C5500 TopKick 4x4 Crew Cab Build

Ford Prefect

Expedition Leader
Thanks, and yes, Colorado has been very nice so far.

I think your box was fairly complex with your slides etc. I should think a more simple box might be a bit less stress. I do not know though.


Did you have to do anything to support cabinets etch. I have been pondering building a box out of sandwich panels, but I wonder how well they would hold up, and how one would mount to it without having to punch all the way through to the outside to get support.
 

NeverEnough

Adventurer
My panels used a composite, random strand skin with a thermally-fused polyester veil. The veil allowed us to use fiberglass lay-up for butt joints, which is how all of the cabinet shells and internal walls were made. The joints are very strong and almost invisible. Laminate was then glued over the skins. They've withstood enough road testing at this point to validate the technique. There are a few situations where a mechanical fastener was required, such as adjustable shelve within cabinets, or the marine catches for the cabinets. In those cases, we glued 1/16" aluminum strips to the skin, which was enough for a screw to get a good bite, and it works with the aluminum trim and highlights used throughout the interior.
 

NeverEnough

Adventurer
Just did another 5 day trip, including 40 miles of fairly technical 4WD tracks in Cathedral Valley, north end of Capitol Reef in Utah, and another 200 miles of muddy dirt roads. And while I appreciate something new about my rig every time I go out, I also become aware of many things that could be improved. Because of that, I've worked up several new camper designs in the past few years, and have spent a lot of time exploring chassis options. It's challenging to come up with an overlanding solution that gets the job done right- so many miles on paved roads, but so very important to have strong capabilities for those few, challenging miles off the beaten path. I love the size of my rig when I stop for the night, but it's beast of a vehicle both on and off the highway.

This last outing reinforced that concept. I've been targeting a shorter wheelbase for the next round, but I must admit that having a longer wheelbase made getting through most of last week's obstacles (deep washes with running water and snow drifts) easier- even though I had to make a 7 point turn on a snow-drifted switchback with 400 ft of air below! :Wow1:

So my next build is still just lines of code, but whatever I end up with, it will definitely get muddy!
 

Ford Prefect

Expedition Leader
Well I suspect that should you choose to sell this beauty that there will be no short line of folks who would love to own it as it. I personally see one of the comprises of your truck as being that I would not go on too difficult of a road. But I see that as OK, and well worth the interior creature comforts.

Yeah, love your rig. If you build again please put the link in here so we can find your next go!
 

VanIsle_Greg

I think I need a bigger truck!
No matter how well planned or executed a design is, there is always room for improvements or tweaks. I am constantly finding things to improve upon in all facets of life. Home, work, the Datacenters I manage, my Jeeps, my trailers etc.

It sure keeps things interesting!

Love this beast.
 

NeverEnough

Adventurer
the Datacenters I manage,
Hey, I have one of those.... That build was as much fun as my expo rig, maybe more!



My son an his buddy, both rapidly becoming talented nature photographers and videographers, already up since pre-dawn capturing the early light on Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon. My jobs are driver, key grip and gaffer! With a wide enough lens and proper angle, the truck doesn't look nearly as intimidating!
 

VanIsle_Greg

I think I need a bigger truck!
Hey, I have one of those.... That build was as much fun as my expo rig, maybe more!



My son an his buddy, both rapidly becoming talented nature photographers and videographers, already up since pre-dawn capturing the early light on Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon. My jobs are driver, key grip and gaffer! With a wide enough lens and proper angle, the truck doesn't look nearly as intimidating!
Yeah, that angle makes it look rather dare I say, normal sized?

I love working in and on data centers. The 2 we have now (well one proper DC and one large server room - 16 racks) were the 4th and 5th I have been involved in designing and deploying. I am more hands off now (Manager) but I still get in there as much as possible! Nerd Life!

Love this build!

Hey, for your next build you should look into a friends company for panels...http://totalcomposites.com/. You might have seen this already?

Anyhow, just finished showing my wife your rig, she was impressed. heh
 

thebigblue

Adventurer
Stoked to read and see all this, took me all day to read, what a project! Congrats, must have been a very expensive build... Sure hope you get to use it a lot :)
 

Overland Explorer

Supporting Sponsor
Just did another 5 day trip, including 40 miles of fairly technical 4WD tracks in Cathedral Valley, north end of Capitol Reef in Utah, and another 200 miles of muddy dirt roads. And while I appreciate something new about my rig every time I go out, I also become aware of many things that could be improved. Because of that, I've worked up several new camper designs in the past few years, and have spent a lot of time exploring chassis options. It's challenging to come up with an overlanding solution that gets the job done right- so many miles on paved roads, but so very important to have strong capabilities for those few, challenging miles off the beaten path. I love the size of my rig when I stop for the night, but it's beast of a vehicle both on and off the highway.

This last outing reinforced that concept. I've been targeting a shorter wheelbase for the next round, but I must admit that having a longer wheelbase made getting through most of last week's obstacles (deep washes with running water and snow drifts) easier- even though I had to make a 7 point turn on a snow-drifted switchback with 400 ft of air below! :Wow1:

So my next build is still just lines of code, but whatever I end up with, it will definitely get muddy!
Very curious to see what chassis you select for your next build
 

NeverEnough

Adventurer
Stoked to read and see all this, took me all day to read, what a project! Congrats, must have been a very expensive build... Sure hope you get to use it a lot :)
We get out a fair bit, mostly short trips- just enough to make sure that it continues to be an expensive project! Last week I finally got to take one of my wheels apart to solve a slow leak problem. Two hours later........ It's a lot of bolts, and a lot of air to take in and out of such a small hole (even with the valve removed). And I need to start taking more pictures of some of the "roads" I've ventured onto. I'm always amazed at how capable the chassis is off road. It's just a pain to clean all the broken tree limbs off the roof when we get to camp!
 

NeverEnough

Adventurer
Very curious to see what chassis you select for your next build
Sadly, the one I want doesn't exist quite yet- a PHEV cab-forward, crew, 1 motor per wheel, with a range extender. I'm a bit intimidated by taking on a custom chassis project, both technically and financially. The electric medium duty chassis market is getting a little more traction lately, hoping some options will be available for tweaking soon. I've whittled the camper down to two distinct design concepts, both very compact and unassuming on the road, super-fast transition to camp-mode, with abundant space and light. My wife calls them Harry Potter campers.
 
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