Building the ultimate support truck (and family camper)

Discussion in 'Australia' started by seancampbell, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. dunc

    dunc coddiwompler

    Joined:
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    did ya post up saying you were building a camper and wanted ideas
    Sfcootz, Mouse and Paul124ac like this.
  2. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    Umm.... No.

    But in my defense, some blokes on here ride KLR's.
    tomo8r, LivingdeadCamo and Cruz like this.
  3. Dr AT

    Dr AT Long timer

    Joined:
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    maffra, vic
    Trying to decide if I drag my trailer yacht or a camper trailer across the country......

    Btw, a camper build is never truly finished ( hi jdeks)
    Mouse likes this.
  4. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

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    May 28, 2006
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    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    Ok, the bench seats/beds were sorted but we still needed somewhere to cook... maybe I should start thinking about the kitchen.

    From my original design drawings I always envisioned an L shaped kichen. The positioning of the door, (a simple FormPly door that is to be replaced by something fancier with a window or screen door arrangement... sometime in the future... but it's been two years... so who knows.... maybe that's it) was designed so that if you were cooking outside, anything you might need from the kitched is just inside the door.

    I doodled and scribbled in my pad trying to work out how to get what I wanted in a very finite space. I wanted an upright fridge, sink with drainage area, cooker, bench space to prepare and drawers and storage room.

    On the paper I came up with something that might just work. At the time I happened to find AutoCAD on our home computer (the wife used it occasionally for work and had done a course in it, I thought 'beauty, this will be a piece of piss to design the kitchen with.

    So without any prior knowledge or use of AutoCAD I dedicated an entire stubby to sitting down and knocking out the best and most detailed blueprint known to man!





    The result:

    20160408_173715.jpeg

    Mmmm.... beter stick to the pencil and paper.
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  5. rossguzzi

    rossguzzi 990 Adv.

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    Should have devoted 2 stubbies.
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  6. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    Since I was struggling with getting a good design, I figured that I should start with the known and progress to the unknown. I knew I needed a fridge and where I wanted it positioned, the problem was what fridge?

    I didn't want a chest type fridge.... even though I know they are better at keeping the cold air inside them. I didn't want to loose bench space so the fridge would have to go under the bench. I also didn't want to have to slide the fridge out to access it, like I have seen in some campers.

    This left only an upright fridge fitting the design. OK, lets see how much they are in say.... an Engel or a Waeco? Nope, again too expensive for me. For some reason I thought a marine fridge might be cheaper... NOPE, not at all.

    I was looking at a minimum of $1,200-$1,500 for the size I wanted. How could I get one for cheaper..? I tried Gumtree and Ebay but was always dubious about second hand stuff. Then I had an epiphany..... I had been looking at this all wrong. All I really wanted was a bar fridge!

    So I jump online and before you can say "2 star energy rating" and "Free delivery" Mr Lee had delivered his finest 120L bar fridge for $399. The added bonus was... when I took it out of the box and complained about the small dent in the fancy 'brushed' stainless steel door, I was given $50 back.

    Plus it came with a 2 year warranty. I figured if the corrugations destroy it I'll just try a warranty claim.

    I now needed a inverter to power the fridge... more online shopping and I was finally able to test my theory of running a bar fridge off an inverter.
    bungen likes this.
  7. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

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    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    20160708_114915.jpeg

    Success!

    And that first cold beer tasted great.
    bungen, Dukehunt, dunc and 2 others like this.
  8. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

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    May 28, 2006
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    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    I needed to do a bit of... how you say..... making it stronger... to make sure it doesn't break... "ruggedized"?

    I used a tube of silicone to glue all the glass shelves in place and crossed my fingers.
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  9. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    Now I had the fridge and just needed to build the kitchen around it.

    Fearing my kitchen would be the talking point of the camper build.... and not for the right reasons, I went next door to talk to my neighbor Paul. He is a semi-retired carpenter who happens to do a bit of kitchen remodeling.

    I tell him what I want, he sticks his head in the camper and says "easy".


    Half an hour later he says "what next?"

    Kitchen.jpg
  10. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

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    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    The 4 draws have a 'push to open' system and there is also a locking system for when we're on the move. If you look closely in the top right hand corner you will see a silver key hole for the locking mechanism.

    The fridge fits under the L section to the right and the upright panel to the left of the drawers houses all the electrical dohickies like inverters.

    The sink has a large void under it which houses the grey water tank, water pump and things like extension cord for powered sites. That's all accessed from an external door.
    bungen and LivingdeadCamo like this.
  11. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    20180628_170805.png

    You can see that external door here and also the new 200L Isuzu fuel tank, and maybe a bit of that $4k "exhaust".
  12. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    The truck was getting very close to "Ready" and we had already booked in a 4 week trip to test and get to know our new rig.

    The clock was ticking and I had to knock over a few more jobs before we were really "ready". I needed to get the "pop-top" canvas sorted.
  13. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    Oops... I nearly forgot.

    Before I did any of the interior, we did a few camping trips to get the feel for the truck and get use to traveling and living so close to each other.
  14. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
  15. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    Another trip:

    20160116_192846.jpeg
  16. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    And we might as well check out the Turon River.

    Screenshot_2016-01-20-20-36-34.jpeg
  17. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    After having a go at making the canvas for the roof myself (disaster, I got on to another semi-retired awning guy who was also keen to help me. He lived up the coast, so another weekend away and we dropped off to show him the truck.

    I lifted the roof (brute strength and a metal bar to prop it up back then), he took some measurements and sketched where the windows should be. He said vinyl was the go and showed me some samples. I drove home and waited for a week or two for this to arrive.

    20160528_154025.jpeg
  18. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    He has stitched narrow sleeves at the top and bottom. His instructions were to slide some thin 5mm wide aluminum strips through the sleeves and rivit/screw them to my frame.

    That's what I did and it worked great.

    Poptop.jpg
  19. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Gosford, NSW. Australia
    Poptop2.jpg

    Gas struts now helped lift and hold the roof up.

    Yes, there was some "thinking" required to select the right ones and position them.
  20. gunnabuild1

    gunnabuild1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,393
    Location:
    Ipswich Queensland
    Kayaks on top ?
    Mate, all this and you've whacked a couple of plastic kayaks on the top ?
    Be room for a Bowrider wouldn't there ?
    Nice truck, lots of good family memories being made and to be made in that beasty.