Well the time has come to start my build thread. I've got about 9 days left here in Peru, flying to Miami on March 1st. If you are interested in any background to this, please see my previous preliminary planning thread.
I have my truck, a 2001 NPR HD, 5 speed diesel, the truck camper, a 1990 Shadow Cruiser Truck Camper, and a 1991 25' Fleetwood Terry Trailer waiting for me in Florida. Friends helped me buy the truck, and gave me the trailer, and my cousin helped with the truck camper. So far I've seen good pictures of the truck, one small picture of the outside of the truck camper, and none of the trailer. Needless to say I am getting a big anxious to see the goods in person!
From reading other build threads, it looks like one needs to be open to changes and modifications as the build progresses, especially being that this is my first major project like this. I get lots of what seem like good ideas in my head, putting them into practice is a different story.
After many changes of ideas and modifications to the plans already, here is my current thinking and plan. The truck currently has a 14' cargo box, with a power lift gate on it. I will need to remove this, and hopefully be able to sell it. I plan on building basically a wooden flatbed on the truck frame, and then mounting the truck camper on that. I will box in along the sides of the camper to make storage compartments, much like IdaSHO did here. An option would be to use ready made metal under body truck boxes, but I hope to be able to save some money by making them myself out of wood. My main problem is that I haven't welded in about 40 years, and I didn't know much about it then. I had hoped to have a brother-in-law help me, but he doesn't have the time, and also isn't in Florida. I had originally wanted to build the camper and garage from scratch as one unit, but decided not to because of the cost and time needed to build it. If at some time in the future I change my mind, I can always cannibalize the truck camper and use the components from that to build one.
The camper will be mounted farther back on the truck, so that the cab over portion ends at the back of the truck cab, rather than extending over the cab. There are two reasons for this, the first is that the cab needs to tilt for engine access and I want a bike garage under the cab over bed. I am trying to keep the overall height as low as possible, so I didn't want to raise the camper up enough to clear the cab, or make the camper raiseable to tilt the cab. I had also considered mounting the motorbike on a bumper mount, but decided that the garage was a better option. The garage will also hold the deep cycle batteries, and probably an extra fresh water tank among other things.
The cab over portion will be shortened to 4 feet, which will bring the overall length of the camper/garage unit to 13 to 13 1/2 feet (I don't have the exact measurement of the camper yet). I am trying to keep the total camper length as short as possible. I'm hoping to build the flatbed base as a split level with the back raised up enough to give tire clearance, and the front as low as possible to give more headroom in the garage. This will probably require using steel outriggers bolted to both sides of the truck frame to support the wooden flatbed portion. This will also give a little lower lift height for loading the bike. My dream bike is a Honda CRF-230L but I don't want to spend that much money, so unless I can find a really good deal, might settle for a Yamaha XT225.
I plan on towing the 25' trailer to use as a base camp for longer term stays and trips. The truck camper will be self sufficient electrical wise, with 400 to 600 watts of solar panels and six T105RE Trojan 6v deep cycle batteries for a total of 675 AH of capacity. Where possible I hope to use electric power rather than propane for extended boondocking rather than in campgrounds with hookups. The truck system will supply power to the trailer when I am using them both together.
Well, that's enough to start with, will add more details soon if time allows, and hope to begin the actual build during the 1st week of March.