Cabover height

DarkBladeRunner

Active member
Hi everyone, I'm taking a deep dive researching a potential build. I think I've found the truck. We're opting for now to seriously consider a truck camper to put on the back. The problem is that It makes the truck too tall to be legal (13'6" max) when I configure it like this (not my truck, not my camper, just what I'd like to do:
36160332_373754343151140_989618262373302272_n.jpg

I'm trying to find an 11-12 foot floor length camper, and if I leave a 4 inch clearance over the cab, I'm left with 3'10 1/2" of useable vertical space (which must include the AC unit). Does any one know of a full length truck camper with a shallow cabover section? (that's not a 1991 hunkajunk like in this photo).

And before someone says anything, yes, I know I'll have to make the camper removable so that I can lift the cab.

Thanks!
 

Dusty-NZ

Observer
A couple of things spring to mind .

Why have 4" roof gap? that seems excessive .

How about you take your truck to the local hot rodder and get him to do a 3" roof chop :)
 

DarkBladeRunner

Active member
A couple of things spring to mind .

Why have 4" roof gap? that seems excessive .

How about you take your truck to the local hot rodder and get him to do a 3" roof chop :)
4” is what I feel safe with to accommodate for frame twist based on preliminary geometric analysis (fancy way of saying I drew it in cad and studied the range of motion). Although if I make a 3 point frame and have the two fixed attachment points right behind the cab I’m sure it could be much less. But for now I’m assuming rail on rail attached at the back only.

And chopping the cab is a no no. Wife likes the cab way too much.
 
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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
With a chassis designed to flex,. 4" is a safe, good space for most applications.

If you are running out of height, wish to keep a cab-over camper in the plans, AND need AC, you should start looking into campers that include a step-down roof design like the custom camper we run.
It maintains a good, livable cab-over height, while lowering the ceiling/roof height in the galley and dining area where is really isnt needed.
This creates a great space for items like solar, AC, and gear stowage without increasing the overall height of the camper

There are a few MFGs that have built these types over the years. Holiday Rambler and Amerigo have produces campers with this design, and I believe Northern is doing it currently, at least to a small degree.
The list is short though.


 

DarkBladeRunner

Active member
Thanks for that info! Turns out there is exactly 1 America for Allen in Canada right now and it’s down the street! Looks like wood frame and a total rebuild required. Rebuilding has pros but what about wood frame?

Also, hadn’t thought of this but, maybe I could swap the roof vents for flush models, remove the roof Ac and go with a mini split unit? Might give me the clearance I need...
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Biggest issues with most wood frames is how the the materials are fastened together.
Most wood frames campers are simply stapled together. This works fine for a seldom used family RV, but not so great for a full time expedition type vehicle.

If you were to undertake a complete rebuild, I would advise gluing all joints, adding sheer within the wall via plywood gussets, and and sealing/epoxy coating all wood before reattaching interior and exterior panels.
Additionally, adding rigid foam between all the framing would not only provide good insulation, done it would strengthen the camper incredibly.
 

boxcar1

boxcar1
Elk horn is one of the manufacturers that use a stepped roof design . You can save height by running a traditional small home AC unit mounted low in a cabinet. Say , under the refrigerator. This is a Much better way to go. Lowers the center of gravity, maintenance is much simplified , cost is nearly 75% less and takes the weight off of the roof.https://www.walmart.com/browse/home-improvement/window-air-conditioners/1072864_133032_133026_587566?cat_id=1072864_133032_133026_587566&facet=maximum_room_size_airconditioners_new:Under+300+sq+ft&povid=587564+|+contentZone1+|+2018-08-02+|+1+|+Window_AC_Room_Size_Under+300+sq+ft
 
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