Introduction: Kiddie Camper
Step 1: Kiddie Camper
My wife and kids were asking me to build them a playhouse. We live in a rental house and I did not want to make something I would have to later leave behind...so I came up with this instead.
We have a large yard and my kids love their PowerWheels jeeps. They are good little vehicles but have little to no storage capability. I first set out to make a little pull behind trailer. I quickly threw one together out of a plastic storage box, a crutch, some harbor freight wheels and a simple all thread axel. Before to long the kids were loving their little trailer. I decided to up to ante.
This my first instructable so please forgive me if we use more generalized steps.
Step 2: Materials
Decide what shape. I decided on a classic teardrop. Selecting size and shape. I am cheap and wanted to get as much out of my materials as possible.
1-sheet of plywood (floor and sides)
1 sheet if 4x8 hardy board (roof)
4ft of 1x1 steel tubing (trailer tongue)
Scrapes of steel
2 fixed castor 10" pneumatic tires
2 pieces of acrylic (windows)
PVC trim outside corner 16f?
Step 3: Layout
I wanted to maximize the material used on the the sides so I used a piece of PVC molding to layout the pattern. I arched the PVC across the plywood ensuring to pass through the center of the sheet. Clamp along the way and trace out the pattern.
I did a quick rough cut to get the approximate shape cutting diagonally through the sheet. I then stacked what will become the two side . I cut out the pattern with a jig saw.
Step 4: Floor
I went with a simple 4'x5' floor. I used 2x4 cut to length. Assembled into a simple box with a stretcher running length wise and the screwed the plywood base to it.
Step 5: Beginning Assembly
I attached the side temporarily to the base with screws. This allowed the side to be held up and parallel to each other. I then began working around the curved side screwing in 2x2x48" pieces about every 10" or so (more in the tighter curved areas.
Step 6: Roof
The curve created is longer than 8ft. I attached a piece of plywood scrap from the floor to the vertical part of the front. This will provide extra rigidity. The camper is starting to stiffen up a little.
Now move on to the roof. Lay the hardy board on the top shinty side up. It is flexible enough to follow the curve. Starting at the front, work slowly screwing in the roof to all your cross members ensuring that you keep everything square as you move front to back. I used metal self tapping screws here to proved a large head on the screw.
Step 7: Prep Floor
Unscrew the sides and the floor should slip out. I did this in case I ever wanted to make a different trailer. This will make it easier to attach the wheels. I estimated that the wheel should be located just behind the middle of the trailer. Drill and bolt on the wheel through the floor. You might want to fill the holes (bugs/water) with silicone or caulking. Sorry no good pics here. No plan to start with...I had to move the wheel forward a little from the final pics to provide better balance on the loaded trailer.
Now is a good time to bolt on the trailer tongue. I had the high school vo-Ag kids weld some tabs on my 1" square stock and drill some holes for mounting. Find the center and bolt on. I put about 18" under the trailer and 2" sticking out in front of the camper.
Reattach the floor.
Step 8: Doors and Windows
Always good to have help along the way...
Figure out how you want to get in. I chose a simple door with a window. I placed some 2x2 scraps inside to create a stop and cut out the door attached trim and hinges. I glued the window into the frame ( probably not the best idea eventually fell out). I had to replace the window.
Step 9: Final Steps...
This step is critical. I used PVC plastic outside corner trim to wrap the edges of the camper. A lot of relief cuts were required to get the trim to follow the curve all the way around. Screwed and secured.
I then went a applied silicone to all joints and screw holes. Do not skimp here.
Next apply a good primer and several coats of paint. Remember hardy board is basically card board. It is good and strong, but need to be sealed! Pick a creative paint scheme. Classic stripes...polka dots...hand prints...turn the kids loose!
Step 10: Decorate
Inside the kids added a little kitchen. Blankets, chairs, etc.
I also mounted a battery operated light.
Future plans may include exterior lights, working radio, tail lights, and porch light.
I will also be adding a small storage box.
Sky's the limit!