Greetings from West Texas

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Greetings from West Texas

Postby sbuchholtz » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:46 pm

Hello everybody,

I’ve been itching for a project and the hubs talked me down from building a tiny house or renovating a school bus. After a school bus, the idea of a small camper was an easy sell. So I bought a decrepit pop up of Craig’s List and started dreaming. I’ve spent the last few months drawing on graph paper and even graduated to basic cad drawings to plan out the grand rebuild.

After settling on the idea of a pop up, I couldn’t find many pop up rebuild sites. I found mostly superficial renovations, all of which looked great but they didn’t help me much with how to go about a full rebuild. I struck gold when I found you guys so THANK YOU all for this site/community.

Hang with me while I explain my plan… I was looking for a project, like something to build and wire and design and all that jazz. A simple repaint and reupholster wasn’t going to satisfy by DIY itch. A buddy of ours bought a pop up camper, we went camping and loved it (we normally just backpack/tent camp). That got me hooked on the idea of a pop up camper. I realize I could probably salvage a decent amount of the current pop up camper but want to start from scratch, just for fun. So in my mind, I wasn’t looking to buy a camper to renovate, but was looking for as many parts as I could find to build a camper from scratch. So I bought a pop up that was in pretty bad shape but for $200 bucks got a functional trailer, roof lift system, mini fridge, bed slide hardware, a decent amount of aluminum trim, and working AC (definitely surprised me when I turned it on and it was fully functional!). We’ll see how it goes.

Another odd thing: I’m going to try and make a hard sided pop up (as in the upper walls will be wood not canvas). I’m handy with a sewing machine and found a bunch of great how to videos by Sailrite…but I think it will actually take me longer and possibly more money to hand make the upper portion out of canvas (especially as I don’t have the old canvas as a template). You can buy replacement canvases but they start around $1000 and up. My hard-sided plan might change if the folding and hinging of the all the sides becomes wildly overcomplicated. But I can press with the majority of the build and then change my plan if needed, suck it up and get to stitching.

So that’s me and my plan. I’ll start a build journal soon with and hope to sink my teeth into the tear down mid-month and the rebuild in February. I appreciate any insight and ideas!!

-Samantha
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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby Aguyfromohio » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:02 pm

Great project, welcome.
Looking forward to hearing more.
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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby FM82 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:00 pm

Welcome! Sounds like a fun build. Having no details on how indepth it may be, I say go all in and hard-side it. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby edgeau » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:34 pm

Others have done the hard side before so definitely can be done. The one I recall was a foamie for the walls.

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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby KennethW » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:42 pm

What are your needs or wants out of a camper? Is there a good reason to do the popup thing? This is what I came up with when the better half wanted a inside toilet but I did not want anything bigger then a teardrop. Well I did go 4"5' on the walls. So in a 5 foot wide by 10 foot long and 4 1/2 foot tall teardrop I have a 2 foot deep outside galley. A composting toilet. Two 30 inch wide 80 inch long beds with 11" of storage under them. and 450 watts of solar power. No water system to maintain. viewtopic.php?f=50&t=70181&hilit=fun+size&start=15
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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby KTM_Guy » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:12 pm

Welcome to the forum. Lots of great ideas here and plenty of help if you need it.

We did the popup camper when our kids were younger. Had a blast with it, lots of good times. But now that it's just the wife and I we have different needs and one of those is where we can just get to the campsite and hop in the teardrop and go to bed. No setup, and same in the morning just get ourself ready and we can be on the road or trail.

I spend a little too much time on Sailrite's website watching videos. :lol: I'm hoping a Ultrafeed LSZ-1 is in the near future. :worship:

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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby sbuchholtz » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:53 am

KTM_Guy wrote:Welcome to the forum. Lots of great ideas here and plenty of help if you need it.

We did the popup camper when our kids were younger. Had a blast with it, lots of good times. But now that it's just the wife and I we have different needs and one of those is where we can just get to the campsite and hop in the teardrop and go to bed. No setup, and same in the morning just get ourself ready and we can be on the road or trail.

I spend a little too much time on Sailrite's website watching videos. :lol: I'm hoping a Ultrafeed LSZ-1 is in the near future. :worship:

Todd

Todd,

I'm guilty of the same thing, those videos are great! I've got an old all steel kenmore sewing machine (sucker weighs like 25#s). I may sacrifice it to the sail cloth gods if I need to do any heavy duty sewing, a lot of people say they get away with using a "normal" sewing machine and just buying lots of needles as they break pretty often. Let me know if you get the Ultrafeed and how you like it!
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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby sbuchholtz » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:13 am

KennethW wrote:What are your needs or wants out of a camper? Is there a good reason to do the popup thing? This is what I came up with when the better half wanted a inside toilet but I did not want anything bigger then a teardrop. Well I did go 4"5' on the walls. So in a 5 foot wide by 10 foot long and 4 1/2 foot tall teardrop I have a 2 foot deep outside galley. A composting toilet. Two 30 inch wide 80 inch long beds with 11" of storage under them. and 450 watts of solar power. No water system to maintain. viewtopic.php?f=50&t=70181&hilit=fun+size&start=15



Kenneth,

First, awesome build! Really clever with the totes for extra space when you need it an quick pack up when you don't. To answer your first questions, I really only needed a project :). The hubs (rightly) talked me down for a huge build since I don't have time to dedicated to a big project (like a skoolie or tiny house trailer). Also if the build goes horribly wrong I didn't want to feel bad putting too much money into it. Pop up or tear drop fit the bill perfectly. As for why a pop up? I like the idea of being able to stand up inside the camper and sit down at a table inside as well. We used a buddies pop up in lieu of getting a hotel room on a quick weekend trip and loved the convenience of the dinette and being able to change clothes and hang out in an "indoor" space. 'm not going to put in a lateral slide out dinette in the pop up...yet...but love that once popped up, the pop ups have a nice open footprint inside. Dang though, I gotta say there's just something so cool about teardrops, love the look.

I'll hope to post to build journal in the next few days, let me know what you think!

-Samantha
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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby KennethW » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:45 am

Just thought I'd give you a little different way. PS with the drop floor My wife can stand up. I have to duck a little. Have fun with your build. It's half of the fun. With a home build you can do whatever you want to fit your needs.

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Re: Greetings from West Texas

Postby rockinrobin » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:40 pm

Greetings and Welcome from the Texas Panhandle! Ronnie
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