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Thread: Converting a standard cargo box to a camper

  1. #1
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    Default Converting a standard cargo box to a camper

    Has anyone considered converting the standard cargo box as opposed to custom-building or mounting a caravan? It seems a good starting point...



    I've seen and helped on some projects, such as vans and buses (old-school hippies are really creative). These are probably more geared toward the used-bits buyer, such as I am. I see FG's on Craigslist occasionally and start thinking about it more. A pivot system would be out of the question without major reworking, though. A pass-through would be easier.

    It may be easier to simply get a used FG, build a pivot frame and mount a used 16' camper to that. I'm thinking more along the lines of Carl Hunter's Bigfoot setup. (I'm cheap)
    Last edited by sprale; 01-02-2009 at 07:06 AM.
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  2. #2
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    This guy in upstate NY did it. His was for sale last time I contacted him. It is a pretty simple conversion but he has used it for a while. It may be worth contacting him if you are interested in one because he has had it for sale for quite a while.
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    How would a pass-thru work on a tilt cab model? re: chassis pivot, I wonder if you could have the work done on your chassis cab before it went to a local body/van builder/installer..?

    Mike

    Artists are here to disturb the peace...
    Last edited by tamangel; 01-02-2009 at 06:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    Pretty much what I'm doing on my HINO; depending on the value of the box itself, I consider the main drawback to be that the floor weighs far more than it might need to.

  5. #5
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    I worked on a Sterling with a tilt cab and a pass through that belonged to a local electrical contractor. The pass through was a rubber gasket that was kind of corugated. The Rubber was compacted between the cab and the box and cab when the cab was lowered and it sealed water tight. The Sterling was just a rebadged Mitsubishi and it looked like a dealer install.
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  6. #6
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    A friend and I converted a 99 FG with a cargo box to a camper and it turned out pretty good. We replaced the rear roll up door with a double door from a firetruck crew carrier. We got windows from a RV and cut away. The boxes are tough the only draw back is the floors are solid hardwood which is really heavy and the mounting system is not ideal for offroad. We really wanted to do a full pass thru to the cab but settled on removing the window and extending the box to meet the cab. I have yet to see a full pass thru, anyone out there done it? He wheels the truck hard, hauls dirtbikes in the back and make dump runs with it, very versatile. I'm jealous as my 4x4 van is no comparison to the size and comfort the box allows.

  7. #7
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    Default bump!

    Just wanted to bump this ancient thread, but a very interesting idea. I've been wondering about this idea myself lately for doing a "ghetto" conversion using a stock cargo box. I'm wondering something......there are iveco's, mitsu's, isuzu's, etc out there by the bushel with low miles and cheap cheap cheap. Am I missing something? From everything I read in the diesel forums, the engines on these rigs are very reliable. Why so many so cheap? Are these at all appropriate for someone who doesn't need 4x4 but would like to occasionally travel the washboards of the nevada/arizona/calif desert? I'd motorbike into anything that was too hairy. Thanks!

    -Josh
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    '64 Clark Cortez

  8. #8
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    I've noticed the prices coming down on Craigslist. I think it's because lots of small businesses with box trucks are being hit hard by the recession.

  9. #9
    haven is offline Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    Kim and Don Greene started with a box truck body made by Unicell. They cut out doors and windows, and trimmed out the inside for expedition travel.


    Construction photos here
    http://www.questconnect.org/exp_veh_construction_3.htm

    Photos of the finished vehicle here
    http://www.questconnect.org/exp_veh_photos.htm

    Kim and Don have been traveling almost continuously in the truck since 2004, visiting 69 countries so far. They have new destinations planned through 2011! Read about their travels on their web site, http://www.questconnect.org

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerry View Post
    I've noticed the prices coming down on Craigslist. I think it's because lots of small businesses with box trucks are being hit hard by the recession.
    Havn't seen many particularly good deals myself but might be true.

    Probably want to stay away from IVECO unless you get an extraordinary deal and really like working on trucks. They're not bad trucks but newest ones are 20 yrs. old now and parts are fairly expensive, if you can even get them.

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