Half-Arsed camper build

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reddave
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Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:40 pm

Here's what I started with:
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Paid $1200 off eBay in 2012, I knew when I bought it that it needed a bit of work, had no rego, brakes, canvas was old, but it was solid.

We used it about 6 times and the time to start making decisions got closer and closer.

I considered just selling it, making my money back and replacing it with another trailer, but the tight arse came out in me!!!

If I rebuild the trailer and add a new camper top, brakes and rego, I get a trailer that is made just for us, and should owe us no more than $5,000 when completed.

Cut off the old box today, the sides were only 280mm high, useless for storage, hopefully going 500mm sides (have to measure the engel first)

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6 Stud electric brake backing plates and drums

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45mm square axle with brake mounting plates welded, rated to 1500kg, same track as the GU (1676mm)

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Drop down ALKO style stabiliser legs

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7 leaf Off road springs, 60mm wide, eye to eye

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Assorted bearings, wheel nuts, shackles and hangers, spring plates and U bolts

reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:41 pm

Just a cheap eBay tent on it from ENZ trading

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Picked up Tailgates and sides, Offroad chequer plate mudguards, Jerry can holders x2, Gas bottle holder x1, Alko Offroad coupling, Handbrake assembly, Water tank, hand pump and filler.

And put a 40lt Engel on layby (Ran out of money for that one)

Cost so far:
Springs, axle, electric brakes, stabiliser legs $633
Sides and tailgates $280
Camper tent $1299
Offroad Coupling and Handbrake $290
Jerry can holders and gas bottle holder $75
Water tank, filler and hand pump $184
Mudguards $115
Taillights $99
Misc Steel $35

Total so far: $3010

So far running under budget, but its starting to blow out >:D



Started putting it all together, I'll let the pics do the talking!!


Added a foot to the end of the box

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Set up the leaves and shackle mounts

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Started fitting the sides and squaring it up

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Fitted the front tailgate, this will be fixed in place

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The shackle mounts and spring mounts are completed, put the locating plates on the axle, but will not be fitting the axle until we weld the floor in, it's too heavy to flip on its end

The sides and front tailgate are only tacked at the moment, they will be fully welded.

Just need to trim the floor piece and then tack it in place, then flip it and start the long task of sealing the floor without warping the steel

reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:43 pm

Floor all welded in, had a small bow in it, but clamps and a trolley jack got them all out
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Welded in the brackets to mount the water tank, decided on mounting it just behind the axle, once I get the toolbox on the front and kitchen in the back, it shouldn't have too much weight over the front
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Welded in the brackets to take the stabilizer legs
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Welded up the sides to seal the floor completely
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Then fitted the axle to position the mudguards, the location plates were 6mm out, cut them off, remeasure and start again also have to run spacers on the hubs, they sit too close to the springs
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And the other side
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The plate on top of the box we will not be using, it measures at 1120mm from the ground to the top of the box, ideal height

Then it's time to add the side panels, mount gas bottle and jerry can holders, finish off the tailgate, make light boxes, run all the strapping and then get a start on cutting down the drawbar and mounting the hitch

My list is slowly getting smaller, but still have to paint, run wiring, gas lines, power and battery box, tool box etc etc

reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:43 pm

Added the end plates
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Added the sides, the end plates and side panels all have 50mm strapping to add more strength
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Added the taillight boxes, now have to drill holes in them to fit taillights
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Need to finish the strapping then only the jerrycan holders, gas bottle holder, spare wheel mount, toolbox left to weld, then about 2 days grinding and prepping for paint, then its time to add the hitch and handbrake, wire and paint

reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:45 pm

August 26th 2012
Got the holes drilled for the taillights yesterday, fitted the jerry can holders, gas bottle holders and hung the tailgate

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September 8th 2012

It has a top on it, and it folds out the way it should!!!

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reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:47 pm

September 16th 2012

Got the water filler plate welded in
Fitted up the struts to the bedbase
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Made up the hitch plate and trial fitted the hitch so I didn't have to weld it to the back of the car
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Pulled the bedbase back off, started grinding and then picked it up and flipped it over so we can seal the floor and start painting and wire it up. It's bloody heavy!!!

October 13th 2012

Layer down some primer today, did my first time painting, think it came up pretty well!!
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October 14th 2012

Layer my color on the bottom this morning

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reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:48 pm

Then flipped her over and primed the top, then ran one coat of top coat. The bad news is that if I didn't paint the second coat within 2 hours then I have to wait 48 hours to paint a second coat :(

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The good news is its almost done!!!

Once the painting is all done, then I'll take it to work to do the wiring and plumbing for the water tank. Then it's time to take it over a weigh bridge and book it into vicroads for rego!!!

October 18th 2012

It's reveal time, wheeled it out of the shed today.

Need to finish wiring and plumbing, mount handbrake and the camper top once I get some rubber to seal the tailgate and top.

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October 27th 2012


It's weighed, 540kg without the canvas on it and the water tank empty.

The axle is rated to 1400kg, so pretty happy with the weight

October 28th 2012
Kitchen is all done:

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My $60 kitchen has turned into a $360 kitchen after spending $300 on storage solutions from Bunnings :D

But that also included some massive 120 litre tubs for inside the trailer

October 31st 2012
And now it has rego!!!!

reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:48 pm

November 1st 2012

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Here's the pic as promised with the top on!!!

Now just a heap of odds and ends to finish before the weekend!!!

November 4th 2012

Got home this arvo from staying at Kurth Kiln, the joint was packed, had to get all the way in the back corner to have enough room!!!

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Now have a list of things to do with the camper:
Needs LED lighting
The Matress sucks balls (not literally, I wouldn't change it if it could do things like that)
Need to fit a tap/one way valve on the water tank line, sick of the kids playing with it!!!

But it went up and down a treat, sits almost perfectly level on the car so don't even have to unhitch!!!

November 18th 2012

Well second time out in the camper, have a few "bugs" to iron out

1) still need to sort out another Matress, the one that we took off our bed fits, but we can't close up the camper
2) still have to wire it properly for Anderson plugs and 12v power
3) the corrugations coming up through Woods Point have shook the water tank out of its mounts

Better to find out about the corrugations/water tank now :)

I wasn't happy with the way I had mounted the tank anyway, this just speeds the process up!!!

4) have to go over all the bolts and retension them to make sure they are all Ok
5) will have to have a look at bigger tool boxes for the drawbar, it doesn't matter how much **** you have, you always take more :D
6) really need to get a stone guard on the front, it got hammered coming up to Skipworth (Or I could put mudflaps on the GU)

January 14th 2012

Finally got around to making new mounts today for the water tank, just finished test fitting them, fit nice and tight now!!!!
Just have to give them a pick of paint tomorrow and bolt them up tomorrow night!

Fitted my battery into the toolbox and the rest of my Anderson plug wiring, now just need to get a fuse box and run wiring down to the tailgate.

Was thinking of using trailer wiring (5 or 7 core) but have to look into sizes and make sure I can get the wire thick enough first, this way I would have a dedicated different colour for each circuit from the fuse box!!!

reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:51 pm

10th November 2013

It's been a long time since I updated this.....

But it survived its first 12 months, just paid the rego!!!

Took it to some private property near Dargo over the cup weekend and found even more bugs.

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Made up a battery box this morning to mount and protect the battery so it's not in my toolbox, just need to make a lid for it now.

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Added some weights and chains to the mudflaps, that should keep them from rubbing in the tyres.

I'm off to Knockwood near Woods Point near the end of the month and then when I get home time to extend the drawbar and make a rack for over the top of the tent.


April 8th 2014

Started getting ready for Easter,

Now has matching alloys, mostly aesthetic and helps my OCD tendencies
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Have solar now so time to add more wiring:

Low pressure water pump:
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Momentary switch next to the hand pump, Engel plug next to the fire extinguisher and 12v socket on bench top for lighting. The 12v accessory socket has a dual USB port one side and 12v socket the other.
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Didn't even think about it till I did it, but need to fit an isolator switch between the fuse box and battery, otherwise when I leave it in the backyard during winter it might have a dead flat battery by the time I want to use it again!!!

reddave
Been here a while
Posts: 284
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by reddave » May 6th, 2014, 12:54 pm

Then I was ready for Easter
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Just went to "the Doon" reserve in Yarra Junction, no driving, just relaxing around a campfire and spending time with my kids.

That should bring you guys up to date on the trailer as its sits right now, still have teething issues with it, but it's solid and gets us away!!!

Rogers Cruiser
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1327
Joined: January 3rd, 2014, 8:04 pm

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by Rogers Cruiser » May 6th, 2014, 3:46 pm

wow that came up great, Im so jelous I might just steel some of your ideas. :)
'98-'06 - FJ-45 Ute fell over one day and didnt survive
'06-now - HJ-47 Troopy, restored and now daily driver.
'13-now - HJ-47 Ute, Farm fresh rust bucket, needs a restoration. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=152811

now - Off Road Box/Camper Trailer. viewtopic.php?f=134&t=153968&p=1792444#p1792444

Dont listen to me, Ive got an opinion on everything!

Aussie_Dan
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1498
Joined: June 21st, 2010, 6:54 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by Aussie_Dan » May 6th, 2014, 7:19 pm

You've done a sensational job, well done!

chris_stoffa
Need to get out more
Posts: 4735
Joined: July 5th, 2008, 9:12 pm
Location: Wandering in the Wilderness of the Western Burbs of Melbourne., VIC

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by chris_stoffa » May 6th, 2014, 7:41 pm

Work of Art !!! ............ and the beauty of it is that you know how well its built , well done

"teething problems" ....... Nah, "its refining current intricate issues" :D

And we all do it ;)
03 Bravo 2.5TD DCab

SparkieKev
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Posts: 460
Joined: December 9th, 2012, 11:36 pm
Location: Sunny Coast, QLD

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by SparkieKev » May 6th, 2014, 10:30 pm

Nice one Dave, you have sure put some time into it and it looks great. Missus and I bought a custom inner spring mattress from a mattress mob it's only 150mm high and very supportive was just under $400 but being comfortable and getting good rest is worth it. Your welding skills look about 100 times better than my snot beads:)
Supercharged 6.5L chev diesel GU wagon build thread here:
viewtopic.php?f=187&t=138695

monkeybucket
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1949
Joined: April 23rd, 2012, 10:45 am
Location: WA

Re: Half-Arsed camper build

Unread post by monkeybucket » August 30th, 2014, 11:41 pm

Geez mate...wish I was a half ass as you at building these things...Nice job
Cheers
Chris.

Off road when I'm good...in the shed when I'm naughty.

South West All Terrain ... www.swat4x4.com

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