My attempt at a Pop-up........It begins....


Before siding goes on, thoughts on filling the aluminum square tube with foam like Greatsuff? Was thinking it might help with sound muffling or something? I'm pretty sure it won't affect thermal insulating at all.

Anyhow, thoughts?
Any updates on the siding? I'm picking up my aluminum on Friday, and having it sheared to the nearest rectangular size on Saturday. I'll then clamp it to my camper and mark out all the openings that have to be cut out. I'll use some air shears to do that. I have 46 yards of the 3M 4991 tape on hand and hope to start the skinning Monday of next week. Have you found an adhesive to bond the aluminum to the Rmax insulation? Can't wait to see it with siding on it. Seems like you get one big job done and see it starting to look like something. Then it's a series of little jobs and you feel as though you aren't getting anywhere. The past 10 days I've been building jack brackets, hold down brackets, plates in the walls for thru fittings like electric, water and battery vent. Now I'm painting the windows to install after the siding.


Attached floor pack to the frame.....
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Placed windows and door for checking fit....
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installed Rmax 1" rigid insulation between studs using reflectix tape...
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More gratuitous pics....
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Really happy with how this has come along so far. Just for piece of mind I used angle braces on each of the corners with tapping wafer head screws just for extra support on those integral parts. tomorrow I'm ordering the smooth aluminum siding from Mirage in Nampa ID. plan on using the VHB tape I just dropped $200.00 on and then will fab the roof frame and order an aluminum 1 piece for that. I will supplement the siding tape with a few well sealed skin screws as well. I also ordered and received all my internal and external lighting that I need to run wiring for. I also found this product that I will layer the entire inside of the camper with prior to siding it for extra spacing between the walls and panels to hopefully reduce condensation and thermal transfer. then the next steps will be mounting the jacks and ordering my Sail-Rite vinyl for the popup portion. Although, I might work on finishing the interior prior to completing the popup and roof for ease of working space. I opted for a 47 qt. rotomold cooler that I purchased instead of a refrigerator, less battery draw and with dry ice will work for any of my fishing trips as I'm usually near a town to replenish any ice and food.

I also am purchasing a suburban forced air furnace instead of any cat heater as I have gone back and forth between the 2 but opted for the furnace since I would feel 100% at ease running it while sleeping and it doesn't produce water vapor as minimal as it might be.

The only real concern I still have structurally is whe cabover portion. While I have aluminum angle around all 3 sides and then the frame itself to support to plywood sheeting for the bed I am concerned about that supporting my 250lbs sleeping on it. I will for sure screw it down and trust my welds but some other way to help support it would be nice, but maybe this is just how they are normally constructed. I haven't seen any of the ATC or FWC have any cross members underneath the bed in any of the research I have done.

Thats all for now, will update when the siding goes on!
First of all what a great job! You built it like a tank compared to any commercially available product. Maybe a little structurally overbuilt but that is only my opinion. 13 years ago when I built a similar camper I ended up using steel but used a lot less of it in comparison and thinner wall also. A weld has never broken the cab-over bed has never failed. The way I used gas springs to lift the top was subsequently used almost identically by FWC. Yours will look a lot better than mine. Have fun with your project and many years of enjoyment using it!


Thank you very much! Appreciate the kind words.

I have received all my aluminum except the roofing. I have cut the rear section so far using the same technique you described hanging it by clamps and tracing the outline for the windows and door. I purchased some shears that have proved amazing...

They work really well. Its not just time that I haven't had. Work schedule has cut into my project and hopefully tomorrow I can actually mount the rear siding and get a good look at what it will start to look like. I also welded up the roof structure, though I might be changing it to have a more extreme slope from back to front.

As you will see in the pictures I have applied most of my VHB tape and have added still more since these pictures. I plan to use aluminum angle as trim on the corners, to give it a more rugged look as well as more solid than just plastic RV trim. I also carpeted the top of the camper where it will meet the roof structure that will be carpeted also.






I will update again this week after I make some more progress!


New member
Nice! Looks like it's coming along great. Did you end up sloping the roof? I can't tell from the pictures. If so, how did you do it? behind the square tube along the long axis of the camper? I'm still trying to decide if i'll keep it flat like my existing wood framed camper.


It actually sagged while I had the frame upside down on my saw horses for welding so I welded them in place. though Im still not sure I like it, so Im considering redoing the roof with it raised in the back and sloping down towards the front giving the whole roof a slope for water to run off. kind of like how Phoenix did theirs...


Would make laying to aluminum roofing easy as well as very flat versus having different slopes both front to back and side to side.e
I don't want to hijack your thread, but you can see how my old 4 Wheel camper is coming along over at WTW. Look up the 4 Wheel camper forum and 79 Granby.


Its looking very nice so far....I have been watching it there as I started to follow Poky on his rebuild as it was invaluable to those rebuilding their FWC's

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One thing I did with my siding, was to drill a hole at each inside corner. The original 1 piece front wall had a crack extending from the corner of the window cut out. It's often recommended to drill a hole at the end of a crack to keep it from extending. So I thought what the heck, why not drill a hole at installation, and maybe that will prevent a crack in the future. Regular laid up siding I'm sure has lots of wiggle room, but larger sheets won't have that wiggle factor. Just something to think about.


Siding on 2 sides so far.




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Those aren't scratches, just ripples in the plastic sheeting protecting it. I picked up 11g 3/4 aluminum angle as well for trimming out all the edges and corners. Gives it a nice rugged look while also providing ample protection and security the siding will stay in place.

Also picked up 4 marine inspection hatches for placing into the 6" turnbuckle access holes for a watertight seal down below....



New member
wow, looking great! I like the smoothness of the aluminum siding. What colour the siding is under the plastic wrap - can't quite tell?

A couple of other questions if you have a minute.

How did you deal with the radius window corners? did you weld material in there, or are the cutouts square? I've seen that you can buy plastic corners for framing the corners of the windows (all-terrain campers does this, I believe), but not sure if it's necessary.

I see you insulated before hanging the siding. Was that simply for easy of access/working around it? Would you recommend that way versus insulated after the fact from inside?

Any pieces of advice on hanging the siding on the frame using the VHB tape? Seems pretty straight-forward? How many feet/yards did you use?

FYI - not sure what you're using for the pop-top material, but it seems many folks are using the 18 oz VCP from what i've seen on the forums. I ordered a sample, and that seems thin, but tough, waterproof and easy to work with. I figure I can insulate with a second layer as per the 'arctic pack' design. The reason I mention is that the stuff is on clearance sale right now: $6.99/yd down from $23.99. Mine arrives Friday, even though I haven't started to frame the camper yet.



For the corner radius' I just cut insulation after marking up the size with the windows in place. I was originally going to order premade plastic ones but the sizes and actual arc didn't jive with my windows. After I cut out the insulation I taped them up with reflectix tape and then taped them in place, worked great.

I've seen it done both ways, siding up then insulate and vice versa. I chose to go with the insulation up first and then applied some construction adhesive tot he insulation as well for additional bond between the siding and the insulation. Seems you can go either way with this.

Originally I planned on having multiple people with me to hang the siding, but my wife and I actually did the back and I did the one side solo. I hung the siding on the frame using clamps and getting it where I wanted it then used a sharpee to markup all my cuts and cutouts. went back to the bench and cut the siding up then hung it back up, undid one side and let the siding roll away from the frame and peeled tape from the halfway point out to the edge. I then pressed it on working from the middle to the outer edge and actually used a 2x4 rolled with outdoor carpet that I used for working the vinyl flooring to the mastic to press the siding to the frame. then repeated on the other side so I always worked from the middle out to avoid a "bubble" or ripple. Let it sit in the sun for a couple hours then pressed it down again and its not moving. I ran 3 49x78 pieces and 2 49X87 pieces. This doesn't include the roof which I haven't ordered yet.

As for my popup material I originally looked at Pokybro's thread on WTW. This is the actual page with his popup build. Might be different brand, but the same weight vinyl. Only difference I noticed in the descriptions is the emphasis on UV resistance with Sailrites product.
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