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Question re BikeGirl's trailer insulation (& GhostDancer's original notes)

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  • On the Road
    ... No problem, Eric! I belong to a lot of groups & it can be v-e-r-y easy to lose track of who is asking who what! :) FWIW, I am including GhostDancer s
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2007
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      On 3/31/07, Eric Shipley<shiplfox95@...> wrote:
      My apologies I misunderstood

      No problem, Eric!  I belong to a lot of groups & it can be v-e-r-y easy to lose track of who is asking who what!  :)

      FWIW, I am including GhostDancer's notes in this post for any of you who are interested in a do-it-yourself project. I know some of you are in groups catering to those living in/on more than just a bicycle & it might give you ideas too!  :)

      Please let the group know what you think!  :)

      And before anyone forgets, here was my original question in case anyone has any ideas:
      Can I ask you about the insulation and heating system?  How cold did the temperatures get?  I know body heat can do a lot in such a small space, but still, only so much.  And what did you mean by fuel oil?  (I'm picturing a little alcohol stove, used for cooking.)  And I've no clue about the solar part ...

      Okay, on to BikeGirl's trailer!
      A 6' by 6' wood & canvas cabin, just a little over 6' tall inside, that folds down to a box 3' by 6' & less than a foot high.

      When folded down it rides on a bicycle trailer made with 26" wheels. The "box" becomes the floor of the trailer and extra cargo gets lashed ontoit. When the "box" is set up as a cabin the trailer shrinks up to a 3'X4' trailer with a tubing floor some what like a roof rack of a car.

      Set up as a cabin, it is quite tiny.

      At night one half of it is a 3' by 6' bed. The other half has an area of about 3' by 4' to use as a dressing area. Against one wall is a cabinet(clothes box) and the other has the door & heater, thus reducing the area to 4' in length The bed lays with a wood wall at head & foot ends &canvas along its length. The clothes box is against the wall across from the door. This cabinet is about 2' by 1' and has shelves that unfold from it's plywood walls. The narrow side faces the bed & has a "nightstand" shelf while the wider side faced to the door has a cookingshelf for a camp stove. Another shelf folds out above the cooking shelf to hold a small metal bowl to be used as a sink. Metal, not plastic! Asthe heat from cooking will heat the sink water. (or melt a plastic sink?)

      By day the bed roll is rolled up & hung from one wall. The bed being a canvas "hammock" style, has one pole fixed as a spreader to hold thecanvas wall tight. The other pole can be placed in a holder to form the bed or rolled up to the wall to open the room. A folding table can beused with a (grub box) chair in place of the bed. The table is fastened onto the wall without the door. It is on the lower section & a window isin the upper section.

      The floor is made of two sections of plywood 3' by 6' with 1" by 6" lumber sides. One side is cut down to 4.5" & the other was cut to 5". This has to do with the walls folding up & still fitting into the box.

      The two sections are joined along one long edge with strap hinges. This forms a ridge in the center of the room that takes some getting used to.The actual floor is made from two pieces of plywood with Reflextic insulation between them. (this extra "sub" flooring also reduces thesize of the center ridge by raising the actual floor.) These two sections also have holes in them for vents. One each end of each section. Or one each corner of the cabin. These holes have hinged doors on them so they can be closed off when heat is important. And 3 of themhave screens in place of the insulation in the centers. The fourth, under the bed area of the door & heater wall, is used as a drain. For ashower. We took a 22" by 22" laundry sink and cut the tub walls down to 16" high. This would fit well under the bed at 24". (Being a hammockstyle I knew it would sag down some.) On the upper section of the wall is a squared hoop 32" by 34" on 1" stand-offs hinged to the wall. This holds a removable shower curtain. The shower is a garden sprayer with alonger hose & a modified nozzle.

      The box is removed from the trailer & opened.

      It is best to place it on skids, such as two timbers, turned 90 degrees from the hinge. Timbers may be procured from the area or two 4X6scarried in with you.

      Starting at the door side, open the wall up & attach the brace to connect the upper & lower sections. Use a rope or prop to support itwhile opening the other wall. Connect the sections of that wall & brace it to the door wall. All of the wall to wall braces a pre-cut and onlyone is of adjustable length. Use the adjustable one first & set it to a position for loose fit of the canvas. (Note about the adjustable brace.

      best location for it is the 4' side wall near the door. Side walls have two braces, at 2' & 4'. The top brace, or 6', is a roof brace. Also inthe roof are the two center braces that have a riser on top for roof pitch. They are made of 3/4" plywood with an arch shaped onto one side.)

      Place in side the other braces {one will be the bed poles}, the clothes cabinet, and the shower tub. Set the two center roof braces to one wall& pin them into place.
      Attach the canvas.

      The canvas forms two walls & the roof. It is a single strip of canvas with an insulated (Reflextic) liner and interior cloth sewn together. Itis 6.5' wide by 18.5' long.

      The canvas has rubberized rope on the long sides across what will be the top & at the corners of what will be the "end" walls. Velcro on thebottom of the "end" walls & along the sides of the "end" walls.

      {An illustration here wold be great as I'm not a creative writer!}

      This rubberized rope attached to bolt heads set into the walls.  We used "Carriage" bolts for their smooth head. I set "T" nuts into theplywood & ran a "hex" nut onto the carriage bolt. I then slipped on a small washer & ran the bolt in, through the plywood, to the "T" nutuntil it was flush on the inside. Then by holding the head & tightening the hex against the washer I could hold the bolt in place. This made for a smooth headed stud (about 3/8" tall) for the rope to slip over.

      After centering the roof canvas into place & securing with the rope, go inside and lift the two center roof braces into place & pin them to thewood walls. (This may require loosening the adjustable brace.) Place the other braces in & pin them into place. Go out to finish securing thecanvas on.

      The cabin is basically up!
      You'll need to do little things like position the interior (tub & cabinet) & the door.  The door can be set as a two section "Dutch" door if it is warm out, or pinned together as a one piece.

      Pack your stuff in & set your door mat.

      Shrink up the trailer & pedal to town for supplies. Get settled in!

      ... I helped her to build a cabin that she could haul on her bike trailer. When open it was 6' by 6.5' and about 6.5' tall. Folded up it was 3.25' by 6' and less than a foot tall. It was made to fit her trailer and be pulled behind her bicycle.

      ... Her cabin gave her a secure place to sleep, out of the elements. It was well insulated and heated both by solar power and fuel oil.  She could cook on fuel oil or solar power. And had a home built 12volt power system for lights & radio, recharged by the sun, the wind or her bike gen-set.

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