Overland 5-ton camper with a 20' container

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jcdostie

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I have a simple idea for an air ride up front. I'd get a second pair of shackles (at the rear of the spring), double them up like chain links, and use an off the shelf airbag between the frame and the spring plate above the axle, in place of the rubber cone bumper. When the airbag bottoms out, youll still have the stock spring travel. The rig I would build would use only two axles, and I'd use a set of front springs for the rear axle, so front and rear air ride on the cheap.

I hope you dont use any RV particle board cabinets or anything else from commercial RVs. Those would get shaken to bits, probably even with the air ride, and theyre heavy as can be. Your whole project should be on Jenny Craig what with the steel box as a starting point. I thought I'd look for a commercial truck box like a Morgan body. All aluminum, and if you look hard enough, maybe even cheaper than a shipping container. Easier to insulate, cut holes for windows, etc. Even get a price on a new one spec'd out how youd like and see how much it would be. Either way, awesome project. Hope I can start one similar as typical RVs are crap.
Thanks for the suspension advice. I will get the truck out of hibernation this weekend and go to a suspension shop to give me some ideas.

For the box,?I prefer build it myself. I will be able to optimize every inch in space. Important because it’s a retirement project and you always need more space . And the cabinets or anything else, no RV cheap parts. !

Tks again
JC


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silverstate55

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Thanks for the suspension advice. I will get the truck out of hibernation this weekend and go to a suspension shop to give me some ideas.

For the box,?I prefer build it myself. I will be able to optimize every inch in space. Important because it’s a retirement project and you always need more space . And the cabinets or anything else, no RV cheap parts. !

Tks again
JC
Look to see what the Overlanders use; I know there are durable but light cabinets & other materials they use in similar rigs with success. Custom wood cabinets that are durable are also very heavy. Weight will be a HUGE concern; weight adds up very quickly on these projects, and that's before you add tools, clothes, etc...

Fellow member Profo (as Wes mentioned) has built at least 2 custom living spaces on former military trucks; I've seen & been in one of them (built on the 5-ton long wheelbase platform). It is nothing short of IMPRESSIVE. It is well-built and very well thought out.
 

jcdostie

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Hi,
Finally, Big Green is out of hibernation!
I went to see a suspension shop and he proposed me to put a simple air ride custom suspension on the front
(Similar to this)


And for the back, just 2 air spring balloons and remove all the leaf springs
(Red is the frame )


That’s the first shop. I will go for some more ideas

JC


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Mos68x

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Hi,
Finally, Big Green is out of hibernation!
I went to see a suspension shop and he proposed me to put a simple air ride custom suspension on the front
(Similar to this)


And for the back, just 2 air spring balloons and remove all the leaf springs
(Red is the frame )


That’s the first shop. I will go for some more ideas

JC


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
I’m curious about the front suspension design your friend proposed. I guess that would really depend on how it was mounted. I’m still trying to figure out a way to bag the front suspension while at the same time giving the front a lot more wheel travel. I cannot guarantee that I’ll not be taking this truck on some serious 4X4 trails, and I would like to have all 6 tires on the ground at the same time, especially since I can’t find an air-locker for the front differential.
 

jcdostie

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Quebec
I’m curious about the front suspension design your friend proposed. I guess that would really depend on how it was mounted. I’m still trying to figure out a way to bag the front suspension while at the same time giving the front a lot more wheel travel. I cannot guarantee that I’ll not be taking this truck on some serious 4X4 trails, and I would like to have all 6 tires on the ground at the same time, especially since I can’t find an air-locker for the front differential.
For the front suspension, the drawing I put is from a catalog parts (commercial truck design). The guy told me he has to built the arm from scratch to make sur it’s strong enough. So probably with some high grade steel like QT100. The axle will be above it to have enough displacement.

Tell me a bit more about your project. Is it from the M934 original box ?
And what kind of air locker is best for rear axle ?

Thanks
JC


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Mos68x

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For the front suspension, the drawing I put is from a catalog parts (commercial truck design). The guy told me he has to built the arm from scratch to make sur it’s strong enough. So probably with some high grade steel like QT100. The axle will be above it to have enough displacement.

Tell me a bit more about your project. Is it from the M934 original box ?
And what kind of air locker is best for rear axle ?

Thanks
JC


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
Mine is in a shipping container as well, and I’ll add a few extra square feet for the closet and bedroom above the cab and engine. If you are lucky enough to find an M1500 firetruck being parted out then you’d have the air lockers for the front. I’m going to use standard Detroit lockers in the rear and just hope that it will be enough.
 

jcdostie

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Here’s a short update
New plans. My girlfriend just got to do them. Explanation after...




The bed is still over the cab (software bug in the design)

We went to another suspension shop and he proposed about the same for the suspension, but he asked why you don’t want to extend the frame and move back the axles. He said it’s not a big deal and the law here is 12,5m max.
So the project ended up looking now like the drawings with a garage in the back and a hydraulic door as a ramp for a diesel Smart and a small boat over it

JC


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moparrob

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Looks great! How do you plan to make the box? Aluminum square tubing or c-channel and a riveted aluminum skin would be my instinct. I like the way airplanes are built, and the light weight would go a long way for this project.
 

Nomadic

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Here’s a short update
New plans. My girlfriend just got to do them. Explanation after...




The bed is still over the cab (software bug in the design)

We went to another suspension shop and he proposed about the same for the suspension, but he asked why you don’t want to extend the frame and move back the axles. He said it’s not a big deal and the law here is 12,5m max.
So the project ended up looking now like the drawings with a garage in the back and a hydraulic door as a ramp for a diesel Smart and a small boat over it

JC


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Looking good. Except, where is the computer desk?
 

Buffalobwana

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Your drawing is cool. I need to check that program out.

One problem. Unless you have a smart car in the back, your image is not to scale. Even if it’s correct, you are loosing 33% of your capacity. Towing the car will be a much better option. You won’t want to give up living space for useless garage space that will likely be empty when you are using the box bc the Car will be out anyway. If you want a garage, make it small, use it for spare tires and a motorcycle.

if you are going deep off road, and can’t tow the car, park the car in a secure lot until you get back. A motorcycle/spare tire sized garage makes the most sense. I think I’d like to have a dirt/street bike if I was going deep off-road in case of emergency.
 
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Buffalobwana

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I have been researching this for a while. Totaling the cost of an expedition vehicle finish out is a sobering experience. You are in for a $40k project easily.

A Total Composite’s box is $10k including door and windows. Actually a pretty good deal when you consider the other options. This is how I would go for many reasons. Time, resale, quality final product all are positive attributes. A build is still costly and could easily wind up costing the same once you put windows and door in.

For a box, the best DIY option I have found in terms of quality and ease of finish out would be a Morgan truck box. I found a 20’ box for $5k. Including a lift for your motorcycle and spare tires. It’s about as perfect as they come. Block off the back wall to make a garage, insulate the walls and boom. You are done!

Except the cost of doing this will probably almost equal the cost of a Total Composite’s box once you put in insulation, walls, windows and door. This stuff adds up.

Electrical, heat, AC, solar, Lithium batteries, generator total $7k-$10k easy.
Toilet/head - Nature’s Head seems to be easily the best option at $1k.
Windows and door - can be up to $10k, but I think you could get by with $2k-$3k if done cheap. $5k for a reasonable quality set.
Box $10k for a composite box (includes windows and door) Or build or convert truck box - still $7k easy

You are at $18-$25k so far. Box build vs buy will still be costly either way you go. You have yet to do plumbing, furniture, cabinets, storage lockers, etc.

You will have $40k in this thing before you know it. It’s an asset with resale value. A composite box build will likely bring a lot more $ than a home made box when it’s time to sell.
 
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jcdostie

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I have been researching this for a while. Totaling the cost of an expedition vehicle finish out is a sobering experience. You are in for a $40k project easily.

A Total Composite’s box is $10k including door and windows. Actually a pretty good deal when you consider the other options. This is how I would go for many reasons. Time, resale, quality final product all are positive attributes. A build is still costly and could easily wind up costing the same once you put windows and door in.

For a box, the best DIY option I have found in terms of quality and ease of finish out would be a Morgan truck box. I found a 20’ box for $5k. Including a lift for your motorcycle and spare tires. It’s about as perfect as they come. Block off the back wall to make a garage, insulate the walls and boom. You are done!

Except the cost of doing this will probably almost equal the cost of a Total Composite’s box once you put in insulation, walls, windows and door. This stuff adds up.

Electrical, heat, AC, solar, Lithium batteries, generator total $7k-$10k easy.
Toilet/head - Nature’s Head seems to be easily the best option at $1k.
Windows and door - can be up to $10k, but I think you could get by with $2k-$3k if done cheap. $5k for a reasonable quality set.
Box $10k for a composite box (includes windows and door) Or build or convert truck box - still $7k easy

You are at $18-$25k so far. Box build vs buy will still be costly either way you go. You have yet to do plumbing, furniture, cabinets, storage lockers, etc.

You will have $40k in this thing before you know it. It’s an asset with resale value. A composite box build will likely bring a lot more $ than a home made box when it’s time to sell.
Hi Buffalobwana,
That's the best idea I saw yet and I was not aware of the Total Composite box. I will take a closer look at it. Thanks !!

For the garage, the plan is on scale and the size of the car is a Smart, so it's small. I don't want to have a trailer in the back. So the frame will be extended and the axles move backward. We want to have a car instead of a motorcycle for the rainy days. We will use the garage for bikes, small boat and spare tire also. And if we have visit on our journey, they can stay in the garage ;-)

JC
 

Buffalobwana

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Hi Buffalobwana,
That's the best idea I saw yet and I was not aware of the Total Composite box. I will take a closer look at it. Thanks !!
For the garage, the plan is on scale and the size of the car is a Smart, so it's small. I don't want to have a trailer in the back. So the frame will be extended and the axles move backward. We want to have a car instead of a motorcycle for the rainy days. We will use the garage for bikes, small boat and spare tire also. And if we have visit on our journey, they can stay in the garage ;-)JC
Oh, so it is a smart car!

If you are not a member on expo, you should look at their forum. More info there than you can absorb. expeditionportal.com I’m Buffalobwana over there as well.

You can follow total composites on IG as well as a ton of other manufacturers. TC is in BC, Canada, I believe. They ship all the walls floor and roof to you and you assemble. Looks very straightforward. I have been eyeing their product for a while now.

Lots of guys over there with a wealth of info on building your own EV. Lots of trailer builds, teardrops, van build outs and a fair number of full size expedition vehicles as well. If you have a question about it, someone there has done it or tried it.
 

TechnoWeenie

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and by putting your bed above the cab, you're seriously limiting the height... which will restrict quite a few... uhhh... nocturnal activities....
 

jcdostie

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and by putting your bed above the cab, you're seriously limiting the height... which will restrict quite a few... uhhh... nocturnal activities....
I will be street legal for the height and for nocturnal activities.....well, remember it’s a retirement project and the bed is not our favorite

JC


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flashbucks

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Has anyone thought about using a fold up (Hard side or canvas) rear extension on the back of the camper unit. You end up with better departure angle for the length of vehicle and expand by 8'ish when you set up camp. Use it for sleeping and have a full size walk-in bedroom on the back end. Design the out side wall as the roof with a fold down floor w/rear wall attached that will flip up and side walls that also flip up. Figuring out the seals might be an issue but with landing gear to support the rear and possibly air struts to aid in setup should be able to do it with one person. I have seen expandable storage boxes that use the same principle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LaXEuZSeuY
 
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