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Old 06-14-2018, 12:15 AM
Navy76 Navy76 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 12
Default To crate or not to crate?

I have just about finished the empennage kit for my RV-14A and expect to pick up the QB Wing & Fuselage kits late next month. I live about 90 minutes from Vans. They tell me that if I rent a specific model of U-Haul truck they will load both kits for me, uncrated and I can save the $900 crating fee.

As I think about it though, I am beginning to wonder if Id be better off to go ahead and have the kits crated to keep them better protected and separated. My work area is about 25x25 but I dont think I have enough shelving or room to easily store both kits, uncrated, simultaneously. Im concerned about a nightmarish situation of getting parts of the two kits intermingled and then spending all of my time searching for parts. If I have the kits crated, I wont need to rest a truck which will save $200. So, the difference of crating or not would be about $700.

Managing the empennage kit was easy. I put all of the sheet parts on a 2.5x8 4-shelf unit and all of the small parts in labeled bins on the wall.

Any recommendations?

N76VY (reserved)
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:48 AM
Wunderon's Avatar
Wunderon Wunderon is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Seattle (Edmonds) and Iowa
Posts: 140

if they are quick build they are already in pretty big pieces arent they? you will need a wing stand or similar I would guess to move them around while you work on one at a time.

same with the fuselage, but I would guess having crates to mess with would be annoying to rearrange.

I was slow build but the first thing I did after the crate arrived was to dismantle it so I could arrange things better to build.
Dave Grimmer
RV8 firewall forward
Edmonds WA
paid 2018
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:27 AM
scsmith scsmith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 1,952

My quick-build wings and fuselage were delivered more or less uncrated, with all the extra goodies in boxes and bags inside the fuselage. I rented a self-storage unit ($80/mo) for all the fuselage stuff for the month or so it took to get the wings completed. Thats how I kept all the kit stuff separate. The wings finish up really quickly, then you will build a storage rack to keep them safe somewhere while you work on the fuselage for a year or more.

When it was time to get my finish kit, it happened that we were delivering a set of HP-24 sailplane wings from central California to the Seattle area in a glider trailer. From there we went to Victoria B.C. to pick up my IO-360-A1A, which went into the van. Then on the way home, we stopped at Van's and loaded the crated finish kit into the sailplane trailer, now empty since the wings were delivered. It fit with fractions of an inch to spare in both height and width.

It was a productive and memorable road trip.

If I were to do it again, I would do the self pickup in the U-haul.
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet"
Hobbs 525 in 9 years (would have flown more this year if not for fire smoke)
also LS-6-15/18 sailplane
VAF donation Jan 2019

Last edited by scsmith : 06-14-2018 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:42 AM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ponte Vedra, FL
Posts: 822

The big parts cost the most to crate: you could leave big parts uncrated and have smaller ones crated, then convert the crates to shelving / storage in your work area. 25 x 25 is pretty good space if you store parts along edges, but until the wings/fuse are mated they'll take up a lot of floor space. I have moved large assemblies back and forth from storage as completed. Wing rack (EAA style) is very convenient for storing wings as previously mentioned.

As far as finding parts goes, that is a challenge - mostly with small parts in bags. No perfect system here since so many of these are "one off" sets or type of parts (specialized screws, brackets etc). I always separate common rivet types into their own storage areas since these are "generic" and usually in large quantity (But it's also common to get duplicate sets of same size rivets in different bags, that's Van's system of matching bags to assemblies).

If I were storing "bag parts" other than common rivet types again, I'd separate common types (AN bolts, screws, washers, nuts, cotter pins, etc etc) into generic groupings in storage boxes or bins, and leave only the unique/one off parts in bags. I'd put the bags in one place, with large labels on each bag. FYI - this spreadsheet really helps when searching for an individual part: (shared by HeliCooper who also has the annotated plans wiki).

One thing I also did which seemed to work well was keep "subkits" together until they were down to just a handful of parts. Another approach to subkits which would take a lot of time up front but save a lot on the back end would be to separate them by section (like section 29, 30 etc) and put parts for each section together. Some sections would be huge piles of parts though!
Turner Billingsley
RV-14A In Progress
N14VB Reserved

Last edited by mturnerb : 06-14-2018 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:07 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 952

I would be willing to drive a whole lot more than 90 miles to save $900 in crating charges. Those large crates are going to be in your way in the shop. You could get 3 or 4 of those plastic bins from Lowes (they stack) to put the small parts/pieces in and label the outside so you dont have to search too hard.
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:52 AM
bobnoffs bobnoffs is online now
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: n. wi
Posts: 554

drive! but check and see if renting some furniture pads would be a help.
you would have to unpack the crates anyway to inventory.
Bob Noffs
n. wi.
dakota hawk/jab 3300 built and flying. sold 6/18.getting serious about the 12.
RV-12 kit as of 9/13
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:49 AM
mfleming's Avatar
mfleming mfleming is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Joseph, Oregon
Posts: 320

My -7 was delivered professionally uncrated. It was protected with moving pads and rope. It survived an 8 hr trip unscathed.
Michael Fleming
Joseph, OR
sagriver at icloud dot com

RV-7 Slider #74572
Started 11/2016
Empennage completed 11/2016 (sans fiberglass)
Ailerons and flaps completed 3/2017.
Wings completed 12/2017 (sans fiberglass)
Started on QB fuselage 01/2018
Donated and so should you
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:19 AM
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sglynn sglynn is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Anacortes, WA
Posts: 683
Default no crate

I went and picked up all my kits with no crate in a tag-along trailer. They just pile all the parts in your car and trailer. Good way to save money.

Plus while there you can tour the factory.

And if you haven't had a test flight yet, schedule that too.

No crate needed.

Its a road trip. Very fun.
Steve Lynn
100% Complete
Airworthiness Certification Complete
First Flight in January 2018
Anacortes, WA
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:54 PM
Navy76 Navy76 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 12

Wow! Thanks for the great response! It sounds like no crate is the way to go! I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to share their thoughts. It is very helpful for this first time builder.

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