Building a Teardrop Camper #5 – The Walls

brianCamping, Regal Eagle Teardrop Build, Teardrop CampingLeave a Comment

The walls of your teardrop camper can also (big suprise) be built a number of different ways.  We chose to go the more difficult, more time consuming, but lighter and more flexible route.

As a result, we were able to run the wires inside the wall, completely hidden from view.  Also, we were able to insulate the walls and make them lighter than if they were made from a solid piece of wood <–This would be the first, and simplest way, to build the wall, a solid piece of wood.

Depending on how you want to finish the walls inside and out, you can select a marine grade of plywood, AC or BC rated ply wood, or a solid birch or other hardwood plywood.  The plus side of using birch (baltic birch) is that you will have a very smooth surface to finish inside and will end up with a very good looking product.  Also, baltic birch is very stable and flat, so it cuts well.  Many of the commercial manufactures of teardrop use a solid wall of birch and then varnish it.

If you are going to paint or finish the outside with another covering, you can use AC or BC rated plywood.  This will finish off nicely, and not break the bank.

Just like the flooring construction, there is also a sandwich method for wall construction.  Again, like many other things, there are a couple different variations.

1. Cutouts

This involved making a inner framing for your wall using the wall template and 3/4″ plywood, then removing (cutting out with a jig saw) the excess material to lighten the walls.  This is then finished the same as the floor, foam, outside and inside plywood.

2. Stick built

We decided to construct the wall in a similar manner as the floor 1×4 framing inside (with foam) and then we finished off the in/out sides with the appropriate material.

wall framing

Here we used the side template that we had made some time ago.  We used a combination of 1×4, 1×2 with biscuits and pocket screws to hold it all together, with tight bond II of course.  Each of the 1x’s is on an edge, or forms as pocket (as the 1×2’s do above) for the bulkhead walls to fit into.  Each one has a purpose.  Although there may not look like many, this is actually a little over built compared to some that I have seen.  Remember plane, NOT tank!  After the ones on back (left in the photo) were glued together and dried, they were trimmed to match the template using a bottom bearing router bit.

We decided to go with 5/16″ engineered hardwood flooring on the flat surfaces of the inside walls.  This way when we finished the wall construction, the walls would be finished.  No varnishing or other type of painting for finishing was needed.

wall covered

This is one of the side walls framed out. it is covered with 5/16 engineered hardwood flooring. Very strong and very stable, and reasonably light. We still did’t have the rough door dimensions yet, so the door is not trimmed out here yet.  (more on that later)

 

wall standing

Here we are test fitting the side wall to the floor. We are checking for the location of the axle and where it fits relative to the doors, fenders, and for the balance of the trailer. We had to adjust it a bit, but this was the time to do it, not after it’s all attached.  We actually ended up sliding the entire cabin forward about 5 inches or so from how you see it here.  That moved the balance point reward a bit, and also shortened up the tongue a bit as it was a little long.

A few other wall details

 

This is one of the side walls with the foam insulation in it. In the middle you will see a curved piece. That is a 1/2 pipe that we heat bent to serve as a place to route the wire for the light switch down the wall (as it's being fed from the roof area). Easier to do this now while it's all laying flat, than once it's standing up. This wall is almost ready for "skin". Also, there is blocking across the middle framing at the bottom. This is for attaching the fenders later. One thing about framed walls is that you have to plan ahead for things that you want to attache to the trailer later in the build process.

This is one of the side walls with the foam insulation in it. In the middle you will see a curved piece. That is a 1/2 pipe that we heat bent to serve as a place to route the wire for the light switch down the wall (as it’s being fed from the roof area). Easier to do this now while it’s all laying flat, than once it’s standing up. This wall is almost ready for “skin”. Also, there is blocking across the middle framing at the bottom. This is for attaching the fenders later. One thing about framed walls is that you have to plan ahead for things that you want to attache to the trailer later in the build process.

Here we have both walls skinned and ready to go. The skinning process is pretty easy, just attach the luan plywood with PL premium adhesive and place weights on it until it drys. Also, we added staples with a nail gun to hold the luan on. One more thing, you can see pocket holes that we drilled along the bottom of the wall. These are though the bottom plate in the wall and will serve as attachment points when we stand the walls up.

Here we have both walls skinned and ready to go. The skinning process is pretty easy, just attach the luan plywood with PL premium adhesive and place weights on it until it drys. Also, we added staples with a nail gun to hold the luan on. One more thing, you can see pocket holes that we drilled along the bottom of the wall. These are though the bottom plate in the wall and will serve as attachment points when we stand the walls up.

That’s all for now.  In the next post, I will begin assembly of the walls to the floor, and start the rear cabinets.

If you missed the first few posts, be sure to go back and checkout:

Building a Teardrop Camper #1 – Plans

Building a Teardrop Camper #2 – The Profile

Building a Teardrop Camper #3 – The Trailer

Building a Teardrop Camper #4 – The Floor

For the full list of article and links, see my page on How to Build a Teadrop .  If you have more questions, please contact me or see my Facebook Page.

Also, you can follow Dad Rambles on Facebook, and Twitter, as well as Instagram and Pinterest for updates there as well.

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