If you like traveling from place to place, you need the right vehicle. A good vehicle is essential to make your journey comfortable. And, what’s better than campervans to suit your traveling as well as your accommodation needs? Now, you might know that campervans come at a hefty price. So, most people can’t afford them. There is, however, a cheaper alternative. One can turn a box truck into a fully functional campervan if they are creative enough. You can buy a used box truck at an affordable price and design its interior like the finest campervan. In this article, we will discuss how to build a box truck camper from the scratch.
How to turn a box truck into a camper?
If you are imaginative and know how to use different tools, you too can build a box truck camper. Remember that building such a camper takes a considerable amount of time and skill. So, don’t just think that it will be easy. However, it can be a lifesaver if you are low on cash. So, it’s worth it. But before discussing the steps to create your desired vehicle, let us explain what a box truck camper is.
What is a box truck camper?
A box truck camper is a type of recreational vehicle that stays attached to the bed of a box truck. This extra space can act as a little portable home and contain a toilet, bed, and even a mini kitchen. Box truck campers are among the smallest RVs ever. They are so small that 42 states in the US don’t classify them as RVs. Instead, they count truck campers as cargos. So, don’t be surprised when we tell you that many truck campers in the US don’t even have a VIN.
Steps to build a box truck camper
Follow the below steps to make your own box truck camper:
1. First, prepare a sketch of the available interior space in your box truck. Draw simple squares or rectangles to indicate the length and width of the interior. Also, if your truck has a side door, record its position. Utilize this rough sketch while designing the layout of your campervan. The sketch will also help you determine where different areas of your camper will be.
2. Next, draw lines on the floor of the truck body with chalk to match the wall location in your plan. Also, draw precise outlines of the chief features of your motorhome. These include the bed, the bathroom, the dining place, and so on. Draw these lines in such a way that matches the dimensions of the actual furniture. So, you must be careful about their height, width, and length.
3. Utilize two-by-four lumber framing to build the walls of your camper. Also, use 3-inch deck screws and PU adhesive to construct the walls. And fasten them to the floor and outer walls. Remember to install electrical outlet boxes and wiring for lights and other equipment before covering the wall with wood panels. Instead of employing home wiring, use 14 gauge stranded automotive wiring. Such wiring is more durable than the former and can endure the vibrations of a motorhome better.
4. Buy a pre-hung hollow core door and install it for the bathroom. Fasten the door to the wall stud using 3-inch deck screws. You can find these doors at any home supply store at a cheap price. These doors are lightweight and sturdy. Plus, they are super easy to install. So, you can hollow core doors for the rest of the rooms in your camper as well.
5. Add roof ventilation like that of RVs to the roof of your truck. Now, get a reciprocating saw and cut through the roof based on the temple provided. You can do it alone but in some cases, you might need a helping hand. They can help you put the top half of the vent through the opening and hold it in position. So, you can attach the screws on the inside with ease.
6. Attach the windows in the frame like you did in the case of the roof ventilation. You can use RV Salvage Yards for windows to cut the cost to a great extent.
7. Don’t forget to install a freshwater tank in the closet, under the sink, or dinette chair. Set up the 12V water pump near the fresh water tank. Connect them using a plastic tube. The plastic tubing will help you send the water to the faucet in the washbasin. Also, it will help you route the water to the washroom if you install a flush toilet.
8. Construct a cantilever under the body of your truck. You can use it to set up the wastewater tank. Use plastic tubing for connecting the drain to the sink.
9. Set up a converter in the closet or under a dinette chair. Connect your deep-cycle battery to the wiring from your converter’s output. Establish a connection between the battery and your water pump and the 14 gauge stranded wire from your lights. Take one of the fuses in your 30 amp electrical box and wire it to your converter’s input. Connect other receptacles to the rest of the fuses in the box. The reason behind using a 30 amp box is that most campsites only have 30 amps receptacles.
Can I turn a box truck into a motorhome?
Yes, you can. Purchase a box truck and convert it to a box truck camper following the steps mentioned here.
How much does a box truck cost?
It depends on the condition of the box truck. Used box trucks that are comparatively newer typically cost between 12,000 to 24,300 dollars. However, you can get older box trucks for 30,100-41,230 dollars.
Can half-ton trucks carry campers?
Yes. Most half-ton trucks available in the market can effectively carry a full-size camper. Many such trucks have passenger car tires. You should never use them to haul heavy bed-mounted campers.
Now that you know how to build a box truck camper at home, get ready to build one. Just follow the steps mentioned above properly and you’re good to go. All the best!