Friday, October 16, 2020

Introducing the Aerolux trailer styling kit

      During the 1930s there was a boom in travel trailer popularity. This was spawned by the desire to travel, despite the economic woes of the time. The trailer could now take the place of expensive lodging,restaurants and commercial travel.

By the end of the decade there was a burgeoning interest in smaller,aerodynamic,owner built trailers. These evolved into the very popular 1940s "teardrop" trailers that were such an efficient design that they have been little changed in 70 years!

Since the onset,the standard formula for construction of the trailer body has been a set of flat plywood sides cut in a streamline shape. The front,roof and rear hatch are then formed by sheet goods, aluminum,fabric or wood attached between the sides giving the trailer body that unique teardrop look.
During the last few years, custom car designer/builder Marty Martino's imagination has given thought to what if......... In the late 1930s ,the teardrop trailer had been styled by the premier automotive designers of the Streamline Modern era ?  i.e. Gordon Buehrig,John Tjaarda , Figoni et Falaschi . The new design focused on adding sculptured form to the normally flat sides and simple fenders in use for the last seven decades.   The result is a trailer design that might have startled visitors at the 1939 New York Worlds Fair!
As it happened , vintage Rolls Royce parts dealer,David Rogers saw some of the sketches that Marty had been working on and was immediately intrigued! His first question was "why aren't we building these? David then brainstormed with Marty to hone and detail the design.
Thus was born, the "Aerolux" trailer styling kit.
It was then further tweaked into a production fiberglass kit that can be added to a teardrop trailer under construction.
While it is possible to retro fit the kit to an existing 8 foot teardrop trailer, it would likely require extensive modification to that existing trailer.
The kit consist of both sides, two outer doors,two fender skirts and a rear hatch "speed blade" ,all produced in the USA of durable quality fiberglass.
Please note that the builder still needs to supply a suitable trailer chassis plus materials for completion as the Aerolux kit consist of the exterior styling parts only.
It is recommended that after installation of the Aerolux body parts,that they be sanded ,primed and painted with automotive quality materials.
We will be adding suggested chassis dimensions and sources for other parts in upcoming blog post. We also invite experienced travel trailer builders to ad suggestions .
The kits are currently availble and in stock.   The seven piece kit is $2,295  f.o.b. Greenville South Carolina USA.
Phone 864 617 1596
The fine print.....
There is no warranty implied or expressed as to the construction or usage of any object incorporating the Aerolux trailer kit. It is the purchaser's responsibility to determine its fitness for a particular purpose,construction methods and use.
A note to copycats, The Aerolux trailer name and the body design are intellectually protected.     
Infringements will be vigilantly prosecuted.        

Monday, January 18, 2016

Continuing with the doors and fender skirts

on the last post we were in the middle of the door construction .
 if you've installed the doors you will note that they are somewhat flexible . This can be corrected by reinforcing them with a 1/2 inch wood inner panel. It should be cut out to just fit inside the area that fits inside the jam from a pattern made with craft paper. The wood inner door can then be attached with marine grade urathane adhesive . To hold the inner door in place while the adhesive is setting countersunk screws can be put in from the outside . They can be left in place as an added bond and the heads filled over at paint prep time .the inside of the door's door jam will now have a gap at the front and rear that can be filled with spray foam and carved back in a few hours . This can be glazed over with body filler for a clean finished off appearance .
   The window area of the door is cut out leaving a 1 inch flange for attaching plexiglass windows ,either permanently or made to open as desired . We have made functional tilt out windows by hinging them at the top with at trimmed piano hinge and adding an adjustable support sourced from an R.V. Supply .
    The fender skirts should be securely attached . Our method is to 
Epoxy a 6inch metal strap to the inside top of the skirt,letting 2 inches stand above the top So as to catch the underside of the fender. We then use stainless hardware with lock nuts to hold the lower front and back of the skirt to the fender. A gasket between the   
fender and skirt is also recommended .
    We look forward to the creative ideas and methods that Aerolux builders will share with this blog ! 
  Enjoy the build ,The Aerolux team

building the Aerolux trailer body

                              Thank you for your interest in the Aerolux trailer kit
     The building techniques of teardrop trailers havn't changed much in over 70 years .
  A tremendous amount of construction information can be found on the subject by searching
   " how to build a teardrop trailer" ,including neassary parts and hardware suppliers. We didn't invent the wheel,  Our job is to give it style! Our building suggestions are specifically for the utilization of the Aerolux kit on Your trailer chassis. We strongly suggest that you investigate tried and true methods of building teardrop trailers before starting on Your new Aerolux .
                                Attaching the Aerolux sides to The trailer chassis
To build the body of the Aerolux ,we recommend that you start by laying one of the sides down on a
3/4 full sheet of plywood of the grade that you will want for Your inside walls. The plywood should be laied down as shown in the illustration given.You will then mark and cut out the plywood as to allow 3/8 of an inch from the front ,top and rear of the plywood for clearance of the flange that will
rest over the plywood sides. Note that at the very top and front ,you won't be cutting any wood as
the hight and lenth of the fiberglass side will rest on the top of these areas. After cutting out the first one ,repeat the process for the other side .( if you are planning on building additional Aerolux trailers , you may want to cut out the first one from 1/4 inch material and keep it for a pattern).You will note that at the lower rear of the side there will be a void in the wood . That can be filled in later.
   Once the wood sides have been cut out,they should be securely bolted to the side rails of the chassis. The bottom of the plywood should sit level with the bottom of the frame rails. At this time You will want to add a few temporary braces from side to side. They should be mounted lower than the outside edge of the sides, ensuring a square mounting of the sides to each other. Now the Aerolux sides can be hung over the plywood sides and test fitted. They should butt up against the door jam leaving the flange overhanging the front,top and rear of the plywood. After nesasary adjustments are made, the Aerolux sides should be removed and the cross ribs installed . The builder will choose the material,spacing and attachment method of the cross ribs,to suit the strength required for the center covering material .Since most trailers are built with an opening hatch in the rear,You will want to leve that area open. If you are planning on housing the "speed blade" You'll want to set it atop one of the sides and determine were the shape fits best so the hatch opening will not be lower than the blade.
  There have been many different covering materials used on teardrops such as aluminum,fabric,wood and fiberglass sheet ,which is avalible in the bathroom wall covering area of most larger building supply stores.
   After the ribs are installed ,it's now time to attach the Aerolux sides and the roof covering permanently . You can either choose to attach the sides first or the covering depending on how You
Will trim the joint between the two? It may be helpful to again attach the sides and test fit the roof covering, or temporarily attach the roof covering,then attach the sides to see which works best and
how You want to detail the seam. Most big building supply stores have a terrific selection of plastic mouldings that can make excellent edging for that seam. This is a good time to do any caulking between the roof and sides.
  Next is the hatch
To build the rear hatchYou will need to cut from 3/4 plywood ,stringers that copy the shape of the rear outside edge . These can be done from the pattern if you made one ,or by tracing the outer rear curve onto craft paper . You will then cut out four of these making them 2 inches deep they are then assembled with cross ribs that complete the frame of the hatch. If you are using the "speed blade" You will want to plan Your ribs so that they will line up with the mounting hole resessis in the blade .
The hatch frame is then covered in the builders choice of materials as is the top and front of the trailer. We recommend that the hatch be attached with a hurricane hinge avalible from most teardrop trailer parts suppliers.
   Next are the doors
The inside jam of the Aerolux side should be screwed to the plywood behind it in two places very near the inside corner . This will give stability for cutting out the entire opening except for a 3/4 inch
ledge at the inside corner . Using a divider ,draw a 3/4 inch from the edge,line  completely around the inside door jam. This is the line you will youse to cut out the door opening. You will be cutting the fiberglass and wood at the same time leaving the 3/4 inch lip around th opening. Once the door opening is cut out more screws should be used to securely attach the door jam to the plywood.
   The doors are attached to the body sides with strap hinges. Note the bosses on both the body sides and doors. We recommend Gemlux 1159 hinges . They can be sourced from marine dealers or the "Gemlux web site

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Building the Aerolux teardrop trailer, the Chassis

In this post we are including the suggested chassis dimensions . 
  The maximum distance between the outside of the frame and the 
Outside of the wheel/tire is nessasary so as to allow for the fender skirt's clearance to the tire.  The Aerolux is a nominal 8 ft long trailer like most traditional teardrops ,however the sides are about 3 inches longer at the floor level. If you are using an exsisting 8 ft trailer Chassis you will probably want to mount the body sides with the 3 inches overhanging in the rear .

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Aerolux trailer photos

This photo shows the 7 parts that make up the Aerolux kit. They are the two sides with integral fenders,the two outer doors , two fender skirts and the speed blade center fin.
Here an Aerolux teardrop trailer is completed using aluminum for the outer roof and hatch cover . The fiberglass and chassis are painted in a 1939 automotive pea green. 
        the highly sculpted sides of the Aerolux gives the owner an infinite choice in personalised custom finishing . 
          Below are two examples of possible custom paint schemes that might be used to individualize your Aerolux.