Building the Greenleaf Travel Trailer

97 posts in this topic

Hello All!

   This will be my attempt to share my attempt at building the Greenleaf Travel Trailer. As some of you may know from my introduction, I am preparing to start building my sister's Glencroft I gave her back in the 80's. To prepare for this I have been building various kits to help me prepare for this task. I started by building a few Robotime kits including the greenhouse kit I gave my mother for Mother's Day last year. Wanting to "get my feet wet" with the style of construction I would face with the Glencroft, I came across the Travel Trailer kit. I thought this would be a perfect "primer" and since my father has always wanted a camper, I could finally give him one, albeit on a smaller scale!

   So after clearing off my workbench and purchasing the kit I began in earnest. DISCLAIMER- just to be clear, I really have no idea what I'm doing! My background is in building plastic model kits some 25+ years ago so I'm a bit out of my element. My posts and pictures may elicit feelings of shock, disbelief and cries of "what the heck are you doing" :)   I welcome all suggestions and criticism as I feel that's the only way to learn and improve one's skill. There are parts of my build process that took way more time than it should have so I welcome any ideas and thoughts on how I did things.

   Another side effect of not knowing what you're doing is you have no idea what you can or can not do! You end up with crazy and sometimes outlandish ideas on what you want to include in the build. I was not immune to those ideas! Some were relatively normal like interior/exterior lighting. Others a bit more "out there". Since this will be given to my father, I wanted to put some "Easter Eggs" in the build/diorama such as favorite things or personal touches he would recognize. 

   One of those things is his Weber BBQ grille. He has had a Weber as far back as I can remember. When I came across one at the hobby shop I grabbed it! looking at it later, the first thing that popped into my mind was "I wonder if I could make it smoke" Alas, after a bit of research I concluded that "yes I can"! That led me to Ebay and after all was said and done I will have a ton of electronics in the base of the diorama that if all goes well, smoke should waft out of the grille with a push of a button. I will have a lot more info on this later.

So to wrap up this intro, I thank you all for the opportunity to learn and grow from this community. I have learned a lot by reading your posts and staring at all the wonderful photos of both under construction and finished projects.I am truly in awe of the skills demonstrated by you fine Folks!

Bill

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I see you started an album....I can't wait to watch your progress!

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7 minutes ago, Mid-life madness said:

I see you started an album....I can't wait to watch your progress!

Hi Carrie!

   Yes I did! I think I finally figured out how to post pictures (I hope) and will update as I go. Over the next few days I hope to get caught up on where I am at currently.

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Bill, when I built my first Travel Trailer kit we had our first RV, a Sunnybrook, so I finished the exterior to look like the rig we had at the time.  In the meantime I have acquired another TT kit that wants to be something quite different.  I'm going to watch yours with interest.

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I do have to apologize as I didn't think to start taking photos until i pretty much had the structure built. As some have mentioned on here, the quality of the parts in this kit left a lot to be desired. It's as if the stamping dies were near their end of life. Instead of crisp clean cuts outlining the parts, mine were as if the cutters were dull and the wood was basically torn from the middle as the parts were punched. I repaired what I could but many parts I had to recreate myself. I guess I could have contacted Greenleaf but not knowing if this was normal I just kept going.large.20181104_094515.jpg.b8a57bc6501d06large.5ce16223bc13a_CamperExterior.jpg.b  

Here are some side shots of trailer. One of those " can I do it" moments was looking at the interior. I didn't like how the finished kit was going to look and after finding some interior photos of vintage Shasta campers I decided to panel the interior. The studs aren't the best looking but they will do

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8 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

Bill, when I built my first Travel Trailer kit we had our first RV, a Sunnybrook, so I finished the exterior to look like the rig we had at the time.  In the meantime I have acquired another TT kit that wants to be something quite different.  I'm going to watch yours with interest.

9 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

Bill, when I built my first Travel Trailer kit we had our first RV, a Sunnybrook, so I finished the exterior to look like the rig we had at the time.  In the meantime I have acquired another TT kit that wants to be something quite different.  I'm going to watch yours with interest.

large.5ce1ad2adeea4_FrontInterior.jpg.c6large.5ce1b00839bcc_InteriorRear.jpg.247

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You aren't going to panel over those studs, are you?  (I wanted the room, so didn't do that to mine).  I had to bash the kit so I could make the wheel wells like in our RV (and both the RVs we've had since).  I found woodsies that worked for tires like ours and used buttons for hubcaps (albeit 'way fancier than reality) and one of my coworkers who was diabetic donated me a couple of empty Humulin bottles to use for propane tanks:

The hinge on the awning works

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OK so I'm still learning how to do this it seems! :)

Holly I do wish I had a "life size" version sitting here so I could get an in depth look at it. Sure would have made a few things easier!

The interior photos gives you a better idea of the cross beam placement. The front as the called for amount, which just happened to be the exact amount that was usable from the kit. I made the rear ones myself and included more as I thought it would make the curve a bit smoother. You can barely see how I notched the side pieced to bring the beams down so the veneer would be flush with the top edges of the sides. That was a lot of work but I like how it turned out. 

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19 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

You aren't going to panel over those studs, are you?  (I wanted the room, so didn't do that to mine).  I had to bash the kit so I could make the wheel wells like in our RV (and both the RVs we've had since).  I found woodsies that worked for tires like ours and used buttons for hubcaps (albeit 'way fancier than reality) and one of my coworkers who was diabetic donated me a couple of empty Humulin bottles to use for propane tanks:

The hinge on the awning works

Holly but of course! This was another part of casting doubt to the wind ( or not being smart enough to realize the difficulty) I again used 1/64" wood veneer like on the ends. I stained the wood Maple and put satin polyurethane over them. I made paper templates of every part of the interior and transferred them over to the wood. Then I cut everything out and shaped them to match. This was where I started questioning my sanity!

Interior Panelling Pieces.jpg

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18 minutes ago, WBrownIV said:

...This was where I started questioning my sanity!

I do that with every build!  Remember, the kits talk to me...

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3 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

I do that with every build!  Remember, the kits talk to me...

I remember you telling me that :)  This one seems to have started with me!

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Holly I remember you and a few others here telling me about the replacement wooden wheels. I found them and the matching axles. After some paint they look SOOOOO much better! I wanted to simulate chrome baby moon hubcaps. When I was at the hobby shop getting my wood veneer there was a display of chrome paint pens. I asked the guy if they were any good. He told me this paint was the closest to chrome that he had ever seen. I took a chance and $15.00 dollars later the paint pen was mine. I have to tell you it truly lived up to its name! You can even see reflections in it! It was perfect for what I needed,

   These are the finished wheels. In case you are curious about tlarge.5ce1c904535a4_WoodenWheels.jpg.303large.5ce1cb2a8bb69_WoodenAxles.jpg.0483he flat top wheels I ended up eliminating the wheel wells to make life a little easier. :)

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The complete wheel will be the spare and will be mounted on the rear

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Wow, that chrome is impressive! What's the brand name of the paint pen?

 

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I didn't want to cut my "tires" down, hence I bashed wheel wells.  Your chrome is perfect!

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38 minutes ago, fov said:

Wow, that chrome is impressive! What's the brand name of the paint pen?

 

The company is "Molotow" and it comes in varying thicknesses of tips for broad to fine lines. Evidently you can buy paint cartridges separately so you don't have to buy a new pen every time. The trick is to apply the paint until it almost runs, then leave it alone for 2 days. It will be dry and shiny!large.5ce1fb4f87b6d_LiquidChrome.jpg.675large.5ce1fba624659_LiquidChromeInfo.jpg

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Thanks!

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In doing this project I found that if I ran into a roadblock or couldn't come up with a answer to a problem I would go on to another part of the build. I did just that when it came time to make the propane tanks. I looked around but didn't find anything local that would work so I started searching online. I came across an Ebay seller (nsd201) who 3D printed tall and short tanks in 1/10 scale. I contacted him asking if he could make them in 1/12 scale. Not knowing if I was going to tall or short I ordered a pair of each. A week later they arrived.

   It you have never seen a 3D printed part before their are tiny ridges the length of the part that need to be addressed. Think of a record's grooves but going vertical. The seller suggested I use regular spackle to fill in the grooves and smooth everything out. I cut out the openings around the valve and prepped the parts. After a little paint and adding the valve handles they started to take shape.  

I found some photos online for referencelarge.5ce204e087b3c_PropaneValve.jpg.faflarge.5ce2046397280_Propaneplatform.jpg.

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Awesome.  The tanks on our first RV looked like those Humulin bottles.

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In making the tank platform I reverted back to my previous life as a plastic model builder. I used the photos as a guide and used various shapes of styrene from Evergreen Products, some small threaded rod, and a few commercially available bits and pieces to recreate the details in the photos. When I was making the valve assembly, I of course needed a solid tube in a size I did not have. Well the Macgyver in me kicked in and I took a square piece of plastic stock, chucked it into a drill and made a very crude lathe where I turned the square rod into a round one! Necessity is the mother of invention!large.5ce20899cae09_FinishedTanks.jpg.f1large.5ce20941676ef_FinishedTanksCloseUp

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10 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

Awesome.  The tanks on our first RV looked like those Humulin bottles.

I did see pictures of those style of tanks online. They sure look different than the ones we have now!

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Your TT is just awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the build.

John

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2 hours ago, PapaJKK said:

Your TT is just awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the build.

John

Thank you John!

 

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