Truck Update 6/17/18

  • Organized and rearranged tools in shop
  • Sealed holes used to bond hardpoints on rear wall
  • Prepped around window openings for window install
  • Tested wire splicing technique
  • Receive McMaster-Carr order for tire mount hardware
  • Machines sand ladder mount studs
  • Taped out floor plan and cabinet positions
  • Re-taped butcher paper to floor of habitat
  • Verified interior dimensions
  • Updated power use spreadsheet
  • Started preliminary solar panel and battery selection
  • Drilled mounting bold clearance holes in tire mount frame
  • Ordered tire mount bolts
  • Installed over bed windows
  • Installed over counter windows
  • Drilled and tapped mounting holes in rear panel hardpoints for mounting frame
  • Received McMaster-Carr order
  • Fit checked cargo access hatches
  • Tested 8 gauge wire crimper
  • Installed, clipped, and bonded access hatches
  • Installed weather stripping on access hatches
  • Wired and installed Fan-tastic vent
  • Measured roof area for solar panels
  • Machined marker light brackets for rear mount frame
  • Machined sand ladder hold down nut components
  • Checked continuity and re-labeled wires
  • Prepped, bonded, and clipped roof hatch
  • Rearranged truck parts storage room
  • Wired and finish installed roof hatch
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Truck Update 6/10/18

  • Chamfered edges of rear wall panel
  • Prepped and bonded steel hardpoints in rear wall panel
  • Tack welded tire mount ladder brackets
  • Fabricated and test fit tire boom hoist side strut
  • Fit checked rear extrusions
  • Trimmed 1/8″ from upper and lower rear extrustions
  • Positioned tire mount on rear panel
  • Clearance checked tire mount with extrusions
  • Match drilled pilot holes for tire mount on rear panel
  • Cut and labeled wiring for installation of rear panel
  • Installed and wire wrapped rear panel wiring
  • Prepped and bonded lower extrusion to rear panel
  • Drilled wiring hole for fantastic fan
  • Repositioned rear panel on shop floor
  • Marked location of solar panel wire passthrough on roof
  • Planned rear wall bond sequence
  • Drilled wiring holes for interior spotlights
  • Drilled wiring hole in roof panel for solar wiring
  • Ran wiring on back edge of roof panel
  • Bonded driver side vertical extrusion on rear panel
  • Prepped and final bonded rear panel (last panel bond!)
  • Removed clamps from rear panel

Truck Update 6/3/18

  • Finalized layout of rear wall tire mount
  • Measured position of hardpoints in rear wall
  • Cut primary steel components for rear wall tire mount
  • Used wire wheel to remove scale and rust from tire mount steel
  • Measured and trimmed rear vertical extrusions
  • Cleaned and rough trimmed aluminum ladder for tire mount
  • Fit and weld prepped tire mount steel primary frame joints
  • Purchased paint for tire mount
  • Fabricated long shanked drill bit for wire runs
  • Drilled wire run hole in ceiling panel and side extrusion for roof hatch
  • Fit checked remaining wall extrustions
  • Clearanced upper fore-aft extrusions
  • Started structural welding on tire mount frame
  • Lifted roof panel
  • Tested new ignition keys
  • Adjusted engine idle
  • Verified function of air warning lights
  • Fit checked tire, ladder, and sand plates on tire mount frame
  • Started cutting secondary steel for tire mount frame
  • Fit checked water tank through habitat door
  • Laid back wall on floor for edge champhering
  • Fit checked, prepped, and bonded forward extrusion to roof panel
  • Started fabricating spare tire boom hoist for tire mount
  • Fit checked, prepped, and bonded side extrusions to roof panel
  • Finished fabricating spare tire boom hoist
  • Prepped and bonded roof panel

Truck Update 5/27/18

  • Received and fit checked waterjet aluminum adapter plates for roof hatch
  • Fit checked key blanks in truck
  • Deburred and paint prepped aluminum roof hatch adapter plates
  • Masked off bond areas on aluminum roof hatch adapter plates
  • Primed and painted aluminum roof hatch adapter plates
  • Disposed of scrap material from subframe
  • Started laying out wiring diagram
  • Started detail design of tire mount
  • Laid roof panel on floor to prepare for edge champher
  • Ordered habitat wiring
  • Fit checked fantastic fan in roof panel cutout
  • Champhered top edges of roof panel
  • Received habitat wiring order
  • Cut foam for core between aluminum hatch adapter plates
  • Prepped and bonded top roof hatch adapter plate
  • Routed top side of hatch opening
  • Flipped over roof panel
  • Champhered lower edges of roof panel
  • Prepped and bonded lower roof hatch adapter plate
  • Routed bottom side of hatch opening and removed excess composite panels

We encountered an unforeseen mix-up in the layout of our roof panel when we received the physical roof hatch from Tern Overland. It was a bit of a collaborative miss with everyone involved (us, Total Composites, and Tern Overland). When we originally laid out our roof panel, the orientation of the roof hatch was not obvious and we accidentally assumed that the hinge would be on the narrow side of the hatch like many American hatches. It was a bit of a surprise when we opened the box and read the instructions and found that our opening was rotated 90 degrees in our panel from what it needed to be.

We hadn’t actually specified dimensions of the hatch opening when we supplied the information for the box layout. We just specified the center position of the hatch and said that there needed to be an opening for the supplied roof hatch. We did, however, have a rectangle in the layout drawings that was longer fore-and-aft and narrower side-to-side. We had assumed that any needed details of the hatch layout would be double checked against the requirements of the hatch, but unfortunately, that did not happen.

The bottom line is that we should have requested the full installation instructions for the hatches, windows, and door prior to submitting our box layout for build. Also, it’s best to get instructions directly from manufacturers via email instead of relying on what is on websites as products and details online can change over time.

Roof Hatch Plan
Roof Hatch Plan

Overall, we have a pretty good recovery plan. We had 2 aluminum plates water jet cut that bond to the upper and lower surfaces of our habitat roof and act as “adapters” to rotate the orientation of the roof hatch cutout. The plates add minimal weight and actually reinforce the roof around the large roof hatch opening.

Roof Hatch Plan
Roof Hatch Plan

Truck Update 5/20/18

  • Received Sika 205 Activator
  • Re-cut fillets in forward panel for passthrough frame (we changed our passthrough design after Total Composites cut our panel)
  • Fit checked passthrough frames
  • Added required fillets to passthrough cutout corners
  • Bond prepped forward passthrough cutout
  • Prepped passthrough frames using Sika 205 activator
  • Bonded in passthrough frames using Korapop 225
  • Cut steel for back wall hardpoints
  • Painted rock shields

Truck Update 5/13/18

  • Fit checked forward wall panel again
  • Bond prepped and bonded forward wall
  • Trimmed scrap side wall panel for fixturing side wall extrusion bond
  • Fit checked and trimmed forward side wall extrusion
  • Marked and trimmed height of forward side wall extrusion
  • Bond prepped and bonded forward side wall extrusions
  • Clearance trimmed aft end of lower extrusions
  • Bond prepped and bonded driver side wall
  • Bond prepped and bonded passenger side wall

Truck Update 5/6/18

  • Started habitat assembly sequence planning
  • Sent out quote requests for water jet cutting aluminum roof hatch adapter plates (dedicated blog post about this topic to come in the future)
  • Inspected and touched up subframe paint
  • Laid habitat floor panel upside down on floor
  • Prepped habitat floor steel hardpoints for bonding
  • Dry fit hardpoints in floor
  • Rounded edges of hardpoint straps to ease foam installation
  • Bonded and installed hardpoints and foam in habitat floor panel
  • Drilled and tapped one central hole in each hardpoint to clamp
  • Re-positioned truck and habitat floor in shop for habitat assembly
  • Pilot drilled and tap drilled mount holes in habitat floor
  • Clearance drilled fiberglass at hardpoint holes
  • Tapped hardpoints in habitat floor
  • Reviewed bond primer requirements
  • Ordered Sika SP-205 (from EMI Supply) to prime aluminum to bond with Korapop 225.
  • Cut high density urethane foam blocks for floor support during habitat assembly
  • Bonded terry cloth to top of foam blocks with 3M 77
  • Removed clamps and temporary bolts from bonded hardpoints
  • Chamfered and cleaned lower edge of habitat floor panel
    • All panel edges had a lot of gel coat build up that needed to be removed and the edges needed to be softened. Previous fit checks show that this was a required step to get the panels to fit well in the extrusions.
  • Flipped, leveled, and positioned habitat floor panel
  • Chamfered and cleaned upper edge of habitat floor panel
  • Chamfered and cleaned all edges (including passthrough cutout) of forward panel
  • Rearranged panels and extrusions in shop space
  • Chamfered and cleaned all edges (including all cutouts) of left and right side panels
  • Dry fit checked all lower extrusions
  • Measured all panels and extrusions (again)
  • Checked flatness of floor on support blocks
  • Masked floor panel with heavy paper
  • Bond prepped and bonded forward lower extrusion using Korapur 140
  • Bonded several adhesive test samples using Korapur 140
  • Finalized order of water jet cut aluminum roof hatch adapter plates
  • Additional measurements and fit checking
  • Measured back wall panel height in preparation for cutting steel hardpoints
  • Bond prepped and bonded both side lower extrusions using Korapur 140