Hello - New to site - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-23-2007, 11:29 AM   #1
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I wanted to stop in and say hello before, I posted to much. I've been lurking for a few months now.. My 'camper' is unconventional and doesn't fit the criteria of most sites, either by construction or the 'how we camp' aspect. Most of my friends still tent camp or use truck campers and we tend to most cooking outside where we can enjoy things. Much of the discussions here seen to fall in line with that style of camping.. I like the tone and feel here as to how friendly everyone it.. I am a 100% DIY guy and love how so many contribute here...

That said, I'll tell you a little about my camper and if everyone thinks its ok I would be happy to document more and contribute where I can..

It's a Kenworth 60" sleeper cab. It has an all aluminum lower section but does have a fiberglass top section on it (aka the lid). This is my 3rd one and I probably the last as this one fits our needs exactly. The first two had designs that seemed to hamper what we wanted to do with or get out of the camper.. the first 2 were really just practice for this one, allowing me to learn fiberglassing skills and many other things that will help me along the way.. My wife (Valerie) has been calling this one the 'keeper camper' she's taken a bit more interest in this one.

This one is still in progress. But here's a pic of it.. Currently its bare inside, while I'm reinsulating it and cleaning it up.. I also cut in the roof vent (last night) and need to cut out for the rv entry door. I will be cutting the door down to size soon...

I guess I need to mention some how and why.. The sleeper basically gets bolted to the front of my 22' car hauler tag trailer and my jeep sits on the back of the trailer.. The doorway will face onto the trailer deck.. The why part is simple. Most events/trips/rides we attend run rain or shine. I like to stay dry. Also almost ALL the reasons listed in the recent tread about 'why do you have a camper' all apply... Dry, warm, (cool w/ AC, faster setup/packup, can stop along the way.. etc..

Anyway.. have a look.. nothing much so far but to give you an idea of where its going... The blue pic is of my 1st camper and how it turned out (unpainted).

-mike

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Old 10-23-2007, 01:38 PM   #2
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Hi, Mike!

Welcome to FiberglassRv.com! We're glad you decided to stick around an post! That is definately one of the more unconventional camping setups we've seen a while! Please keep us posted on your progress. We love to see project photos!

Roger
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:33 PM   #3
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Hi Mike! I've seen a variation of your rig where the owner of a low-boy trailer with a gooseneck hitch put a pickup camper on the front of it with the cab-over part over the gooseneck. He then put storage boxes under the camper sides and had the back of the trailer available for ATVs, BBQ, etc.

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Old 10-23-2007, 05:37 PM   #4
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Hi Mike and welcome.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
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Very unusual and very interesting. Please keep posting and more photos too.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
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I have seen a lot of homemade teardrop trailers (on the net) bolted to a small utility trailer. LIke your idea but smaller. Thanks for sharing your project, lots of nice folks here on this forum.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:00 PM   #7
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Welcome Mike ..........I do not have a MFROG myself ..........( ok guys I am still dreaming of one) and have been a memeber here for several years. This is a GREAT group of people and we do have lots of fun here. Even if you don't have the same type camper you can always learn some good stuff and share too.

Thanks to all here for being friend and welcome Mike
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:06 AM   #8
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Talking

Quote:
My 'camper' is unconventional
I am a 100% DIY guy
That kind of goes with the territory I like to see how others think outside of convention.
Quote:
The doorway will face onto the trailer deck..
Probably for the obvious reason, and I see it will have the added benefit of presenting less wind resistance than the "regular" way...
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:01 PM   #9
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A little update. I've been researching the rivets used to hold the 'camper' together. I had a to buy a new (2me) tool and fasteners.. But I did partially removing one of the side doors. (Since I'll be using the sleeper backwards from its original position, I need to swap the doors left/right, to prevent accidental opening of the doors while moving down the road.. ) I've been using my plasma cutter to knick off the crimp nut on the inside part of the lockbolt (aka special rivet)

I got the hole in the roof cut for the standard 14"x14" roof vent. That will help a ton with venting summer heat.

Got the door opening enlarged, stretching it to the bottom to make room for the RV door..

Then I got the RV door frame shortened up and put back together, I also was able to get the door frame off the door shell.. That took some doing to free the glue from the casing, but with some purple power cleaner spray and a plastic putty knife it wasn't to bad.. I hope to cut it down tonight... Not really much to it when you get all the pieces apart.. Basically the top is 1 long piece arched up and over.. With a bottom 'cap' holding it all together. I'll do the screen later

I need to get some sheet alum. and some 1" angle to close the hole in..

A few more pics..

EDit: also wanted to mention, the pics above show my old sleeper (blue one) and the new one (green). The green one was only strapped on the trailer that way to haul it home. I need to make an attachment point underneath to bolt it onto the trailer.. It will be bolted on in the 'wide' configuration as that give the most usable deck space, the trailer fenders are ~102" while the camper is only ~90" Its still a huge air dam, but it does help throw wind up over the jeep well..

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Old 02-21-2008, 12:41 PM   #10
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Well finally getting around to posting an update. I got the camper exterior finished up and the interior done just enough to make it habitable. I really 'needed' to go on a trip and the added boost in motivation to do more on the interior will help.

umm not sure where to start off again. But ill post a few pics.

I made a bottom edge w/ 2x2 1/8" angle to stiffen it up to better hold up to loading/unloading and general abuse and obnoxiousness it is likely to see when/where I camp.

I completed skinning the opening and sealing it up using tremco adhesive sealer. I used some newer style poly based tremco caulk on the roof vent (used vent line $20 craigslist find) and the door.

Interior, insulated with an automotive style recycled cotton bat insulation. While it's only an ~R3 @1" it has super noise deadening properties. I sourced a few rolls from a friend who works where they make the stuff. Other main reason for wanting that was to ease the installation in the corners/curved areas, similar to the original yellow foam stuff vs using a rigid foam board.

Interior, walls.... I waffled on using luan thin board and even after only having a sheet in the garage for 3 days was already starting to warp/curl. With the high humidity we have here in NC and the limited interior bracing available to attach it, I saw it turning into a problem.. I initially struggled to pay the higher price of the FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) panel at the store, but in the end the extra cost ($30/sheet) turned out to be well worth it. The result looks cleaner and the installation has been simpler as it is semi flexible on the ceiling. With some added heat from a heat gun I was able to get it to hold its curve in the corners. (see pics)

While i'ts not finished yet, it is done to allow me to use it and finish it over time.

Some specs on my tow rig and setup for those interested. I scaled out at:

Steer 3340
Drive 3500
Trailer 7580
Gross 14420

Towed very well. I had upgraded the truck axle to a Full Float (14bolt) with 4.10s which the truck was originally equipped with. This made the truck very happy. I averaged 8-8.5MPG towing the combo, while not super its still cheaper then renting a motel room for 3 nights. Plus it gets me out and around the camp fire...

Anyway some pics... Be happy to answer any questions...
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:43 PM   #11
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few more pics

and forgot, I had trimmed down a full size futon mattress to use all available space on the bed area inside. I need to slim it down a few more inches as it buldges out some when sitting on it and makes it hard to move around in the door way...
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