DIY truck camper, possible build series...?

Started by superduder, June 20, 2021, 07:52:26 PM

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superduder

#20
More seat progress pics, If anyone is still interested.
First I put cardboard on top of the wool blanket, So you wouldn't feel the springs through whatever I decided to use for padding.
Then a friends mom was having her carpet replaced with "wood laminate" flooring,
So I grabbed a couple yards of that, and a can of 3M spray adhesive
(headliner fabric adhesive apparently works best for under floor padding, I did not know that.)
anyway the contractors gave it to me for free, and glued two layers of that down on top of the cardboard.
Covered that with an 8x12 canvas drop cloth from HF and then covered the whole thing with a
"Heavy Duty" camouflage moving blanket also from HF.
I'm still going to spend the money and get the proverbial saddle blanket seat covers from AutoZone,
But I think I did a pretty good job for a first timer.

Still working on the A/C, found a Kraco am/fm/8track/cb... but it's $400
and I'm not paying that unless the comms can get out over 20miles.
And I'm still gathering mats for the camper, I was thinking Pallet "ribs/top boards" could stand in for 1x2 white pine in the walls,
but it will most likely be a good bit heavier, so probably going to keep looking unless I can cut weight somewhere else.
This could take quite a while.
J
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

Brekar

Quote from: superduder on July 31, 2021, 08:03:29 PM
More seat progress pics, If anyone is still interested.
First I put cardboard on top of the wool blanket, So you wouldn't feel the springs through whatever I decided to use for padding.
Then I a friends mom was having her carpet replaced with "wood laminate" flooring,
So I grabbed a couple yards of that, and a can of 3M spray adhesive
(headliner fabric adhesive apparently works best for under floor padding, I did not know that.)
anyway the contractors gave it to me for free, and glued two layers of that down on top of the cardboard.
Covered that with an 8x12 drop canvas cloth from HF and then covered the whole thing with a
"Heavy Duty" camouflage moving blanket also from HF.
I'm still going to spend the money and get the proverbial saddle blanket seat covers from AutoZone,
But I think I did a pretty good job for a first timer.

Still working on the A/C, found a Kraco am/fm/8track/cb... but it's $400
and I'm not paying that unless the comms can get out over 20miles.
And I'm gathering sill mats for the camper, I was thinking Pallet "ribs/top boards" could stand in for 1x2 white pine in the walls,
but it will most likely be a good bit heavier, so probably going to keep looking unless I can cut weight somewhere else.
This could take quite a while.
J

I like the improvisation on the seat repair, it looks nice and hopefully it is comfortable. My dad and stepmom run a classic car restoration business here in Missouri, with specific focus on International trucks. One of the biggest part of their business, believe it or not, is people shipping seats, headliners, sun visors, etc to have them repaired. It's not a hard job to do, but its a time consuming to do it right.

I think when you're done that will be a fun little truck to live out of. Since you're in Phoenix how are you gonna cool/heat it???


Moab

Awesome project. My father had us in his fullsized camper every weekend. Heading to god knows which woods. To camp, fish and hunt. I love campers.

I have been thinking of doing a van conversion for hiking and hunting. Even 2 wheel drive would be fine. For some reason if uou put 4x4 in a van its price exceeds 30-50k used.

There are alot of used vans out there.

Lastly, my grandfather had a couple of the early datsuns. He drove them exclusively up in the mountains. And they did great. He owned datsuns his whole life.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

superduder

Quote from: Brekar on July 31, 2021, 10:26:17 PM

I like the improvisation on the seat repair, it looks nice and hopefully it is comfortable. My dad and stepmom run a classic car restoration business here in Missouri, with specific focus on International trucks. One of the biggest part of their business, believe it or not, is people shipping seats, headliners, sun visors, etc to have them repaired. It's not a hard job to do, but its a time consuming to do it right.

I think when you're done that will be a fun little truck to live out of. Since you're in Phoenix how are you gonna cool/heat it???

Not to sound like an ad, but I found a 12V self contained A/C which (supposedly) only uses 15amps to run so...
looks up calculator.. 180watts... I think that's good, since I'm not looking to refrigerate the camper just make it tolerable.
That's probably going to be the most expensive part of the whole build too.

I already have, and have been using a few of (forgive me) the HF solar panel kits.
They're running through an aftermarket charge controller that can actually handle 30amps,
and have been doing a pretty awesome job keeping my batteries topped as long as I've had them.

I'll have 3 sets mounted on the roof of the camper (which should shade the roof and help keep it slightly cooler inside)
Also I have Steven Harris's (The Survival Podcast) "battery1234" and "solar1234" video sets(His crazy inspired My crazy)
and am gathering parts to have the 2 (hoping to add another 2) 100AH batteries charge off of the couriers electrical while I'm driving around so the solar is never really taxed too much.

Of course this may all go out the window if I find a Perris Valley cabover for the mini trucks at a decent price/condition.
J
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

boskone

Quote from: superduder on August 01, 2021, 12:26:24 AM
Not to sound like an ad, but I found a 12V self contained A/C which (supposedly) only uses 15amps to run so...
looks up calculator.. 180watts... I think that's good, since I'm not looking to refrigerate the camper just make it tolerable.
That's probably going to be the most expensive part of the whole build too.
Dunno what the budget would look like, but you might check out RV fridges.  RVs that only get 15A service often have fridges, so they be more efficient and/or have built-in soft starts.

And some can be cooled with propane or electricity, though I think that's getting to be less common.

superduder

#25
Quote from: boskone on August 01, 2021, 12:41:17 AM
Quote from: superduder on August 01, 2021, 12:26:24 AM
Not to sound like an ad, but I found a 12V self contained A/C which (supposedly) only uses 15amps to run so...
looks up calculator.. 180watts... I think that's good, since I'm not looking to refrigerate the camper just make it tolerable.
That's probably going to be the most expensive part of the whole build too.
Dunno what the budget would look like, but you might check out RV fridges.  RVs that only get 15A service often have fridges, so they be more efficient and/or have built-in soft starts.

And some can be cooled with propane or electricity, though I think that's getting to be less common.
And I'm back (caught the trifecta, Covid/Flu/Pneumonia together.) ICU is a heckuva place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.


I think there may have been a misunderstanding on the "15 amp" thing,
The A/C I found is self contained and only draws 15, so it shouldn't draw down my batteries too much.
I'm going to go with a dc/110/propane fridge from an older pop up trailer, less stuff to modify.
I'm actually reusing as much from that as possible, (ex.) taking the dinette/bed from that is Way easier than designing/building my own.
Also taking all the 12v interior lighting and using LED bulbs which are brighter and draw less current.
The plan IS moving along, but slower than it was.

I did buy a factory option aluminum cap for security for the time being. (pics to follow.)
Because Tucson is a thing I needed something to store my ramps, towbar, and rv accessories in to keep them mine.
Many more updates coming up (I promise!).
J
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

#26
Another update to keep the thread alive.
I'm still working on gathering materials for the hard side camper build.
Stuff is exceedingly expensive/scarce these days, so it's taking longer, Sorry.

But I also found (maybe) a cheaper build that may be more doable.
A tent box from "How to Build Trailers" from all the way back in 1937. (pdf available for download here   https://archive.org/details/HowToBuildTrailerBook)
Pages 106-112 explain pretty well how to build your own version of a tent camper box
like Coleman, Livin' Lite, and others have made.

I hope this information can help someone,
J
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

majorhavoc

That would be so cool if you built your own camper shell along the lines of those 1937 instructions. 

Extra cool points if you have a pipe like Mr. Jellystone Park does in those illustrations.
A post-apocalyptic tale of love, loss and redemption. And zombies!
<br />https://ufozs.com/smf/index.php?topic=105.0

superduder

#28
Quote from: superduder on August 01, 2021, 12:26:24 AMOf course this may all go out the window if I find a Perris Valley cabover for the mini trucks at a decent price/condition.
J

So... Update!!!
I found a Six Pac M6 Mini locally for a fair price...
But, I have a trip to Ohio planned and budgeted/paid for.
I would have to wait two weeks to get it, Unless I blew off the trip,
and counted a loss the money I've already spent for accommodations.
Anyway, got pics, Wish me luck...Or depending on how badly y'all wanna see the build, Curse me.


EDIT:
Did not get the SixPac, Went on a cross country trip with the wife and kids instead.
still gathering matts for a camper build of Some kind.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

#29
Okay, here we go.
I'm playing "Thread Jesus" and bringing this back to life because Sunday, I found a (Perris Valley) camper that fits Redford.
And is in dirty, broken, but still useable shape...For cheap too.
After a 700mi round trip, and 16hrs on the road (this truck is a trooper!)
Even with the repairs that are needed (there are a couple that are definitely not)
It will still be Way cheaper than the full build that I originally wanted to do.
 The tally starts at $350 + two tanks of gas ($150 so $500) all in for the camper.
I have some things already that I got for free trying to scrounge up materials to build from plans.
But now will be shifting to um... Not really a "remodel" how most people do to older campers like this one.
More of a resto-mod I guess.
Big Plans, lots more coming. Promise.
J
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

Small update for more "before" pics.
Also we had a pretty decent thunderstorm last night,
And the camper is confirmed watertight.
So there's that.. 
Okay pics how it came.

Cleanup starts tomorrow.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

#31
The camper did not come with the tea set, or coffee pot.
But did come with the dual burner Coleman propane stove..
Which I will be replacing with a GasOne propane/butane single burner stove.
It uses much less fuel for the same results and it cost me a dollar plus $11 shipping.
I already had my invertor, a Cobra 800w/1600max as suggested by Steven Harris in his Battery1234/power bank videos.
It should be able to run the fridge and have some range left for lighting or a laptop.
You can see where the p.o. "remodeled" the cabinet to fit the fridge, I'll be undoing that as soon as I find a 12/110/propane fridge to replace it.
Grundig radio for scale of remodel/reduction.
More pics..
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

#32
This camper also didn't come with something that every other Perris Valley I've ever seen has.
A "cigarette lighter" 12v socket.
So I'll be hitting up the help aisle and/or junkyard soon.
There's also no water tank (Fresh or Gray)
So I'll be improvising something for that as well.
Pics of the original linoleum (40+ years of sun bake and all.)
And the black "deck carpet" that I had already put in Redford's bed for sound deadening,
Now installed inside the camper.
Also I bought some athletic mats (kindergarten nap mats) and am thinking of trimming them, and reupholstering them for the dinette/guest bed.
The cushions that came with it came from
"Some living room suit that my wife always hated."
And don't fit, lay flat. So they need replacing.
Will probably still add an inch of memory foam for comforts sake.
Pic of current cushions included.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

#33
Rainy monsoon day today, which is delaying my work on the invertor/electronics install.
So I'll cover this for today...
I'm not sure if I accurately expressed just how small these are.
Perris Valley specialized in campers for the small import trucks of the 1970s and 80s.
Most of which had a 6ft bed... That should say a lot.
Pics of the overall width measured at the beam of the top bunk.
And interior height measured at the dinette.
5ft 9in hi and 5ft 11in wide,
6ft 5in runway length (door to bulkhead...
Good thing I'm average (5ft 10in) there won't be any stretching out in bed, that's for sure.
The one that I bought plans for has a 6ft 4 ceiling height and 6ft2 width with a 7ft runway length, for reference.
(Edit)
7ft 10in exterior height overall, it's just over to fit in my covered parking.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

Sadly the Cobra 800/1600W inverter squealed the squeal of the little engine that Won't...
It doesn't have the oomph to start the mini fridge that came with the camper.
But it did have the push to run my full size fridge, a laptop, and a floor lamp while charging 2 cellphones.
Maybe I need larger cables to connect to the battery, the 16ga that my current clamp on connector is made from
probably doesn't have the capacity to run the inverter at or even anywhere near full power.

So I guess I'm making 8Ga connectors next, After all "If we're gonna do it, Lets do the GD thing right..." Spence-1988
Words to live by from the only movie I can think of where Sean Bean Doesn't die.

Good news, the "porch light" works, but it's a Christmas bulb,
Might be a good beacon for a sniper, but it's not bright enough to draw June bugs.
So that'll be replaced with... idk, Something. I've always liked those "mason jar" porch lights.
Maybe I can figure out a 12V version, more 12V = Less reliance on the inverter.

The stove (Coleman 2 burner) is going away, and I'm cutting the hole in my counter slightly larger,
So I can use a full aluminum sheet pan as a prep surface, and a flameproof platform for the gas one single burner.
I'll also be seeing about putting aluminum flashing to keep the cooking area as fireproof as possible.
More pics and more mini projects to follow.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

So, I bought my sheet pan ($2.50 at Deseret Industries)
And got a (temporary at least) light cover for the 12V dome light ($2.50 also from DI)
But I didn't get home in time to go dig through storage to find my jigsaw.
So the prep/cooking surface will have to wait for another day.

But I did figure out my 12V interior lights.
Which both (color me surprised) work like new.
I'll be running a new 12V lead to the passenger storage panel accessed from the rear of the camper.
Speaking of the storage and shore line closets,
I'll be buying and installing mailbox type locks for those.
Dusk pics of interior lights included, night pics will be added later.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

As promised night time pics.
I think the bulbs (1156 turn signal) do well enough.
The LED replacements will use less battery though,
And should last longer... Even though the ones in it may well be original from 1978.
Definitely getting a case of the 1156 just in case.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

#37
Alrighty then...
Improvised a couple 6ga cables and...
My fridge works now! Yay me!!
God bless Big-Lots and their $7 jumper cables that I buy every chance I get.
Now I need to get another battery... Or three.
I'm including pics of the camper loading booklet for the courier in this post as well as pics of my kill-a-watt meter when the fridge was running.

Little victories like this are motivating as all get out
Not motivation enough to dig through my entire storage unit to find my jigsaw just yet, but still.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

superduder

#38
Moving on to the next step for the camper
There's something that has always bothered me,
That happens in a LOT of "apocalypse/survival/preparedness" fiction.
They lament to no end the lack of refrigeration, but never even try a propane, kerosene,
Or 3 way fridge.

I do keep hearing how "These really don't work very well."
Or
"They take too long to cool down, and don't get that cold."
Or
"Dometics can only cool to 20 degrees below ambient."

On the Dometic thing, I'm assuming they're talking about the "chip" powered coolers.
So, fine. You'd be right on that one.

But the whole camper fridges don't work thing is malarkey.
I've personally used propane, kerosene, or 3-way camper fridges
Here in AZ in 117deg summers, during nice 60-80deg summers in sw Ohio, and 110deg summers in south Florida.
Never had a problem as far as them cooling properly, as long as one followed the operation instructions,
And proper maintenance had been done on the unit.

That leads to me getting another 3-way fridge for Redford's camper.
But not being willing to pay $350-$3K for a new one, I'm stuck scrounging... As is tradition..
So yesterday I picked up a "1960s" Norcold 663 (G) propane only fridge, for free.
Sometimes I hate camper remodelers other times I like'em... a little.

So it's missing screws for the door hinges, and it could definitely use a decent cleaning,
but it should work for at least a porch fridge in emergency situations.
More pics and posts about that coming.
"I get it, I get it... But it's Still a pain in the ass."
Shawn Kelly

majorhavoc

Quote from: superduder on December 09, 2023, 03:27:34 PMMoving on to the next step for the camper
There's something that has always bothered me,
That happens in a LOT of "apocalypse/survival/preparedness" fiction.
They lament to no end the lack of refrigeration, but never even try a propane, kerosene,
Or 3 way fridge.

I do keep hearing how "These really don't work very well."
Or
"They take too long to cool down, and don't get that cold."
Or
"Dometics can only cool to 20 degrees below ambient."

On the Dometic thing, I'm assuming they're talking about the "chip" powered coolers.
So, fine. You'd be right on that one.

But the whole camper fridges don't work thing is malarkey.
I've personally used propane, kerosene, or 3-way camper fridges
Here in AZ, during nice 60-80deg summers in sw Ohio, and 110deg summers in south Florida.
Never had a problem as far as them cooling properly,
as long as one followed the operation instructions.
And proper maintenance had been done on the unit.

That leads to me getting another 3-way fridge for Redford's camper.
But not being willing to pay $350-$3K for a new one, I'm stuck scrounging... As is tradition..
So yesterday I picked up a "1960s" Norcold 663 (G) propane only fridge, for free.
Sometimes I hate camper remodelers other times I like'em.

So it's missing screws for the door hinges, and it could definitely use a decent cleaning,
but it should work for at least a porch fridge in emergency situations.
More pics and posts about that coming.

Assuming you'll need to recharge the freon?
A post-apocalyptic tale of love, loss and redemption. And zombies!
<br />https://ufozs.com/smf/index.php?topic=105.0

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