Monday, June 6, 2016

Building Our Dirtbag Mobile Part 2- Plywood

Check here for the steps before this post.
While out with a truck, Eli picked up the plywood needed for our platform. We made sure to get a finished hardwood ply-board to reduce splinters and catching on our sleeping bags, etc, during our trip. The little things count. We also wanted hardwood so we could have something sturdy but still slim. We ended up with Top Choice Birch Plywood (.47 inches x 4ftx8ft). This will give us enough to build the bed platform with the "extender flaps" as well as the extended table in the back (although we have another piece we had laying around we will be using for our table).

We got right to assembling once we had the plywood at home.

First we joined the support beams. Top beam to the two side beams first with wood screws and brackets for extra support. We measured where we wanted the second beam thinking if we needed to move it, in the event the plywood wouldn't hold our weight, we could take out the screws and move it to where we needed the support most. We joined the second cross beam and tested it. The plywood bowed a little once we sat on it so we decided to add more support at the corners to allow the room needed for our hide-a-table. When the car seats are laying flat, there is a hard metal piece in the middle of the cabin followed by a very soft part. We opted to have the support across the hard part. The added support in the corners bypass the need to figure out where the next hard spot is.

We also decided to add additional support between the two cubbies where the hinges will sit. We have the lumber and you can never have too much support.

Once the frame was built, we traced it on the plywood and cut the extras off. Next steps will be cutting and placing all bells and whistles.

Supplies this trip:
Birch Plywood .47inch x 4ft x 8ft $34.27
Total with tax: $37.01

Running Project Total: $88.44

Building Our Dirtbag Mobile Part 1

How we decided on this trip (past post).

We have plenty of time to create our Dirtbag Mobile but we are so excited, we couldn't wait to get started. We've searched online for Instructables or blogs from Dirtbags before; took a little of this and a little of that and created our plan. Our two favorites were JMYilla and Jeffers. We decided we wanted a little more headroom so we made our support a little shorter (8 inches rather than the traditional 12 inches).

Sketched out plans, just like Poppie taught me.
The best part of our plan, and the most important part is the Honda Fit. When we bought this car in 2007, it was the first year these amazing wheels were available in the US, and man, have we gotten use out of it. We used to joke about how everything fits in the Fit. We took it camping early on and filled the car with five adults and all their camping gear-it fits! I think we all took pictures with the hatchback opened, filled with gear. We've transported lumber for house projects, boxes from Ikea, puppies, plants, trees, whatever fits! It generally stays in sport mode for Eli to put his work stuff in and take out on the ready. With the back seats in sport mode, we can build the platform up to the front seats while in driving condition and have a hinged "flap" to extend while we are parked and can move the front seats forward.

We plan to have two cubbies at the back doors for personal storage- clothing, food, anything that needs to be kept out of sight. We have about 7 inches deep to work with (turns out '2 by 8's' aren't actually a full 8 inches deep). The doors will be hinged and have a handle to open and close.

Second storage will be for our tent and cooking supplies in the section of the trunk. Again, a hinged door will allow us to open and close as needed but will remain closed while on the move. This door will also hold a little added bonus: an extending table as seen in Jerrers Abode on The Road. Brilliant!

Our first trip to Lowe's, we got enough to get us started. Support beams, brackets, wood screws and drawer sliders. We can fit a lot in Fitty, but the plywood would have to wait or get cut. We just wanted to get started so we opted to wait for the plywood.

We measured twice, cut once and double checked everything would fit. IT FITS!
Dry fit was a success!

Supplies and cost:
2x8x8 (3) $5.71 each- $17.13
4 count 2.5 corner brackets (3) $2.98 each- $894
8x2.5 wood screws (50 count)- $5.58
18 inch drawer sliders (2 pack)- $15.97
Total with Tax: $51.43

Side beams: 56 inches
Cross beams: 37 inches

Building continued here.