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Old Mar 29, 2015, 07:22 PM
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Four Wheel Camper Rebuild

I thought I'd start a thread on a rebuild I am going to start. Should be similar to my 6.0L Powerstroke Diesel rebuild thread I posted here earlier ( http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2272294 )

Friday, I picked up an old '86 Four Wheel Camper Keystone for $695. These campers are pretty sought after because of their aluminum frame construction. Lots of guys use them for their go anywhere excursion vehicles. Older models of these campers were made wide at 64" where they slide into the truck bed. The problem is, newer trucks have a smaller tail gait opening. My '05 F350 has a 60" opening.

Because of this, I'll have to modify the floor pack on this camper, narrowing it to 58" (from 64"). Along with that, I'll need to make new lifting panels from the front and back as well as replace the cabover wood under the sleeping deck as it is warped. I'll also repaint the outside and probably make new cabinetry for the interior. Install a new 2 way fridge and probably even a small bathroom.

Lots of work ahead of me, but I've never been afraid of a little work.

I'll update this thread regularly with photos of the build and my progress. In a couple months, I should have a great little truck camper for not much money, but a lot of sweat and hopefully, not much blood or tears.

Here's how it looks right now.





And on the inside.



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Old Mar 29, 2015, 10:50 PM
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Why not install an older bed on your truck? Then the unmodified camper will fit, and you just need to repair/refurbish the camper, instead of modifying it.

Or, replace the truck bed with a flatbed, and a couple of side boxes.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 03:01 AM
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I enjoy that show Flippin' RVs, on GACTV, although I think there are only about four episodes so far, and it is vintage trailers, this sort of reminds me of that....

I remember when these campers were very popular, lots of folks had them sitting on their driveways with some sort of support poles, so they could back under them and bada bing, time to go camping...
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Treetop View Post
I enjoy that show Flippin' RVs, on GACTV, although I think there are only about four episodes so far, and it is vintage trailers, this sort of reminds me of that....

I remember when these campers were very popular, lots of folks had them sitting on their driveways with some sort of support poles, so they could back under them and bada bing, time to go camping...
Yeah, I remember them sitting on those poles too. ...and then there was that windstorm.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 05:36 AM
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With that super powered motor, you better bolt that down good.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 06:01 AM
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With that super powered motor, you better bolt that down good.

I think Acer has something other than holidays in mind for this setup.
Extreme motorhome racing - Top Gear - BBC (7 min 43 sec)


http://www.streetfire.net/video/top-...ing_694388.htm
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ken barnes View Post
why not install an older bed on your truck? Then the unmodified camper will fit, and you just need to repair/refurbish the camper, instead of modifying it.

Or, replace the truck bed with a flatbed, and a couple of side boxes.
:d ........
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 11:19 AM
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Those poles on the corners of the camper are hydraulic jacks. We had campers as a kid; my dad didn't believe in motor homes having an expensive drivetrain just sitting for most of the year.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 01:39 PM
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Yeah, I remember them sitting on those poles too. ...and then there was that windstorm.
Nice that this one is a pop top, should help with the wind on the road, I can imagine the difference in driving in a strong crosswind with and without the camper if it had full height with those flat sides, then there is the overall height to consider...

I didn't know those jacks were hydraulic, some neighbors when I was a kid, had one and although I saw the camper on and off, never saw them actually doing the deed.

Those folks were the rich ones in my neighborhood, they had a four car carport... the son, a few years older than me had the sweetest '64 Chevelle SS, and they also built a Dune Buggy from a VW and a kit.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 02:07 PM
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The interior draws me to a fun project...

Thinking of these things sort of like how boat interiors are built, utilization of space...

Some thoughts:

Build light.... honeycomb panels are expensive but the lightest
torsion boxes not expensive:
https://www.google.com/search?q=tors...w=1280&bih=617

Basswood is nice for the torsion boxes, also used to be able to find it in 3/4 x 2 at cabinet supply dealers, but HD and Lowes carry some pretty nice 1 x canadian spruce with small tight knots, but is not usually dry enough, meaning it will possibly warp, so it would be good to buy that a while before you want to use it and keep it indoors for a few months with lots of air circulation, the basswood is extremely stable and holds glue better, dried properly for cabinet work... both are very light.

Round all those corners, feels better when bumping into them!

Foam for bedding is important, in the quality, I had a van with a bed and bought high quality four inch foam, it was built in sections, and I covered it with vinyl fabric, pulling it tightly, this made it easy to clean and was very comfortable, and it seemed like the vinyl helped keep the foam from being too much of an insulator of body heat, meaning it was cooler than sleeping on foam with just a fabric cover...

LED lighting, either dual battery system or solar charged autonomous system for the camper. 12 V small flat screen TV with DVD player built in.
12 V fans over the sleeping areas, they even have oscillating ones...

Snap in floor covering, maybe outdoor carpet, to take it out and be able to just hose it down.

Super insulate it, body heat will keep you warm, and it will also be cooler in the summer.

Nothing like lying in a cozy camper, hearing the rain on the roof, out in the middle of nowhere!

In my van, which I took cross country, I had these super nice thick foam coolers which were cheap, had about 1.5 inch thick sides, fishermen used them and I think I got them at a boat dealer, but kept one closed and most of the food in there, would only open it to transfer some of the food.... the other one was for opening and closing during the day, sort of like a fridge and a freezer, but the ice would stay in the one that didn't get opened for a long time, of course, there are other options... and you need a place for these, I had mine under the bed and of course the day cooler could be in the cab and not so big.

Looking forward to a fun thread... thanks Acer!
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 02:23 PM
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Super insulate...a pop-up camper??
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 02:36 PM
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Super insulate...a pop-up camper??
Ha ha ha. I've had two tent trailers; easier towing. Both of mine kept the rain out fine, but keeping the heat in?
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 02:39 PM
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On a cold night, couldn't one leave the top down? Also, parked or driving in the sun all day... Only looks like about a foot and a half of headroom there. Small sacrifice to stay warm.... Insulating the top especially will help keep it cool underneath. I stand by my recommendation! Just have to remember not to stand up when one wakes up....
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 02:41 PM
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On a cold night, couldn't one leave the top down? Also, parked or driving in the sun all day...
I don't see why not, but the top bunks would be worthless
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 02:45 PM
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On a cold night, couldn't one leave the top down? Also, parked or driving in the sun all day... Only looks like about a foot and a half of headroom there. Small sacrifice to stay warm.... Insulating the top especially will help keep it cool underneath. I stand by my recommendation!
I've seen guys drape blankets, moving pads, etc. over their pop-up campers in elk camp. That helps a little, but not much. That 1.5' of headroom is all that there is, so losing it might not be an option!
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