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Forum topic by oliver793 posted 05-25-2017 01:17 PM 932 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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oliver793

2 posts in 200 days


05-25-2017 01:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cedar

Hello, I am trying to build a camper on the back of a 1988 toyota pickup. I am planning to remove the bed of the truck and build my camper directly on to the frame of the truck. I was planning to just use treated 2×4’s from the home depot for the shell, but have really been struggling with what to build the outer walls from and how to stain them. I really like the look of cedar strip canoe’s though that appears to be a very labor intensive process. is there some way I could get a similar fiberglass+epoxy on cedar effect with larger strips of wood? is cedar siding with an epoxy resin to waterproof it and give it a nice shine possible? What types of lumber would be recommended for building. I am looking for long term quality and durability outside as well as water/weather proofedness.
Sorry if my lack of knowledge with wood is painful to read! thanks so much for taking the time to glance over this!


9 replies so far

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gargey

862 posts in 608 days


#1 posted 05-25-2017 01:32 PM

You sure about this?

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JCamp

470 posts in 383 days


#2 posted 05-25-2017 03:25 PM

It would likely be cheaper to buy a small pull behind camper plus im sure ur insurance company would prefer it over what you have planned…..
If you are set on doing it tho don’t used treated in contact with the frame since the chemicals will rust the frame out. use some sort of composite mayb or a ceder that’s been stained real good so it doesn’t rot away (or metal of some kind). Either way paint ur frame really well. To me it would make more since to find a flat bed that would fit your truck and build up form there.
For siding the cedar side looks good or mayb metal. How about T1-11 siding… Whatever you do keep in mind it will likely have to withstand high wind speeds.
Roofing… Id stick with metal roof that was screwed and glued down very very well

Im sure with enough time an money you can build what ever you want but I would highly remomend and old pull behind camper that was made for the speed and wind. You could still redo the insides.
or mayb a flat bed lik I already said with some walls that you’ve built and normal factory bed topper…

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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the_other_ken

29 posts in 2808 days


#3 posted 05-25-2017 04:18 PM

I built many campers, trailers and motor homes when I was a young lad in the early 70s. The most important thing to keep it LIGHT. Back then we used mostly 2×2s with some 2×4s, 2×6s laid flat for the walls. The inside of the wall was just thin 3/16” panelling with the outside being just the corrugated aluminum siding. Newer ones are probably built differently with molded fibreglass exterior panels

A 1988 Toyota truck is one of those little 1/4 ton jobbies. This will not be big enough to support any kind of structure. If you really want to try this, find a 3/4 ton full-size pickup…maybe with a damaged box. It should be support the weight if you don’t make it heavy duty.

You should go to an RV place and have a look at the travel trailers and campers. Have look at how they are made. Check the cabinets to see how light they are made. Knock on the inside walls to see how thin they are. Maybe talk to the dealer about the construction. You will see there are special techniques to keep them as light as possible.

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tomsteve

660 posts in 1052 days


#4 posted 05-25-2017 05:34 PM

youre going to need stronger springs on your truck.
something else to consider on long term durability is movement.think about the miles and miles of bouncing and all that good movement that is going to be transferred to the structure

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Ocelot

1856 posts in 2471 days


#5 posted 05-25-2017 05:37 PM

Some people use the stuff road signs are made of which is a cellular plastic stuff with aluminum skin. It’s weatherproof and very light. Old signs are sometimes available. Iv’e seen a guy build a camper to be pulled by a motorcycle out of that stuff.

Alumalite is what it’s called. New 4×8 sheets are around $140, but I’ve seen used road signs for sale on Craige’s List much cheaper than that.

-Paul

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Ocelot

1856 posts in 2471 days


#6 posted 05-25-2017 05:48 PM

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oliver793

2 posts in 200 days


#7 posted 05-25-2017 07:31 PM

Wow! thanks so much for the prompt responses! I might have led you astray when I said camper, I was planning more of a wooden box I was thinking borderline camper shell, I just want a bit more space and freedom.
I want to be able to put a bed with some storage below it, and just about 8 inches of clearance above the truck cab.
do you not think wood would be able to manage the stress of that? I was planning a slanted roof that went towards the cab and finished about 8 inches higher at the end.
my end goal is a nice wooden box with a flat floor and room to sleep two… basically a wooden tent haha!

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tomsteve

660 posts in 1052 days


#8 posted 05-26-2017 04:26 PM

with the better explaination, i think i can picture what youre looking to do. have you thought about a cap for the bed?
or something to build in/on the existing bed? if you remove the bed and build on the frame,new brake/running lights have to be figured out, the gas tank straps could be mounted on the bed frame, so new strap hold downs would have to be figured out, wiring could be mounted to the bottom of the bed, so that would have to be figured out.
then theres the wheel wells- youre going to need some sort of fender around the wheels. if tires are exposed outside of the wheel wells/fenders, it can lead to a ticket in some states.
plus, if youre in a state that gets snow and uses salt, you can have a real fun time getting the bed off of the frame.

you may want to rethink your plan and build something in/on the bed

View JCamp's profile (online now)

JCamp

470 posts in 383 days


#9 posted 05-26-2017 08:49 PM

Sell the truck An get a van. Those little toyotas fetch a good price in my area

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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