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Bella PSD
01-02-2007, 10:53 PM
Update....Flip-Pac Camper Build-thread starts at the end of Page four (http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3702&page=4)
I will attempted to update this build thread to get you up to date. I will start this update on 4-7-09
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FordSuperDutyImages/BellaPSDcamper.jpg

01-02-2007
I just purchased a used Flip-Pac Top tent camper for my truck in LA. Problem is I am in Ohio, 2200 miles away!!
Can someone in LA help out with the sale. The person does not have Pay Pal and I am also working on getting it shipped. Its BIG, heavy, full size cap with a tent. BTW...I got a gooooood deal! $500

UPDATE....Shipping looks like about $400-450. Not to bad. The next problem is the cap was made for a Chevy. I have a Ford SD. The Flip Pac will be 2" to short(high) and 2" to short(length). The back window will be fine but I will end up with a 2" gap at the front. I could make it all work with some fiberglass work and a spacer but I wonder if its worth it??? New at the factory they are $3,700.00

Thanks
Louie

Bella PSD
01-02-2007, 11:36 PM
Looks like this
http://www.expeditionswest.com/adventures/2005/mojave_road/images/images/DSCF7997_JPG.jpg

Bella PSD
01-02-2007, 11:36 PM
or even better...this!!
http://www.expeditionswest.com/adventures/2005/mojave_road/images/images/DSCF7585_JPG.jpg

Scott Brady
01-04-2007, 04:58 AM
Nice find on the Tacoma units.

We are all quite familiar with the Tacoma you have posted above :) It is our very own VikingVince!

blupaddler
01-04-2007, 05:05 AM
So, did you work everything out in LA?


Yeah, Vince's Flip-Pac is supercool! I have had the honor of traveling with him a "few" times.:D

Clutch
01-04-2007, 05:19 AM
found this today looking for info on the Flip Pac. Tacoma Flip Pac for sale
Google cash retrieved on Nov 4, 2006...so it might still be for sale???

2003 Flip-Pac
Camper Shell. Ultimate camping vehicle!Excellent condition, includes rainfly and custom bench.Fits 76" bed (Tacoma Xtra Cab or equivalent).www.flip-pac.com for pictures. $2800. 259-2481.

I think the area code is 970?? Durango, CO

If anyone is looking!

Louie

Hmmmm...Durango is only a 10 hour drive for me. I can't seem to find a Wildernest...Chad never did get back to me on the rooftop tent quote...Hmmmm...thanks :)

blupaddler
01-04-2007, 05:41 AM
Having owned and used a Wildernest (for a short while). And seeing Vince's Flip-pac in action. I would prefer the Flip-pac.

kcowyo
01-04-2007, 06:08 AM
Hmmmm...Durango is only a 10 hour drive for me. I can't seem to find a Wildernest...Chad never did get back to me on the rooftop tent quote...Hmmmm...thanks :)

This was posted in the classifieds here yesterday (http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showpost.php?p=49876&postcount=18) - can't beat this price!

So Bella PSD, are you abandoning your roof top tent already?

Clutch
01-04-2007, 06:21 AM
This was posted in the classifieds here yesterday (http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showpost.php?p=49876&postcount=18) - can't beat this price!

So Bella PSD, are you abandoning your roof top tent already?

It said it was deleted already.

Bella PSD
01-04-2007, 06:43 AM
This was posted in the classifieds here yesterday (http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showpost.php?p=49876&postcount=18) - can't beat this price!

So Bella PSD, are you abandoning your roof top tent already?

Just got a better quote on shipping! $395!! So I could have it to my door for $895...I wish I lived in CA:confused: Did I just type that?? If I can make this work, I wll give up on the roof top tent. This Flip Pac seems much better for me.

I will need do some custom fab work to make the Flip-Pac look and work right.(Smaller Chevy full size to a bigger Ford SD full size) Just trying to picture how to add two inchs to the bottom and front part to make it look ok??

I talked to Diane at Flip-Pac and she told me get it for sure at that price.

Update...new shipping quote $325!! Total $825 shipped!!!
Update...new shipping quote $225!! Total $725 shipped!!!

Louie

Bella PSD
01-04-2007, 06:52 AM
I had a Isuzu Space Cab 4x4 before the Ford and moded a ARE cap to fit the Space Cab of my old truck. It was 2" to short(2" gap up front and back door closed good). What I ended up doing was move the cap forward and the back door and glass was cut to fit on top of the tailgate and not lay on the outside of it when closed. This gave me the 2" I needed and it turned out to look better too.

That might work for this Flip Pac. Hard to say 2200 miles away??

BTW...That Isuzu Space Cab kicked but..I wish I could find it and buy it back!

Bella PSD
01-09-2007, 03:37 AM
Have some time to kill waiting for the camper to get here. So I Photoshoped what I hope will work when it gets here. I hope Vince wont mind using his truck as a PS test!! The back door idea seems easy to do.

http://bellaphotographics.com/FordSuperDutyImages/L_vince05_03.jpg

And my Truck Test Photoshop. Mine looks like S*** but I now get how it will work/look.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FordSuperDutyImages/Truck%20tent%20094.jpg
Louie

kcowyo
01-09-2007, 05:10 AM
You'll miss that tailgate and the wide open back end. Alice in Wonderland doors are not for everyone.

I haven't found one advantage to having the door over the tailgate. You have something in particular in mind?

:peepwall:

Bella PSD
01-09-2007, 02:17 PM
I have a 3 way fridge and heater that needs to vent. Only place is out the back. Both are from a 1-year-old slide in camper I had that was hit by a tree. I have everything from the slide in camper to go into the Flip Pac. Sink, water tank, table, fridge, heater…. everything! Even the gas detector and smoke alarm. Well, everything but the A/C..sold it for $330.

I am planning on mounting the 3 way fridge and heater so they vent out the back. Next to the little door. If it works out I will build it so I can keep the tailgate on. That’s why I left it on Vince’s truck…..Plus I was sick of PS:) I am on it half the day, every day!

You know what? Now that I look at the picture, there is no reason why the door could not be larger or even flip up.

Thanks
Louie

DaveInDenver
01-09-2007, 02:34 PM
I have a 3 way fridge and heater that needs to vent. Only place is out the back.
I've seen people mount propane heaters in their WilderNests by removing the driver's side sliding window. They replace it with a sheet of wood or aluminum and mount the heater in it. How about something like that? I'd really miss having the tailgate on my truck.

Bella PSD
01-09-2007, 03:02 PM
I am also looking at using some kind of fan to exhaust the gasses. The heater is not that bad. Its the fridge thats the problem. I might sell it and look at something smaller.

I also have the entire electric hook up to install. 30 amp Circuit box, 30’ cord and 5 outlets for campground camping. I will wire it to work with my Honda EU 2000.

Louie

njtaco
01-09-2007, 04:23 PM
If it were me, I'd ditch the LP fridge, and get an Engle/Norcold 12V. The LP fridges are enough trouble without the draft from the rear of the truck blowing the flame out. They also do not stay as cold, IMHO, as the 12V Engle design. (And you would not have to enclose the fridge to prevent CO intrusion.)

fisher205
01-09-2007, 08:20 PM
I agree on the frig. Get a 12V high efficiency. Norcold also makes one as does Nova Kool. I installed a Nova Kool this summer and estimate it draws less than 20 AH per day on a 3.8 cf frig.

Bella PSD
01-09-2007, 08:43 PM
How much are they and how big? I can run this fridge I have now on 12V or LP or 110. Can the Engle/Norcold 12V be moved around easy in the bed of the truck. Say, travel in one location and move it to sleep??

Louie

njtaco
01-09-2007, 09:52 PM
A review by Wil Kuhns: http://www.expeditionportal.com/equipment/equipment_reviews/fridge/Research/index.php

Regarding how much $, figure in selling your LP fridge plus the savings in LP, plus the savings in not reworking the back of the flip-pac.

What furnace are you using? Hydroflame? 7000 series? What about a diesel cooktop/heater? Spendy, but one less fuel to carry. (And it could vent out the side, I think.)

Bella PSD
01-10-2007, 04:55 AM
Hydro flame/Atwood Furnace- Everest Star II 7920-IIF 20,000 BTU. It looks like there is a side discharge for the gas. That would help out!!

Also, The fridge has not been used in a while so I got it going. After 4 hours it was -22.3 in the freeze and 21.1 in the fridge!! Temp in the garage was 47. Its a Dometic 12V, 110 and LP..#RM 2333 and 29-3/4"H x 20-1/2"W x 21-3/8"D

kcowyo
01-10-2007, 07:39 PM
I have everything from the slide in camper to go into the Flip Pac. Sink, water tank, table, fridge, heater…. everything!

Well if you have the guts of another camper to swap over that makes sense. Especially for the heater vent.

As long as you're being creative and possibly looking at fabbing a custom rear entry, what about something like this, made by ARE Toppers?

http://parksoffroad.com/tacomamods/rear1on51801.jpg
http://parksoffroad.com/tacomamods/rear2on51801.jpg
http://parksoffroad.com/tacomamods/rear3on51801.jpg

You could probably order just the rear door for a Ford sized topper and only have to cut for the vent....? It should fit with the FlipPac fairly easily.

You still wouldn't have a tailgate, but this would allow you to have the small door for getting in and out but also the whole back would open, allowing you to more easily put in and take out larger objects if necessary. It wouldn't interefere with the FlipPac either since the tent opens forward.

You'd get a little bit of shade or cover from the weather and would still have some flat space to work on.... whatever you might need flat space to work on. You'd also have much better rear visibility out the larger glass back door.

Here's a link to Peter Parks website with initital and updated impressions of his ARE topper with full size rear door. (http://parksoffroad.com/tacomamods/are.html)

Bella PSD
01-10-2007, 09:29 PM
What furnace are you using? Hydroflame? 7000 series? What about a diesel cooktop/heater? Spendy, but one less fuel to carry. (And it could vent out the side, I think.)

Got this e-mail today about used DIESEL heaters....
Hello again, the D2 heater puts out 7500 btu with four different speed
levels, and is used on most tractor- trailors to heat the cab and bunk, we
have used this size to heat up to 32 foot boats quite easy. I sell the used
heater with harness, thermostat, fuel pump, fuel pick up, for $600.00 tax
included a new heater sells for approx $1800.00. there is a used D3 which
puts out approx 13,000 btu for 700.00, a D4 for 800.00 (14,000 btu) and the
D5 sell for $1000.00 with 18,000 btu. we sell D4 heaters for the coast guard
barges to heat a area of approx 10x 10x 8 foot high. These prices do not
include shipping Barry

njtaco
01-10-2007, 10:43 PM
Do you have a link to the heaters mentioned? I'm curious if and how they vent outside.

The 7000 series hydroflame only needs about a 4 inch by 6 inch (or so)intake/exhaust plate, and can have a fair amount of flexability regarding the distance from the back of the furnace to that plate. I would think it could be mounted to exhaust out the side of the truck bed, at floor level. No mods to the flip-pac that way. The furnace body is not too deep, IIRC.

Bella PSD
01-11-2007, 01:10 AM
Well if you have the guts of another camper to swap over that makes sense. Especially for the heater vent.

As long as you're being creative and possibly looking at fabbing a custom rear entry, what about something like this, made by ARE Toppers?

You still wouldn't have a tailgate, but this would allow you to have the small door for getting in and out but also the whole back would open, allowing you to more easily put in and take out larger objects if necessary. It wouldn't interefere with the FlipPac either since the tent opens forward.

You'd get a little bit of shade or cover from the weather and would still have some flat space to work on.... whatever you might need flat space to work on. You'd also have much better rear visibility out the larger glass back door.

Here's a link to Peter Parks website with initital and updated impressions of his ARE topper with full size rear door. (http://parksoffroad.com/tacomamods/are.html)

Maybe one of the attached images. The Super Camper door looks like something I could make. The back of the Flip-Pac is flat and most fiberglass shells have a slope to them.

Louie
5207

5202

5203

5204

5205

5206

Bella PSD
01-11-2007, 01:16 AM
Do you have a link to the heaters mentioned? I'm curious if and how they vent outside.
Link...
http://www.espar.com/htm/applies/trucks/cabcomfort.htm

Louie

njtaco
01-11-2007, 01:45 PM
Espar - that's the one I was thinking you meant was for sale. This could heat the cabin, truck cab, pre-warm the engine, and possibly provide hot water with a second coolant-to-water heat exchanger. Of course, it is too easy to spend your money!

The radiator for the Flip-pac would only measure about 10-12 inched square, with coolant lines running to under the hood. Using this idea, the truck's engine coolant would keep the Flippac warm while on the road, without running an additional furnace. If you went with an engine-assist water heater, you could have hot water available whenever the engine has been running, too.

This is the water heater I am thinking of: http://ducktec.com/itm00150.htm

Bella PSD
01-11-2007, 03:17 PM
Espar - that's the one I was thinking you meant was for sale. This could heat the cabin, truck cab, pre-warm the engine, and possibly provide hot water with a second coolant-to-water heat exchanger. Of course, it is too easy to spend your money!

The radiator for the Flip-pac would only measure about 10-12 inched square, with coolant lines running to under the hood. Using this idea, the truck's engine coolant would keep the Flippac warm while on the road, without running an additional furnace. If you went with an engine-assist water heater, you could have hot water available whenever the engine has been running, too.

This is the water heater I am thinking of: http://ducktec.com/itm00150.htm

From your same link...Here is the LP furnace I have now.
http://www.ducktec.com/itm00048.htm

The Espar Diesel D2 heater I found used puts out 7500 btu (for $600) The Hydroflame I have now puts out 20,000 BTU. The D5 for $1000.00 with 18,000btu is what I would need if I went Diesel.

Link to the
http://www.espar.com/htm/Specs/water/D4Wspec.htm
Kinda how it works....
Espar Heaters Systems has entered the automotive market and are promoting their Hydronic 4 & Hydronic 5 Coolant Heaters to preheat the diesel engines of pickup trucks, vans and cars. The coolant heaters can also supply advanced cab heat and supplemental heat to the vehicle's interiors.

And here is how the Espar's Diesel Hydronic 4 Coolant Heater works...Kinda
5219
One heat source for cabin heat/pre heat engine and hot water!! All fired on Diesel..To COOL They even have a 7 day timmer!

Louie

kcowyo
01-11-2007, 06:51 PM
The Super Camper door looks like something I could make. The back of the Flip-Pac is flat and most fiberglass shells have a slope to them.



Gotcha.

I really like the Supercamper rear door idea too. Very clever and well designed.

It has been suggested to me that a screen door, in addition to the solid door would be nice. I haven't pursued it, but while you're in the planning stages it may be something you wish to consider.

When is your Flip Pac scheduled to show up?

Bella PSD
01-11-2007, 09:36 PM
Flip Pac gets here Tuesday!! :camping: That will be the day I find out how close the Chevy and Ford beds are in lenght(or better yet, how long the Chevy Flip-Pac is). I was told Chevy is 3"+-short....I will see on Tues. The Flip-Pac is coming back on a F 350 Super Duty long bed. The driver told me it was a perfect fit side to side!!!

Louie

njtaco
01-11-2007, 11:48 PM
Don't forget the camera! :wings:

Bella PSD
01-17-2007, 03:48 PM
The Flippac arrived today from CA. I have it on the truck and it does need some adjustments to fit. The Chevy truck that this Flippac came from are smaller, that’s for sure. I am working on getting it to fit. Right now there is a 1” gap up front. I have it on the forward flip way but have some ideas for a reverse flip. That way I can keep the roof rack and when its flipped open, it will act as a big awning out the back. Or just leave in on the forward flip way....Here is the photoshop image of what I want to do.http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Truck%20tent%20094.jpg

The support rods are not to hold the flip tent part from crashing down. They All they are for is to keep the tent from folding back up. The Flip-Pac has a torsion spring system. I will try to mount the Flip-Pac in reverse for a test fit and see how it goes.
If the reverse-flip works out I think this will be like having the best of the Wilderness cap and the Flip-Pac all rolled into one unit!!!!

Louie

njtaco
01-17-2007, 04:53 PM
Congrats! Nice Photochop. Is it in as good a condition as expected?

Bella PSD
01-17-2007, 05:21 PM
Yea, it is in great shape.........If I owned a CHEVY!!:yikes: I guess this thread is useless without pictures of the Flip-Pac. I will get some this afternoon,.
Louie

Bella PSD
01-19-2007, 06:11 AM
Here it is $725 shipped!!

NONE of the old attached files show up anymore so here is one to make up for the lost attached images....

This was before I started the build. A short bed Chevy full size Flippac on a Superduty Ford. As you can see, there is a gap up front between the cap and cab and when it is flipped open, there is no clearance over the cab of the truck. All this tells me is the bed of a Chevy comes up as higher than a Ford and Chevy does not have as long a bed as Superduty.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Flip%20Pac%20New%20028.jpg

5316
With Storm Cover. No Rain gonna get past this cover!

5317
Flipped up
5318
Getting an idea of how it will work as rear flip
5319
Side view showing gap. Shows how much longer and taller a Ford is to Chevy
5320
Front. It does not touch the roof.
5321
Inside with a few items I would like to fit into the camper.
5322
Inside lower view
5323
Looking down from bunk
5324
Standing up looking to the front bunk
5325
Side view showing the 2 awnings that also came with it.

Here is a list of what I have to build into the Flippac


3 way Refrigerator(12V, 110 and LP)
gas cook top 3 burner
LP furnace with thermostat and blower
12V and 110 elec. converter with 30 foot line cord
20 gal fresh water tank
sink with pump
removable table and base
Battery vent box with RV battery
Honda Eu 2000 Gen
Rear entry door
LP tank
4 Mechanical lift jacks if I close off the inside.(make it a slide in)


Louie

Bella PSD
01-19-2007, 03:58 PM
Also, when the sun is out during the day it stays pretty warm inside. 35 out and it was 47 inside.

I was impressed with the time it takes to open it up...About 2 min.!! Ready to Camp!!:bowdown:

Louie

fisher205
01-19-2007, 05:15 PM
Just a few of recommendations:

Again Highly recommend 12v Frig. Check www.novakool.com and www.deckboatdealer.com/nova-kool/nova-kool-refrigerators-freezers/R3800-DC.htm. The Engels that are reported here are more portable and may work if you don't have have a built in.

I would mount a portable stove such as Bunton, Coleman, or the nice model that Scott has. I really try to cook outside as much as possible (smell fried walleye all night) and with my camper have to carry two stoves. Just put two quick connects( inside and outside).

If the flippac is not super air tight check on the Olympian catalytic heaters. I have some reservations on their usage, but an alternative to check.

Bella PSD
01-23-2007, 03:48 PM
Everything in the list above...I have from my old slide in. Old as in it was 1 year old when a tree fell on it. So everything is like new. I will look at using those parts first because I have NO money into them.

Louie

fisher205
04-18-2007, 08:24 PM
Louie, You may want to check out something like the Rieco titan jacks to lift your camper. Make sure youget the extensions so that you can lift it off of a 4X4. The other suggestion is to use it more than you work on it. Easier said than done. But the rig looks great. - Brad

Bella PSD
04-18-2007, 10:13 PM
Rieco Titan jacks...That's is what I have. They are the 2,000 lbs mechanical jacks. Painted white. I will be building my own mounting brackets for the attachment points. The front two jacks will need to mount out away from the truck a bit to clear the 35” tires.

Use it more than I work on it.... All I have done so far is work on it!!:confused: BUT the first big trip planned is to the outer banks. We will start out near Bodie Island and travel as far South as Cape Lookout on the Core banks. Not sure how many miles yet or how much is beach driving? I do know it will be several Ferry rides that are well over 2 hours. Hoping to find info on camping on the beach. This would be mostly South on Cape Lookout National Seashore.

The camper needs to be READY for this trip leaving on June 9th!!!

an update.
The flip Pac is in the process of a transformation! From cap to camper. Camper as in slide in, with a fully enclosed interior and the ability to be removed with 4 2,000 lbs mechanical jacks at each corner.
The jacks will have custom receiver hitch style mount so they can be removed for off road trips. The back glass will be removed and a rear door added. Not sure if the rear door will flip up or open to the side. I like the flip up door but I want a screen door so I will see what I can come up with. I will try to keep the door as big as I can. The sides are being reinforced and raised 5 ¼”. This will allow the roof rack to clear when the Flip is open.

Still planning on adding the gas cook top 3 burner, LP furnace with thermostat and blower, 12V and 110 elec. converter with 30 foot line cord, 20 gal fresh water tank, sink with pump, removable table and base and 12V battery. The 3 way Refrigerator (12V, 110 and LP) is OUT. Way too big and no good way to vent. You all are right on the 12V fridge idea. I will get a Norcold, Engels or Waeco 40-60 size.

The goal here is to camp with some comfort with my growing family. Three kids and wife. Sleeping should not be too bad. The flip is HUGE. I am 6’2” and head to toe; I fit up there when I lay down!! So two up there. The Flip Pac comes with a hammock sleeping area over ¼ of the floor area, so one more there. The other two will sleep on a bench bellow the hammock that pulls out into a large bed for two. So that’s sleeping for FIVE!! Now were do the 2 dogs sleep??

The full size 35” spare tire will have to be moved from the roof rack to a swing out tire carrier on the rear bumper. This will complicate the camper door build.

The camper will mount to the truck with turnbuckles inside the bed. So it will be nice and clean from the outside.

When the Flip Pac is finished, It should weigh in UNDER 1,000 lbs. And that’s loaded with a full fridge and fresh water. (but not including the 4 mounting jacks, they are heavy and not going to travel with the camper)

I will try to post some pictures as it comes together. Most of the planning and drawing are done so I will start out in full force this weekend! Starting with raising the sides and building in the support for the corner jacks. So any last minute ideas or thoughts???? Please speak up!!! I appreciate all the comments very much!

Louie

Bella PSD
05-04-2007, 09:30 PM
Quick update. The floor is built. The walls are done. 3 of the 4 jacks are welded up. This weekend I will put the floor together with the walls. Then start on the back door. Some good news is the camper is lifted up far enough to allow a 6" roof rack on the flip or on the top of the truck(most likely). On Monday I will try to post pictures of it all coming together. I will also have a trial run of lifting the camper off the truck with the jacks.


I have to have it done in 35 days now for my Outer Banks Cape Lookout National Seashore trip !!http://www.nps.gov/calo/planyourvisit/camping.htm

Louie

The donor camper that was hit by a tree
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20Before%20003.jpg
Welding the Jack mount
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20build%20010.jpg
Jack test fit
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20build%20015.jpg
Floor
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20build%20017.jpg
On the truck. Notice that it is now up 5 1/4" higher.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20build%20018.jpg

Bella PSD
05-23-2007, 03:42 AM
I NEED to get some more pictures up. I am still moving forward to enclose the Flippac and on to the door built. No turning back now!!:) I am going with a door like the one in post #13 in this thread.

I went with a smaller door for two reasons.
1) Dropping the tailgate and opening the lift glass would cause a tremendous amount of Heat loss in cold weather.
2) And in the summer, I will be trying to keep the bugs (mosquitoes) out, especially at night. I will have a main door and a screen door. The screen door will be one of those retractable types. Rolls into itself from left to right.

Planning the sink/cook top/heater/fridge location now that I have the camper all closed in. I have 18 days till I leave for the OBX trip, so I am only working on the necessities for now.

Louie

4x4v8
10-21-2008, 07:52 PM
Sorry, I know this is an old thread, but any updates? Its a nice setup you have.

Bella PSD
04-08-2009, 02:50 AM
Sorry, I know this is an old thread, but any updates? Its a nice setup you have.

Yes its about time for an update!! I will get something together tonight!

Louie

Bella PSD
04-08-2009, 05:40 AM
Well its been a long time since I updated this thread. I wish I could say I have it all finished but you know how it goes.

I should first update anyone reading this for the first time or for those visiting after my long break in updating. I am building a slide in style camper out of a Flippac. Its that simple. Easy to say and type here….But in reality, I am going on 2 years working on this.

My intent here is to update a little every few days or so. Even though I have done a lot of the work in advance of what I post here, I will get caught up quick on the post. Easier to post than do the work, if you know what I mean.

I last left you with the floor in two pieces resting on the ground. As you can see in the picture I posted above. This is where I will pick back up with the thread.

Before I get to the floor, maybe I should explain the sides being raised up 5 ¼”. This is to make room for the Rieco Titan jacks that will raise the camper up so it becomes a true slide in truck camper. I needed the room for the 1 ½” steel tubes that go 6” through the sides at all four corners. I was thinking that I needed a lot of strength here. I am sure this is over built but was considering this a safety issue so I over built it. I am planning on adding a 8” wide 3/8” steel plate later on that will be fully welded to the jack openings. This will tie the jacks to three surfaces and the steel plate will have three bends.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20Flip%20Pac%20build%20003.JPG

I posted about the jack mounts briefly in a post above. This jacks mounts took over a week to build! Mostly because they were build on the fly. I did have a rough drawing here and measurements BUT things changed several times during the process. For the better I might add. I built these mounts so strong, the 2000 lbs. jacks should be able the not only lift the camper off the truck BUT could lift the camper and truck off the ground if I need to. This could come in handy if I get stuck.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20build%20010.JPG

The floor is being constructed separate from the truck and top half of the camper. This made it easy to screw and glue it all together. This part, like just about every part of the build takes about 100 measurements before you are happy with your next move. This is manly because all of the work on this camper is being done with no plans down on paper. So it is slow going as you plan your next move. As I finish up the floor, I head over to the truck and start thinking of how the floor and sidewalls will fit. And I also have to plan out how the turnbuckles will attach and where.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20056.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20Flip%20Pac%20build%20019.JPG

Back to the floor that’s not yet installed....I make a few cut outs to the sidewalls for access to the front turnbuckles. This also doubles as access to a ton of usable storage. I cut out the openings extra large, about 12x12. I also trim up both sides of the floor so they taper into the truck. Smaller up front and bigger towards the back. So when I am backing under the camper, I have a wider error of margin. Less likely to be off center so much that I run one of the corners into the rear wheel well. The walls also taper from the bottom out towards the top for the same reason. This is about a 3 degree taper. This gives me the most useable interior space I can get without running the risk of hitting one of the wheel wells while backing under the camper.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20057.jpg

There was no need to cut access holes in the backside of the lower wall because I plan on having rear exterior access doors for the rear turnbuckles and storage. I thought about design the floor plan around the wheel wells for more interior room but in the end it made more sense to leave the camper walls flush. The end result is more storage space and there is room to store the jack. The jacks should slide down each side of the camper storage area and rest on the tops of the wheel wells. If I don’t have the room for the jacks they can travel on the camper in the up position.

Bella PSD
04-08-2009, 06:32 AM
Now it gets a little more fun, and challenging. It’s time to plan out the rear door. Half the reason I started this project. I wanted a door that would give access to the interior, open and close fast and easy and privacy. I wanted a door that could have some kind of screen for ventilation. I ended up using the camper door from the donor camper as a starting point. I ended up cutting the door down about 3” and completely rebuilding the door in the process. This took two days. Here is a picture as I started my door build.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20064.jpg

Now at this point I need the rear glass removed. I am at the point of no return now. I remember thinking, if this does not work, I will have a giant pile of crap!! I proceed to remove all the rivets that hold the rear window and frame to the shell. I then build a header panel above the door opening that spans the width of the camper. This header panel is also 2 ½” thick. And this works out to be the thickness I needed to make up the difference in the Flippac that I started with. It came from a Chevy and was too short for a SuperDuty. Now my planning is paying off. Its looking like it’s going to fit perfect. As a matter of fact, it was a very good thing I started out with a cap that was to short. Otherwise there would have been no room to build the door. This header panel also holds larger bolts that go to the hammock sleeping area. This vastly increased the capacity of this sleeping area. Once just for kids, it can now support 200 lbs easy!

http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20066.jpg

Here is were I get so busy I forget to take any pictures!! Same with the jacks, no pictures during the build. sorry! I need to build in the door now. I frame in two 2x4’s on each side and one on top. The one on top ties into the large header above the door. The two on the side tie into the floor and the side walls. I then frame the wood with 1 ½” metal. I miter cut the corners for a good look from the outside. Made for a nice weather tight seal too. I then make a door stop for the lock on the door. Adjusted the door and screw it in. I picked up some automotive weather seal for all four sides of the door. It’s a nice dry fit! The door shuts with just a light push with your finger.

http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20027.jpg
In this last image, you can see the filler pieces I made that go on either side of the camper. They had to be the contour of the outside edge of the cap and took some time to get just right. All of what you see from the back is now ready to be skinned over and enclosed!!!
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20028.jpg

Rexsname
04-09-2009, 02:30 AM
I'm just Sooooo impressed by your vision, imagination and skill. :wings: Very, very Wow!


REX

4x4v8
04-09-2009, 04:52 PM
Question:

How much will it have cost you in the end to make your camper as opposed to buying one? Will you have saved money or is it just to say that you made it?

Bella PSD
04-10-2009, 07:18 PM
Question:

How much will it have cost you in the end to make your camper as opposed to buying one? Will you have saved money or is it just to say that you made it?

Cost was never that big of an issue. I wanted something very specific that was not commercially available. I had the pop up camper before this build and really liked it. It’s the one in post #43 that was hit by a falling tree. I bought a pop up camper so I could still have the outdoors feeling (tent) and not feel like I am closed in.
After the tree falling on that one I tried to rebuild it. Lost cause, for sure. It was a mess. And I learned how poor theses thing are built!
So I went in search for my next camper. I 1st looking at transferring all the components from the totaled pop up to some kind of trailer. All the trailer ideas never panned out.

I then bought a roof top tent and it was just to small for my family and not all that practical for my needs. Although I did like the roof top tent. I may try to use it some how, on a trailer??

Then I discovered the Flippac!! I thought perfect, except I want a door, floor, interior, self contained and so on. And then the build began.

As far as cost, I have done all the work myself and I am up to $1,100 even. That includes the cost of the used flip, delivery 2,200 miles and all the fiberglass work I will post about later. I also purchased a Norcold 60L fridge with a transit bag that was used for $480.

suntinez
04-11-2009, 10:26 PM
Louie thanks for the new pics! Been wondering how you got those jackstands in, and a bunch of other stuff too. Your truck and flippac are awesome. :sombrero:

Bella PSD
04-14-2009, 03:07 AM
In the next few pictures you can see the skin going on. The interesting thing about 2/3 of the wood that went into the camper is that it is red oak. And the red oak I used came from the very pews in the church where my wife and I were married. And I mean the front pew we sat in that very day…Pretty cool, if I say so myself!!
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20089.jpg
All the skins are ¾ red oak that are screwed and liquid nailed down. I guess I should call the red oak the sub skin, because after this they get coated with fiberglass. It seams a shame to cover up such beautiful oak wood. It does feel good to have the camper all closed in now. Let the rainfall, I'm ready!! I also designed a 3”x3”x4' space above the door for an awning. Its hard to see in the picture, but its there.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20093.jpg
I am planning one access door on either side of the main door were the turn buckles are. The access doors will hinge closed, key lock and fit flush with the taillights.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20101.jpg
The turn buckles you see in the pictures are temporary ones. The bigger turn buckles will go in when I get the 3/8" steel plates welded up.

Next will be the BIG test for removal. So far the camper has not been off the truck since I started. So these jacks NEED to work. Stay tuned…..
Louie
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20&%20Family%20Spring%202007%20113.jpg

VikingVince
04-14-2009, 11:35 PM
Nice work, Louie...love that rear door!

allochris
04-15-2009, 12:33 AM
that white door needs a custom airbrush job to match the beautiful oak wood colour scheme. :ylsmoke:

Bella PSD
04-15-2009, 04:11 AM
And here it is on its first test run with the jacks. The camper came right up and off. Next is the dreaded fiberglass!
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20Flip%20Pac%20off%20009.JPG
Louie

Outback
04-15-2009, 04:39 AM
This is a great idea you had! More pics please!:wings:

Bella PSD
04-16-2009, 05:40 PM
With the first removal of the camper from the truck bed a success, I am moving on to improving on the stability of the removal system. Plus adding a place for tie downs. If you remember from an earlier post, the tie downs up till now, have been temporary ones.

Here are the four inside jack brackets before they are mounted into the camper at all four corners. They are made from 3/8-inch steel plate bent two times at 90 angles. These bends will contour the inside of the camper. The brackets will be bolted down to three surfaces and the jack tubes will be welded to these brackets as well. Running through the center of this steel plate is the eyebolts for the four turnbuckles that will mount the camper to the truck.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20FlipPac%20tiedown%20006.jpg

I feel I need to mention that the steel plates are the biggest part of the safety of the entire camper lifting system. Without the support from the steel plates, the jacks move around freely and eventually, if left this way, would completely destroy the integrity of the way the jack tubes mount through the camper wall. The plates are also the backbone of the tie downs that will hold the camper in place. This is another turning point for the camper build. If this does not work, it could be a major set back. And never doing anything like this before, I have no idea if it will really work…..
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20FlipPac%20tiedown%20002.jpg
As soon as they are mounted inside the camper, I will get some more pictures. I understand that I may not have explained this too clearly at this point but after its mounted and I post some more pictures it should be clear what I am up too.
Louie

Bella PSD
04-17-2009, 12:53 AM
Here is the jack bracket installed on the left rear corner of the camper. The pin resting on top of the tube is used to secure the jack in place. There will be two place to secure the jacks; One for travel, up close to the body of the camper and one moved out away from the camper for stability when removing the camper. Think of it like an extension that moves the jacks out 8 inches on all four corners. I will also make some kind of cap to cover the tube when I travel without the jacks.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Jack_brackets_002.jpg
The nut and bolt on the top middle are for the eyebolt that secures to the turnbuckle. And below this is a 3/8 aluminum sheet.
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Jack_brackets_001.jpg

Bella PSD
04-17-2009, 01:16 AM
In this composite, you can see the camper being driven off half way. Then completely free, and in the last image, being dropped down. It is being dropped down onto a special dolly I made for rolling the camper around the drive and garage. So far I can push the camper around no problem, although it can pick up speed going down my inclined driveway!
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20Flip%20Pac%20off%20composite.jpg
http://www.gifninja.com/Workspace/dcda9301-ccc5-4ce8-bf1a-c888945d9faf/output.gif
As for the removable jack system….its a total sucess!! It just works and works good. I mentioned above that may driveway has a slight incline. Even on an incline the camper and jacks feel stable, so I would consider my drive the worst place too remove the camper. Anywhere else I may want to remove the camper and I will look for level ground.

One thing to keep in mind is that the top of the bed on the Ford is right at my shoulder (5 feet 6 inches). When the camper is lifted up its up even higher than that at about 6 feet. Its hard to see in the middle pictures, but its WAAAAY up there!!

You may have noticed the camper changed colors. It did and during this step I don’t have any pictures. But I will go into the details of how I did the first layer of fiberglass and sealing of the body of the camper in detail later.

VikingVince
04-17-2009, 01:26 AM
You're quite a fabricator, Louie. Amazing how that comes off AND you can move it around. You've taken the Flippac to a new level!!

chnlisle
04-17-2009, 07:08 PM
Absolutely beautiful job. Man do I wish I could fabricate like that or even close to that.

Bella PSD
04-20-2009, 07:22 PM
Here are a few shots of the storm cover from Flippac. It will defiantly keep you dry. To deploy the cover all you have to do is attach the front of the cover to the flip when its closed. As you open the flip up the storm cover unfolds right on top of the Flippac tent area. Tie it down in the corners and on in the center and that’s all there is to it.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_Storm_Cover_001.jpg


http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_Storm_Cover_005.jpg
The storm cover does not fit over the back of the camper corner, as you can see in the above and below picture. This is part of the area I enlarged for the rear door and now the cover is about 5” to short. The good news is, even though the cover does not fit the way it was meant to fit from Flippac, the cover does not leak and works perfect as is.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_Storm_Cover_006.jpg


Here you can see one of the openings on the storm cover for ventilation.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_Storm_Cover_004.jpg


And from the inside look out of the storm cover ventilation opening.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_Storm_Cover_007.jpg


Below is a picture of the inside. Please keep in mind that I finished most of what you see inside in a few hours. It is temporary and will be coming out soon for the permanent interior. I wanted something inside the camper so I could at least use it while I built the outside. This also gave me a chance to charge things around to see what worked and what did not. Like the bed, seat area. That did not work very well. Its too hard to set up the bed and difficult to get to the storage under the bed/seat. I am planning on a 12V Norcold 60L in the spot to the left of the door as you are coming into the camper.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_inside_first009.jpg


The blue cast in the pictures is from the storm cover. This is the queen size sleeping area above the cab or the part that flips open towards the from of the truck.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_inside_first007.jpg
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_inside_first014.jpg
Its got to be every bit of 9 feet to the top of the tent!!
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Flip_pac_inside_first010.jpg

Travelmore
04-20-2009, 08:16 PM
I think this build is great. The concept and execution are amazing. The only thing that could make it better is if you could use the FlipPac without it being attached to the truck.

Bella PSD
04-20-2009, 08:29 PM
I think this build is great. The concept and execution are amazing. The only thing that could make it better is if you could use the FlipPac without it being attached to the truck.

Thanks!! And stay tuned for more info on the removal of the camper AND camping in it....Its in my planning to have the camper off the truck, like a base camp, while the rest of the truck goes off to play.

Louie

UHAULER
04-21-2009, 03:59 AM
Nice work. I love these kind of builds. Sometimes doing it yourself is the only way to get what you want if you don't have big $$ to spend.(Like me)

Do you get people questioning why ?? I know I do on my truck, they just can't understand why I didn't just buy a used cabover camper.

allochris
04-22-2009, 04:20 PM
Great job!

2 questions:

-How much are those 4 legs? The legs i made for my camper can't go up & down with the camper on & i really envy your camper being able to be lowered to the ground on a dolly.

-Can you take some inside pictures with the tent close. I want to see how / where those fabric drapes/flaps inside the camper. (i.e. In situation like when it's real storming/cold out & you want to still use (cook) inside the camper without burning out your tent fabric.

thanks:)

Outback
04-23-2009, 12:08 AM
Absolutely beautifull!

Bella PSD
04-23-2009, 04:46 AM
It’s going down to 34 degrees tonight. Wish it was getting colder, but that’s it. So I am heading out to pop open the flip, with the storm cover on it to see how warm(or COLD) it stays inside overnight. I will keep a 1,500 watt electric heater set at 65 degrees as a test to see how my 20,000 BTU propane RV heater will do once installed. Although the small electric heaters is nowhere near 20,000 BTU’s of the propane heater, the little electric heater should keep the camper warm. And most likely the propane heater will do more than fine, once it’s installed. That’s the plan anyway. My main test tonight is to see what kind of heat lose I will have because of the tent.

I will sleep out in the camper tonight and post the results in the morning.

Louie

Bella PSD
04-23-2009, 05:03 AM
Great job!

2 questions:

-How much are those 4 legs? The legs i made for my camper can't go up & down with the camper on & i really envy your camper being able to be lowered to the ground on a dolly.

-Can you take some inside pictures with the tent close. I want to see how / where those fabric drapes/flaps inside the camper. (i.e. In situation like when it's real storming/cold out & you want to still use (cook) inside the camper without burning out your tent fabric.

thanks:)

The jacks are 2000 lbs camper jacks. They are standard issue on slide on truck campers. The mounts for the jacks are custom, I made them to attach like a receiver hitch, locking pin and all. The jacks can move in and out to any spot I need. Or I can pull the pin and remove them in about 2 minuets for all four. Same goes for installing them, just takes a few minuets.


As for cooking inside when the tent is closed. I planned from the beginning that I wanted to have some kind of stealth mode. When it came time to build in the jack points and plan the rear door, the camper got raised 5 ¼”. This was just what I need to give me enough room to “get by” if I needed to in stealth mode. Stealth mode would of course be with the flip closed. Now I can sleep with the flip closed, wash my hands at the counter high sink, toilet, even do the dishes or make a sandwich. But as far as cooking on the cook top with the tent closed, I just don’t know?? Maybe it could work, there is about 14” clearance. Maybe if I built some kind of heat shield. Not thinking this would be a good idea really. Maybe if I had one of those diesel cook tops like in the Earthroamer. It works with no open flame, so maybe.

Bella PSD
04-23-2009, 02:12 PM
Turned out I got what I wanted. There was a hard frost last night. So I would guess the low temp was about 30 degrees.

Did the math on the electric heaters BTU so I can have a direct comparison for my test. The 1,500W electric heater I used to test the campers winter camping comfort is 5,119.5 BTU’s.( 1 kW is 3,413 BTUs) That’s not much compared to the 20,000 BTU heater I plan on installing later on. This still made for a good test, even with the lower output of 5,119 BTU’s.
I started out at 11:30 at 49.3 degrees inside the camper and ambient. Within 5 minuets the inside rose to 53 degrees without a heat source. Ran the 5,100 BTU heater for ½ hour and by midnight the inside rose to 70 degrees.
As I went to sleep around 12:20am it was a toasty 73.8 degrees inside the camper. All reading for the inside temp’s were taken from the front of the camper, inside the flip. Basically, as far from the heat source as I could get. That’s just to warm, so I turned the thermostat down on the heater and feel asleep. Feeling confident I would stay warm, I even took my socks off!:cool:

Here is what happen.

Inside the Flippac camper measured as far from the heat source as possible
49.3 degrees@11:30pm (Start Up Temp)
73.8 degrees@12:20am (High Temp)
65.1 degress@4:50am (Low Temp)

Ambient temp measured just outside the camper and off the ground about 8 feet
49.3 degrees@11:30pm (Start Up Temp)
49.3 degrees@11:30pm (High temp)
33.1 degress@4:20am (Low Temp) more like 30 degrees with the hard frost

So what did I get from all of this? I think I can camp on some mild winter nights in the mid 20’s and be comfortable. And that’s with the camper un-insulated. I have not insulated the camper in any way yet. Once the 20,000 BTU heater is installed I should be even better off as the 5,100 BTU heater ran non-stop for the most part. I am thinking I may need to vent the heat out in 2 or 3 spots in the camper to get a more even heat as well.

I would guess I have a tremendous amount of heat loss though the tent because that 1,500 watt heater can heat my 2 car garage to 60 degrees no problem when its 30-35 degrees outside. The heater was turned off at 6:50am (69 inside/38 out) and by 7:30am the inside temp was 51 degrees. So most of the heat dissipated pretty quickly.

Bottom line for me; I slept in a light weight sleeping bag, without socks:rolleyes:, in a tent with a low of 30…. Comfortably.

Louie

allochris
04-23-2009, 02:13 PM
The jacks are 2000 lbs camper jacks. They are standard issue on slide on truck campers. The mounts for the jacks are custom, I made them to attach like a receiver hitch, locking pin and all. The jacks can move in and out to any spot I need. Or I can pull the pin and remove them in about 2 minuets for all four. Same goes for installing them, just takes a few minuets.

Thanks! Sorry, i meant how much $ for those legs, b/c i'm tempting to get some ... really.

Bella PSD
04-23-2009, 02:24 PM
Do you get people questioning why ?? I know I do on my truck, they just can't understand why I didn't just buy a used cabover camper.

Thanks and Yep. All the time. I just tell them that no one I went to wanted to build it or do any of the fiberglass work so I just did it myself. Well I take that back, one fiberglass shop quoted me $5000 plus to do the back of the camper and door area.:Wow1:

I have been following your build. I want those big windows you installed for my camper!!

Louie

Bella PSD
04-23-2009, 02:53 PM
Thanks! Sorry, i meant how much $ for those legs, b/c i'm tempting to get some ... really.

The 2000 lbs jacks came from my donor camper. page 5 post 41
http://bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20Before%20003.jpg

Or click here for Rieco Titan web site.
http://www.riecotitan.com/camperjacks/fourcorner.html
These heavy duty steel jacks are of durable construction. They include large heat-treated gears, four bearings and heavy walled tubing. 2000 lb. capacity per jack. Features a full 36" plus lift (Most in the industry) and a large foot pad for added stability.

The 1000 lbs jacks are on sale here, $429(US), set of 4
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-jacks/truck-camper-jacks.htm
The 2000 lbs look to be around $790(US), set of four

Hows your camper coming?

Louie

Northern Explorer
04-23-2009, 08:02 PM
I don't think you're going to have any problem heating your flip pac camper with an 18,000 BTU furnace. Just for comparison the Earthroamer Jeep has a 6100 BTU furnace and my FWC Finch has a 12,000 BTU furnace. I have also used a 1500 watt electric heater to heat my camper a few weeks ago when I did some work in it. This was more then enough to warn up the camper on the low (750 watt?) setting. I plan on bringing this heater with me for cold weather campground camping. The only issue I can see with your set-up is that with 18,000 BTUs your camper will heat up fast and then with the tent top it will cool off fast. In other words the furnace will cycle on and off a lot.

Bella PSD
04-23-2009, 11:53 PM
I was hoping someone had tried this in a 4wheel camper. Glad to here what you reported. That leaves no doubt I will be fine with the heater I have.

And BTW, I don’t have a 18,000 BTU heater. I have a 20,000 BTU heater. I just went back and fixed my posts. It’s the Atwood Furnace-Everest Star 7920-II. I also check the paper work I have and it can be set up for front or side discharge. I will likely run a vent up to the tent area, and leave the front discharge on the heater as the main heat.

Thanks
Louie

ScottBailey
04-24-2009, 05:30 PM
Since heat rises, it's probably unnecessary to run a vent. You might want to start simple: discharge into the lower, insulated body of the camper, allowing the heat to radiate/rise into the sleeping area. If that isn't enough, vent!

Something you might not like is the HOT cycle of the furnace blowing on you as you sleep. The hot is quite warm. Also, your furnace probably has both a pre-ignition and cool down cycle. Duration should be in your owner's manual... Maybe 10 and 30 seconds, respectively?

Consider a digital thermostat. The right one can help with setting and maintaining a more constant temp than the analogs might. (Here's a link (http://wanderthewest.com/forum/showthread.php?p=17455#post17455).)

Your build is entertaining! Great ideas and execution!

Bella PSD
04-27-2009, 02:08 AM
Consider a digital thermostat. The right one can help with setting and maintaining a more constant temp than the analogs might. (Here's a link (http://wanderthewest.com/forum/showthread.php?p=17455#post17455).)

Your build is entertaining! Great ideas and execution!

Thanks!! wanderthewest.com!! I spent 3.5 hours there last night reading. Thanks so much. LOTS of ideas rolling through my head because of that site....
Louie

Bella PSD
04-27-2009, 02:37 AM
In this part of the build I am be completely covering all of the exterior wood that was to build the camper. I am cover all of the wood in fiberglass and then smooth it all out with filler. I am going for rounded corners and have a seamless flow from the existing camper to the new construction. The photos will be from two different fiberglass sections and may not match up sequentially.

In this first two picture I have just rounded the corners with a grinder and 30 grit. Keep in mind that everything from the bottom of the back window down is all new.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_7-08_002.jpg


This was just before the fiberglass went on. I have prepped the camper with a boat type sealer.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_7-08_003.jpg


Here the back of the camper showing the prep sealer. All that hard work getting that door just right went right out the window….But the door had to come off because I wanted to seal and fiberglass under the frame work.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_7-08_005.jpg


No pictures of the fiberglass work. Got busy and was in the zone. Just forgot…Anyway, in this shot you can visible see four different color layers of filler. Trust me there are more. All together there are over 7 gallons of filler and one layer of fiberglass and sealer. Although most of the filler was sanded away, the filler and fiberglass are sanded down to about 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick on average.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_7-08_010.jpg


It’s hard to believe this was an ordinary truck cap just a few weeks back…..
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_7-08_009.jpg

This is one of the few pictures I have of the exposed bodywork before I primed it. It really is starting to take shape. The new camper body now is seamless, smooth and watertight.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_016.jpg


This is a shot that shows the rear access doors. They are the ones on either side of the main door. The one on the right is opened up. There is a ton of storage space inside there when the camper is mounted to the truck. You can see the dolly I made too.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper%20Flip%20Pac%20off%20028a.jpg


With the rear access doors. I made the compartment so they can be closed off, key locked and water tight.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FordSuperDutyImages/BellaPSDcamper.jpg


Here is a shot of the camper from the front, fully loaded up and ready to camp. I left the jacks on the camper for this trip. I can also pull the pins for the jacks and store them in the side access compartments.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Ford%20and%20Flip%20Pac%20camper%20.jpg


In this shot you can see a big problem!! The torsion bar snapped! The flip can be raised without it BUT it’s not easy. Good to find out at home and not out camping. It’s about $275 for a new torsion bar and cover from Flippac. I ordered a new one and need to get it on.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Flip%20Pac%20Torsion%20bar%20004.jpg


I think it’s about time for a trip report! I have been building this camper for some time now and I am ready to enjoy it. First trip…. 5 days camping on the beach, Core banks NC.

Outback
04-27-2009, 03:57 AM
Amazing build. You dah man! :victory:

eugene
05-27-2009, 05:42 PM
Do you still have the starcraft camper that was hit and are you selling any parts off of it? I need a set of the latches that hold the roof down, I'm missing one and the rest are bent up and painted over.

Bella PSD
06-06-2009, 02:43 AM
Do you still have the starcraft camper that was hit and are you selling any parts off of it? I need a set of the latches that hold the roof down, I'm missing one and the rest are bent up and painted over.

I don't think I took those off before a bull-dozer pushed it over a cliff at the local dump:Wow1:

I will have to look through my box of parts left over from the camper. I do have the pop up canvas in near new shape and a near new 3L 3 way fridge.

Louie

Bella PSD
06-27-2009, 04:47 AM
Continuing on with the troubled Torsion bar….

I will label this part of the thread “Flip Pac torsion bar replacement”

I contacted FRP and was first told the bars were back ordered several months. I never ordered one and called back a month or so later. The bars came in and were sold out that fast. I was SOL!!!! I called Diane at Flip Pac and asked if there is any way to still get one without waiting months. They ended up sending me one from a build they had going. Cost was $265 plus I needed the aluminum cover that slips over the bar. That’s added $20 plus tax and shipping came to a little over $300.

Now that I had the parts I need to get flipping again, I had to come up with a way to install the bar. Flip Pac recommends using a hoist, crane or lift to suspend the lid perpendicular as the bar is removed and installed. That would mean 20’ plus high interior space or parking outside under a BIG tree?? I was stumped as to how to get the torsion bar out and back in without damaging the tent while it is suspended.

Here is how I did it……

Step One.
Undo the round insert cap on the driver’s side. Hammer out the old torsion bar from the driver’s side to the passenger side. If the bar is cracked in half there is no fear of the torsion built into the spring bar.

NOTE* If the torsion bar is still live sprung, start with removing the live bar at the end of step 9**(very important). Live bar removal will be steps 7,8,9,1,2,3,4,5,6,10


Step Two.
Hammer the driver’s side of the new torsion bar through the passenger side mounted splines. Position the new bar as seen in this photo.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_003.jpg
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_001.jpg


Step Three.
Tap the bar all the way to the driver’s side but not into the driver’s side splines. Position as seen in this photo. The idea here is to have the bar “free floating” for now.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_008.jpg


Step Four.
Slide on the filler piece that’s goes on the inside of the passenger side splines. Now tap into place.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_006.jpg


Step Five.
Prepare the bar for the aluminum cover. I used electric tape for a tight fit and to keep the bar from spinning and rattling around in the wind. Now slide the aluminum cover on from the drivers side..
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_009.jpg
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_010.jpg


Step Six.
Position the bar so it is ready to slide into the driver’s side splines. Tap the bar into the drivers side splines about 3/8”. Taking care not to have the passenger side splines engage. This is very important. What we are doing here is creating a mounting point for the bar on the driver’s side only. That way it will not build up any twist or torsion when the flip is raised.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_004.jpg
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_005.jpg

Continued in next post....

Bella PSD
06-27-2009, 04:55 AM
Continuing on to next set of steps.

Step Seven.
Unlatch the flip and raise it up about 2-3 feet up in the back. Support the flip open with a 2x4 as it will be fairly heavy and will come crashing down without some kind of support.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_015.jpg


Step Eight.
Tie off a rope around the back of the flip leaving about 20 feet of rope to pull from. This will be used to lift the flip Perpendicular.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_014.jpg


Step Nine.
This is were it all comes together! The idea is to lift the flip perpendicular to the cap but not past perpendicular. To stop the flip from flipping to far I parked the camper next to the house. Had my wife PULL as I pushed with the long 2x4. Once the flip is perpendicular its very balanced and easy to hold in that spot. Now that I have the flip in the right spot you might be wondering what’s happen to the new torsion bar. Nothing at all has happen to it. It’s only anchored to the driver’s side and has no twist at all to it(just spins). The main purpose for the bar up to this point is to hold the camper to the tent top. This is now the correct spot to install the new torsion bar or remove a live torsion bar (**reference to step 1, live torsion bar).
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_016full.jpg


Step Ten.
Tap the torsion bar all the way in on the passenger side as the flip is ½ way open. This now anchors the bar in two places (flip top and cap) and will now develop twist on its way down over the truck cap and on its way down to closed.

**note What is not shown with pictures is the flip actually perpendicular. I had my hands full with the tapping in of the new torsion bar and no way to snap an image;)


That’s it!
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Camper_Build_Torsion_Bar_7-08_017.jpg

Bella PSD
06-27-2009, 05:11 AM
One last note, this is a very good time to clean out the sealant around the mounting points for the torsion bar. They can be a source for leaks and the best time to reseal them is when the bar is removed. I actually removed the torsion bar mounting points from the camper, cleaned out all the out sealant and reinstalled them with new sealant.

Louie

Dave Bennett
06-28-2009, 02:47 AM
Awesome thread! :lurk:

elcoyote
07-24-2009, 10:18 PM
I have posted the Factory torsion bar installation instructions for you in Matt's original thread here

http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?p=433287#post433287

SGNellett
07-25-2009, 02:51 PM
Louie,

That thing looks awesome! I wish it would have been around when I was there, I'd love to have seen it, although something tells me it would have been a MUCH longer day if it were there!

RocKrawler
08-23-2009, 05:37 AM
Any updates?

Funrover
09-01-2009, 05:08 PM
That is awesome! You have done a heck of a job!

Herbie
09-01-2009, 06:32 PM
Any updates?


Agreed.

It posts the updates to the thread, or else it gets the hose again.

Dave Bennett
09-02-2009, 03:14 AM
It puts the lotion on the skin :elkgrin:

Bella PSD
11-05-2009, 11:02 PM
Sorry for the delay in posting. I have somewhat of a catastrophic failure, or at least one that makes me rethink the direction I am headed.

The plan was to finish the framing of the rear door and raising the sides. Enclose the inside and floor. And build a jack system to raise and lower the Flip Pac camper. Then cover the exterior before starting on the inside. Then paint the camper to match the truck, keeping it “somewhat” camp stealthy. I wanted the side to be no wider than the truck and raised high enough inside to camp inside with the flip closed, if needed. Basically, don’t make it to big (wide) and keep an automotive style finish. So far so good……

Until now! What’s happen is the camper has developed some small cracks in the finish. The cracks are only as deep as the skim coat of body filler over the fiberglass. But a bigger problem has developed from exposure to rain. As you can guess, water and body filler are not good together. The near perfect outer skin of the camper is swelling up at the cracks and just like freeze/thaw cycle, they get bigger each day.

The first thing I was trying to figure out was if the cracks were from stress or from exposure to water getting into a small area I missed some how. Stress would be from the camper flexing. I tried driving over a ditch and flexing the front wheel down till it was hanger in air. The opposite rear tire was crammed in the wheel well. The camper did flex, but not much at all. The areas that are cracked did not enlarge or close up as I flexed the truck frame. So this leaves me with water. This I can fix and continue on with my plan. But this has been such a scare, I have been looking into skinning the exterior with some kind of plastic or aluminum, just like a truck camper or any commercial camper trailer.

This would be a big change in plans and I need to really get it right this time. So I have been looking into ways to skin the exterior with something, not sure yet.

Also a question/comment! Right now the Flip Pac camper sits on the bed rails AND the floor of the truck bed equally. I was thinking it would be a good idea to move the camper up off the bed rails and only have it rest on the floor of the truck bed. Maybe move it up one inch by adding to the floor of the camper. The only reason for the camper to sit on the bed rails was to keep the storage areas dry from rain. I could fab up so 1” seals easy enough and keep the storage areas on each side of the camper dry. I was thinking this would help with the little bit a flex I was getting in the camper body.

elmo_4_vt
11-06-2009, 12:09 AM
Sorry to hear your having the troubles with the outter surface... You could try over on the TTT forum (http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/index.php). They have used all kinds of outer skins to keep the water out. Please keep us updated. I was going to glass the wood on my trailer, but maybe that's not the best idea.

Could the problem be from the puddy? I seem to think I've heard that before?

Don

-

Bella PSD
11-06-2009, 12:41 AM
Sorry to hear your having the troubles with the outter surface... You could try over on the TTT forum (http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/index.php). They have used all kinds of outer skins to keep the water out. Please keep us updated. I was going to glass the wood on my trailer, but maybe that's not the best idea.

Could the problem be from the puddy? I seem to think I've heard that before?

Don

-

Yep, The glass I laid is just fine. Its the skim coat I did to make it look better that's not holding up.

Bella PSD
11-06-2009, 12:57 AM
Don, almost forgot, thanks for the link. Lots of Ideas I can use from those Teardrops!!

dustboy
11-11-2009, 03:00 AM
Wow, this kind of project is right up my alley. Awesome work, and a patient wife!!

I'd guess the cracks in the body filler are either due to the fiberglass having a different rate of heat expansion/contraction than the bondo, and/or the wood moves a lot with humidity change. The fiberglass can flex a little with the wood but the bondo has no elasticity.

Bella PSD
11-11-2009, 02:32 PM
Yes the problem is the skim layer of filler to make the fiberglass look ok. I do believe as you do, that the filler is just not going to hold its shape and not crack over time. Really is to bad because it looked so good with the smooth rounded corners and edges. So, I am stuck here trying to figure a way to finish the exterior.

I am leaning towards skinning the camper with some kind of thin plastic paneling. And finish the corners and edges off with a trim piece. Trim pieces like I used around the door. My first thought is, do the panels need to float or can they be ridged and glued down?

I really need to get past this so I can start on the interior!

Martyn
11-11-2009, 04:02 PM
My first thought is, do the panels need to float or can they be ridged and glued down?

If the expansion and contraction rates of the inner material and the skin material are identical then you can glue them. If they are not then the skin needs to float.

compactcamping
11-11-2009, 05:09 PM
Bella PSD, Are all sides of the wood structure you've add well sealed? This will help minimize expansion and contraction.

For leveling a surface with fiberglass over wood in kayaks and trailer boxes, I make a fairing putty by mixing resin, low-density microballoons and sanding dust. This way your sealing layer and fill layer will have the same expansion characteristics and this type of resin based filler will not absort moisture. Note, my experience is with using Epoxy based resins.

Depending on your equipment, seems like it would be easier and faster to sand out the Bondo and refill (yes very messy), than skin it.

robert
11-11-2009, 06:49 PM
Yep, remove the current filler and use a fiberglass filler like they use on sailboats. It'd be a pain and it's more expensive, but should work. Disclaimer, I'm no craftsman but I do read Wooden Boat magazine. :snorkel: (I actually do have a little experience with it helping friends out who own sailboats)

spencyg
11-11-2009, 09:02 PM
Disclaimer, I'm no craftsman but I do read Wooden Boat magazine. :snorkel:

Ha! Is this like staying at a holiday inn express? (Sidebar: I used to work for WoodenBoat at the school...pretty awesome place to visit if you're ever up this way)

Chances are, you used polyester resin to apply the fiberglass. The body filler you used is either polyester or vinylester based, neither of which are great when used on wood. Your best bet (take a deep breath) is to remove all the filler, and then rip the glass off. You will be disturbed at how easy it will be to remove the glass....especially from red oak. Oak has very tight pores and doesn't bond well (or at all) with any ester based resins. Any problems you have now will only get worse if you leave the current glass on.

When you remove all of that stuff, you'll want to sand everything smooth again, and then start over with some epoxy. West System is the primo brand and the one I use 100% of the time. You can also use MAS system, and System 3. Buy a gallon of resin, and a quart of hardener. Don't forget the special metering pumps. I'd sheath the back with 10oz cloth minimum. Make sure the corners of the wood are VERY well rounded (no less than 1/2" radius). Saturate all of the wood with clear resin and let it set up, then do it again. This will fill the grain and any pores which are still sucking moisture. Also coat any end-grain you can....keep coating it as the wood absorbs the resin...you want it to look wet. Once all of that has dried, go over the whole thing with 80g paper on a random orbit sander. THEN apply the glass....wet the surface, apply the glass, then wet out the glass. Be sure to work from the inside out so as to avoid air bubbles. Any bubbles you get can be quickly fixed by slitting the bubble with a razor blade and working in flush. Once you're satisfied with the lay of the cloth, let it cure. Then two more coats of resin. Second coat could be thickened with either microballons (West system product) or ultralight filler additive (another West System product). The addition of these items in the resin (thickened to a yogurt consistency or peanut butter consistency depending on how well it is holding on vertical surfaces) will turn the epoxy into a filler and won't give you any problems afterwards. You probably would have been better off using an exterior grade plywood on the back of the camper. Solid wood moves around quite a bit while plywood doesn't. Regardless, the epoxy will work much better and will provide a permanent fix. Unfortuantely it undoes a bunch of work you've already done, but doing it right now will save you tons of headache later. Good luck...love the project!

Spence

compactcamping
11-12-2009, 04:41 PM
Good point Spence, I just assumed everyone uses Epoxy resin.

Yes, West Systems is the brand I use also. Whether you use Spence's method or a wet layup method (saturating the cloth over raw wood) you'll need to watch out for blush when epoxying in colder weather. Fast cure harders (for cooler temps) have a higher tendency to blush. It's a waxy film that forms on the surface as a byproduct of curing. When I do a layups, I add subsequent layers of epoxy, when the previous layer is in the green phase and still tacky. Doing it this way, there is no worry of blush and the bonding between layers is chemical (stronger) verses mechanical. This is why I normally use the wet layup method.

Removing blush is easy. If you let a layer of epoxy setup past the green phase, simply use a green 3M scrubby pad to wash the surface with lots of clean water.

spencyg
11-12-2009, 06:15 PM
Good point on the blush, I too typically recoat when the surface is just past tacky but figured the explaination would cause too much head spinning...you did a great job picking up my dropped ball :)

Also, by liberally sanding with 80g paper and then washing (I forgot to describe this step), you effectively eliminate the blush issue. The blush will typically gum up your sandpaper a bit, so washing first, sand, then wash again, is the best way to deal with it. Regardless, the polyester resin in its entirety needs to go and be replaced with epoxy. Plan on spending around $100 for a gallon set of epoxy, maybe $15 for microballons, another $15 for microlite fairing filler, and $10 for pumps. I buy my resin locally at a chandlery (www.hamiltonmarine.com), but you can also get it from West Marine (www.westmarine.com). I'd get my cloth from defender industries (www.defender.com). Make sure it is just standard weave 10oz, nothing fancy and no mat or roving....they both don't work with epoxy resins (actually, its the binder in the mat and roving that doesn't work). Good luck, the project is going well, and the finished product will be worth this extra work.

Spence

robert
11-12-2009, 06:50 PM
Ha! Is this like staying at a holiday inn express? (Sidebar: I used to work for WoodenBoat at the school...pretty awesome place to visit if you're ever up this way)

<snip>

Spence


I thought it was funny anyways. :sombrero: Yeah, I actually have a little experience with it from helping friends with their boats and a couple of friends who do custom woodwork. I've also repaired some fiberglass Westy tops using West Systems products.

compactcamping
11-12-2009, 09:15 PM
Like they say, two heads are better than one :sombrero:

Good luck on the project, looking good so far.

Bella PSD
11-13-2009, 12:28 AM
OK, I think I know what happen.

To start out, all supplies were from a supply house locally. They were moving the warehouse to Tennessee so they just GAVE me what I needed. Free is fine but I did question them as to the contents, and it was epoxy. They also gave me 6 gallons of gray primer☺

Wood was sanded with 60 grit. I started out with Epoxy resin for the fiberglass, soaked the wood one time and applied on coat of matt. Then two more coats of risen. As far as blush, it was 70 degrees out and I don’t have a clue what it would look like. But I was clear, not milky. Sanded down with 60 grit and applied the first coat of filler. BUT I had a small portion of tiger hair bondo from Auto zone that I wanted to use up before opening the 5-gallon of filler I got from the supply house. Every place that is cracking is where I applied the tiger hair!! Not everywhere just 3-4 spots with cracks.

And the wood is red oak plywood, 5 layers. The 5" sides are soild pine. All corners are well rounded.

I wonder how much of this could just be shrinkage.

spencyg
11-13-2009, 01:16 PM
I'm glad you started with epoxy! Now, you should know that polyester based fillers or resin WON'T stick to epoxy at all...it just cracks, splits, and falls off. You've already identified that the kitty hair was poly based...make sure the other pail of filler is epoxy based and not poly. Also, as I mentioned before, the random-fiber fiberglass mat (as opposed to bidirectional cloth) isn't compatable with epoxy. you mentioned the use of mat, and even though I'm pretty sure you used cloth, I wanted to make sure.

Spence

compactcamping
11-13-2009, 04:01 PM
If it's a localized problem in a few spots, most likely is the filler. Blush will feel waxy / oily on the surface, it is a very, very thin film. As noted, it gums up sandpaper when sanding. The faster cure hardeners tend to blush more, so it's not necessarily temp related. Some brands are worst that others, what brand resin are you using?

If the plywood isn't sealed well on all sides you could be seeing expansion /shrinkage.

Bella PSD
12-04-2009, 05:16 AM
I went out today to work on the 2 M416’s I have stored at the farm and survived the damage to the camper also stored there. The Flip Pac is stored outside right now. The cracking/shrinking/peeling is about the same but larger now. Its growing slowly but surly. I was so disgusted I did not even get a picture!

Time to regroup! I think I will start with removing everything on the back of the camper. Recover the framework with something treated and/or compatible with the finished skin. That skin may still be fiberglass or something else. But this is my “new” starting point.

The Adam Blaster
12-04-2009, 07:58 PM
I just read through this whole thread and started thinking about the cracking issue...

Is it possible when the overnight/heater testing was done that the heat on the inside of the camper combined with the outside colder temperatures, could there have been some moisture that got sucked into the plywood?
Then after the back wall was sealed up, the moisture might have gotten trapped in there?

Maybe after the back wall is torn apart, an indoor drying process might be a necessity?

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 07:22 AM
The more I think about it I think it was using the aged (1950's) plywood that is the problem. Its just not holding up. Maybe the old red oak plywood is delaminating on its own under the stress of being in a flexing camper along with the weather changes.

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 07:49 AM
As you have already noticed, I have been building a camper. Well that camper has a purpose, and that’s to camp! So its time for a trip report with the new, albeit unfinished, Flip Pac camper. I have titled this trip Corolla to the Cap but we have a few side trips as well. Hopefully the pictures will give you a sense of what its like to run the entire length of the Outer Banks. You will not see any pictures of to many hotels or strip malls, just the parts of OBX I want to remember.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20calender.jpg

We have traveled Corolla to the Cap three times now. The pictures below are a culmination of all three trips. I was never planning to right up anything like this so I have pieced together what I could after the fact.

So you might be asking what is Corolla and the Cape. The Cape I refer to is not Cape horn or Cape Town. It’s Cape Lookout National Seashore, the Southern most point on the Outer Banks. Corolla, North Carolina is the furthest Northern community of the Outer banks. Corolla is just south of Virginia’s False Cape State Park. The trip from Corolla to the Cap takes about 3 days to do it right. It’s about 170 miles just to drive it with no off-roading. Add in the Corolla 4wd beach and all the access roads from Ocracoke, Oregon Inlet, Hatteras and the Core banks and your looking at well over another 100 miles off road. You will need to take 3 ferries.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20map.jpg

With the beach, solitude, camping and wild horses in our thoughts we head east from our SW Ohio home town. It’s about 700 miles for us, so we split the driving into two days. On the second day, as we cross the Wright Memorial Bridge, we get a taste of the salt air. We are in luck as the traffic is light on the bridge. Plan accordingly to hit the bridge at a good time. At times the back up can be hours. About half way across the Bridge, I remind my three girls that the Wright Brothers are from Dayton Ohio!


Now it gets good! NC Highway 12 north here we come! We head North on HW 12 through Southern Shores and Duck NC on our way to Corolla NC. In the town of Corolla we get some last minute food and supplies, air down our tires and then hit the four-wheel drive beach.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_374.jpg


Low tide is the best time to come up the coast on the beach for most 4wd trucks. But its OK about anytime, you just might end up having to drive in the deeper sand up off the water line. And the churned up sand can get deep. We have rescued plenty of trucks, a few Hondas and a mini van or two. Not to the liking of the local towing company, they get $100-$300 per tow. And that price is just to get you un-stuck! One gentleman from Australia owes me a beer if I ever run into him down under. He was very grateful to get his brother in laws borrowed Pontiac Montana out of the sand!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_409.jpg



Once you are off the beach and on the back roads, you can navigate for what seems to be hundreds of miles. These sand roads lead to the only place to stay on the beach; you guessed it, beach rental homes. No camping is allowed in this area at all. As you explore the back roads be VERY careful of the water crossings or the “mud holes”. They have been known to be very deep! The deepest I went through seemed to be about 2-3 feet deep. But I went around them when I could.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_345.jpg



So the next best thing to camping…..and the only thing in Corolla.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_020.jpg
The horses were walking by in the photo. That's what everyone is looking at.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_021.jpg



What I enjoy about coming to Corolla is the lack of any retail anything! No gas stations, strip malls, roads and no Wal-Mart! Just beach and the beach homes over the dunes. Oh and one more thing…..WILD HORSES!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_330.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_033.jpg


Just about every day we “camp out” on the beach and do what most do while at the beach.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3121.jpg

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 07:59 AM
Just about every day we “camp out” on the beach and do what most do while at the beach.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_438.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_446.jpg



Each day, a few hours before dusk, we drive back to the house and eat dinner. Its not hard getting the kids off the beach because they KNOW what’s coming next!! Dusk on the Corolla 4WD beach…
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_086.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_109.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_125.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_197.jpg


Corolla is the starting point for out excursion from the North 4WD beach to Cape Lookout. We are at Corolla for a week, but sadly the time to depart comes to soon. A few of our newfound friends greet us as we head south!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_251.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_472.jpg



As we hit paved road again, we air up our tires and prepare for a leisure day driving the Outer Banks. We drive back through Duck and head south towards Kitty Hawk on HW 12.

Picture of Currituck Beach Light Station
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_498.jpg

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 08:11 AM
Around lunchtime we stop at Nags Head. Also a good place to pick up any last minute supplies as we enter Bodie Island. From here on south we leave behind all the strip malls and tee shirt stands. I have been told the fishing is good at the Oregon Inlet and there is beach access there as well.

As we cross the Oregon Inlet Bridge we enter the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, things look much different. This is what I was hoping for: miles and miles of beach, with not much else! A few small towns on the way south like Salvo and Avon NC, are a great places to visit.



Here are a few pictures from a stop at Hatteras Light house and poser picture of the truck at Cape Hatteras beach access right about at the point.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20155.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20162.jpg
Poser picture of the truck at Cape Hatteras
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3227.jpg



We travel from the lighthouse to the town of Hatteras were we relax and wait for the ferry. A good time to walk the town or get some local seafood.


The next few pictures give you an idea of the first of 3 ferry rides we will take. This ferry departs from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_505.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_514.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3230.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3236.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3242.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3265.jpg

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 08:25 AM
We try to camp once we get to Ocracoke Island. At this point its been a long trip. Nothing better than setting up camp for a good night sleep.

One night I will never forget was on our fist night camping at NPS Ocracoke camp. It was late, almost dark when we drove off the ferry. We head straight for the NPS camp. We checked in and started setting up in the dark. About ½ hour later its lights out time in the Flip Pac. Just before I shut the lights off I look out the back window and couldn't believe what I was seeing. What seems to be Christmas tree lights twinkling in the trees behind us. I quickly realize it was millions of fireflies. Now I live in Ohio and we have our share of fireflies but NEVER like this, WOW! I have everyone look out at our good night send off from the local Ocracoke fireflies. Kids were amazed. So I am thinking it dose not get any better than that after a long day on the road…..but as I shut the lights off I get a real shock, the entire Flip Pac tent is covered with Fireflies lighting up the tent. It was like the lights were still on. The kids at this point are just speechless. No better way to end a day of exploring!

For some reason I end up doing all the cooking when we camp?? At home I never cook anything at all. Here are some eggs about to be scrambled. Those baby birds (Kids) look hungry.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3269.jpg



A few pictures of the NPS Ocracoke campground. Did I mention its right on the ocean!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3270.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3271.jpg



Now as luck would have it, we kept hearing all this talk about Ocracoke the few days before we arrive. What’s the big deal? Ocracoke beach was voted the #1 beach in the world. That’s right, this out of the way, hard to get to beach won the top prize. All I could think was the secret is out, next comes the go cart track and Mall-mart! But it seems to be fine in Ocracoke a few years after the award! GOOD!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3295.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3301.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3309.jpg



One thing I have learned is EVEYTHING in a camper needs to be secured or it will look like this! After driving down the Ocracoke access road to the beach we got the truck bouncing pretty good at one deep spot of sand. I opened up to this mess.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3315.jpg



One last shot of the #1 beach for me! I have been to Bermuda’s horseshoe bay, Maui, the Bahamas, FL beaches and so on. The beach at Ocracoke wins hands down!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3323.jpg

The lighthouses keep on coming. One more we visited at Ocracoke.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3324_1.jpg



Driving through the town of Ocracoke at dusk. Trying to make the last ferry of the night!!!! Not a bad place to miss a ferry, IMO!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3330.jpg

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 08:41 AM
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3255.jpg


Someone’s happy we made that last ferry. We are Core Banks bound.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_526.jpg


No better way to travel, sit back and relax for a few hours. It’s a loooong ride!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_523.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3341.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_532.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_538.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_544.jpg



The ferry takes you southwest and makes landfall at Cedar Island NC. When you arrive at Cedar Island you will see two things right away. One, a questionable hotel called the Driftwood Motel and two, an unknown camp ground across the street. The few times through here we have opted for the hotel at about $75. It’s usually been a few days of traveling, camping, and eating on the road to get to this point. Not to mention the only bathing to this point has been the ocean. And it’s your last stop before the Core Banks. Basically this is your last time for a hot shower, nice bed, AC and a restaurant for quit some time. The Driftwood staff is friendly and helpful. They even put our ice cooler in their walk in cooler overnight and filled it up with ice before we headed out the next morning! On our second stay we were able to get an end room to run AC to charge the camper batteries. It’s not the best place ever but the next closest place is hours away!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3357.jpg
Read the duck-cleaning note, to funny!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3359.jpg

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 09:13 AM
AC cord run to charge camper batteries
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_551.jpg



The big day!!

After about a 20-mile drive from the Driftwood or the Cedar Island ferry landing you will be a Davis NC. When HW 70 turns right you go straight. Willis Road will be on your left, turn here and drive to the ferry office.

Here is the info on the ferry

Departures from Davis__________Returns from Great Island
7:00 am______________________8:00 am
9:00 am_____________________ 10:00 am
11:00 am_____________________12:00 noon
1:00 pm______________________2:00 pm
4:00 pm______________________5:00 pm

Vehicles (Round Trip)
Under 20 feet____________$75.00
Over 20 feet to 24 feet____$95.00

Passengers (Round Trip)
Age 11 and older_________$14.00
Age 5 to 11______________$7.00
Under Age 5______________FREE

Trailers cost to…call and ask!!

And the web site
http://www.davisferry.com/


Four truck ferry at best. Our truck is so big they only load three.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_554.jpg

And it’s a tight fit to say the least!!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3369.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3498_1.jpg



On one trip we were hanging off the back of the ferry. The gate would not even come up but about 1/3rd the way up. Makes for a fun picture!!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3362.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3367_1.jpg



Good time to air down
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3364.jpg


20 minutes into the 30 minute crossing of the Core Sound you start to clearly see land!!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_585.jpg




The dock at South Core Banks. The NPS officer is often there to greet newcomers. In this photo he is “undercover”……can you spot him?
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_591.jpg




About to unload off the ferry. Notice the parts box and new tire and rim. Just keep in mind that if you break something out here, it’s a long way for parts. The rim and tire was for someone with a flat, I was told?? No spare a guess. The box had some parts for someone. It was Fed Exed to the ferry office and then sent out to the island.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_596.jpg




As you drive off the ferry you will drive through the primitive cabin area. After this you’re on you own. Just mile after mile of beach to explore!



.

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 09:15 AM
This picture is at the point of Cape Lookout. Not one person here!! Although there was a few campers 100 yards behind us.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3376.jpg




This was going to be a great spot to camp. Until we got stuck up to the axle up by a dune in the loose, unpack, blowing sand. Had to dig out and move on. Luckily it only took about 20 minutes. **If this happens to you, make sure to cover up the holes to not impede the nesting turtles!!**
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3391.jpg




I love the diamond pattern on the Cape Lookout lighthouse!! My favorite of all the OBX lighthouses is CALO.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3383.jpg




Here is a shot of our rig from the dune side of the island. We were out hiking and one good thing about red is it’s easy to spot. This picture and the sun set picture also shows the beauty on both sides of the dunes.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3386.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20214.jpg



Our favorite spot. No I am not going to give out GPS on this one!! Its all ours….Just kidding of course. It’s very easy to find, just look for the only picnic table within 30 miles. No clue how it ended up here but I am glad it’s here. This is a nice spot because it’s up off the beach in a cove of semi hard sand. Protected from the blowing sand and back far away from hi tide. Plus you get the ONLY table within 30 miles on the beach.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3397_1.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3406.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3412.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3419.jpg

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 05:15 PM
Those darn kids like their bacon and eggs…..
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3400.jpg
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3414_1.jpg



Now is a good time to talk about the raccoons. The Core Banks Raccoons are smart, very smart. Like most camps the raccoons make there way at night looking for food. One night, I believe our second time out to the Core Bank, a raccoon decides to try and get some food out of our screen room. I watch that bandit trying to get into the screen thinking he is going to claw his way in. About the time I am going to yell at him he takes his nose and paw and unzips the door!! Smart raccoon or lucky?? Luckily for me I had all the food sealed up good. They don’t seem to come back if they fail once. I watch him leave, lie back down, laugh and try to get to sleep. About 3 minutes later I jump up 2 feet being awaken by the raccoon again trying to get at the bag of trash I forgot about on the front window of the truck. Keep in mind I was sleeping with my head about 18” from that bag. He tried to run off with it but I scared him pretty good being so close. He ran off and never came back till next year. Point being they WILL come to see you. Our closest neighbors camping about a mile down on the beach lost all their food.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_601.jpg



This is the view from the table camp spot. This is looking out from the rear screen of the Flip Pac camper.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3481.jpg



The solitude is amazing if you think about it. This is the east coast and about as good as a beach as you will ever see. I can sometimes walk for hours and not see anyone.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/Pano%20Core%20Banks.jpg

http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_605.jpg




The shells! What can I say except they are EVERYWHERE! At first you want to get out and move them so not to drive on them. But there are just too many. We collected about 50 or so big shells. I think the limit is a 5 gallon bucket per person. We were well within the limit.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20234.jpg




Camp picture looking east towards the rising sun.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_611.jpg



Let this be a warning to come prepared!!!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3380.jpg



One quick tip. Don't bring a dog! It’s not going to be fun for them. They must be on a leash at ALL TIMES!! If not you could face a $150 fine and asked to leave on the spot. The Park rangers don’t seem to mess around with this one because of all the endangered animals and nesting that goes on year round. We left Cape Lookout a little early on one of our trips. Leaving early mainly because the dogs were miserable! Tied up out in the heat, the bugs ate them up and those damn seagulls would taunt them endlessly. Image being a dog on a deserted beach with miles of room to run and YOU CAN”T!

The dogs were not happy in this picture!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/North_Carolina_2008_trip_614.jpg

Bella PSD
12-14-2009, 05:28 PM
I will let the next two pictures speak for themselves. Sunset is just amazing here!!
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20170.jpg

http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20192.jpg



Packing up our Pirate booty in preparation to leaving.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3484_1.jpg




We all need to clean up before heading out. There are bathhouses at the ferry landing but what fun is that. Bath time!! Don’t call child services on me; She was laughing the whole time. My wife thinks it looks like I am about to throw her in…
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3486_1.jpg



As the golden light turns to cobalt blue we settle in for the night.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20180.jpg

http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20224.jpg




The dark blue sky quickly gave way to black, and lighthouse had one last treat in store; our own personal nightlight, keeping time circling every 13 seconds through the night.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20231.jpg



A visually reminder as we leave the Core Banks. Maybe this is the Outer Banks way of reminding us that nothing last forever, and that we hopefully will soon return.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3491.jpg



Unloading the ferry on the Davis side. Don’t forget to air up your tires. In case you’re out of Co2 or your 12v air pump dies the ferry services has an air station at the end of Millis Road on the left. You pay the ferry as you leave, don’t forget.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/DSCN3505.jpg




One last parting shot: This is the one that keeps me coming back.
http://bellaphotographics.com/Outer%20Banks/OBX%20NC%2007%20188.jpg

Louie

SafariPacific
12-14-2009, 09:45 PM
Wow, awesome photos! Great job on the build as well.

Harp
12-14-2009, 11:11 PM
My Flippac arrived late this season but plan to do a trip like this in the spring. A few questions, how would a 2wd vehicle do? Did you camp on the beach? What time of year was it? Any other tips for traveling the outer banks?
Thanks for the story!!

Marty

Dave Bennett
12-14-2009, 11:40 PM
Great job!!! :bowdown:

Bella PSD
12-15-2009, 06:12 PM
My Flippac arrived late this season but plan to do a trip like this in the spring. A few questions, how would a 2wd vehicle do? Did you camp on the beach? What time of year was it? Any other tips for traveling the outer banks?
Thanks for the story!!

Marty

Don’t drive your 2WD in the sand. It’s not a matter of if, but when you will get stuck. My bet is within 10 seconds of driving onto the beach.
Yes, we camp right on the beach at the Core Banks. In Ocracoke the camp at the NPS is on the dune side and not the ocean side. Corolla NC or the 4WD beach is off limits to camping overnight.

If you want to camp on the beach at the Core Banks, just have the ferry take you over and park your truck at the ferry station. Its $14.00 round trip. Better yet, if you’re on foot, camp on Shackleford Bank with the wild horses!

The pictures were from early June to mid August.

-Early June is a great time, not to buggy yet, not to hot but the water is cold.
-July and August is perfect for me except the bugs. Water is perfect and I can deal with the heat.
-September might be perfect, but never been then.

Oh and Know when hi tide is!!!!!!!

Bella PSD
12-15-2009, 06:18 PM
Marty, I thought your Toyota was 4wd. It looks like it from the pictures? Or is it a pre runner?

Glides
12-15-2009, 09:47 PM
Beautiful trip photos man. I now have a new place to check out. Thank you for posting them.

Harp
12-16-2009, 10:48 AM
Marty, I thought your Toyota was 4wd. It looks like it from the pictures? Or is it a pre runner?

It is a pre runner, thats why I am not sinking alot of cash into the truck, I plan to find a 4wd version sometime in the next year. I like the pre 04 body style a little better. Holding out for a used something at a good price with a few extras. I have been to alot of the OBX but by boat via the Pamlico sound. I very much enjoy the whole area. Thanks for the info and again great story.

Marty

tlbrewer
12-18-2009, 04:43 AM
Your kids will remember that vacation for a lifetime! Beautiful shots. Looks like I have some more places to add to the list to check out in my lifetime.

Tom

Hightechcoonass
12-19-2009, 03:22 AM
Great build , great trip with the kid, and the write up that is the hardest part!! thanks for your efforts!!! Your kids are very lucky to have such a wonderfull dad!!!!!!!:wings:

tommudd
12-19-2009, 08:58 AM
Great pictures and write up Thanks for sharing, several locations I have been to but never had time for an extended trip like yours.
Need to make a trip from "Northwest Ohio" down there next year

Titanpat57
12-19-2009, 10:25 PM
Wow...what a fabulous adventure for you and the family....I'm sure the kids will value that their whole lives!!

Love what you've done with your build...good luck with the rest of the modding!!:victory:

Pat

Mr. Moore
12-21-2009, 02:53 AM
My Flippac arrived late this season but plan to do a trip like this in the spring. A few questions, how would a 2wd vehicle do? Did you camp on the beach? What time of year was it? Any other tips for traveling the outer banks?
Thanks for the story!!

Marty

Assuming you know how to drive in the sand, 2wd can do fine if you air down and be smart about it. I live on the west coast though, so I don't know if the sand is different out east though.

Nice build by the way! looks like lost of fun and memories ahead!

thecarman
03-29-2010, 03:50 AM
2WD is not a safe bet in the NC sand, unless you have WIDE tires for the weight of your vehicle. You might get away with it a little bit, but not for long, and not worth the risk. My Samurai on aired-down 30x9.50 ATs could run in 2WD at Hatteras and Ocracoke most of the time, but if I stopped in the wrong spot (soft sand), I'd have to get out and lock the hubs.

I'm up at a rental house in Carova this week, and my 4WD 1990 Suburban on aired-down 33x12.50s will go wherever with no problem. But I've stopped in sand at the entrance to the Oregon Inlet access before, where it was really soft from people driving on it, and I had to stand on it to get out. So you never know what's going to happen - even with 4WD and a locker in the rear. :)

With a 2WD, if you keep moving, you might be OK, but when you inevitably have to stop (someone in your way, or you want to park on the beach), that's when you'll be in trouble. :)

Edit - you could get away with 2WD in something like a Baja Bug or dune buggy that is light in the front, engine in the rear, with huge rear tires, but I don't think that's what we're talking about here. :)

Bella PSD
04-16-2010, 02:08 PM
I would have to agree. The NC sand gets so deep and loose in spots and I wonder if 4x4 will even get me out of it. As a rule, I would say 2wd on the beach at OBX equals stuck within 50 feet of pulling out onto the sand. I have seen it a dozen times. And I have pulled out 2wd truck to just see them get stuck again 10 feet later. Even some AWD suv type "trucks" don't make it.

Now if a 2wd could get through the deep stuff at an entrance of a OBX beach and get down to the shore you could go for miles on the hard packed sand. Just like a paved road. But at some point your going to have to deal with that deep sand, and that’s just about anyplace but by the shoreline.

Louie

Bella PSD
04-16-2010, 02:44 PM
And now for something FUN!!!

Take a look at these pictures just posted to expo. It’s a proto type Flip Pac from 1977. And guess what......It’s built like a slide in camper, full-enclosed rear door and camper jacks for removal! Sound like anything you may have seen on Expo? YES, my camper build! I have said it in many threads now that if Flip Pac would build something like what I am attempting they could sell a ton of them. And it turns out the build at least one way back in 77.

The pictures suck but it looks like the proto type was fiberglass with aluminum edging on the corners. At first I thought it was an aluminum cap but I things its fiberglass. No front chin for the torsion bar from the outs side. But I think it does use a torsion bar because in the open picture it’s not flat, just like a modern Flip would do if it were not pinned open all the way. It kind of looks like an 70’s four wheel camper.

Not much to see here new but no torsion chin and old school 70's windows.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/First%20Flip%20Pac%201.jpg
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/First%20Flip%20Pac%204.jpg

First Flip Pac proto type build 1977
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/First%20Flip%20Pac%203.jpg


And my build 33 years later
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Flip%20Pac%20door89.JPG

Louie

Bella PSD
04-16-2010, 05:53 PM
I have been studying the proto type pictures and it looks like you open the door and step up onto a small landing then step again up into the camper. If you look close at the back you see it. Plus the bottom of the door hangs way down below the bottom of the bed.

I can see why the proto type was build this way because when I went to build mine I had to enlarge the entire camper height to have a door big enough to walk through. Looks like back in 77 they just made a bigger door that dropped down in the back of the truck but kept the interior the same.

FlatBlak
04-17-2010, 03:27 PM
I disagree with 2wd not good for sand but the key is knowing how to drive on it. WFO. I took my 2wd Astro van which had the 5" overland vans lift and 31's to Corolla one time....towing my buddies CJ-5. I hit the sand WFO and dragged that jeep down the beach for miles. Eventually his front tires got turned by the sand and I was still dragging it laughing all the way.

You have to know when to keep going and when/where to stop. It takes a lot of power, the Vortec V-6 had enough for the van.

I also witnessed a Toyota corolla, completely stock and completely ragged out running around the beach, all through the soft stuff. It was filled with a bunch of teenagers, 6 IIRC and they stopped to talk to us after a Bronco on 38's dug itself stuck. They got out, told him to air down, got back in and proceeded to drive circles around in the soft stuff until disappearing over the dune. lol Skill can overcome a lot on sand, but some vehicles just plain suck in it.

Bike_Mech
04-17-2010, 04:06 PM
I will let the next two pictures speak for themselves. Sunset is just amazing here!!


Incredible! These photos make me want to packup and head across the county and check that place out. Is it "busy" during the late spring or early fall?

Thanks
-Chris

robert
04-17-2010, 04:27 PM
My guess is that prototype needed the rear overhang in order to be long enough for the bed. Notice the setback in the front behind the cab and that's on a six foot bed.

I've put any plans for a FWC on the back burner for now but I've kinda been thinking about using my Leer tonneau cover as part of a custom low-buck (relatively speaking of course) build.

day42
04-18-2010, 04:03 AM
Incredible trip and photos! Reminds me of a trip a friend and I were supposed to take about 15 years ago...a surfing trip....that never happened. Your pics look like all the ones we remember seeing in the surf mags and tourist materials we sent for back then. You helped me remember why I've been wanting to go there again....thank you very much. Nice truck too.

suntinez
04-19-2010, 10:13 PM
And now for something FUN!!!

Take a look at these pictures just posted to expo. It’s a proto type Flip Pac from 1977. And guess what......It’s built like a slide in camper, full-enclosed rear door and camper jacks for removal! Sound like anything you may have seen on Expo? YES, my camper build! I have said it in many threads now that if Flip Pac would build something like what I am attempting they could sell a ton of them. And it turns out the build at least one way back in 77.

The pictures suck but it looks like the proto type was fiberglass with aluminum edging on the corners. At first I thought it was an aluminum cap but I things its fiberglass. No front chin for the torsion bar from the outs side. But I think it does use a torsion bar because in the open picture it’s not flat, just like a modern Flip would do if it were not pinned open all the way. It kind of looks like an 70’s four wheel camper.

Not much to see here new but no torsion chin and old school 70's windows.
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/First%20Flip%20Pac%201.jpg
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/First%20Flip%20Pac%204.jpg

First Flip Pac proto type build 1977
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/First%20Flip%20Pac%203.jpg


And my build 33 years later
http://www.bellaphotographics.com/FlipPacBuild/Flip%20Pac%20door89.JPG

Louie

So cool! Where'd you find that? You can definitely see the old school six-pac influence here. What's old is new again. Based on the number of flippacs at OvExpo, I'd say you're right - a full package like your build would definitely be well received.

wanderer-rrorc
06-02-2010, 05:41 PM
I wanna say that my wife hates you...

after seeing your thread..we went to the OBX...and LOVED it...

lastnight I traded my 09 wrangler unlimited in for a 2010 toy tundra..and I plan on building something VERY similar to your flip-pac...

my wife wont see me for months...and she's mad at you..:sombrero: (not really..but funny)

thecarman
06-02-2010, 06:01 PM
Incredible! These photos make me want to packup and head across the county and check that place out. Is it "busy" during the late spring or early fall?

Thanks
-Chris

I have stayed in Corova (farthest north on OBX) in February, and it was DESERTED. But too cold to be fun outside of a house, or outside of a vehicle.

We just went last week in March, and there were a few people out. Lots more fun than Feb, but still a little too cold for my taste - we had to stay bundled up for my daughter to play on the beach, esp if there was wind. Never got into short sleeves. And the water was too cold for fishing.

Next year we're going the last week in April. I asked some locals when it gets busy, and they said things pick up right at Easter, but then die back down until Memorial day.

The first time I ever went was in August, and by mid-morning the beach was PACKED with folks parked door-to-door on the beach. Not my idea of a good time. There is so much traffic on that beach in peak season, esp because the beach is the actual road, that kids playing on the beach get hit by cars.

Not sure when it slacks off in the Fall. The fishing is supposed to be best in Sept-Oct, so it might still be busy then. Check the rate calendars on rental houses - whatever months have higher scheduled rates, you know it will be busy then. :)

Bella PSD
06-02-2010, 06:30 PM
I wanna say that my wife hates you...

after seeing your thread..we went to the OBX...and LOVED it...

lastnight I traded my 09 wrangler unlimited in for a 2010 toy tundra..and I plan on building something VERY similar to your flip-pac...

my wife wont see me for months...and she's mad at you..:sombrero: (not really..but funny)

Did you look at the new Flip Pac for the JK before you traded in? I am guessing it was going to be to small with the growing family.
//www.adventuretrailers.com/flippac.html"]http://www.adventuretrailers.com/flippac.html

wanderer-rrorc
06-02-2010, 10:41 PM
Did you look at the new Flip Pac for the JK before you traded in? I am guessing it was going to be to small with the growing family.
//www.adventuretrailers.com/flippac.html"]http://www.adventuretrailers.com/flippac.html

yup..have it subscribed...we're lookin at something we both can drive (wife no drive-sticky..bad mo-jo..hit a BUS last time she drove a stick)...

and something to replace our aging diesel van thats our family towrig/hauler..

the insurance is cheap but so is the pay-off if its totaled..Ive got 5K into her with upgrades and restoration...bluebook is $1500..no extras for the turbo and camper conversions..and my ins co wont insure her as a RV due to the chassie never being an actual RV...so it would be a loss..

and I needed a truck..twins pack ALOT of kids stuff...just their crap takes up 90% of the back of the jeep (it takes up 75% of the wifes impala's trunkspace..)

its shiny?
its FAST?
:elkgrin:

GroupSe7en
06-03-2010, 01:42 AM
Did you look at the new Flip Pac for the JK before you traded in? I am guessing it was going to be to small with the growing family.
//www.adventuretrailers.com/flippac.html"]http://www.adventuretrailers.com/flippac.html

Flippac for the JK? I can't find mention of it. It would make me seriously consider a JK.

Anyone got more info?

Bella PSD
06-03-2010, 01:25 PM
Flippac for the JK? I can't find mention of it. It would make me seriously consider a JK.

Anyone got more info?


Yep, a JK is on my list of what to get next just because of the AT Flip Pac!!

Here is a link to some JK pictures and the AT Flip Pac story.
zmags.com/publication (http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/b813c2bd#/b813c2bd/40)

Louie

SGNellett
07-04-2010, 04:59 AM
Louie, I'm soooo jealous, your trip looks awesome, and I am just amazed at the work you have done! I just finally finished up the lid for the trailer so I can take the RTT you sold me out camping soon! I'm shooting for a test run after the holiday here at home then off to a state park!

NorthernWoodsman
10-07-2010, 08:29 AM
This thread, although it's old and I'm late getting to it has inspired me. I have a Wildernest I've been trying to sell with no luck. If I end up keeping it, I may just try the same thing with it. Convert it to a slide-in camper. This would really eliminate the problem with all of the dust that gets inside when on dirt roads.

I would need to modify the angle of the front to match the truck better and then build the while bottom portion. Not sure if I would want to raise it though. Probably keep it the same height, but remove the rear door and build a vertical single door like a regular slide camper, except that my Wildernest has the angle on the back??? That could get tricky.

Well, this wouldn't be until next fall so I have plenty of time to ponder this.

RocKrawler
10-08-2010, 10:23 AM
Nice pics and write up Louie! I cant wait to get out there myself after my 4x4 conversion gets done on our Van. What camera were you using for all your pics in this story?

Gunnslinger
10-08-2010, 11:09 AM
My family and I take a 9 day trip to the OBX every year. Frisco Point NFS campground (not Frisco Woods) is a good basecamp location. Close to Cape Hatteras, Ocracoke, beach and sound access, etc.
This year we went the first week in June. Water was 76 deg F, crystal clear, air temp was 80 deg F. Pompano were biting in the surf. Insect life was minimal. Campground was about 75% unoccupied. It was as close to perfect as I have seen.
A charter boat out of Cape Hatteras (I can recommend "Godspeed") should produce 20-40 pound Mahi Mahi in abundance.

Bella PSD
10-08-2010, 09:13 PM
Nice pics and write up Louie! I cant wait to get out there myself after my 4x4 conversion gets done on our Van. What camera were you using for all your pics in this story?

Thanks! I use all kinds on Camera's but most of these were with a Nikon D3 or an older Kodak DCS 14N (Nikon pretty much). And a few were with a really nice Nikon point and shoot (P5100).

leadsled01
01-21-2011, 03:16 PM
Wow, awesome build and trip!! OBX sounds like the place for this summers vacation. Ohio is really cold right now...

BigMike
04-03-2011, 04:55 PM
Hello Everyone!
I am new to this forum. I am interested in learning more about the Flip Pac Convertible. I live in Ohio and the dealers all seem to be on the other side of the country. I have done searches for used units but I suspect that nobody is giving theirs up. I have a 2005 Ford Ranger supercab, 4.0 liter 4X4.

My interests include off road utility quads. I am looking for a more economical way to camp and pull my trailer with quads than my vintage 77 Dodge Motorhome. With fuel prices on the rise with no ceiling in sight, I think it may be time to retire the motorhome.

I would love to hear from Flip Pac owners or any other brand similar to these.

Mike

Mike-colorado
04-09-2015, 08:28 AM
Thanks for posting all this. I just bought a F350 that has a Flip-Pac needing a new Torsion bar. I am sure you just saved me a boatload of time getting it done!

Camelfilter
04-09-2015, 04:23 PM
Thanks for posting all this. I just bought a F350 that has a Flip-Pac needing a new Torsion bar. I am sure you just saved me a boatload of time getting it done!

Give a search through the forums when you have time. A bunch of folks have "deleted" the torsion bar.

I'm in the process of deleting mine.

See this thread: Flippac torsion delete modification (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/129940-Flippac-torsion-bar-delete-modification) for how I'm going about it (I just copied other folks on here).

There are other ways to go about the delete, recently a user simply attached pipe acrossed the top...I'll see If I can find that thread...

Edit, thread I was thinking about: A flippin' diamond in the rough (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/130407-A-flippin-diamond-in-the-rough?highlight=Flippac+pipe)

Also, ipf you are in need of a rain-fly, I have mine listed in the for-sale section. Just a "feeler" for now, until I get my new one & make sure it fits.

Littlehouse
04-14-2015, 09:26 PM
This is how they should make the Flippac. Very nice! Would have been cool if he did the reverse flip as well for a built in awning.

BajaSurfRig
10-13-2016, 11:16 PM
Hi Bella PSD,

Can you give me some details on how you glassed the 2x to the bottom of the flip above the bed rails. Did you wrap the inside and outside with it to keep moisture issues at bay? How many layers of glass did you lay? How has it been holding up? I just purchased a older flip pac for my Tacoma that doesn't fit perfect and I am planning on mimic-ing this part of your build.

Thanks,

Matt

lillustra
01-30-2017, 08:35 PM
I would like to know the exact same thing

redexplorer
01-18-2018, 03:32 PM
Love everything you have done. I have been following it and building my own. I have a 5ft tacoma bed with a 6ft Flippac, so I had to build a box. Do you have more photos of your interior? Looking at the best way to build out the interior with a little kitchenette and dinette.

Thanks so much