Time for metal to meet wood! When this build is completed I will be towing the camper with a Honda Element, and for all its adventure aesthetic they really aren’t designed for towing. A lot of the build dimensions and decisions are being made to keep the final build under 1500 lbs and 150 lbs tongue weight. With that said, foam and plywood make a surprisingly lightweight and strong wall when laminated together!
Last weekend I picked up a few ¼” sheets of Okoume plywood and ¾” rigid foam insulation and a bunch of glue to tackle to floor. Here’s how it went:
First step was to build a wooden frame outline of the trailer. This adds support and gives me something to fasten the sheets of plywood sandwich together.
Pocket hole jig was a must have here, made putting the frames together quick and easy. When using the jig, make sure to drill the holes cross grain to avoid splitting (see photo to see what NOT to do haha!)
Using titebond III woodglue and 1” screws the Okoume goes onto the frame. Left the plywood bigger than the frame to get a flush fit later when I come back with the router (a genius idea by Tyrone).
Foam goes in next, just add your favorite adhesive. I spent a lot of time wavering here about what was the right type of adhesive to glue wood to foam. The foam I’m using is FOAMULAR by Owens-Corning, an XPS. I went with Locktite PL Premium over the PL 300 stuff specially designed for foam. If you’re following along an end up doing something similar just shoot me an email, I can tell you what worked and why I went this route. Repeated this process on both sides.
All said, the floor came out looking sharp! The floor ended up crowning from the weights ever so slightly, but got lucky and it worked in my favor. For being only 1.25” thick, the floor is incredibly rigid (weighs about 100#). The next walls will go much quick now, one side down 5 more to go!