gmc ovrelander

richingalveston

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Here is the start of my over lander. It is not a military vehicle but works well. I lived and worked in this for 8 months while working storms in Iowa and Louisiana. It is a big foot 9,6 (short bed camper) on my 2018 GMC 3500 long bed. There is a 90 gallon diesel tank between the camper and the cab of the truck. I carry extra water jugs and gas cans for the generator on top of the tank. I have a Honda 3000i on the front of the truck that powers the camper with out any problems. The only issue with the Honda is it likes premium gas.
I have ordered an aluminum flatbed for the truck from Bullhead products in Kodak Tenn. (wlll be ready in November) When the flat bed is installed I will move the generator to the side of the camper along with the fuel tank. I plan to purchase a 3500 Onan diesel generator in the future and add another 90 gallon fuel tank for it. There will still be an approx. 1 ft. space between head ache rack on the front of the camper that will hold an additional water tank.

The camper has a 40 gallon water tank, large propane/110V fridge, 4 burner stove, micro wave, toilet and shower and a booth dinette which converts to a double bed. The over the cab portion has a queen bed. Roof top ac with heat and a propane heater, propane water heater. This bigfoot camper is a 2001 model that I purchase for $8500 (stole it, should have sold for about 12k). The camper is like new on the inside. The truck I already had.

When finished my rig will have 126 gallons of diesel for the truck, 90 gallons of diesel for the generator. approx. 100 gallons of fresh water, lithium battery bank that will run the AC overnight so you don't have to worry about the generator at night . From my previous 8 months living in it with the current config I can go two weeks in the camper on 40 gallons of water and about 30 gallons of gas for the Honda (running gen almost 24/7). The new configuration will allow me to go 30 to 45 days. The truck gets 14 MPG with the camper which allows for an approx. 1800 mile range. The future set will allow more range by using the generator fuel when needed.

I am posting this to show that a regular dually truck makes a perfect over lander with one of these cab over campers. These campers can be found used for reasonable prices.

I have 10k invested as is. The truck bed will put me at 20k. (it is a nice bed). The new generator and tanks will run me another 7K. My total investment will be approx. 30k without the truck ( I paid 56k for the truck in 2018, stole the truck also). Compare this to an already built over lander or custom van and it is less than 25% of the cost. You can do it on a lot cheaper truck than what I have but even with the truck my cost is 1/2 or better of any company built over lander out there.

It can be done a lot cheaper if the truck is dedicated to the camper then the nice flat bed is not needed and the camper can be mounted to the truck frame with some custom work to hold the items you choose on each side. (fuel, tool boxes, generator etc.) some campers have the generator built in (mine did but was removed by previous owner) however most of these generators are propane and can't run very long on the amount of fuel you can carry. A diesel truck and generator is the only way to get the capacity to go more than 4 weeks at a time. Fully loaded my set up added to the truck is about 4500 lbs. (air bags are also being added to the truck)

The truck is my daily driver for now and I also us it on my farm hauling hay and pulling gooseneck trailers. When ready to overland all the items can be loaded on the bed in about 2 hours and you are ready to go.

Using a regular dually truck keeps your insurance cheep and attainable. Using a manufactured camper instead of a home built allows you to get in any RV park. Many RV parks will not allow a home built camper. I only go to the RV park for one night every two weeks to dump my tanks and refill with fresh water and flush everything.

I spent 5 months in lake charles LA. living in the golden nugget parking lot where it cost me approx. $8 to $12 per day (outside temp makes a big difference in fuel consumption) to live comfortably with AC.

you can also still pull a 10,000 lb trailer with this rig and not need a CDL.

Will post again when my flat bed is on the truck. Just wanted to give people out there who are interested in an over lander how it can be done without having anything larger than a one ton truck. The LMTV and other vehicles are out there but most likely will be a money pit. Put the money into the camper and bed set up and I believe you will be happier.

When not overlanding the truck can server other purposes, mine eventually be my farm truck and over lander instead of my daily driver.IMG_20200813_160844244.jpg
 

Mullaney

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Here is the start of my over lander. It is not a military vehicle but works well. I lived and worked in this for 8 months while working storms in Iowa and Louisiana. It is a big foot 9,6 (short bed camper) on my 2018 GMC 3500 long bed. There is a 90 gallon diesel tank between the camper and the cab of the truck. I carry extra water jugs and gas cans for the generator on top of the tank. I have a Honda 3000i on the front of the truck that powers the camper with out any problems. The only issue with the Honda is it likes premium gas.
I have ordered an aluminum flatbed for the truck from Bullhead products in Kodak Tenn. (wlll be ready in November) When the flat bed is installed I will move the generator to the side of the camper along with the fuel tank. I plan to purchase a 3500 Onan diesel generator in the future and add another 90 gallon fuel tank for it. There will still be an approx. 1 ft. space between head ache rack on the front of the camper that will hold an additional water tank.

The camper has a 40 gallon water tank, large propane/110V fridge, 4 burner stove, micro wave, toilet and shower and a booth dinette which converts to a double bed. The over the cab portion has a queen bed. Roof top ac with heat and a propane heater, propane water heater. This bigfoot camper is a 2001 model that I purchase for $8500 (stole it, should have sold for about 12k). The camper is like new on the inside. The truck I already had.

When finished my rig will have 126 gallons of diesel for the truck, 90 gallons of diesel for the generator. approx. 100 gallons of fresh water, lithium battery bank that will run the AC overnight so you don't have to worry about the generator at night . From my previous 8 months living in it with the current config I can go two weeks in the camper on 40 gallons of water and about 30 gallons of gas for the Honda (running gen almost 24/7). The new configuration will allow me to go 30 to 45 days. The truck gets 14 MPG with the camper which allows for an approx. 1800 mile range. The future set will allow more range by using the generator fuel when needed.

I am posting this to show that a regular dually truck makes a perfect over lander with one of these cab over campers. These campers can be found used for reasonable prices.

I have 10k invested as is. The truck bed will put me at 20k. (it is a nice bed). The new generator and tanks will run me another 7K. My total investment will be approx. 30k without the truck ( I paid 56k for the truck in 2018, stole the truck also). Compare this to an already built over lander or custom van and it is less than 25% of the cost. You can do it on a lot cheaper truck than what I have but even with the truck my cost is 1/2 or better of any company built over lander out there.

It can be done a lot cheaper if the truck is dedicated to the camper then the nice flat bed is not needed and the camper can be mounted to the truck frame with some custom work to hold the items you choose on each side. (fuel, tool boxes, generator etc.) some campers have the generator built in (mine did but was removed by previous owner) however most of these generators are propane and can't run very long on the amount of fuel you can carry. A diesel truck and generator is the only way to get the capacity to go more than 4 weeks at a time. Fully loaded my set up added to the truck is about 4500 lbs. (air bags are also being added to the truck)

The truck is my daily driver for now and I also us it on my farm hauling hay and pulling gooseneck trailers. When ready to overland all the items can be loaded on the bed in about 2 hours and you are ready to go.

Using a regular dually truck keeps your insurance cheep and attainable. Using a manufactured camper instead of a home built allows you to get in any RV park. Many RV parks will not allow a home built camper. I only go to the RV park for one night every two weeks to dump my tanks and refill with fresh water and flush everything.

I spent 5 months in lake charles LA. living in the golden nugget parking lot where it cost me approx. $8 to $12 per day (outside temp makes a big difference in fuel consumption) to live comfortably with AC.

you can also still pull a 10,000 lb trailer with this rig and not need a CDL.

Will post again when my flat bed is on the truck. Just wanted to give people out there who are interested in an over lander how it can be done without having anything larger than a one ton truck. The LMTV and other vehicles are out there but most likely will be a money pit. Put the money into the camper and bed set up and I believe you will be happier.

When not overlanding the truck can server other purposes, mine eventually be my farm truck and over lander instead of my daily driver.View attachment 843111
.
Nice write-up. Yeah, it isn't green but it definitely looks like you have done some good thinking and planning. Nice looking rig - and the other pics you offered up with the trailer would be cool.

Very good looking truck richingalveston !
 

richingalveston

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galveston/Texas
I don't have any pictures of the truck with camper pulling a trailer. I have done it with my 18ft flatbed trailer which was hauling a small tractor. It will be November before my truck bed gets here and any more work happens to the overland build.

I just posted this now because I think people should consider using a CUCV instead of an LMTV. A 1008 could be used if you were able to get the right camper. Take the bed off which will save a lot of weight and mount the camper to a small platform on the frame and then rig your accessories to the frame. I think the top speed and fuel mileage will probably be very close between the CUCV over lander and an LMTV, 5 ton or any other large truck. The cost, maintenance and repairs will be a lot lower with the CUCV.

I am spending a lot of money on an all aluminum flat bed mainly because I use the truck for other purposes when not over landing. The flat bed will save me about 500lbs from the stock bed. The cost is about $2500 additional for that $500 lbs. Not something I am recommending to others.

If my truck wears out or has any issues, I can move to another truck very easily without loosing a lot of money on my over lander investment.

It is very hard to sell a home built rig. My camper will sell in just a few days for more than what I paid for it. The big foot brand camper is the best out there. Northern lights campers are the same camper but the bigfoot has a little better insulation and better windows in my opinion. If you are considering a camper I would strongly recommend a big foot if you can find one for sale. They are very hard to find compared to all other campers.

I really recommend a modern truck over any military vehicle (I can easily cruise at 7f MPH) but I would consider a CUCV 1008 or 1028 before any thing larger. The smaller the footprint the better you are when overlanding. If you decide to go to the Left coast. As long as you fit in one parking spot you can stay pretty much as long as you want. A trailer or anything larger than one spot and they will run you off. If you have a home built rig you probably won't get to stay in to many places because the RV resorts and many state parks won't let you in and in this area even the Walmart is off limits.
Just some things to consider when you decide to build an over lander.
One last comment. It only took me one day to rig my tie downs and I was up and running in my over lander. I did not have to spend a year or two on planning and building one.
 

Mullaney

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Location
Charlotte NC
I don't have any pictures of the truck with camper pulling a trailer. I have done it with my 18ft flatbed trailer which was hauling a small tractor. It will be November before my truck bed gets here and any more work happens to the overland build.

I just posted this now because I think people should consider using a CUCV instead of an LMTV. A 1008 could be used if you were able to get the right camper. Take the bed off which will save a lot of weight and mount the camper to a small platform on the frame and then rig your accessories to the frame. I think the top speed and fuel mileage will probably be very close between the CUCV over lander and an LMTV, 5 ton or any other large truck. The cost, maintenance and repairs will be a lot lower with the CUCV.

I am spending a lot of money on an all aluminum flat bed mainly because I use the truck for other purposes when not over landing. The flat bed will save me about 500lbs from the stock bed. The cost is about $2500 additional for that $500 lbs. Not something I am recommending to others.

If my truck wears out or has any issues, I can move to another truck very easily without loosing a lot of money on my over lander investment.

It is very hard to sell a home built rig. My camper will sell in just a few days for more than what I paid for it. The big foot brand camper is the best out there. Northern lights campers are the same camper but the bigfoot has a little better insulation and better windows in my opinion. If you are considering a camper I would strongly recommend a big foot if you can find one for sale. They are very hard to find compared to all other campers.

I really recommend a modern truck over any military vehicle (I can easily cruise at 7f MPH) but I would consider a CUCV 1008 or 1028 before any thing larger. The smaller the footprint the better you are when overlanding. If you decide to go to the Left coast. As long as you fit in one parking spot you can stay pretty much as long as you want. A trailer or anything larger than one spot and they will run you off. If you have a home built rig you probably won't get to stay in to many places because the RV resorts and many state parks won't let you in and in this area even the Walmart is off limits.
Just some things to consider when you decide to build an over lander.
One last comment. It only took me one day to rig my tie downs and I was up and running in my over lander. I did not have to spend a year or two on planning and building one.
.
Thanks Rich. There is a lot of good in what you have said in both of these updates. I can't speak for the overland community either because I just don't have one and I decided long ago that wasn't for me.

The ability to hit the road with a small, somewhat fuel efficient vehicle makes a lot of sense to me. My big green trucks have a purpose too, but jumping in one of my MTV's and heading to California isn't in the plans - ever - for sure. Best part about what you have done is to create something that can be fixed in 90% of the repair shops in the country. The big greens don't have that.

You have lots of good reasoning under your belt. Keep talking and push pictures when you can :)


Tim Mullaney
 

ckouba

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Great looking set up and glad to hear it's your ideal rig.

I also had a Bigfoot (10.5', similar vintage) and loved it, but... It didn't have the storage I wanted. Even with bags, it was pushing the capacity of my diesel F350 dually. Unfortunately, the camper didn't stand up to the roads I traveled (had to have the wall under the cab-over rebuilt at the factory after a 4h, 12 mile drive to a trailhead). We did love it though and it was a great unit, but sold it when an opportunity arose.

Which explains how I got here (see this post if you want more details). The rig I am building will have all the storage I want, with plenty of weight capacity, and won't fall apart. I am willing to pay to feed it and in the end, it won't be significantly thirstier than a comparably-sized RV, but without the pavement constraints. Comparing the FMTV's to 1 ton pick ups is apples to oranges.

There is no wrong or right answer for what's the best rig for you. Find what you enjoy and go use it. If you can't find it, build it! That's what I am doing.
 

Mullaney

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Location
Charlotte NC
Great looking set up and glad to hear it's your ideal rig.

I also had a Bigfoot (10.5', similar vintage) and loved it, but... It didn't have the storage I wanted. Even with bags, it was pushing the capacity of my diesel F350 dually. Unfortunately, the camper didn't stand up to the roads I traveled (had to have the wall under the cab-over rebuilt at the factory after a 4h, 12 mile drive to a trailhead). We did love it though and it was a great unit, but sold it when an opportunity arose.

Which explains how I got here (see this post if you want more details). The rig I am building will have all the storage I want, with plenty of weight capacity, and won't fall apart. I am willing to pay to feed it and in the end, it won't be significantly thirstier than a comparably-sized RV, but without the pavement constraints. Comparing the FMTV's to 1 ton pick ups is apples to oranges.

There is no wrong or right answer for what's the best rig for you. Find what you enjoy and go use it. If you can't find it, build it! That's what I am doing.
.
That is a perfect statement.
Find What You Enjoy and Go Use It.
 

richingalveston

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galveston/Texas
I agree with you on build it if you cant find it. I have had no issues with my camper but I have also done some reinforcement on the front. I have legs that attach to a cross bar that runs between the two jack mounts in the front. I have heard of people having the same issue you had with the front wall. I have put several thousand miles on my rig with no complaints. Once I retire the truck from daily driving the truck will get a slight lift and more aggressive tires. I have been on a lot of bad roads and many gravel/dirt roads with no problems at this time. My over lander is not a trail rig, that is what the 1009 is for. It will go to remote places via dirt roads and can handle some fairly rough stuff but will not be a rock crawler.

I think it is great that you are building your over lander but there are a lot of people out there that do not have the capability to do what some of us can. You can look at my 1009 and see that I believe in building what you want. I just wanted to put out there that it can be done on a smaller footprint and some of the issues you will have with the custom build. (insurance, available places to park while traveling, maintenance cost, and build cost vs. resale).

I will follow you build and encourage you to get it completed the way you want it not what other suggest. The suggestions are great to look at for ideas but you must make that suggestion fit your application.

Just be ready to have RV parks turn you down and many places run you off because of your size and not being a manufactured product. I have been on the road with mine and have seen others with home made builds get run off where I was able to stay. My 8 month road trip started in Houston, first stop Philly P.A., then Bloomington IL. and a long stay in Newton IA. From there I went to Birmingham and then to Lake Charles LA for many months before returning to Houston. The entire trip I only stayed in an RV park 4 nights.

Not that you plan to spend a lot of time in RV parks but they are the best place to get your tanks dumped and water refreshed. Many truck stops and rest stops have dump stations however none of them have Potable water. That was my biggest challenge was getting fresh water for my tanks. On one occasion I paid a homeowner for water. The were watering there yard with a hose when I was driving buy and I just rolled down the window and asked If I could fill up for $20. Another time I paid a gas station attendant to let me use there hose.

The RV parks generally charge $10 for use of the dump station and refreshing your water tanks but due to insurance reasons they can't let you on the property without a manufactured RV or camper. To many home builds go up in smoke because people can not do the electrical or gas plumbing properly and the way they pack the RV's together in many of the parks the units on each side will get damaged.

Please don't take my post as criticism of your build, I look forward to seeing your progress.

My only suggestion for your build is plan for plenty of fresh water storage and black water storage. Most places grey water can be discharged but the black water and fresh water capability will be what limits how long you can stay.
 
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