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Thread: Cabover truck camper build with auxillary fuel tank

  1. #1
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    Default Cabover truck camper build with auxillary fuel tank

    So I got tired of all the crazy prices of junky old slide in truck campers and decided I will build my own. The plan is to build an aluminum frame then use sheet with .040 sheet on top and radii and .125 for the sides/back. I already sourced the rv windows/doors for CHEAP. I'll cut and fit/tack the whole frame together and me and a buddy are gonna tag team the welding out in an afternoon. Then glue exterior panels on, then insulate with foam board on inside, panel, then cut/install windows/door.
    Pretty straight fo ward build. With materials and gas/wire I'm about 2200$. Pretty good for something more useful to me than a junky old camper. I will wire up ready for a lil suitcase. And cut two vents in the top. NO sink or stove or toilet. Don't want the hassle of tanks and waste water.
    BTW, this is going in a short bed (one ton) so weight is no issue. I am also building it so the tailgate closes, I still need to pull stuff.

    Questions for people that have had campers in trucks:
    What features are a must have in a camper?
    Anyone see anything I might be doing that won't work or a better way?

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Jacks! Good ones that fold up and don't get caught and smash up your corners.
    Me, I wouldn't want a camper w/o a stove top, ice box and sink with a hose drain at least (I just use a 5 gallon jerry jug to drain into).

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    Shayno,
    Planar diesel heater
    sliding windows and plenty of visibility
    A placed for the Honda Genny to stow externally
    Led lighting down low, accent lighting or theater lighting
    Bk
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by shayno View Post
    . NO sink or stove or toilet. Don't want the hassle of tanks and waste water.

    Anyone see anything I might be doing that won't work or a better way?
    Not wanting the hassle of dealing with waste water and other form of wasted is not a option for most people. Are you planning on camping in a camp grounds with a outhouse?

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    Most of the foreseeable time will be pulling a trailer that has afull kitchen and bathroom. That's why none of that stuff. Yes Brian, I want to build a tight cubby that the honda slides into and already on the cove lighting! ! All the windows are sliders. I am putting a 22x14 on each side andslightly smaller one on the back. The sleeping area is getting two small sliders.
    I forgot to mention the most important detail: I want to incorporate an auxillary fuel tank somehow.
    My thinking is i need about 38-50 gallons and I could make a narrow tall one that's about 8" thick that is up against the cab. It will also be independent of the camper. Any insight into that? Not sure how I would vent it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by shayno View Post
    I want to incorporate an auxillary fuel tank somehow.
    My thinking is i need about 38-50 gallons and I could make a narrow tall one that's about 8" thick that is up against the cab. It will also be independent of the camper. Any insight into that? Not sure how I would vent it.
    Venting is not a problem, just make sure the vent holes is outside the camper. Are you wanting to run the truck on the auxiliary tank? If so there will need to a fuel pump inside the auxiliary tank and a return line. I may be wrong but I don't thing a welding shop will build it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    Venting is not a problem, just make sure the vent holes is outside the camper. Are you wanting to run the truck on the auxiliary tank? If so there will need to a fuel pump inside the auxiliary tank and a return line. I may be wrong but I don't thing a welding shop will build it.
    I had no plans to hard plumb it. I was gonna use gravity or small litype pump.
    I will do the welding myself.

  8. #8
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    build the fuel tank wide/deep enough so you can use it as a seat across the front of the camper by the cab, cover it with plywood and a nice cushion on top.

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    build the fuel tank wide/deep enough so you can use it as a seat across the front of the camper by the cab, cover it with plywood and a nice cushion on top.
    Good idea: I was originally thinking of using it as a step up to the bed.

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    Think about insulating over the tank so it its not ice cold in the winter. It will sweat.
    Bk
    BK Marine Services 232-6399
    Alaskas only Planar diesel heaters dealer, service, warranty, and installation.
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    only had about 8 hours to work on it so far. I'm almost done with the frame. About 6 more horizontal braces and a couple verticals.
    Door fits nuts, I'm happy about that. Maybe next week I'll get it set on the truck to finish the part that goes down into the bed. I also am trying to figure out bracing for future brackets on the back like propane rack and gas can rack.
    It's seriously overbuilt compared to any factory camper I've seen yet. The whole frame can still be picked up and moved by two people.
    The roof will get plywood under the aluminum sheeting.

    Any suggestions so far?

    (Not doing a fuel tank, to much of a PIA to fit in)20170714_205150.jpg

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    Maybe a 6"x6" gusset in the corners of all critical corners where flexing might occur. If flush with the outside edges that should not interfere with the insulation.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    Well, I've been following your progress,,,,, Looking Good, a few years ago I thought about doing the same thing, as what you're doing right now, but came across a Pretty-Clean 1981 Lance 10'6",,,,, I have an old 76 F250 High-Boy, a Built-up C-6 w/ 60-Over 390, Edelbrock-Split Plane Intake, Holley 4160 Carb, Comp-Cam, Headman Headers, Lockers Front & Rear, I bought this Truck New in 76, ordered from the Factory, built a Flat-Bed for it in the Early 90's, and now I'm putting that Lance Camper on it, I was also needing "Extra-Fuel",,,, Gas & Propane, so I built an area that is under the Camper on both-sides,,,, ie... lockable type metal cabinets/boxes, as I already had Under-Bed Tool Boxes Installed, I'm still working on this Package, building a Double-Rear Hitch with a folding spare-tire holder, that when folded it down is an "Entry" Porch Area,,,,, I'll Post-Up some Photos in the next day or so, but if I understand you correctly,,,, you're not working with a Flat-Bed, you will be sliding this into your existing Truck-Bed, so anyway,,,,,,,,,,
    Maybe some of what I'm doing might give you some Ideas going forward.
    Keep-Up the Good Work.
    TG
    [ USMC 1st Marine Div. 7th Engineers, VietNam 69-71, Semper-Fi ]

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    Quote Originally Posted by The German View Post
    Well, I've been following your progress,,,,, Looking Good, a few years ago I thought about doing the same thing, as what you're doing right now, but came across a Pretty-Clean 1981 Lance 10'6",,,,, I have an old 76 F250 High-Boy, a Built-up C-6 w/ 60-Over 390, Edelbrock-Split Plane Intake, Holley 4160 Carb, Comp-Cam, Headman Headers, Lockers Front & Rear, I bought this Truck New in 76, ordered from the Factory, built a Flat-Bed for it in the Early 90's, and now I'm putting that Lance Camper on it, I was also needing "Extra-Fuel",,,, Gas & Propane, so I built an area that is under the Camper on both-sides,,,, ie... lockable type metal cabinets/boxes, as I already had Under-Bed Tool Boxes Installed, I'm still working on this Package, building a Double-Rear Hitch with a folding spare-tire holder, that when folded it down is an "Entry" Porch Area,,,,, I'll Post-Up some Photos in the next day or so, but if I understand you correctly,,,, you're not working with a Flat-Bed, you will be sliding this into your existing Truck-Bed, so anyway,,,,,,,,,,
    Maybe some of what I'm doing might give you some Ideas going forward.
    Keep-Up the Good Work.
    TG
    Sounds like a cool project.
    I usually don't enjoy fabrication to much, (more of a welder type) but this has been enjoyable.
    Yrs no flatbed: if it was I would probably try and build a cool "overland" camper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Maybe a 6"x6" gusset in the corners of all critical corners where flexing might occur. If flush with the outside edges that should not interfere with the insulation.
    There will be gussets on certain areas, not plate but 2x2 gusset. I can't do those until I know exactly where the Windows are going.

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    Ok,,,, I've got an idea for you, on how to gain some Fuel Storage, most Factory Campers have an access door from the inside, out to the Truck-Bed area, albeit they are usually pretty small, and usually only 1-{One} or 2, depending on the Manufacture. But since you're building your own design, now would be the time to incorporate that design on all 4-{Four} corners, make your inside doors large enough so you can move Fuel-Jugs in and out with-out alot of hassle,,,,, you'll need to "Seal" those Doors good, as your "Vapor-Fumes" will vent up & out over the Top of your Truck-Bed,,,, this is an area that is usually wasted, or not used, but in your situation, it would be the Cat's-Meow, also you'll want to "Drill" some 3/8 Holes in your Bed in these areas, to let any over-fill, or leaking Fuel cans drain to the underside of the Bed, plus you'll be able to detect any of this, if it's happening and make corrections accordingly, all the while not having any Fuel leaks or Vapor in-side your Camper, and having "Extra-Fuel" on-board when you need it. An old hunting buddy of mine in Montana did exactly what I've described above, all though he had a log-bed truck, but I'm thinking that he carried an extra 44 gals +/-,,,,, ie.... 2-6gal. jugs ea. side up-front, and 2-5gal. one's ea. side in the Rear area, as on an 8' Bed, there is more room at the front between the wheel wells than at the Rear.
    Anyway, that's my Story and I'm sticking to it.
    TG
    [ USMC 1st Marine Div. 7th Engineers, VietNam 69-71, Semper-Fi ]

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    Quote Originally Posted by The German View Post
    Ok,,,, I've got an idea for you, on how to gain some Fuel Storage, most Factory Campers have an access door from the inside, out to the Truck-Bed area, albeit they are usually pretty small, and usually only 1-{One} or 2, depending on the Manufacture. But since you're building your own design, now would be the time to incorporate that design on all 4-{Four} corners, make your inside doors large enough so you can move Fuel-Jugs in and out with-out alot of hassle,,,,, you'll need to "Seal" those Doors good, as your "Vapor-Fumes" will vent up & out over the Top of your Truck-Bed,,,, this is an area that is usually wasted, or not used, but in your situation, it would be the Cat's-Meow, also you'll want to "Drill" some 3/8 Holes in your Bed in these areas, to let any over-fill, or leaking Fuel cans drain to the underside of the Bed, plus you'll be able to detect any of this, if it's happening and make corrections accordingly, all the while not having any Fuel leaks or Vapor in-side your Camper, and having "Extra-Fuel" on-board when you need it. An old hunting buddy of mine in Montana did exactly what I've described above, all though he had a log-bed truck, but I'm thinking that he carried an extra 44 gals +/-,,,,, ie.... 2-6gal. jugs ea. side up-front, and 2-5gal. one's ea. side in the Rear area, as on an 8' Bed, there is more room at the front between the wheel wells than at the Rear.
    Anyway, that's my Story and I'm sticking to it.
    TG
    Ha, we're on the same wavelength!
    I was just sitting here waiting for the women In the store and trying to figure out how to access that space from the inside of the camper!
    I thought about fab-ing up "saddle" tanks to fit on each side In that void. It wpuld actually be a lot of fuel. However, it would be difficult to get all the fuel to drain to the low points.
    Because my truck is only 6.5' bed, space is super limited.
    I even thought about welding up a low profile 35 gallon tank that bolts to the left or right of the door. It's about 220 or so lbs for that, if have to reinforce properly for that.
    I like the rear vertical tank idea a lot because it's super easy to fill, and gravity is my friend. And it would be easy to remove and maintain.

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    Ok,,,,,, But, But,,,,,, that Tank will be out there for "Every" gas thief with-in a 100 miles,,,,, I had the same dilemma building my Fuel Storage, 6-5-Gal Red Cans on both side's of the Flat-bed, talk about a "Bait-Station" for Gas Thieves,,,,, well I'm going to up-load some Photos later this Evening, and you'll be able to see what I came-up with.
    Later >TG
    [ USMC 1st Marine Div. 7th Engineers, VietNam 69-71, Semper-Fi ]

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    Ok, here you go, my Project to date:
    TG

    Attachment 93819Attachment 93820
    [ USMC 1st Marine Div. 7th Engineers, VietNam 69-71, Semper-Fi ]

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    Here are a couple more;
    TG

    Attachment 93821Attachment 93822
    [ USMC 1st Marine Div. 7th Engineers, VietNam 69-71, Semper-Fi ]

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