Sam's Teardrop - WallsBack to Sam's Teardrop Page

The walls of the tear I purchased were made out of expensive 4 x 10 x 3/4" exterior plywood. Unfortunately, the builder cut the wacky profile I've spoken of earlier, mounted the lone window too far back, and cut out for the huge door. I had still hoped to use this wood for the walls though I would have had to make them only 46.5 inches tall to do this. When I attempted to lay out a pattern on the wood I found that the curve for the galley was way too shallow for the profile I was aiming for. I would have not only had to patch the door and window holes but add wood all along the galley curve for a tear that I could live with. In the end I decided to bite the bullet and just build new walls from scratch. Wall build was started on 9/3/2005

I turned the existing walls into an expensive work bench by screwing them together and to a pair of old saw horses. I'm so wishing the builder had cut the walls too big instead of too small. Teardrop - The old walls are now a work bench
The profile I've chosen is somewhere between the Kuffel Creek Comet and the Trailer for Two(TFT) (here is the TFT profile compliments of angib). I had to strengthen the galley curve a bit to fit the profile onto my chassis which the builder made only 108 inches long (instead of 115 inches called for in both sets of plans). My tear will not be a true 5x10, it will be 56.5 inches wide by 113 inches long. I've laid out the profile on some cardboard that I'll cut out and use as a template for the first wall. Teardrop - Making a cardboard wall pattern
I went with 1/2 inch plywood instead of 3/4, partly due to cost, partly to give me a bit more clearance so the wheels have less chance of rubbing against the walls. I couldn't find any 10 foot plywood locally so had to join pieces to get a large enough blank. Here you see the pieces ready to be slotted. The three blade cutter made a nice slot in each piece which I filled with a spline cut from red oak. Teardrop - Cutting the slot for the spline.
Lots of Gorilla Glue (actually Elmer's brand) and some light clamping will hopefully make for a strong joint. I'm glad I hadn't cut my two remaining 10 foot pipes so I could clamp across the entire length. I need to get this joint pretty even as I'm likely only going to paint the tear, not cover it with aluminum. The side blanks were glued on Labor Day weekend but I didn't cut them until after I finished the floor nearly two weeks later. (9/4/2005) Teardrop - Gluing the side blanks
I bought a cheap variable speed jigsaw (sabre saw) from Harbor Freight and used a metal cutting blade to rough cut the sides. I had the saw set at nearly its slowest speed and pushed very, very lightly so the blade made a square cut. Both side are now rough cut and clamped together waiting for an edge sanding. The profile looks horrible here but it's just due to the angle I photographed it from--I assure you, no wacky profiles here.(9/18/2005) Teardrop - Wall profile is rough cut
After a few false starts I correctly laid out the door openings.(10/16/2005) Teardrop - laying out the doors
The doors are cut; lots of sanding of the openings in my future.(10/16/2005) Teardrop - cutting out the doors
Oops, I did it again. Purchased this 1972 Chevallero Sportscoach motorhome in November to assure I would never finish the teardrop walls. Here is the Chevallero page.(11/19/2005) Chevallero Sportscoach Motorhome
Finally got back to the teardrop during the Christmas break. The doors were framed out using standard one-by pine and completed on my kitchen table. The edge where the hinge will go was framed with poplar to give it a bit more strength.(12/29/2005) Teardrop - cutting out the doors
Much of spring was spent getting the Chevallero motorhome in shape for camping. Since the coach is so old I didn't think it would pull a car for my dinghy vehicle, I bought this scooter. A 1981 Honda C70 Passport, I spent much time getting it up and running so I'd have something to run to town on when camped at an RV park. Here is the C70 page. (04/01/2006) Honda C70 Passport Scooter
After the first successful campout in the motorhome, where I got all of 7.56 miles/gallon I decided it was probably time to get back to work on the teardrop walls and I did so on the 4th of July break. Here I'm cutting a 3/8" notch where the galley hatch will go--leaves room to add foam weatherstripping to make the hatch watertight. Teardrop - cutting the galley hatch notch
I laid out the bulkhead and closet areas, as well as the location of each roof spar on both inner walls. The layout was hampered by the fellow who originally built the teardrop making it too small. I had to make concessions in both the front closet size and the depth of the galley since my chassis is too short to make a true 5x10. The light area in front of the bulkhead is where I sanded out the air conditioner door. Originally planning to have a fold-down door that a window air unit would slide out I realized that I wouldn't ever be able to open the floor storage door in the corner of the living compartment. I'll likely go with A/C mounted in a tongue box instead. Teardrop - bulkhead wall layout
I made sure to mark each spar location on both walls while they were clamped together. I did my best to see where the interior roof sheathing pieces would end (4x8x.125 plywood) and place double spars in those location and these ones where the roof vent/fan will go. (07/04/2006) Teardrop - spar locations are marked on both walls at once
Here is the curbside wall completely framed with one-by lumber. The framing on the front side of the door is poplar, the rest is pine. Not much room for insulation but I will fill the available gaps with 3/4" foam before skinning the inside. Teardrop - curbside wall is framed
I uncovered the floor today and set the framed wall temporarily in place. I have two pairs of potential fenders and need to see if I'll need to add backing to screw the ones I choose to the walls or simply to the chassis. (07/21/2006) Teardrop - curbside wall temporarily in place
Someone gave me these trailer fenders for free. They were welded to some angle steel and used on a VW bug turned pickup I'm told. Lots of grinding to get the fenders free and loosen the poorly done extensions. Teardrop - fenders as received
I was able to weld the extensions back on and trim them to shape. Teardrop - fender with extension re-welded
It took one heck of a lot of bondo to get the fenders smooth. (7/23/2006) Teardrop - smoothing the fenders with bondo
Here is one of the fenders finished and temporarily screwed to the wall to see where I'll need backing and T-nuts. It took forever to finish these buggers. I'd love to get some bigger reproduction fiberglass fenders but my budget won't presently allow it. (9/11/2006) Teardrop - fender in place to see where backing holes/t-nuts need to go
It took a long time to get back to the teardrop--working on a motorcycle trailer for a while. I finally added the blocking and t-nuts to the curbside wall to mount the fender. (12/24/2006) Teardrop - blocking/t-nuts for fender
A new year's resolution to make progress on the teardrop (and the robot), along with some gentle prodding from a website reader (thanks Susan!) got me going on the street-side wall of the tear. It only took a few days to add all the framing to this side, including the blocking for its fender. Time to start insulating! (2/4/2007) Teardrop - street side wall is framed
I bought what I though was 3/4" insulation but found that it was much closer to 1". Was able to belt sand the foam down flush. Teardrop - started insulating with too thick foam
The street side is now fully framed and insulated. Teardrop - street side wall fully insulated
I was also able to finish insulating the curb side wall. A major milestone! I plan to make some brown paper rubbings of the framed/insulated sections before cutting and installing the 1/8" interior sheathing. Should help me avoid hitting the hundreds of screw heads with the brads I'll use on the skin. (2/11/2007) Teardrop - curb side wall fully insulated
Here is one of the brown paper templates (though not a rubbing) that I made in November, 2008 (11/29/2008) Teardrop - sheathing cutting template

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