocks, tubes or plates can be inserted into the foam core during construction, thereby giving you an attachment point for "xyz part". This is a common practice in the composites world and is preferable to bonding on a plate after the fact. For a camper, you could use darn near anything that serves your purposes. Just remember to make a drawing showing exactly where the blocks are, measured from a fixed point that is accessible after the camper is completely finished. Ask me how I know. :D
That is my thinking for the epoxy plugs. Don't know if they'd improve the strength of the core though. Couldn't you use a stud finder to locate them?

I agree on the use of structural foam. It's damned expensive but in the grand scheme of things it's probably worth it.
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
Lots of good information and ideas. If and when I do another build, I will definitely do it differently.
As for cost. If you were to buy a premade shell/box, it would probably cost you over 10k.
If you were to use the Pink XPS, total material cost would come in around 4k.
So price is not bad and no welding skills needed. If you can measure and cut, YOU CAN DO IT :)
 

ATCws

New member
Yeah it was quite the mud-fest. I have been wanting to do expo west, timing just hasn't allowed. If your ever in the neighborhood, give me a shout.
Thanks much! I'm in Virginia and love to come down after the new year and see your rig up close and pick your brain on the whole build if you're up for a visit.
 

Mikclay

New member
Made jack mounting brackets out of aluminum.
Since these points will take the most stress when lifting, I had planned on bolting
all the way through to the inside. However, this did not work out since I used a smaller
L bracket "3inch" instead of 4. I needed a right angle to fit snug against the 4 inch exterior.
They only make 3 inch. Had I gone to 4, the inner angle would curve and not fit.
I ended up attaching by using the Sika and stainless lag bolts to attach the brackets
to the exterior L channel.
I had my concerns, but after lifting and mounting the camper, I felt better.
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Do u mind sharing what linear actuators u used ?and what size that is
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
We recently did a quick trip to Huntington beach state park. It's near Murrells Inlet just south of Myrtle beach.
While it wasn't an off road adventure and we had to slab sit, it was a nice get away to the beach. Camping and seafood buffet time!
One of the features I like about this size camper, is the ability to traverse city traffic and parking. It's nice being able to jump in the rig and go out
to a restaurant or site see, then come back and camp for the night.
Brookgreen Gardens was an experience of art and nature beautifully combined.
 

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