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Old 08-27-2014, 08:51 PM
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Post Homebrew RTT Build Completed

Hi All, for those of you that don't read ExPo I'll cross post my RTT build here. Hope thats ok.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:51 PM
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About a year back I purchased a howling moon 1.2 RTT. Good tent but really missed having a Cargo box on the roof. It was very useful for storing odd items like a shovel, chairs, fire pan, tarps, and anything else I didn't want to have to put inside the cruiser. I had kicked around building a tent for a while but never had the time. Now in prep for a trip to South America I made the decision to make a tent. I wanted to fold it long ways(hotdog) instead of short ways(hamburger).

Materials:
  • 1/2 Marine A/B plywood from a local lumber yard. If you really want to do this better/stronger/lighter, use a Structural Insulated Panel (SIP). They come in aluminum on both sides with polystyrene (Styrofoam) inside. Not too expensive until you factor in shipping. This was gonna cost me a total of about 350 for the SIP plus shipping. I opted for the piece of Plywood for about 60 bucks.
  • 1x1x.125 Angle aluminum from Online metals. This trims the base.
  • 1x1 and .75x75 aluminum for the poles.
  • Awning Track and welting for securing to the base.
  • Vinyl for the cover. ( I really didn't want to use vinyl due to its toxicity but sheets of Hypalon are crazy expensive.
  • Weathermax80 for the tent body.
  • SeamGrip for sealing seams.
  • 80/20 metric 25 series extruded aluminum for mounting and base reinforcement. Also a bunch of the M6 economy inserts.
  • 3/4" cross linked polyethelyne for the pad inside.
  • 1/16" HDPE plastic for the outside base.
  • A random few pieces of angle steel. Used to attach a server cabinet to the pallet for shipping. Appear to be low carbon steel so should hold up to the elements.
  • Silicone sealant for around the base.
  • Shellac for sealing the plywood.
  • A crapton of various m5 and m6 fasteners, as well as some larger bolts for the hinges and carriage bolts to attach the extruded aluminum.
  • Various zippers and mesh for the doors.
  • A whole lot of my time and a friends time to do the construction and sewing.

Cost
  • I stopped tracking this as I went over budget but expect the whole thing to come in around 1200. Fasteners took me way over as I bought twice multiple times and went to ACE for a bunch. If you plan ahead and order from mcmaster it would be much cheaper.


First Iteration of Old Tent:

This was how I tried my Howling Moon + Roof Box. Way too wide and a pain in the but to collapse and pack up the tent



Second Iteration with a Alum. Box. Also too hard to get into the box. Plus not as large as the Thule Box.

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'97 lx450, 170k, factory lockers, ome 850/863, 285's, 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 )
'74 project pig (sold)
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:52 PM
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Start with a basic design, with inspiration from a few tents out there:





So the construction continues.

Start with a piece of plywood and a bunch of aluminum:



Cut the plywood in half as well as the plastic 4x8 sheet in half with a table saw. Then use a 1/8 round-over bit on the edge so the curved inside of the Angle Aluminum will snug up.




Line around the edges with angle aluminum.



Fab some brackets roughly the right size.



Make the other poles and drill into brackets for these:



Decide you need extra brackets on the outside for stiffness:

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-Corey
'97 lx450, 170k, factory lockers, ome 850/863, 285's, 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 )
'74 project pig (sold)

Last edited by coax; 08-27-2014 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:52 PM
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Mockup the poles and height:





Make sure it collapses down OK:


Order up some material:


Start working on material once pole height was determined. Spend a **** ton of time working tent



Once tent body was finished, tear down and sand/seal the plywood, and silicone the aluminum around the edges:



Take over garage to do the sealing:



File and sand rough edges on hinges:



Attach welting to tent and track to frame:



Mock up final pole height after telescoping:

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'97 lx450, 170k, factory lockers, ome 850/863, 285's, 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 )
'74 project pig (sold)
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:52 PM
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Sew up a cover for it. Attach cover with one side of welting and the rest of webbing and grommets. In retrospect the webbing grommets do not work well so will be going to some sort of zipper:





Add some roof rack attachments:


Add spring poles from ARB to stretch out awning over door as well as guy points for windy conditions to the flat sides:



Test fit on car:





Add a ladder and the foam (also no pics). Thanks for the ladder Martin! Works great.

Drive car to LA to ship to South America and camp in Utah along the way.

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'97 lx450, 170k, factory lockers, ome 850/863, 285's, 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 )
'74 project pig (sold)
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:53 PM
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So, overall fairly happy with the tent. A few thoughts:
  • It was a ton of work to do, and came out overall pretty well.
  • I'm not too happy with the pole system. I looked for a while to find better poles but ended up just using square tube instead of round, as I didn't have a way to either bend or weld the round stuff.
  • Its a bit heavy (maybe 110 lbs?) so heavier than production tents but not horrible.
  • The inside dimensions of 7.5 x 4ft are snug but not too cramped.
  • The color of the fabric allows in more light than the dark howling moon.
  • The cover flips open to the side backwards of most tents. This is good for setup/takedown but under heavy rain may accumulate water in the cover while tent is deployed.

So, for a first shot at building the tent it came out pretty well. It will get a ton of use here shortly so I'll see how it holds up!

Corey
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'97 lx450, 170k, factory lockers, ome 850/863, 285's, 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 )
'74 project pig (sold)
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:31 PM
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Well done. What sewing machine do you have? Maybe it's a long arm...
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:58 PM
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I have no sewing machine. To modify a great saying:

"The only thing better than having a sewing machine is having a friend and a mom with a sewing machine"

My mom has this one:


My friend has this one:
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'97 lx450, 170k, factory lockers, ome 850/863, 285's, 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 )
'74 project pig (sold)
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:14 PM
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Freaking awesome! Love to see that kind of work because that's me right there! You have something in your head then go and make it real.
Great work.
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Last edited by Get Outside; 08-27-2014 at 11:15 PM. Reason: mispel
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coax View Post
I have no sewing machine. To modify a great saying:

"The only thing better than having a sewing machine is having a friend and a mom with a sewing machine"
Ah, so you had Stacey's mom sew it up. We have an incredible Pfaff 1471 Creative that I inherited from my grandma. Was using an old Singer that chewed up more fabric for me than it ever stitched, but Kirsten was able to run it and actually sewed her wedding dress on it. In any case neither is sufficient to sew heavy nylon like this. The Pfaff will do demin alright but something like this would be too much. I was hoping you tripped across an old industrial long arm I could mooch.
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