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Old 01-28-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default Toyota Uhaul conversion

Hi,

I'm a newbie to the forum. Before posting I did a search and couldn't find any posts related to the mini that I'm going to convert.

Mine looks like this:

http://stonerradiator.com/images/dsc00667.jpg

One immediate question is about insulating. The roof is aluminum with hollow ribs. Leaving the ribs empty will make conductive paths for heat/cold. It seems like spray foam is going to be the easiest solution. How far will the spray foam move laterally in the ribs? Will I have to drill access holes and spray right and left? I remember watching foam being injected into a couple of houses many years ago. It seems like the same process. Any other ideas?

I've got all sorts of ideas that will go into the design. Before I get going I'm trying to see if anyone else has done up a Toy Box.

Thanks!

Tom
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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Is the inside open or closed with some kind of sheeting? If it covered with sheeting, I'd carefully remove it, store it, put your wiring and plumbing and anything else you want in the walls and ceiling, have the insultation sprayed in, and replace the sheeting.
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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Hi Tom, Welcome to the site. I believe that the inside of the box is probably built similar to my wells cargo trailer. It has aluminum sheet siding screwed directly to the metal framing. the framing is a "hat" section that leaves a void that you want to insulate. then there are wooden rub rails horizontal on the inside. I stripped of the interior wood and glued in sheet insulation between the vertical studs sealing the insulation to studs with spray foam in a can. for the inner stud cavity I drilled a small hole near the top and used a piece of flexible tubing attached to the foam spray can I slid it down to the bottom of the cavity and slowly withdrew it as the foam flowed into the cavity. If you try just squirting foam in it will only go a couple of inches before expanding and creating a blockage. The foam comes in two types, one is a high expansion type and the other a low expansion type for use around windows. Make sure you use a low expansion foam or else you will bow the siding out due to expansion. Its a real pain to do, but I ended up with a well insulated trailer that stays cool in summer and dry with no condensation in the winter. (I keep motorcycles and riding gear in it year round.) Good luck with your project.

Dave
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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The ceiling is aluminum sheeting with hollow ribs/joists. The walls are skinned with fiberglass/FRP with 1/2 or 5/8 plywood and then FRP on the inside.

My electrical needs are small. It's going to be easier to run surface conduit and boxes than put them inside the walls. I might have to use an extension cord but that's no big deal to me.

If I wait to have the electrical planned I won't be out camping. First order is to insulate and panel. The rest will fall into place as I go.

Thanks
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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Dave,

Thanks for the tip about using a long tube and low expansion. something like that did float through my 'hairy computer' as I was pondering a solution.

At every step I'll take pics so that I can put up a build thread.

Today I'm off to a couple of Habitat for Humanity Re-Use stores to look at cabinets.

Tom
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:33 PM   #6
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man if I was building something that small, I'd buy a pop up camper and have the 2 sides fold out, then use the rest of the popup stuff for the interior, and when I was done, Id sell whats left as a utility trailer to re-coup some costs
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:14 PM   #7
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Blizzard,

Sometimes...its not about size

I'm happy with the size of mine...its going to work out exactly how I want it.

My goal is to have a unit that is inexpensive to start and inexpensive to maintain.

Tom
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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It sounds like what Blizz is saying is to pick up a used pop up trailer and use everything from that to build your truck. Appliances, cabinets, lights, etc.... Even the slide out bed thing. Then after you've used everything you need you could sell the shell of the pop up trailer as a cheap utility trailer. Sounds like a good idea to me. I bet you could pick up a pop up pretty cheap and use most of it. Todd (Blizz) am I correct in your thinking? If I'm wrong then consider this my idea and I think it's a good one.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #9
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I have most of what I need for the build already.

Good idea though...popups with rotted canvas are cheap. Then, the frame could go for sale.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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i want to do the same thing, buy a uhaul truck and make it into an rv, but i very simple one, is it legal? would i have to camouflage it to just keep it looking like a box truck or can i have a door cut out and paint it whatever color i want?
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:15 PM   #11
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Doramarie- If it is going to be a legitimate RV, by all means paint it and make it look like an RV and get the title swapped to an RV title after conversion. If you camouflage it to look like a commercial truck you will have problems with DOT cops wanting you to meet commercial regulations. And your plates and insurance will be cheaper as an RV.

Just be very careful with your inspection of the truck before you buy it, Uhauls in particular are notorious for being high miles and beat down and low maintenance, but there are some gems out there to be found.

treeview- those old toyota minis are cool old school looking machines, could make a nice looking little rig. Good luck.
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