Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

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Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby ferbal » Mon May 07, 2018 8:53 pm

I figure I should document my mess so others can learn from it, as I have learned from so many of you. I have been making this thing up as I go along and while I doubt it will win any beauty contests it will be functional...I hope.

The trailer I got off of craigslist for $100 it came with a sail boat. I am still slipping pieces of the boat into the dumpster at work, but the 600lb steel keel and the aluminum mast and rigging got me $74 dollars at the recycling center so if my time is free the trailer only cost me $26... at least that is how I pitched it to my better looking half.

The truck cap was another craiglist score It cost me a $100 all the windows and screens are good, I am trying to sell the back window from it as it is unneeded for my build and if I can find it a new home my truck cap might not have cost me a thing.

The frame has been constructed with 3/4 EMT conduit for two main reasons 1: Its cheap and 2: its easy to come by. I did a lot of interweb research before deciding on this modern marvel of Diy construction material. I had my reservations about it, but I found some forum for backyard air boat builders down in the everglades and apparently it is the material of choice so I gave it a shot. Now that my frame is done aside from a few minor bits I have no worries about my choice of materials...my welds on the other hand are a different story.

The welder is a $89 Harbor Freight Special that by all accounts is the worst welder ever built, but I may be the worst welder ever born so it works out well.
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The frame under way
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Cap on Frame
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Frame Complete Side View
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby Pmullen503 » Mon May 07, 2018 9:26 pm

What are you going to cover the framework with?
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby Joel.brian » Tue May 08, 2018 8:29 am

How did you learn to weld? I’ve been eying those harbor freight welders on sale but didn’t know how easy it would be to learn.
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Can't wait to see how this is going to come out

Postby pencil5757 » Tue May 08, 2018 8:51 am

Its deferent looking! :thinking:
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby DaddyJeep » Tue May 08, 2018 12:15 pm

I'm intrigued... I think I should follow along and see where this goes.
My big Foamie build viewtopic.php?f=50&t=69618
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby lincolnlerner » Tue May 08, 2018 12:37 pm

Intrigued by the shape. Seems like a very aerodynamic shape could be had. Lots of space. Not sure what insulation or covering but this looks like a fun design. More pics, more planning! Oh and the pointy end might make it less aerodynamic except in reverse. Course with the TV in front should be great. Dimensions?
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby ferbal » Tue May 08, 2018 4:13 pm

My original plan was to use corrugated sheet metal for covering. I will still probably use it for the bottom half of the back, but I may change my mind about the front end because some of the contours won't lend themselves to the corrugation.

I learned to stick weld in a class about 20 yeas ago, so I don't think that counts. YouTube and Google can teach you about anything if you are not afraid to fail a few times in the process.

The shape of the front end was mostly dictated by the trailer. The only real aerodynamic concept I took into account was bringing the height of the nose down to match the height of my TV.

Hopefully I will have more pics before the week is out. I need to have it on the road by mid June so I can road test it before its cross country voyage. I may scale back my grand plans for the interior to meet my deadline.
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby lincolnlerner » Tue May 08, 2018 5:30 pm

Where will the door be? This is such an interesting build.
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby Pmullen503 » Tue May 08, 2018 6:40 pm

I'm thinking aircraft Dacron for the upper part of the nose!
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby tony.latham » Tue May 08, 2018 6:50 pm

Joel.brian wrote:How did you learn to weld? I’ve been eying those harbor freight welders on sale but didn’t know how easy it would be to learn.


It's not hard to learn. I'd suggest watching Youtube videos or better yet grab a friend that has the skill. I use a Hobart wire-feed welder so can't speak for the HF boxes.

Here's my wife welding up the chassis for her son's wedding gift:

Image

:thumbsup:

You can read about the build in March's edition of Cool Tears magazine:

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/c636a2_9f613584aa3d4e66a646e564e5df240a.pdf

:FNP

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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby Joel.brian » Tue May 08, 2018 7:15 pm

That’s awesome Tony. I’m pretty handy so I’d love to learn down the road.
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby tony.latham » Tue May 08, 2018 7:54 pm

Joel.brian wrote:That’s awesome Tony. I’m pretty handy so I’d love to learn down the road.


:thumbsup:
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby ferbal » Thu May 10, 2018 8:09 pm

I installed on of the side panels today. It was the most difficult of all the ones I will have to do because of the weird angles where the truck cap transitions into the nose. Originally I was going to panel my camper in corrugated steel roofing panels but a discovered that coroplast is cheaper per square foot and I should be able to weather proof gaps and seams with Gorilla Tape. As luck would have it I had half a panel left over from another dumb idea so I thought I would try it out.

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I used a heat gun to facilitate bending the coroplast to shape there was already a crease in it from storage so it has a "ripple" in it, I may pull it off and re do it if looks horrible in the daylight. But the proof of concept works so I am gonna call the local sign shop tomorrow and see if they can sell me the stuff cheaper than Home Depot. One of my concerns is how coroplast and Gorilla tape will hold up at 70MPH...

I also have to get serious about the floor, It will be a lot harder to put in after sides are on. I am thinking half in foam insulation with half inch ply on top, I am planning on a drop floor so I am still pondering how to brace such a thin floor over a 42 x 60 span.
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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby Joel.brian » Fri May 11, 2018 1:28 am

ferbal wrote:there was already a crease in it from storage so it has a "ripple" in it, I may pull it off and re do it if looks horrible in the daylight.


I think its gonna look odd enough that you won’t have to worry about a small ripple

But hey, it’s coming along and I think you’ll be fine with the coroplast. The aluminum on mine is pretty flimsy too


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Re: Boat Trailer + Truck Cap = Boondock Bed

Postby ferbal » Sat May 12, 2018 9:06 pm

After artfully cramming a 4 x 8 sheet of coroplast into my RAV4 I realized I needed to get my trailer on the road so I could use it to haul materials. I needed to fix the lights so I decided to rough out the back end to get the lights in place so I can make a Home Depot run tomorrow. I need to mount my license plate and cover some holes with gorilla tape, but the back side is mostly done.
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