Foamie truck camper build!

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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby seanc » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:46 am

GPW wrote:Is there any connection from the front floor to the truck cab roof ? :thinking:


I'm not sure what you mean by this. What is the front floor?

If you are referring to the part of the camper that hangs over the truck (what i call the cabover) and the roof of the truck body, there is no connection. The roof of the truck slopes down in every direction. At it's highest point, which is towards the rear of the cab and in the middle from driver to passenger side, the cabover is maybe 1 inch over the roof. At the edge above the windshield that gap is 3 inches or so.

There is some flex between the truck bed and the cab (in all trucks) so I didn't want to marry the two. I really think the cabover is strong enough to lay down in, I just dont want to test it.

I know that gap will be a huge drain on my mileage so I'm thinking about how I can make an airfoil to close the space between the windshield and cabover. Also, the truck roof can definitely support a few hundred pounds. If I shove some foam in there and shape it just right I think I could have my airfoil and make the cabover body weight bearing... :thinking:
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby Mary C » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:38 am

Hi Mary C. here, your build is looking great, I am so glad you are letting us in on the build. you a quite the photo bug too Great photos.

Mary C.
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby GPW » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:33 am

Sean , I was just trying to visualize the stresses on the body of the cabin ( at speed ) , and it would appear to be on the wall - truck join ... I was thinking of something like those clip on roof racks, to add another point of attachment at the front and share the stress, but since you mention the “flexibility issue “ , that may not be a good idea... It would appear (possibly) the “gap” building a positive pressure, and the lift generated on the slope of the front (leading edge) would be two forces adding stress to the above mentioned area ^ ... Just trying to be cautious ....sometimes, some of us drive above the normal speeds usually reserved for hauling , which may (or may not) have an effect on the added structure’s integrity... :thinking:
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby kudzu » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:22 am

Love seeing it on the truck. That is a huge milestone. Are you working on the interior?
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby OP827 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:04 pm

seanc wrote:
GPW wrote:Is there any connection from the front floor to the truck cab roof ? :thinking:


I'm not sure what you mean by this. What is the front floor?

If you are referring to the part of the camper that hangs over the truck (what i call the cabover) and the roof of the truck body, there is no connection. The roof of the truck slopes down in every direction. At it's highest point, which is towards the rear of the cab and in the middle from driver to passenger side, the cabover is maybe 1 inch over the roof. At the edge above the windshield that gap is 3 inches or so.

There is some flex between the truck bed and the cab (in all trucks) so I didn't want to marry the two. I really think the cabover is strong enough to lay down in, I just dont want to test it.

I know that gap will be a huge drain on my mileage so I'm thinking about how I can make an airfoil to close the space between the windshield and cabover. Also, the truck roof can definitely support a few hundred pounds. If I shove some foam in there and shape it just right I think I could have my airfoil and make the cabover body weight bearing... :thinking:


Did you consider some spoiler that can be made removable (when there is no camper loaded) to be fixed on the cabin to close this gap. Several small clips could be permanently fixed on the cabin roof with VHB tape. Then the clips are connected by screws to a removable spoiler. Just a thought. I do not know if it is a good idea to support the camper from the cabin as you mentioned there is some movement allowed for between the truck bed and cabin, so there should be some needed gaps left in between the spoiler and the cabover..
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby seanc » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:06 pm

GPW - You're right, the stresses are all on the wall to truck joint. The flexing is pretty minimal unless you're blasting through rough terrain, I think.

You can see some bed/cab flexing in this chevy commercial, especially around 0:09 :lol:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IocCC1-jeTY


I think at freeway speeds there will be a significant downforce on the front of the truck, like having someone in the cabover, and a significant lift in the back where the camper slopes down to the rear wall.

Sharing the load over the front of the truck is something I certainly considered. I like your clip on roof rack idea. Cauitious is always good!! If you were PARKED it would make a whole lot of sense to deploy some external supports like the flip pac camper

MJ20Flippac20Ft20Open.jpg
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Kudzu - Right now I'm 90% focused on the interior. It was bare yesterday when we mounted it (better for lifting) and now I've got the bed insert built and a counter top on one side. Hopefully today I'll finish the second counter, get some more canvas (bed sheets) on the roof, and a layer of paint in there!

My friend snapped this photo right after we lifted it on the truck. Gives a good sense of the HUGE size and the HUGE joy I felt in the moment :)

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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby seanc » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:23 pm

OP827 - A removable air foil would be best. I REFUSE to drill through the roof of the truck. holes = leaks. I just looked up vhb tape, that stuff is burly! I really like that idea, but maybe with even less permanent adhesive. I used 3m 4000 marine adhesive to glue the windows in and mount the brake light. That might be enough.

Here's another great option.
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/56-x-22-wind-deflector-black/34579

The foil is strapped down to the rain gutters and supported with suction cups. Beautiful solution. I think I could DIY it for a little bit less than $350...

Keep the ideas comin!

Mary C - The way I see it, the more photos I post, the more people will be inspired to build their own campers/trailers. :thumbsup:

I certainly can't take credit for all the design elements I used!
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby Treeview » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:39 pm

If you want to seal the roof of the cab to camper overhang you might consider using foam 'pool noodles'. They can be cut down flat on two sides to fit the area...with a little compression. Add in some bracketry or glue to the bottom of the overhang and you're good to go.

You might consider making the foam airdam a little smaller diameter though. Like you know the camper will move independently of the cab. That will lead to rubbing/squeaking/paint removal...none are good things.

A while ago I talked with a guy who did this on his traditional slide-in camper and increased his mileage.

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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby GPW » Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:38 am

Sean, sorry , don’t mean to be paranoid , just trying to think on the safety side ... We’ve had a good Foamie" record here , No cabin failures. Just wanting to keep everybody safe .. ;)
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby seanc » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:54 pm

I've put 1,000+ miles on the camper and spent about 40 nights in the back. Time for an update!

Overall I LOVE IT and I am grateful everyday I invested the time, energy and money to build it.

I'm very happy with the way the truck handles. I can easily get 23 mpg driving on the freeway or country roads at 60 mph Or the speed limit. I've been keeping track via my obd2 port and an app on my phone so I trust that number. I haven't been keeping track for the limited around town driving I've done. The biggest handing issue is swaying side to side. So far it doesn't bother me enough to add a lead spring or air bags, and I'm not sure how much they would help. I've driven on hours and hours of unmaintained dirt/Rock roads with no problem.

The size is perfect for me. I have two small countertops and a twin/doubleish sized
Bed. I haven't been cooking in the truck be cause bears have been a constant presence :roll: I have a tiny propane heater I run for 15 minutes on cold mornings and nights with the windows open. It gets to 65 degrees in a hurry.

It's been through a few snowy nights and lots of rain. Unless it's a torrential downpour I leave the windows cracked with no problem.

When I get to a computer I'll post some photos!
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby Alan_H » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:34 pm

Just finished reading your thread with the update. Looking forward to some new pics!

Are you living in the Camper, or just on an extended vacation?

Great work and really glad it's working out for you!
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby jss06 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:50 am

That is a really nice build. Great job.
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby rowerwet » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:32 am

For front support arm anchors, open the hood, look for brackets bolted along the edges of the hood. Make some Z shaped brackets that bolt on permanently, with a small flange that sticks above the edge of the hood gap.
Make removable struts that anchor to these brackets and the corners of the front overhang.
Plastidip the brackets to prevent rust orr scratches.
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby seanc » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:36 pm

Don't forget to get outside and enjoy your toys! :beer:


Catching the very last of the sunset over the Rio Grande in northern NM
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And making fancy quesadillas (with tequila, of course) before the temperature dropped to 15 degrees outside!
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Alan H - I am living/working out of it and it's an extended vacation. I try to keep life a blur between the two.
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Re: Foamie truck camper build!

Postby greygoos » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:39 pm

Great build. I am going to do a foam camper myself, much smaller, still working on design. I believe I have read your entire build but am curious as to how you handled the floor of the camper in relationship to the bed. Is there any spacing between the bed and the bottom of the camper. Thanks.
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