Hi. I'm new here. I am building a toy hauler out of a new enclosed Utiity trailer. It will be a very basic camper setup. Only a full Bathroom and a garage with beds and cabinets. I have been checking out the Supplier links for info on parts. My question for anyone now would be. What is the best way to build a interior wall? It needs to be strong but light weight.
The wall is to devide the Bath from the Garage.
Well, I haven't built a camper, but I helped my father build a few years ago.
The most recent was in about '84, and we used a technique that was common on the manufactured campers. Actually, we did a hybrid of the traditional and 'contemporary.'
By 'traditional' I mean standard wood-frame construction.
The 'contemporary' method we had seen in production campers had the windows and doors framed in wood, but the walls were basically just a sandwich of paneling glued to styrofoam insulation glued to siding. No studs.
Our hybrid was to do standard framing of pine. I don't remember the stud centers, but they were spaced so that a standard sheet of construction foam insulation would just fit between the studs. We used something like LiquidNails to glue paneling on the inside and thin plywood on the outside (glued to the studs and to the foam itself). Then the outside was covered with siding. I think we used 1x2s for the framing. A 1x2 is actually only about 3/4" x 1 3/4", so we used 3/4" foam. The idea is to have the foam fill the voids, and be able to glue it to both the inside paneling and the outside siding.
Just doing the sandwich is a lot stronger than you might think, and really light. If you think you need the extra strength, go with the framing. If it needs to be really strong, maybe you could use aluminum square tubing for the framing?
If you have a router you don't need to pre-cut the window and door holes, but you will need a special bit. I think it's for cutting counter tops.
Frame the windows and doors in, then just glue your sheets of paneling/siding right over them. Then after it's up you take your router (with the special bit) and punch through somewhere in the middle of the frame, cut your way to the frame, and follow the frame around.
Again, I'm no expert, and didn't stay at the Holiday Inn last night. Just sharing some thoughts for your evaluation.
Also, we were working in Colorado, where the foam insulation is easy to get. I've read on another web board (a model train board, where the foam is popular for building landscapes) that the foam can be hard to come by in warmer states. I've also heard that Home Depot can order it for you, even if they don't stock it.