my truck camper

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my truck camper

Postby Philip » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:19 pm

I made a model of what I want to build. This build will set on the flatbed on my truck or it could be dropped on a trailer.

So here is the layout of the storage section. The bed is going to be raised on platform to allow a basement for storage/ kitchen.

Image

This pic shows the bed platform installed and the outer storage area framed in. The section inside above the outer storage will be for clothing and whatever.

Image

This is what the sides will look like. That opening is for a door to access the storage areas. That door will be 18"x40". The bed platform will run all the way to the door. That will allow for a self above the deep storage area. The storage area will be 10" tall. That self will be a little over 10" from the floor it will run full width of the door.

Image

This pic shows the rear of the camper. The outside holes in the rear are for storage. Those openings will be around 22"x22". The right side will be for a 35 quart freezer/fridge. The left side hasn't been decided on what goes in there. The center opening is the door. Right now I am thinking 32"x36 tear drop door.

Image

Here is a side pic of the top installed. Total height right now would be 60" from floor of camper to bottom of roof. I am not sure if I am going to leave it that tall or drop it to around 50" . There will be two windows in the raised section. I haven't decided if I want to install a exhaust vent in the angled section or do it in the rear wall.

Image


Now if your wondering why I made the flat sections before the raised roof. I didn't need the raised section full width. The travel path inside is only around 40". The angled sides are at 60" apart. To angle the sides into the 40" range would have made those inside storage areas to small due to the steep angle it would have required.

If you have any questions or suggestions throw them out. I am just in the design phase right now.

I just about forgot the rear end view.


Image


The ratio is roughly 1" to 10" on scale size plus my missed measurements in some places. :lol:
Last edited by Philip on Sun May 06, 2018 10:58 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: my truck camper

Postby PaulS » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:16 pm

Will the top be a popup? :thinking:
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Re: my truck camper

Postby Philip » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:51 pm

PaulS wrote:Will the top be a popup? :thinking:


No I had planed on it being solid. I have thought of a pop top. I didn't want to mess with the chance of leaking from canvas and the top seal.

But on the other hand it wouldn't be that hard to do. I do have a upholstery machine to handle that part of the job. I also have a good tarp shop in the next town to the east. It would also make it easyer to build not having to do all the top angles.

I'll think about that for a while. That would cure the height problem I am dealing with.

I am still thinking about cutting down that top. To about half its size in height. If I stay with this version. :lol:
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Re: my truck camper

Postby KCStudly » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:00 am

It looks like you could run the bottom angle all the way to the top corner and simplify things a lot. Would also eliminate the flat ledge where water/snow/ice can settle.
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Re: my truck camper

Postby Philip » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:42 am

KCStudly wrote:It looks like you could run the bottom angle all the way to the top corner and simplify things a lot. Would also eliminate the flat ledge where water/snow/ice can settle.


Going angled all the way up would give a lot of frontal area to fight on wind drag. Right now the lower section is 4" above my headache rack. Going angled all the way up would add a lot of surface area. Plus a lot more angles to figure out. In other words in my case a lot more scrap pieces. :lol:

In the model I just threw those ledge panels in flat. I had planed on doing a small 5 degree angle on them to help drainage in that area.

My thoughts on that ledge beside the cupola was to mount a couple of awnings in that position. That way I don't need to haul a couple of collapsible awnings with me.

Paul another reason I hadn't thought to much on a pop top was I plan on throwing about 300 watts of solar up there. I am not sure how the wind drag from panels would affect sealing of the top. But I am doing some thinking about it and checking on items I would need to make it happen.
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Re: my truck camper

Postby PaulS » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:19 pm

I saw one someplace that they used a hard tonue cover for the pop top so only the back went up and they had two big solar panels on it. I was thinking of making a custom topper for my truck or a slide in. The compact trailer in designs on this fourm has some interesting ideas that could be applied
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Re: my truck camper

Postby OP827 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:47 pm

Philip wrote:
PaulS wrote:Will the top be a popup? :thinking:


No I had planed on it being solid. I have thought of a pop top. I didn't want to mess with the chance of leaking from canvas and the top seal.

But on the other hand it wouldn't be that hard to do. I do have a upholstery machine to handle that part of the job. I also have a good tarp shop in the next town to the east. It would also make it easyer to build not having to do all the top angles.

I'll think about that for a while. That would cure the height problem I am dealing with.

I am still thinking about cutting down that top. To about half its size in height. If I stay with this version. :lol:


Have you considered a hardwall pop up top? It is quite easy to do and can be made waterproof with common materials. I just see such a big advantage in folded or lifting roof design to provide not only fuel economy but also more safety in driving it. :thinking:
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Re: my truck camper

Postby Philip » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:51 pm

I have seen the tilting type of pop tops. If I go pop up it will be a full lid. The length on this build would be under size for a truck type bed cover. I have a front mounted tool box built into the bed. I have 7' 3" to play with for length on this build. So it would need to be custom for a full size cover. With the time required to cut down and reinforce a truck cover. I could build a new cover heavy enough to do the job.

I did a little research today. For the type of lifting system I would build it looks to be around $600 or so. So that's not a deal breaker.


Here is a pic of the bed so you know what I am working with.

Image
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Re: my truck camper

Postby OP827 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:00 pm

That is a cool looking truck. For the lifting system, have you seen this idea - https://www.google.com/patents/US20080084089 ?

There are some ideas can be found on google patents for inspiration.
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Re: my truck camper

Postby Philip » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:22 am

Sorry I didn't answer your question last night. After I got done with Paul I forgot about you.

Right now I am throwing the hard side and canvas side discussion threw my head. So far the hard side is wining the battle.

Here is my train of thought on the lift system. I have used linear actuators before in industrial apps. They are dependable and cheap. Now the one thing they don't like is an unstable surface to move. They need a guided movement. So I am thinking of using a set of linear rails to guide the top up and down. That would offer a smooth lift and guided. The top would be in the same position when coming down every time. Here is a link showing what I want to use.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SBR20-1000mm-20 ... xy3zNSiKt0

I would need to move the bed location about 6" or so towards the rear to give clearance for the rails and actuators. That is no big deal there. Plus I could use that space to add some more shelves or large cupboard for coat storage.

Going with linear rails and actuators I can get a 3' lift on the top if I wanted that much. I am thinking 2' of lift. The hard sides attach them to the top with hinges so they would just drop down to install. Those panels would needn't to be strong or heavy 1/2" foam and epoxy would fill the bill well. Then bump the actuators down to hold the bottoms in position.
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Re: my truck camper

Postby KCStudly » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:21 pm

Interesting. :thinking:

So if I understand the function of these guide rails correctly the bearing skates always stay on the rails; so they can't extend past either end of the rail; so anything you attach to them will only be able to travel maybe about 2/3 of their length to allow for reasonable separation (i.e. stable attachment base) between the skates. At 1000mm long, that's about 39 inches, so with with about a foot (12 inch) separation between the skates, that seems pretty reasonable. If this is true I'm thinking that these will stand as corner posts down below your lifting roof lid and your lid will have to have similar length legs at each corner to reach down to the bottom of the rails where the skates are before they go up.

Then you will have separate linear actuators to do the lifting? Is that how you picture it working? If otherwise please do clarify.

I wonder if they make a guide/actuator all in one unit. :thinking: Sure they do, now I wonder if the cost is less than buying separate. :thinking:
Last edited by KCStudly on Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: my truck camper

Postby Philip » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:31 pm

Yes the bearings can not extend past the shaft end. That is where you limit the stroke of the actuator to not go past the end. You have the idea down pat.

I would use 48" rods. Space the bearing blocks about 12" apart. I would have a section of C channel bent out of 14 gage steel. inset the blocks into the tube. Weld a flat plate on top for top mounting provisions. The linear rails would just be screwed to the wall. The actuators would be mounted beside the C channel with mounting eyes welded to the channel and a flat plate for bottom mount.

I would use 36" actuators and reset the upper limit switch so it can't over travel the rod. The longer actuators would make dropping the side panels easyer. It also give me options if I decide to go taller than 24" on the side walls. The price difference between 24 and 36" isn't enough to worry about.

I have seen actuators that had slides assemblies as one unit. The one I had to replace that was worn out cost the company an arm and leg with a reserve on your first child. :lol:


Better to build off the self.

I'll rework that model tomorrow.
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Re: my truck camper

Postby OP827 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:21 pm

It is very interesting to see how are you planning to control 4 actuators to provide syncronized lift. I do not have such experience when it comes to all 4 corners operating in sync. There are some trailers I saw on the web that do use 4 actuators for lifting system, and this is one example - http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=64495&start=45#p1182781
OTOH, a well known in Australia the Kimberley Karavan is obviously using a cable and pulley system and hard corners with small channels and maybe rollers inside them to do the top lift - https://youtu.be/cX8fWySDp2w?t=98

This is just my opinion about CNC guides, so take it with a grain of salt.
While CNC guides would work, they could take some space in the bottom-top gap and for me they look like somewhat an overkill with precision movement and of course the cost, for this application.
I think that stainless steel covered corners on the bottom part and rollers or (UHMWPE maybe?) sliding guides inside the lifting top would do the job. This may be how Kimberly Karavan has done it. Are you going to fix actuators with pins at the ends, right? That will take care of distortion and the actuators potential jamming.
I am interested to see how this design develops. Thanks for sharing.
:thumbsup:
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Re: my truck camper

Postby Philip » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:16 pm

Actuators from the same MFGs normaly will have the same lift speeds in the same model. What you look for in the spec's is the rated extension speed. The ones I am looking at are rated for .25" extension per second. So they are not high speed. If there is a little RPM difference in the motors. At this low of extension speeds it will not cause a problem running them as a quad setup. The main thing to check out of the box is bottom stop switch setting and top stop switch setting. If they extend and retract the same amount. your good.

If you look around camper forums the biggest complaint seen is anything hand cranked. Pulleys/cables/winches anything in that style system wear. Most buyers see the hand cranked models as nothing to complicated and jump for joy. The salesman will stand there and tell them its idiot poof. What he doesn't say is the idiot designed it. In that design he used the cheapest/hard to find/ out of date parts. I am not even going there its not worth the time and effort figuring cable routing to clear everything.

BTW those linear rails in my link. Don't think of them as a precision item. They are china made. They will work for this app. I wouldn't use them for anything precision. American made rails would run quite a bit more.
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Re: my truck camper

Postby OP827 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:23 pm

I understand. In my limited experience with 12V DC actuators, the speed was dependent on how much load they get to lift. The difference between no load and close to a maximum load can be as much as twice.
The more weight to lift, the slower they move. It will not be an issue if actuators are evenly loaded, which is true in your design case, right?
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