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Thread: 1977 Pop Up Camper Rebuild

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    San Luis Valley, CO
    Posts
    413

    Default 1977 Pop Up Camper Rebuild

    Hey guys,

    This is different than most of the threads here. 1) I'm not a hard core wheeler - but I do like to get out and explore on logging roads, forest service roads, etc. 2) I can't weld. I can work the wood OK, but metal working and auto mechanic-ness is not my bag, baby 3) I'm rebuilding a pop-up camper, not just a gear hauler.

    I've benefited a lot from reading others' builds here, so I figured I'd post a brief version of mine. The long version can be found here

    It started w/ a 1977 Starcraft Starflite 6 that I got off craigslist. It turns out that I overpaid a bit, but I don't have a time machine so there's not much to do about it. Here are some of the original pics.





    I originally was planning on just redoing the cabinets, the thing turned out to be a rotted piece of crap . .. . . errr junk.

    So I started to tear it down (seriously, look how bad this is). I tore it apart. After removing the trim, it just fell apart.



    I tore it all the way down to the frame



    I replaced the original axle with a 3500lb Dexter axle w/ electric brakes that I got form a local vendor. I put a 2" lift on my '01 Jeep Cherokee and gave it bigger tires (31"). I then put the 27" OEM wheels/tires on the trailer. Side bar: the tires were too wide to fit onto the current frame and I had to hire a welder to widen a portion of the frame. The welder also attached 4 stabilizer jacks and a dual propane tank mount onto the tongue.



    I wired up the trailer brakes and installed a trailer break-away switch





    Then I purchased some ACX for the floor (I plan to make it look like a mock-hardwood floor). I had to join 3 boards to make them fit to the correct size- used a biscuit jointer





    Then I cut and assembled some wheel wells. I used Marine 3M 5200 Adhesive. Then I tacked with a finish nailer and firmed it up with pocket screws.



    The 2x2 you see in the above pics are going to be the sill for the walls.

    Next post will discuss my future plans a bit.

    I've flipped it and put on the first coat of CPES.

    Peace out

    Thom
    Last edited by TheThom; 03-31-2012 at 01:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    San Luis Valley, CO
    Posts
    413
    My current plans. I plan on boondocking in a few areas that are well inhabited by bears. That is guiding almost every decision I make regarding the set-up of various camper features.

    Water: I'm not going to have a water tank/water pump. I don't plan on doing much inside the camper involving water (see bears). I found some NATO water cans on ebay and plan to mount 2 to the front and 1 on the back using some LandCruiser mounts I also found on ebay





    I'll also have a blue 5 GAL can w/ faucet spout that I bought from WalMart a few months ago.

    Heat: I purchased a little buddy heater and have an extension hose run to it from the propane tank on the tongue. During a couple of test runs at the local state park (which was WAY too manicured) it worked really well.

    Kitchen: I hope to make a chuck box like some of the awesome ones here I don't plan on doing any cooking inside the camper (see bears).

    Toilet: still to be determined. That's the wife's biggest hang-up. I'll likely go with something like the Luggable Loo.

    My hope is to have this be a Gear Hauler/PUP. I'm going to have all of the bench storage areas with access hatches from the outside. I have an early sketchup image. Since then I've changed where I'm going to put the water cans (hopefully having 2 in the front will reduce sway).



    Here's the spare tire mount that I found on ebay



    Here's a (very) rough layout of what the back wall will look like



    Currently, no plans to add shocks. I can add them later if needed. I have no idea what the current or final weight is/will be. Lighter is better

    I'm still not sure what the color should be. My Jeep is red, but that's A LOT of red if the whole camper were as well. I ordered a new canvas which is tan and my water cans are tan. Currently, I'm thinking of going with Olive Drab with a tan roof. The underside will be coated w/ CPES and bed-liner (Grizzly Grip). The sides will likely be coated w/ thin aluminum and then painted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Jensen Beach, Florida
    Posts
    10
    Olive drab is my vote! You'll probably end up wanting to paint the Jeep after you see how cool the PUP looks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    San Luis Valley, CO
    Posts
    413
    After 3 coats of Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealant (CPES) here's what the underside of the floor looked like



    Then I coated it with Grizzly Grip roll on bedliner (this pic taken while the 3rd coat was drying



    I know there's a lot of debate out there regarding the various bed-liner products. Obviously I have no idea how this will hold up, but it sure seems strong to me.

    Here's a close-up of the texture - this view is from the inside of a wheel well. The flash made it look gray, but it's a gloss/semi-gloss black. I went with "fine" instead of "coarse" texture.



    Now I need to procure a buddy to help me flip it over. Then I'll screw it down to the frame.

    Slow and steady wins the race, right?
    2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ

    1977 Custom Built Pop Up Camper (being built) Build Thread HERE

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    McKinney, TX
    Posts
    423
    Very nice!!!!

    Keep the pictures coming.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    815
    Build looks good. Thanks for sharing with us, and I never got to welcome you, so welcome.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    3,481
    That thing is looking great, I will watch the thread for some ideas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,203
    Cool! keep us informed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    831
    Love it! I want to Bed Line the underside of mine too! Subscribed!
    2006 Land Rover Discovery3/LR3 SE

    Former

    Old Automobiles
    2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
    1999 Land Rover Discovery SD
    2007 Jeep Wrangler X
    2004 Ford F-250 XLT
    1998 Jeep Wangler Sport
    1984 BMW 318i
    Trailers
    1990 Coleman Colorado
    M416a1
    M416

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    McCall Idaho
    Posts
    299
    TheThom: Nice work! Subscribed
    Brian

    1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport-"BOE"

    88 Coleman Sun Valley
    92 Suzuki GSXR 1100
    2003 Ford F-350 W/ Custom Aluminum Flatbed
    2002 Montana Mountianeer TT

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