DIY Composite Flatbed Camper Build

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Expedition Leader
Does anybody have an idea or thoughts about awnings? I decided to take down my 10 footer self support dometic to see if ride quality could be improved.
It's 65 pounds and definitely makes a difference without it. I've looked at ARB, Smittybilt, and Fiama. I'm thinking I'll mount it half way down on the door side
where the cab over and side wall meet. Not sure how it will mount against a flat wall without drilling all the way through. Will probably have to make some
custom brackets. Another idea is one of these portable pop up shelters, just not sure about space for carrying. Any ideas would be appreciated :)
Pluses and minuses to both, I like the one on the truck to provide a bit of protection from rain/snow/sun right there. But the EZ up can be taken anywhere. In the summer we take both usually.

The bag awnings are fine if you can reach them. I did one above the door and it was so high up I couldn't possibly set it up. But mounting lower (on my truck) it was so small it was nearly useless.
 
What a difference 65lbs makes. After more driving and playing with the airbag psi, the truck is dialed in nicely. My last camper that weighed over 3,000lbs, needed the airbags maxed
at 100 psi. This camper with the awning at just over 2000 lbs drove nicely at 60 psi but with some wobble over uneven terrain. Without the awning the truck feels and handles better at
40psi. I think a lot of this also has to do with my suspension having coils and not leaf springs.
I recall from my Tiger days that if you put too much weight such as canned food in the top cabinets, the rig would begin
to get tipsy. Weight placement definitely makes a difference.
So with no awning I decided to go with Noah's Tarp. While it does not set up as quickly as the awning, it can be configured at different points on the rig and also free stand.
It was worth the trade off. https://www.amazon.com/Kelty-408202...09771&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=noah's+tarp&psc=1
 

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Installed a hook above the door for easy attachment. While this tarp requires more set up time, I definitely like the different variations for shelter.
Will probably purchase a third pole.
 

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Seriously impressive build. Since the thread jumped to a camper shell being completed by post #2, about how long did just the shell construction take? Also, I was looking through the pics and didn't quite see how it's attached to the frame - maybe I missed that, or how is that being done? Cheers
 
Seriously impressive build. Since the thread jumped to a camper shell being completed by post #2, about how long did just the shell construction take? Also, I was looking through the pics and didn't quite see how it's attached to the frame - maybe I missed that, or how is that being done? Cheers
Thanks. Shell construction took about 4 months working on it in spare time. Also have to take into consideration the learning curve. Now that I have the experience, I would guess a couple of weeks working full time. Actual panel construction is not that hard or time consuming. You can probably knock out a single panel in a couple of hours. It's the cure time of the epoxy and sika flex that is most consuming.
Camper is attached to a flatbed not the frame for easy removal. I used 4 tabs that are bolted to the camper frame and slide into the pockets of the flatbed. Each tab has a horizontal bolt hole that attaches directly to the flatbed. In addition to the tabs are 4 clamps. See posts 192 and 197.

In the picture you can see hooks at each end of the bed. This is where the clamps attach. The tabs slide into the two center pockets of the bed.
 

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