Army HMMV 788 Shelter Truck AND trailer camper

jronwood

Adventurer
Well, I hope this is were this thread belongs, I have been mulling over various camper and trailer conversion for, well,.... a few years. I have a pretty extensive backround in Outdoor Ed, worked for 4 years with an Outward Bound style Experiential Ed. program. We travelled all across the US, Canada, and to Mexico (to climb the volcanoes outside Mexico City, 5 times). I LOVE road trips, outdoor avdenture, even extreme winter camping (slept in my Subaru one time while ice climbiing in the Adirondacks at -28 degrees AIR TEMP). I have been to Peru, Vietnam (to adopt) and have a HUGE "bucket list". I am a furniture designer, sawyer, welder, fabricater, blacksmith, and generally out of the box thinker (there is actually not even a box in my world). I really dislike the pop ups with the fabric, and any cheezy "normal" style campers. No offense meant, just not for me. Army vet, so I know how well stuff is built.

So, fast forward to today, three kids 4-5-9, adventurous wife (biking,rafting, mountaineering, ice/rock climbing, etc..) I want to do some road trips with the familia, possible AlCan in a few years when the youngest is old enough to remember. We all love hiking, we had our youngest ones hiking every summer for the last few, things like Sencea Rocks overlook, 1 1/2 mile 1000' elevation gain, and last summer Pine Creek Gorge, 1 1/4 mile 1000' elevation.

My plan was to make a rig that can serve as a "base" to operate from, be easy to set up breakdown, keep us off the ground and out of the weather, nothing to "dry out" when you break camp. My plan is 1/2 hour to be rolling. I may also want to take my XT600 and bikes, boats. The truck is a 2003 F350 DRW 7.3 auto, CC/CC, it will have some effienceny mods. tuner, exhaust, trans cooler, AIS filter, and has 450 springs mounts, and 19.5" rims/tires (on next week), and eventually get a silver paint job to match the shelters. You may also see pics of my F550 4x4 log truck I custom built, I had a 2 wheel 7.3 550 with a detroit locker and 391's, I sold it for the gasser as it is mostly a local truck. I dont need an extreme off road vehical, just one for extended trips in remote areas as well as highway. The plan is for the kids to sleep in the trailer, and the wife and I in the truck shelter. The trailer will be on the same rim/tire combo, including bolt pattern, likely a torsion axle surge brake set up. I have played wit ha "retro/camper fit" of a M105A3 (A3 is a BIG difference from the A2), but I want HARDTOP. I was going to do an ambulance body trailer but it is built too heavy (for collisions) and so it will be used for something else. The 788's weigh a feathery 600 lbs as they are. My 350 bearly noticed a load EVEN with the 3200 lb trailer below them. Additionally the wind (the 788 on the truck is 12" than it would ride normally), and there is also a pic of a 105A2 I lowered and put on a whole new dump frame. The shelter on the 350 will be able to be easily removed once in a base camp, just need to find the "non cheezy" jacks). The shelters are some sort of non absorbant honeycomb material sandwiched to aluminum on both sides. Outside dimensions of shelters are 67" high, 84" wide and 102" long. The kitchen may be behind the shelter trailer on a frame extension (where the moto and bikes will reside also) in a "flip up" mobile phone booth that I am canabilizing (I will include a pic of a 8 booth unit, mine is half as long and is a 4 phone unit) So, there ya go.

Here is bad sketch. Also, I have a TON of material stock piled here from Aliner, they are not far away and have gotten a TON of scratch dent and COOL stuff from them, windows, fridge, stove, active and passive blowers, grills, steps, cushions, all sorts of stuff and by the way THEY MAKE THE BEST RV I HAVE EVER SEEN. I was very impressed. That is saying ALOT, nothing in the standard RV line impresses me.

lastscan.jpgOdumptrailer2.jpgcamera 1! 400.jpg

Here is a pic of a custom duece bed (on my old 550), it is a drop side bed which is pretty rare, the sides were missiing, so I built those then a custom frame to be able to side load wood and furniture. The sides also were able to be made into a self supporting canopy. Also, my new 550 Gasser (ws blue, is now white also) and it's homemade LoPro log bed, it is designed to other beds sit on top. That is whats under the tan 788 below, I just threw it on there to see how it would look on the black 350.

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the phone trailer pics may need to wait (only 10 pics allowed per post.

I am open to input from any and all.
 

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Treenail

Adventurer
Your pics of the roll off bed are enticing me to get back into doing treework. Having a truck for work and play was really nice. Tax deductible too.

Are you saying that those box units only weigh 600#?!

Toys aren't deductible, tools are!

Tom
 

jronwood

Adventurer
Yes, only 600 lbs. Very nice, that leaves me about......3000lbs doe other stuff. The "log truck" is for Urban Salvage logs I get from tree guys. I mill them here and dry them for my work.

Here is the long 8 booth phone trailer, I am trying to get one these, are REALLY cool. Flip up on each side, and LIGHT. I have a short one, half as long that may tag on the back of the shelter frame. . This would be the basis for a flip out kitchen and even an internal shower in the middle. Fiberglass bottom (tub), and it would lay inside the frame rails at the rear.
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Treenail

Adventurer
Add some clever tent-work to the wings and you'd have a great shelter! It would be easy to zip on the tent part.

Tom
 

jronwood

Adventurer
Fresno,

As the title of the thread states, they are 788 Gitchner shelters from a HMMV. I got them from GovLiq. These are bigger and possibly alot lighter than the old 250 shelter that fit into the back of the 8' pickup beds. I saw several old 250's when I picked these up and the 788 are ALOT nicer although of lighter construction.

http://www.gichner.us/s-788.pdf

http://www.gichner.us/hmmwv_shelters_788.html


Those who know Army surplus, will also recognize my removeable rear fenders on the 550 log truck, they are from a M200 genset trailer.

Treenail,

Good thought on the drop curtains.....We camp in ALL weather.

Here is my little "shorty" that I may tag on the back The tub is fibrglass and I could seal up the bottom, except for a drain hole.

Jronwood

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jronwood

Adventurer
Ok, well the thermal properties are not the greatest. I think it is in part due to the extensive use of LOTS and LOTS of fasteners/ threaded inserts which require a copious amount of epoxy behind them in the honeycomb. All of the mount points were to hold the "coms" equipment. I think it has very high degree of "thermal bridging" I am sure they just heated or cooled as necessary. I want mine to be more passively heated or cooled, so now I am deciding what type rigid insulation to use on the inside and how thick. I did see some interesting blue board backed cement board. This would provide a durable surface that could be "Rhino lined" and then painted. I saw it in 1/4" and 5/8" thickness, I will need more, like 1.5-2" if it is available. Researching that. Also, will do the floor and ceiling. I dont want too much BAD off gassing of nasty chemically based stuff, but most of that is where the durability and strength to weight advantages are (foam, vinyl/rubber flooring, wall covering, glues, etc...). My plan is to layout windows, then use vertically oriented fiberglass Uni-Strut (on the inside for mount points and such for shelves/ bunks etc, and the fiberglass strut will conduct slightly less heat/cold) in stategic areas, then insulate and skin the inside with rhino or something similar. Is Rhino Liner available in colors or white? Any recommendations on foam backed products that can prived a good durabilty factor?

Jronwood
 

jronwood

Adventurer
Ok, I found the foam board/ cement board combo, it is called Wedi Board and it is pricey so looks like perhaps I will just use blue/pink board with some fiberglass skin over it. Not much progress yet, just surveying options. I think my roof rack may simply become a piece of diamond plate 1/8 aluminum, as I dont like the idea of the wind resistance and wind noise created by many of the racks (expanded metal and otherwise) I have built. I am working thru the design of hte swing away kitchen idea, that is looking like a good idea and will come to fruition.

I did get my 19.5 rim/tire combo onto my F-350, what an improvement. I think the next step may be to redo the flatbed in preparation for the shelter. God, I HATE the bed on there currently.

Jronwood
 
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