Baja Style Truck Camper Build

#1
I've been admiring people's work here for a while now. A while back I had a slide-in pop up camper on my truck...loved it. Family grew to 4 members and two large dogs so we traded the camper in on a class C. We love it and use it a lot...however...I've always loved getting places off the beaten path and a class C doesn't do that. I started looking for a multi-purpose camper, one that could be used for camping and still haul crap as needed...I can't afford two storage bills for two RV's so it would have to stay on the truck. I found the Baja style campers to be perfect except that my local builder went out of business...Callen.
So late last summer I started building a camper of my own. I went and looked at used Callen's for ideas. The framing is square tubing and the skin is aluminum which I was able to purchase already powder coated. The windows are RV windows from a surplus place that had brand new ones from Forest River. The inside is still in the works but planning to insulate and panel. All lighting to be LED. This is where it's at right now....

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#2
Subscribed. That looks great. I would like to see some details on the frame and how you attached the skin. Are you by chance going to the Overland Expo next month? Do you have an estimate on the weight? Hope I'm not being too pushy, but that sounds a lot like what I what I'd like to do.
 
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#7
Hey thanks for the replies! I have been slammed with work and kids stuff so I will try to get some pics going again soon. I am hoping to make EXPO but will see how that pans out. We are trying to save for a Alaska trip next year and plan to be in Ouray, CO this summer.
Yeah real bummer about Callen. I have wondered if "filling that gap" would pay off...that would be a cool change from the desk job I have now!
I actually got to drive the truck with the camper on the freeway just yesterday (Easter)!! There was little, if any, wind noise which I was worried would be bad. My original truck cap and contractor rack made more noise! Not in the current pictures...I added some LED strip lights above the doors out back. I will try to at least get that updated here quickly. They are actually surface mounted daytime running lights off Amazon, which I then made light holders from 1 inch square tubing so I can adjust the angle as needed. The lights are just surface mounted to the holder and currently are only switch with reverse but hoping this weekend I can add switching from inside the camper so they can be used at camp too.
 
#8
I think the weight is about 350-400...not sure. We were able to put it on the truck with a guy at each corner. It wasn't terribly heavy just big and my truck sits high so the struggle was lifting it up to get it on the bed rails. I plan to put it on the scales after I get paneling inside. The siding is held in place with rivets in some spots but otherwise the aluminum trimwork and windows hold it in place along with silicone (will check specs of that) where the aluminum meets the framing.
 
#10
Hey Jonnyquest...I lived in Mesa a long time ago! Across from Rhodes Jr high...1985 graduate from Dobson HS. If I can get my neighbor to go along to EXPO and split the gas...probably will get there. I'll be talking to him about it this week.
 
#11
Also...what is everyone's thoughts on the aluminum trim? Hard to see in the pic but it has been textured with a orbital sander so it looks blasted. I was toying with that or going with white so it blends the corners better.
 

southpier

Expedition Leader
#12
i use that trick when i make a bracket or something from aluminum.

since you did ask, and the cap is very professional looking, are the back lower corners over the tail lights as sharp as they look? i had jalousie windows on my first cap circa 1973 and lived in fear of getting sliced by one when they were in the open position. i guess the trauma still lingers.
 
#13
yj4roks, SW Mesa is a nice area. Bet you ate at Rosita's, Dobson and Guadalupe. Great food there. I'm on the other side of town, Power and University. Mesa High School 73. I hope you can make Expo. The aluminum trim looks great on your camper. I like the way it contrasts with the skin. The whole camper shows a lot of craftsmanship. Hope you can make Expo. It's great fun. LOT'S of really cool stuff. Not just the vendor's stuff but rigs people bring themselves. Your camper will draw a lot of interest. I went last year but didn't camp out. I've already arranged time off from work and plan to camp this year.
 
#14
Southpier...all the edges are covered with aluminum angle..so no sharp edges...maybe could get blunt trauma in a drunken stoop-er...LOL. The piano hinge for the doors goes top to bottom and is screwed to a 1x2 rectangle tube. Something I still need to do...I want to fill the gab between the hinge edge and the truck bed edge. The truck bed has a slight curve to it so I plan to make a small panel to go between the doors and the bed side...just to make it look more clean. There's only about an inch or so gap but it bothers me!
 
#15
My wife gave me the "really?" look when I said I was driving to Flag for the expo...I told her now so it has time to sink in. I wanted to go last year and had too much going on. I am working on it...really want to go this year!
 
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