1 Bored Clerk's DIY Camper

#1
I'm starting a small camper build for our 2013 Tacoma AC. I had originally thought I wanted to build a chassis mount pop up camper. That would have been awesome...if I never actually wanted to go camping. After spending a week in Iceland living and traveling out of a Renault Kangoo Maxi (think Ford Transit Connect for those of us in the states), it became immediately clear that we needed far less than what we had planned. So, the huge multi-year project was scaled down to something I think I can pull off over the winter. I'll update this post with a rendering of the new concept when I'm done with it.

Today marks the day it actually started!

4 sheets of 1/2" Birch shop grade plywood. It's quite nice, finished on both sides, and no visible voids on the edges (not that that means it's not full of voids inside but it's a good sign)




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#3
Well, I've already messed it up. The plywood I bought is not exterior plywood so I'll have to return it. Bummer because it's very nice. The place where I got this doesn't have marine grade. Maybe they have MDO that's finished on both sides. All the 1/2" exterior grade stuff was only filled/sanded on one side. I really didn't want to deal with all of the knot holes. I'm planning to glass both sides so a nice finish on both faces would be best. I don't know how I forgot the int/ext thing! I think I was just excited how nice the plywood was and that I was taking the first step to getting this project done.


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#4
You should be glad you caught that now! You certainly do not want birch shop for this purpose

Baltic birch ply is a great option for budget builds that want legit plywood.

Otherwise, you should be looking into proper marine grade ply. Something of the BS-1088 variety.


I pull all of mine from a local supplier, but a quick search shows that you have a Windosr plywood store near you in Vancouver.

http://www.windsorplywood.com/

They carry BS-1088 marine grade.

Also carry loads of other cool stuff :)
 
#5
Wrong Vancouver. I'm in Vancouver Washington. I can probably get marine plywood but it's a MUCH bigger headache. Especially now that rain is a near constant in our forecast. Today was nice and clear...perfect for hauling plywood in an open pickup bed. Baltic birch comes in 5' x5', correct? I'd rather stick with 4'x8'. So I don't have to piece together so many spans. Maybe the best grade exterior plywood? I'll do some calling tomorrow morning and see what I can find. Thanks!


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#7
Yeah, Mr Plywood is always the go to place for stuff like this. I try to wrap up errands during the week so I can make a quick start working on the weekend but this may not be possible if I want to get the good stuff. Maybe I can bribe my dad to go pick up the marine grade at Mr Plywood for me then I'll help him unload it when he gets home. Hmmm...a plan is forming!!




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#9
Problem solved!


5 sheets of 1/2" marine grade. BS1088. $410. This should get me pretty much the entire base structure up to the bed rails. At which point I will switch to foam/fiberglass.


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#10
+1 on Mr Plywood! Love that place! WoodCrafters and Crosscut Hardwoods would be next if Mr Plywood doesn't have what you want...
Love me some Crosscut Hardwoods! I usually only go there for solid wood for sculptures and 'furniture'. Furniture s in quotes because I make stuff that serves a furniture like purpose but I have a hard time calling it furniture because I've seen REAL custom furniture and it's in a different league!!


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#12
Problem solved!

5 sheets of 1/2" marine grade. BS1088. $410. This should get me pretty much the entire base structure up to the bed rails. At which point I will switch to foam/fiberglass.


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Not a bad price!

Glad you found the good stuff :victory:

So where did you finally get it?
 
#14
Well, I've already messed it up. The plywood I bought is not exterior plywood so I'll have to return it. Bummer because it's very nice. The place where I got this doesn't have marine grade. Maybe they have MDO that's finished on both sides. All the 1/2" exterior grade stuff was only filled/sanded on one side. I really didn't want to deal with all of the knot holes. I'm planning to glass both sides so a nice finish on both faces would be best. I don't know how I forgot the int/ext thing! I think I was just excited how nice the plywood was and that I was taking the first step to getting this project done.
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Fwiw
If youre planning to glass both sides it wouldnt make any diference if its exterior or interior grade would it?
Fiberglas would make it water proof..
I used similar cheap 1/2 inch plywood making my TC top,,used 3/4 inch ply for strengh on the botom and coated outside with Cold cure epoxy plus marine grade enamel..no seems anywhere and no leaks posible ever..
On the inside I glued two inch rigid board insulation so plywood is covered anyway..
 
#15
Fwiw
If youre planning to glass both sides it wouldnt make any diference if its exterior or interior grade would it?
Fiberglas would make it water proof..
I used similar cheap 1/2 inch plywood making my TC top,,used 3/4 inch ply for strengh on the botom and coated outside with Cold cure epoxy plus marine grade enamel..no seems anywhere and no leaks posible ever..
On the inside I glued two inch rigid board insulation so plywood is covered anyway..
I thought about that. It seems that if you encapsulate all of the wood with fiberglass and epoxy resin, you'd be good to go. I don't know enough so I went with what seems to be best practice for something like this.


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