There are something growing and I’ve been watching them closely. My next task is to build the slide-outs, but occasionally, I’ve been distracted. Spring is around the corner and I can’t wait. I can already feel the stir of nature as Spring is approaching. I have certain tasks to do but I am too anxious to do them. Remember how the slide-outs will be built?
“The gigantic slide-outs. Each slide-out runs almost the entire length of the trailer body. The slide-out will be made entirely out of Aluminum. When installed and in the extended position, they will balance at the edge of the trailer wall with half of the slide-out extending beyond the side wall and the other half stays inside the body acting as counter weight. This is where the design departs from the norm. Each slide-out is a whole body section by itself. The two slide-outs are nesting into each other. When extended, each one will balance half way at the edge of the opposing side walls.”
I have done all the calculations and modeling. But…what if the design fails? The whole design is based on one single nesting slide-out concept. If it doesn’t work, the entire RV will be a ginormous thousand-pound paper weight and I don’t need a paper weight. I am no longer an office worker!
I often found myself deep in thoughts in our little backyard garden. Oh no, what will the neighbors think? Have I become Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” sculpture in my own backyard? Well, sort of. This is what I’ve been watching while I was contemplating about how to build the slide-outs.
They were just a couple of tiny eggs in a nest about the size of a ping pong ball blowing in the wind. It’s been very windy lately, and every day, I’d often check on them. They are growing fast. I had to be very still in order not to disturb mom. If I could, upon completion of the slide-outs, I will put a couple pictures of these babies onto the slide-outs. The parallel is incredible. From a tiny concept born a big idea which will take flight someday.
Curb Side Slide-out Modeling
The slide-outs are actually whole body sections which nest into each other. They are heavy because they will bear the loads for all necessary furniture and occupants. Each slide-out will have to move transversely from the main body. They will be supported by two slide-out tubes driven synchronously by a single motor.
Here’s a sequence of computer model screen shots to explain the design concept for the Curbside slide-out.
The Curb Side slide-out is supported by a slide-out support frame acting like a tray which attached to the two slide-out tubes. As the tubes move in and out, the tray will move with them. The support frame will also be the attach point for the entrance steps and will bear the load of the steps and the occupant. This approach will allow the slide-out bodies to be built separately using different material other than steel, i.e. Aluminum for weight saving.
The Curb Side slide-out frame will be built separately and will be mounted onto the slide-out support frame.
Street Side Slide-out Modeling
Similarly, the Street Side slide-out will have its own slide-out support frame and two slide-out tubes.
The Street Side slide-out will also be built separately and will also be mounted onto the slide-out support frame.
Upon completion of the slide-outs, each slide-out will have little more than 100 living square feet. There are quite a bit of basement storage underneath the slide-outs. The floor plan layout is as follow:
The floorplan layout adheres to a rigid philosophy:
Retain the use of the most necessary facilities even when the RV is in a fully retracted mode. Meaning, the bedroom and the bathroom will be fully functional at all times.
In order to do so, each piece of furniture has to be accurately modeled into the CAD software. So, here’s the planned furnishing for the Curb Side slide-out
Here’s the planned furnishing for the Street Side Slide-out. The bed will be able to accommodate a standard Queen-size mattress of 60”W x 80”L and there is still room to walk around it. The sofa is a folding type with removable seat cushions.
The million-dollar question is:
Can the Slide-outs be retracted without interfering with each other?
Fortunately, with the advances of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, the answer is a resounding Yes!
Look carefully at the placement of the cooking island. This would not be possible without today’s computing powers available to ordinary folks like me.
The Calvary is Coming
With the amount of work planned, it is impossible to do them all by myself. It is time to call upon the posse. These young hired guns were willing to do the work just for burgers and fries! Psst, it helps if you are related to them.
Various frames for the slide-outs were fabricated by different guys. I am keeping my fingers crossed when they are finally assembled together.
This young and good looking guy is an expert in welding. He also has a precision of an engineering scientist to match with his welding skills.
As I watch the Curb Side slide-out slowly extending with a couple guys still standing on it. I can’t help but overcome with emotion. It’s been a long journey just to get to this point.
The shear size of the Curb Side slide-out dwarfs the trailer body itself.
They worked until dust. We are on a tight schedule for final assembly.
So what’s happened to our little friends? I found myself rooting for them. They seem too tiny and fragile. I am rooting for their jest of life. I am rooting for new adventures not knowing what the future may hold. Everyday, I would check on them. They have been practicing flying. Take flight young ones, for we shall never fear the unknown, because the unknown is life itself.