Another DIY truck camper

tanuki.himself

Active member
Fiberglassing upside down is going to be miserable, but I seem to like doing things the hard way...
try using a small short pile roller to apply the resin - i've been doing some vertical fibreglass with really runny vinylester resin lately and that has been working far better than a brush
 
Great job so far, it looks like you're building something similar to what I have in mind. I was thinking about making each panel like a torsion box, which would add a lot of rigidity to each panel.

I'm impressed that your puzzle pieces fit together; any time I try to make box joints by hand, there are always a few too tight or too loose. I think that doing the box joints will add a TON of strength to your box, so will be totally worth it in the end. If/when I replicate your technique, I'd build a jig out of a 1x4 on the table saw, and then clamp it to the plywood and route out the joints with a pattern bit. This would ensure perfect consistent joints.

Keep up the great work, I look forward to following along!
 

Ducstrom

Active member
The jig would have sped things up a bit I am sure. The beauty about epoxy is that you've got a little room for error in the cuts, unlike using glue.

Onward with more photos...
Made the drawers for under the bed. These are full extension slides and the drawers are 28" deep if I remember correctly.



You can see in this photo that the drawer faces were added. The faces are flush with the face of the cabinet, this is how I intend to make all the cabinets and drawers in the camper. The wood is a UV resistant birch plywood.



Here you can see the face of the upper cabinet added. Also the mounts for the camper jacks were added in the corner and a corner brace of birch plywood added. This was mainly added to help strengthen the corner for the jack attachment by boxing (triangulating??) it. It is also going to be used to mount a switch with a small courtesy light, a phone holder and a USB charge port. You can see the hole at the bottom for the wires.



 

Ducstrom

Active member
Here you can see that I've got the 45 degree angle pieces added at the top and the front one insulated as well.



Also, got all the 'ribs' added that I talked about earlier. You can see here there is a routered part where the cabinet and countertop will go around the water tank and the webasto airtop. I chose to go with this set up for the water tank because they are easy to remove and refill when needed. The counter top will be bare with just a gooseneck water tap coming through. I am going to use a submersible 12v DC pump connected to a momentary switch for the water delivery. The 'sink' will be a plastic wash tub.



The other side will be storage and house the fridge. Again you can see the routered line where the cabinets will attach.



These last two photos are just pictures of the outside, these were taken about 7 months ago and it's kinda depressing how similar the outside still looks today. It's a long slow process.



 

Ducstrom

Active member
I tried to think up some kind of innovative solution for lifting it in and out of the back of the truck. I am not that inventive it seems and just went with rieco titan camper jacks.





Also added the cabinets where the countertop will be. Again, I did some cutouts on the top which will be covered when the actual countertop goes in. There is an AC plug cut into the outside of this cabinet as well. This one will be for any AC loads outside the camper.



And in this last one I've added more insulation. If you're wondering what the wood blocks are for,they were going to be an attachment point for a front rack on the camper but I decided to ditch that idea and just do the full pioneer roof rack on the truck.

 

Ducstrom

Active member
Well with the new jacks on I just had to see how it fit in the truck. I whipped up a little cart for it to help get it outside and put it in the truck.
Things to note: I have to change the orientation of those front bumpers to horizontal instead of vertical line they are now. They catch under the top of the truckbox when I raise the camper while in the truck.
Legs are tight to the truck but so long as the ground is firm where I am unloading it'll be fine.
I am pretty close to full extension on the reico titans when loading. These trucks are tall!
Anyway, I was fairly happy with the first fit, I had it sitting on some plywood pieces in the box so when I get my bed mat the camper should ride a little closer to the bed rails by about a half inch. I am also thinking of adding some sliders to the camper to help center it between the wheel wells when loading.
I loaded and unloaded this by myself and I've never loaded a camper before. In and out it took about 20 minutes total since it was threatening to rain and I didn't want to get it wet yet. A drill speeds things up significantly.




 

Ducstrom

Active member
Back to the interior, I got the drawers for the counter side made and mounted. I also got one on the seat backs done. You can also see the electrical box that will provide AC power to the counter as well as three switches which will control the outside porch light, the main interior lights and the courtesy floor lights.





I also bought a Novakool fridge it's a 3800 model, 3.5 cubic feet I believe. It's a DC only model. Here it is in a test fit in the cabinet side of the camper. I know the top opening fridges are more efficient since they don't dump out all the cool air but after dealing with a top opening fridge on a sailboat in Australia for a 2 week period I like the thought of the regular door and not having to 'dig' to the bottom to find things.



 

Ducstrom

Active member
Got the brackets bent up and put together. It's a bit crude at the moment. Both chairs flip forward to make the second bed.





 

Ducstrom

Active member
Pics of putting the roof on. Made up a jig to bend all the roof 'rafters' so that the roof would have a slight bow to it. You can see in the one photo where the maxxair fan will be going. Got some more of the shelving done too.
Also, been picking away at more insulation, but didn't take any photos of that.








It's tough to get good pictures, I am not working with a ton of space and this thing isn't a pack of peanuts.
 

turbothrush

Member
Pics of putting the roof on. Made up a jig to bend all the roof 'rafters' so that the roof would have a slight bow to it. You can see in the one photo where the maxxair fan will be going. Got some more of the shelving done too.
Also, been picking away at more insulation, but didn't take any photos of that.





Regarding the laminated roof rafters I was wondering how much spring back you got ? And what kind of glue Crowned roofs are so cool ...definitely worth the effort IMO.
 

Ducstrom

Active member
Regarding the laminated roof rafters I was wondering how much spring back you got ? And what kind of glue Crowned roofs are so cool ...definitely worth the effort IMO.
Just estimating by eyeballing it I'd say it was about a 50% spring back. I just wanted a slight bow to make sure water wouldn't pool, but I didn't want to run into issues with mounting things on a very curved roof. I am guessing it'll provide some additional strength when I am walking around on it too. I was already climbing around on it as it was in that picture and I am around 220lbs. The only glue I've used so far is in the drawer construction. All the laminating is being done with a laminating epoxy.
 

Ducstrom

Active member
Here's a pic of tediously drilling out all the screw holes and filling them with epoxy and dowel.


In this shot the fiberglass on the roof has been done. Just to recap the butt joints recieved 2 layers of 4" 6oz tape and then the whole thing is covered in another 6oz woven sheet.


Here's a couple pictures of the inside and outside after cutting the hole for the maxxair fan. Also added in some more bracing for the giant hole I just cut in the roof.



Well there you have it. That's all the photos I have to date. I have already cut out the poptop, but didn't take any photos. I intend to keep updating as I get more done, but it's been a year and a half to this point already...

Realistically, I hope to have it complete by next winter and ready to roll for 2021. Here's hoping!
 
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