Budget Skamper Fix/Build

SLO_F-250

Explorer
Hey All!
So Ive been cruising this forum for a bit now, and I gotta say, Great Info! Thanks everyone.

I've always enjoyed the outdoors weather it be riding, car camping, climbing, backpacking etc. Living here on the central coast of CA, I am able to keep plenty busy.

After going on a 3 week mountain biking trip through Utah doing the tent thing I finally realized it was time to upgrade. Of course my buddy had a nice Dodge Van with the Roadtrek 210 package. I would wake up with frost on my tent to him yelling at me that the heater was on, and coffee was hot. It was then I was sold!

The first time I saw a pop ur truck camper, I knew that was my ticket since I already owned a 99 Superduty with the good ole 7.3 in it.



Due to tough times I decided to go with a used pop-up. I spent 6 months waiting patiently on craiglist to fine a shortbed pop-up, but was getting pretty frustrated because everything was out of my price range, or a long bed (8ft) camper. Because I do go off-road quite often, and wanted to throw the bike hitch on I didnt want an 8ft camper.

I ended up running across this camper about 4 hours south of me in the LA area. It is a 1989 Skamper 060S. The nice people who were selling it had never used it and acquired it years before. I was skeptical, but really wanted a camper, and the price $700 sounded like a good deal. I drove down one Friday night for a pickup Sat morn. When I got there, I was surprised because it was much smaller than I had envisioned. But besides being filthy, it was in very good condition.

It was quite a feat getting it on the truck, and luckily we didnt damage it, but with some 4x6's, and tie downs, she was on there for the journey home. Dont even ask, I know...... :Wow1:



Finally home safe in my driveway, it was time to go to the drawing board. I was feeling good about the purchase, and was ready to get it working.







In the next few weekends, I gutted it and cleaned, fixed up, patched, and fiddled with just about everything. I built lcoking boxes to shim it up, and fit nicely over the cab. The boxes bolt to the original mounting points, and then tie down to my bed. It is actually a nice system, Ill try to get more picts. In order to jack it up, I made a bracket to extend the width of the jacks, as well as a sleeve to help me get it up higher on the truck.

I finished the list of things to do to get it securely up there, and it is nice and clean so I decided to take it out for its first run this weekend. My Girlfriend and I just headed about 15 miles out to Montana De Oro State park for the night. I must say it worked great. Truck barely feels like its on there, and the "shim boxes" are sweet! Attached are some picts of the test run. Ill post more close ups of "lil" customization as I go.

Boxes in the sun Drying:



Camper on the truck, and Parked. Ready to "pop" up!



Pop'n the Top! Notice how it sits short in the bed. It allows me to close the tailgate. A feature I actually found to be nice. Also since it sits up, and I had to make shims for the bottom to sit on, I have a TON of storage room. It was easy to throw the rug, firewood, tools, bbq (everything you dont really want in the camper) under the camper in the bed.

 

SLO_F-250

Explorer
Camp Set up:





In this pict, you can see my terrible temporary shim for the bottom, and all the storage underneath.



Passenger Side Boxes open:



View out the Kitchen Window:



Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for all the adivce, info, etc that you guys provided. I still have plenty of things to trouble shoot and fix so I will need your input. Thanks for looking!

Paul
 

Sportsman Matt

Adventurer
Cool find on the camper. You may want to consider a couple things, first is a set of Torklift tie downs, they cost more than the happijac tie downs, but you don't have to drill the truck bed or frame to mount them.

Second would be a 12V refrigerator in place of the ice box, makes your stays last longer if you run out of ice.

Only other thing I would add is a Fantastic Fan to the roof for ventilation purposes, as during the summer or hot weather you can open the windows and have the fan force the air out creating a pleasant breeze inside.

Keep us posted. Cool setup.
 

Rot Box

Explorer
Looks really nice! :sombrero: I like what you did for side storage too.

I don't know if there is enough space under the camper, but it would be really cool if you could make a roll out drawer for a spare tire or other gear.
 

longjohn

Observer
Nice find:sombrero: looks great, if you go with an under storage box , it would be good for fishing rods, awning poles, hi lift jack ,tons of possibilites. keep us posted
 

SLO_F-250

Explorer
Thanks for the response guys! Im looking forward to keep on customizing it.

Im still working on my system to keep the camper held down, I will take some pictures this weekend, and keep you posted.

A 12V fridge would be nice, but Im waiting on a used one to come up. If yall find one for cheap please let me know. I cant justify a $400 fridge in a $700 camper! :)

A fan for the roof is the first thing Im going to do. There is a skylight that one of the people before me put in, so I want to swap it out. What do you guys thing about a 12V fan vs. a battery powered one?

For the storage beneath it, Im thinking a drawer too. That would add a ton of storage. Ill keep you guy posted.

Lastly, what should I do about the battery setup? Is there a kit I can buy that will hook a Deep-Cell battery up to my truck system/alternator and charge it when Im driving? Right now Im running with no power. There is a plug with a 4 prong trailer hookup, with 3 wires. Green, White, Brown..... Gotta be honest, I need to do some more research on this one....

Cheers :ylsmoke:
 

Oni

Adventurer
Slo

Your "shim" boxes look great! Good idea and looks like they added a good amount of storage and organization.
 

tanglefoot

ExPoseur
Wow--your $700 camper looks a lot nicer than my $500 camper.

The previous owner of mine had it in a full-sized truck too. :sombrero:

I added a Wal-mart deep cycle battery and a 10-watt solar panel and cheap charge controller. The solar charging is doing a great job keeping the battery topped off while it's parked. I don't imagine it could keep it charged for long-term use but it should be great for occasional use with time to re-charge in between. I didn't want to draw energy from the truck...I like the self-contained solar-cabin approach.

Eric
 

SLO_F-250

Explorer
Wow--your $700 camper looks a lot nicer than my $500 camper.

The previous owner of mine had it in a full-sized truck too. :sombrero:

I added a Wal-mart deep cycle battery and a 10-watt solar panel and cheap charge controller. The solar charging is doing a great job keeping the battery topped off while it's parked. I don't imagine it could keep it charged for long-term use but it should be great for occasional use with time to re-charge in between. I didn't want to draw energy from the truck...I like the self-contained solar-cabin approach.

Eric
Thanks for all the comments guys. I want to get my battery/solar setup together this weekend and was wondering if there is a serious difference in panels. You can find some pretty cheap at about 4amps. I have an icebox right now, so am not drawing a ton of power. Just want something to top the battery off. What do you guys recommend for a budget setup. Here are some I found:

http://cgi.ebay.com/COLEMAN-5W-Solar-Panel-12V-BATTERY-CHARGER-New-in-Box_W0QQitemZ360239577445QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item53dff3b965

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-13-Watt-12V-Portable-Briefcase-Solar-Panel-Charger_W0QQitemZ370341568049QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item563a13de31

http://www.adventurerv.net/sunsei-solar-panel-charger-400ma-p-2669.html

Also, do you really need a charge controller? Appreciate the input guys. :)
 

tanglefoot

ExPoseur
I'm using one of these 10-W panels from UL solar in my super-budget system:

http://cgi.ebay.com/10-WATT-10W-SOL...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item414d43a0e3

It's mounted on the roof.

I am using a charge controller but it's the cheapest one I could find: A Brightwatts from Lowe's special order for around $16 but I can't find it on their page. Maybe they discontinued it.

Here's another option:

http://www.tylertool.com/solarcontrol.html?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=nextag

I've heard that a charge controller is recommended for panels 10-Watts or higher. Mine's been parked in the sun for a few weeks and the controller has stopped the panel from charging. It's probably not a good idea to over-charge the battery without a controller.
 

BSS

New member
Wow, that brings back some great memories. The 060S was my first truck camper. I bought it used in about the same condition, took it all over hell and back. I've had a 4WC for some time now, but I sure do miss that under-bed storage the 060S had. That's the best feature of that thing in my opinion.

Word of advice: If you take apart the roof or trim for any reason, be VERY CAREFUL with those corner pieces. Not only are they structurally important, they get real brittle and break easily. And replacements don't exist.
 

SLO_F-250

Explorer
Wow, that brings back some great memories. The 060S was my first truck camper. I bought it used in about the same condition, took it all over hell and back. I've had a 4WC for some time now, but I sure do miss that under-bed storage the 060S had. That's the best feature of that thing in my opinion.

Word of advice: If you take apart the roof or trim for any reason, be VERY CAREFUL with those corner pieces. Not only are they structurally important, they get real brittle and break easily. And replacements don't exist.
Glad you had fun with yours! Im hoping to take it all over hell and back too! :smiley_drive: I might need some pointers on the electrical system. Would be nice if I could find the old manual online!

Thanks for the advice on the roof pieces. Those are on my list to fix somehow. Still not exactly sure how, but I do have a crack in one corner.

 

SLO_F-250

Explorer
So I got a lil work dome this weekend. I found the propane leak in the stove, so now I have a working stove! Yes! I also fabbed up the new tie down point. Its a plate with welded loop that bolts to the camper jack point utilizing the existing bolts etc.



Next I made a nice little step out of some scrap to get up to the camper. I made it extend out beyond the tailgate because I keep the tailgate on with the camper on since its a smaller camper.



Next on the agenda is to get my electrical system working. Im not sure what is up. Ill try to post some a bit later on it.

Tanglefoot.... Thanks for the info on the solar panel!! I think Im going to order a very similar setup. Now to figure out how to wire it in.

Cheers all! :safari-rig:
 

SLO_F-250

Explorer
Hey guys. Ive got a lot done lately, and pretty much fully restored the Skamper. Unfortunately not too many photos since I was in a rush to get it done before heading out to the desert for a long weekend. Anyways, thought I would shoot yall a few picts.

Of course you always gotta get a shot of the rig. :)


Basecamp


The new drawer. I'm going to change a few things, but for the most part its just a plywood frame that just slides on top of another sheet a plywood. Super simple, but works.



Drawer under the camper. It worked well, and was able put a lot of tools, fluids, etc under there.



Ill get some more picts of the finished mod's soon. She handled very well on the back roads so far. Im using ratcheting tie downs to the bed and had no indication of bending or coming loose. Even when I hit a few bumps a little hard. opps! :Wow1: My plan is to get the front two mounting points directly to the frame next.
Cheers! :sombrero:
 

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