The trailer frame has been put together, the storage compartments attached, and the floor installed. I used screws to adhere the floor and caulked the outside edges. I also sealed the compartments to the floor. At this point, I think I have a sealed floor from anything below. The sides were easy, all that was necessary was to properly cut out my doors and windows. You can use any design as long as the “curve” is easy enough to shape the metal over. I placed a 1/2 sheet of plywood on my table saw. I traced out the windows and doors and made a pattern. I then used the completed side to make the other one. Take your time, cut slowly using a circular saw or jigsaw. Here is a picture of the sides.
To install the sides, I made a right angle jig seen at the rear, consisting of an extra piece of plywood and a couple of frames. Once you have the sides level with the floor, you can check your level across the top. It is important that you get this right. When placing the metal on in one of the final exterior steps, it must be level across the top. You might could use a piece of luan to assure your efforts are correct. Here is also a point where I made a mistake. I thought that the sides would have more strength and would not allow moisture in if I put the sides-on the side of the trailer’s wooden frame. Base on this I was able to screw directly into the frame while maintaining my level. If you do it this way, you will end up with trailer sides of slightly over 5 feet. Unbeknown to me, the metal for your sides comes in 5 foot widths necessitating a wide piece of handmade molding. I will show this later.
Now you have the sides installed, possibly by installing the ‘framing” material (1 x 1s) on the open areas, top and bottoms. Here is a picture of the framing.
I was concerned that the frame would “wobble,” that is, not be very sturdy. The framing material is necessary for a number of reasons. One, you need it to install the doors and window frames. Two, it allows for insulation to be cut and installed in open areas. Three, it allows for your wiring to be installed. As you can see here, the side has some wires in it starting from the front going to the back where I have my power supply console. The wire I used was 14 gauge. We can discuss the wiring later, but now install the framing for your storage in the rear.
In the picture above you can see the cut outs for the floor access panels, the framing on the sides, and a beginning shelf for rear storage. I used pre cut boards for my framing, clearly more expensive but I thought the cost was worth it. The boards had no knots, smooth on all sides and required no prep. I glued the boards using gorilla glue and screwed them to the sides. The rear panel has been attached to the pieces of framing that attach to both of the trailer sides. Before installing anything that needed staining, I stained and sealed the wood with spray lacquer. So far, I have spent a couple of weekends working on the project.
You can see in the picture above the side of the trailer. I took a piece of luan and stained it before I cut it to fit. Later I will cut out the doors and windows. Be careful about your wiring and make sure you have all you think you will need in walls. Before installing the luan, cut insulation panels to fit in between all your spars. It isn’t hard, but do a good job, it will keep your trailer warmer in colder climates.
I decided that I would build the “kitchen” with multiple compartments. Simple framing for the shelves and big enough for the items i was going to install. You can see the floor is offset as is the frame. This is for the door to close inside the trailer when it is installed. Remember to stain now before you enclose everything. Much easier. Since this is literally a build as you go project, I needed to be sure I could put the water tank hoses in the lower compartment. Where you put the back wall will be determined by how big your bed is on the inside. I opted for 78 inches on the inside. You may want to go 80 inches for more comfort. It did leave me plenty of space in the kitchen area.
At this point you are getting either frustrated or excited because you can see your project coming together. Next up: Top and more framing
Watch your six