My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

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My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby RJ Howell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:52 pm

Building the sleep cap was an experiment to prove concept of a trailer build I still wish to do, but this overlander build has taken priority.

I looked at my 2004 F150 4x4 that we have enjoyed for so many years and wondered... can I? Let's see. I believe I will top out at $2k doing the needed and improvements to make her well and worthy, yet very doable and have started in. Trucks almost ready.

That means design time! I found a commercial drop in camper that gave me the idea of space. At $14k for a basic unit... ya, design and build time! The bed of the pickup is just that little to confining (much like vans to me) so that leads to removing the bed and going frame up. Foam style construction is so lightweight, yet do to going over the cab for a sleep station, I have to have some framework. Then comes interior height.. as I require a standee, yet really dislike those tall, top heavy, beasts going down the road (never mind off-road). Two beds, basic cooking wash-up, has to have toilet spot (wife's insistence, but I also like) and spot for frig. Then of course comes storage.

Ya, task ahead of me..

So the Truck, my 2004 F150 with no bed:
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Add the frame:
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And the frame alone:
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Yes I need to draw in and create the wheel wells, but basic's so far. I drew the base/floor in the direction of the plywood, yet now know I need to have the primaries the other way to cross the frame. So far I'm around 140lbs on the frame. Nice part is I lose 350lbs by removing the bed..

Interior layout.. Not only did I get the two beds, frig and toilet, but I got what will be a shower spot! Everything will close down to a full counter.
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Side wall now and storage: Side I may need to skin with 1/8" plywood, yet hoping I only need to fiberglass. I'll have XSp foam inserted in the framing. Storage would extend beyond the interior layout. We both love exterior cooking and need some sort of shelter from sun or rain. Lift cover seemed right. Working out the lower flip down cover to become a work surface.. or so hoped.
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Now my roof: Gas piton lift assist I see in my near future! I didn't need much support in the topper, but see something a little more here, maybe two aluminum channels this time.
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Can't let the bugs in! Some sort of screening!! I liked the commercial unit using vinyl vs. canvas and liked how they did the windows (close to what I did on my topper). They used bungees strapped side to side and fold in bars to bring the vinyl inwards as closing. Really like that!
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Through the expandable stairs on the back for entry and you see the concept!
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I working through the details/bugs and if you see something I've overlooked, please do mention. I figure to start this build early March as the weather turns (and the shop is easier to maintain heat). I'm hoping to have the truck bed off and have my rear bumper, sliders and frame built.

Here's the start to another build thread!
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby JagLite » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:15 pm

Excellent!
Nice drawings of what you plan. :thumbsup:
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby pchast » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:45 pm

I'd like to suggest a trussed structure in that ~8" above your platform
to provide some support for that extension. It probably needs to have
ties to the rear bottom corner of your box.
:thinking:
What material will you use for the frame?
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby RJ Howell » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:05 am

Designing using 1.5 x 1.5 steel tube. Figuring 1/8" for the long overhead (to handle the cantilever) and at the cross members on the truck frame, then 1/16" on the rest. Totals out to just over 152lbs.

The topper I built is 8" less in width and 20" shorter in length. the only support in the roof is a piece of 1.25 x 1.25 x .0625 aluminum angle. It's held up with 18" of wet snow so far. This one will need a bit more, yet probably not all that much. I'm working some numbers to see if I can incorporate plywood with the XPS foam for some support, strut mounting, venting and et all...
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby Postal_Dave » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:16 pm

Here is a stupid idea I'm going to throw out there. Looking at your over the cab sleeper.
You've seen these pull out camper beds where a couch becomes a double or queen sized bed. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/826199494110449660/
Since your frame will be metal, you could easily install a slide on the upper frame and make it so the upper bed is expandable. Put a futon mattress that folds up there and just slide the frame back in and fold up the mattress in the morning.

BTW: Your plans look great. I'm sure you're going to enjoy building this.
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby RJ Howell » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:22 am

Postal_Dave wrote:Here is a stupid idea I'm going to throw out there. Looking at your over the cab sleeper.
You've seen these pull out camper beds where a couch becomes a double or queen sized bed. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/826199494110449660/
Since your frame will be metal, you could easily install a slide on the upper frame and make it so the upper bed is expandable. Put a futon mattress that folds up there and just slide the frame back in and fold up the mattress in the morning.

BTW: Your plans look great. I'm sure you're going to enjoy building this.


Thank you and I do believe I will enjoy it!

The lower bench/bed is thought to be just that, a slide out to bed width. I've been going to dealerships and looking at commercial units to get ideas of some of the key spots and anything new. They now have a couch/bed that the back flips over from back to bed position. Wish I taken a picture of it.. I will next time I see it again.
Obviously the tire well will take some space under, but the balance is storage.
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby RJ Howell » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:46 am

One item I'm working through (in particular) is the utility counter side.

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The toilet/wash station is reasonably set (size to tighten up as building). Following would be sink area, then Frig under/ cook space over.

Sink area: Seriously debating not cutting in a sink, nor mounting a faucet. Thought being, using a bowl or container base as the sink (like tent camping). The water faucet would come up from the wash/toilet area. Thinking, why do two so close and the handle/faucet head would not impede on the counter. The wash area will require a gray water tank, so where I could no dispose easily, it could go down that. Removes any plumbing from the sink cabinet and either the ring moves over or better storage.

Cook/frig area: Trying not to mount a propane tank on this yet may end up doing one.. I'm going to try just using the camp stove so the counter can be wide open. If we do mount a stovetop, it would have to be recessed. A propane tank would be nice for this..
Which leads to the Frig: I'm a fan of Propane run Frig's, thus the struggle of trying not to add a propane to this unit. Any Frig I decide upon will have a compressor that would need to be vented. Very tempted to build a 3" thick foam chest style ice box, just means dealing with ice again... Besides, the ice thing, I think the performance would be equal to any expensive Frig out there...

A few more thoughts to ponder along with me and hopefully a few suggestions.
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby RJ Howell » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:54 pm

Why does the crash happen just before you save??? I need to figure out if sketchup has an auto save feature... well, my 2017 version anyway.. :x
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby tony.latham » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:16 pm

Why does the crash happen just before you save???


RJ:

I was just getting set to compliment you on your Sketchup abilities. Sheeeesh.

I see that I have several Sketchup files such as autosave_Hatch Open.skp.

If you look in the preferences drop-down, you can set the autosave down to every one minute.

Ouch.

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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby RJ Howell » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:17 pm

Thank you Tony.. forgot to check for an auto save file.. Got almost all it back! Went to Finder (apple guy here), hit recent and there sat an autosave .skp. WHOA!

II try to spend an hour a day working on some portion/area. Today was the back and my storage/cook/wash area. This is the two lower compartments with the lowest part requiring to fold out to the work surface. Quest was to get through the folding out of two sections of cover/door and how to hinge. When I thought I lost everything I went out to get some chores done.. I'll work my way through it tomorrow now.

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One side shows it closed, the other open. I've worked out the joinery and know my hinging... now to draw it.

The next compartment up is open for storage (undecided), could be a spot for propane if indeed I do so.. which would lead to two more steel supports on each side of the door to mount something to carry the weight.. hmm. :thinking: Could be a good idea and use some of the opposite side for jerry can water or fuel.. :thinking:
So far the opposite side will match.
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby tony.latham » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:32 pm

Got almost all it back!


Great news.

Me? I'm doing a bathroom cabinet right now that I designed on Sketchup.

:thumbsup:

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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby rjgimp » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:46 pm

Nice work. Removing the box entirely is an interesting concept that allows so much more design flexibility! I see gobs of exterior storage options down both sides right down to the bottom edge of the truck cab.
-Rob


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just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby RJ Howell » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:34 am

rjgimp wrote:Nice work. Removing the box entirely is an interesting concept that allows so much more design flexibility! I see gobs of exterior storage options down both sides right down to the bottom edge of the truck cab.


Many of the Overlander's are going this way. With most folks wanting dual use of their vehicles, they build a flatbed and slide a unit on that. My truck will be dedicated to this camper and without the flatbed I have an addition 300 plus lbs of build weight to work with! Win/win in my mind! Utilizing the space fore & aft of the wheels for storage is awesome areas, yet does mean giving the truck a bit more of a lift to really open that space up. Several do just that. I hoping for just a 1" in the rear and level out the front (figure 2"). I have new front coil springs coming and Bilstien shocks, for the rear I'm adding a leaf according to what I believe for weight and Bilstien shocks. Going to save at least the side panels from the bed in hopes of doing some lower storage as you mention.
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby RJ Howell » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:53 am

Caught up after yesterday's crash.. That was scary for a moment or two..

yesterday I was attempting to get through the folding hatch doors and hinge/joinery. Getting pretty close on it.

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Then today's effort in working the back rear storage for the heavy items. Two different scenario's shown, but I do see the goods being more like the right side (lower).

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The angled very bottom area I see as some tool, recovery, odds and ends stuff. Goods in there should be light due to the way the hatch is.. :thinking:
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Re: My Overlander Build. Well, woods build..

Postby rjgimp » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:54 am

RJ Howell wrote:I'm hoping to have the truck bed off and have my rear bumper, sliders and frame built.


So, are you replacing the stock rear bumper with something of your own design or relocating it or...?

You already are stripping down to bare frame. With foam construction and your minimal steel skeleton you could fairly easily extend the frame and bumper rearward and add as much as a couple feet of floor space. As long as you keep the heavy stuff stored forward of the axle (think water tanks, batteries, etc) most of what you would need to support on such an extension besides the structure itself is your own weight walking around back there.
-Rob


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just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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