Budget Friendly approach to "weekender" overlanding rig...


New member
I have mentioned my thoughts on building a slide in truck camper for overlanding for my 2004 F150 4x4.

That is a long term goal kind of thing, and may actually God willing end up on a different truck / chassis as I despise the 5.4L 3V Triton this truck has. However, that engine is being gone through by a Ford Specialist I know that is one of the few out there that "bulletproofs" the 5.4 3V with upgraded hardware and machining that Ford goofed on in production... So lets go with the truck...

2004 F150 XLT 5.4L Supercab 6.5 foot bed.
Rancho 2.5" quicklift with Moog ball joints, and Moog HD front coils.
Go Rhino winch bumper / brush guard.
Engo E9000 winch.
Pro Comp stainless 130 w off road lights. (need to upgrade to LEDs).
17x9 wheels with 35x12.50/17 Hercules Trail Diggers all the way around including spare.
4.10 gears

So there is a reason I don't want to scrap this truck and start over...

To do the "camper conversion" of sorts, I sourced up a used Leer 122 from Craiglist for $300.00. This topper has the carpet kit, and interior lighting that taps into the trailer light harness.

I haven't gone beyond putting the topper on it yet, but the plan is...

#1. Lay out the bed dimensions in Sketchup so I can plan spaces appropriately and...
#2. Build a bed platform out of 2x4s and 2x2s for the frame, and 3/4" ground contact plywood covered with rat fur carpeting, and piano hinges to allow access through the top to storage underneath.
#3. The mattress will be an RV short queen as it is all that can fit the 6.5 foot bed, trifold memory foam 10" thick. My wife and I have tested one and can both sleep on it well...
#4. In bed storage will be laid out like so.
- Front of bed against the cab, across the bed 4 @ Reliance AquaTainer 7 gallon fresh water containers.
- Section compartmented off for jumper box battery, and CPAP, with penetration for hose to run through.
- 27 gallon tote (all the totes are 27 gallon) housing entire camp kitchen excluding the Coleman Pack Away folding camp kitchen, 2 burner propane stove, and the 12" dutch oven and kitchen smalls stowed in the dutch oven and bag.
- Tote with propane appliances. This will house 2 burner propane stove, propane heater (Portable Buddy) , propane lantern, distribution tree, and related hoses.
- Coleman PackAway camp kitchen.
- Quick Chair camp chairs x2.
- Milk crate with 20lb propane cylinder.
- Ozark Trail 9x13 screen house for kitchen.
- Cabelas Deluxe Shower Shelter for privy.
- 5 gallon flushing portable Toilet.
- 2 gallon bucket for water, and Zodi propane shower. This has been modded with extra hose to allow the zodi to be set up on the distribution tree if we chose to. Failing that, we use it with a 1lb proapne bottle.
- 12" Dutch oven in DO bag, and packed with kitchen smalls.
- Weber Smokey Joe in a carry bag, with small chimney starter, 2 loads of charcoal, a lighter and a Sunday paper.
- Bucket of charcoal
- Home made truck cap end tent to enclose the space with the tailgate down, and the cap hatch open. This will provide a door and a penetration for a small window unit AC.

On the hitch haul box...
- Harbor Freight Talgator 900w generator.
- Gallon gas can with gas / oil mix.
- 2 @ 5 gallon gas cans, regular unleaded.
- 5K BTU mechanical window unit AC.
- Foam floor pads that I set up as a noise break / quiet box for the generator.

I know I am forgetting something, but at least for now, that is the idea of what I am working toward. God, my health, and budget willing, I will get there.