DIY Hybrid - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2017, 01:24 PM   #1
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
Florida
Posts: 250
DIY Hybrid

Hi, I am not really sure where to post this thread. Moderator please move as needed. I am planning to build a camper shell in my truck bed. I was able to add a sketch showing my plans. The shaded gray area on the side represents where a conventional truck cap will sit. I am planning to take a fiberglass truck cap and elevate it above the rails of my truck bed on what is essentially a short wall. The short wall will support the cap on the sides and front. Then I will add an over the cab area constructed of wood reinforced with fiberglass. I will get to this through the front window of the truck cap. I am planning to place an escape hatch/vent in both the over cab area and the over the truck bed area. The windows currently in the truck cap will suffice for light and ventilation. I will also add a wall, door, and a short overhang on the rear, but inside the dimensions of the truck bed. So I am building a sort of slide in camper, but only top part of the insulated shell. The large crosshatched rectangle on the top of the camper is a solar panel. The batteries and charge controller will be inside the shell.

The interior will hold a bench the length of the bed, opposite a fold down work surface, as well as Solar LED lights and a Solar fan/vent. The facilities will be very simple; cooking on a butane one burner stove, a dishpan for a sink, and campground showers/bathroom. My goals are to make an area for storage, messy projects, and possible guest quarters (or quarters for me if my trailer goes in for repairs) on my tow vehicle. Something simple, cooler and candle camping, and lightweight, tall enough to stand upright inside when it is raining. I am 5'6" tall.

Any advice on fiberglass work is welcome since I have no experience in this area. The truck cap is fiberglass with old paint, meaning scratched, chipped, and blistered. I am hoping to join whatever I build to the fiberglass truck cap to form a lightweight, strong unit. So....

1. What is the best way to join the old fiberglass shell to the new pieces that I build?
2. How many layers of glass and resin do I need to apply to the plywood to form something strong and weather proof, yet lightweight?
3. Would I be able to skip the "glass" sheets on the side, front and back walls, simply coating the wood with resin?

Thanks in advance for all the great help I am going to get, which will save me from many errors.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:32 PM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
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Hi Lisa, I couldn't find what kind of truck you're using.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:26 AM   #3
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
Florida
Posts: 250
Hi Dave, I am using a 2002 Chevy Silverado with a full size bed and 8cyl engine, 1/2 ton truck.
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Old 06-16-2017, 02:04 PM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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Other than loosing the "cool FG" factor, you may be $$ and time ahead by finding a stick camper to see how it's going to work out for you. I've seen on occasion, slide ins on commercial company work trucks. Don't think they had the overcab feature but was tall enough to stand in.
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