"Think inside the box" - Hard side, flatbed, box pop up.

rruff

Explorer
7.5oz would be very light, but I guess multiple layers were used... rough estimates on that? Also, did you mostly build the shape out of foam first, and the add the FG... or build flat panels and join them after? 20 psi XPS? Any framing at all or hard points? Lots of people ask about this method here, because it's an inexpensive and not too difficult way to build a shell. What a mess though... even for my uneven surface. I think I'd do it different next time...

Mine was made using 1.5" PVC foam, mostly ~30oz cloth total for the skins, with Ebond epoxy. I used heat lamps and electric blankets in winter. I built it in panels and joined them... pros and cons either way. The best pro of this is minimal vertical and upside-down work. Maybe you were able to flip your sections over to avoid that?
 

trackhead

Adventurer
Cheap aHome Depot foam. No framing. Built structure first, then glassed. Wish I made panels first but whatever. No inverted glassing. I inverted the structure. Because there is no cab over you can build lighter.

The lower box is incredibly stiff. Can prop one corner up and walk inside, minimal flex. I’m confident it’s built with plenty of glass. Time will tell.

The entire interior cupboards, beds, interior walls are all glass as well, which makes it ridiculously stiff.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Cheap aHome Depot foam. No framing. Built structure first, then glassed. Wish I made panels first but whatever. No inverted glassing. I inverted the structure. Because there is no cab over you can build lighter.

The lower box is incredibly stiff. Can prop one corner up and walk inside, minimal flex. I’m confident it’s built with plenty of glass. Time will tell.

The entire interior cupboards, beds, interior walls are all glass as well, which makes it ridiculously stiff.
i'm too ols to do this.... yet.
Everything I build is built around a frame.

I like the concept, I love your success.... maybe next build this old fart will live beyond the box.
 

CoyoteThistle

Adventurer
Great to see another DIY composite hard-side slide up! Looks really good, excellent work! I found the actuators to be a pain/impossible to get synchronized going up and down - look forward to seeing how you get it to work. Also, I'm still struggling with a good seal design for the gap between the slide-up and lower wall - please let us know how you get that to work!!
 

trackhead

Adventurer
Great to see another DIY composite hard-side slide up! Looks really good, excellent work! I found the actuators to be a pain/impossible to get synchronized going up and down - look forward to seeing how you get it to work. Also, I'm still struggling with a good seal design for the gap between the slide-up and lower wall - please let us know how you get that to work!!
I've read every page of your build…even considered that Aussie spring lift system you had, but then saw you moved to linear actuators . And now you’re using a double momentary switch? Great idea. Working as intended now?

Watching #vanlifers install four actuators for bed lift systems and they seem to get them to work, but perhaps symmetrical lift isn’t as critical in that application?
 
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CoyoteThistle

Adventurer
It works well enough. Those Aussie lifters across the front and back keep it pretty even side-to-side no matter what the actuators are doing (the actuators aren't attached at the bottom so they can, and do, get a couple inches out of sync, especially coming down). The front pair and back pair of actuators are wired separately so with dual switches I can keep things even front-to-back by watching and controlling independently as I raise or lower.

My general advice is design a system that assumes that the actuators will be out of sync up to a couple inches (at least) on the way up and down. Firgelli now has actuators with built in optical sensors that are supposed to allow you to sync up multiple actuators. No experience myself though. Would love to see someone try that system out to see how well it works. Hint, hint :)
 

trackhead

Adventurer
Yeah when I lift the roof with three people the tolerances will allow for 3" or so, sometimes more, of uneven lift. The actuators I bought extend 22" total, which is exactly then endpoint I need. We'll see how it goes. Appreciate your insight.
 

lkosh

New member
Cheap aHome Depot foam. No framing. Built structure first, then glassed. Wish I made panels first but whatever. No inverted glassing. I inverted the structure. Because there is no cab over you can build lighter.

The lower box is incredibly stiff. Can prop one corner up and walk inside, minimal flex. I’m confident it’s built with plenty of glass. Time will tell.

The entire interior cupboards, beds, interior walls are all glass as well, which makes it ridiculously stiff.
How long is the camper? Both flat part that rests on the flatbed and overall? Standing height inside when it's popped up?

Definitely interested in seeing both the interior once it's completed and what it looks like on the truck!
 

trackhead

Adventurer
Lower is 7’3” wide, 7’ long. Upper is same width obviously but 8’ long. 6’5” height inside. Lift is 22”.

Got actuators, slam latches, lights, faucet, ceiling fan/vent, marine diesel heater exhaust/intake ports, water pump/tank today. Heater, foam pads, cushion covers, diesel heater tomorrow.

Its like Christmas. Wife is not amused. Soon the truck bed is coming off and a bunch of steel will show up.
 

Attachments

trackhead

Adventurer
Got the four linear actuators installed. I guess I got lucky, because they actually work really well off one switch with minimal asymmetry in lift. Maybe 1/4"-1/2" total asymmetry through the 22" of travel. I don't have the actuators secured to the roof, so the roof only comes down on gravity. Going to play with it before securing to roof to make sure everything is aligned as good as possible. Travel time is about 65 seconds to lift roof. Next up is heater, plumbing, lights......and eventually windows.

Ticking noise is the diesel heater I use to heat my garage, not the actuators.
 

trackhead

Adventurer
Installed a relatively cheap ($139) Amazon ceiling fan. I have a much more expensive Fantastic Fan in my other truck camper. This cheapo is way better. Six speeds, the two lowest speeds are super quiet, much quieter than the FF. Got all the lights done, sink/faucet, heater going in today. Flatbed build soon, looking forward to that. Welding is more fun than epoxy work, that's for sure.

IMG-9176.jpg

IMG-9179.jpg
 

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