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Author Topic: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4  (Read 1040 times)

DWJoyce

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I was given a Happy Travl'r 8 foot 1/2 ton truck cabover camper which I plan to completely rebuild for my '66 Chevy 4x4 K10. Wish me luck folks!


RoyM

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 11:53:50 AM »
 8) The camper definitely needs freshening up, I love that truck.
Ram 2500 diesel
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Urge to travel

tombillbob

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 08:54:03 PM »
I don,t know what your plans are, but i found it easier to build a new frame to match the old camper and then just bring over the siding, windows etc. to the new frame. If your interested go to search. Enter aluminum frame truck camper tc tom. There are some pictures in one or two of the posts. My wife and I had some of our best camping experiences in our truck camper. plus it was a fun project.

Hope you have a fun time with yours!

Tom


touchracing

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 09:21:06 AM »
I love the mid 60's chevy trucks.  Good luck on your project.  I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.
Wherever I may roam

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 12:06:32 AM »
A couple of pictures illustrating the results of the demolition. Amazingly, the roof structure is almost pristine and won't require work. The hole in the roof must be recent because there is no water damage under it. What you see is the old Luan I removed when checking the roof.

The corners are rotted out where the jacks were installed and the entire bed section of the cabover needs to be replaced. Although I can patch the camper base, I'll replace it with a new plywood box along with the lower and corner sections.

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 02:26:48 AM »
OK, so I removed the rest of the siding and found a lot of rot on the driver's side roof. So, I've decided to replace much of the roof structure and add a second vent in the roof of the cabover section.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 02:30:15 AM by DWJoyce »

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 04:43:26 PM »
Finished the rot repair on the sides with larger dimension wood. Used 2x3s on the corners and bottom edges instead of the rotted 1x2s. The lower cab cantilever supports are now long 1x6s which are glued and screwed into the interior walls and the existing framing. 2x2s will be glued and screwed to the bottom of these boards with cross bracing supporting both sides of the cabover. The cabover plywood base will then be screwed to these supports.

This new cabover structure will replace the original plywood-only structure visible in the preceding images. That is, if what's left of the original flimsy structure is visible. ;-)

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 05:03:34 PM »
I don,t know what your plans are, but ...snip... fun project.

Hope you have a fun time with yours!

Tom

Thank you, Tom. This free project came along at the perfect time. It's kept me busy while I'm WAITing to start a new engineering contract... This old camper is really LIGHT, maybe 1000 pounds or so. It hardly stressed the suspension! It has no unnecessary structure, no battery, just a fresh water tank, fridge, stove and sink.

I built a new base out of 3/4" CDX plywood and will be transfering the top section of the camper to that base once the restructuring is complete. I'm just replacing rotted wood with new and beefing up the timbers along the way, plus the interior of the camper is in good condition and I didn't want to rip out the walls and counter.

tombillbob

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 09:04:48 PM »
That makes sense. It looks like your really in to it now! Yours sounds similar to mine, it was basically a hard sided tent for us. Yours seems to have a lot less damage than ours had. It's interesting that your working on yours while waiting for your job to start. I did the same when the economy crashed in 2007. I thought I would have plenty of time to complete it but was back to work in 4 months. That was a good thing though. It did get completed and we had a lot of good times with it!. We did add a battery and a solar cell as we did a lot of camping where there were no hook ups. You mentioned engineering job, are you and engineer?

Tom,
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 09:10:49 PM by tombillbob »

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2017, 11:37:36 PM »
Thanks, Tom.

I'm a Physicist that works in computer engineering. I'm nearing the end of my career and doing contract work, but I love what I do.

Got a little work done today after fixing a screwup. Added some new structure to the cabover section and a 2x2 for holding the upper section together when I transfer it to the new bottom section. Still need to rebuild the top, but that won't take long once the structure is solid and I'm not worried about it collapsing under me.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 11:53:20 PM by DWJoyce »

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2017, 02:45:54 PM »
Well, today the top to base transfer was completed. I put the base on a my old SnapOn creeper and wheeled it under the front of the camper. Lifted the camper off the old base, which I partially cut up to pull out from under. Slid the new base underneath and lined up the top with the base. That's all it took... ;-)

Tools used: High Lift jack, hydraulic floor jack, various shoring wood, saw horses, jack stands, sledge hammer, flat crowbar, newly repaired SnapOn creeper, 800mg Ibuprofen and a peanut butter sandwich. ;-)

It's a huge milestone for this project, yee-hah!

Next: rebuild the roof. I'll add new Luan and strengthen it for the addition of a roof rack.

tombillbob

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 10:46:08 PM »
DW,

Looks like your making great progress and enjoying the process! Any plans for your first trip!

Tom,

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2017, 02:10:54 AM »
I raising the height of the base and it paid off. Now I have an additional three inches of head room and don't hit my head on the roof lights! ;-)

Once I rebuild the transmission in the truck and get new tires my nephew will probably get to use the camper first. His daughter is in the soccer Olympic Development Program so they make regular weekend trips and the camper will save them having to rent a room.

SkateBoard

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2017, 06:30:19 AM »
Looks like it's coming along pretty good. A lot easier replacing what was there instead of trying to come up with it on your own. I'm also building a camper out of a cargo trailer. At home having a coffee break right now.

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 02:38:33 PM »
Well, I started a new work contract and haven't been able to put a lot of time into this project, but here's a couple of images of progress. I used the aluminum roof-edge trim to establish the correct profile for the cabover front and I've assembled and stained the two rear roof panels a light gray.

The right image of the roof panels is about the correct color, but darker and far more uniform because of the reduced image resolution. The roof panels also have more support structure than the original construction, as are the other repairs I've made.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 02:44:36 PM by DWJoyce »

SeilerBird

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2017, 02:52:30 PM »
It is very difficult to view these photos online at the size they are. You should reduce them so that no side is over 1000 pixels.
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DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2017, 11:28:56 PM »
Two more images to show far I got over the weekend. The structure is complete and the roof sections are on!

I still need to enclose the front of the cabover section. Any ideas on how to bend 1/8" luan? I'm considering scoring the outside surface until it's bendable, then staple it to the curve and cover it with glue or polyurethane to add some strength back into it.

Today I took the stove apart. Just needs some cleaning, rust removal, paint and o-rings. Not sure the fresh water tank can be cleaned enough to use, maybe it will become a grey water tank.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:41:26 PM by DWJoyce »

SkateBoard

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2017, 12:30:05 AM »
I can see in a previous pic the part you need to bend. Looks like maybe 18" wide and 8' long or so. You don't score wood on the outside to bend. You cut kerfs on the inside radius. They are not random kerf cuts either. They are calculated based on the radius, thickens and spacing so the kerf cuts come together when done. 

Steaming the wood is the ultimate solution but you need a mold to hold it's form until it dries, then you install it. You can also try soaking it for days but still need a mold to hold it until it dries.

I would go with sheet metal. Easy!!

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2017, 07:09:29 PM »
Took the advice of a member and used 10" galvanized "pipe" for the curve at the front of the roof. I worked great but I will need to keep it away from the Aluminum siding.  There are a couple more pieces of structure to add, but it's mostly done and I've started working on the interior.

This image contracts the old parts removed and the new construction.

DWJoyce

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Re: The Start of My Happy Travl'r Camper Build on a '66 Chevy 4x4
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2017, 11:31:42 PM »
A little more progress since starting a new contract. Roof is complete, the large luan panels are in, insulation is on the sides and ready to start putting the siding back on.

I have a long list of things to do yet, but the exterior needs to get done first. One more thing I need to add is steel supports for the cabover section.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 11:34:56 PM by DWJoyce »

 

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