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  #1  
Old 12-18-2013, 03:45 AM
CDNeyesonly CDNeyesonly is offline
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Smile Building a Canopy Camper!

So I decided that unless I'm hiking to my campsite, I want to start sleeping in my truck to save myself the hassle of setting up a tent! I've been inspired by some other canopy-camper setups I've seen on here so I figured I'd attempt to do something similar myself. So far all I've done is buy an ugly old canopy, paint it, and start building an insert that slides in and out of my truck.

I'd love some suggestions from you guys if you've got any cool ideas! I want this to be as comfortable and awesome as possible and I'm totally open to ideas.

I've got some progress pics of what I've done so far...

Here's the only picture I have with how the canopy looked when I bought it.. it's hard to tell but it's really beat up, lots of scratches, and the original owner spray painted all the windows black



So the first order of business is to make it look good on my truck!

Sanded it down:



Put on a coat of primer:



While I was waiting for the second coat to dry this little fellow was born.. a sign from the cattle-gods?!



Here's the 2 coats of primer nice and dry.. back to work!



Now to paint on the black..



Three coats of black later! (Probably would have been fine with 2..)



Next I wanted to build an insert. Unfortunately I didn't really take any progress pics of it because I got too into it and forgot. Anyways, here's how it looks out of the truck:



I laid some carpet down on the bottom and put the wood panelling on the sides just for looks. In the spaces under the benches behind the wheel-well I'll be putting in a couple 12V batteries so I can run lights, electronics, etc without burning my truck battery.

Here it is in the truck... perfect fit!



And here's my buddy sitting inside with the canopy on to give you an idea of the size.. it's a pretty snug fit but it's comfortable!



Next I'd like to do something about the inside of the canopy. Maybe carpet the sides? Use a better insulator? I'm also going to rig up netting on the roof of it so I can store stuff in there. I'd like this to be a fully functional and WARM camper when I'm through with it.

I'd love some ideas if anyone has any!

Here's how the black canopy looks on my truck (in case you were wondering!)



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  #2  
Old 12-18-2013, 05:02 AM
ranger024x4 ranger024x4 is offline
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Default Re: Building a Canopy Camper!

sweet!
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2014, 07:52 AM
"Q" "Q" is offline
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This looks absolutely fantastic! I love the look of the wood paneling (amateur woodworker here). I'm wondering if we're actually the same person. I have a dark gray ranger almost just like yours, but regular cab. I bought and painted a shell that looks a lot like yours, though I chose to color match. I'm intent on doing almost the exact same thing, being able to camp out of it.

I love the idea of a slide-in thing. I was going to just build mine right in, but I like to keep my options open so maybe I'll steal that idea. :-) Are you finishing the inside of the shell in any way other than the netting? I was thinking I'd do a little indoor/outdoor carpeting and som insulation or something on mine.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:29 AM
10rangersport 10rangersport is offline
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Looks good my brother is doing something similar but he's doing something like this


image-2367034926.jpg
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File Type: jpg image-2652125550.jpg (65.1 KB, 74 views)
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You smash her like 35's into a fender?
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2014, 09:45 AM
"Q" "Q" is offline
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Cool, I like that one. This is giving me great ideas for my camper build.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:48 AM
10rangersport 10rangersport is offline
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I would make one but I don't have a cap even though I want one
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You smash her like 35's into a fender?
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2014, 09:57 AM
"Q" "Q" is offline
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I found mine on Craigslist. It was pretty cheap and needed some fixing up, but I like doing that sort of thing. There are plenty of nice ones on Craigslist too, even cheaply. Even though I'm not camping this moment, being below zero where I am, I love having it. It keeps cargo nice and dry, and protected in general.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:00 AM
10rangersport 10rangersport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "Q" View Post
I found mine on Craigslist. It was pretty cheap and needed some fixing up, but I like doing that sort of thing. There are plenty of nice ones on Craigslist too, even cheaply. Even though I'm not camping this moment, being below zero where I am, I love having it. It keeps cargo nice and dry, and protected in general.
ya I have been looking for one but the ones I always want are out of my budget or too far
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Originally Posted by shawn_house102 View Post
You smash her like 35's into a fender?
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:23 AM
"Q" "Q" is offline
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You'll have that. Mine too a while to find and I had to drive a couple hours, but the price was right. I checked once a week till I found one. Maybe check eBay too?
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:25 AM
10rangersport 10rangersport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "Q" View Post
You'll have that. Mine too a while to find and I had to drive a couple hours, but the price was right. I checked once a week till I found one. Maybe check eBay too?
I check Craigslist and the traders guide (same exact thing as the penny saver)
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2010 Torch Red Ford Ranger Sport 4x4. 4.0 SOHC, Automatic Transmission, 3:73 gears, RCI Skid Plate, Toolbox, headache rack, tbar crank, 24" led light bar, k&n drop-in air filter, 3 inch body lift, Prekeys, Belltech 6400 shackles, and 33x12.50r15 Procomp Extreme Mud Terrains on 15x10 Mickey Thompson Classic Baja locks

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Originally Posted by shawn_house102 View Post
You smash her like 35's into a fender?
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:27 AM
"Q" "Q" is offline
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Nice. Keep it up and you're bound to find something.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:42 AM
CDNeyesonly CDNeyesonly is offline
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Default Re: Building a Canopy Camper!

Quote:
This looks absolutely fantastic! I love the look of the wood paneling (amateur woodworker here). I'm wondering if we're actually the same person. I have a dark gray ranger almost just like yours, but regular cab. I bought and painted a shell that looks a lot like yours, though I chose to color match. I'm intent on doing almost the exact same thing, being able to camp out of it.

I love the idea of a slide-in thing. I was going to just build mine right in, but I like to keep my options open so maybe I'll steal that idea. :-) Are you finishing the inside of the shell in any way other than the netting? I was thinking I'd do a little indoor/outdoor carpeting and som insulation or something on mine.
Thanks! Yeah I'm the same way with the wood panelling. I'd have done the floor as well but I figured carpet would be comfier and it minimizes the weight that way.

I'm hoping to insulate the shell properly so it's better for camping in the cold seasons, after that I'm going to throw in LED strips on the ceiling and the netting (+ some little hooks to hang lanterns or whatever on). I'm only waiting because I'm not certain yet if I should do it with this shell or wait for one that's for a Ranger (this one is made for a Mazda truck so it flares out a little bit). As far as external mods I'd like to get a remove-able basket/roof rack on top.

Next thing I'd like to do to the insert is make a headboard for the end, and buy myself a battery to get some power in there.

Here's the LED's I plan on using:
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0054U46Y2/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10rangersport View Post
Looks good my brother is doing something similar but he's doing something like this
That's a design that I REALLY like. The only reason I didn't end up going with something along those lines was headroom. I like being able to sit up in there. I haven't made it yet, but I'm going to make a 2-piece insert which I can slide in there to make the bed nice and wide just like your brothers. It would be nice just for the fact that I'm 6'0"..which is the exact length of the bucket!
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2014, 05:15 AM
"Q" "Q" is offline
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To is an awesome project. I can't wait to start on mine and see yours come along too. Do you have a build thread for it yet or anything?
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:54 PM
CDNeyesonly CDNeyesonly is offline
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Default Re: Building a Canopy Camper!

I'll probably just keep posting in this thread.. I've just been slow on everything since the Summer ended :P I look forward to seeing how yours goes as well!
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2014, 01:33 PM
"Q" "Q" is offline
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Winter does make it harder to work outside on your truck. I found this picture a few weeks ago and it pretty much looks like my hoped-for end result. I'll post pics of my current setup later or tomorrow.



image-495874873.jpg

Anyway, that center piece can be moved up or down for storage or sleeping. I'm going for something like that myself.
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