Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

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Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby jonnyo » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:53 pm

I sold my teardrop years ago as the family got bigger. I do miss it as it allow for spontaneous trip with minimal preparation and it also allow me to access remote location not possible with our family airstream (3 kids, wife, dog)

so I decided to build a sleeping pod for the truck....

goal: fit F150 5.5 bed
250-300lbs total weight ( to be put on and off the truck with 2-3 friends... to legs
insulated, king size bed
No lose any of my 5.5 cargo box for work/strogage of goods
having fun building another little camper
windows on each side
26X36 teardrop trailer door
Led lighting
39 inch interior height
bed 71x76


So, bought a bunch of aluminum....about 300$ of 1.5X1.5 .039 thickness 6000 series aluminum. that s a very strong and lightweight aluminum tubing. I m tig welding everything together. Will be covered by .04 aluminum sheet, 1.5 inch pink insulation high density board.


Firs step was building a jig on a sheet of wood. This is the shape of the pod.....

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Last edited by jonnyo on Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby jonnyo » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:00 pm

then, welding the structure together.....

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doing a little test fit on the truck to see how it will fit

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I m now at day 4 of working on this.... about 90% of the structure is done and welded. I just need to pick windows and I can finalize the framing. Then, it will be skin and interior. if I do a little of it daily...I think I could be done within the next 30 days.....this will allow for some fun early spring camping with my older daughter! looking forward to explore the offroad locations!

structure weight about 25-30lbs at the moment....


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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby rockinrobin » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:38 am

Looks like fun! Enjoying the pics! :thumbsup:
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby KCStudly » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:16 am

Neat. I wonder if you are considering adding a 'duck bill' type air dam for over the cab. Would tame that flat front aero killing "parachute" and provide a little storage area accessible from inside the camper.
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby jonnyo » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:51 pm

I have not finalized the above cab design but it will be a bolt on structure. most likely, I was thinking of a basket/storage rack with off road light that is overhanging 3 feet long over the truck cab. But it wont be reachable from the inside.

in this build, I wasn't comfident enough as it my first time ever TIG welding and I didn't want to have some high stress area in the first design. I wanted simple and even more important...keeping it extremely light so I can load it by hands without corner jacks. Last summer, I had a camper with corner jacks and I found the process of loading and unloading so stressfull and time consuming that I have turn my back on a few spontaneous trips. NEVER AGAIN!

my main question at this time is how to attach the pod to the top of the bed rail on the truck. I havent finalized a system yet and I m wondering how much does the box flex when off roading. I want to make sure I dont break the aluminum pod if I bolt it to the bed rail????
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby MadMango » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:09 am

A lot of times the topper connects to the bed with clamps.
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby jonnyo » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:38 pm

frame is done!!!! seems very strong so far!

tried to fit it on the truck

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and for some unknown reason....I completely mess up the position of the window that is against the truck rear window. it s a little higher than what I had anticipated. seems like I will need to cut and redo this section!

next step is finalizing the flooring and attachement mechanism..... I need to hurry up....snow is melting and camping season is starting!!!
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby dguff » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:57 pm

Camper shell is not a teardrop. :thumbdown:
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby jonnyo » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:33 pm

Wow, your having a bad day?
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby rruff » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:34 pm

jonnyo wrote:goal: fit F150 5.5 bed
insulated, king size bed
bed 71x76


Are you sure it's big enough for a king size bed? Doesn't look like it to me, but looks can be deceiving.
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Re: Building a Teardrop for Pick up truck!

Postby jonnyo » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:26 pm

The final numbers are 72x77 interior bed. So it s smaller than king but wider than a queen. I wish I could simply buy a camper canopy box from the commercial company but a f150 5.5 box actually measure 62x67 so that would not be a great bed platform. And those fiberglass canopy don't have enough head room for my liking. Currently, the pod overhang 2-3 inches pass each side. Not very noticeable when you look at the truck.

One of my main goal is as to still have my full truck box available for cargo.
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