Now those that have seen pics of my truck now I drive a half ton pickup. Okay so the payload rating is actually well over that, actually well over 3/4 of a ton, but they are doing funny things with truck ratings and classifications these days. Still weight is a consideration when building any sort of truck bed camper.
Working with my Sketchup drawings, and looking at the assemblies it occours to me that it needs to be lightweight for 2 reasons really.
#1. Hauling capacity of the truck itself. My F150 is no super duty, and I honestly want to build the camper to allow me to get deep into the brush without a top heavy camper as well.. #2. I have to put this thing up, and my 20s were a LONG time ago now…
I know for durability I am going to skin the panels with fiberglass, and the panels themselves are going to be built as boxes of sorts, with the voids filled with either rigid foam, or expanding foam insulation for comfort and weight issues.
So now the questions for those that are experienced with wood / fiberglass construction.
#1. In my experience the fiberglass provides much (most) of the rigidity once the resin is set. I assume then the framework within the box sides doesn’t have to be super beefy, but to act as a mold, and to keep the large expanses of glass from bowing in. Would this be a good application of Cedar? the stuff is light, very easy to work with, and very rot resistant.
#2. Again, the wood box really just needs to be a mold of sorts for the fiberglass. So what would be the thinnest sheet lumber / ply material I could obtain to use for the outer sides of the “boxes”? I need to factor this in to my design.
I would also love to know if there is a chart somewhere online that would list the weight loading / strength of various woods for a given size / thickness and length. I.E. how much weight can a SYP 2×2 48” long support without bowing or failing…
With your help guiding me to the needed information, I will be able to make more progress. My plan is to use Sketchup to mock up the truck bed, and the camper knock down box. (Got an F150 supercab model from the warehouse, and it seems pretty close). Once I have the truck bed enclosed, I will have a better idea of how to work the bed, AC, cargo capacity etc… in.
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