Building frame onto 7.5t flatbed using.........timber

acecard

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Hi all,

This section seems to be the most suitable for my question. Just joined and posted in the intro section my plans.....basically I'm buying a 7.5t truck to convert!

Was initially thinking to purchase a 24ft box truck (removal van style), and just build around this. However, I've really come to love the look of those American style tiny houses that they build on trailers. This is now my revised dream, and I think the best thing for me to do would be to start from the bottom up, rather than working around an existing frame. I'm therefore now thinking to start with a flatbed truck as a base, and build everything out of timber.

Is this a viable option??

Thanks
AC
 

BigStevie

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Location
Highlands
Yes, alloy framing. Somewhere on this site you’ll find a thread about a build from the ground up draw bar trailer. If memory serves me right, the guy that built it has passed away now.
Anyway, you need to find the suppliers of materials to the commercial vehicle body builders. Extruded alloy, insulated panels etc etc. I’d be reluctant to build from wood alone, just not safe enough in the 21st century!

Great project! Good luck, Stevie
 

acecard

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Thanks very much!

Could you please explain what you mean by it not being safe enough? I'm guessing you mean with regards to people travelling in it? I don't plan on anyone being in the habitation area at all, my plan is to modify the lorry cab to have an extra seat in there, so should be safe.

So apart from the safety element, would there be any other reasons to not build it all with wood? Just I'm very competent with wood, and not so with metal!!!

Thanks!
AC
 

BigStevie

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Location
Highlands
Okay, I get that you’ve got the skills using wood. So, a wood frame, skinned in wood too? I guess I’m just thinking about durability. do You have a design in mind, be interesting to know what you’re planning (nosey buggers here!).

Good luck with your planning!

Stevie
 

acecard

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Yes, would skin it with OSB so should have a similar strength to SIPS panels. Am I mad?! I don't want to get half way through the build and realise that it's just not going to work, although I can't think why it wouldn't; all the American houses on trailers are made of timber, as well as their 5th wheels.

Been labouring over some plans for a few weeks now and nearly have one that we are happy with......will post ASAP. Any more info on the wood idea would be great!

Thanks!
 

tacr2man

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Oakley Horseboxes were built of timber , and the bodies have outlasted quite a few of the rusty cabs, so yes it is eminently doable . Basically you would build to marine standard . Ie hardwoods rather than light pine . 74c08727cc198f65bb7915dee708472e--horse-trailers-oakley.jpg31570782403_57356156b7_b.jpg
 

acecard

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Thanks! Those look amazing! Hope mine will still be standing when that old! My only concern with building with wood is that I fear there will be a fair amount of lateral loading when the truck turns, and a fair amount of interial loading when the vehicle accelerates/ brakes. I fear that over time, this loading will be detrimental to the frame, particularly the floor fixings. So, I plan to essentially construct my wood structure, strap around it with some decent flat steel welded on, and then clad over the whole thing. This seems like a sensible approach to me, although I could be very wrong!! I've attached a picture of my plan for this......detailed floor plans to follow!!........
 

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tacr2man

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Unless you are intending to go "off road" to any degree then torsional loads should not be that much of a factor , it will be a box so generate its own rigidity , especially if using diagonal bracing in the planes of the sides and ends . Where commercial vehicle bodies get problems is the need to have large access holes (Doors) in the rear or sides .
 

acecard

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Interesting! Ok, well that would certainly make life easier! Although, I do plan to have a sliding french door in the sides, although this is nothing compared to what commercial vehicles have!
 

Roadrunner

Active Member
Joined
May 29, 2016
Location
Glengormley
Much lighter to work with alloy on a stainless frame or GRP, wood is very heavy which in turn will cost you in fuel and wear and tear on rolling sus and drive parts.
 

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acecard

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Much lighter to work with alloy on a stainless frame or GRP, wood is very heavy which in turn will cost you in fuel and wear and tear on rolling sus and drive parts.
Point taken Roadrunner, I really want (need) to keep weight down as much as possible. I have been thinking a lot over the last few days about ditching the wood idea and constructing out of metal framing......can't currently weld, but now is as good a time as ever to learn! After all, I taught myself to plaster!! Haha! I will start a new thread with a different title to attract the relevant responses.

Cheers
AC
 

Roadrunner

Active Member
Joined
May 29, 2016
Location
Glengormley
Get someone to make the box stringers from stainless steel then its a simple mater of sealer and rivets fixing alloy panels,remember alloy and normal steel cannot be put together as corrosive migration will eat the alloy away,look up dissimler metals on the galvanic charts ,thats why boats have anodes on outboard engine legs,good luck with build.
 
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