DIY Pop-up Camper Build

phalanx

New member
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to explain.

I originally thought of designing my camper around the Flip Pac, but I came to the conclusion that it was too complicated and had several drawbacks. I concluded an 'A' frame pop-up was the way to go, but I had to make some major design changes along the way. I'm currently working on the third version of this camper, due to the first version flying off the top of the truck and the second deteriorating (I didn't build it to last). I built it around an old lumber rack my Dad had lying around and supported the cabover weight with 12' paralam beams.





Cutouts for supports in the paralam.





Mounted:



Beginning to apply polyester resin to the beams:

 
Last edited:

phalanx

New member
Some more random shots of building progress:













And that was it for version one. I didn't strap it down very well and hadn't installed the hardware to secure it yet. It flew off the top at 40 mph and crashed onto the road behind me. Luckily, no one was hurt (except for my ego). The lid was a total loss.
Next I made version 2, as you can see the differences in the lid behind me:



It took two days and 50 bucks, all I did was paint it and it disintegrated over the winter. I did get a couple trips out of it though:



 

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phalanx

New member
All of that happened last year, and this year I decided to go for it.
The original design had fold out panels that were secured under the 8' lid. The only reason I went with an 8' lid was because it was the size of a sheet of plywood and I had the intention of putting a firewood basket above the cab (not the best idea anyway). The new design is 12' long to go the length of the beams and the opening is reversed to eliminate any future flying-off incidents. This also eliminates the need to fold the bed up, which is nice.

Starting from scratch:









The only surviving piece of version 1. Thought it would be nice to keep something of it around, besides, it's actually functional!



Plywood:





Placed up top for a visual:



 

phalanx

New member
Belly of the beast:



Applying fiberglass, which I'm not very good at yet. I've come to terms with this deficiency, and keep telling myself that as long as there aren't any pinholes or cracks it'll be fine. I'm going to keep working on this skill.



Stainless hinges are much cheaper if you buy them without holes pre-drilled:



It's been pouring the past few weeks, which makes painting difficult. I set up a painting stall in my back yard which works okay, but it's not completely water proof. I just need one last coat...



Marine paint and some extra UV protection (when I can finally finish, grr...)

 

Mc Taco

American Adventurist
Are you going to leave the exposed rafters inside? Looks very nice with the curves (spars?). I can understand the need for insulation, especially in the PNW.
 

phalanx

New member
Very cool.... can't wait to see it finished!
Thanks, me too.

Looks over built and way too heavy.
That's fine. I prefer that to under-built and too light.

Are you going to leave the exposed rafters inside? Looks very nice with the curves (spars?). I can understand the need for insulation, especially in the PNW.
I'll leave the rafters for now, but I plan on adding removable insulation for camping during the rainy season (Oct-Jun).
 

phalanx

New member
I love it! Rainy season (Oct-Jun) thats no bull!
Ha! Thanks.

This is my SketchUp drawing of the interior. Blue is sleeping space, orange is countertop, and green is seating.







I'm not planning on including a fridge right now and am building an insulated space for a Coleman extreme. The sides of the camper are going to be fiberglassed rigid insulation, an idea I totally stole from pods.
 

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