So begins another custom camper build.....

I have read every thread I can find on custom camper builds on this forum and I am truly amazed at the skills and talents and ideas of everyone.....

I have spent the last 6 or 7 years towing a trailer... but if you want to talk about taking a hit on gas mileage..... yikes! ...... and sticking to the main roads too much.

We do a lot of hiking and boat camping and are all used to travelling light... so begins my idea of a slide in custom popup for an 05 taco that will sleep 2 adults and 2 growing boys... 9 and 11..... just an L shaped dinette which converts to a double bed, a queen bed above, a heater for the cold seasons, and an outside kitchen...... inspired by all the Australian and New Zealand campers. (we cooked outside most of the time even with the luxury of a travel trailer)

First ideas .... expressed in a slightly different format. (can you tell I have boys:))

Am thinking of large side doors for easy access when loading.... a connection to the outdoors and on the passenger side a removable kitchen cabinet box accessible from the outside.... ideally with a fold down table with stove and sink...... and in my dreams also accessible from the inside for severely inclement weather.

Truly a challenge to fit all my ideas in such a small space.

Next plan.... a mock up with 2x2's and cardboard... probably this summer

Plan to begin the build in the fall
 

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BCHauler

Adventurer
Modelling with Lego...Love it! As a father of 3 boys (9,7, 1.5), my world is consumed with lego. Brilliant.

As a suggestion, make a removeable canvas skirt for the side door so that heat and rain stay outside when using it from the inside.
 

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AeroNautiCal

Explorer
The Lego is 3D modeling that I can relate to, great idea.


Be interesting to paint the completed camper to match the Lego concept model!
 

SLO_F-250

Explorer
Rivero, I like your ideas! I agree on cooking outside and keeping it simple most of the time. I usually bring my stove and bring all the necessary utensils, food, etc to cook outside. Camper is just my big tent. Thats why we get outdoors right! haha

Good luck with the build. Looking forward to seeing your progress. SWEET LEGO MODEL TOO! :ylsmoke:
 

pods8

Explorer
What construction method are you going to pursue?

Also if you're going to invest the time/money to build a custom camper consider swapping your truck bed out for a flatbed to pick up the extra space...
 

dustboy

Explorer
YES! The LEGO modeling rules, what a great idea for working out the mechanics.

The best advice I have at this early stage is think about weight! It adds up really fast and has a big impact on the fuel economy and handling.
 
I appreciate all the feedback and ideas.....

yes the lego model was fun... my boys were into it too.

I agree with the comment about keeping the weight down. I am flopping between composite construction and aluminum frame construction...... probably end up with the aluminum construction.

I have been welding for about a year.... as a hobby, and may buy a spool gun and start practicing with aluminum..... or there is an excellent aluminum fab shop here in town that I have used before... he does amazing work. I plan to take plans to him for a quote on the frame. I could then do the skin and fitting and interior work.

My experience with previous custom projects is it is easy to pour money into them but if they are too specialized then should ones needs or desires change the "dream" project is hard to sell and recoup a portion of your money. This is one reason I would not remove my box and build a flat bed.... I also use my truck year round for my business so need to be able to slide out the camper easily.

Here is a floor plan I sent to Coyote/Phoenix campers for a quote. They were nice to deal with ......... but the quote was too high for my budget.

Second pic is my updated plan idea.

Any and all feedback is appreciated!
 

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pods8

Explorer
My experience with previous custom projects is it is easy to pour money into them but if they are too specialized then should ones needs or desires change the "dream" project is hard to sell and recoup a portion of your money. This is one reason I would not remove my box and build a flat bed.... I also use my truck year round for my business so need to be able to slide out the camper easily.
A flatbed could still be arguable there though. There is a building trend towards them in the custom camper market for the notably better space. Additionally I'd suspect taking a camper off a flatbed to be much easier than a slide in truck since you're not trying to thread the needle as much. Flat beds have sides, etc. and are perfectly usable for normal duty.

However there is some cost involved in swapping out the stock bed so if the budget is tight there is a CON against it. Just was throwing it out there for consideration.
 

dustboy

Explorer
I wouldn't worry too much about the resale value of the truck, already a few people have asked me if mine is for sale. If it's done right a conversion vehicle could be worth a lot to the right trust-funder. :costumed-smiley-007
 
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