The first thing we decided to build was the floor. After visiting literally every hardware store in a 10 mile radius, lumber and supplies were purchased and the first cuts were made for what will become the floor of our tiny truck camper. We used analog and digital plans.
The plan was to sandwich 1x3s between 1/2″ marine grade plywood* to create the floor. It would require a glued seam to make up the full 6′ x 6′ dimensions. The seams would be perpendicular to each other to increase stability. So, we cut one sheet of ply straight down the middle and lopped off the ends. The build had officially begun.
The original plan was to rip 1×6 treated wood into 1×3 pieces and use that as the framing. Treated wood sounded like a good thing. Why wouldn’t we want treated wood. Our little camper was going to be outside and exposed to the elements. Of course we wanted treated wood. But once we got our hands on it we realized we had made an error. It was wet. Real wet. A quick internet search set us straight*. But now the lumber store was closed because it was Saturday after 1pm. Back to the internet. Lowe’s had some cheap furring that was twice as expensive as Kemah Hardware, but kiln dried unlike Home Depot, and available from 6am to 10pm.
Now that we had appropriate lumber in hand, we got to work. After we attached longer framing pieces to the base floor plywood pieces we glued and pressed the seam and attached cross framing. Because we don’t have enormous clamps, to set the glued seam we sandwiched the two pieces of ply between a piece of drilled down wood and a clamped scrap 2×4. We used the truck chains to hold the middle of the seam flat.
Once the outside framing was attached we created a 3×3 grid of framing. All the framing was glued with construction adhesive, clamped, and screwed with decking screws.
With the framing complete we hurried to check the fit before heading out to a friend’s graduation celebration.
6″ square blocks were cut out of scrap 3/4″ plywood hanging around the garage to use as bolting blocks in the corners of the camper. 3/4″ solid insulation was cut to fit inside the 3×3 grid minus the bolting blocks.
The bolting blocks were glued and screwed into place and the insulation was glued into the grid. We found here that the 3/4″ solid insulation was slightly taller than our 1x3s, which are supposed to measure 3/4″ on the “1” side. *Turns out that neither of them were actually 3/4″. Figures. That riddle could wait until the next day – we had beer to drink at Texas Beer Refinery’s 2nd anniversary shindig.
We did our best to squish the insulation down but in the end just glued and screwed down the top pieces of ply and it seemed work out just fine. The location of the bolting blocks and the framing were marked on the outside and the top and bottom labeled. Besides from one side being just so slightly overhanging, the floor was DONE!
1/2″ Marine Ply (4′ x 8′)
1″ x 6″ x 8′ Treated Lumber
3/4″ Polyiso R-Matte Insulation
1 1/4″ Deckmate Deck Screws
Loctite Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive
1″ x 3″ x 8′ Furring
Scrap 3/4″ Plywood
1) Marine grade ply only refers to the glue used to hold it together, it is not sealed in anyway. It will de-laminate just like any other plywood
2) Treated wood is not a good idea
3) 3/4″ (or any other measurements) doesn’t necessarily mean 3/4″