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A Little Different Camper Build

Flatbed ATC Propex ENO Rheimo westfalia winch curtains

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#11 craig333


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Posted 08 September 2015 - 02:34 AM

This is going to be a nice build when you're done.

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#12 Basin Deranged

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 02:40 AM

Wiring and Cabinets

As mentioned earlier the front right utility box became the battery box.  It also contains two Maxy Fuses with Blue Sea holders: One is the main for the camper.  The other is the fuse for the compressor.




The Blue Sea charging relay and battery combiner switch are located in the engine compartment near the stock battery.  More of the old aluminum road sign was pressed into service as another mounting plate.




The cabinets that I chose to build are in the same European style as the cabinets in our old Westfalia campers.  There were thousands of these cabinets made and I never heard of any failing from use.  The trim around the doors and drawers keeps them quiet and well-sealed, and we both like the style of them.  My wife, N, is very fond of the color orange and we both like the cheerful brightness of the orange highlights.




The seals and hardware come from a German company called Reimo.  I bought it from their agent in England, Concept Multi Car, since I speak no German.


The cabinets are built of 5/8" maple plywood, 3/8" Russian birch plywood, and Wilsonart laminate sheets in orange and gray.




The power tools that I used for the cabinet project were a contractor's table saw, a small circular saw, a sabre saw, a router, and a variety of drills. 


This highly-sophisticated curved template was indispensable: It also became part of a delicious curry once it had finished its cabinetry duties.



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#13 ski3pin


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Posted 08 September 2015 - 04:39 AM

Very nice creative ideas here. I am looking forward to your next installments. Thanks for sharing!
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#14 Cruiser79



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Posted 08 September 2015 - 05:49 AM

Great build! I really like the concept of the flatbed, it creates a lot of space like you can see on one of your pictures. You are not going to create a side dinette? In europe a side dinette is quite rare (I've never seen it before) , what are the downsides of the side dinettes? 


And aren't you afraid that it will get annoying to place and remove the winch all the time? With a flatbed it may be an option to place a second winch underneath the tray at the back. It is more expensive offcourse, but maybe it will be something for the future? 

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#15 GroovyDad


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Posted 08 September 2015 - 07:06 PM

For some time now, I've seen a flat bed in my future, so I'm looking forward to seeing your build.  Also, love the cabinetry.

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#16 Basin Deranged

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 09:24 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments folks! 


Regarding the side dinette; N and I like to sit next to each other in the evenings with a sleeping bag draped over us on winter trips, also we wanted seating for 4 since we regularly camp with friends and family.


Regarding the winch: The truck is already over the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight and my wallet is as light as the truck is heavy, so I didn't consider buying two winches.  Also I have only had to use a winch twice in 15 years of driving 4-wheel-drive campers so the extra effort of attaching and removing the winch is not something I will have to experience on a regular basis.

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#17 Basin Deranged

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 09:58 PM

Step by Step Cabinet Construction - Part 1


I am not a cabinet maker:  Except for a couple of book shelves I made for my children many years ago these are the only cabinets I've ever built.  I'm sure this isn't the only process for building these cabinets.  It probably isn't even the best one, so feel free to comment and suggest better methods.


I built the cabinets one at a time.  My first step for each cabinet was to cut out all the pieces.





The next step was to cut out the doors and drawer faces using a home-made template and a 1/4" router bit.  This leaves you with a cabinet face piece and a door that will fit correctly with the Reimo rubber seals installed.gallery_5833_931_72628.jpg







Next step was to cut grooves where one cabinet side or shelf will be glued into another.  These grooves were either 5/8" or 3/8" wide depending on the thickness of the panel to be glued into them.  I made them all 3/16" deep.






Pieces all cut, grooved, and ready to laminate.




I used orange and gray Wilsonart laminate which I cut with either a sharp utility knife or a table saw.  All pieces were cut 1/2" to 1" oversize and trimmed to fit later.  Here are the plywood and the back side of the laminate both with a coat of contact cement.




The laminate is then carefully placed on the plywood and pressed on with a small rubber roller.  It is imperative to get the laminate in the right place the first time as the contact cement is very tenacious.  For larger pieces I placed a series of 1/2" wooden rods on the sticky side of the plywood, then placed the laminate stick-side-down on the rods, lined things up, and removed the rods one at a time.




The laminate is then trimmed with a router bit that has a roller on the bottom of it that is the same diameter as the cutter so that the laminate is cut flush with the plywood.









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#18 Basin Deranged

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:16 PM

Step by Step Cabinet Construction - Part 2, Assembly


Now that the pieces are all cut out and laminated it's time to glue them all together.  For me an initial dry fit was essential so that when the glue was in the joints I could work quickly and get the pieces lined up correctly.  I should point out that I had some trouble with a couple of larger pieces warping between the time that I cut them out and the time that I assembled the cabinets.  I think that this may be largely due to my outdoor workspace with its lack of moisture control.




I learned that one cannot own too many clamps.


After the cabinet was assembled it was time to cut out the slots for the various Reimo trim pieces.




I used a 5/32" slot cutting bit in the router. 





Here you can see one of the trim pieces installed in the slot.





A home-made template allowed me to cut out the holes for the latches.







Finally the latches and hinges were installed, the trim attached, and the cabinet was complete.



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#19 takesiteasy


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Posted 09 September 2015 - 01:01 AM

Looks great! I'm enjoying watching your process. Thanks for posting it.

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#20 billharr


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Posted 09 September 2015 - 01:07 AM

Nice work on the cabinets, skills I wish I had.



Edit: thought it was odd you have moisture problems in CA. I looked up your location; yes you do get some moisture.  Also I have been guilty of riding my motorcycle to fast on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. ;-)

Edited by billharr, 09 September 2015 - 01:12 AM.

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