Putting toolboxes on the side of a truck camper

#1
I'd like to buy a truck camper, an older one. I want a old Ford with a 7.3 and a similar vintage camper. We're planning on using it down in Mexico, Central America and then probably catch a cargo ship to South America. Anyways I'd like to increase my storage by having toolboxes on the side likr work trucks, has anyone done that? Anything I should be worried about.

Another odd thing about our trip is we'll be traveling for a few months and then need to store it somewhere for a few months when we're back on the fifth wheel in the US. Any one do that? Any trouble with theft?

Also where are some good places to look for them online? I'll be willing to travel anywhere in the US or Southern Canada to get it. I'd like to buy it as a package ad possible, truck and camper. If like to keep it to a srw if possible but I would consider a dually, must be 4x4 though.

It's going to be a while before I buy anything but I'd like to go ahead and start looking.
 
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#2
sounds so specific - and expensive - you'll either have to find a custom builder or start reading the obituary columns. if you're intention is to get something which suits your purposes "ready-made", the search may continue long enough to make you eligible for the latter.

can you break down your needs and maybe get more helpful responses?
 
#3
I want to get a 7.3, possibly with with a camper already on it, maybe not, and then add toolboxes. Doesn't seem to complicated.... A work truck that already had toolboxes would be a plus. I don't expect to find them all assembled, lol.

I know I look stupid but not that stupid and I have years of traveling overland and by backpack. I'm on the way to Alaska right now actually, currently in British Columbia.
 
#4
What I generally want to know is do I just need to remove the current bed on whatever truck I get and then buy a flatbed and then add toolboxes? Or buy a bed with tool boxes afterwards. I know I've seen plenty of rigs with toolboxes.
 
#5
I want to get a 7.3, possibly with with a camper already on it, maybe not, and then add toolboxes. Doesn't seem to complicated.... A work truck that already had toolboxes would be a plus. I don't expect to find them all assembled, lol.

I know I look stupid but not that stupid and I have years of traveling overland and by backpack. I'm on the way to Alaska right now actually, currently in British Columbia.
I have no idea how stupid you look, just trying to help get you on with your search. it will be a process.

Q: when you consider toolboxes, do you mean added/ aftermarket toolboxes, or a truck with a utility body and a camper added?

Q: when you consider vintage, do you mean 1950 vintage, 1970 vintage, or 1990 vintage?

daughter of the lady that cuts my hair knows I like traditional hot rods (pre- and immediately post- WWII) told be her husband had an antique car. I perked up and asked "what year and make?"

"Oh, it's a 1988 Oldsmobile that used to be his grandmother's"

I have T-shirts older than that, so, you see, there's a bit of latitude yet in your enquiry!
 
#7
Another odd thing about our trip is we'll be traveling for a few months and then need to store it somewhere for a few months when we're back on the fifth wheel in the US. Any one do that? Any trouble with theft?
one thing to watch for is that most central american countries won't let you bring a vehicle in and then leave without it as they assume you have sold it illegally and they want you to pay the import tax - we're currently hitting this issue in that we would like to visit Cuba while we are in the vicinity, but places with short direct flights we can't use because of our vehicle. We have read about a scheme in Panama that you can leave your vehicle in a government - controlled car park and as they know where it is they will let you leave without it, but i think it costs USD8 a day so may be an expensive option for a long term solution.

If you are US based anyway why not do a circuit of central America as one trip - down the Pacific coast and back up the Atlantic, and then ship from the US to South America as a second trip? from what i have read its not much more expensive to ship longer distances as most of the cost involved is actually to do with customs and inspections and handling costs involved in putting the vehicle in and out of the container. Once its packed up and on a boat the distance involved seems pretty immaterial. We will be shipping from Panama to Colombia and its not a cheap option and will be a hassle, but we won't be going back to the states at the end of the trip anyway, so works out better for us.

Regarding the tool box idea around a camper i've been researching the same ideas for a camper in Europe and Africa. So, whilst i've not actually done it yet, i've read and been advised on other forums as follows:

most commercial toolbox/service bodies don't leave enough space between the sides to fit a standard truck camper in, so something needs to end up being customised.
weight is always an issue
Centre of Gravity and overall height is also an issue with flat beds as everything sits higher up.

Personally i'm probably going to have to make a custom camper anyway as i'll need it to fit a narrower bed like a Navara or Ranger, but i'm also thinking of replacing the standard steel tub with a custom made aluminium one where there is external access to the side panels. Keeping the floor low and following the standard tub internal profile around the wheel arches so i can move the camper to other standard trucks if i need to change vehicles, but gives a bit more accessible storage for tools, recovery gear etc...
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
#8
I have no idea how stupid you look, just trying to help get you on with your search. it will be a process.

Q: when you consider toolboxes, do you mean added/ aftermarket toolboxes, or a truck with a utility body and a camper added?

Q: when you consider vintage, do you mean 1950 vintage, 1970 vintage, or 1990 vintage?

daughter of the lady that cuts my hair knows I like traditional hot rods (pre- and immediately post- WWII) told be her husband had an antique car. I perked up and asked "what year and make?"

"Oh, it's a 1988 Oldsmobile that used to be his grandmother's"

I have T-shirts older than that, so, you see, there's a bit of latitude yet in your enquiry!

Aside from being a bit snarky, you’re not very well informed. The op has stated clearly (twice), that he wants a 7.3 Ford. That puts it from 1988 to 2002. Not exactly worth the Hemings link...
 

SDDiver5

Expedition Leader
#10
All of the fan boys love the 7.3 so if there is one out there that you like, be prepared to jump on it same day. And be prepared to pay wayyyyy more than you should.

7.3 trucks with over 300k are on CL for over $15k
 
#12
Took 30 seconds to find this on CL https://portland.craigslist.org/clk/cto/d/1995-ford-f350-4x4-xlt-crew/6619665385.html
Remove the bed and add a well thought out flat bed and your in. All for under $9,000 . If I wanted to spend a bit of time on this search I could shave $2,000 off that.
Your problem is that used camper. Now that's going to be an interesting search. Wet doesn't even do south America justice. If I were going to run an existing used camper in that environment ( something I wouldn't do ) I'd be looking at Northern Lights or Bigfoot campers. Then mod the truck suspension for the load.... By the way , all you NL and big foot guys. I'm not picking on your rigs. Ive just spent some time in the extreme south and have exp with that environment. No hate here.....

Just found this on CL as well. https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/rvs/d/2004-bigfoot-camper-96/6623608000.html Maybe you should plan a trip to Oregon......
 
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