Clamshell Pop-Up Camper Design

truck_camp_11

New member
Been working on a design for a clamshell pop-up slide-in truck camper for a full size 3/4 ton pickup. The idea is something lightweight and compact that can be used mostly for weekend excursions. There's nothing really new here, I've just taken ideas from other campers or trailers currently on the market. Unfortunately, no one makes something like this for the US market (at least until the V3 comes out) and even then I'm not up for the price tag. The design uses only flat panels to make it possible to build out of foam composite panels. Any thoughts on the best way to build?
 

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adam88

Explorer
Wow. Not trying to be a downer, but that's a significant undertaking. There's a reason it's taking Marc (who is an experienced camper builder with a huge facility, employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment) years to make the V3. If he could just pull a few employees aside and have it made in a week or two it would be done but it's a heck of a lot of work, even if you're just using foam composite panels. The multiple grooves at the bottom are especially going to be labour intensive. If you made it a flatbed like the V2 it would be slightly easier but even then, the lift mechanism, the sealing.... so much work :)

I looked into building my own too and then I realized, it's so much easier to work overtime and/or get another job, work hard for a year, and buy a camper :)

Good luck though!!!!! Would be an interesting build for sure
 

goodtimes

Expedition Poseur
There's a reason it's taking Marc (who is an experienced camper builder with a huge facility, employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment) years to make the V3. If he could just pull a few employees aside and have it made in a week or two it would be done but it's a heck of a lot of work, even if you're just using foam composite panels.
Yes & no. There's a big difference between the [relatively] simple fabrication of a one-off product, & designing/building something that is going to be reproduced.

From the design end, it doesn't really matter if that reproduction is going to be one-at-a-time, small batch, or mass production - its making each component individually repeatable & with the proper tolerances, that is challenging. When you're building a one-off product, you do a lot of "cut to fit", rather than "cut to dimension", so you can compensate for inaccurate cuts & stack-up tolerances that don't work out.

Also complicating it is that home built one-off products are often a labor or love, so you are more willing to live with the imperfections in the final product & more accommodating with the timeline. While I wouldn't recommend a home-build project like this to someone who is considering it strictly as a cost-savings method (for the very reasons you cite), I would encourage it for someone who has other motives behind it.
 

OutbacKamper

Supporting Sponsor
I like it! The concept is very similar to the XP V2 & V3 but using flat panels. I don't see any technical issues with building the lower half of the clamshell design from off the shelf foam/composite panels. The top sides of the lower clamshell will tend to flex a lot, but can easily be braced with a separate internal frame and/or interior cabinetry. I would think some additional reinforcing would be required for the cab-over portion. The upper clam shell is going to be more of a challenge, there is very little room for any interior frame or cabinetry bracing, so the top will tend to be very flexible. I would be tempted to make the top from a metal or wood frame and then install an exterior skin, foam between the frame members and and an interior skin, like javajoe79's:



Here is the inside of a moulded fiberglass Innovan upper clamshell, and this does not even have a cabover and the one piece curved roof would tend to be much stronger than a 2 piece flat panel design:

Here (far left) you can see how the cabinetry is used to reinforce the lower clamshell:


I cannot think of too many flat panel hard sided clamshell designs, only Bremach comes to mind:




Good luck and keep us posted...
 
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Tomsir

New member
kiwi camper

Hi guys this is not an impossible project but (making a similar item for my self at this moment), and i agree that putting it to paper in the design stage is a must you may not iron out all the wrinkles but you will have a better shot at it working if you plan it out lots of info out there now and plenty of resource on the net
mine i thought a bought for a long time many sketches and cad drawing latter i started construction in aluminum can be weld or riveted or combination of both as i have done i also designed it in flat panels but still would needed to be trimmed in metal or plastic .
 

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