DIY Composite Flatbed Camper Build

rruff

Explorer
Thanks for the great documentation. I am heading down this road for my DIY camper as well, but am having a hard time sourcing the FRP panels affordably. The local supplier wants around $5 sqft for the panels. In your research did you find any west coast suppliers?
You mean skins are $5/sq ft? That's expensive. If it's the whole panel (two skins and a core) that's cheap.

Some people have used Carbon Core panels that have a plastic honeycomb core and FRP or plywood skins. They are made in China, and QC has been dodgy, but the cost is very reasonable. They are based on the east coast, so shipping adds a fair amount.
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
Thanks for the great documentation. I am heading down this road for my DIY camper as well, but am having a hard time sourcing the FRP panels affordably. The local supplier wants around $5 sqft for the panels. In your research did you find any west coast suppliers?
I think I came across a company in California, I don't recall the name. Best advice is to search, search, and search. Try different names like FRP panels, FRP skins, composite panels, XPS foam panels, etc. I found my source through amazon as a third party advertiser. You can also check around with manufacturers of insulated cargo trucks. They may be willing to share their vendors or make the panel for you. This company was going to do it for me reasonably http://www.equipmentinnovators.com/
RV manufacturers are another possible source.
Here are some links I saved, they may or may not pan out
https://www.kal-lite.com/
http://wolfcomposites.com/
https://factoryrvsurplus.com/?s=fiberglass+siding
http://honeycombpanelsusa.com/tag/aluminum-honeycomb-panels-2
http://www.gulfstreamcomposites.com/Default.asp
http://www.glasteel.com/
http://www.eplastics.com/flat-fiberglass-sheet
http://www.carbon-core.com/index.htm
https://www.martelmarinepanels.com/

Alibaba and Aliexpress may be a source. You don't have to go through vendors who sell from china. Go directly to the source and save big $$$$.
I bought my windows which are dual pane acrylic, virtually the same as dometic through Alibaba for $60 each. Door to door shipping was about $300.
On the instructions was the name Eurovision. I've seen this brand in the states selling for hundreds more.
Good luck with the search, it takes time.
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
Plumbing progress

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This 1 1/4 fitting set me back about a week or two.
Here is the best I could find at the hardware stores.
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Way too big so ebay came to the rescue
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The smaller fitting allowed me to turn the tank to the side which gave me more room all around.

Next was the drain lines
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Terra Ops

Adventurer
Holes cut out for the water fill and tankless water heater

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screen placed in vent
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Pex and shark bites made for an easy install
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The water pump attached easily to the panel with screws and sika 521
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java

Expedition Leader
Not electric, propane. Uses zero power except for couple D batteries which last long time.
I have one in my pop up camper, works great.
Cool, FWIW I would not trust that ducting at all. They won't even let us use that for dryers anymore...

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Terra Ops

Adventurer
Cool, FWIW I would not trust that ducting at all. They won't even let us use that for dryers anymore...

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I can understand that for dryers with the exhaust. This vent is for fresh air only. There are models that are "ventless".
 

java

Expedition Leader
Ah! Ignore me completely then, I assumed it was exhaust.....

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downhill

Adventurer
Hmmm. I have used that type of water heater before, and they do work great. The ones I have used required at least a gas appliance exhaust, and there were strict requirements about mounting them any place with a structure near the top of them. The manufacturer stipulates that they are not to be mounted inside at all; just outdoor use. Maybe this model is different??
I personally think they could be used relatively safely indoors, with very careful attention to exhausting hot gasses properly, using fireproof shielding, and maintaining proper clearances.
 

Terra Ops

Adventurer
Hmmm. I have used that type of water heater before, and they do work great. The ones I have used required at least a gas appliance exhaust, and there were strict requirements about mounting them any place with a structure near the top of them. The manufacturer stipulates that they are not to be mounted inside at all; just outdoor use. Maybe this model is different??
I personally think they could be used relatively safely indoors, with very careful attention to exhausting hot gasses properly, using fireproof shielding, and maintaining proper clearances.

This model is probably not any different, in fact I think most are basically the same. This model did say for use in RV's and Tiny houses. That was a selling point for me. However I definitely agree with you on the clearances, venting, and shielding.
I have a similar heater in a pop up camper. While it has a vent, it is in a much tighter enclosure surrounded by wood. This initially concerned me until I ran it and hand felt the surroundings for extreme heat. I concluded that it was not a fire hazard.
With my current build I wasn't sure about the FRP skin so I took a heat gun to it. Temps that would cause wood to smoke did not affect the skin. After prolonged exposure the skin blackened slightly and began to peal but never combusted. With the fresh air vent and more open clearances, I feel comfortable using it.
 

lostih

Observer
Thanks for the reply! I've been working with a couple alibaba vendors on windows as well :) Do you remember which you went with? I found lamilux 1000 locally finally for 2.75 sqft so might go that route. I looked at having a box made in China via Alibaba but was just a bit too gunshy for that :)
 
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