Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a great deal on a 14 ft U-Haul truck with a new engine and transmission. Now the truck is in perfect running condition and would like to possibly look into converting it to a camper/bug out vehicle. I have a number of questions from power sources that would work to run basic things like a laptop computer, small refrigerator and possibly a camper style AC system. I'm also looking for methods of modifying the interior for 2 adult sleeping, food storage, water, communications, etc. All input is welcome.
 

·
Senior Member R.I.P.
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
To run any type AC you are going to need a generator as they draw a lot of power.

Refrigerator you have the option of one of the 12VDC "coolers" or a small frig run off LP gas. I wouldn't suggest a 120VAC frig because of the power loss to run it threw an inverter.

Atleast a full size bed forward in the box & atleast waist high to allow storeage underneath the bed including a small portapotti.

14ft is normal length for a big camper that goes onto a long bed truck. So going to a rv dealer & looking at some of them will give you a good idea of setting the inside of the box trailer up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,820 Posts
Do a search for "Living in a van". There are a number of blogs out there for do it yourself conversions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,132 Posts
Frig, RV frig run it on propane and hook it to your generator.

AC, generator gas or diesel whatever the truck runs on and hook it up to draw out of the main tank.

Small electric needs not run by generator, Solar panels run into three or four deep cycle batteries with a power inverter.

All these can be hooked together to make a great redundant reliable vehicle. If one system fails flip the switch to the next.

Fold up bunk beds built onto the sides are a must. Saves on room when not in use. 14 foot will fill up fast.

Now if you could find an old ambulance your work is almost done. Tons of built in storage, huge alternator is factory and power inverter is in and wired. Rear heat and AC runs off engine. Just run a couple solar panels outside and hook them to the batteries, DONE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,417 Posts
I like the ambulance idea because they are also insulated which a box truck is not and like chipper said, "Most of your work is done." If you could find one of the ambulances like the forestry service uses you would have all that and four wheel drive.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Awesome find! Good luck with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,588 Posts
An a/c unit will require about 30 amps. Get a Carrier Mach1 type unit, cut the proper hole in roof, (reinforce as needed) and install and run power.
A power /converter panel will be needed.
You can get a refrigerator/freezer that will run on propane or 12 volts. They are not cheap, but used ones are out there.
Plumbing will be a big project, toilet requires a black water tank, usually 40 gals, sink and shower requires a gray water tank, usually 40 gals, both with the necessary drain lines/valves.
Insulation, windows, door, lights, counters, cabinets, etc.
You may want to look at used motorhomes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input and I've been looking at RV AC systems. So far the truck was $2500 cash and basically in perfect shape hence I bought it. I know the electrical system will need to be upgraded adding additional battery and charging system for it. I've even figured on a Satellite TV communications system into my budget as well as a refrigerator but plan on all of it running on 12 volt DC. Oh and I already have a closed in car trailer with storage in the front of it that I will pull behind it. What I really need is a set of plans for this setup though I've looked I only find pictures but little details on how they did it or what materials they used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,588 Posts
You can get a diagram for gas piping and electric wiring on line.
Look at an RV trailer or motorhome and check the layout.
 

·
Mod Squad
Joined
·
2,260 Posts
You might want to look at a bunch of commercial camper floorplans for ideas. They have lots of clever ways to make the best use of available space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
There are a few great builds of box trucks, old U-hauls, etc., at the forum pirate4x4.com. Be advised, though there is a ton if innovative and creative work done by the off-road guys over there, many try to live up to the pirate image so language can get rough. Still worth checking out though. Some of the camping rigs are first class and built for primitive conditions found in off-road use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
Here's a few pics of our box truck -> motorhome conversion for whatever inspiration it might provide:













We carry 30 gallons of fresh water, gray and black water tanks are 30 gallons each.
There's an AC/DC/LP fridge/freezer, full head with separate shower stall, LP oven w/ 3 burner stove, rooftop Air/Heat, 24" 1080p screen w/ WD video player & 2 TB of content, Ham radio from 160meters through 1.2GHz, Full size bed, couch opens to another full size bed, LED lighting inside.

Truck battery is an Odyssey, house batteries are 3x Trojan SCS150's (about 300AH at 20hr rate)

Not shown is the Champion 3500 watt generator that lives on a hitch mount deck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's a few pics of our box truck -> motorhome conversion for whatever inspiration it might provide:

We carry 30 gallons of fresh water, gray and black water tanks are 30 gallons each.
There's an AC/DC/LP fridge/freezer, full head with separate shower stall, LP oven w/ 3 burner stove, rooftop Air/Heat, 24" 1080p screen w/ WD video player & 2 TB of content, Ham radio from 160meters through 1.2GHz, Full size bed, couch opens to another full size bed, LED lighting inside.

Truck battery is an Odyssey, house batteries are 3x Trojan SCS150's (about 300AH at 20hr rate)

Not shown is the Champion 3500 watt generator that lives on a hitch mount deck.
Great that gives me a some really good ideas and information. The one I have gets 10 mpg with regular unleaded gasoline and is the typical 14' U-Haul truck with the box over the roof of the truck. It is actually 11'11" L x 7'3" W. Thanks a lot for the pictures I have saved them for future reference.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top