M1088 camper conversion

richingalveston

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your build is looking really good.
Reading through the thread, have you considered just blasting, primer and paint. Powder coat is good but it will add a lot of weight and it is not possible to touch up when you decide you need to correct something or add something after the powder coating is completed.
just something to think about.

Your welds look really good, keep up the good work.
Rich
 

chris_the_wrench

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your build is looking really good.
Reading through the thread, have you considered just blasting, primer and paint. Powder coat is good but it will add a lot of weight and it is not possible to touch up when you decide you need to correct something or add something after the powder coating is completed.
just something to think about.

Your welds look really good, keep up the good work.
Rich
Ive been thinking about por15 for when I build mine. Not sure about the weight but it seems easy to touchup. There are probably some downsides im not aware of..:.

-Chris
 

ckouba

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Going instead with epoxy instead of powder coat and I even have it scheduled with a vendor for blasting and painting- Sept 8 delivery and disassembly on site, pick up over the weekend.

It will be a lot of work between now and then but it's a huge milestone. When it comes back, the shelling can begin. It will finally start to look like a camper!
 

ckouba

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A few pics from Weds... The drive down:


Prepping for disassembly:


Disassembled:


Heading back to pick it up on Mon morning. REALLY looking forward to that!
 

Mullaney

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A few pics from Weds... The drive down:


Prepping for disassembly:


Disassembled:


Heading back to pick it up on Mon morning. REALLY looking forward to that!
.
Almost looks like you need to hire some gymnast in some brightly colored spandex to do flips and spins.
You could have a top rated parade vehicle - and then you could add the sides a little later :cool:
 

chucky

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Almost looks like you need to hire some gymnast in some brightly colored spandex to do flips and spins.
You could have a top rated parade vehicle - and then you could add the sides a little later :cool:
Now see thats what im talking about and let 2 lucky winners sit in 2 recliners on the bed floor of the truck while they did their thang just above ya!!!! You should run for president Mullaney !!!
 

chucky

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A few pics from Weds... The drive down:


Prepping for disassembly:


Disassembled:


Heading back to pick it up on Mon morning. REALLY looking forward to that!
Looks great most folks have no idea how much hard labor is in that structure !! And Mullaneys idea has alot of merit to it just sayin
 

Mullaney

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Looks great most folks have no idea how much hard labor is in that structure !! And Mullaneys idea has alot of merit to it just sayin
.
For sure Chucky!

I see a lot of triangles on that structure. I would guess it is going to be amazingly strong.
Being used as an entertainment platform until the build is complete makes it pretty sweet :cool:
 

ckouba

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Looks great most folks have no idea how much hard labor is in that structure !!
There is SO much truth to that statement. I feel as if I put in a month's worth of effort in the last 5 days and the visual change was virtually zero.


I see a lot of triangles on that structure. I would guess it is going to be amazingly strong.
Thanks Mullaney, that's the hope. It's a little strange that I don't see more people building them this way. I didn't find it all that difficult to manage the angles- after all, you've got to make some cuts, so why not take advantage of them to enhance the structure. All the other builds I've seen are traditional 90 degree joins.

I did it this way for two reasons- hoping the structure is stiffer because it's inherently rigid before applying the skins as shear panels, and the skin's shear loads will be less so the skin can be thinner if desired. The second benefit may be moot if the skins are so thin that they can't take a tree branch without creasing, but at least it leaves me open to the option of the various alu composite panels (e-panel, di-bond, be-bond, etc...).
 

bhound

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PAINT!!!!!



Looking at this being done in just ~2 days, I am quite content to have outsourced it. I can't imagine how long it'd have taken me to get this done.

Looking forward to Mon morning!
That's very BEAUTIFUL!It's a shame when it's done no one will never know the man hrs of labor and engeneering that went into your build,just curious what do you think that painted framework weighs?ALL in alll NICEEE!!
 

ckouba

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I will weigh it when get it back. The chassis was right at 17k when I started, so I'll have a good yardstick (plus or minus half a tank of gas) as to what it weighs. I am very curious to know too.
 

Alexandninasdad

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Hi all.

To start with, thank you for the existence of this forum. I haven't been around here too long or spent much time in the other subforums but there seems to be a very high signal to noise ratio within the FMTV community, and a number of very knowledgeable people willing to share and help. I hope to be able to eventually contribute in that manner as well. In the meantime, a rambling introduction and project statement follows. Feel free to ask questions or point out things where I may need some re-direction.

After spending ~2 years of casually vacationing throughout the north- and south-west US in a minimally converted EB E350 cargo van (we're not "vanlifers" or what have you), my wife and I were ready to move on. We've had bumper pull and slide-in/truck campers before and while we enjoyed them, they had compromises we weren't fond of and didn't have the durability or overall storage capacity we desire. With our time with all of these various vehicles, we developed our list of "wants" for what our ultimate RV would be: stand up height (I'm 6' 2"), dedicated bed space, reasonable kitchen/galley, full bath, lots of storage, and all wheel drive. We came up with a variety of vehicular options but based on budget goals (sorry Earthroamer), we decided that a full size 4x4 pickup with our own box outfitted in the manner we sought was our strongest play. We started looking.

And I couldn't find a rig.

Well, I could find them but... We had picked a ~$20k budget point for the base vehicle, and nothing in that ballpark was terribly attractive. I wanted diesel but not a 6.0 Powerstroke, and any of the Cummins that were in that range were 300K or higher mileage and looked it on the inside. I couldn't bring myself to jump on any of those. I also couldn't bring myself to jump to the ~$35k level to acquire a base vehicle in the condition we desired. I would occasionally (twice, three times maybe, over 16 months?) find a decent offering, but they were gone before I could get there- including the one where I said I want it and will be there in the morning (was out of town) and it got sold that evening.

But I always knew what my dream rig would be though: a 6x6 with high speed gears and a big box on the back. I also knew this would never happen for a couple of reasons-
  • Don't meet your heros- I had never touched one, never mind sat in or driven one. Would I even like it?
  • I was too chicken to roll the dice and pick one up from an auction.
  • I was too cheap to pay the $'s at a flipper (despite understanding the service they provide)
  • The wife had never seen, touched, or sat in one either, and despite saying she was OK with the idea, I didn't want to commit her to it.
  • Having done a little homework, I understood that high speed gears are already a fairly tough find, even more so if you need 3 sets for a 6x6.

So, I kept cruising Craigslist, etc... looking for my reasonable mileage, one ton, 4x4 pick up... ...until this happened.

I would ply CL for LMTV search terms occasionally, and one night this past June, staring back at me from the screen was a 2000 M1088A1, about ~30 minutes away, with a clean bill of health from CAT of Portland, a new full set of 7 tires, a set of snow chains, and HIGH SPEED GEARS INSTALLED. No auction. No transport hassles. I could see/touch/sit in/test drive it!

I called. It was true. The seller bought it to build up but his wife wanted to travel now, so they bought a finished rig (gorgeous!) and were moving this one out. I set up to see it the next day with my wife. Test drive went great- it had things which needed some attention but I was pretty sure I could take care of them. We took a few minutes to chat about it and decided we'd do it. We left a deposit, came back the next day with a check, and drove it home!

On the way home from picking up:


As for what we intend to do with it, the current plan is something along the lines of this:


Interior-ish view:


With this becoming our reality, we have also added a cab to box pass-thru to the list of wants, which necessitates removal/relocation of a bunch of stuff. Another addition to the design brief is internal storage for spare tire and bikes. We want to have as little as possible in view and/or getting dusty or wet. We have touring kayaks we also want to keep with us on some trips and by controlling the total height of the box, I think we can get away with this (~13' 2" with the boats on the roof). I hope to make them the only gear stored on the exterior.

This will be a massive project. I have probably done all of the elements required for it, but just not all for one single project. Thanks to those who have answered the questions I have already posted. There are more coming!
 

Alexandninasdad

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Those are some nice drawings. I came across a Honeycomb sandwich panel online that might be something for you to consider using somewhere. >>> Have you come across any info on Insurance for a DIY RV Build ? I am still going through the Engine on mine to make sure I don't smoke the Engine, but will be on the Road very Soon.
 

ckouba

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Those are some nice drawings. I came across a Honeycomb sandwich panel online that might be something for you to consider using somewhere. >>> Have you come across any info on Insurance for a DIY RV Build ? I am still going through the Engine on mine to make sure I don't smoke the Engine, but will be on the Road very Soon.

My insurance is through Progressive, as a commercial vehicle for private use. It is extremely affordable, but for the chassis only. The agent said to give him a call back when I have something built up and he can insure it as an accessory, with the same type of policy they use for adding utility bodies to chassis cabs. He said it'd be very straightforward, but I have yet to validate that.

Your rig looks nice!

If you can find the info on the honeycomb product, I would be interested in checking it out.
 

ckouba

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After a LONG morning...

Starting re-assembly:


Reassembled:


Back home and looking only slightly different at this point:


Super stoked with the results though and everything went back together without a hitch. With the CTIS unplugged, the truck ran perfectly all the way home, never missing a beat. I am booked up for the next ~2 wks but will be anxiously awaiting getting back to this project and making progress!
 

ckouba

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No pics but some progress. Big morning: the roof plywood is on the truck and screwed/bonded to the structure. I have committed to the alu composite panel and have a stash of them at home. If all goes well, the pieces for the roof will be on the roof in the morning.

Still getting over the $ of lumber... quite wallet-lightening!
 

chucky

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No pics but some progress. Big morning: the roof plywood is on the truck and screwed/bonded to the structure. I have committed to the alu composite panel and have a stash of them at home. If all goes well, the pieces for the roof will be on the roof in the morning.

Still getting over the $ of lumber... quite wallet-lightening!
What did you use for adhesive/sealant on the ceiling wood?
 
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