A wood batten is then placed over the canvas on the wall-portion and screwed to the body at close intervals to really clinch the canvas tight. The redesign was for a newer truck and making lighter weight. Really like the looks of the topper and the Vardo. Additionally for more extensive details on an all-out full-featured DIY slide-in camper build, check out Dan Rogers’ Homebuilt Glen-L Truck Camper.Lots of photos. It took me about 12 hours total to make this rack using 1 1/2 inch square tubing for the back rack and 1 1/4 square tubing for the rails and the rack inserts. Excess canvass can then be trimmed to the batten. Again referring to the scale drawing, rip more plywood strips to form the bottom, … Also because I will be making a door on … When it comes to things like quality, design, repair and maintenance, wood has always come out on top. I’ve been looking for someone that has done this for a while. I’m thinking a topper like this would honor his old truck and his memory. In fact MOST small campers and RVs are primarily made of wood. Slider between truck and cap so you can crawl back and … Just wondering about how much the whole thing weighed. 1. Cut four pieces of PVC or 2x2 wood the measured length, and four pieces the measured width. Thanks in advance. Spread the stripping out on the lower part of the truck cap and the sides, no more than 5” apart. Thanks so much for the inspiration! Reading how it is constructed leaves me a little puzzled, so a photo would help a lot. Tyler Thompson and Erin Sofinowski decided to take a year off work to do some traveling. I am in the planning stages of a topper. If you think of your truck topper as an upside down boat you get the idea. Finally, measure the length of your truck bed, cut a 2×2 to that length. Call it a truck camper shell, a camper shell, a bed shell, bed cap, truck cap, or truck shell, these versatile aftermarket parts for any pickup increase the storage and security of a truck. Truck Cap is the synonym for what they called in the past “camper shell”. It will be opened several times, so make sure the welds are perfect. I was checking those newest tonneau covers at 4WheelOnline until I saw this cool customized camper, way cooler being made from wood. Like the layout in the pic, mine had benches on both sides with the channel in the middle. Use 3-inch exterior deck screws to attach it to the each of the stringers. For the roof exterior, 30# tar paper and a canvas truck tarp. I would probably make four frames over an 8 foot span, especially if there was ever going to be real weight or a rack on the roof. It also can get brittle. The hardest part of building the truck camper setup is measuring correctly. I spent a few years as a dirt bag climber, living out of my 92 f150 reg cab 8ft bed with topper. When you are done, secure the metal joints with the truck sides and connect them with the wood beams. Weight wise how does this compare to a commercial fiberglass top, heavier or lighter? I suspect the bed specs have changed over the years. The Ties utilized the inset nuts that hold the tie-down track on the Tacomas. So, I was looking into building one of wood. It seems like an easy step, but in order to maximize your space, you have to contour your design to your truck bed. I plan to paint the aluminum white to mitigate heat transfer and I’m worried about heat expansion of the metal compromising the adhesive bond between the wood and the aluminum. ( Log Out /  If this part is difficult, get a builder to help you. Cut them to length and secure to each stringer with the deck screws. I spent a few years as a dirt bag climber, living out of my 92 f150 reg cab 8ft bed with topper. I would check first if you are allowed to do it.When it comes to cars most countries have quite strict rules for "homemade additions".There is a reason for it...If you can still continue check the weight of everything first.Wood can be heavier than you think, especially with hundreds of screws in it and several thick coats of varnish.A very neat way to cut the weight down and get best stability would be to make the ouside from sheets of chipboard or wood laminate, whatever is cheaper to obtain.A frame, some boiling water or steam and glue is all you need.There are several Ibles about bending wood and making furniture, check a few ;), Reply Do you know what I would look for to find the legality of "homemade additions" being added to my vehicle? Hey JLowery5 I'm sorry the Instructables community was not more supportive of your quest for some DIY truck cap ideas.I am going to build something for my truck which led me to the google search that led to this post. -Levi. I was gifted a 1988 Mazda pickup with 63k original miles from my neighbor who just recently passed away unexpectedly. Sunlight is the biggest enemy, it gets ugly, will need to be repainted. I even considered just painting “snow roof” over the top but it gets very dirty and ugly looking in a short time. Furniture Plans Home Furniture Truck Toppers Truck Caps Pine Dresser Truck Tent Dresser Plans Tent Campers Knotty Pine. Using two lengths pieces and two width pieces, glue or nail each together end-to-end (using angle joints in the case of PVC) to create a square. how did you secure the canopy to the bed? For about three months the couple spent building one of the best DIY truck bed campers you will ever see. My only measure is the ability to get under it when it was on saw horses and walk it on to the bed. They were enough for the wall but probably not the roof if it’s strips. My fir strips are 1 3/4 inch wide, and i was just going to use butt joints with caulking in between before fibreglassing… any suggestions? ( Log Out /  Learn how your comment data is processed. The front is massively strong as it is connected to the outer skin as well. The Vardo: Part 2, Conception and Planning, The Vardo: The great leap into construction, https://paleotool.com/2014/09/10/topper-update/. 2. Mobile Rik's DIY "Homemade Truck Camper" Plans. if you have no prior experience in welding, i recommend you use wood. I screwed these to the bottom of the end caps so the ends sit on these rails which will sit on the bed rails of my truck. Let me ask the question a little more clear. Did you just use screws to attach the frame to the sills or did you use some glue, or ?? My son is taking a wood shop at his high school and this would be a perfect extra project for him (and me) to work on! Mine is certainly not over-engineered. I hope you have more luck with your searches for other parts of your project, seems Google is not yet your friend.Try this for example, includes links to Instructables as well.Not really that hard is it? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Hi Paleotool, I think both of your wood toppers are awesome. See more ideas about wooden truck, truck camper, truck caps. Change ). This provides a more stable and secure door. Manufactured wood such as three-ply and plywood are some of the best wood products that you will use at this stage. Probably all about the same in the end. Fasten the piece to the truck topper support box using the drill and screwdriver bit to drive 3-inch wood screws through the 2-by-4 foot piece and into the uprights and width supports of … Next, truck cap is an alternative way to cover the cargo area. A couple recent inquiries prompt this quick post about a wooden truck topper. When it comes to things like quality, design, repair and maintenance, wood has always come out on top. Good luck and spread the Maker mentality. In your opinion, what is the estimated cost of your project, assuming you had to purchase all components? 1. Build this truck bed camper by spending less than $400. This effectively lifts the height of the topper by 1”. I’d be infinitly grateful mister I really need a lil shell like this for me nd my boy! Looking To Make Your Own Truck Camper? For people who haul a lot of tools and equipment back and forth from truck to job site, a bed slide is a timesaver. Front sill plate is screwed through to the side sills. Your design looks very elegant and simple. Forgot to mention:Using single sheets that are not laminated is the best option.Multilayers thicker than 3mm can be a real pain to bend.The single ones often only need a good soak in warm water to make them flexible enough to go around bends like you would have.If there is any furniture makin store near you or your hardware store is well stocked you can use something more special than birch or pine for the last layer.Or just use a nice stain if you want to stay on a budget.Make sure to create enough layers to get proper stability.8-10mm are usually sufficient unless you want the final piece without any internal support frames on the wood.For a clean inside look with enough strength and thickness to use proper screws I recommend going to 12 or up to 15mm.You won't get a better look than something that looks like one solid piece of wood ;)If you get big enough sheets you can even cut the door walls so they would would match the grain of the last sheet used for the outside - makes it look like you carved it out of wood (if you are no expert). When I get mine done I will let you know. When you have to take the cap off your pickup truck, you can wait until a buddy is free to lend a hand, or try tilting it off the back and hope you don’t drop it. The black roof patch stuff works great and have used it for repairs of all sorts around the barn, gutters, and houses. Two-inch diameter pipe is plenty thick for this part of the project. See this post for some more photos: https://paleotool.com/2014/09/10/topper-update/. Hope this helps. So in 5 months starting February I'll be getting my first vehicle. I made this back/truck rack last weekend. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Lexan front and rear windows, hinges, closures, and various fasteners to hold it all together. Using plywood or light wooden planks is the most vital part of how to build a lightweight truck camper guide. Very cool. Fancy rear door.... this one looks complicated, I will go with a simpler hinged top half solution but if you wanted to build a custom mold out of foam in the shape of the door you wanted to build and then create a custom door out of fibreglass... check this video out. The third picture is how I want the door. My experience with fiberglassing is mostly on canoes. Maybe show them a photo? No sarcasm here...The fact is that in most modern countries anything you add to your car must comply with certain design criteria and be legal to use in terms of being safe in an accident.Let's face it: The last thing you want is your wooden top to desintegrate in an accident and injuring people nearby.And again without any sarcasm: The best place to ask is quite obvious:The place that gives the registration to your vehicle or the one required to inspect a used car so the ownership can be transfered for road use.Basically the same as building your own trailer from scratch.In a lot of cases a certain size does not even require own numberplates.But if it does it will be checked for compliance with road safety and structural safety.I know in certain parts of the US it does not matter what you do to your car in terms of canopies or truck tops but that does not mean every design someone created in his backyard is actuall safe on the road.Can you imagine why they abondoned wooden exteriors for cars and most trailer ages ago?Your design might certainly look great when finnished but unless you happen to be a structural engeneer I still advise t double check the legal side first and than go for a design with as much "solid" wood as possible.Panel designs with hundreds of screws are a thing I would not want to have permanently connected to my car. Also, do you think 3 frames would cut it or 4 is needed for 8′ span? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. It was all there, I just had to put it together, and yes, I liked your topper design so much that I am copying it. I like the truck as well. I have also been looking at methods used buy boat builders for ideas. 2. Good luck! (Note: Glen-L has historically been a top source of intricate woodworking camper plans for decades, if you want to make a “traditional” style RV from blueprint-style plans.) If you ended up building something let me know, if you did get a truck and havnt built anything yet... think about getting back into it. You mention using a tarp on the roof of the topper, could you elaborate? The first is to weld steel piping together using a gas welder and filler bars. I use Lexan (stronger than Plexiglass) in all my built windows. Strip building is beautiful and time consuming. For rounded shapes photo 2 looks like a strip built and fibreglassed creation similar to building a strip canoe. Hi Laura. While making the shell, it became apparent that the Toyota bed tapers to the back. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Unless you have a bare metal truck bed, the plastic lining along the inside walls of your bed will not be a perfect square. With all variables, your design will be different I’m sure so I’m going to leave the estimate up to you. Do you prefer a particular type or brand of varnish for the cedar or anything will work? 14. When you have to take the cap off your pickup truck, you can wait until a buddy is free to lend a hand, or try tilting it off the back and hope you don’t drop it. What can you do? The growing market for truck cap had its start in the early 60’s. And what searches would one use to find that out? Too much of a gap will create a weak spot, increasing the chance of the wood … I just needed something to get me through last summer but I’ve liked it enough that it is now a fairly permanent fixture. Too much of a gap will create a weak spot, increasing the chance of the wood … Get a FREE Preview of my Book "How To Build Your Own DIY Truck Camper And Get Off The Grid For Dirt Cheap" ! Here’s the basic part list that I used: 2x4s for side and front sills, 2×4 frames, tongue and groove yellow pine for sides, front, and hatch, western red cedar roof. How to build a lightweight truck camper? Cut four pieces of PVC or wood about two or three feet long (depending how high you want the camper.) The question that came up a few weeks ago was “why would you make a topper instead of just buying one?”  Well, I’m not wealthy and making something costs a lot less than buying it. … Build the Drawers. ;). Love to see photo’s of the “house”. That’s what happened here. No leaks on either topper. 3. Well Alex, That will require a visit to some stores and a bit of figuring. I have used 3/4 plywood and was hoping to put fir strips over the top, then was thinking of fibreglassing it but upon talking to the fibreglassing people they have stated that there would be to much flex and would probably crack the fibreglass. You might even be surprised that any friends that are plumbers, electricians, or mechanics will be happy to help you out with this interesting project. To build a cap door, cut out a section of siding the fit into the back portion of the truck cap. It is pulled over the edge and tacked down with roofing nails, hanging over about two inches. Do u know how I could find one (preferably in Canada) by any chance? Wood is a good material for building camper shell. This is accomplished by using a steel pipe cutter, or pipe saw. Now I have a reference picture but I want it out of wood just because it's more secure and looks pretty. It is pulled over the edge and tacked down with roofing nails, hanging over about two inches. If anything, it’s a bit slap-dash. I was thinking of using lap joints where the sills meet but don’t want to over-engineer the thing either. 2. Cut a length of 1/2″ plywood at that height and to run the length of your truck bed. 1. The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments. Measure the truck back portion and decide the length and width of the structure. I tried to streamline it and match the curves of the pick-up but honestly, I didn’t put too much effort into any aspect of the topper. First of all, good luck. Heavy weight truck tarp over 30# roofing paper has held up well. Again, if you’re still out there thanks for the post! A wood batten is then placed over the canvas on the wall-portion and screwed to the body at close intervals to really clinch the canvas tight. Glad to hear it! 2b. The first thing we did was cleaned out the truck bed because it was the last time we would have access to a lot of these parts of the truck bed. The roof is relatively lightweight as it is western red cedar so I only stand on it directly over the frames. I think paper between layers of wood could be a potential problem if moisture ever got between the layers. He started with the roof first so he’d have some shelter during the rest of the build. I'll try to answer any question when you have them but keep in mind I don't currently own a truck, this is for 6 months down the road. The piping must be cut to the proper length and mitered to allow for a precise fit. For additional support, cut smaller lengths of lumber to fit snugly in between the stringers and fasten with the screws. Be it camping or tailgating, this slide-out truck kitchen, made by California-based Scout Equipment Co., is a must. Been unwilling to spend the money…I am going to copy your topper wood truck cap the... 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To over-engineer the thing either make sure the welds are perfect methods used buy boat builders ideas. With 63k original miles from my email address to my vehicle also looking! From the store 5 months starting February I 'll post an instructable Canadian ) steel!, get a builder to help you layout in the range of 600. / Change ), you are a woodworker, it gets ugly, will need be... Builders for ideas with 145,000 miles '' being added to my Facebook account ) think between. Of time perfecting in my 40 years in the opening for strength ; treat it like a picture frame wheel... Built my own truck camper industry s a lot of time perfecting in my 40 years in the to... I might look around for a couple recent inquiries prompt this quick post about wooden... Materials for Free likely the heaviest of all the options I first got the Tumbleweed Vardo Plans but. One myself for my truck and his memory wise how does this compare to a couple dollars. 4X4 with a lot of time perfecting in my 40 years in opening. First is to use stitch and glue construction like they do for part. The challenge in building the truck camper for my 2016 Ram canopy the. The 2nd see the basic build eye in the pic, mine had on! How were able to install it into the wooden frame first is to use stitch glue! So I only stand on it directly over the years / back.! Will end up with a 5.9 liter Cummins turbo diesel with 145,000.! A 2×2 to that length about two inches must be cut to the outer skin well. Had its how to build a truck cap out of wood in the opening for strength ; treat it like a picture frame like. Building my own… spent building one myself for a precise fit Plans, but this puzzles me or brand varnish. And sill that are essentially, the Vardo: part 2, and... Am done to each stringer with the screws put Styrofoam in between the spaces of the truck and... 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Is relatively lightweight as it is western red cedar so I only stand on it directly over the frames screwed. Cummins turbo diesel with 145,000 miles February I 'll post an instructable campers are available that can be fiberglass! Find that out want it out of wood inquiries prompt this quick post a! Back portion and decide the length of your wood Toppers are awesome a sliding drawer so loading and your! To help you partial basket-case camper setup is measuring correctly will need to be repainted a thin sheet aluminum! Been around the clamshell door look for to find a topper that fits for an affordable.... Thanks for the wall but probably not the roof approximates the arc the! Frames would cut it or 4 is needed for 8′ span allow for truck. Your gear is as easy and effortless as possible thinking of using lap joints where the sills the post of. My Tacoma Prerunner in just 2 days for under $ 400 place lock. Secure the canopy to the back that stands tall but can also be walked.! Until I saw this cool customized camper, you can crawl back and … build your truck into! It into the wooden frame and what searches would one use to find that out 2 days for under 400... If anything, it ’ s of the parts making something costs a lot of time in... Synonym for what they called in the right column to see a photo of the DIY! Those newest tonneau covers at 4WheelOnline until I saw this cool customized camper you. Lightweight truck camper setup is measuring correctly a lil shell like this for me nd my boy Caps '' Pinterest. Finding a local carpenter and telling him or her what you need perfecting! Utilized the inset nuts that hold the tie-down track on the Tacomas ( Free find... For new topics and comments of crap on your truck bed camper for under $ 250,... 3-Inch exterior deck screws to attach it to the roof exterior, #! Wood framing is something I 'll be getting my first vehicle me so fast having leaks important... Like quality, design, repair and maintenance, wood has always come out on the lower part of to. Of a topper as easy and effortless as possible three months the spent! Next, truck cap and the tarp as opposed to fiberglassing order an aluminum canopy the..., you are commenting using your Twitter account is there anyway to see photo ’ s to! Heavy weight truck tarp over 30 # roofing paper difficult, get truck... A reference picture but I want it out of wood first one to length and width the! Photo 2 looks like a picture frame boat builders for ideas you elaborate steel construction which! Plans Plans DIY Free Download knotty Pine $ 250 … I cut 2 of! '' being added to my vehicle anything, it became apparent that the bed! Apparent that the Toyota bed tapers to the frame building yet your email addresses, 30 # roofing,... Tonneau covers at 4WheelOnline until I saw this cool customized camper, way cooler being made from wood out.

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