Lightweight Homebuilt Camper for my Tacoma

Progress feels slow at present.

Got the floor installed with the propane pipe underneath.



Installed the last of the RV moulding on the outside



got the aluminum sheet for my door jamb design and cut the strips and had them bent.... and built my first door jamb.... and ......arrghh ..... I built the doors too tight....there is no way I can make such tight tolerances work.


So.... I cut one door up... and re-welded it smaller... and now will skin it and finish it before I go further. I really should have solved the door jamb design issues before building the frames.... so many lessons.


And the biggest "let it go" of all...... there is no way I will have even a basic shell finished for this summer's planned trip across Canada..... but the trip is more important than the camper... so we will go with a tent..... c'est la vie
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My last post about my camper build for a few months....I am leaving on a two month trip across Canada.... without the camper:(:(

Have managed to get the first door finished and all the frames manufactured. More of the making extra work for myself thing.





The frames will be painted white. The rotary latches work well.... were they worth the extra work? I know it would be much easier a second I guess I will have to build another one.
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I think I need a bigger truck!
Just found this build thread, nice work. I love the design and the pop-up campers in general. I really dig the flooring, looks very ship shape in there with all that wood. I have no doubt that all of your hard work on the details and going the extra mile will make this a fantastic camper!

Too bad it wasn't ready for your trip, but it will be for the next one. Also have to point out that now that I have found this thread, and read it end to end, I now have to wait until you are back from your trip for an update! DOH!

Have fun!


New member
amazing build. helps lots with the ideas I have been putting together. I might have to make a trip to Nelson to see it.
I just found this. Too cool, I want to see how many pounds this build shaved off over production models on the market. Is this thread a cliff hanger? When does the next season begin? Was it cut by the networks?
Well....... it has been two years since I worked on my camper.....

Somehow life has gotten in the way.... had to get more work for wages to pay for all the travel.....and.... and..... yeesh

Now my sons are getting too big to ride in the Tacoma double cab.... and I am pondering selling the project. I just have not had the time to get back to it. What with working full time and running my business... and family life.

If anyone knows of someone interested in a shell and roof pop-up camper project.... I am willing to work out a good deal!


SAR guy
A couple of ideas:

1. I made most of my cabinets and floor out of marine-grade plywood and finished with Minwax Polyurethane. While it's very water-resistant, I found that it's also quite soft and easy to gouge. I would consider using 7-ply cabinet-grade wood and finishing the edges with Epoxy or another resin to get the water-resistance. The cabinet drawers I had made from this stuff have been very durable.

2. For flooring, check out interlocking Vinyl tile. This is available at any large hardware store in the flooring section. It's usually installed over concrete floors in utility rooms and bathrooms. Basically, it's a lighter, thinner, waterproof alternative to laminate.

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New member
I've just registered as a member of this forum because I'm hoping to build a truck camper and this is the first build I've read about from start to finish (or at least what I thought was going to be a finish). It was all looking so good. Well thought out and well executed. I hope you have a rethink and complete the build.

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Thanks for the positive comment Kamperfan.

I would need a huge push of energy to finish it.... as I need to get a larger vehicle to fit my tall kids.... and so really I need a full size pop up camper now.

I have pondered just completing the shell as that would be easier to sell. Perhaps even remove the large side door opening and the rear openings and just leave the entry door.....then let another keen camper builder complete it however they envision.

It would be a great winter project for someone!

for anyone even considering it..... I picture selling the shell as is.... or completed as a simple shell unit.

The interior was never completed and so it is easy to pull out the wall panels and redesign how to finish it.

The cost of all the material alone in this camper shell is approximately $6000. (I have all receipts) I am open to offers on it and am prepared to sell it for much less than I have invested!

For all the forum members in the United States, your dollar goes a long way in Canada now so you would even get a better deal!
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New member
If I have any money left over after purchasing my house and a tacoma crew cab, I'd be definitely interested depending on price.