old beat up Isuzu Trooper finds a new purpose in life


been working on this for about a month now, documenting on another site as I don't really post here, but figured some people may be interested. so here we go (copy and paste from another forum):

So I finally sold my FJ cruiser. It was awesome, but got sick of hoping for 15mpg on premium fuel, and just didn't have enough space inside. Plus I really feel like my dog deserves his own window. What I really want is a 70 series cruiser troop carrier with a alu-cab roof conversion,
but that's not really possible, and I'm super cheap. So instead I picked up this real cheap 95 Isuzu trooper. It has a bunch of parts on it, but the best thing is it's really beat up so I don't have to worry about cutting it up a lot as it already has no resale value. Also, I loved, and still have my old Acura SLX (just with no engine as I blew it up), so this trooper I can experiment on and then transfer what works well to my Acura once I hopefullyput a diesel motor in it.

so the ARB bar on this trooper was super beat up, and mounted too low and only mounted with 2 bolts on either side - not good enough for winching, so I pulled it off I cleaned it up the best I could, and painted it with so semi-gloss bbq paint.

while I had it off, I also went ahead and installed a winch.


then I decided to go ahead and bolt my roof tent straight through the roof. I plan to eventually cut the roof out and put in a folding door so I can climb into the tent from inside the vehicle

this square space between the bracing in the back will be perfect for tent access

then I ordered a snorkel for $133 and am super impressed with the quality

put a solar panel on the roof

got some new rubbers

and then I started to build in my kitchen

I also needed to find a place to mount my hi-lift, and with no roof rack I decided I could just weld some brackets to the rear door

still to come:
onboard 10 gal water tank
figure out water heater/shower solution
onboard air compressor
aux battery setup and connect to my solar panel


may not seem like much, but I started playing around with the siding for this box... thinking about trying a stained wood instead of the white plastic, but I'll get the counter tops on first and see. Also picked up a sweet piece of 3/4" thick poplar to hopefully turn into a slide out cutting board underneath the aluminum box.

I also replaced this rear window with Lexan. I won't try and explain now but this will make sense later on.

did some other stuff too like ran the wires from the solar panel through the roof tent and into the cab, sealed up the snorkel real well, and braced the ******** out of the rear doors for the hi-lift mounts and jerry can holders, but that's all boring so no pics.


water tank arrived today so I got to work building the left side cabinet to fit. the space in front will hold the water pump, a 5 lb propane tank, and should have enough room left for a compartment to hold recovery gear and tools. it will also double as a bench to sit on to use the right side cabinet as a desk. sitting space will be much more comfortable once the roof is cut out for tent access.

with the seat folded up there's still a nice walkway from the side to the back door, and also a pretty good space for my dog to get to his window - took him for a ride today too and he REALLY liked having his own window.

other side is cooler access. should be plenty of space to eventually put in a proper fridge.

also planning to eventually make some fold out pieces so this side can be turned into a sleeping platform. Ideally this truck will be able to support 3 people and a dog or two.

toying with the idea of going landrover style for a second spare on potential really long/remote trips.


my dad helped me cut some mdf pieces to fit as the counter/bench tops on these things. also found some fittings for the water tank and it's now installed and hooked up to the pump and ready hook up rest of the system once I install that stuff

also built a ************ little sheet metal box to act as a mini tool box. I was pretty suprised by how much I can actually fit in it

and then I finished covering everything in this white plastic stuff. I was thinking to do wood panel in the end, but I actually don't mind the way this stuff looks, plus its super cheap and lightweight and easy to work with



finally got around to cutting the lexan window for the shower boxes. top one will actually be for shower, and the bottom one will be for air hose

also on the right side of the window will be the water fill valve, whenever that arrives, then i will need to do something to box it in inside.


I feel like this thing is starting to come together pretty quick, and its getting me real excited. Also luckily my ************ job has been real slow so I've had some extra time to work on this.

I spent the day putting the cork tops in place. still needs some sanding and a polyurethane coat but I'm pretty happy with how it looks so far

also getting my water tank fill valve in place and connected, and cut some foam insulation to fit behind all the panels. just need some more double sided tape to attach the panels.

painted and sealed the lexan too. besides a ton of runs in the paint from getting a little anxious and not caring, I'm pretty ok with how it looks.

gotta make a run to the home depot in the morning and hopefully I can get my water heater mounted and plumbing finished tomorrow.


starting to fill in camping gear

got some double sided tape to attach the cabinet siding with the styrofoam insulation behind it

made a little switch panel, and starting to get some wiring hooked up

back door still shuts nicely even with all this ******** hanging everywhere.


finally got my air fittings and hose in so I went ahead and mounted the compressor and tank and stuff.

1/2 gallon tank mounts nicely to the frame. just drilled and tapped a couple 1/4-20 holes

and finally the air hose connection in the lower shower box in the left rear window. the tape is to seal up the factor holes for the shower connections that I'm not using.

still need to hook up the main power wire, and switch wire in the cab, but its all hooked up to a 90-110psi pressure switch so essentially I should be able to leave it on all the time, assuming there will be no leaks, and that I won't smash the tank on a rock or something


got my lighting hooked up finally. all turns off/on from one switch or I can do most of the lights individually.

also finished up the propane fittings. a little ugly but oh well.

cut out the ash tray just a touch to nicely fit my the CB radio. also the radio is now powered by the aux battery, via a switch in the back or the key still turns it on as well.


Well-known member
I admire your "get it done - ivness". I don't understand why there are not more accessing their tents through the vehicles rather than those gawd-awful looking ladders.

but please cut-off and somehow pad those bolts sticking through. my scalp tightened up just looking at them. not to mention my sphincter.


tent is a Denver Outfitters unit that I bought second hand. I'm pretty unimpressed with the quality so it hasn't been too difficult for me so far to drill holes through it.

Don't worry, all bolts will be getting cut down and the headliner(well, most of it) put back in place!