Sportsman Fiberglass Pop-up - New Project

Braidz

New member
Long time lurker, first time poster. Very excited about my new project, a big upgrade from my camper shell. I picked up this little gem from kijiji last fall, finally getting around to fixing it up and getting it all ready to use. Comes in at about 1200lb currently. I especially like that it is fully usable in the "down" position, and the fridge and furnace actually work!

The previous owner had it on an S10 (pictured) with two anchor points through to the frame at the front. I will be mounting on a 2013 half ton GMC Sierra with a 6'7 box. Orignal plan was to mount on the work truck but that one bit the dust so now I'll be adding to the "town" truck. That makes me a wwaaay more hesitant in terms of drilling holes and the like. I'm also looking at needing a ~4" rise to clear the bed rails.

It needs a bit of work inside, but for now just a couple of questions to get me started:
1) Tie downs: Any one have experience with these bed-side tie downs through mountians and forest service roads?
Brophy HSSF Clamp-on camper tie downs

2) Camper Rise: With the 4" needed to clear the bed, I will have about an 8" gap above the cab. Can i expect to catch alot of extra wind? And if I make the gap even more ( say >14", ) will that be really unstable without some type of faring? I own a 10" rat-pack- type plywood drawer toolbox set and I'm thinking the "get-me-out-now" solution may be to just put the camper on top of it. That thing is pretty heavy on it's own so it will have me pushing against the truck cargo weight limit to have both.

Shout out: Special thanks to user mikes350 for your photos of a simlar unit and answering my questions last fall when i was trying to decide to buy it. The rebuild post was pretty much the only useful info on the web I could find on these campers!

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Braidz

New member
Well, life gets in the way of fun projects like this one but I have definitely put more than a few hours in. Been going through some of my photos and figured I was way overdue to share. It's not done yet but I've made decent progress. I've learned alot from others on this forum and the fiberglass RV one as I've worked on this the last couple years. I live in an apartment, which means I am dependent on the good will of friends to use their spaces for a few stints at a time, lining up with my time off work. Lost abit of momentum this last year but with some shop access coming up, I'm hoping that making a few posts of what I've already put into it will inspire me to keep going and get this 40 yo unit back on the road.

I dont think any hatches or windows had ever been resealed, and with the slight curve in the wall for the fridge vent the water had been coming in a while. Same with the ladder mount at the back. The spots I was aiming to use for mounting brackets were too punky to use and getting at it to fix meant pretty much gutting at least that side.

Not one to do things in half measures, I figured since I was tearing into it, I'd really go at it. Currently re configuring it abit so that it can include having a place for toilet, shower. Im also hoping to turning the cabover bed to longer north/south pullout bed - since the unit is so narrow, all the beds are short.

First batch of work
  • Pulled out, cleaned, Resealed all access doors & vent covers on the sides
    • required heat gun, acetone, plastic scrapers, sanding to get rid of old
    • To replace, used butyl ribbon/ tape, screwed in vent covers, trimmed ribbon flush
    • Placed painters tape around frames leaving a gap ~1/4", used no-drip butyl caulk (vertical surface) from RV supply, then peeled tape to leave clean line
    • spray pained the covers while I had them off anyway
    • discovered the camper used to have 3 colours of stripes
    • had to sacrifice the black plastic/rubber "u" inside the aluminum frames - does anyone know what that is called or where to get it?
  • Pulled out rotted wall linings & cabinet pieces on Passenger side
    • now I have a much better understanding of how the camper is built as a foam/fiberglass sandwich with framing
  • Rebuilt part of inner wall
    • used scrap from another camper for linings and random 3/4" plywood pieces for structural
    • tucked back all propane lines behind wall (copper)
  • strengthened or replaced wood tub structure pieces and access hole framing where needed on passenger side
    • Bondo in short fibre, long fibre or regular to reinforce corners, build up, close off gaps
    • Expanding foam to fill gaps
    • Exterior stain block primer, topped with a commercial grade interior/exterior paint that I got used from a home Reno store and ran through a filter)

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