Saturday, March 17, 2007

Photos - cabinets

More photos of the cabinet installation.

Bed Platform Frame

Front Cabinets over bed connecting 2 side walls

Framework for base cabinets

Framework for top cabinets

Base cabinets with cooktop range and dry-fitted.
Electrical power box installed

Upper cabinets and base cabinets installed with
sink, cooktop rangetop and range hood.

Added shelf for TV

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Construction continues

I can not stress the importance of buying all your windows and door before you start this project. You will need the dimensions of these windows before you start to build the walls. If you are going to build this camper on the cheap like I did you will be bidding on the windows on Ebay. You can save a lot of money buying off Ebay, even with the shipping charges included it will be about 1/2 the price of a new one from the manufacturer. Case in point, I called one of the suppliers listed on the Glen-L web site. He wanted $285 for one window and $45 to crate and ship it, and I needed two that size. I got on Ebay and bought two windows made by this manufacturer for $85 each and $30 to ship both. And these were double paned, tinted, and never installed, brand new. You will find that you will be spending a lot of time on Ebay every night looking for parts to your project. I spent a good 6 months on there every night. Also you have to plan about 3 weeks in advance so that your parts will be there when you get to that phase of the project.

Ok on this phase of the project all 4 walls are attached to the box using Liquid Nail and screws. Now the next step in the project is to build the cab-over bed area. The frame work is 2x2's, glued and screwed together. Then covered with 1/2" plywood. The next phase is to build the cabinet work that goes at the very front of the camper and it ties the two front sidewalls together. You will find that the sidewalls are kind of flimsy before installing the cabinet work. I used some 1x2's to prop it up and square it up. I cannot stress the importance of always double checking to make sure everything is square and level. I used 3 levels while building this project. After the cabinet is glued and screwed into place the next phase it to install the first panel to the front of the camper boxing in the front of the bed area. I cut a piece of 1/8" luana plywood and dry fitted it first. Then I put it on the work bench and glued the 2x2 structure support to the outside. I used a 18ga air nailer to hold the 2x2's to the plywood while the glue dried. I used Liquid Nail for the glue. Then I flipped it over and I used a spray gun to spray on about 4 thin coats of Hellsman varnish to get that glossy look. I let it dry for a couple of days and then glued and screwed it on. Now you have a complete boxed in camper except for the roof which is 3 sheets of 4' wide plywood. The ceiling/roof goes on last after all the cabinets are built. Next I built the kitchen cabinets. The beauty of these Glen-L plans is you can build the cabinets any which way you want, or none at all. There are several builder photo projects on their web site. Well I looked at all of them and then looked up campers for sale on Ebay. I came up with my own idea of what I wanted for cabinets. Also it might be noted that I bought the double bowl sink with all the fittings for $65 off Ebay. So I had to incorporate it into the plan. Well after looking at several campers on Ebay I came up with the idea of putting the sink at an angle towards the bed area. This way I could mount my t.v. up over it and I could swivel it around to watch it in bed or while sitting on the couch area. I built the cabinet frame work out of 2x2's as seen in the photos. I then skinned it with 1/8" luana plywood and routered out all the openings with a flush trim router bit. All the cabinet doors are very simple to make. I used 5/8" plywood and skinned it with the luana plywood then routered all the outside edges. The back side I cut a 1/2" dado to recess the doors. There are 18 cabinet doors in this project and three slide out drawers. Also I mounted my converter box under the sink. This way the power cord can roll up inside under the sink where all the plumbing is located. So that takes care of that wasted space and there is plenty of room to coil up the 36' 50amp power cord. I went with the 50amp converter box because I bid on it on ebay and won and it was a lot cheaper than the 30amp power boxes. For this project a 30 amp box will do fine.

After finishing up the kitchen cabinet workI started on the overhead cabinets. I built the frame work out of 1x4's cut to size. Note the slope of the roof line that the cabinets must adhere to. With the roof off it is easy to just lay a board up to the side wall and scribe the roof line onto the board to get your slope. I built each cabinet framework one at a time in sections and then screw them together. There might be an easier way to do this but I found it worked for me. Well here is some more photos of the project. I will continue to add to this blog.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Photos of Construction of Box and Walls

Here are a few photos of the construction of the box and walls:

Box finished.

Lay-out of framework - on top of Glen-L plans.

Framework for side wall with corner braces.

Framework for back wall with corner braces.

Skinned walls with 1/8" Luana plywood.

Back wall with door opening put in place.
Note: Windows were cut out with plunge router.

Front wall added to box.

Rookie Woodworker Builds Truck Camper

My name is Dan and I am entering this blog in regards to my Truck Camper building project. You might ask why build my own, well I priced some of the Lance campers and the like and they were just ought of sight in price. I wanted a truck camper so that I could tow my boat down to Galveston, Texas from New Caney, Texas, a distance of 112 miles from my house, one way. I love to saltwater fish, but I don't like the 2 hr drive from my house, one way. So my thought was to build or buy a truck camper so that I could stay down there a day or two at a time. Well I got on line and searched for camper projects and found the Glen-L truck camper plans. This was in June 2006. I also looked at used campers, but they all seem to be up in the Northern part of the United States. I didn't feel like driving 3,000 miles for a truck camper or spend $25,000 for a Lance camper. So I ordered the Glen-L truck camper plans, the Alcapulco design.
The plans are pretty straight forward. I am by no means a master carpenter but you couldn't tell it by the ease of construction on this project. Of course I ran into a few small glitches but I worked thru them. I have had people from my neighborhood stop by to see the progress I have made on this project and these are people who have not been over to my house but maybe once in the 25 yrs I have lived in this subdivision. The one thing you have to keep in mind on a project this big is to break it down into small projects. Don't look at the big picture, it is mind-boggling. You start on one wall at a time, then the box, then the front wall, then the back wall and so on. And don't get in any hurry, just chisel away at it a couple of hours everyday and before you know it that part of the project is done.
I bought the lumber for this project first. I bought about 60 2x6's made out of Fir. I then ripped 20 of those 8' 2x6's into 1x2's. These are used for much of the frame work on all the walls. The plans call for using cabinet staples but I found they split the wood. What I did was glue all the joints together with yellow glue and then stapled the joints together with a regular hand held stapler. Then I reinforced all the corners with triangular blocks glued in and then air nailed with 18ga brads. The secret behind the building of these plans is everything is glued together. The walls might seem flimsy, but once you get the cabinets in, the walls get stiffer, and then when you add the roof it is rock solid. Of course all the walls are attached to the box using screws. Next post will show some photos of the construction.