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Full build - Reconstructing a 1981 Grandby into a custom Hawk!


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#1 PokyBro

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:14 AM

ImageUploadedByWander The West1460339565.012973.jpg ImageUploadedByWander The West1460339751.593067.jpg .jpg]

Well, I'm new as a subscriber to WTW, but have been following the forums for quite awhile.

So, here I go. A couple of years ago, I see this add on Craig's list for a free pop-up camper. I go and take a look, and just looked inside with top down, notice it's a bit rough, smelled of mildew, and was leaking. I think to myself, hey it's free, and...any things fixable, right? Maybe I should have passed, but like some of you, it followed me home.

First problem...it wouldn't fit in my 1999 Superduty. No problem, can we get it on a flat bed trailer? That's what we did, and the journey began.

I'm fairly handy at most things around home. Finished a full basement in our home, work on my own vehicles, accomplished with wood working, can weld reasonably well, and turn a wrench. Thing is, I'm not afraid to try. Did I mention I'm pretty optimistic?

So I've been on this project awhile now, and will post more photos of the process, so stay tuned. I'm looking forward to sharing what I've done, and what I've learned. Thanks for taking a look.




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Edited by PokyBro, 31 May 2021 - 01:19 AM.

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1999 F250 crew cab SRW, 7.3 Powerstroke TD

1981 Grandby shortened to a Hawk

https://www.wanderth...by-into-a-hawk/

 


#2 PokyBro

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:32 AM

So, as I got into looking at things, it quickly became apparent, that it was all or nothing. That last picture on the previous post shows how there were cracks in the aluminum frame, the corner posts were looking like Swiss cheese from jacks, and it was simply in really bad shape. The door was sloppy loose, there were holes all over in the side liner, the panels were rotted, the cushions were wet and mildewed, the floor was rotted in one corner.

So, I gave it some "aluminum surgery".

I gutted the inside, and then then the siding outside. I figured from the start I would re-skin the siding later. So, I took it down to the bare frame.




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1999 F250 crew cab SRW, 7.3 Powerstroke TD

1981 Grandby shortened to a Hawk

https://www.wanderth...by-into-a-hawk/

 


#3 PokyBro

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:34 AM

ImageUploadedByWander The West1460341989.298082.jpg ImageUploadedByWander The West1460342012.384449.jpg ImageUploadedByWander The West1460342033.435548.jpg


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1999 F250 crew cab SRW, 7.3 Powerstroke TD

1981 Grandby shortened to a Hawk

https://www.wanderth...by-into-a-hawk/

 


#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:11 AM

This looks like a neat thread to follow! Keep up the good work! :)
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#5 fireball

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:30 AM

Wow, that's going in the deep end!

Good luck, will be fun to follow along. 


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#6 takesiteasy

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:36 PM

I love to follow projects like this! Thanks for posting and good luck with your progress.


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#7 PokyBro

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 03:38 AM

ImageUploadedByWander The West1460431546.547670.jpg ImageUploadedByWander The West1460431580.521596.jpg

Here's a couple more pictures of the progress.

Basically, I cut off the front wall, under the cab over bed, shortened the length of the camper body by one foot, and reattached the front wall with L-brackets until I was ready to have it welded. (More on the welding later). That gave me a 36 inch bed over the cab, and it will have a 1 foot slide out inside for a total of 48 inch width by 78 inch length for the cab over bed.

The attached photos were taken when I placed the camper frame in my pickup to see what I needed to adjust on height for the bed rails, and the cab. I ended up adding two inches to the bottom of the frame, front and back, with two rows of 1 inch square tubing to raise it up enough to clear the cab. I may add something under the floor of the camper later to insure water drainage, as well as a little more height if needed. I have additional photos of that later.


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1999 F250 crew cab SRW, 7.3 Powerstroke TD

1981 Grandby shortened to a Hawk

https://www.wanderth...by-into-a-hawk/

 


#8 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 04:07 AM

Interesting!   Are you going to be able to keep the tailgate on (and up)?    I think that would be a nice option for some trips, like when you want to lock the tailgate to protect camper contents, or to retain the stock backup camera in the badge.


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#9 PokyBro

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 03:20 AM

Thanks for the comments and encouragement so far fellas, I appreciate it!

So Wandering, you asked if I'll be able to close the tail gate? The answer is no, because I wanted the maximum inside dimensions for one (although that wouldn't have made a huge difference), and because that was my mindset. Looking at all the other examples, I just figured it best to bring it to the edge of the side rails.

One thing that has been cool with this build, is always thinking ahead on what I'll work on next. No directions, just all the pictures I've looked at here. One especially was the series from ski3pin's factory build. Kind of a blue print for me. I've never stepped foot in a finished FWC before. It's really fun to be in control of what it becomes, and my list of options is up to me. I've found quite a few things on Craigslist along the way, that I'm installing at bargain prices, as this was the goal, to be able to keep the cost down kind of project. That hasn't necessarily been the case.

Anyhow, here's a few more photos:

ImageUploadedByWander The West1460516949.586195.jpg ImageUploadedByWander The West1460516997.223262.jpg

This is where I like to go in the fall. This was a hunting outing in November a few years back. Sleeping in a fiberglass shell isn't all that fun in cold, cold weather, ...............and that's why I "needed" a four wheel camper.


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Edited by PokyBro, 18 May 2016 - 05:08 AM.

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1999 F250 crew cab SRW, 7.3 Powerstroke TD

1981 Grandby shortened to a Hawk

https://www.wanderth...by-into-a-hawk/

 


#10 PokyBro

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 03:39 AM

ImageUploadedByWander The West1460517713.286295.jpg ImageUploadedByWander The West1460517751.611897.jpg ImageUploadedByWander The West1460517811.010057.jpg ImageUploadedByWander The West1460517844.495583.jpg

After checking the fit on the pickup, I bought a couple hundred dollars worth of 1 inch square tubbing from a local metal store, where they have about anything you need, and went to work on the restore. I wanted to replace some of the corner posts, and all four corners now have three tubes each direction for the camper jack bolts to bite into, and keep thinks solid. In 1981 they weren't using corner jacks on these campers, so it's no surprise the weight of the jacks took a tole on this outfit when installed by the previous owner.

I bought an "organ donner" Palomino pop-up, that had had the top blown off on the highway in windy Wyoming, for a reasonable price, that I could repurpose parts. So you'll notice different window configurations, and vent holes for a 3-way fridge, I intended to use as I re-framed this shell. After taping things into place, I later used a boat-load of L-brackets and screws to hold it all together until it was ready to be welded. I am not experienced or set up to do aluminum welding. So I would still have to find someone to do that for me after I got things assembled.

More to come......


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1999 F250 crew cab SRW, 7.3 Powerstroke TD

1981 Grandby shortened to a Hawk

https://www.wanderth...by-into-a-hawk/

 





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