Posted on 23 April 2017
I got my first material delivery this week - 8 x 5m lengths of 25mm box section tubing and some connectors. Keen to get going, I started on creating the camper frame. Here are my experiences so far.
Following the drawing I made in my last post, it was quickly apparent that the connectors create weak points in the frame. The frame will be fine for downward loads such as seating, worktop etc., but torsional stiffness will be provided entirely by the external-facing walls, floor and corners.
To keep the frame square and managable I made a base from 6 x 8ft lengths of 4x2in planks of wood. I cut the wood to exactly 1800mm x 1800mm and laid them down: three on the bottom and three on top. After ensuring it was all square, screwed it all together.
Now I have a solid base on which I can build. This rather floppy frame would be difficult to manage without it especially when the heavier items are fitted. It's also works like a wooden palette and should make moving it around a lot easier in the weeks to come!
I'll put some angle on each corner to lock it into position.
Another thing I'm considering is putting some screws on the inside of the frame to "lock" the connectors into the tube. While I doubt it'll make the frame any stiffer, if I need to lift a side or corner there will be no danger of pulling a tube from its connector.
Next: continue the frame.