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Old 03-07-2012, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My aero (hopefully) fiberglass foam truck camper

With lots of people on ecomodder building aeroshells , boattails,trailers,kammbacks etc. I thought i would try to build a truck camper and maybe incorporate in as much aero as I could since I am building from scratch anyway.

My goal is to maintain or maybe exceed the mileage I am getting with my old camper (14-16) and stay under 1000 lbs dry weight as well as include a small bathroom in the new one. I always wanted to try the fiberglass/foam thing like I have seen here on Ecomodder by 3-wheeler and others and since the camper needs to be lightweight I went for this method.


Any suggestions or comments or questions are welcome but please remember that certain things in the design are fixed like cabover height and the roof height at the very back.

I can still make some changes since the main panels are not glassed together yet.

Things I incorporated to hopefully help aero
Tried not to go past the windshield with the cabover.

Keep cabover to truck roof clearance as close as possible

Built in some taper when I glassed the sides. The front and back are 3 inches narrower then the middle. Not much I know but the windows still have to in and they are flat.

I am planning on a 6" or 7" radius where the sides meet the roof and the front cabover. Should be doable with foam. I am wondering about what radius should I use where the sides meet the rear panel should it be less ?

Going to build a hinged fairing to help with airflow at the truck rear door window area

I am looking for advise on the cabover length .I really would have extended further past the windshield but not sure how much it would affect drag.. I could still change this without too much trouble. Also the roof is really just a straight line as it is now as you can see in the picture . Is anything to be gained by giving it a curve ?

Hope the pictures show up
This is what I hope to end up with

http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-tu...-base-only.jpg

http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-tu...de-profile.jpg

http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-tu...lamps-duct.jpg

http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-tu...e-clamping.jpg

http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-tu...icture-056.jpg

http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-tu...retty-good.jpg

http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-tu...ate-camper.jpg

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Last edited by turbothrush; 03-08-2012 at 06:55 PM.. Reason: add photos
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Like your project!

I don't think the aero template is going to do you much good in that situation.

You can keep the sides and top to rear junctions absolutely square. Then you should put a folding boattail on the back like the semi-trailers have these days. That's what I want to do to my ginormous Lance which is only good for 10 mpg on the ol' '76 Chev.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd also say that if the height at the rear is fixed, that it be the max height throughout thus cutting some frontal area out... but I know it's awful nice to have some height above the cabover.

Radii on those vertical edges right behind the cab would be good too, to the extent they stick out from the cab sides.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Radii on those vertical edges right behind the cab would be good too, to the extent they stick out from the cab sides.

Which could be added later. Maybe as separate pieces for when taking camper on/off, but clean it up (smooth transitions) when installed.

Folding, removable boat-tail makes real sense.

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Old 03-08-2012, 01:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Looks very nice. I anticipate you going below your weight goal.
DO you fly the thrush?
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As you were building from scratch, could you not have considered making it a pop-top to reduce frontal area?

It does look a very nice shape however...

I've always hankered over a small tear-drop shaped trailer/caravan, that we could tow easily and over-night in.

Seeing your method of FG over foam has the wheels turning and thinking maybe I could build my own...

http://www.365campingcaravanning.com...d_trailers.htm
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Radii on those vertical edges right behind the cab would be good too, to the extent they stick out from the cab sides.

Which could be added later. Maybe as separate pieces for when taking camper on/off, but clean it up (smooth transitions) when installed.

Folding, removable boat-tail makes real sense.

.
Thanks slowmover, Maybe I will do something like this out of foam and hinge it to the camper so I can open the rear door.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Big outside and roomy inside.

Bigger than what I would have done, but nice.

Too Complex?
Automobile 2 - Odds and Ends pictures by kach22i - Photobucket
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Kachi, push it on up to the original front height, see what that looks like. Give the guy some headroom in the bunk.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
Looks very nice. I anticipate you going below your weight goal.
DO you fly the thrush?
Thanks, So far the shell looks as though it will come in at less than 0.8
lbs per sq ft. or about 320 lbs or so (just the shell, no paint ,windows, or interior) ....and yes I fly the thrush. Its one of the first turbine models Ayres made. You fly?



Quote:
kingsway As you were building from scratch, could you not have considered making it a pop-top to reduce frontal area?

It does look a very nice shape however...

I've always hankered over a small tear-drop shaped trailer/caravan, that we could tow easily and over-night in.

Seeing your method of FG over foam has the wheels turning and thinking maybe I could build my own...
Thanks...I thought about a popup believe me but since this fiberglass and foam thing is new to me it seemed a little easier to build a hardside. Maybe down the road I would like to try a hardside popup.

I am really pumped about this method of construction .It is incredible the radius you can do. All you need is a tablesaw. Here is ordinary Home depot foam in 2" Click image for larger version

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and 1"
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You can even make compound curves if you kerf it both ways with the tablesaw. If you are kerfing large panels like I was you should make a simple plywood throatplate splitter for the table saw.


Last edited by turbothrush; 03-08-2012 at 01:13 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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