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Starting fulltiming in 2015, built our RV from scratch


Jfet

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Hello everyone,

 

We just joined the Escapees and will likely use the mail service in Texas. We plan to set off later this year to tour the USA in a custom RV we completely designed and built ourselves on a medium size flatbed truck. We are currently putting a few finishing touches on the garage pod portion of the RV and have a little cabinetry and trim work left on the living pod. This is our first RV so I do not think we have thought of everything but hopefully all can be worked out on the road (the garage/workshop pod might help with that).

 

For anyone interested, here are the specs for our build, completed on weekends over a 2 year period:

 

Base truck (for now): 2006 Isuzu NRR with 20 foot steel flatbed. Base weight 8,400 pounds, GVWR 19,500 pounds, 5.2L diesel 8-13 mpg

5 aluminum truck boxes mounted under flatbed.

 

Living pod (removable): Flat base 8'4" wide, 11 feet long with overhang of 6 feet. Inside standing height 8 feet. Sitting on the truck flatbed, ground to top of roof is 12 feet. Full queen sleep number air mattress, 58 inch recliner sofa, full kitchen with solid walnut butcher block style countertop, 37 gallon fresh water tank, 37 gallon grey water tank, Thetford C402 cassette toilet in bathroom (no indoor shower), 6 gallon water heater, 19,000 btu propane furnace, 3 burner propane stove/oven, 9.1 cuft NovaKool compressor fridge, side mount 6k btu air conditioner, 24V battery bank 125 amp-hr Lifeline AGM, 4kW Magnum hybrid inverter/charger, Midnite Classic 150 MPPT solar charger, 1080 watts of solar panel, all LED lighting.

 

Garage pod (removable): Base 8'4" wide, 10 feet long, 7'6" high with roof rack for canoe/kayaks. Ramp door and small teardrop type side door. Built in workbench on front wall, built in shelves on each side. Eight tiedowns for motorcycles/snowmobiles/other.

 

Both the living pod and garage pod were constructed out of rectangular steel tube fully welded. 1/16" aluminum panels were then attached to the steel with Sikaflex 252 adhesive. The roofs were made out of a continuous coil of 0.040" aluminum 103" wide and folded down along the sides and bonded with Sikaflex 252 plus screws with rubber washers along the sides (no good way to clamp while Sika cured). All of the joints and screws along with the top surface of the roof were then covered with Raptor 2 part epoxy truck bed liner. Aluminum sides were primed and painted with automotive 2K paint. The roof was designed to need minimal maintenance and has zero holes or openings (no caulking needed).

 

Both the living pod and the garage pod use our custom designed plug in jackstand system to place and remove them from the flatbed truck. The jackstands can be installed in a few seconds and are normally stored under the flatbed in one of the aluminum truck boxes. It is not likely we will want to remove the pods often, but it may be nice if we need to have the truck serviced or we would like to use the flatbed for some hauling purpose. It also makes switching trucks very easy if we find an upgrade. As it stands, we will have about 3500 to 4000 pounds of available cargo when the camper and garage are mounted on the truck.

 

Anyway, I apologize for the long intro, but it is hard to describe two years of work in a short message. I have included a few pictures.

 

truckboxes1.jpg

 

kitchenfromloft1.jpg

 

sofa1.jpg

 

rampdoorinstall.jpg

 

onfeetdriver.jpg

 

lowgarage2.jpg

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Welcome to the Escapee's forums and RV club! Always good to see new folks join us.

 

I am really impressed that you did all of that in two years! You must have put in a lot of hours on this project. I love unique RVs and this one is among the most original. I'm wondering if you use the truck for other than just as an RV since you have it all built to be removable? I will warn you that you will likely get a lot of curious visitors as you travel, and I might be in that line for a tour!

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Welcome to the forum. What a great project. "Neat but not gaudy" is one of my favorite phrases and your project typifies that sort of thinking. We built a 32' sailboat in 2.5 years from a hull and deck and I can see similar thinking in your work. I love the idea of a separate "garage" module. Having a workshop on the road is pretty handy.

 

Of course, you realize that it will never be "finished", right? :D

 

WDR

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