Central Michigan Canned Ham

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Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:46 pm

Ok, so with them throwing an extra guy into our weekend rotation at work it has made it so I have weekends off when my son is at his mom's. Not a real good thing for me.
So, rather than sit around catching cabin fever, I dove into a project that I have been planning for awhile: A canned-ham type camper.
I'm too old to sleep on the ground in a tent, and don't like having to deal with setting up, taking down, and drying one out at home after it got rained on.
I like teardrop campers, but I don't like the idea of trying to change my clothes while laying on my back.
I am making a 1" square tube steel 16 ga. (thin wall) skeleton with an aluminum skin pop riveted over it. My goal is to be under 800lbs. It will have a 8 foot long body, 76 inches wide. The frame is an old popup camper that I bought years ago very cheap, I had gutted it and used it as a chicken coop for some laying hens for a couple years, hence the egg-shape I ended up with is ok with me.
My goal is to have it useable by this summer.
It will have 2 single bunks, as I am divorced 3 times & have come to the conclusion that pairing up with another woman would only make both of us miserable. So a single bunk will suit me fine. It will have a small room for a porta-potty (I just hate the pit privvies that most of the state & national forest campgrounds around here have). Other than that, I am hoping for there to be enough room for a cooler and a Coleman stove.
My tow vehicle will currently be a '16 Kia Soul with a 6-speed manual. But, I also have a T-Bucket type of rat rod roadster if I ever put serious effort into finishing it.
Last edited by Danomite on Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:20 pm

My crude homemade tubing roller sort of self-destructed while making the profiles & this is what I ended up with. But I kinda like it.
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Last edited by Danomite on Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:24 pm

This way seems rather unbalanced and too far forward. Btw, the bed of the popup frame had been almost 11 feet long, now it is 5 ft 5 in.
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Last edited by Danomite on Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:29 pm

This seems more balanced and is how I intend to have it. I am concerned about the narrow track of this axle & am seriously considering ditching it and installing a pair of torsion stub axles with tires mounted outboard of the frame for the sake of stability.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:33 pm

Yesterday was a long day. My 12 year old son and I jumped in the pickup at 8am and drove 3 hours south to Johnson's Surplus, just north of the Michigan/Indiana state line and dropped some green into this project.
I bought a 3500lb idler axle (it has flanges for brakes if it is determined necessary to add them) for $155 with leaf springs & hubs. The only one I found the correct width was this 3500, but with lighter springs or leafs removed it should suffice. This will set the tires outboard of the frame for stability. Also bought 3 tires and wheels for $40 each.
I bought .025" thick aluminum diamond plate for the skin at $60/sheet. And 2 sheets of .045" for the front & roof area where it will receive the most wind at $90/sheet. This was all polished except for 1 sheet of black which will go in the middle of the back to avoid headlight reflection to anyone following behind at night.
Bought other odds and ends such as stabilizer jacks for the rear corners, axle hanger kit, & LED taillight kit.
Btw, that place is awesome! I could have spent the entire day there!
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:10 pm

The door being 6 feet tall didn't really work well in the profile.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:15 pm

So I removed a foot off the bottom. I'd much rather have to duck my head a little upon entry/exit than be stuck with only one spot the door could be installed.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby low277 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:00 pm

Looks good, have fun while building lots of people with good advise here. :thumbsup:
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:43 am

Thanks. Actually I have been lurking on here for 3 years or so, but just joined up recently as I began my build. The people on here are what really inspired me to dive into this project. I mean, I don't personally know anyone who has built their own camper, so without this knowledge base I may have not attempted a build.
And now for today's progress:
I loaded up the truck and went to the shop where I work and took advantage of the HEATED welding area and made headway on framing in the passengers side for the door and window. The drivers side only has 1 window to frame in & I got a start on that side as well.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:45 pm

Ok, it is now 3-dimensional. The frame and skeleton weighs approximately 300 or so pounds.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:47 pm

And just to get a feel for the proportion of it, I set it behind the tow vehicle.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby saywhatthat » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:01 pm

Is that where the axel will set? Great start.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:27 pm

No, I actually bought a wider axle to help with stability. The leaf springs will be mounted to the outside frame rails & the tires will sit out from that. I'm going to move the new axle as far forward as I can (looks like about 4" ahead of the current spot). I'm also trying to come up with a cool design for fenders.
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby saywhatthat » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:01 pm

plan.png
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best-road-trip-campers-pi2010-1-1020x610.jpg
best-road-trip-campers-pi2010-1-1020x610.jpg (36.54 KiB) Viewed 1228 times
Makes me think of .They have the axle all the way in the back. Pi2010 is the smallest of Pino Karavan’s line, which are all handmade in the Netherlands
Il suffit de le faire
D.I.Y Light weight sleeper using D.I.Y rail top components.
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=66751
50 HR. Build 4.5 by 8' using Railtop fiberglass Components
http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=70729
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Re: Central Michigan Canned Ham

Postby Danomite » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:33 pm

I have seen them on Pinterest. Actually, I looked up the dimensions of them & they are smaller than the one I'm building. I believe Pinterest is where I found the link to tnttt in the first place and immediately I was hooked on it! :FNP
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