Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby bajallama » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:33 pm

Hi fellow campers.

I've been traveling this forum for a while and had this idea in my head of a dynamic pop-up camper. I started designing last year and had multiple drafts until I came up with what you will see here. The design intent is something not any taller than my 4Runner and still light enough that it can pull it with gear. I do a lot of 4WD adventures where I do a lot of fishing and hunting. I wanted to have something that I could shower and sleep in after a long day of hiking. I have never like the idea of a soft sided pop-ups due to the chance of mold and the very low insulative properties. I will be updating the thread slowly as I have a lot of backlogged progress. But to start here is the design in Solidworks:

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The design works by allowing the front portion of the camper to slide forward and as it does, it pushes the top up along the angled "ramps". I designed the front to slide on Delrin tracks so that it can take the heavy load of the slideout. The slideout consists of the entire cook kit, sink, fridge and storage. When the front portion slide out, it will reveal the walk way to the dining/bed and a shower tub. The shower will be pretty small, but I hope it will be sufficient for some bird baths. The dining area (not designed yet) will fold down into a full size bed. There is also the ability to have a second bunk above the dining area if I chose to have kids at some point :frightened:

I know that sealing this thing up is going to be a huge accomplishment in itself, so I may plan on a positive pressure system inside the cab.

I will love to hear your guys feedback!
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby bajallama » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:58 pm

First steel run:
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Frame tacked together:
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby DaddyJeep » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:38 am

It looks complicated... I love it. It looks like you have a pretty solid plan. I will definitely follow along with this one.
My big hybrid toy hauler with lots of curves build viewtopic.php?f=50&t=69618

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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby bajallama » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:10 am

Yes, stupidly complicated but I wanted a challenge so I went in over my head on this one.

Here is the jig for the control arms:
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Control arms welded up and painted:
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Suspension mounted up:
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby Ottsville » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:58 pm

Nice job on the swingarms. Having read several independent suspension threads over on ExPo, have you included a way to adjust the camber or did you feel that wasn't necessary?
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby bajallama » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:32 am

So I somewhat realized after welding the mounts that camber is an issue with my design. One of the sides came out with some negative camber while the other came out at almost zero. I added the heims to adjust the toe which is likely more important. Since it's not very important at the moment, I'm going to sit on some ideas but will likely do some sort of eccentric or modify the mounts.
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby working on it » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:33 pm

  • Interesting design...I wish I knew then what I know now...I might've tried a similar design; it would be perfect for someone (like myself) who really needs to have a higher profile camper for ease of entry/exit, and room to actually stay inside without struggling. I built my 4x8 trailer before I ever examined any in person, and made it when I was a few years younger , and mostly uninjured and flexible, and able to easily move around inside the cramped quarters. Now, 7 years after I started building it, I continually have to modify it to try to compensate for my infirmities. After a weekend of camping, my back needs another couple of days to get back to normal...the knees & sciatica never recover for weeks. I have grab handles inside added just to be able to sit up inside; an elevated bed would be heaven, but there's no room.
  • While your design, and your obvious design and fabrication skills are apparent, the only thing that I see that might be an oversight is the tongue/drawbar assembly.
  • single-beam tongue connects to only 1 crossmember.JPG
    single-beam tongue connects to only 1 crossmember.JPG (97.3 KiB) Viewed 1078 times
  • Conventional, and proven, wisdom shows that a tongue should connect to two or more crossmembers, to spread the torsional forces further into the frame. See this, http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/tear84.htm.
  • My TTT is a single beam, 3" square tube x .1875" thick, 72" long (44" forward from the front crossmember, 28" rearward), which I felt insufficient for the soft off-roading usage it was intended for. So, I sistered the tongue beam to a central spine, which was added during the extension/enlargement process of the original 50" x 60" frame, tying the tongue into three crossmembers as well. It has worked well for me, showing no stress cracks or twist after 5 years and many miles, and even after an airborne episode that damaged my truck's LT tires (but nothing was noted on the trailer!). Perhaps you might consider some added reinforcement, or extension, to your tongue, just in case?
  • extended 3 inch square tube tongue with central spine.jpg
    extended 3 inch square tube tongue with central spine.jpg (207.41 KiB) Viewed 1078 times
    tubular steel for added length and strength.png
    tubular steel for added length and strength.png (796.32 KiB) Viewed 1078 times
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", semi-offroad, 4x8 TTT, 2065 lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube axle, w/brakes, 3000 lb. springs, & active-progressive bumpstops
  • *27x8.5-14LT all-terrain tires (x 3) *modified Weight Distribution system for single-beam tongue
  • *LED lighting, triple fans, Pioneer stereo *A/C & 110vac heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill
  • *zinc/stainless steel front racks *98"L x 6"Dia. rooftop fishing rod/reel carrier
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby bajallama » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:52 pm

Thank you for your insight!

So in order for the design to work, it needs the two inner rails for the front slide out to slide on, so no additional cross members can be in the way. I am a lot farther past this point in the build, but just haven't collected the pictures yet. The tongue and the front "A" portion of the frame is all made of 2.5" 1/4 Wall. The highlighted section you mentioned will be getting a 3/16" triangular plate welded on top to strengthen the joint, I have the plate but just haven't welded it on yet. The design was based on a boat trailer frame where the rails are joined at the drawbar (I guess it's called a composite?) but instead of a more acute angle, mine is a 45 degree. All other tube is 3/16" wall. I overbuilt the frame to compensate in some potential weaknesses in the layout and I know it's a hefty goal, but also trying to keep it under 1500lbs dry.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the tongue only experience bending loads and not torsion because it is jointed at the receiver. It's part of the reason single axle trailers don't articulate well. I need to get final weights (which is tough since I am changing a lot of the design on the fly) but I may run some cyclic loading simulations of the frame to see what kind of FOS I have.
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby Pmullen503 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:49 pm

How are going to lift the top?
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby working on it » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:47 pm

bajallama wrote:...Correct me if I'm wrong, but the tongue only experience bending loads and not torsion because it is jointed at the receiver. It's part of the reason single axle trailers don't articulate well. I need to get final weights (which is tough since I am changing a lot of the design on the fly) but I may run some cyclic loading simulations of the frame to see what kind of FOS I have.
copied from Trailersauce.com at http://trailersauce.com/information/draw-bar-design/trailer-drawbar-design-function/
The tongue does a lot of work while towing. Every little bump in the road and every turn you make transfers stress through the tongue and compresses, twists and stretches the tongue material constantly. If the trailer has been built with an undersized tongue or the trailer is constantly overloaded or unbalanced, this repeated loading and unloading (cycling) of stresses on the tongue can create microscopic cracks within the grain structure of the tongue material. Over time a microscopic crack can grow and eventually reach a critical size, where the tongue may suddenly fracture and ultimately fail.

and
torsion equals twist.JPG
torsion equals twist.JPG (28.31 KiB) Viewed 1021 times

The reason I knew of the torsion/twist effect on trailer tongues is from personal experience.
1) my TTT's original single beam tongue was both bent and twisted
2) my car-hauler tandem-axle trailer tongue (A frame style) was slightly bent when I bought it used, and became more so when a front-loader impacted/lifted it from the
rear (while loading round bales of hay)
Glad to hear that you have or have planned for additional structure there.
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", semi-offroad, 4x8 TTT, 2065 lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube axle, w/brakes, 3000 lb. springs, & active-progressive bumpstops
  • *27x8.5-14LT all-terrain tires (x 3) *modified Weight Distribution system for single-beam tongue
  • *LED lighting, triple fans, Pioneer stereo *A/C & 110vac heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill
  • *zinc/stainless steel front racks *98"L x 6"Dia. rooftop fishing rod/reel carrier
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby greygoos » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:53 am

I believe this was built by one of the members of this forum. It might give you some ideas . http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner ... index.html
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby bajallama » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:08 am

Pmullen503 wrote:How are going to lift the top?


So it's kind of hard to show without a video of it, but I promise it works! I made the top frame and made sure it worked before I continued (Thats about where I am now on the build). If you look at the first pictures you see the one with itself closed and one with it open. Notice that is is now longer in the open position. So to summarize, I have an electric linear actuator that moves the front slideout forward and the top goes up along the ramps of the slideout and rear of the cab, forcing the top up. I only have a few video clips of the top going up and down but maybe these two pictures of a previous design can help illustrate the idea better:

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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby Pmullen503 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:10 pm

So the door is removed for folding? And another panel fills the gap on the other side? Clever.
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby bajallama » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:37 am

Pmullen503 wrote:So the door is removed for folding? And another panel fills the gap on the other side? Clever.


The door will just fold into the cab and on the other side I have the side wall go further forward to cover the gap. You can kind of see it in the first picture. I'll have to get some better pictures on here eventually.

So I'm going to skip a little ahead to having the frame built. You can see here the slideout in its retracted and extended position:

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Adaptable gooseneck that I can swap out for a max coupler or similar:
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Skateboard wheels as guides (super cheap and easily replaceable option):
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I 3D printed some dagger pin pockets and CNC'd some dapper pins so that it locks in when retracted:
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Re: Project Z61 Pop Out/Up Off-Road Camper

Postby bajallama » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:41 am

I got most of the frame welded up and primed. Bought some ACM panels at the local sign supply shop to start paneling. Really happy with this stuff and it very reasonably priced. Using Signlok 406 adhesive to glue the panels to the frame so that I have no exposed fasteners.
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