200A and 202 reproduction
frames back
in stock.
If you haven't seen my prior posts, let me introduce myself. I live in Coastal Texas, and love outdoor activities. Sadly I am also considerably overweight, and have some medical issues that have contributed to that. 

I love camping, and the activity associated with it actually helps with some of the medical issues, and certainly helps me lose weight. I guess we eat healthier around a camp fire, but I do know we are FAR more active when we travel / camp.

We have a 2004 Ford F150 super cab 4x4, that we are having a friends shop "bulletproof" the 5.4L 3V. Google Ford 5.4L 3V issues and you'll see why... 

Our prior camping rig is / was until the engine croaked, that truck with a Leer hi top camper shell and a DAC full size truck / suv tent that buys us a little extra room with the tailgate down and hatch open. No standing room or anything, and lots of setup and teardown...

Due to our requirements, and the fact it is ONLY my wife and I, we don't need to be kid centric, we decided we want a lightweight slide in camper that can utilize our existing camping gear as much as possible. We were putting our pennies aside for a Eureka SlideInn with a 4' overcab and a slightly customized interior, when we found out that Eureka went out of business (well that stinks). 

Research into other slide in campers left a LOT wanting.

Until I talked about the problem with a boat builder friend of mine who suggested we consider building our own using fiberglass over foam sandwich construction. 

We went to his shop, and took some 3/4" foam cutoff he had, probably 4" wide by 8' long, cut some fiberglass mat, mixed up some epoxy resin, wetted the mat and laid it down over the foam, rolling it out semi smooth, and let it cure. BTW, this was in the winter, in Texas, but still, winter, curing time was a bit longish...

When we went back after the "test bar" was cured, we stood it up over 2 cinder blocks, one on each end, and stepped on it. Our combined weight was over 600lbs as he is a large guy as well... We then jumped up and down on it a few times.

No failure of the fiberglass test bar.

In my research I have seen engineering tests of fiberglass panels holding strong where steel, and / or wood panels simply fail, or deform. so it would appear that fiberglass over foam is the way for me to go. 

In one way, I am glad the Eureka isn't an option, mostly because I am not thrilled with the overall height of the camper. Simply put, I wanted more room in the overcab so I can sit up on the bed and not smash my skull into the ceiling. 

The bed / overcab will be a king size, with a 4" tri-fold mattress. and will slide out so that it's basically 48" over the cab, the rest on the slide out. This will get topped off by a 3" cooling gel memory foam topper. The bed will stow during the day to free up space in the camper.

At the front of the camper, I am planning on a queen size cross the camper sort of dinette using 6" thick memory foam pads upholstered to make seat bottoms and backs. The buttom of the seat should feature a hinged pass through that will house 2 Reliance 7 gallon AquaTainers on each side. Assuming I can make that, and multi tank siphon / pickup work... I'd really like to balance the weight of the water out. I also want to integrate some method of common single point fill...

Here is where I get tricky. I am undecided on appliance fuel source, but am leaning toward using my Dual Fuel appliances as they can use RUG and that would keep me from having to carry onboard multiple different fuels such as Coleman Fuel, Propane or whatnot... 

The planned Generator will be a Westinghouse iGen 2500, small, efficient, quiet. The AC will be a cheap Walmart special type 5K BTU window unit through the back wall.

However, that leaves heat, which I have a couple of Coleman catalytic heaters, but that means Coleman fuel, or a Mr. Heater Portable Buddy heater, which means propane. If I go propane, I should just go all in on propane and use my Coleman Propane stove, lantern (outside) and probably integrate some sort of propane water heater for the shower and sink... 

This is all long term goal stuff, and I am trying to generate ideas for this. How do I make and keep the wife comfortable, and me off the ground without kiling my back, and not give my half ton truck a hernia?

Just for your reference, I am aiming for something akin to this camper... 

However if you look at the photo of the overcab sleeper, and realize that I am a big guy that likes to sit up in bed, this won't work..

There are definately things I would do differently from their setup. And from Eureka's design.

#1. King bed overcab.
#2. More interior height, at least 1' more headroom. I think the interior height on them is something like 6' 2". Tight even not considering the overcab. Probably aim for interior height of 7' 6", which would put the whole thing off the ground about 10' total. As long as I don't add to the roof height too much.
#3. More powerful inverter.
#4. Small generator, but not too tiny. 2500 peak watts is about right. 
#5. Integrated water heater somehow.
#6. Use my existing 32" LCD TV, it can run off of 110V AC or 12V DC.
#7. Design and build on a DIY awning. I don't want to haul the EZ Up any more for sun / rain protection. And I don't want some monsterious awning.  
Love my old school Coleman liquid fuel gear. Looking for tips and tricks to make the most of it.

If you are in Texas, you are in the heart of new/used RV country. Check Craig's list, RV dealers, and classifieds  for used RV trailers in the 17'-19' size. Casita is a top brand, but basic low end travel trailers can be had for ~$13,000 new. If you can do DIY stuff, consider converting a 6'x12' cargo trailer (~$3,000 new), which will actually hold some value. Live in the trailer and put the stuff in the truck bed. Check out RV stuff on you tube. Lots and lots of RV stuff there.  
There's a purpose behind wanting a lightweight slide in truck camper. Most notably mobility. You may have missed the fact that the truck is a 4x4,  And I do use it. A lot of the places I go to I can get the truck to but anything dragged behind it like a trailer would end up in little pieces behind it along the trail.

I might be able to get a pop up down these trails, but those typically have horrible ground clearance.
Love my old school Coleman liquid fuel gear. Looking for tips and tricks to make the most of it.

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