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This Homemade Truck Camper Is a Work of Art. Wait Until You See the Inside.

Handmade Matt bills himself as a Camper Van, Cabin and Tiny Home Specialist.

I don’t see a lot of homemade truck campers, so it’s a real pleasure to get an up-close and personal tour of one.

Matt lives in the UK, and they call truck campers there ‘demountable campers’.

I love how this camper has a lot of insulation. It’s difficult to add insulation to factory-produced truck campers, and Matt did a great job of making his unusually well-insulated. He even made sure to add extra insulation to the area underneath the cab-over bed.

Matt said his vision for the project was to, “…create a traditional looking timber removable camper unit with lots of modern comforts”.

Some of the features of his build include:

  • full insulation
  • solar panels
  • 12 V outlets and inverter for 240 V AC
  • full kitchen with running water
  • fridge
  • grill
  • total weight under 890 kg (1,950 pounds)

It takes less than twenty minutes for him to to mount or dismount the camper from his Mitsubishi L200 diesel pickup truck, which he bought specifically for this project.

Matt’s homemade truck camper mounted on his Mitsubishi L200 diesel truck.

Matt's homemade truck camper

This is the only drawing Matt made of the design. The rest came from his own creative inspiration as he went along!

Plans for the homemade truck camper

He made these jack mounts out of steel. Being in the UK, they fit 50 mm wood framing.

Custom jack mounts

All cleaned up after primer and paint with timber fitted.

Jack mounts with timer

The jack points overhang the bed for easy mounting and dismounting of the camper.

Jack points overhang the bed of the truck

Matt boxed out the wheel wells in the floor, and immediately started to build the frame and roof. He started with the roof first so he’d have some shelter during the rest of the build.

Framing out the roof

Matt’s farmer friend has a machine from WWII that he used to bend the corrugated tin roof.

Corrugated tin roof

Detail of the angled braces.

Angled braces

The interlocked wood and bolts make for a solid frame.

Interlocked joints and bolts

Matt added a lot of insulation to the over-cab portion of the camper. The bed sits atop this insulation.

Insulation under the bed

After installation of the salvaged window frames.

Salvaged window frames

He wrapped the shell in recycled PVC sheathing to rain-proof the camper.

After wrapping the structure with PVC sheathing

The siding is treated lumber that adds structural integrity to the camper as well as protection from the elements.

After the siding has been added

Matt took great care to add 2 inches of insulation in between the framing.

Matt added two inches of insulation to the walls

For the roof he used foil-lined air bubble sheathing to insulate and block moisture . It’s important to seal all seams with foil tape to prevent warm air from getting behind the insulation and causing condensation on the interior surface of the tin roof.

Insulating the roof with foil-lined air bubble insulation

Celotex (rigid foam insulation) went on over the foil.

Celotex went on over the foil

Matt built a stable door for the rear entrance with a standard house lock for security. The top half of the door swings open for ventilation.

Stable door on the back

The inside was lined with only 1/8″ hardwood plywood to save on weight. Looks great though.

Hardwood lined interior

 Look at that grain in the ceiling and the bamboo trim!

You can see the grain in the ceiling and the bamboo trim

Matt made his own latches to keep the camper securely fastened to the truck.

Matt made his own latching system to keep the camper in position on the truck

Two 85 amp deep cycle batteries power the electrical.

85 amp deep cycle batteries

The two solar panels on the roof send power to a charge controller in the cabin, and then on to the batteries.

Solar panels on truck camper

The charge controller on the left regulates the power provided by the solar panels.

Charge controller and inverter

Here’s what Matt had to say about his electrical setup,

The power from the solar panels leads down to the silver box on the left. This is a charge controller. It monitors the PV (solar) power and the batteries status to deliver optimum charge characteristics and to avoid damaging over charge scenarios. It’s an MPPT controller (maximum power point tracking) which basically means it optimises the PV output voltage and amperage to deliver the maximum watts (power.) They are more expensive but will give you maybe 10% or more juice from your system.

The blue box on the right is the inverter. This creates 240volts AC from the 12volts DC for running domestic appliances.

There’s also an auxiliary charging circuit from the vehicles electric system. When the engine is running the auxiliary batteries in the camper unit are charged and the fridge is run. (The fridge uses a lot of electricity so when parked up camping it is run from the gas supply. Ironic, cooling from a flame… magic.) If the camper were to be in a guaranteed full summer sunny location the electric system could run the refrigeration but it would be quite taxing.

This is the storage area for water (13 gallons), 170 amp-hour 12 V batteries, 15 pounds of butane gas, and an emergency composting toilet.

Storage for water, propane, and emergency toilet

Finally, take a look at a couple pictures of the inside of Matt’s beautiful truck camper.

Sleeping area over the cab

Kitchen area

This is one of the most beautiful homemade truck campers I’ve ever seen. And he didn’t even use any plans!

For more information or to contact Matt, visit his website here.

Source: HandMadeMatt

If you liked Matt’s homemade truck camper, you’ll love the DoItYourselfRV Insider’s List. Get free updates, unpublished content, and special offers. Sign up now. No spam. Not ever.


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7 thoughts on “This Homemade Truck Camper Is a Work of Art. Wait Until You See the Inside.”

  1. Did you have to use tie downs or was the camper secure in your truck? You have inspired me to build one and I’m curious about the tie downs. Thanks and great looking camper.

  2. I worse than a novice but I really want to do this. Besides taking a basic woodworking/building class, what should I do to prepare? I’m in the process of moving, but once I settle down, I will buy a vehicle…not sure if I want a truck or van. Thoughts?

    Once I get started I’m planning on taking a year to make it perfect!
    Sue

  3. your site with its ideas and “tours” of other home built rigs is a breath of fresh air; always look forward to opening your latest “newsletter”

    doug

  4. We have such admiration for people with this kind of incredible skill and vision. What a beautiful camper! Thanks for sharing this Eric.

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