DIY Hybrid - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2017, 01:35 PM   #1
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
Florida
Posts: 250
DIY Hybrid

This is a duplicate of a thread started in general chat since I was unsure where this best fit.

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 an attachment of my sketch. 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 grey shaded area represents the truck cap. 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 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 cross hatched rectangle on the top of the camper represents a solar panel.

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, 06:43 PM   #2
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,892
I do not think it will be practical to get the support needed for the over-cab part. It would be easier to build a camper from scratch.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:54 PM   #3
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
Florida
Posts: 250
Thanks for your concerns Mike. I didn't go into the details of framing out the shell because I am looking for input on the fiberglass work. Since you have brought it up, rest assured that I will be framing the short wall to support the truck cap above the rails, similar to the houses I have built. The top plate of the short wall will run the entire length of the shell, thus providing support by cantilevering the over the cab section. Of course I will also have cross bracing and support in the floor of the over cab area. I certainly don't want this area to sag and damage the roof of my truck. I addition, it must be stiff to withstand the air pressure(s) it will be subject to while underway. There are some nice plans available from a site by a guy named Glen L; go to www.glen-ldotcom if you are interested.
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