I'm back and committed to finishing the project and enjoying the process. I have to have mine done by the end of June. I decided to build a frame floor system much like you would for a house. Mobile Rik's DIY "Homemade Truck Camper" Plans. Today I went to the lumber yard to purchase the rest of the interior pre-finished birch paneling. Also, where did you get it? The only significant investment you'll need to make if you do it yourself is in time, effort and a little bit of elbow grease. Now I've got the whole winter to get this thing reconditioned so that I can build on it. In this article, we will guide you into knowing how to build a lightweight , downright cozy, functional, and comfortable DIY truck camper shell. Thank goodness I made it home with no problems at all with the trailer. I really struggled with how to mount the unit to 1. make it sturdy and 2. make it water tight. Again, thanks for hanging in there with me...UPDATE 12/01/2018 I have been dealing with some health problems over the past 2 years and have been unable to work on the camper consistently. Why not use a heavy duty frame from harbor freight? While researching this subject l could not find the detailed steps start to finish in any one place.l've decided to make the door 26" × 54". As the glue expanded I worked the glue with a craft stick and damp paper towel to remove the excess and to feather the edge of the frame back to the foam wall to fill in the gap on both sides and the top. Open the tailgate to your pickup truck. l am running electrical to both sides of the bed where I'm going to have a little built in night stand with an outlet for a phone charger. I built the drawer fronts out of pine 1X10's that I ripped down on the table saw. We used a clamp on the inside of the camper to clamp on to the bottom of the beam right up against the wall to hold the wall out flush with the end of each beam. Laura got inside and l set a ladder up on each side of the trailer. FYI - The A/C unit can't be completely enclosed inside the camper without properly venting it if you want it to work right and last any length of time. After only a few weeks of searching I found this 1969 Apache pop-up camper (5' x 8 1/2' floor size) for $200. Did the windows and doors secure directly through the foam/fiberglass core or did you have to put in a jam to secure to? The issue is that a portable propane grill requires a fuel supply. See more ideas about camper shells, camper, truck bed camper. I built the night stand boxes using some leftover plywood, the finish size is 6" wide x 21" long x 14" high. cost this was 200$ and then the parts and scrap would make it almost free- but then there is paint I guess. Using plywood or light wooden planks is the most vital part of how to build a lightweight truck camper guide. Go to Harbor Freight if you need to purchase the tools. How much is one at harbor Freight? Building the frame was an easy process once we … The process took several days with the dry time.I decided to just purchase new wheel/tire combo's rather than refinishing the rusty wheels. l assembled the walls and roof beams and duct taped it all together. The unit is very secure, it isn't going anywhere. I enjoy D.I.Y. The fit and finish issues can and will fixed during the exterior final prep phase. I put the first support beam just inside the front and back wall. I'll come back and cut and sand the foam to my desired rough opening. I'll wait until they are in place to build the tops. b). You don't want any raised wood grain showing through the canvas. How to Build the Ultimate DIY Truck Bed Camper Setup. If l want to l can set it in the cargo bay and plug it into the outlet and with the inverter l can back feed power to the interior electrical outlets. l Cut out a 3/4" deep hole to receive the blocking and glued in the wood block flush with the wall.The last step in prep on the side walls before paneling is to cut my support mini-beam pockets. Probably the most thorough, well-thought-out, well-presented, obsessively photographed and explained Instructable ever. l will highlight that project in another section to give my feedback on the subject. When we decide to go camping it should take a minimal effort to load and go. We put 1 coat of pre stain on and 1 coat of red mahogany stain on. Before attaching the top of the bed platform and standing the walls we stained the trim and drawers. Showers, toilets, battery banks and solar requirements, water storage, sleeping and eating arrangements to name a few. This just confirms what I said earlier - BEWARE.As I finish each wall I am dry fitting them to see what needs tweaking. Because I designed it to be simple with a flexible design that I could “upgrade” once I was already camping, I completed the basic shell and started camping in it after only 3 construction days . Once the glue set up good l used a 1/4" round over bit in the router to knock the edges off the top of each drawer. Follow Jim on his quest to create the most comfortable truck camper possible. A little filler and sanding and it's looking good.Next l'll cover it with glue, canvas, and paint. How to build a truck camper from start to finish. In normal camping, sleeping on the ground is a big pain. l purchased 3 pieces. You need to make sure you can get the wheels on and off easily if you need to. The lights inside will be battery powered LED lights. l set up a paint lab in my basement since the temperature outside was cold. 3 years ago. They turned out nice. Using a hot knife for this job is by far the best approach. For the bed top l purchased two 4x8 sheets of 5/8" plywood. It took 45 minutes to do the entire ceiling. I live in Owosso, MI now where I lead a more suburban lifestyle during the week. Once we got the screws we took a minute or two to start wiping the glue up that had begun oozing out all around. l chose to use select kiln dried 1x3s that l ripped down on the table saw to 2". on Step 21, 2 years ago l ultimately turned the matter over to my attorney who sent Frank Bear/ Vintage Technologies a letter asking him to deliver the door to my address in an acceptable condition as previously agreed to or refund 100% of my money back by a certain date. Main reason I am looking at using the 3/4" drywall 1/4 round on the edges. You really want to let the primer and each coat of paint dry down before applying the next coat. lf you're going to be installing window shades inside you will need to install wood blocking to screw into. l ripped down some 2x4s to make a straight 2x2. Then I'll make foam inserts on hinges to fill the mid sections instead of using canvas. Before gluing the front and back beams in place l used a 6' level to make sure my roof line was on the right plane. l also stacked bricks along the outside edge and a few in the center to hold everything down firmly while the glue sets up. We have often been asked why the truck camper industry doesn’t build truck campers out of carbon fiber. The face board and drawer fronts will get stained. After all the stressing out l finally came up with the perfect how to. After all, carbon fiber is exceptionally strong and exceptionally light. getting this rough opening cut right is super important. It's so beautiful. l used DAP. I hunted on the internet to find some good quality, but low cost cargo doors. l used a combination of tools to knock the glue off and clean up all edges. A week later after l called back because they did not call as they said they would l was told it will be one more week. They seem high when you look at them but the mattress is 6" high and a pillow is 3 - 4" high so once the bed is made up they should be just right. lf l do camp off the grid l can use this power station. Thank you for sharing your obsession. The threads of the cut edge of the canvas are also a real challenge. Like most things in life, good plans to build quality truck campers are not free. he was very convincing that the window experience was a fluke. l used Liquid nails to glue the plywood to the foam. I hope you have many years of enjoyment in your camper. To clean my bondo mixing board and spreader I'll let the foam harden up and it will peal right off. My wife helped me to glue and stand walls. I used a grinder and power drill to take the surface rust off. Home Depot gave me 50% off on each sheet. Hope this helps you... Did you make this project? $38 per sheet. One of the first things I did was to get my shop area organized. I replaced the top boards on 3 of my saw horses with 6' - 2x4's. NO GO. and applying the pre-finished paneling to the interior walls with adhesive. I also wanted to be able to haul my kayaks in it as needed without having to remove the camper. I did the 2 sides first and after about 90 minutes I was able to reposition the wall on the table and do the top.Once l finished the first side wall l laid it on top of the other wall and traced the roof line, window, and other cut outs. We could go with a pop-up, but that's not much better than tent camping and a good used one is $5,000+. l used a pole sander and 120 grit sandpaper to sand the plywood roof. l cut them both to 33 1/4" x 77" which gives me a 67 1/2" width. Stunning. After much research on the subject l have enough info to start moving forward. I made a 1 1/2' x 1 1/2" square jig block. Once it was glued in place I put some weight on it to hold it down while the adhesive set up. We then used duct tape to hold the two walls together tightly. l used gorilla glue to fasten it together. That number does not include the time running around purchasing and returning my attempted store bought short cut. I don't need a bathroom or a shower, the state parks have those...but I do want to be comfortable while I'm camping, especially if it happens to rain...We've gone to the camper shows now for a couple of years and all we see is over priced camping trailers with too much stuff crammed in to a small space. I've had 2 pieces in my garage left over from another project for years. Should be less than $20. You have very little if any margin for error on this. I glued and nailed the boxes together. On the bottom side of the plywood I attached 3/4" x 2 1/4" pine slats that l ripped on the table saw. I followed the same process for cutting my rough openings and the gorilla glued them in place. Truck Caps & Truck Accessories manufacturer of fiberglass pick-up truck caps, truck canopies, tops, toppers, truck toppers, camper shells, canopies, hard tonneau covers, work caps and truck … We're going to suck it up and build our own. Camper Shell or Truck Cap At the end of the day a camper shell or truck cap is nothing more than a simple structure that fits the top of the bed and encloses the area behind the cab. Frank refused to do anything to resolve the issue or reduce the price. l used liquid nails and 1 1/4" nails that l shot in on a slight angle to be sure nothing came through the top. l ended up lowering both front and back wall beam pockets and wrasping the top of the walls front and rear to achieve the right roof contact points. Although camping is one of the best experiences anyone could have, it is usually a costly affair for some campers. From here l'm using drywall compound to fill all the seams where the walls and the deck come together, as well as the wheel well area, and any other imperfections on the exterior. l couldn't cut the door opening in the wall until l had the door issue resolved.l finally received a refund for the door in mid August. This makes a mini micro lamb beam. I'm not real happy with the fit. Has anyone mounted the Maggiolina or similar hard shell campers to the roof rack? It could be tighter. Deconstruction is taking each part and component off one at a time. Still better to have all the info than not...Another key component is the AC unit. Just roll it on with a 4" roller. I'm building a Foam based Teardrop inspired micro camper. Second, there is no way possible to make straight seams. It goes on pink while it's wet and it turns white when it's completely dry and ready to be sanded. l've decided to use a buckle type fastener. ln order to attach the hardware to the cover l needed to in-set some 3/4" blocking on each side. I appreciate your thoroughness and the fact that you tried this technique on another project first. This DIY guide to installing a camper shell liner, will help you insulate your camper shell, cover up the ugly exposed fiberglass, and keep that condensation from ruining your truck bed camping adventures! 19" W x 20" D x 6 1/2" H. l had some luan left over from another project so l used that for the bottom. A hot knife is the best tool for that job. That would have been a disaster.We primed all the wood - top, bottom, and sides, and painted them the same way with 2 coats of exterior black porch paint.I ran the wire for the trailer lights through the trailer frame. The original topper roof was then expanded to include hinged, adjustable walls (including windows) and a roof. I wiped the entire frame down with a wet rag to prep for the primer. S ee cabover camper interiors by pressing here. Over lap would be on this only. I attached them with liquid nails construction adhesive and 5 or 6 - 18 gauge 1 1/4" gun nails to hold them in place while the glue set up. Mine turned out good. I did the underside first and made sure to let everything dry down good before flipping the frame over to do the top. 1 year ago So I decided to build a cab-over camper for my pickup instead. I pre-drilled the holes into the wood to keep the 2x3's from splitting out. Making your DIY fiberglass camper shell is essential if you want to convert your truck into your sleeping space without having to put up a camping tent. A Handyman Made His Own Custom Wooden Truck Camper. Question Vintage Technology - Frank Bear is someone to stay away from in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, you want to get it very close to where it needs to be at dry fit, just doesn't need to be perfect. My favorite part is in little type on the third photo in Step 16 where it says "86 More Images." The adhesive is a quick set so be prepared to work fast. A word of advice, beware of Frank Bear and Vintage Technologies in Union City, MI. So whether you need a cab-high truck cap that screams “space” and “style,” or whether life demands a little more and you need a mid or high-rise cap to get your work done, we’ve got the right cap for your pickup. lf you over cut the hole you may have issues getting a really solid glue job. So you should have read about my experience trying to buy a custom built door earlier in the project. l used a dremel to cut down any fit issues.The next step was to prime the wood. The last thing l need is to have roof issues because of twisting and bowing supports. Which means your new truck cap is part of you, too. l put bamboo skewers through the front wall into the side wall to pin the corner together. Hope you’re able to get a clear picture of everything… If not, ask away! By working the expanding glue this way it save alot of time later and it makes a stronger wal frame connection. I've been looking for sip panels at a reasonable price.....where are you getting them? For people that don’t like to set up the tent, a truck camper would be a good choice. I nailed a couple of 26" temporary boards in place at the bottom and center of the frame to keep everything square. I decided on a 6' x 10' camper size. Why didn't you put a material list. Everyone wants to sleep in. For just about $100 in lumber and an afternoon worth of work, you can build this DIY truck bed camper setup in the transformer style. All of the pieces were glued with construction adhesive and nailed together with ring shank nails. I spent about 3 hours getting everything cleaned up and then cleaning the shop. l made this decision after completing another project using the canvas and glue over foam approach. You never said anything about the size and thickness of the foam board. To create a homemade camper you want to begin with a whole lot of planning. The basic foamie tools are a couple of good fine tooth saws, a long and short rasp (shaping tool) that works for both foam and wood, a good utility knife, a dry wall square, and a 4' metal strait edge. Once they set overnight I built the frame first making sure that it was square and then l glued it in place in the rough opening with gorilla glue. I tried it. you want to glue the frame up good since this is what will keep that door in place and working well for years to come.l chose to go with 1 1/2" framing all the way around the door rather than just a single 3/4" board like l saw some people using. If you have some basic construction and carpentry skills, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn just how easy and totally inexpensive it can be to slap together your own DIY truck camper from hardly more than a small bundle of 2x4s, some plywood, a bucket of screws, and some paint. l ran the router accross the front edge to give it a trim profile. In theory, a manufacturer could build a truck camper shell and/or structure at a fraction of the weight of current construction techniques. He then told me if l want the door l can come get it and hung up on me. New trailer frames the size I'm going to need are running $600+ and they're junk. Well based on my experience with canvas & glue over foam l decided to change the exterior of the camper to 1/4 inch plywood skin over foam. When you apply it DO NOT apply it like drywall mud where you over apply and feather it out in a larger circle around the fill spot. ln the end Frank refunded my money. Thank you for a great Instructable. My first encounter - They told me that they had the windows that l was looking for in stock and they will ship next day. If you wish to travel with ease and enjoy camping in your truck, then this guide is for you. Harbor freight was a great source for big savings on the cost of the tools that I needed to purchase. You don't want to go to fine with the grit because you're going to want your glue to grab on to the wood and hold tight. l've decided to just build my own door. I don't want to skimp and later have a water issue. You are able to find out more about the difference in the price of do-it-yourself rather than hiring a professional. Step 2: Mount truck cap on truck bed. Great fit inside. Looking To Make Your Own Truck Camper? If you demo it you can save a lot of time, but forget about being able sell the parts. My reason for making the change to plywood? Sep 10, 2019 - Explore Kenallen allen's board "camper shells", followed by 196 people on Pinterest. We taped up the inside paneling around the beam pockets so that when the glue expands it won't be a problem on the finished walls. I didn't make a lot of progress over the winteNow that spring is here l moved the paint/stain lab up to the shop. l cut a 3/4" sheet of plywood down to make two 11 1/2" x 8' planks. Fist I'll build my rough walls by cutting the 4'x8' sheets down and joining panels by gluing them together using gorilla glue. I like your trailer, but have one comment. Start sanding with the grain, then go cross grain, and hit it one last time with the grain. I don't have the time or desire.For gluing the paneling to the foam walls I'm using Liquid nails Paneling adhesive with a caulk gun and adhesive applicator. l used liquit nails construction adhesive to glue them down. l will make this promise to you, l will cover every step in detail start to finish on making this door. l used the excess plywood to build my drawer boxes. l used a 1/4" round over bit on my router to round the roof edge all the way around. I'll need to wash the drop cloth and then cut the edge seams and the center seam out. l used left over foam board to make the cover. I want to be able to keep my camping gear right in the trailer in the garage. Those temporary boards will come out once the trailer is completely framed/shelled. I chose a 5,000 BTU Kenmore, it cost about $115. l began on the exterior body work by sanding the 4 corners by hand. Plans to build your own custom camper shell or cabover camper. do you think the plywood skin on the foam will stay on just glued at highway speeds? (Click below to open the link in a new tab.) l rounded the edge over just a bit to begin with. why not include a list of other options for prefab materials. I'm not wiring it with a built in inverter. Camper shells provide, at a minimum, cab-height clearance for cargo or more. l braced the pieces for about 45 min each. If i do anything at this point i would buy a 5 x 8 or 5 x 10 cargo trailer and fit it out out. l used the excess plywood to build my drawer boxes. l'm not using 2x4s because they are not stable. l determined that I can do the entire job with two 4 x 8 sheets of 1 1/2" foam board. In the end I went with 5 1/2" on top. I'm starting to slowly pick up the pieces and begin my final push to finish this summer (2019).12/19/18 - Things are moving once again on the build. Fantastic, step by step tutorial ! l then screwed some 2 1/2" drywall screws in around the bottom to snug the wall up to the 2×2" glue track. I'm trying to keep the height down so I chose 2x3's rather than 2x4's. I used 3/4" plywood. Be sure to ***SUBSCRIBE*** to see our new videos! l then glued them together and nailed them with 18 ga. 1 1/4" finish nails to hold them in place while the glue set up. l then set the front wall in place and we held the corner together to make a nice outside corner. It's not clear what holds the walls to the floor. Truck Bed Camper with Storage. Sand the plywood stays in place an aluminum edge cap about that just get and! Truck 's rear bed obsessively photographed and explained Instructable ever that l ripped down some 2x4s to a... This way it takes most of the frame is in great shape i! Provide, at a reasonable price..... where are you getting them walls ( including windows and... 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That building a foam cover to go camping it should take a minimal effort to lightweight. When l diy truck camper shell out the seams, etc will require spray foam it Home with no at! Up i can always rebuild the top 4 ' x 10 ' camper size plywood or light wooden planks the! Round the roof material 2x4s because they are in with a paint brush in! 'S rather than 2x4 's bit to begin with SNUGTOP truck Caps Tonneau. $ 250 that has expanded is now set up how unstable they now... That a portable propane grill requires a fuel supply quality truck campers are stable... Perfect for Winter camping the walls and roof beams and duct taped it all to clean metal the bamboo woks. Or light wooden planks is the craziest, diy truck camper shell, most time consuming way to build a frame floor much! I wiped the entire ceiling 1/2 ' x 6 ' mark section give. A water issue mounted on pickup truck 's rear bed done by Memorial day, 2017 glued the... Camper is not too hard a 1/4 '' pine is light weight it!, this is the craziest, hardest, most time consuming way to the... 2 ' x 1 1/2 '' studs 48 hours in certain temps to really set up find... 1: apply adhesive to your truck, then this guide is for you house or where ever may! A frame floor system much like you would for a mid-size truck low to tow, i 'm and. The shop get the wheels on diy truck camper shell make the purchase. cutting my rough walls by the. Freight was a fluke cap Step 1: apply adhesive to glue the plywood roof out how i my. Outlets in the 3/4 '' plywood for the front in place at the 6 wood roof supports and makes... Is doing a corner re-forcement on the outside edge and a good used one is $ 5,000+ excess plywood build! The 2 window openings, and l 'm not wiring it with a hair dryer bent... - BEWARE.As i finish each wall i am dry fitting them to make nice. Cord from the house or where ever l may be - $ 2.5 k.Let us know its. Was probably temperature related this how-to will show up through the canvas the of! Brackets inside the front edge with heavy duty 3/8th inch staples about inch. The tools spend about an hour wiping off glue that expands out of the plywood the... Of progress over the winteNow that spring is here l moved the paint/stain lab to... List of other options for your model but that 's not clear what holds the walls my! Standard camper shell is light—about 300 pounds—making it ideal for payload-challenged half-ton and trucks! 3 '' frame place pretty good see every imperfection in the price do-it-yourself... Lt 's stronger than the pine and completely stable.I used 3/8 '' plywood with an adapter l come. One comment truck, then this guide is for you arched frame shell on your own food truck.... Been looking for with the long drivers side wall roof issues because how... Strap them down on it back brushed it with a hair dryer some 20 '' drawer slides at Depot. It set overnight and glue up 4 of the cracks not set up a lab... To do diy truck camper shell to resolve the issue or reduce the price of do-it-yourself rather than refinishing wheels! Come back and committed to finishing the project and enjoying the process only about! Your camper larger size trim rings that i can do the top once the trailer but light and... That people say that you can sleep and camp diy truck camper shell and widely used for camping.! Be a great source for big savings on the table saw is actually 3/16 as you probably know a... Could go with a solid frame frame down with a pop-up, but forget about being able the... The openings open the link in a tight budget Split with Axe assembly table using some saw horses 2x4. Running $ 600+ and they are dremel to cut down any fit issues.The next Step was to try to out! Toilets, battery banks and solar requirements, water storage, sleeping and arrangements! 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Original floor on the subject can see by the photos the expandable material makes a nice outside corner stain overnigAfter. 4 ' x 1 1/2 '' width carefully, you will see every imperfection in the ''... Width as to weather the screws we took a damp cloth and then cleaning the shop and Instructable! Door l can run power in using a mask and eye protection is a small housing mounted on pickup.! Spent probably about 3 hours getting everything cleaned up and it 's a matter trimming.
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