Colorado slide in camper build

VanIsle_Greg

I think I need a bigger truck!
Glue only. I was skeptical before I started but now that it's done, I have no doubts.
I attached all my trim with the exception of 2 little pieces with Sika... nearly impossible to remove it. As a matter of fact, 2/3 of my camper build is held together with Sika and you could hardly intentionally pry that stuff apart. Adhesives have come a LONG way that's for sure.

Build is looking good sir!
 

Canlib

Member
Thanks Greg. I am amazed by modern adhesives. A bit of surface cleaning, no scuffing or sanding and as you say they are impossible to pull apart. I wonder if there is a half-life and someday I'll come out to a pile of scrap in the driveway? Time will tell, but I can see why manufacturers are embracing them. So much less time to assemble.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Thanks Greg. I am amazed by modern adhesives. A bit of surface cleaning, no scuffing or sanding and as you say they are impossible to pull apart. I wonder if there is a half-life and someday I'll come out to a pile of scrap in the driveway? Time will tell, but I can see why manufacturers are embracing them. So much less time to assemble.
Falling apart in the driveway would be the best result if things were to go south. My fear is it comes of at 80 mph and hits a car. So I am leaning towards vhb or adhesive for my skin and adhesive and rivets for the trim.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Pretty much. I guess with it being my first build I am a bit of a nervous Nelly. Although, I also thought about welding the trim together like an exoskeleton. This of course would prevent it from coming off without any fasteners. This would require I learn how to weld aluminum though.
 

Canlib

Member
My thinking is I don't want to make more holes in the outer skin, I don't want to restrain the edges of the aluminum skin for expansion and contraction and with a full bead of construction adhesive down each side of the 1x1 alchohol cleaned trim it would involve a catastrophic failure before the whole piece could peel off.
Also I don't drive 80 mph with a camper on the truck😀
 

Porkchopexpress

Well-known member
I can't remember where I read it but an article about midsize truck campers interviewed GM and they were told the reason that the Canyon and Colorado weren't certified for truck campers was because there weren't any campers on the market for midsize trucks when they were being developed so they didn't bother testing for them.

I found the article:


“When we began developing the current-generation Colorado’s architecture, there were no midsize boxes like ours on the market,” said Chris Bonelli, Chevy Design, Product and Brand Communications. “So, naturally, no one made a slide-in camper that was designed to fit. Because of this, we didn’t design or test the architecture for that specific accessory condition.”
 

Canlib

Member
I read that article and a bunch of web posts about a Holden (same truck) that was snapped in half. The camper on the Holden looked like it extended a couple of feet behind the bumper and it was pulling a trailer. The countryside looked like desert moguls. When my camper quest started, I contacted Four-wheel and they told me their campers are built truck specific and the had one in stock in Canada that was for the Colorado. Then they told me the price and here I am. Total cost is under $7000 cdn and calculated dry weight is 850 pounds.
 

Andrew_S

Observer
Yes! so stoked to see this coming together. Awesome choices on your design, window placement and that rear door looks so good.
I really like the way you did the actuators externally mounted, that must have taken some thought! Can't wait to see this on the truck.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Really well done, I'm looking forward to seeing it painted? Cutious what it weighs, it looks very light.
 

ThebigMT

New member
THIS is why I joined EP. You guys solving problems that the industry hasn't even thought of yet! I am in the same predicament as Canlib. I want something a bit more civilized than a GFC or an AT atlas, but the price and lead time of a FWC or ATC is just crazy right now. I want to build something that my trusty old gen 1 tundra can carry for a few more years until I inevitably will end up in a midsized pickup. I have skills and tools more suited to wood, but here's one more reason to actually learn to use a tig. Composite panels seemed great until I hit the wall trying to source them. I know many EP members have built their own but I don't think that's where I want to put my time in. Canlib would you mind sharing your specs for tubing and sheet alu? Thanks to all of you for the inspiration to build not buy.
 

Canlib

Member
Thank you all for your encouragement!
Yes! so stoked to see this coming together. Awesome choices on your design, window placement and that rear door looks so good.
I really like the way you did the actuators externally mounted, that must have taken some thought! Can't wait to see this on the truck.
Thanks Andrew. I'm getting anxious to be done. The actuators were a lot of head scratching. I had planned on mounting them inside like the traditional Alaskan but the retracted length was too long. I looked at the specs and they are the next highest waterproof rating to total immersion so out they went. Really pleased with not having to crawl around them to get to the bed.
Really well done, I'm looking forward to seeing it painted? Cutious what it weighs, it looks very light.
I've calculated the weight at 850 pounds. No paint, it will stay mill finish aluminum.
THIS is why I joined EP. You guys solving problems that the industry hasn't even thought of yet! I am in the same predicament as Canlib. I want something a bit more civilized than a GFC or an AT atlas, but the price and lead time of a FWC or ATC is just crazy right now. I want to build something that my trusty old gen 1 tundra can carry for a few more years until I inevitably will end up in a midsized pickup. I have skills and tools more suited to wood, but here's one more reason to actually learn to use a tig. Composite panels seemed great until I hit the wall trying to source them. I know many EP members have built their own but I don't think that's where I want to put my time in. Canlib would you mind sharing your specs for tubing and sheet alu? Thanks to all of you for the inspiration to build not buy.
Go for it! It has been a fun project. I went with Andrew's advice and got a spool gun for my mig instead of Tig and I'm glad I did. If I was welding sheet stock, maybe the tig would be an advantage. I read a post somewhere from FWC that said they do most of their welds as filets inside the wall to cut down on grinding. I went that route and it worked great. The tubing is all 1" x 0.125. 1x1, 1x2 and 1x4. The skin is .040.
 

ThebigMT

New member
Thank you all for your encouragement!

Thanks Andrew. I'm getting anxious to be done. The actuators were a lot of head scratching. I had planned on mounting them inside like the traditional Alaskan but the retracted length was too long. I looked at the specs and they are the next highest waterproof rating to total immersion so out they went. Really pleased with not having to crawl around them to get to the bed.

I've calculated the weight at 850 pounds. No paint, it will stay mill finish aluminum.

Go for it! It has been a fun project. I went with Andrew's advice and got a spool gun for my mig instead of Tig and I'm glad I did. If I was welding sheet stock, maybe the tig would be an advantage. I read a post somewhere from FWC that said they do most of their welds as filets inside the wall to cut down on grinding. I went that route and it worked great. The tubing is all 1" x 0.125. 1x1, 1x2 and 1x4. The skin is .040.
Thank you very much. I've seen that the production shops have gone to spool guns. I guess when every penny counts they make sense. Not as pretty, but certainly gets it done.
 
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