converting my truck into the ultimate camper (cont.)

This post is a continuation of converting my truck into the ultimate camper.

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To not adjust your original plan when building a camper or in life is foolish. Life takes unexpected turns for better or for worse. The only constant is change and if you’re not adjusting, well, you may be falling behind or not living to your full potential. The same can be said when building a liveaboard space. It takes fine-tuning to make the most efficient camper for your lifestyle. It’s not just a one time build, it requires modifications to best suit your current needs. Over the past two months since the start of converting the back of my truck into the ultimate camper, I’ve added and made modifications to the original design.  I will go over what modifications I have done to the original design, give you reasons as to why I made those decisions and explain some of the trouble shooting I went through for each step.

 

Additions and modifications to the original design:

  • Solar panel
  • Deep cycle battery storage
  • 300W Inverter
  • 12v Led light
  • Rubber maid containers for under the lower section
  • Three tiered container on the side of the bed
  • Made the bed wider
  • Cut the bottom rail off from the lower section (as shown in picture below)

 

Solar Panel

  • Take pressure off the car battery.
  • Use less gas to run the engine while charging items.
  • Power when there is no access to electricity.
  • Being off the grid is bad ass.

I attached this by drilling into the aluminum frame and using u-bolts that directly attached to the roof rack.  It’s pretty secure and I used rubber washers to allow for some flex. I drilled holes directly into the cab just big enough to allow the wires to slide through. I plan to silicone the holes but it’s dry season here and I see no immediate need.

Deep cycle battery storage (100AH)

  • To store the electricity from the solar panel for later use.

In between the solar panel and the battery is a charge controller that makes sure the battery is not overcharge. The battery is positioned near the front of the bed. My reasoning being that I didn’t need constant access and anything that heavy, I try to position towards the front for better driving control.

300W Inverter

  • To run AC items that isn’t on DC current.
  • This inverter is enough to power small appliances like laptop, camera, cell phone charger and juicer.

The 300w inverter I wired directly to the battery.

 

12v Led light

  • Uses very little electricity. It’s installed at the end of the bed to light up the tailgate for cooking duties and other miscellaneous activities.

This was installed using 12g size wire directly to the battery. It’s positioned towards the back. It’s 12v so it can be directly wired to the battery.

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Rubber maid containers for under the lower section

  •  Mainly for food storage (nuts, dried fruit, coffee)

Food is going to be difficult, it gets hot in the back so having it in a place that stays cool is key.

Three tiered container on the side of the bed

  • Items that I use frequently (Some clothes, bathroom stuff, some electronics)

This is great because it allows me easy access to clothes I use frequently and it also doubles as a nightstand.

 

Made the bed wider

  • Now can sleep two.

I added an extension to the original bed that can be taken out with two screws.

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Cut the bottom rail off from the lower section

  • Didn’t sacrifice structure and allowed for bigger containers and items to slide in.

converting my truck into the ultimate camper

Behind my macbook, late at nights, I’ve viewed countless photos of cars, trucks, and vans converted into homes on wheels. I may be abnormal but I think in everyone of us, there is an urge to be free and have the ability to travel. I enjoy being a homebody with the rest of them but I’ve been wanting to travel more. I never had that year of backpacking in Europe after college or high school. I’m at a time in my life where I’m looking for inspiration on the road. Places and experiences to write about and tell my grandkids someday. So, what’s the best of both worlds? A traveling home!

http://instagram.com/p/l7z2UJICPh/

Some campers are just weekend homes while others live full-time in their traveling abodes.  I’ve made efforts in the past couple years to reduce possessions and be less tied down to my belongings.  There is something special about being able to get up and travel whenever you feel the urge. Historically, most humans were hunter and gatherers, they had to relocate to where the food was. Now, food has come to us but that urge to travel has not subsided in me. My brother and I are taking steps to convert my truck into the ultimate camper. We’ve both researched different blueprints and styles with functionality and weight in mind. Here are a few pictures from day one. Please comment or ask me any questions about the process.

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Materials: (I will be updating this section soon with specifics)

  • 2X3 (~10)
  • 2×2 (4)
  • four hinges
  • 3″ screws (2lb)
  • 1 7/8″ screws (1lb)
  • 1/2″ plywood (two sheets)

Cost: ~$135 Thoughts on materials:

  • we were debating on 3/4 inch but with extensive framing,we found the 1/2 had no bend and was substantially lighter.

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Converting my truck in the ultimate camper (cont.)

I spent this morning carpeting the camper. It didn’t take very long. I used some carpet I had from a previous room so the cost was nothing. I’m thinking in the future I will want to install marine or outdoor carpet because it is mold and mildew resistant and can be washed out. The regular carpet is way more comfy than the marine style but sleeping pads or egg crate foam will be used no matter what. Tip: When cutting carpet, I’ve found that wood glue will hold the stitching together and fray less.

Next up is solar panel installation, mini desk and back rest… stay tuned…