The travel trailer virgins survived their first journey – 86 miles – and the first problems – no wifi, no highspeed wifi via the mobile hotspot, TV exploded, water failed (to the trailer, not IN the trailer). It was still fun and we also saw a brilliant side-by-side level system.
According to Amazon (the source of all things), you can get such systems for about $ 40 to $ 50. The one we saw seemed to be made of 2X10 lumber and Dave thought that would probably be a lot cheaper. Turned out to be less than $ 15. Here is how.
Preface – The system we saw included two layers of 2X10s. Since the actual thickness of a nominal 2X is actually 1½ inches (Dave is old enough to remember when that was more than 1 ½ inch), you obviously do not get a full two centimeter lift. If you put your tires on the first level, you have 1½ inch lift. Go to the second level and you are at 3 inches. Because we are clearly not campers, but users of our portable motel room, if it is more than 3 centimeters, we are probably going to find another place.
The necessary tools were a saw and a sanding machine. Well, a drill also to drive a few screws. Dave has a crosscut saw and used that although a standard circular saw (aka skilsaw) would work or, if you have a good arm, an ordinary old handsaw would work. The belt sander was used to make the chamfers, but an angle setting on a circular saw would probably work too. So let's do it:
- Go to your local timber trade and buy two 8 & # 39; 2X10s. You have something left, so you can stack and glue them for a tongue-jack base if you feel like it (Dave did it). If you do, you change the grain patterns and glue and screw them together. Dave has simply used a scrap to measure over, so that the stack is actually a laminated cube.
- Measure. There are two crucial measurements – to be centered on the axles and the distance between the tires on the ground. On our Keystone Outback 26 footer, those measurements were 33 "from center to center for the axles and 20 inches between the wheels on the ground.
- Cut a piece of one 2X10 to the length between the wheels. For us that was 20 centimeters.
- Tilt BOTH ends of that piece with whatever method you choose.
- Now cut a new piece on the same length.
- This has only one end bevelled.
- Mark the middle of your two small pieces.
- Make a mark on the long board that matches the character on the short board.
- From the mark on the long plank, measure the distance between the axles.
- Align the middle mark from the short board with the two chamfers (see 8 above).
- Relax, you're almost done.
- Mark the long board, starting at the end of the chamfered piece on top of the distance between the bands.
- Cut off the long plate.
- Slant the end.
- Explain everything.
- Glue it together with a few screws as clamps (or just clamp if you have them)
- Pat yourself on the back. You just defeated the system.
The big question is, of course, DOES IT WORK?!?!
First, put it in a row.
1 ½ inch lift –
3 inch lift –
So YES, it worked EXACTLY as it was supposed and is now in our basement.
Add a platform for the camper
There was still a bit of construction needed.
The arthritis of the bride makes the stairs in any case a dubious proposal. That first step on the trailer stage was a bit of a problem. So a platform was in order. This was a much simpler project. The materials are two 8 pieces of that artificial surface that is supposed to last forever. They caught them at Lowe for about $ 8 each. Also two 8 & # 39; ordinary 2X4s.
Dave cut the 8 pieces into two pieces of 48 ", which means that there were now 4 48" pieces of the deck, one of the 2X4s was also cut into two pieces of 48 "The nominal 6" decking was cut laid out and then the two 2X4s. The measurement to make the frame fit exactly on the deck turned out to be 20 5/8 "for the cross beams, but that may vary depending on the materials you want to use.
The frame was screwed together like a simple ladder. The deck was screwed to the frame. And voila, a beautiful platform that is sufficiently sturdy for every use and heavy enough that it can not move without significant human intervention. Here's what it looks like –
The ladder frame is probably exaggerated, but I do not like to flex on things I walk on –
The terrace material is thick (and heavy) –
It makes a good platform –
And does not even bend with the 200 pounds of Dave –
Okay, that's it for now.
We are leaving for the Missouri Ozarks next week. That will be our last shakedown to ensure that Dave (who is up to now) is okay on winding roads. We will also see if that new TV (replaced under warranty) works and how well everything works with the new data program on the mobile phones. Next is the next stop Chattanooga.
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