ultra compact slide in / sleeper

Gunner207

Observer
With fiberglass a smooth surface isn't to difficult to achieve. First coat of epoxy wets out the glass, squeegee it so thereis no excess resin. 2nd coat goes on with a roller to get an even layer and the release fabric.

Generally some sanding is required to ensure there is no waxy amine blush.

I will key the joints together with either mechanical fastenings or dowels depending on location. Interior panels are all to be dadoed into exterior panels. It is very strong construction. I go through a lot of West Systems 610 adhesive, expensive but consistency and convenience come at a price.
 

1 Bored Clerk

Explorer
Two pages and this thread has already helped me so much! I was going to build my camper walls with foam then fiberglass over. These luan/honeycomb panels are AWESOME! Building and prep for glass will be so much easier and faster. And, I'm already in love with 610 epoxy. So nice to just squeeze and go. Expensive but worth it.

Thanks!

Carry on. I'll be watching.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rruff

Explorer
Either ORCA PVC, or Ployisocyanurate. I can get ORCA PVC from a local-ish supplier.
Carbon Core has good prices on PVC foam also. <$100 for 4x8x 1". It's less than half the price of the name brands I've seen. http://www.carbon-core.com/store/product/pvc-structural-foam-sheets/

I know some people have used garden variety XPS foam for sandwich panels. It's very cheap, but I'm skeptical of its structural integrity. There are many people using it to make "Foamie" trailers though, with canvas and Titebond composite skins. I made some samples, but wasn't impressed. Too easy to put a hole in it.
 

Gunner207

Observer
I think the best possible panel is a 1 1/2 - 2 inch foam filled honeycomb with fiberglass skins. Sound deadening, insulation and strength. Is I were building a full size camper or box that would be the way.
 

rruff

Explorer
I think the best possible panel is a 1 1/2 - 2 inch foam filled honeycomb with fiberglass skins. Sound deadening, insulation and strength. Is I were building a full size camper or box that would be the way.
I agree, but have you looked at the cost? Only reference I've seen is ~$15/sq ft just for core.

Also, cutting fiberglass is no fun...
 

CoyoteThistle

Adventurer
Excited to watch your progress on this! Very cool design.

I'm several months in to a build using the same luan/honeycomb panels from CarbonCore (20mm core = one inch thick total in my case). I somehow got the $120 commercial delivery rate to my house in CA for 16 panels - even the FedEx guy did a double take when he saw that cost.

As noted by others, this stuff is much easier to work with and considerably less messy than the panels laminated with fiberglass. Price is fantastic compared to most of what is out there.

One thing I found with these panels is that the bond between the honeycomb core and plywood is not always complete. By that I mean that there are areas where there is no adhesion between the layers (I discovered this when drilling out some holes with a hole saw and the plug that came out was not glued together). I later confirmed this by pulling some pieces apart. I'm not at all worried that the panels will delaminate, I'm guessing that 80% or more of the surface is adhered well. I think 100% adhesion would be stronger though - and I'll further guess that what you get with the much more expensive foam and honeycomb core panels that are out there is that 100% adhesion. For my purposes (also a slide-in for a shortbed without a cab-over) these panels are plenty strong and the cost savings is well worth it. It could maybe possibly be a concern if one was building a larger rig though?

Curious if Gunner has seen this in any of his panels? Sounds like you have worked with these panels quite a bit. Mine might be an isolated case.

Anyway, this reminds me that I should get off my *** and start a build thread for my rig!

matt
 

Gunner207

Observer
Thanks Matt,

I've been using carbon core panels for more than three years in my marine business and have yet to find faulty lamination. Admittedly I use mostly the fiberglass laminated panels. I am sure that someone could do some testing regarding core to skin bonding percentage as it affects shear parallel to the bond line and panel stiffness, but we are not building space shuttles. Any concern with panels should be sent to carbon core. If you have that unbonded plug I would send that to them. I have always found them to be responsive and professional.

How about showing the rest of us what you are building. We all learn from each other.
 

CoyoteThistle

Adventurer
Here's an example of the less-than-perfect adhesion:


The core and upper piece of plywood came out and you can see the inner side of the ply from the opposite side still there - no sign of glue. Same thing happened a couple inches away. Six inches away it was fine.

Good to hear this isn't common. And I totally agree, not building a space shuttle so I have zero worries in my case.

Here's the quick look at my slowly progressing build. Like you, I didn't like any of the short-bed options out there (I've got a 5' bed on a Nissan Frontier). Unlike you, I'm going complicated - dual pop up! Also, mine is long (sticks out about 20" past the end of the bed). I'm hoping dry weight will be under 1,000 lbs.

Hard to get good shots of the build since it's squeezed in in the garage. Here's a shot of the rear:


And the front:

On the floor in the foreground is the first part of the pop up (upside down) - hard-sided and will slide up vertically to give about 5'2" of headroom. Roof will be hinged at the front and will have canvas (think Westfalia style) - lots of headroom and air circulation. Sleeping, cooking etc. all possible with canvas-sided part closed for stormy conditions. In fully closed configuration it will ride a couple inches higher than the cab.

Rough look at the inside. "Furniture" is all made of honeycomb core too and glassed in. Makes the whole thing very strong.


Anyway, I'll get a build thread going eventually with details, but the take home for now is that this material is great and even an amateur like me, working in a garage, can have decent results. Can't wait to see what a pro can do with it!

matt
 

rruff

Explorer
Here's an example of the less-than-perfect adhesion:
The core and upper piece of plywood came out and you can see the inner side of the ply from the opposite side still there - no sign of glue. Same thing happened a couple inches away. Six inches away it was fine.
Sad to see, poor QC. Any idea what the adhesive is?

Also, the plywood looks too light colored for luan. They mention also Liteply on their website which is typically poplar, so maybe that is what's used.

Your camper looks great! Look forward to your build thread.
 

Gunner207

Observer
Matt your camper looks great. I am getting my gas plumbed in the shop Monday so I can start bonding parts together. Mine is a very simple box and should be around 400#s total.
 

CoyoteThistle

Adventurer
Sad to see, poor QC. Any idea what the adhesive is?

Also, the plywood looks too light colored for luan. They mention also Liteply on their website which is typically poplar, so maybe that is what's used.

Your camper looks great! Look forward to your build thread.
No idea on the adhesive. You're right about the wood. I had forgotten until you mentioned this that I ordered the luan but got a call from Carbon Core saying that they recently changed do a different type of plywood and would that be okay. Don't remember what he called it but I'm sure if they have Liteply on the site now (wasn't a choice when I ordered), that's probably what it is.

And thanks!
 

hoptroll

Pool Boy
Coyote,
How are you going about bonding the panels together? I see the aluminum angle, is that welded? And is the aluminum structural or just to protect the joints?
 
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