Yep, we’re gonna do it! The DIY truck camper build project has already started. In this post I plan to outline where we are in the process and the formula we plan to follow to create the flatbed truck camper of our dreams. (Hopefully this won’t turn into a nightmare)
DIY Truck Camper Build Budget
We have a budget of $6000 to build this camper. This includes the power tools we will need for the project too. Having sold Dora and the mini van we were using as a truck we have the funds in hand to start the build which will go on our Dodge Ram 3500 diesel dully truck.
Yes, Virginia, I did remodel that little “canned ham” camper and hand painted the ribbon and made the awning. Although it was cute and great for local camping, we like to go to far away places to camp. A truck camper is better suited for our camping style. So we decided we would build our own flatbed truck camper.
No We Don’t Have Any DIY Truck Camper Building Experience
Heck, we don’t even have very good carpentry skills. But what we do have is Youtube and a budget. LOL
Because we’ve been mulling over Endgames videos on his truck camper builds and believe we too can accomplish great things. So far we have drawn out our plans and watched this play list several times, along with his other camper builds. Endgame’s unique approach struck as as the right balance between function and cost. Which is why we decided to adapt his plans for our own flat bed truck camper.
The Formula For Our Truck Camper Build
The first step is to have a plan:
Taking cost, durability and weight into consideration the entire structure is going to be primarily constructed using cedar fence planks. Since they are 5/8th inch x 6 inches x 6 feet, they will be easy to work with. Especially after being planed down to about 1/2″. We will be using screws and brad nail, wood glue and dap caulk for “sticking” stuff together as my son Jack would say.
Since the flat bed section of truck is 8×8 the plan is going to be to build an 8×8 flat bed camper base out of plywood & particle board, with a one inch section of insulation between the 4 pieces. The whole base will be coated in truck bed liner paint to make it waterproof. Using the plywood for the very base we will make a grid of 1×1’s to put the insulation in and the center pieces where the 8×4 pieces of plywood and particleboard will come together we will have a 2×4 for maximum security. There will also be three trim pieces on the very bottom to keep the camper slightly elevated off the base of the flatbed.
The Pillars & Beams
The pillars (columns going up and down) and beams (cross pieces going from front to back) will be constructed of laminated pieces of cedar fence planking.
The roof will be fiber glassed and created using 1/4″ plywood as a base.
Other Things We are Considering
- windows – we know we want two in the main cab and maybe round ones in the sleeper
I’m sure this list will continue to grow as the project advances.
What Has Been Accomplished So Far
We have purchase the truck. And 150 pieces of cedar planking. We’ve also purchased a table saw which I’ll write an article about here shortly.
The list of tools we will need
- table saw
- router (table)
- brad nailer
- maybe a planer sander
- definitely a hand sander
- chop saw
- skil saw
- jig saw
- clamps (lots of clamps)
- a vice
The First Steps
As you can see above, we purchased the 150 Cedar fence planks. Since we need them super dry, we are drying them for the week. Because it’s summer and it’s hot I think that process should take about a week. But, who knows for sure? Next week we will start the planing process and beam & pillar construction.
According to our calculations we will need 10 pillars on the base section and four beams. And for the sleeper section we will need 13 columns (they will be much smaller) Since we like endgame’s 3 camper build design, we are going to go with that as our guide.
More to Follow
Our plan is to video the process and post on our youtube channel. Maybe we should be committed (to an institution), however We’re committed to doing this project. I’m sure there will be many challenges and changes along the way. Truck driver Dave n I love to camp and we love to do projects together. As the build progresses We will keep you posted.
Pin this to Pinterest for future reference on where the beginning happened…