Heather and Dana's 2007 Fg140 Camper Build


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Hey folks, my wife(Heather) and I (Dana) are in the process of building out a 2007 Mitsubishi Fuso FG140 into an expedition camper. We've owned vans, trucks, and Subaru's, and are pretty stoked to have something with the capability of a truck, and the space of a van. We have purchased our truck, and have been first focused on the chassis. We are working with Allan at Overlander Global in Gunnison to build a subframe and composite box, which we will do in July. We will then build out the interior of the camper to make it capable of longer term travel. We have dreams of hitting Alaska, Canada, and South America with this rig. We are documenting our journey on YouTube, but I also wanted to document in text here. I've already learned so much about overland travel and our truck via this forum, so hope I can add some value to others. I'll use this thread for our vehicle build out- both the chassis and the box. Here's a picture of our truck as it currently sits after a 2 foot powder day last week!IMG_4925.jpeg


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FUSO Chassis Modifications

In this post I’ll detail how we settled on the Fuso platform, our search and pickup process, and our chassis exterior modifications. We’ve made a few videos of these steps, which I’ll leave links to in case you want to follow long.

Heather and I have owned a lot of adventure vehicles over the years. We’ve had multiple Subarus, a couple F-150’s with Four Wheel Campers on them, and two vans. We’ve trended towards larger vehicles over time, and really loved the amount of space that our most recent vehicle, a RWD Sprinter van offered. But, with the Sprinter we really missed being able to wander down forest service roads, and know that we could get ourselves out confidently. We heavily considered a 4x4 sprinter, but decided that we should continue our trend and go just a bit bigger! So after lots of thinking about different trucks, we decided that the Fg140 was the platform we wanted to build on because of the relative simplicity, ability to burn high sulfur diesel, and high payload capacity.

We spent many months searching ExPo, Craigslist, Facebook, and more. Through our search we ended up meeting Allan at Overlander Global in Gunnison, Co, who hosted us at his shop to check out a rig, and talk us through his awesome Fuso projects. We were sold on the platform, and after about 5 months of shopping, we found a Fuso FG140 in Oregon, put a deposit down, and flew out to pick it up. It is a 2007 FG140 that was used as a wildland firetruck its whole life. It only had 45,000 miles on it, and had been in a garage most of its life. The pickup went fine, but driving a Fuso with zero weight in the back was a bumpy ride to say the least. We also got pulled over because we had open wheels(no fenders/flaps) but we eventually made it back to Durango.
IMG_4513 (2).jpeg

While our original thinking was to buy a ready to roll expedition truck, or to plop a camper on top of a Fuso, we fell in love with the vehicles rolling out of Allans shop, and decided that it would be worth the higher expense and the longer wait to build with Allan. Allan listened to our long term plans, and suggested that we build the subframe and habitat box shell with him, and then take on the interior build out ourselves. This feels like a great way for us to get in on a very solid foundation, but still put our own touch on our rig. So far Allan has given us so much of his time and expertise in our build. He always has time for my silly questions, and we are already indebted to him for the help he’s provided. We plan to build the box in July, and get to work on the interior shortly after that. I’m so excited to learn more from this legend.

Once we got the truck to Durango, we immediately brought it up to Allans shop and installed our new suspension and wheels. We used Alcan springs out of Grand Junction CO for the leaf springs, Bilstien shocks, wheels from Fuso Off Road, and Toyo tires. Allan guided us through the install, and taught us a lot about how the truck works. Tackling a big project with someone who knows what they are doing brought me a lot of confidence for taking on other projects down the road, and the knowledge we gained will be helpful when things inevitably go wrong far away from a garage.

After installing the wheels, tires, and suspension, I made a new friend on Facebook who opened his shop to us to do the next bunch of work. Gabe lives in Ignacio CO, and let us spend the week between Christmas and New Years in his woodstove heated shop working on the truck. Over this time, we installed our bumper, winch, and lights, as well as doing a full fluid flush. We used an ECB front bumper(again imported by Tony at Fuso Off Road), which took us 14+ hours to install. The instructions were a bit challenging, but after a few calls to Allan, and many conversations with Gabe and Heather, we got it installed. We then installed a Sherpa 17,000 pound winch, and ARB Solis lights. Later in the week I did a full fluid flush, changing the engine, transmission, transfer case, and differential oils. I’d only ever done engine oil changes by myself in the past, but a video from Outliers Overland was greatly informative to help know the right oils, the right amounts, and some tips and tricks that made things easier. The hardest part of this was getting the thick oil back into the differentials. Finally, I scraped the minimal amount of surface rust off the frame, hit it with Coroseal, and then painted black over that. The frame now looks good as new, and ready for our box.

Next up is the interior of the cab. We have already started building our cab electrical systems, sound deadening, and creature comforts, but I’ll save that for a future post. Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

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