flip-back build

#1
After deciding we wanted to camp more..and missing my old van...but having had a slide in for a truck...and having a new truck..a new truck thats my daily work truck for my handyman buisness...

a flip pac was figured to be PERFECT!!

untill

I saw the price first off...(seriously $4000-$6000???)
I saw torsion bar failures..
I saw lackluster rainflys.
I also saw that my 2015 ram design wasnt the greatest for the bed support posts....

and after asking around and hunting...I cannot figure out why they stopped flipping the bed towards the back...and having build many vehicles and being a fabricator..I decided WHY NOT??

little info...I used to race WEROCK..built many vehicles..modded many many others....can weld and fabricate...also my mother was a seamstress and I have made several large sewing projects and have no fear running yards and yards of fabric thru a machine...


so here we go...

$130 in steel and had my local machine shop supplier go ahead and chop them to length (cus I was lazy and delightflully paid him $15 to cut it all on his equipment!! and talked to him about being able to skin it in aluminum diamond plate as the roof bed will be a queen size and its 60x79 with 2in lips bent into it..problem is that it only comes in 48in wide and 60in wide materials...so we are gonna use the 48 and bend a 1in lip to take 2 35in widths and make a 60in box with 2in lips all the way around.

4 1/2hrs of tacking..trimming and fitting..getting good lines and once it was tacked pulling it off..fully welding it and a quick wipe down and spray of krylon black heavy duty enamel so it wont rust tonight in the rain...frame probably weighs 120lbs but I didnt wanna scratch the truck so I got a buddy to help me load it once it was dry (
borrowed shop has a forklift I pulled it off with..


all in all really cool...the new rams do taper about 3in in the back...I canted the bars in the front to keep the bed/cap space looking good and it also let me angle the rear delector shield...wait...rear window frame a little so it wasnt a flat vertical surface to catch dust dirt and rocks..

2x2x1/8 wall square and angle.

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#4
well after a couple hours research on the net..and the build over on the RTT forum Ive picked the materials and colors!

http://www.expeditionportal.com/for...r-a-lightweight-compact-flexible-design/page2


http://ripstopbytheroll.com/

6yards of grey http://ripstopbytheroll.com/products/1-1-oz-silnylon-charcoal-gray?variant=432653625
2yards of blue silnylon
3yrs of no-see-um white

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plans are to do triangle windows in the upper and lower panels and even a skylight above our sleeping platform!! probably do light grey for rain fly..zippered windows

also they have some cool colors so Im going to make hammocks for each of the 5 kiddos in diffrent colors!
and reflective paracord!!

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tuesday im ordering the diamond plate!!
 
#6
aluminum diamond plate ordered for the shell and top...the machine shop is going to bend the edges and weld the corners...should be done this week...

relays and wiring gear ordered..

some other camping stuff ordered...


just waiting on things to show up!!!
 
#7
well latches came in..fabric is delayed a couple days because they sold out of the white no-see-um mesh but its expected this week..relays for lighting ordered and the light switches came in..super cool and small!

switch I ordered 4 in each color..Ive got fogs for front and back (utility and aux backups)..then using LED strip lights for tent lighting and wanted lit switches for the two strips dedicated red and white..


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http://www.ebay.com/itm/40077595475...49&var=670327928542&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT


I have about 80ft of these in my house (not waterproof inside) they make fantastic nightlights and mood lights and cabinet lights...and aux lighting..super bright!!
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/121432025364?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

fogs/work lights..these dudes ROCK...I had them on my last truck..motorcycle..and my brother liked them so much he has 3 sets on his fishing boat!
(and 2 packs are $30 right now..)

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http://www.amazon.com/TMS®-1260LM-C...d=1442002196&sr=8-1&keywords=18+watt+led+1260


tagging this for later..I had the 43 and loved it!!
http://www.expeditionportal.com/for...-lt-400-shipped?highlight=scratch+dent+fridge


more info as I get it...looking into solar panels as I need a CPAP at night and want to run the cooler often (had one in my old van and it was awsome to get a cold drink and a popcicle when your on a jobsite!)

Im reading i need a 55ah battery..saving for later.
 
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#8
Cool....

Yeah, the FlipPac design/idea is excellent, unfortunately it is built by "back yard" fabricators. I wish Leer or another topper company would come to the rescue... I'm sure a large professional company could lower the cost and improve the quality.

I envy your skills, keep up the good work!
 
#9
CactusJackSlade...I already own 2 buisnesses....used to build custom and classic vehicles...depending on how well this turns out...I might have 3...LOL!

check out wandering earth creations on fb and wandering handymen is the other one...
 
#13
machine shop hasnt called..and fabric is supposed to be shipped wednsday...we took the whole clan (my wife and i have 5 kids between the 2 of us) camping with the boyscouts this weekend and got a feel for some things we deffinitly need..like earplugs...lol!!

and I worked a 14hr day today...I work alot of 12-16hr days right now....
 
#14
Wiring today...unfortunatly I got them setup but 20ga isn't thick enough..ordering some 14..but blue is for fogs will illuminate with dash lights. White for backup aux will illuminate when lit and will be constant hot. Red will be for flip-back house lights and USB charging sockets.

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#15
Aluminum is in! Got topper rivited and seam sealed with NP1 (super caulking...we use it to bond concrete to fiberglass or stainless steel walls in a pool..)

the reason the top is in two pieces is that they dont have aluminum diamond plate in 65in wide at my vendor...so we made a piece and with a billion rivits and glue im sure it will actually be stronger in the long run (at least less flexy..)

got it strapped down for the drive home tonight...already diggin the shiny aluminum!!!

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