M1088 camper conversion

chucky

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I am floored with my progress!!





Thinking about a side hustle renting it out as a mobile dance hall. It's HUGE!

The punchlist before we can "use" it:
  • panel in the back
  • seal up stairwell
  • install accordion seal or at least the camper side cover plate over the passthrough
  • make a motor/trans hatch cover

That should actually get us into the woods. With a little more time, should be able to pull that off before the end of the year.
Are you going to seal that plywood with a sealer like polureathane to seal it forever or it will be a spounge
 

ckouba

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Are you going to seal that plywood with a sealer like polureathane...
Yes.

Truth be told, the floor is only in temporarily. It's got a dozen screws holding it in presently. I have plumbing and wiring to run, for which I've done zero planning and I know I will need to get it stuck under there. During that process, the plywood will be removed and sealed.

I've been so focused on getting a box built and paneled that I haven't thought about any of the systems layouts and such. My primary objective has been to get a box in which to validate the configuration we have chosen, so next steps will also involve mocking in the interior and giving it a try. Definitely need to start thinking about systems though, and start figuring out what components will be used and where they are going.
 

ckouba

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The floor covering the opening for the trans is now built and the only remaining section to build is the first ~6" up front. Over the past week I got the plywood sealed with urethane and started working on the mechanism to open the rear doors so I can panel them up. This did not go well- I think one of the latches was actually broken, so I basically wasted a day and change chasing a problem which wouldn't be solved with the parts on hand. Unfortunately I am beyond the opportunity to return them so have ordered replacement parts.

For positive progress, the door is installed! This was pretty painless and went well. It is starting to look and feel like a real camper.

As additional progress, I got the kayak loading opening built, including its closure panel, and glued and screwed in the last of the major pieces of paneling to enclose the habitat. The good news is that I can still get a 4x8 sheet of plywood through the door as well!

For you visual learners, the kayak door:


Let's see if they fit through the opening:


Looking good from the inside!




Next up is covering the corners and butt joints of the sheeting with the alu angle/flat to complete the sealing of the skin. I hope to get through this over the coming week, but that may be a bit ambitious. Once this is done, a trip will be made!
 

ramdough

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The floor covering the opening for the trans is now built and the only remaining section to build is the first ~6" up front. Over the past week I got the plywood sealed with urethane and started working on the mechanism to open the rear doors so I can panel them up. This did not go well- I think one of the latches was actually broken, so I basically wasted a day and change chasing a problem which wouldn't be solved with the parts on hand. Unfortunately I am beyond the opportunity to return them so have ordered replacement parts.

For positive progress, the door is installed! This was pretty painless and went well. It is starting to look and feel like a real camper.

As additional progress, I got the kayak loading opening built, including its closure panel, and glued and screwed in the last of the major pieces of paneling to enclose the habitat. The good news is that I can still get a 4x8 sheet of plywood through the door as well!

For you visual learners, the kayak door:


Let's see if they fit through the opening:


Looking good from the inside!




Next up is covering the corners and butt joints of the sheeting with the alu angle/flat to complete the sealing of the skin. I hope to get through this over the coming week, but that may be a bit ambitious. Once this is done, a trip will be made!
Campable is a major milestone! Keep up the good work.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ckouba

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Weather's been too crappy to get the angle and flat on to seal the box, but other work has been completed. Box is fully skinned, stairwell is fully panelled, cargo bay doors open remotely...... it can almost be called a camper.

With the box complete, it was time to roll it out and get another round of glamour shots. Enjoy!











Need a few days of dry weather (carport roof leaks a bit) and the box will be fully sealed. Trying to think creatively about finding a big enough place to get the work done indoors too.

Regardless, it's always exciting (for me at least) to get it out of the carport. I am very pleased with how it's shaping up. It's been about a year since I got at it in earnest. It's not going quickly but it's making steady progress, and this week was a massive milestone. I'm not sure I'll get to camp in it before the year is up but it's only because I am being patient and exhibiting self control.

Chris
 

markf

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Awesome build! I'm curious how much clearance from the wheels to the wells did you leave? Looks like doubled 6" beams or about a foot? How did you estimate wheel travel of the complicated walking beam axle configuration. (im asking for my build...)
 

ckouba

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Hi Mark,

I saw a video of a 1083 going up over something and as the intermediate axle climbed up, the chassis only moved upwards half of what the wheel did, and it was climbing a large step. This let that axle get surprisingly high relative to the chassis, much higher than I ever expected it would. The top of the tire was about to the bed, if I am remembering correctly. I don't remember where I saw it but it made an impression on me.

The other benchmark I used, for better or worse, was the 2ifoverland spacing. The bottom of their hab was basically level with the bottom of the cab/front fender line. I figured if it was good enough for the vendor who built that, and knowing that they were full timing in it and actually using it, it made sense to me to duplicate and move on.

As I got into the build, I did some measurements which I can't now find but they went something like there was ~7-8" between the bump stop of the axles and the frame. If I got into the "worst case" situation of completely crossed axle, the ~8" at the bump stop multiplies out to ~10-11" at the tire.

All these indicators were pointing at about the same answer, and conveniently, the available steel sizes made the decision quite simple. The channels I scored from the 1083 were about 6" (or just over that actually, I think it's documented somewhere in those early posts) and the other rail I added is 3" x 6".

So the short answer to your question is yes, I believe it's just over a foot from the top of the tire to the bottom of the habitat.

As I type that though, I remember that the build has also started to compress the suspension. My overall height is actually just under 12' now, so I will need to re-check what that distance is.



The weather here hasn't been too favorable for getting the skin sealed up but I am hoping that by the end of the week, that task will be crossed off and the remaining seams will also get their Sikaflex. Once that happens, it's game on! I will get the trans fluid flushed and swap to ATF and then we will actually USE it!! Exciting times!

Chris
 

markf

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I love the idea of camping in the unfinished box, it may help you make design desiciions before you finalize it . Im curious on the spacing of the middle wheel to the box, maybe its just the picture angle, but those floating beam axles dont just travel up and down like a "normal" suspension, but pivot on the center connect and may get really close to the box where ive put the red paint.1642009970930.png
The front high tire will move forward up to 3.5 to 4 inches as the beam drops the rear tire and raises the forward one. (prob just the pic angle)

(Edit with response to ckouba reply:) Ok, so mine is unloaded and with all 5 springs still and sits higher, maybe 25 degrees down, so in my configuration rotation up will give a big movement of my wheels forward and backwards. Clearly i still need to delete a leaf, and load up the frame! )
 
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ckouba

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Hi Mark,

I understand what you're saying but I think I am OK and it's just the photo angle.

The lower radius rods are just shy of horizontal as it sits, probably within 10° or so. The system will move it forward as the suspension compresses, but I don't think as much as the 4" figure. The converse is accurate though- when the suspension droops, the further from horizontal the radius rods get, and the more the geometry sucks the axle closer to the pivoting beam. When I put the springs back together after pulling a leaf, it was quite the exercise until I lifted the axles to take advantage of the effect.
 

ckouba

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Progress!!!

Alu for covering seams is on! It looks good enough, but the real news is that means it can leave the nest again.





Things are progressing... While waiting for the weather to shape up enough, I got the stair control wired up from the cab as well as the stairwell, so that's a bonus! Basically working hard to get it to the point of a usable box, then want it to rain so I can see if it's sealed up....

The last big thing before that is the fluid flush and swap for the trans which I am looking to get done this coming weekend.

Somebody had earlier asked about how the rear doors open. I meant to take a pic while out in the open, but failed. So here's a pic showing how the rear doors open:



Stay healthy my friends.
 
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