ITTOG's Truck Camper Build (was 6' x 12' Trailer Conversion)

ITTOG

Well-known member
Time: 3 hours
Total Time to Date: 224 hours
Rework: 0 hours
Total Rework to Date: 79 hours (not part of time above)
Current Weight: 651 pounds
Roof: 123 (need to reweigh and add lift support weight)
Camper: 480 (calculated)
Wedge Weight: 48



These are the latches I plan to use to latch the roof to the camper. They are way beefier than required but I didn't like they were made to fit only a 4mm bolt. So I drilled them out to accept 6mmx1.0 and beveled the heads so the screws will sit flush and not interfere with the latch. This first pic shows the first one I had converted.
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After about an hour I had all of them drilled out and beveled.
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Thank goodness for sons. I have been itching for working a little on the camper but knew I wouldn't be able to get the camper of the trailer and turned over. So in comes my son. We have traded roles of providing the muscle around the house. That is probably true even when I haven't had surgery.

I filled in the holes and flaws in the plywood and then sealed it so it doesn't soak in all the epoxy when I fiberglass it.
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In order to fiberglass the tub of the camper I needed some walls to lay the glass on. I decided to use, with the help of @AbleGuy, 2" foam board. My tubing is 1.5" thick, thus the inside of the camper will have about 1/2" thick foam over the tubing and 2" elsewhere. This should help reduce condensation with temps in the 20F and higher. Any lower and I will probably see some condensation by the tubing.
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In order to install it I used a hot knife to cut out the locations of the tubing. For straight-line cuts it is like a hot knife in butter. But when cutting out the interior grooves it takes a bit more pressure and is a lot slower. But it does work.
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Here it is installed and you can see the 1/2" over the tubing.
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First piece fully installed. Upon final installation I plan to glue it and fill gaps with expanding foam.
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Before I put my camper in storage I put a piece of tubing on the camper with 3M tape, 4991. I affixed the tube around April 10 so it was on the camper almost two months. I used isopropyl alcohol to clean the bare steel and the paint before applying the 3M tape. You will see in the video that the tape came off the paint, without damaging the paint or the tape. I was able to pull it off the bare steel as well but it was more difficult. The first pull in the video is just me pulling with one hand and it passed that test. But when I pushed off the camper with the other hand it came off pretty easily. Thus, this tape probably needs a primer or something to make it work better. I also have 3M 5952 so I need to test it. Hopefully it will work without a primer.
 

jwiereng

Active member
Looking forward to hearing about your results. Uline website states that 5952 bonds well to painted and powder-coated metals and hard-to-stick plastics like polyethylene and silicone.

Any particular reason you first tried the 4991 ? 90 mils thick seems a bit thick for smooth flat surfaces
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Looking forward to hearing about your results. Uline website states that 5952 bonds well to painted and powder-coated metals and hard-to-stick plastics like polyethylene and silicone.

Any particular reason you first tried the 4991? 90 mils thick seems a bit thick for smooth flat surfaces
Just because I had it laying around already. Yes it was too thick for what I needed but I thought I would test anyway. I didn't have the 5952 at the time because I couldn't find a deal for it. Luckily, during my hiatus I found all the 5952 I need for almost 50% off. I now have the same piece of tube stuck to the camper with the 5952 now. I will test its removal this weekend.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
My test of VHB 4991 didn't go well so this test is of 5952. It was more difficult to pull off but not by a lot. The good news is the tape stuck to the raw steel and the painted steel with only cleaning with isopropyl alcohol. In fact, the tape destroyed itself. This is probably the best case scenario.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Time: 3 hours
Total Time to Date: 227 hours
Rework: 0 hours
Total Rework to Date: 79 hours (not part of time above)
Current Weight: 651 pounds
Roof: 123 (need to reweigh and add lift support weight)
Camper: 480 (calculated)
Wedge Weight: 48


Tools of the trade. I started off cutting the foam just with the hot knife. I didn't like it because it was highly inaccurate on cutting a straight line. So I eventually began using my circular saw to make my cuts. For the channel cuts I used the circular saw for both sides of the channel and then used the hot knife to cut the bottom of the channel. This provided a much cleaner cut. Now if there are gaps it is just because my measurements sucked. I wasn't always exact given I plan to use expanding foam to fill gaps.
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An example of a poor cut with the hot knife. I had to fill it with glue.


I lot of bracing to hold the foam where I wanted it. Mostly this is to keep the edges of the foam even with the tubing on the outside. This is important given I will be fiberglassing over it.
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This is the inside of the camper through the door. Remember it is upside down at this point. Pic is from the rear of the camper to the front.
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All the bracing removed.
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I have some more foam board to cut and glue and then apply some filler on some of the gaps. After that, fiberglass. I will not fiberglass the far end of the camper because it sits outside the bed of the truck and will have ACM on it so it matches the top of the camper and looks uniform. It is a bit hard to see but the camper flares out at this position and it will be my transition from fiberglass to ACM where the flare begins. In my previous post there is a picture of the bottom of the camper after sealing the wood. In it you can see the flare.
 

Attachments

ITTOG

Well-known member
Time: 5 hours
Total Time to Date: 232 hours
Rework: 0 hours
Total Rework to Date: 79 hours (not part of time above)
Current Weight: To be weighed, but at least 660 pounds



I added expanding foam to all the gaps. I added extra foam in area's I wanted to level out transitions, be it frame to foam or foam to foam. It expanded a lot more than I expected
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All the excess foam has been cut off. It has a lot more voids than I was expecting. I am thinking about finding something to level out the voids so the fiberglass is smoother. I prefer it not show divots and other flaws by not addressing the underlayment. I guess Bondo would be good to use? To fix it now or later?
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I am very surprised by how rigid this foam is once it is secured to the frame. Makes me think I should have only used foam and fiberglass. Maybe that is for camper 2.0?
 

1000arms

Well-known member
... I am very surprised by how rigid this foam is once it is secured to the frame. Makes me think I should have only used foam and fiberglass. Maybe that is for camper 2.0?
You might want to look at:



and perhaps at:

 

ITTOG

Well-known member
You might want to look at:



and perhaps at:

Thanks for the links. I will have to investigate them if the time for Camper 2.0 ever comes.

I bet that Foam is locked in solid now
It is. I am surprised how solid it is.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
You are welcome! :)

Are you fully healed yet?
Not yet. I am almost 10 weeks post-surgery. Next big milestone is 12 weeks, which is when I should have full range of motion and get to begin doing things like very short and slow running, biking, etc. Full recovery is six months. Things are going so well though that I am going to have surgery on the other hip on July 12. So we will have another hiatus in the build. I hope to complete the fiberglass before then.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
I hope to fiberglass the bottom half of the camper this weekend. Given I have to do horizontal and vertical spots at once I plan to wrap some tubing in saran wrap to help keep the epoxied glass in place. I hope it works.

PXL_20220623_230530699.jpg
 

1000arms

Well-known member

ITTOG

Well-known member
You might want to look at "The Gougeon Brothers On Boat Construction" book. There is lot of information

West System (Epoxy) has a free PDF link on this page:


The free direct link is:

Yeah I have read it. Not sure I remember everything. I plan to thicken the epoxy like recommended but not sure how it will work so I wanted another option.


Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
 

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