Traveling with a Glowforge

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#1

I’m wondering how the glowforge travels…? I had no idea what life would look like when I ordered, but now that the time is coming for a production unit, it looks like hubby and I are moving into a travel trailer for a while. Like the rest of you, I cannot wait to get my machine, and am not going to say “not yet” when I get the email. If there is a way at all, I would actually love to make a spot for it in the trailer, then I could take it with us, and it would be a way to make money on the road (as we are two crazies that are just gonna wing it without steady incomes, and see how far we get)! Haha! (Oh, and we have no savings either) hahaha! Family is already looking at us weird, and we haven’t even left yet.

Is this even a possibility? Or has my dreaming gone a bit far this time? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
We got our hands on a (very) rotten vintage travel trailer and are rebuilding it, so I can make the perfect spot for it. But I’m wondering if all of the bumps of traveling will mess with alignment or cause other problems.


Solar-powered Glowforge on Converted Bus (Possible First?)
Refreshingly new living situation, potential challenges
#2

Does your trailer have an electrical system that can drive the Glowforge?


#3

Since we have already torn it down to the floor, it’s an empty canvas (except for the shape), and we have decided to go solar. I have been thinking about this for a while, and can add more data to my phone plan and use it as a wifi hotspot as well.


#4

Depends on the ride. I have been camping with a 50 year old 15’ Scotty. Every tiime I get to the camp site anything not tied down is sitting in the floor of the camper. The GF is very sturdy but would not survive those kinds of jolts. Would let it ride in the back of the tow vehicle.


#5

Actually…come to think of it…what kind of power would it be drawing? Hmm, I never gave that part much thought, I just thought, yeah, it’ll have power, I can plug it in…


#6

I guess it would depend what kind of trailer it is and how well the suspension handles.

I have a 13’ Scamp and no way would I put a glowforge in it, even the doors pop off the cabinets because it bounces around so much.

But the 28’ Airstream is much heavier and rides smoother. Then the toyhauler is like butter with a sand buggy in it… :slight_smile:


#7

I could definitely make a secure spot for it…and this traveling will be more on paved roads…more glamping than anything. We have family scattered all over that we want to see. I’m trying to figure out how to make money on the road, and having a laser would help!


#8

Ha! I don’t know yet…haven’t towed it at all, but it’s a tiny trailer, 1964 Aristocrat Lil Loafer, about 12’…and probably doesn’t have any suspension. I could keep it in the truck tho, I guess that’s a possibility too.


#9

Suggest you ride in the back of the camper over a few bumps to cage the ride. You might be surprised at how good or bad it is. Mine is bad. Of course illegal to do that in most states.

Last weekend.


#10

That’s a good idea. Once it’s road worthy again, one of us might have to try that.

On a side note, as kids, my brother and I always traveled in the camper on our way to and from. One time, I saved up my allowance and bought myself a box of fruit loops, (as we never got sugary cereal), and I had the box with me on the way out to the bushes…I ate the whole friggin’ box before we even got there, one handful at a time…and made myself sick. I couldn’t eat fruit loops again for years, still don’t really like them.


#11

Ha! Love me some Dr Who! We are still working on a theme for ours, trying to find something we won’t get tired of staring at quickly.

Cute trailer btw!


#12

Like yours, complete rot 9 months ago.


#13

I think you’ll want something comparable to the shipping box…


#14

Oh man. Lots of work, but worth it! How long did it take from start (tear down) to finish?
Ours currently looks like a flatbed. And I think we are even going replace that. We are both pretty good with construction…of buildings. A trailer is a first for us. We are currently trying to figure out the electrical (going solar) and plumbing. It was originally only propane…and gravity fed water. Lots to learn!
I’ve heard butyl tape will be our best friend, so I just ordered some last night.
I’ve been scouring vintage trailer forums of people that have already done what we are just starting.
I can’t wait to leave…with my glowforge! (maybe)


#15

Which I will hopefully be able to check out soon! :smiley: If it’s not to complicated, or huge, I guess I could just travel with it in the box. That’s an idea. Thanks!


#16

Took me about 5 weeks. Didn’t know what I was doing at first. Did not replace the floor. Replaced all of the top wood from bumper to bumper, 1/3 of the right side and segments of the left side. Took out the propane because we don’t cook inside. Too greasy. Threw a microwave inside for emergencies (when there is power). Of course we don’t live in the camper either. Yes, butyl tape at all corners and joints.

Lots of step by step restoration videos on youtube.

It’s just a rolling tent for us, not a work of art.


#17

We started on the inside, and worked our way out to the skin, removing that too. We did it backwards. Although, we weren’t planning on stripping it down that far, but decided we couldn’t just patch the rot. We are in the middle of framing it back up. I am praying that we get it right and the skin fits back on with no serious problems.
I’ll have to post some pics when we are done, of the process and finished result.
And 5 weeks is pretty fast! Good job!


#18

If you replace the axle, get a torsion axle and not a spring axle @shronimo. They ride much smoother and don’t bounce as much. Dexter makes a good product. They are a surprisingly inexpensive component of the overall cost of a trailer, a few hundred dollars for the axle and spindles, a little more if you get brakes. They also have various angle drops so you can control the height of your trailer above the road. Good luck!


#19

Good to know! Thank you!


#20

Glowforge with no filter pulls “800 watts peak and average of 300 watts running” according to the FAQ page. That’s not a lot of power if you are connected to the mains, but that is a lot of power when you are running solar panels and a battery bank. You may find the number of batteries needed is prohibitive from a space & cost standpoint.
If you can mount a small diesel generator into the camper as part of the buildout, I would urge you to do that. You can often find them for pretty cheap from folks parting out an old camper. Otherwise you may want to look at one of the little honda EU2000i generators. No need to fire it up every time you need power; solar panels and a pair of deep-cycle batteries will suffice for lighting (with LEDs) and phone charging (but unplug the charger when you are done charging). Just fire it up when you are running the glowforge, if you need to top off/balance the batteries, or if you have other power tools or power-hungry things to run.
For example, if you are running a fridge off of electricity it will suck power down. If you run a fridge off of propane you need to plan for where to store the tank (or tanks if you can swing the space). If you run an ice chest you need to plan for stopping and refilling with ice.
Of course, if you are parking it in places where you can hook up to shore power, you don’t have these issues.