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Thread: So... I have a 6x6 "Deuce and a Half" and want to build a slide-in camper...

  1. #1

    Default So... I have a 6x6 "Deuce and a Half" and want to build a slide-in camper...

    ... but I really don't know where to start. The main thing I'm having trouble with is deciding what to build it out of. Should I weld the frame up from metal or build it all out of wood? The main thing I am aiming for is keeping the ability to slide the camper out of the Deuce and have it just be the Deuce - I'm not going to tear into the truck at all and want to keep it completely original.

    Anyway, I don't know much about camper construction, but would like it to be able to withstand the beating that it will probably get from this old truck. To be honest it probably won't ever see anything more "off the road" than some grass, but I don't want to build something that I'm going to spend all my time thinking "man this thing is flimsy, I shoulda done this or that".

    Here's a picture of the truck:



    And here, in all of its Microsoft Paint glory, is a very horrible drawing of what I want to accomplish. Basically, I want to have an overhang over the cab of the truck, as well as a slight overhang over the rear of the truck that will contain a stairway that you can enter from the side to step up into the camper.

    I had some basic plans drawn out on some grid paper, but its too late to go scan them in now.



    Thanks for any advice on where to start out... once I have that I hope I can really make some forward progress with this project.

    Dennis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    1,451
    You do know that it would be a heckofalot cheaper and easier just to buy a used ready made slide-in camper, plunk it on top, and go camping?

    If not that, how about buying a radio or cargo box from another deuce and using that as a starting point? It would already have "the look."
    Kevin Price
    KJ6NII
    '95 Ford Bronco

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    FL/TN/IRAQ
    Posts
    134
    given the rigidity of a 2.5ton, I'd look towards metal construction for the frame, at least. Surely you can get by with plywood for the skin, but then you're looking at glassing it or epoxy, etc... and that becomes a mighty big project with a project that big!

    You could always look for an old box truck shell and use materials from that to make fit.

    Or and old shipping container? height would be an issue then, though. as you'd be pushing right at around 13'... if you go past 13'6" you run into trouble with underpasses on the interstate.
    2004 Jeep Wrangler X
    2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    86
    I'd start with a bow and canvas kit for the bed and see if that will do you. Other than a ladder to get in and out, it should be a real good start.

  5. #5
    Hi,

    Well, there are a couple ways to go.

    - used camper (slide in), this would be the easiest and quickest way

    - Find a used Shelter or Box of a Truck and make it fit the way you want it

    - Find a used non Food Ref. or insulated Truck Box and take it apart. use the material to buildt a new Shelter.

    - build a new one, many options. personally would go Alu/Insulated/Fiberglass walls (view an major builder of expedition Trucks)


    All a questions of budget, time and knowledge (willingness to learn)


    I would find a other way for your stairs. That big and deep of a overhang, kinda kills the 6x6.

    Good Luck with your build

    mike

  6. #6
    Hey ya'll, thanks for the input.

    FIRST
    1 - what's your skill level & experience with projects this size?
    2 - what's your budget?
    3 - how much time do you have?

    Another thing - do you find building fun...? Interesting project for sure. Peter
    My skill level and experience with projects this size... its hard to say. I've done some basic framing and know how to MIG weld, but in terms of building something like this, I'll be honest and say I have very little experience with this kind of thing.

    In terms of time and budget - I'm not in a hurry to get this done, and just want it to be a project I can work on when I have the time, money, and energy to do so. I was hoping to make some good progress on this over the summer, because come fall classes start up again (working towards my automotive degree) and between work and evening classes I'll have very little time.

    I definitely don't want to spend a fortune on this project, but like I said I'm not in a hurry to get it done and will simply work on it when I have the resources to do so.

    You do know that it would be a heckofalot cheaper and easier just to buy a used ready made slide-in camper, plunk it on top, and go camping?

    If not that, how about buying a radio or cargo box from another deuce and using that as a starting point? It would already have "the look."
    Though a pre-made camper would be the easiest way to go, I'm looking forward to building this - it'd be a project that I'd really enjoy and being able to build it exactly how I want to and lay everything out where I want it makes it worth the time and effort.

    I have looked into the shelters, but they are hard to come by around this area. I also would really like to have the overhang over the cab, and I'm not sure how easy it would be to modify one of those shelters.

    I know I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of fabrication, but it is something that I'd like to learn how to do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,354
    Remove the bed, and buy a camping trailer and bolt it on after removing the trailer chassis?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SunTzuNephew View Post
    Remove the bed, and buy a camping trailer and bolt it on after removing the trailer chassis?
    Well he wants to build his own Livingquarters, so this is not in the question.


    @ Dieselfuelonly

    Well take a lot at our Build. We do have a diffrent Truck, but the Livingquarters are similar.
    Click Here

    Now what material to use for the build? Try to find a Ref. Cargo Trailer, there would be tons of good material and mostly they are sold very Cheap.
    Or buildt some Sandwich Walls yourself. But you'll need a very straight floor and some space. These would be on of the ways I would chose, with your specs.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eureka, Ca
    Posts
    225

    Default Deuce Campers..

    If you want to retain that mil look, there are shelters ( S-280 ) that are built for the Deuce bed..
    Might be a stretch to have the Mil-look with a cab-over camper in the bed..depending on the exterior..
    are you familiar with Steel Soldiers? You will have to register to see pic's on that forum..

    http://www.steelsoldiers.com/forum.php

    do a search for ' camper ' .

    Some guys over there build campers from M109 shop van's. Maybe some ideas..

    here's an excellent detailed M109 build thread:http://www.militarytrucks.ca/rv_project.htm

    and some links from this forum..

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...highlight=m109

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...highlight=m109

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...highlight=m109 (check post #7 for pics)

    Keep us updated on the build..

    Mike
    Last edited by tamangel; 06-01-2010 at 05:21 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    wa. state
    Posts
    8
    The first thing I did was remove the 3K-pound military bed and build a light weight bed to fit the foot print of a 12' side door camper, We mounted the bed using lord mounts in the front and a single point with shocks in the back. and we got rid of the 900x20 military tires went with 1200x20 singled out with 50lbs of air in each it rides very good, And we managed to keep the weight down to 15,200 pounds, The only down side it that we are 12'2" tall !

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