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Old 03-29-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
Colorado CJ OP
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Four Wheel Camper Rebuild

I thought I'd start a thread on a rebuild I am going to start. Should be similar to my 6.0L Powerstroke Diesel rebuild thread I posted here earlier ( http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1019305 )

Friday, I picked up an old '86 Four Wheel Camper Keystone for $695. These campers are pretty sought after because of their aluminum frame construction. Lots of guys use them for their go anywhere excursion vehicles. Older models of these campers were made wide at 64" where they slide into the truck bed. The problem is, newer trucks have a smaller tail gait opening. My '05 F350 has a 60" opening.

Because of this, I'll have to modify the floor pack on this camper, narrowing it to 58" (from 64"). Along with that, I'll need to make new lifting panels from the front and back as well as replace the cabover wood under the sleeping deck as it is warped. I'll also repaint the outside and probably make new cabinetry for the interior. Install a new 2 way fridge and probably even a small bathroom.

Lots of work ahead of me, but I've never been afraid of a little work.

I'll update this thread regularly with photos of the build and my progress. In a couple months, I should have a great little truck camper for not much money, but a lot of sweat and hopefully, not much blood or tears.

Here's how it looks right now.





And on the inside.



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Old 03-29-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:29 PM   #3
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Looking forward to the build.

This is exactly what I would like to accomplish soon.
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado CJ View Post
Lots of work ahead of me, but I've never been afraid of a little work.

I'll update this thread regularly with photos of the build and my progress. In a couple months, I should have a great little truck camper for not much money, but a lot of sweat and hopefully, not much blood or tears.
Seems like a cool project. Subscribed!
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:20 PM   #5
1stgenfarmboy
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Hey that's a nice looking camper CJ, you stole that thing.


If I can add something, I would look for a 50w solar unit to keep your battery charged up when dry camping, it makes it really nice.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:28 PM   #6
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Is anything wrong with it? That looks like a great deal
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:25 PM   #7
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That's a cool camper. Should be a great build
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:21 PM   #8
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Nice, I have a 4-Wheel Hawk on my Tundra and love it.

Lots of good build-info over on the Wander the West site.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:37 PM   #9
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I started in on the build today. First, I though I'd start with narrowing the floor pack so that it can fit in newer model trucks. This camper had a floor pack that was 64" wide. Most modern trucks have a tailgate opening of 60", so the camper won't fit newer trucks.

I'll be narrowing down the camper floor pack to 58"

First, I needed to unscrew the trim pieces, then pull all the staples out of the wood.



I'm narrowing it down 3" on each side. So I had to cut out the aluminum frame, and shorten the bottom section 3", then weld back the vertical aluminum frame piece in the new location. I also cut down the outer skin 3"

Before pic.



After pic.



Next, I scribed a line 3" in on the floor and bottom of the floor pack. I then used a circular saw and sawzall to cut it out.



I measured up the parts I cut out and added 3" to the horizotal piece and made a new side. I am using gorilla glue and countersink screws to construct the new sides.



A little grunting and wiggling and hammering and it fit right in. I used gorrila glue on all wood to wood joints (the original only relied on long staples). Here's how it looks now, just need to clean up and reinstall the trim work.



On the inside



I'll finish up rebuilding the drivers side tomorrow. It should go a little faster now that I have a plan on how to do it.

The whole interior will then be gutted, new flooring installed and the paneling painted. I then need to build new lifting panels and replace the over cab bed area. I'll probably redo the interior totally and will be repainting the outside.

Lots of work left! I am having fun though. I really like rebuilding/building things so this is right up my alley. I'll post again once I'm further along.
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Old 04-09-2015, 05:50 PM   #10
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Not much to to post today. The driver's side is built differently than the passenger's side, so I had to first remove the stove, sink, propane storage are and most of the cabinetry to see what I had to work with.

Its a mess.




Once that was done, I removed the plywood off the side of the floor pack.



Then I scribed a line 3" in on all the wood I had to cut away, as well as the front piece of the aluminum frame. Got my circular saw and sawzall out and went to work. It was a little harder cutting this side out as I had to cut upside down because of the way this side was put together. Nothing like a face full of sawdust at the end of a day ;)



Anyway, that is all I got done today. Tomorrow I'll be installing the new plywood, cleaning up and reinstalling the trim pieces and probably replacing the cabover wood.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:24 PM   #11
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:25 PM   #12
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Just curious, but would it be worth using marine grade plywood?
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:29 PM   #13
Colorado CJ OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeseyboy View Post
Just curious, but would it be worth using marine grade plywood?
You can, but the rest of the wood isn't, so it doesn't really matter.

Once I finish narrowing the camper and gutting the inside, I'm going to sand all the wood down and apply a couple coats of 2 part epoxy paint. That will fully seal all the wood on the camper. The top part of the camper has no wood in it, the frame and skin is all aluminum.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:26 PM   #14
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I finished up redoing the plumbing and wiring on the drivers side, then I installed new plywood.





Now that the frame is narrowed to fit in my truck, I'll be starting on redoing the interior. After that is finished, I'll repair the drivers side aluminum (the previous owner said the camper slid off the jack and had the side punctured), then repaint the outside.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:50 PM   #15
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