• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

1984 Skamper 072S


85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
25,939
Reaction score
5,832
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
This is going to be kind of a build thread, trip thread and then build thread...

About two months ago @Uncle Gump asked me if I would be interested in his 1984 Skamper because it was literally made for my truck's standard cab longbed configuration.

To the point they actually show that model in the back of a first gen Ranger in the brochure:



We eventually worked out a deal and to give Covid a time to cool down (it was a hope anyway) and run out over the 4th to check it out.

Now the thing going in my Ranger was a problem. My truck doesn't have A/C and only seats two. My wife wanted to bring the little one along too. It is about 6 hours of straight driving from my place to UG's place. My F-150 with a 6.5" bed was my next option. With a little googling I found people do cram them into fullsize trucks, actually rather popular now because everybody has shortbed fullsize trucks and they fit pretty well.

So with UG's help I did some measuring and figuring what I would have to do to get this camper into my F-150. The bed is deeper and the cab is taller and the truck is wider.



And then you drill holes in lumber to shim the jacks out. The post I found used 6x6 to get a 060S onto a Super Duty, I just used two 2x6's for this and it cleared pretty good.



So then I prepped my F-150. I got caught up on a bunch of stuff I had let slide. New upper control arms/balljoints, new tie rods, finished putting new tires on it, had the alignment checked, fixed an exhaust leak, replaced a flakey looking spring shackle... stuff I had meant to do this summer anyway.

For the shim I found the two thickest pallets I could from the pile at work. Then I screwed 2x4 scrap to the bottom to get an extra inch and a half. You can also see my shim blocks for the jacks off to the side. On paper it looked good anyway...



And I had never been around a slide in camper at all so I broke out the owners manual for my Ranger to see how this is supposed to work:



It didn't really say much about truck configuration, just to see "1985 Ford Vehicle Recreation Brochure" for more info. Off to ebay to snag this sacred document!

twelve bucks later...



Not really that helpful. I have more than all that crap.



Just for giggles I check out the brochure I got when I was in college, it breaks down the camper package.



I have everything (or more) except for the sway bar. If you have been following my build thread you know I have been working on that.

I am using the Brophy clamp on tie downs for the moment, UG threw in a pair of stake pocket ones he made for his truck and he used his back bumper. I have modified my new rear bumper design to incorporate camper tie down points and at some point I want to build sliders... so I can add them to that too.

Ok, ran the dogs up to my inlaws Thursday night, all loaded up and ready to shove off Friday morning:



Tail gunner is doing tail gunner things:



Passed a string of classics going to the Good Guys show in Des Moines:



Stopped for lunch at a Steak and Shake near Iowa City. Gotta say it was pretty good. Went to a neat park to eat and to stretch.



As a Longmire fan I kept the windows up, doors locked and cruise set to 75. No way are we stopping there, tourists always seem to have a tough time.



Goin across the Mighty Miss:





What the heck?! We are coming back this way to check this thing out!



Lots of neat farms for road farmin'



But yet the terrain is still somewhat varied:

 
Last edited:


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 7FA902352B4C01: April 5th, 2021

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
25,939
Reaction score
5,832
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
We roll into Gump's around 6 and get to work on cramming this little camper into a fullsize.

Supervisor supervises:



With the help of one of his awesome neighbors and his friend we got it wrangled in there, had to let the air out of the tires so it would squeak in. Jacks were up as high as we dared with the slope of the driveway.



And we stayed in their guest room. Worked out great because we threw the towel in on the camper at about 10 that night after supper. Had really good bacon wrapped hot dogs, tuna noodle salad, cole slaw and baked beans too.

Anyway, after watching a bald eagle eating a fish on the side of the pond behind his house (on the 4th of July nonetheless) we finish getting the camper tied down and loaded up to head back.



Sad to leave, we had a great time there:





Then since you can't really do anything else we went state park hunting on our way home for something to do.

Stopped at Fox River State Park to check the tie downs and see what there was to see:





When I was a kid I wanted a driveway like this:



Then we swung back thru Norway. Kind of amusing how similar yet different welcome is in Norway vs Sweden (Välkommen)



We stopped at the old twin Beach "crash"




Really hit home. My mom's parents lost their farm when interest went nuts in the 80's. Dad was just looking to get into, had all the equipment and was doing custom farming looking for his own farm and just dumped the equipment for what he owed on it. If he had gotten a farm before it all went down he would have lost it too.




Onto Starved Rock State Park.

It was like a big badly mowed hayfield next to a river that several towns were of people meet at with folding tables to "picnic" from what we could tell. We did a loop and left as it was swamped with people.





Neat church in a nearby town:

 

Shran

Junk Collector
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
5,953
Reaction score
1,266
Points
113
Location
Rapid City SD
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
This is just super cool. Ranger sized slide in campers have always intrigued me, you'll have to document it well.

That said, I have a '74 Mitchell slide in camper that I haul around in my F250... it's "just a little guy", no bathroom/overhang, etc, tailgate closes with it in the truck and that fawker is HEAVY. And it's just barely big enough for two or three people let alone me, my fiance, and our three kids...that has kinda turned me off to finding a smaller one.

Maybe when I don't have so many kids running around, I'll buy one made of modern materials that is fits a little truck.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
25,939
Reaction score
5,832
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
With our growing family it is going to get small fast that is for sure.

But we still have the tent, that is how we did it with my parents travel trailer. When we outgrew sleeping on the the kitchen table thing you got kicked out to the tent.

And we have a sink and stove inside with a dining area.

This one weighs about 1000lbs wet:



And the neat thing is, if I get a newer Supercrew with a 6.5' bed.... I could take it wherever with the whole crew. My old 2002 toyed with the thing.
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
6,244
Reaction score
3,776
Points
113
Location
Plano IL
Vehicle Year
2006
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
I changed my mind... is it to late to just call this entire thing off?
 

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
25,939
Reaction score
5,832
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
6,244
Reaction score
3,776
Points
113
Location
Plano IL
Vehicle Year
2006
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
Finally... someone has something @Shran doesn't have!
 

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
25,939
Reaction score
5,832
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
Anyway, more road farming:

[

On our way to Johnson-Sauk Trail State Park from some backway that Amanda found.









They had a round barn on display. It was all locked up so I still don't know what the advantage is to having a round barn.



VERY cool park, highly recommend. It blew the first two we stopped at away. Tons of small picnic shelters and trails, nice little lake. I loved it.












Then it was wagons west, across the Mississippi again:





Stopped for supper and lil guy needed an outfit out of the camper. It was then that I noticed a tag on the door jam, the camper was built 7-84... the same month and year I was born.

The beast required sustenance so we stopped for gas, bunch of fireworks going off around us and little guy got a kick out of them:



Drove thru Des Moines at about 10pm, fireworks were awesome. Then it was like "we are 2 hours from Omaha, do we try to get a hotel just west of Des Moines out of the city (Covid) or just push on and save the $60-150) Push on we did.

I would make Omaha, but I would have to top off the tank before I could get home. I really needed to stretch so I we put in for fuel just outside of Omaha. I think camper really looks pretty good on there.



Made it to Omaha (inlaws place) at about midnight. This is the next morning getting ready to move on:



Got it home, unpacked and off the F-150 and switched the mounts to the Ranger:

 
Last edited:

ericbphoto

I didn't do it.
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
8,503
Reaction score
4,952
Points
113
Age
56
Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
I like the barn. I read a series of mysteries years ago, in which the main character lived in an octagon shaped barn that he converted into a home. I always thought that would be cool.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
25,939
Reaction score
5,832
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
Freaking nervewrecking:







Little guy seems impressed:







And I think that pretty much covers the trip...

Anyway to do:

It has a little rot that needs dealt with. There is a board that goes across the back of the roof that needs replaced. It also may have a little in the back right side.

And it needs cleaned up a little and resealed. It is in pretty good shape for its age.

There is no house battery, on the fence if I should add one or not. For the near future I will just be camping locally at campgrounds with shore power so I have awhile to feel that out. Same goes for adding a faucet with a pump and a water heater, it might happen... probably a better chance than the house battery at the moment.

Some of the fittings on the outside are kind of aged and could be replaced, also the rear porch light needs a new switch. It takes a good pic but the decals are starting to peel, I wouldn't mind replacing those.

And I really need to get the sway bar thing together...
 
Last edited:

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
25,939
Reaction score
5,832
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
I like the barn. I read a series of mysteries years ago, in which the main character lived in an octagon shaped barn that he converted into a home. I always thought that would be cool.
I wouldn’t mind going thru it sometime, it would make for a good quick vacation in a couple years. Drove by a lot of stuff that would be fun but was closed. Brownelle’s store, Kinze museum, Rock Island Arsenal Museum... and that’s just what I saw from the interstate.

It’s on the wrong side of Mos Eisley/Chicago but the U505 would be nice to visit too.
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
6,244
Reaction score
3,776
Points
113
Location
Plano IL
Vehicle Year
2006
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
That looks really good in there...
 

Jim Oaks

Just some guy with a website
Administrator
Founder / Site Owner
Article Contributor
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 2, 2000
Messages
11,305
Reaction score
3,796
Points
113
Location
Roanoke, Texas
Vehicle Year
1996 / 2019
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6-inches
Tire Size
33x12.50x15
Now I've got the urge to throw my sleeping bag in the Expedition and take a road trip.
:3gears:
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
6,244
Reaction score
3,776
Points
113
Location
Plano IL
Vehicle Year
2006
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
Now I've got the urge to throw my sleeping bag in the Expedition and take a road trip.
:3gears:
I do too... with the heat wave and humidity up here this week it would be a rough week to camp. I've been busy here at home with some over due maintenance... and now I need to get busy at the restaurant catching up with maintenance. When I get caught up... I'm going to road trip over to Michigan's west side and do some pier fishing for King Salmon... probably mid-August. Then do the trail ride in September. Maybe Deer camp over Thanksgiving.... at least I have those to look forward to.
 

ericbphoto

I didn't do it.
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
8,503
Reaction score
4,952
Points
113
Age
56
Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
The 505 is cool. Been there twice.
 


Top