Can't find what I want so the build begins.


Hi gang. New to the sight.
I have recently finished the restoration of a 1985 Nissan 720 KC.

The idea was to recreate a rig my wife and I had in the early 90's .
It was our first RV.
We have gone through many since ( both large and small ) and have never enjoyed any of them more than our first.


Problem is that that there are very few of the ( import ) size campers surviving.
The few that I have found were either to far gone or had floor plans that wouldn't work for me.

As a long time fabricator and some times hair brained inventor,
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the answer was simple.
Time for yet another build.

The plan is to build a conventional hard side camper tailored specifically to the truck I intend to carry the camper on. A 1985 ( modified ) Nissan 720 King Cab 4x4 truck.

The camper will be 13'5" over all with an 8' bed length and a 6'2" width.
The frame will be entirely made of welded steel.
.065 tubing to be precise.
1"x1" and 1"x2".
This will allow the rigidity required as well as being light enough to come in at a tolerable level. 320lbs. ( frame only ).
It will be insulated with R-Tech ridged insulating sheets.
Will be skinned with .032 aluminum outside and 11/32 birch plywood for the inner skin.
A full array of cabinets and amenities are planed for the int.
The plans have been drawn up , the steel ordered , and the shop cleared for the build.
Wish me luck......
Just in case any one is interested here are a few of the concept drawings :
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The steel arrived yesterday.
As luck would have it ( all good ) I was given permission from an old and dear friend to remove any thing I thought I needed from his heavily water damaged 86 Conestoga 12' camper.
I scored a ton of useful parts for the build.
3 way Dometic Refrigerator ( working ) / Duotherm furnace / double sink / belt driven diaphragm water pump / 25 gal water tank / inverter and electrical panel / windows / lots and lots of cab doors and drawers / and a very nice rear door with screens intact.
as soon as I finish up the power steering conversion on my Samurai ( today ) I will start the camper fab tomorrow.
I'm itching to get started........
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metal melter
I'll be sub'n this too! Love seeing camper builds.

I am almost done my second refurb. The next will most likely be a build from scratch.


The power steering conversion tool longer than expected. Done now though.
Will start the frame tomorrow.
I'll keep you posted.


Finallllllly an update....
Due to the holiday schedule I wasn't able to start the camper build until Sunday the 27'th.
Have made some real progress since then.

The beginnings of the floor.


The box starts to take shape.


Rear bulkhead


Stringers for the forward bunk.



Bridge gussets.
I can now start fabricating the roof sections.
So far it is very light yet extremely ridged .
If I keep this schedule, I should have the chassis finished by Sunday the 3'rd of January.
I just love winter projects. Beats watching re runs....
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Not in the drawing but the finished unit will have an insulated bulkhead between the range and the bunk.
Swapping the sink and the range is not an option as it would screw up the cg of the camper.
The Nissan pickup has a fairly short wheel base.
My plan is to keep all of the heaviest appliances ( fridge , range , water tank , propane storage ) forward of the axle. This in turn sets the CG 4" forward of the axle.

Made some more progress last night.

I have a 2 week Christmas break schedule. Must get as much done as possible in this time frame. Makes for some long days.....
Thanks for the input......

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A couple more tabs and a paint job will finish up the this phase of the project.
32 Hrs so far . I figure 40 hrs will do the whole chassis.


Once completed the chassis will be fitted to the truck so that the tie down points can be optimized before the inner skin goes in.
That will be exciting....