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Truck Camper With VW-Inspired Pop Up Camper Van Roof

Veteran camper Rvanwort on instructables wanted to take long duration camping trips in the Western US from his home in Holland, Michigan.

With a family of four, his desire for a functional (and cost-effective) camper van wouldn’t be easy to fulfill.

Frustrated with the sticker prices of new camper van RVs, he decided to modify his 2012 Ford F-150 into a low cost truck camper!

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Plan for the Ford F-150 camper van roof created with Autodesk Inventor software.

Ford camper van roof

I found that some VW camper vans open on top strictly for standing room in the camper and others open for extra sleeping space. I decided to design mine to do both so that the back half of the truck would be open to stand up and the front half would still be long and wide enough for 2 adults to sleep in.

This Universal Truck Roof Rack from Harbor Freight would serve as the frame.

Roof rack

Test fitting the roof rack.

Rigging the roof rack

Cardboard templates helped create custom-fit sides to fit inside the roof rack.

Sides for roof rack

After cutting with a jigsaw, the 1/2″ plywood sheets fit neatly inside the frame, but he would need to caulk the roughly 1/8″ gaps around the edges.

One of the panels after light sanding and applying wood filler.

One of the panels

Rear panel in place.

Rear panel

Once satisfied with the fit of the panels, he applied poor man’s fiberglass to each wooden sheet.

Applying poor mans fiberglass

Coated panel on camper

Roof top

The roof lid is held in place by these hinges.

Hinge on roof

This opening connects the camper to the truck window.

Truck window opening

This duck canvas creates the sides to the pop-up roof. It’s stapled through a fold to the roof and attaches via magnets to the truck cover shell.

Duck canvas

An air conditioner fits into a hole cut into the rear of the pop up.

Air conditioner on truck camper

Ready for camping!

Truck pop up camper

Homemade pop up truck camper

With the roof down, you’d never know!

Pop up roof down

Overall this was a blast project to build. I dislike projects that have long tedious steps (like re-roofing my house) and this project did not have any. Took me about 3 weeks to complete the shell.

SEE ALSO: Here Is A Self-Made Pop-Up Camper Built From Douglas Fir