Building a Trailer Cover

I have a 6'x10' trailer with metal sides that extend 4' high along its
perimeter.
I would like to build a canvas top that would be supported by a metal
hoop skeleton that would support the fitted canvas top.
How would you recommend constructing the metal hoop skeleton so it is
easily removed when not needed?
What should one make the skeleton out of....pipe, conduit, angle?
I would also like it to store in pieces in the trailer along with the
canvas top so it would be available when needed.
Thanks
TMT
Reply to
Too_Many_Tools
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"Too_Many_Tools" wrote: (clip) How would you recommend constructing the metal hoop skeleton so it is easily removed when not needed? (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I suggest making a series of steel bows, which you could slip into holes along the top edges of the trailer sides. You would insert and remove them one at a time, and store them loose (or in a bundle) in the trailer when they are not in use.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
The hoops would be individual pieces that would fit into sockets installed on the trailer sides. You could probably do ok with 3/4" EMT conduit for the small span involved, but given the need for a ring roller and a bender to form them I suspect it's probably cheaper to just buy them pre made from a company with the equipment to mass produce them properly. The canvas top would be where you could save on the DIY I think.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
Or hit the second hand stores and pick up a bunch of umbrella tents for $3 and use the graphite/fiberglass stays.
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
Reply to
Gunner
Short chunks of pipe welded along the sides (vertical) at 12" intervals or so, then bend some rebar for the bows. A small washer, or even another little chunk of rebar welded onto the rebar at the top of the pipes will keep it from slipping too deep into the pipe "pockets". HTH. Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling
What you describe sounds a lot like a covered wagon kit for a flat bed semi trailer. Look at a few of them for a tried and true design.
They typically have 4 foot sides made with plywood that slips into the uprights and cross bows that also slip into the uprights.
You can have the cover made at a canvas shop. They aren't as expensive as you might think.
Do a google search for flatbed side kits.
Reply to
Ron Thompson
I'm building the body of my new tank out of a foam/fiberglass composite. It is very light weight, and reasonably easy to work with, but it ain't cheap.
Reply to
Dave Lyon
OK, you asked for it. :)
I started my project by searching the internet. I found out that airplane builders use an interesting technique to make the body and wings of their planes. They use foam which is easily formed to the complex shapes, then adhere fiberglass cloths over it. The composite is very lightweight, and strong enough to lift a plane off the ground, :) It's also pretty easy to create complex shapes.
I've adapted their techniques to save some costs. First, I'm using polyisocyanurate foam. It is foam insulation that I bought at Home Depot in 1/2" sheets. It comes with a foil attached to it that must be removed so the fiberglass will bond with the foam. It costs about $10.00 for a 4 X 8 sheet. Thicker foam will give more rigid results, as will added curves to your geometry. Be careful what kind of foam you use. Many foams will be eaten by the resin.
Although the plane builders tell me it's not needed, I built a metal frame work for my tank.
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I thought it would be easier if I had something rigid to glue my foam to before I started fiberglassing. My foam isn't as thick as they usually use, so it bends and flexes more. The metal frame helps to hold the foam in place, and gives me added roll over protection.
I used construction adhesive, hot glue, and duct tape to hold the foam in place.
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Once all the foam is in place, I cut the windows, but not the doors.
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I intend to add 3 layers of 10 ounce fabric to the outside, and cheaper mat to the inside. Then I'll do some testing to make sure it's strong enough before getting ready to paint. After the fiberglass is added, I'll cut the doors out and put some hinges on the panels.
Presently, I am putting the fiberglass cloth on one layer at a time. I'm told I can do all three layers at once, but I find it difficult to get it to stay where I want it because of the funny angles on my tank (which is really an m1117 asv
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). Basically, I cut the cloth to size with a standard pair of scissors, then I lay it into place and mix about 8 ounces of resin (I'm using vinyl ester resin). I take a cheap paintbrush, and dab it onto the cloth until it turns clear, then I take a plastic spreader (like what they use to apply bondo) and squeeze out the extra resin. (Repeat) I'm told that extra resin adds weight, but not strength. When I get it all applied, I'm going to add microspheres to my resin. Basically they are very tiny, light weight balls of glass fiber. When you put them into the resin, they create a very light weight, VERY strong body filler. I'll use that to smooth out any overlaps, and bad spots in my body. That stuff is VERY difficult to sand, so depending on how good of a job I do, I may use bondo as a final layer cause it sands much nicer.
Reply to
Dave Lyon
My posts to this topic seem to be removed from my server. Can you guys see them?
(this one makes 3 total)
Reply to
Dave Lyon
"Dave Lyon" wrote: (clip) Be careful what kind of foam you use. Many foams will be eaten by the resin. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ When styrofoam ice chests first came out, I tried fiberglassing mine. Destroyed it.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Polyester resin will dissolve it, epoxy won't.
Anything with naptha, toluene, acetone, or xylene will dissolve polystyrene foam.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
["Followup-To:" header set to rec.crafts.metalworking.]
Reply to
Steve Ackman
I've seen trailers with a 4 to 6 foot piece of large PVC pipe across the tongue. Screw on plugs on the ends. Some folks put awnings, fishing, antenna kinda things in it.
My old pop-up had a square bumper with a hinged cover at each end for the same use.
-- W§ mostly in m.s -
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Reply to
Winston Smith
It took a bit to find it, but the way back machine finally coughed up with the link.
-- W§ mostly in m.s -
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Reply to
Winston Smith

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