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    On to the fenders: did not seem right to slap on some aluminum or galvanized ones, so went a different route –

    First drawing them up – again flexible stick and French Curve drafting

    Then a male mold to shape the panels

    Patterns made of “wigglewood” – much easier to bend.

    Then the female mold:

    Okoume panels bent in, glassed and epoxied just like camper shell:

    I added inner fenders at front and back for strength, filled ends with two part foam, glassed and sprayed with bedliner paint. Then fixed to camper shell


    Amazing build Mike.  Love the attention to detail.  I really like the torsion axle frame hidden in the body.  I’d like see a little more detail on how the tongue ties in to the cross member.  Do those diagonal rails from the tongue extend to the cross member at the axles or do they mount to the plywood body?


    Matt, thanks for the kind words.

    I am away from home until July, so a bit limited in my reply. But I can say that the diagonal rails do not tie into cross member. The ends are welded to angle sections (at the base of the triangle) that are drilled and then bolted through the front of my storage box (3/4 inch ply) which is drilled oversize and filled with hardened epoxy and re-drilled. Inside the box are matching 1/4 inch steel plates to accept bolts and sandwich the ply.

    The tongue piece has 4×6 inch plates welded ate the far end, top and bottom. They slip over and under cross member and bolt through it and continue through floor and matching steel plated underneath.

    When I get back I can post some sketches and photos.

    Lastly a disclaimer- I am no engineer and this may or may not work long term and / or be safe. Buying a manufactured trailer is the safer way to go.


    Matt, for more details best to contact me directly:

    barnards then the @ sign, then





    Awesome build stretchMike! You described your process clearly, I just want to be sure I’m reading it right as I’m tempted to go down the same road:

    The transverse former marked ‘extra’ between #4&5 is not a clone of either. Rather, the length and angles of its chines are determined by the adjusted curves-right? Were any of the formers straight from the OEM patterns?
    When you stretched the design on paper, did you keep the OEM height and width as a limit? Or did you follow the original curves as much as possible, allowing the stretch to push the height and width slightly?


    Good questions.

    All transverse formers except # 4 & #5 were stock. I did not want to mess with the hatch area or the front of the camper as they are both high curvature and in the case of the hatch somewhat complex were. I figured that changing those shapes would cause a host of problems elsewhere.

    Formers 4 & 5 were modified slightly. If you look at the photo of my flexible stick drafting you will see that to get a smooth curve I started the adjustment just to the outside of those formers. I adjusted the formers by measuring the revised width of the panel at the former station and then transferring it to the former pattern.

    The “extra” former is entirely custom. The width at the base of the camper is the same as for the other formers. For the angles of the panels I interpolated between # 4 and # 5. Again I transferred panel widths from the modified plans. Still it needed to be adjusted a few times. The Height of the camper turned out to be 1 – 1 1/2 inches taller than OEM because of the added section and the curvature of the roof. I think if I were doing it again I would make the extra former adjustable: put my first two panels in and them support them after they were loosely wired in to the other formers. Then repeat for the other panels. I think easier to achieve a smooth shape that way.

    All the best.

    PS: about 10,000 km on mine now. Last week on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, next week Banff and Lake Louise.

Viewing 6 posts - 31 through 36 (of 36 total)
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