Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

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Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

Postby TXHH » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:36 am

My name is Hilton and I have began building a 6'x8'x5' tall "slide in" teardrop inspired camper for my shortbed Nissan Frontier that will sleep 2 adults and 2 kids. The camper will actually be lowered in via forklift and will have no cabover portion to keep my roof rack usable. I have included a picture of what I have completed now but will start a build thread in the coming weeks as I make more progress so I don't bore all of you.

A little about the camper: 3/4" steel frame, kids loft that will sleep two, adult bed below that will sleep two, part of the adult bed will convert to a couch during the day to sit two, there will be AC, a small sink, microwave, and a large battery bank with inverter in the camper, and solar panels on top. We will carry an outdoor kitchen and toilet setup as well. The goal is to be able to run the entire camper (AC included) for hours and hours on the battery bank without the need for an external power source. Annnnnd.....I'm trying to keep all of this under 1200 lbs or so even with the 500 lbs of batteries and electronics required.

Just wanted to say that this has been an amazing wealth of information and inspiration so far and I hope that I can give back some throughout my build.

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Re: Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

Postby pchast » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:20 pm

Welcome.... Sounds like an interesting challenge.
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Re: Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

Postby low277 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:29 am

Welcome, lots of good people and information here.

Please do share your build, I would enjoy seeing it.
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Re: Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

Postby TXHH » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:16 am

Thank ya'll for the welcome. I have made some progress recently and will post it here for now. With my two kids (4 month old and 4 year old), work, and other around the house projects I haven't had much time to work on this thing but it is slowly taking shape. Man it is going to be small! Haha the entire front rectangle is dedicated to the AC, batteries and other electronics, kids loft, and small counter top space so the main living area is just 5'x6'x5'. I hope I will have a few hours to work on it tonight after I get my kids to bed. Here's the frame as it currently sits:
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Re: Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

Postby bobhenry » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:09 am

My truck camper is bigger than yours :D

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Re: Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

Postby TXHH » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:51 am

bobhenry wrote:My truck camper is bigger than yours :D

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Whaaat?! I don't see much difference :thinking:

Looks like about two of my truck campers could fit in there with walking room to spare.
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Re: Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

Postby Joel.brian » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:17 pm

I'm considering a very similar build down the road. Will definitely follow. How many amp hours of batteries are you looking to have? Why not keep the battery bank smaller and lighter and use a 2000 watt inverter generator for when you need a/c? I guess it limits mobility quite a bit.
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Re: Hello from East Texas (truck camper build)

Postby TXHH » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:54 pm

Joel.brian wrote:I'm considering a very similar build down the road. Will definitely follow. How many amp hours of batteries are you looking to have? Why not keep the battery bank smaller and lighter and use a 2000 watt inverter generator for when you need a/c? I guess it limits mobility quite a bit.


I am planning to have at least 300 usable amp hours (70% DOD) but we will see depending on budget and space. I do have 2 2000 watt inverter generators and could use one of them if/when needed but my plan is to have at least 8 hours worth of battery use with everything running and will have a sterling alternator to battery charger on my truck to keep everything topped off. This will be a weekend exploration rig so we will be traveling during the day and that will allow the batteries to recharge anyway and I doubt we will have time to use it more than 30 days a year so whats a couple hundred extra idle hours if necessary is the way i'm thinking about it. Really the only storage I will have available is the roof rack and I am trying to keep from putting the generator and fuel up there. I will also have a 100 lb german shepherd along for the journey that goes EVERYWHERE with me so he will have to ride in the camper due to my family of 4 being in the truck. If we make any stops along the way where he can't go (grocery store, amusement park, etc) he will need AC for a couple hours at a time anyway so a decent sized battery bank is a necessity no matter how I look at it. I plan to install a remote start on my truck so in the morning if the batteries are low I can just press a button and catch an extra hour of sleep.
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