You can never have too many…

…clamps! That is the lesson we have learned these last couple of months. In all reality, this is something Sam tells me every time he uses his clamps for any purpose. Thankfully, we have a lot (and I mean, a lot) of clamps. 

It’s been a hot minute since we have posted anything. Life got a bit crazy these last few weeks, and while we have made progress on the trailer, I have had literally no time to post about it. This means we are going to cover a lot of ground in the next few paragraphs. 

I am happy to announce, at this time – the trailer has a floor. After 2 months of putting this damn thing together…trial, error, trial, more error, some more errors we are finally ready to build vertically! 

We left off last with the plywood/insulation sandwich being built, but alas we had run out of wood! Well do not fret my friends, thanks to our good ol’ local box store we were able to procure more supplies and finished putting together what will now be the base of our teardrop trailer.

Once we had the right amount of wood (lesson learned: always buy more and return) we finished framing out the inner section of the floor. Remember – plywood sandwich, so we had put together bottom bread already by slicing up sheets of plywood and assembling them into the right size, and we have the same size sections cut out, but not yet assembled, for top bread. At this stage we are adding structural integrity to the floor by putting a border and 3 cross beams made of 1x4s. This also framed out the space where we would place insulation. 

Bottom with framing on top
Quality Control

Once the bottom bread had the framing attached (some wood glue and nail gun action) we took it outside to fit the insulation in. Using an exacto knife we cut sections of the insulation to fit within the frame. We hit that baby with some spray-on gorilla glue, and placed the pre-cut insulation in the framed sections. To this date I find the gorilla glue to be a wasted step, but hey – maybe I’m wrong.

Now it was time to put the lid on our sammie. The plywood was pre-cut (done at the same time we did bottom bread), so all we had to do was lay it on top and nail gun it in. We ran some wood glue along all the tops of the 1x4s for extra  assurance this puppy would stay together…we were going for extra gooey grilled cheese stuck together, not just cheese sandwich stuck together. 

Laying the top plywood on the insulated base

The nail gun made it’s rounds, and voila! The sandwich was complete, and not a moment too soon because the chili was done at the same time. Real chili.

Next up was weather proofing. The floor will be sitting inside the frame of the trailer, and be exposed (on the bottom) to elements. Therefore we needed to weatherproof the bottom and sides to avoid warp and rot. We used flex seal – please oh please do yourself a favor and buy/use flex seal…the informercials do not lie! This stuff went on like painting fluff, or creamy peanut butter. It had a relatively low odor though, which was nice. Once painted, it needed to dry/cure for 48 hours. So it sat in the garage and did its thing. After it cured the entire bottom of the floor was essentially made of rubber. Very, very cool.

In the meantime, we realized we ran into a hiccup (I am starting to feel like I had too many beer, with the number of hiccups we have already had). 

The vertical height of the floor was going to be flush with the top of the trailer, which was not going to leave us ideal placements to attach the vertical structure. This required a bit of creativity, and an added step.

We bought a few 1x1s made of AZEK (rot proof) to line out all of the frames on the trailer. This gave us the vertical clearance above the trailer we we would need to attach the walls. 

So, we glued, and clamped. Cue the clamps — 32 clamps. 

It was now time to put the floor onto the trailer! We used bits (and broke a lot of them) drilling holes through the AZEK and trailer frame. We were making them so we could put carriage bolts with lock washers through the wood floor to secure the floor to the trailer.

All was going well, until we laid the floor onto the trailer, and….IT DIDN’T FIT! Off by less than 1/8 of an inch, but absolutely no way we were getting it wedge in. So, out came the circular saw, and off came <1/8 inch of the side of the floor. 

Because we exposed end grain we needed to re-flex seal. Next attempt at putting the floor into the trailer frame, and it fit like a glove. A tight glove. We needed to shimmy it to remove a tiny gap along one edge, but regardless of the sledge hammer force, it would not budge. Cue clamps – again! 

After that the bolts went in, the washers and nuts went on and we officially had a floor.

The damn thing got wheeled into the garage where it will live until it is either too tall to fit inside, or we buy a cover to protect it from the elements.

Go to your home.

Up next we will be drawing specific pixel-perfect plans for the rest of the trailer now that the base is complete.

After all this work (4 months to be exact) Sam proclaims, “Hey! It looks like it did when we bought it.” <— dont worry, I only thought about smacking him, I didn’t actually partake in physical harm.

Onward, and upward….

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