Looking to build a A-frame style truck camper, need info.

Design & Construction of anything that's not a teardrop e.g. Grasshoppers or Sunspots

Looking to build a A-frame style truck camper, need info.

Postby Vajra » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:09 pm

Hi all,
It's been a while, sadly, things have changed for me to such a point that other camper ideas will never come to light. In my search for a peace of mind, I'm looking to build something tailored to my needs. I have a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 with a long box. In the near future, it will be a flatbed however. But to make it easy, I plan to base it around a typical truck camper. My issues are size restrictions in height. Obviously not for camping, but places I have to go to (Parking ramp for college). I am trying to come up with a simple, solid wall, easy to set up and remove camper. I have been looking into a A-frame style camper. Note... I DID try to go see a couple of these to satisfy my ideas, but was brushed off (no I won't sign a purchase agreement). How do they keep the seals from leaking? They appear to be nothing more than large piano hinge. I also notice small corner pieces at the hinge areas. I always wondered about their ability to seal up from the elements. I'm in Michigan, at some point, I might have to live in it for a little while in cold temperatures. Does anyone know how well there units preform in the cold? I would think they are drafty. I know they make a Alite Cabin Freedom, but they appear rare. Only one I found, they wanted almost $5K for it. I also wonder about the panels they use. Searching FRP and other SIPs, I don't see anything like they use. Has anyone else out there, made a hardside popup truck camper? Any pictures or explanations of the hinges, weather performance, or ideas would help. I have looked at campers like the Alaskan ones, but not sure I could make a system that is sturdy and capable of lifting the roof. A-frame seems easier. Any ideas are appreciated!
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Re: Looking to build a A-frame style truck camper, need info

Postby Ottsville » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:05 pm

There are definitely some really cool pickup camper build threads over on Expedition Portal.

I don't know what kind of panels you are referring to but laminated panels are often use in truck Body Construction. Commercial truck that is. There's a couple builds over on Expo where guys have built pickup campers out of them.
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Re: Looking to build a A-frame style truck camper, need info

Postby Vajra » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:13 pm

Thanks Ottsville. I should have have said I'm looking to build a hard side popup truck camper. Doesn't mean it has to be a A-frame (Aliner/Chalet) type, I just want hard sides with the ability to handle colder temps. For me, the protection from elements is important and ability to stay in temps of only 20 degrees or so. I live in Michigan, some of my interests involve long term cold weather camping. That ability to fold down, reducing drag/resistance while offering parked roomy living space is nice.

I have seen the expedition portal website, but never visited to much. I'll have to do that. I'm interested in how people are making them, keeping them secured from the wind and weather proof.

Thanks again. - V.
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Re: Looking to build a A-frame style truck camper, need info

Postby Ottsville » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:02 pm

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Re: Looking to build a A-frame style truck camper, need info

Postby Vajra » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm

That is a great looking unit. Very small, yet amazing and efficient use of space. I looked through the whole thread, even checked out the manufacturer of the material. Light, strong... and :shock: the costs! I'm not rich... looks like thin plywood, sticks, XPS foam, and poor mans fiberglass it will be. LOL. While I would do fiberglass and XPS foam... that will be much harder to work with solo. Great build. I also checked out Midog's build. That is more of what I am aiming for.

4.5' closed in height, and about 7' with the top up. The first popup would run the length of the top, about 12' and the second one, much smaller. Overall width at 80" My internal area will be much more simple. I want to build light. I have a total weight cargo capacity of 2700lbs. I think My design could be easily under 2000lbs. I think 1/8" ply sandwiching 1.5" XPS might be good enough, with internal bracing/stringers as needed. Not sure, never built something like it. So who knows. The section over the cab would not contain a sleeping area. It would only be about 6-8" in height. Just enough to house the ends of the hard sides for the popup top and part of the slide out bed platform. My truck in just over 6' tall. I'd like to keep it at just over 7' if possible. The Second popup area, might slightly exceed that, but that is fine. That will serve as a platform for taking pictures from, or for a viewing/lighting/extra space. Entry door at rear of camper... main body length of camper would be 9' with a 3' section over the cab. 12' roughly overall. Inside simple, Toilet/shower on one side. Other side, cooking area. Dining area turns into bed. Storage under the benches. AC unit. Sleep 3 or 4. If possible, sleep two with the top closed for stealthy reasons. :thinking: Thanks for the link. Gave me lots of ideas.
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Re: Looking to build a A-frame style truck camper, need info

Postby Ottsville » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:22 pm

There's a foamie ickup camper build around here somewhere. I don't think I have the link for it. It wasn't a pop up, but it was pretty slick.
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