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Old 04-22-2016, 11:43 PM
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mogollonmonster mogollonmonster is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Overgaard AZ
Posts: 460
Default The Kaveman Camper

Here's the link, originally posted by Allen_Wrench.

I've decided to build one of these coro-campers, diverging from Mr. Elkin's design to a certain extent. I plan a 7'6"-8' length and possibly 38-40 inches wide, depending on the height available from an eight foot sheet arched. I am ignorant of the geometry to replicate Elkin's "Airstream" nose(if someone could explain that, so I can figure those cuts, I'd be very thankful!) Thus, it will be flat ends for me. Also, I plan to use either 2 or 4 neverflat, 16" wheelbarrow wheels, on thick walled pipe axles, close coupled, at the rear. The front axle can be shimmed to ensure full contact while towing, if need be.

The coroplast body of the camper, will be built as a unit. By folding the extra edges of a floor into a pan, the walls, arch and floor can be proven weather tight, and modified as needed, before being mounted to the vehicle frame itself.

For the frame I've narrowed it to two choices.
First, I can call around and have a frame built from 1" square tubeing (steel), to match my camper body, with a piece of 1/4" marine grade plywood, to support my sleeping weight. I'd do the welding myself, but my Miller Thunderbolt was recently stolen. So... I have to shop around to price this, and do the "weight math" as well.
Second option, I use 3/8 marine grade plywood, and a 2x2 Douglas fir or oak frame, with a thin steel strap for skid protection and added strength.

I believe either one could offer the strength and rigidity I want, but I'm certain the steel subframe would be both lighter and stiffer.

I intend to use a pair (at least) of "wine bottle" dynamos to charge a pair of 12 amp hour 6v batteries (5lbs and $15 each). On longer trips, the batteries will (in theory) charge, then be hooked in series to supply 12v, allowing for my phone to be charged, some minimal interior lighting, and marker lights if and when I'm traveling at night or in low light conditions. Again, that's theory, I know how finicky those wine bottles can be, and I'm not sure spinning one with a 16 inch tire will produce enough juice. Considering the much higher speeds a motorbike runs, I think it could work. Perhaps a 12v DC motor could be repurposed for use as a dynamo?
A bulkhead six to eight inches inside the door will add strength and house the batteries, as well as provide storage compartments.

This project is a few weeks off yet, as I have a few goals set that will eat all available funds for awhile. This is my formal sounding board, to check my theories on more experienced folk, I will update it as the build begins and progresses. I have lots of cosmetic/convenience ideas, but I want to hear yours, as well as construction advice of course. I'm most concerned about a generator system, a dynamo system would be pretty cool, but anything prefabed other than the wine bottle type, is out of my price range. All the farther I trust myself to build one, would be to wire a DC motor to a battery, put a roller on it, mount it up and pray! Not entirely sure how to do that even. Maybe an old alternator?

Any ideas would help, can't use the search feature on this forum because my phone is hateful, so feedback please!

Update: looking into the tire/wheel combo weighs in at ten pounds a pop! Any suggestions for a lighter flat free wheel?

Last edited by mogollonmonster; 04-24-2016 at 08:46 PM.
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