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Micro camper from Ranger service body


Roert42

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Nice spring pack you got there.
 


Uncle Gump

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What are you planning for ventilation?

You'd have to think with the doors closed to keep the bugs out... that thing is gonna be a sweat box on a warm summer night.

I kinda think I would want a couple windows too.
 

sgtsandman

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I would suggest running a 5-wire or 7-wire for brakes and backup lights.

Possibly providing some power for other things as well but keep in mind that the amperage isn’t super high and not all of them have power all the time, at least as the wires are normally setup.
 

holyford86

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Definitely an awning and solar panel. Canoe/kayak carrier... shower awning... ladder type tree stands.

I've been looking at the flexible panels and they don't really require any frame structure.
There are definitely some things I'm going to add, I figure it would be a good way to attach them all without drilling more holes. I think I want the panels to tilt/remove so I can move them around but haven't really researched what's out there yet as far as efficiency goes.

I even saw people use a section of 4 inch black PVC with a fill port and a spigot with shower head. The black pipe will warm the water. 4 inch x 7 foot would give you about 5 gallons of water. Enough for a couple quick clean ups.
I've got a small 12v water pump that could make this passive type water heater even more plausible without having to lug water onto the roof.

Leave the ladder racks. They are just too useful. If you find they're not, then get rid of them.
That's where I'm at too, they're easy enough to remove.

That's how I see it, too. How does the ladder rack mount to he box now? I would be looking at making the rack part easy and quick to remove and reinstall, without compromising its load carrying or structural integrity. Make it almost like a quick-change accessory.



High drilling speed kills hole saws. The teeth (only) are tempered; if the saw gets too hot the temper is affected and the teeth will dull quickly.

Keep the drill RPM down, or you can pulse the trigger, but I suggest that you use a drill with a second handle for better control. You can also use cutting oil (any light oil, really) to help the cutting, keep the saw temperature down, and to help prevent chips from sticking to the teeth.

Drilling aluminum will be easier, but do keep the speed down and use oil.

Good move, on getting the lighting and its electrical harness squared away first.
It is bolted through the roof with 2 bolts on all 4 corners, making it a quick release deal may be problematic because of leaks, as it is I've got to remove it and seal around the mounts.

im well aware of high speed drilling killing the saws, they're just so expensive now, haha. Wd40 seems to keep the aluminum from sticking too badly also. I've got the harness done and tonight I'll stick it back in.

Nice spring pack you got there.
It was a half baked way to keep the sway down in its previous life, I'm going to look at other options now, haha.

What are you planning for ventilation?

You'd have to think with the doors closed to keep the bugs out... that thing is gonna be a sweat box on a warm summer night.

I kinda think I would want a couple windows too.
I'm going to put a piece of fixed glass in the angled part of the roof and have opening windows in each side door, I've gotta measure and start hunting for windows. Cutting a hole in the doors for them will also allow me to insulate them without disassembly, which is nice because they're assembled like automotive doors. I don't want to cut into the roof so any ventilation I add will be in the sides or front.

I would suggest running a 5-wire or 7-wire for brakes and backup lights.

Possibly providing some power for other things as well but keep in mind that the amperage isn’t super high and not all of them have power all the time, at least as the wires are normally setup.
I finished the wiring harness last night, it's a 7 way with an auxiliary, electric brakes, and reverse lights wired in and capped for future use. Truck is already wired for all of these things and has a brake controller also. The plan is to use a portable power station and solar in the trailer but the auxiliary will be wired in to charge it while driving also. I'd like to keep the two mostly separate when it comes to power. Here are some pics of my harness work last night, I reused most wires and the loom so it looks old but is all redone

20231115_160318.jpg
IMG_20231115_183238.jpg
20231115_234523.jpg
 

holyford86

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@sgtsandman here's a better pic of the main harness that will be on the frame showing the brake and aux wires
20231116_081750.jpg
 

holyford86

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Had some time and some daylight today, so installed the wiring harness along the frame and all of the lights, tomorrow I'll connect the lights to the wiring harness and then I have a legal trailer again.
20231118_161825.jpg
20231118_161000.jpg


Also found a website with a good deal on a couple of awnings with decent reviews, so those are on the way now too.

Does anyone have any experience with solar or know of a good resource to learn more? At this point I believe I know what I want to do but sizing panels and batteries for what I plan to do without going the route I normally do and over building everything would probably be advisable, haha. I would like to install a charge controller with the capability of charging batteries from the tow vehicle while connected but beyond that I'm a touch lost.
 

Uncle Gump

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@Robertmangrum.rm works with solar stuff regularly... he could be of help I'm sure.
 

holyford86

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The junkyard provided me with two wheels nearly identical to the truck wheels today and a bunch of other parts are slowly trickling in, progress is progress.
 

holyford86

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No visible progress made but pretty much all of the things I've ordered are here, waiting for some space to be freed up in my buddy's shop so I can start sealing it all up and such. I did manage to find a box I'll be mounting to the tongue used on marketplace though.
20231209_170304.jpg
20231209_170245.jpg

It'll be leveled up and I'll be adding some mounts for other things also. If anyone would like me to go over the parts I bought so far I'd be happy to, but I could also wait until they're installed. The installation will likely wait until April ish
 

holyford86

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After searching for a good used pair of 33 inch all terrains and coming up empty I decided to buy two new ones then pick the worst two on the truck and swap them out and stick them on the trailer. Fun fact, the older general grabbers I have were made in the United States and the new pair were made in South Africa. The wheels they're on were a 60 dollar score from the junkyard and are 15x10s with roughly the same backspacing as the ones on the truck. Im going to trim the wheel openings as much as I can then I don't think the tires will rub, the openings are about 31.5 inches at the widest point currently and I've got about an inch of room at the front so that'll allow me to widen them about 2 inches and not look weird. I think some aluminum flares may be built at some point with some steps built into them, but I kind of like the look how it is, thoughts? More progress though.
20231217_145420.jpg

20231217_145433.jpg
 

sgtsandman

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I've never been a fan of the tires poking out of the fenders look. In some states, they can actually give you a ticket for it. Though, it doesn't seemed to be enforced much. Perhaps they save it for when they really want to pile on the offenses or get you for something but can't find anything else that would stick.

In any case, I think fender flares can look great and if you can work a step or two in them to make them even more useful, bonus.

As a side note, most of the more aggressive tires tend to make great rock throwers. A set of mud flaps might be a good idea. Mud flaps aren't everyone's thing but if you are riding in a group, the person behind you might appreciate them being there.

As far as clearancing the wheel wells, it looks like that would be a good idea. There doesn't appear to be much room up front but it might be ok with some finessing. There appears to be much more room on the back side to play with.
 

holyford86

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I've never been a fan of the tires poking out of the fenders look. In some states, they can actually give you a ticket for it. Though, it doesn't seemed to be enforced much. Perhaps they save it for when they really want to pile on the offenses or get you for something but can't find anything else that would stick.

In any case, I think fender flares can look great and if you can work a step or two in them to make them even more useful, bonus.

As a side note, most of the more aggressive tires tend to make great rock throwers. A set of mud flaps might be a good idea. Mud flaps aren't everyone's thing but if you are riding in a group, the person behind you might appreciate them being there.

As far as clearancing the wheel wells, it looks like that would be a good idea. There doesn't appear to be much room up front but it might be ok with some finessing. There appears to be much more room on the back side to play with.
I've got them in about as far as I can for a 15x10, the truck is similar, they're 4 inch ish backspacing, not super ideal but it's a concession I'm making to have to carry only one spare. As long as it isn't commercially plated new york doesn't really care but I do plan on adding flaps to both truck and trailer, truck flaps will be removable. I try to keep it all up to snuff from an inspection and safety standpoint to avoid the fines.

I've been thinking about adding the hard flares as the bottom edge of the door is about kitchen counter height, so a handle next to the door and a couple of steps will go a long way I think. I don't plan on dragging it down any tight trails so I don't think they'll get ripped off.

These haven't been super terrible at chucking rocks but they do on occasion so definitely a smart recommendation, especially for that.

I'm going to clamp something at the lower edge of the panels and draw a semicircle then see how it looks. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to get it inside and get all of the aluminum work done and seal the roof as it has a couple of minor leaks and all of the sealer is 36 years old so it's time to address that as well.
 

holyford86

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Well after a bit longer than I was hoping, some progress was made. Went and picked up a good used 3500 pound trailer axle today then we shortened it.
20240217_140451.jpg


20240217_153957.jpg

We cut and sleeved it, the ends of the axle touch in the center and it is plug welded in several places along with the ends of the sleeve. The perches that are slightly inward are Ranger width and the old ones shouldn't interfere with the u bolts and will give me a decent jacking point should I need it.
 

holyford86

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More progress on this today, found a set of decent springs on the truck that the box originally came off of, the heavy overloads will go on as well, I'll adjust them a bit to help with sway and such, should ride better and lower the overall height a bit over the springs I currently have in there. I've ordered new spring bushings and once I get those installed using the press at work, the springs and axle will be going in.

1000014609.jpg


Got the leveling jacks and rear bumper fit and installed today and tested how much I can lift the whole thing up with them all fully extended. I'll need to add an additional support to the front leg because it tends to flex forward but it works well nonetheless. I can tilt it quite a significant amount with the tires on and with them off I should be able to just about tip it over.
20240408_121859.jpg

20240408_123833.jpg


I also picked up some aluminum square tube to replace the rack on the top, as some of the steel tubing is splitting at the seams and in switching to aluminum the holes can be filled in and the rack can be welded directly to the roof, hopefully eliminating the leaks I currently have. I'll be changing the design of it slightly to more easily accommodate the awnings but it'll still be usable for storage and such.
 

holyford86

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Managed to make some more progress today, got the old leaf spring bushings pressed out and new ones pressed in
3e79bd2e-348e-45af-ac08-72e47215c093.jpg

Then I installed the axle, in my haste to install it before the rain I managed to install it backwards, so I guess I get to install it again 🤦‍♂️... The ride height is roughly where I'd like it to be, I'll need to trim the fenders a bit but that was anticipated and is no big deal.

After work this week I'll get the axle flipped the right way then wire the brakes. After that it'll be headed up to my buddies house to do some aluminum welding, then I can start with the fun stuff like building out the interior and such.
20240414_134656.jpg
20240414_134724.jpg
 
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