A detailed look at construction: #2

I recently came across these photos 1 & 2 of the construction of a camper. You can see how the frames are constructed and wouldn’t you know it? They use Qubelok!

That means no welded frames, all plastic connector joins and the outside aluminium sheet/skin holds it all firmly together.

They’ve also managed to have the fibreglass lid (likely around 20~kg) attach to the frame with a piano hinge (aka continuous hinge) with seemingly no ill consequences (they’ve sold a lot of these units over the years).

Here are some of the construction features I’ve been able to determine from photos and other sources:

  • The Foldover Lid/Bed is a made from foam-cored fibreglass (Check out ATL Composites for some examples of foam core sandwich panels)
  • The upper tent is made from Billabong Dynaproofed 10.9oz canvas – (Wax Converters Textiles)
  • EPDM Rubber Sponge dust/weather seal is used for where the edges of the fibreglass lid and body of the camper meet when closed up.
  • The entire internal frame is made with Qubelok and if you look closely at the photos linked above, you’ll see the connectors are held in place by either rivets or clamped with a nail punch/pinching tool.
  • The benchtops act like large gussets for two of the corners and the other side has two small triangle shelves to strengthen those corners.
  • 100mm Aluminium ‘I’ Beams are used as the support base with a 12mm plywood floor.
  • You’ll also notice the thick aluminium angle on the inside edge of all 4 corners of the camper, allowing the bolts for the jacking points to go straight through, making for a stronger brace.

The other construction methods are fairly straight forward and can be determined from the various photos available online.

Next post will be about some of my early concepts of various Qubelok/Aluminium Frame camper designs. Happy building!

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