Pro-Rig V2.0 - Home Built Compact Composite Pop-up

Yeah, they did not promote the DIY area much, if at all. I wouldn't have known about it either except they asked us to join the area after we put in an application to be a "featured" vehicle.

I think an area with DIY rigs on display integrated with some of the vendors who cater to the DIY crowd might be smart. There were several vendors selling build components, empty camper boxes, etc. scattered throughout the venue. The presentations that Bevin and others did related to DIY seemed to be very well attended (30-60+ people usually) - I think the interest is out there. Hopefully a revised approach in future will make it even better. I think recruiting some of the great rigs from this forum to attend, getting builders to give some little talks, and promoting the area in pre-event literature would bring lots of people in. Okay, off my soapbox now...

And yes, the size of the whole event now is crazy. Despite the size, I could walk right by 90% of the vendors without a second glance - there were some neat surprises and some clever ideas to absorb though and it's always fun to ogle the $$$ rigs!
 

java

Expedition Leader
Agreed, if they wanted to feature a DIY area I would love to try to make it down, I have followed so many cool builds online (yours included! :) ), I would love to poke at some in person.
 
Yeah, they did not promote the DIY area much, if at all. I wouldn't have known about it either except they asked us to join the area after we put in an application to be a "featured" vehicle.

I think an area with DIY rigs on display integrated with some of the vendors who cater to the DIY crowd might be smart. There were several vendors selling build components, empty camper boxes, etc. scattered throughout the venue. The presentations that Bevin and others did related to DIY seemed to be very well attended (30-60+ people usually) - I think the interest is out there. Hopefully a revised approach in future will make it even better. I think recruiting some of the great rigs from this forum to attend, getting builders to give some little talks, and promoting the area in pre-event literature would bring lots of people in. Okay, off my soapbox now...

And yes, the size of the whole event now is crazy. Despite the size, I could walk right by 90% of the vendors without a second glance - there were some neat surprises and some clever ideas to absorb though and it's always fun to ogle the $$$ rigs!
That aspect of it was definitely a bummer. They had the showcase vehicle area and the DIY area in completely different parts of the show and both way out in the hinterlands with basically no signage directing you to it until you were right on top of it. We looked for the pro-rig earlier in the show and had to have him give us directions on where to go after he found our rig. We got people camped behind us stopping in, but really none of the travel and vehicle based travel blogs etc came by the showcase area or DIY area at all, they were both just a long ways from the vendor area. Seems like they should have been in the same spot and featured a little more prominently, it really felt like an extreme after thought and that all the focus was on commercial gear. Also think some integration with vendors selling components to self builders is a good idea.

Got to hang with the Pro-rig during and after show for a little hot and humid road adventure. His rig is super cool, innovative, and just well done. Between the showcase and DIY area there were three different lifting roof campers all of which tackled the problem a different way. Just cool to see all the different ideas.
 
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Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
Great meeting you guys and what an amazing and inspiring build. Also thanks for your input in the DIY sessions. Maybe we should pair up next year. I can tell them what not to do and you can tell them how to do it right.

Just a bit of background on the Expo DIY area (hopefully without dragging your excellent build thread off topic).

About 4 years ago we started showing our Ambulance builds in the feature vehicles area. The level of interest we got to both the viewing of the vehicles and the DIY presentations lead us to propose splitting the feature vehicles and DIY to allow for more vehicles and focus on building enthusiasm for DIY (not hard after they get the sticker shock from the main stream offerings)

So this year the organizers agreed and gave us a dedicated area. There were some teething troubles with the signage and split display areas. But I expect that to be rectified in future expos. For those who managed to find us I believe that they got treated to a fair range of vehicle types and a good level of access to the builders. For those that were directed or found their way to the DIY2 area, they received some very personalized viewing and discussion time.

Also as an observation. I think DIY especially on the ambulances is becoming more “normal”. This is the first year we haven’t been asked about people dying in the rig and there were not as many “I never thought of using xxxx as a camper” moments.

Ok back to normal programming. And once again it was a privilege to meet you guys and tour your build.

Bevan
 
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Great meeting you guys and what an amazing and inspiring build. Also thanks for your input in the DIY sessions. Maybe we should pair up next year. I can tell them what not to do and you can tell them how to do it right.

Just a bit of background on the Expo DIY area (hopefully without dragging your excellent build thread off topic).

About 4 years ago we started showing our Ambulance builds in the feature vehicles area. The level of interest we got to both the viewing of the vehicles and the DIY presentations lead us to propose splitting the feature vehicles and DIY to allow for more vehicles and focus on building enthusiasm for DIY (not hard after they get the sticker shock from the main stream offerings)

So this year the organizers agreed and gave us a dedicated area. There were some teething troubles with the signage and split display areas. But I expect that to be rectified in future expos. For those who managed to find us I believe that they got treated to a fair range of vehicle types and a good level of access to the builders. For those that were directed or found their way to the DIY2 area, they received some very personalized viewing and discussion time.

Also as an observation. I think DIY especially on the ambulances is becoming more “normal”. This is the first year we haven’t been asked about people dying in the rig and there were not as many “I never thought of using xxxx as a camper” moments.

Ok back to normal programming. And once again it was a privilege to meet you guys and tour your build.

Bevan
Glad you are on the task Bevan, I think some small changes would make a big difference. We'll shoot for the DIY area next year. Sorry we didnt get to meet you in person, I remember talking to you about ambos 6 years ago now :)
 
Hey Bevan (sorry, been spelling your name wrong here:oops:)

Thanks for the history and broader perspective on the DIY area. I hope my off-the-cuff comments and observations didn't come across as in any way being critical of your efforts - getting a dedicated DIY area going is a HUGE positive for Expo and I know it required tons of work on your part. So just to be clear, thank you, thank you, thank you for your efforts.

Fair point on the range of vehicles, I guess I should realize that my bias lies towards re-purposing things (ambo's, Java's beast, etc.) and scratch builds of proper campers, but there are lots of different DIY approaches out there and showing a broad range is surely a positive. Mea culpa :).

Anyway, do reach out if you need some backup for next years planning or logistics or whatever. I think what you've managed to get going this year is super positive and if I can help in any way to keep it going, I'm happy to pitch in.

matt
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
Thanks Matt. But just to set the record straight. All the planning and logistics kudos go to the crew from Overland Expo (Roseann, Alison and Cyan in particular). They took our suggestion (and probably the suggestions of a lot of others) and ran with it.
 
Okay, worked on a few projects before heading out to Expo that should be reported.

Of minor interest, I finally got the last bit of seal done between the main body and the slide up:



More of the brush seal but in this case it had to be hinged to clear part of the camper when in the down/driving position. The spring-loaded latch holds it up. This type of seal does a decent job keeping wind and bugs out, but not cold.

There have been a few clever solutions to entry stairs popping up around here lately. That got me back to thinking on that task. My original plan was to use the step in the fold-down door and use a couple support cables to keep the door in the proper position. After a little experimentation, I didn't trust my original design at all - long story short, the cable angles (nearly vertical) and the direction of the main load (nearly horizontal) meant it was a lousy design. Using standard steps is a pain since they have to me moved out of the way to flip the lower door up.

So, came up with this:



Might be another Pro-Rig original - aluminum telescoping door stop and step combo! The 45* angled bit just forward of the step stops the door in the proper position.



After initial testing, the amount of flex in the aluminum arm was judged to be excessive (I believe Sheri's words were "That's too scary."). So, since the clock was ticking on departure to AZ, I added a simple hook and catch between the step and the door.



The step flexes down about 3/4", the hook catches, and then the extra load is transferred through the door to the hinges (which seem to be plenty strong so far). You can also kind of see here that the rub point between the door and step is the flat stainless steel latch (door side) and a piece of UHMW plastic.

For traveling, the two inner pieces disappear in to the hitch to keep anything from dragging.



Step can be left on with the two inner pieces collapsed in (no longer sticking out beyond the back of the camper). In practice though, it seems easier to take the step part off and not worry about it becoming the bumper if I get rear-ended again.



My initial take is I overthought this one. I think a two piece system will be just as easy to use and probably support more weight with less flex. That being said, this setup did get "tested" at Expo with some fellas that weighed a "few" pounds more than me and it seemed to hold up fine. It is really nice to just pull up the door behind you when entering and not messing with steps or a ladder.

Next project might be figuring out how to add some some automated lifters for the slide-up. Still on the fence, but but I think I got a little case of "automation envy" seeing several slick approaches at Expo.
 
Yet another little project to report, filed under "keep your partner happy!"...

So, Sheri is pretty sensitive to bad tasting drinking water and to date has more or less refused to drink out of the holding tank (there is a slight plastic taste, so I get it). Anyway, this meant buying bottled water and having bottles cluttering things up, etc.

So, pulled the trigger on some water filtration stuff


The Woder filter got great reviews on Amazon and would fit nicely under the sink. I expected the filter to decrease flow/pressure so decided to add a dedicated outlet for the filtered water instead of plumbing it through the sink faucet. I couldn't use a typical sink-mounted drinking water faucet. The bed comes right up to the existing faucet when deployed and the stove is in the way on the other side. This also wouldn't allow for water bottle fill-ups when the camper is down in travel mode. So, had to get a bit creative.

Fabbed up a simple bracket under the sink to mount the "hose spigot". It's the same brand as our faucet and matches :)


Tapped the filter in to the cold water where it connects to the sink faucet and strapped the filter in


Other than being kind of ridiculously cramped in there, it all went together well. Added a little hose to the spigot to make filling water bottles easy and keep any drips from hitting the CO/LPG sensor. Easy to access through the bottom door when the camper is in travel mode too.


Note little storage box held in there with Velcro, must use all available space in a tiny camper! o_O

Still need to add some water to the main tank and flush the new filter out before the taste test. I'm going to give Sheri a blind taste test once it's done and hope the new system passes!
 
Okay, anyone have experience with 12v linear actuators and care to share some wisdom? I want to automate the slide-up.

The basics: Slide-up has 17.5" of travel. Actuators need to go on the outside of the camper and be upside down (motor up). I think one on the front/passenger and one on the back/driver corners will be enough. The scissor lifters keep the slide-up equal side to side.

Looking at this one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pldnSite=1

The force is overkill but will allow for future surfboard rack or what ever on the roof if I wanted to. My complete guess is that I need a total of about 150lbs of force to get things moving (spring assisted lifters kick in as it raises). I don't see a real downside on going overkill on the lifting capacity (other than a little more $).

- Is the IP66 dust/waterproof rating good enough for outside a vehicle?
- Will I need limit switches since I'm under 18" of travel?
- I will need to balance speeds front to back - would manual independent control of the two lifters (e.g., dual momentary switches) be better then getting them synched up on one switch (with a PWM speed controller on the faster one)?
- What am I not thinking of??

Thanks for any thoughts!
 
You can contact Firgelli Automation. They do all things actuators and have great customer service. I believe you must have the actuator built for the exact height you need, supposedly limiting straps cause issues. Firgelli will build any length you want and their price is at least as good.
 
Hadn't thought of going custom. I like it. Could probably also customize speed and force to something closer to my ideal.
Got some ideas brewing on how to deal with the extra 1/2" (avoiding limiting straps or external limit switches) if I go off-the-shelf.
Firgelli does have good prices - nice to hear they have real customer service too.
 
Well, it's been a long summer with minimal travel :cautious: due to work and life, but it's time to do some upgrades with an eye towards fall and winter trips. Two big projects in the works:

First, Pro-Rig is officially going electric!



Settled on some actuators (Firgelli) and a ordered up a bunch of heavy duty aluminum based on my preliminary design for mounting. My initial plan was two actuators at opposite corners (relying on the scissor lifters to keep things even side to side). I little testing with muscles at two corners suggested four lifters were needed to get things started. So, I've got four 18" 150lb actuators and a small pile of switches, wires, etc.

Second piece is re-doing the canvas. Ordered up some vinyl coated polyester plus lots of velcro, clear vinyl, screen, etc. Sheri is voting for a professional sewing job - I might see how the home machine works on the vinyl first, but she might be on the right track on this one. Also doing our own "arctic package" while we're at it - a velcro-in insulated curtain to cover the canvas section on cold nights.

So, details on both projects to follow...
 
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