Monday, March 30, 2009

Prototype of Living Space in the camper

Time now to get busy!!!
Before . . . Thinking and measuring and designing . . .
Since I won't have any funds in the foreseeable future for getting a truck liner, but still NEED SOMETHING between my knees and those hard metal ridges in the bed, I came up with the idea of using a foam eggcrate thing and then covering it with a couple of Yoga mats. This makes it soft and easy to take out and clean. And bonus: the yoga mats are "sticky" meaning they will keep things from sliding around! I also had 2 shoe shelfs that I decided would be perfect to fit over the wheel hubs and make that space useable. I cut out one of them to fit it in against the wheel hub, but I left the other one as is and just use those "sticky" yoga blocks to make it level. That way I have the shelves at two different levels and the one that's not cut out to fit the hub still has a full second shelf.
Here is the "sitting area" with the bed rolled up and the Coleman Kitchen standing up against the tail gate.
Here is the bed rolled out. Look at how nicely I cut the shelf on the left to fit in next to the hub!!! The second shelf is also cut out in a half oval to allow the shelf to fit against the rounded hub. It's still usable for storing smaller items.
This is in travel mode with the black storage tubs brought down into the middle and the Coleman Kitchen laid down on it's side. There is still lots of room to tuck all the other stuff I will end up bringing into nooks and crannys but I will have to be careful not to junk it up. And I especially want to keep it where it will only take a couple of quick simple moves to take it from Travel Mode to sleeping/chillin mode. That way should I find the need to Stealth Park somewhere to get a cat nap while on the road or to sleep overnight, all i have to do is pop into the back, shuffle a few things around and I'm happy and as cozy as a clam!

On the way back home . . .

After a delight afternoon of speed sight seeing around Memphis (for photos of the interesting things I saw click:, I was back on the road again headed home.

Somewhere between Granada and Jackson, Mississippi, I started feeling sleepy. Usually I hate that feeling but this time, I was happy cuz it meant I could stop at the next rest stop and try out the back of my camper for taking little cat naps while on the road. Of course, I brought along some bedding for just this purpose. Aaahhhh quite comfy!
Now am I happy or what!!!!!!

Happy Trails to me!!!

Ta Da!!!!!! Introducing . . .

My New Truck Camper!!!!
And here's a photo of the guy I bought this camper shell from. Mr. Army Dude from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Thanks so much, T.J.!!!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On the way to Memphis . . .

The road was long but there was very little traffic, which means I made really good time. I really enjoyed seeing that the further I traveled north, I was traveling back into time as I saw the trees just budding out like it did in Louisiana two weeks ago. There were sooooo many dogwood trees through out the woods and redbuds too. A nice encore performance of early Spring colors.

When I drove into the Travel Center . . . here was the first sight that I saw!! I will take it as a good omen.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Eve of the Day of Expansion!!

OMGoodness!!! Can you believe that I am about to start going places for real in my little truck??? By getting this camper shell tomorrow . . . tonight . . . I am on the Eve of the Day of Expansion! The possibilities of the things and events I will be able to go and see are endless now that I am about to get the last link of the puzzle: THE MMR - Mobile Motel Room!!!!

For real, it was this time last year that Reece Robbins from San Diego, California rode his bike into Baton Rouge and couch surfed with David. And that's when I started reading his blog as he made his way across the United States and into Central America and down to Brazil. And I as a read his blog, it wasn't long before I wanted to do something similar. and now one year later, I am about to do just that!!! Just on a much smaller scale of course! LOL and maybe a little more comfortable.

So . . . hopefully I'll get a chance to add some photos and stuff to this blog while I am in Memphis tomorrow . . .

WOW!!!! I BOUGHT IT!!!!!!

A Leer Browning Hunter's Edition Model #180. New price for this topper is $1450. The Browning Hunter's Edition includes front slider, tinted side sliders, dual locking handles, removable Thule rack, full carpet insulation, folding clothing rack and ceiling-mounted lockable rifle box. All keys included. Price: $550

This was on EBAY at such a GREAT price and it is the same color as my truck, something I really wanted. It's a high rise and even though it's not the high rise I was looking for, I only lose 3 inches. Plus it has all those extras on the inside. Then I found out that the green one I was looking at in Ft. Walton Beach did not have slider windows - they only pop open, which would definitely cut down on the air ventilation, so after finding that out AND seeing there was another Buyer who was making offers on this one, I decided to go ahead and click "BUY IT NOW"!!!!!
This was located in south central Kentucky. I saw that it was just an hour north of Nashville and the distance was just a little over an hour more than the distance from here to Ft. Walton Beach, so I was even more convinced that I should go ahead and do it, plus I might get to visit my friend, Monica in Nashville on the way back. However, the Seller was not going to be home during the weekend of Easter, which is when I was planning to do all this. So after some discussion over the phone last night, we made a plan to meet TOMORROW in Memphis, which is the half way mark for both of us. He and his girlfriend are going to meet me tomorrow at a Pilot Truck Stop that we located online in Memphis and they will transfer the topper over to my truck and that will be that. I won't have to drive 2 days to get it or get a hotel for the night in between. Easier and a GREAT camper shell!!!!!
I'm gonna go ahead and keep my reservation for the Miss. State Park the night after Easter. Between now and then, I will put together all the comforts and conveniences to make my MMR (mobile motel room) just right and then go to Natchez that day and see some of the plantation homes, then head over to the State Park for the night to try every thing out. Oh yeah, did you know that Coleman now makes a DRIP COFFEE MAKER that fits on your Coleman stove. That is definitely going on the list of things to get!!!!!!! Yippeeeeeee!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to VanDwell my truck . . .

Here is the main link of where I'm getting ideas to make the back of my truck liveable:

and here is kinda what it will look like:

and an important issue that I need to understand evenutally:

How to Have Electricity!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Topper Decision

Well, the more I look at these two toppers, the more I think I want the GREEN one to go with my white truck. It looks (in the photo) almost brand new.

This morning I made reservations for the trip down to Ft. Walton Beach to get the topper installed. Hotel room: $70

Then I made a reservation at Percy Quinn State Park for the return trip home. Camping site with electricity on the lake: $22

AAAAGGGHHHH what a BIG difference!! : ) : ) : )

So now, in the meantime while I wait for the date to get here, i'll be putting together the sleeping gear and conveniences that will fit into 2 plastic tubs for that first camping night in the back of the truck. Should be fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Truck topper comparison

Ok, I've narrowed it down to these two toppers. They are both in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. If all goes as planned, I gonna drive down there on the afternoon of Easter Sunday, spend the night in Hattiesburg, get up super early and hopefully be at the dealer's by 10. They say it'll only take about an hour to install it. Then maybe I can go sit at the beach for a little bit and then turn around and head for home. Except, I'm thinking about stopping at a State Park in Mississippi that evening and sleeping in the camper for the first time (i'll have my mattress and a few other conveniences packed away in a plastic tub to pull out and put together when I get to the State Park). That way, as I lay there, I can begin to envision all the additions I want to make to the inside to "vandwell" it up and make it a nice cozy little nest!! I'll start making my measurements and making a list of things to do while I'm chillin there that night. Plus at this particular park I want to stay at, there are a lot of CCC buildings that I would love to see!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Truck Topper - Where are you!!!

I am finding out that it is kinda hard to find a truck camper top that fits a Ford Ranger. However, there are plenty out there for Chevy S-10's and Dodge Dakotas to choose from. And so far, I have found really only one place online that is selling these things, and that is that place way off in Ft. Walton Beach. Well, I'm getting my income tax refund soon and although I have a long list of things that I need to take care of way before I go traipsing off to Florida to buy a truck camper, I still have it there last thing on that list. However, the only one that they have to fit my truck is RED. I really want one that will blend better with my white truck - I don't want to be sooooo obvious with a red topper on a white truck - what is stealth about that?!?! NOTHING. Here's photo of a SILVER one that I would love, except it fits an S-10 - but it is EXACTLY what I want, so hopefully by putting it out there in the Universe by posting it here on this blog . . . and here are a couple - same style - not crazy about the colors obviously . . .

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Truck Camper Tops

I saw the kind of topper I want for my truck! This is on a little Isuzu truck just down the road from me.

A couple of shots of the inside to give me an idea of the room available in one like this:

I'm thinking about how I could make a bed platform that goes just above the wheel humps. That would give me storage room under the platform and a twin air bed on top. I measured the camper top and I think I would still have decent head room sitting on the bed on top of a platform like I'm thinking about.
with a bed platform, I could put the twin mattress up against one side (39" wide) and still have 15" available on the other side for storage. I'm also thinking about how to construct practical shelving up along the sides to give me options for storing everything securely.

Here is one used topper that I did locate online. It is only $430 installed, but I would have to go to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida to get it . . . ROADTRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!