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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > 1965 Red Dale Truck Camper Refurb w/ Pictures

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novaop

Texas

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Posted: 07/12/17 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A lot of people say they find our little truck camper refurb project interesting. So I thought I'd share it in a thread here. A little about us: my husband and I are perpetual DIYers and creators. We've done quite a few projects together over the years. Big and small. This is our latest effort.

Found it on craigslist about 30 miles from where we live.
Paid $350. Previous owners had replaced some of the water damaged wood. All the original interior had been stripped out of it.
This is what it looked like the day we got it.

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The inside walls had been covered in a combo of click together laminate flooring, treated lumber, and reflectix sheeting. We removed all of it. That left the camper stripped to the studs.

I understand this isn't everyone's cup of tea. That's cool. But we enjoy making things. We have the time and ability. The unconventional is our normal. This is right up our alley. We're building this camper out to serve as our off-grid travel rig.

We paid $350 for the camper. After all is said and done we'll have put about $3500 into it. We could've bought a more "ready" camper for this price. But it likely would not have had solar, nor the new components we're outfitting this one with. With this build we're spending very little $ (compared to what CAN be spent) and getting a camper custom built to suit us. WIN!

Truck: 1999 Ford F350 4x4

We're documenting the work on our YouTube Channel: Adventures of Sandra and Dave - Truck Camper Playlist

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Replaced the old vent with a new 12v Fantastic Fan.

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The new "escape hatch" can be seen in the above photo....plus you're seeing a lot of new framing. We added much to the structure and replaced some pieces that had water damage.

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We patched all the penetrations on the exterior with galvanized sheet metal - riveted & glued - edges sealed underneath, behind, and edges. Before this the holes were covered only with eternabond tape.

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All the edging was gone - the only thing cover the edges was eternabond tape. We added metal - screwed and glued and sealed underneath. You can also see one of the LED running lights we installed.

I'll add many more photos as soon as I resize them smaller to post here. In the meantime if you have interest in the project go check out the videos at the link above. We've come a long way since we got the camper. THANKS!!! Have a super great day.

Lwiddis

Crestview area, Inyo County, California

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Posted: 07/12/17 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry. Pictures are all the same.


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


novaop

Texas

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Posted: 07/12/17 11:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Sorry. Pictures are all the same.


I fixed it! Problem with the photo thing I was using.

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 07/12/17 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like a lot of work. Are you reinforcing the corners and switching to modern jacks?

I don't see different pictures on your link just your youtube channel.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


novaop

Texas

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Posted: 07/12/17 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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Painted the camper using quality exterior house paint. Considered doing a different colors, keeping it solid - no stripes, adding different graphics....in the end just updated the colors a bit and kept the same stripes.

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The original "Red Dale" decal was badly faded. I thought of scrubbing it off...but decided instead to touch it up, repainting it by hand. The original decal was colored a bit differently...but I did it this way. One of a kind. [emoticon]

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The roof appeared to be painted with latex paint. It was in poor condition. Big flakes sticking up...lots of bare metal. This was sanded and scraped and washed (A LOT) - then new elastomeric coating was rolled on thick. It's very rubbery and seems durable. Time will tell how it holds up. Video about coating the roof.

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Insulating. We used fiberglass insulation that we had salvaged from a house we dismantled (there are many salvaged materials in this camper). We know about rigid foam insulation...that it's supposed to be better. But we already had the fiberglass stuff (so no $ spent). If we'd have really thought the rigid foam stuff was going to make for a phenomenal improvement in our comfort and life, we'd have used it. We didn't. We're very accustomed to living quite close to the natural temperature and climate of wherever we are. Not a big deal to us. The fiberglass insulation will be perfectly adequate. But it was NO FUN to install!! Glad that part is over.

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The solar power stuff arrives.
Solar Parts Unboxing Video

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Building a removable, tiltable rack for the solar...which is going on the roof of the camper. Building the Solar Roof Rack


More to come! Thanks for taking a look. Any questions...fire away!

cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 07/12/17 11:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great initiative -- I like it, and will be watching.


Cal


novaop

Texas

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Posted: 07/12/17 11:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jimh425 wrote:

Looks like a lot of work. Are you reinforcing the corners and switching to modern jacks?

I don't see different pictures on your link just your youtube channel.


YouTube link should go to the Truck Camper playlist. We're videoing as we go.

I am adding more pictures to this thread...I have to resize them smaller - so it's taking me a bit of time to do this. Will post as I get them done.

No...just the jacks that came with it. Don't see any reason to replace them. They work great. Cranking by hand is no problemo. New ones are super expensive. The wood under the jacks is all new. The entire frame has been shored up big time.

It is work. More work than some things....less work than others. It takes time, skill, money, tools, planning. We're no strangers to lots of work. Compared to some of our other projects this is a piece of cake. Satisfying to make something cool and get to go traveling in it. We travel for many months out of the year and we look forward to hitting the road later this year in this camper. We're in the home stretch now.

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 07/12/17 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had one of those 25 years ago! Mine was a 10" and had the most gorgeous paneling in it. They put the pretiest book-ended wood on the ceiling of the cab-over so you'd se it when in bed. Red Dale was a premium brand back in the day. Very well made with a better grade of parts and H/W.
I couldn't keep it from leaking and it finally went to the dump.


Scott, Grace and Wesly
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novaop

Texas

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Posted: 07/12/17 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cewillis wrote:

Great initiative -- I like it, and will be watching.


Thank you for watching.

novaop

Texas

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Posted: 07/12/17 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

I had one of those 25 years ago! Mine was a 10" and had the most gorgeous paneling in it. They put the pretiest book-ended wood on the ceiling of the cab-over so you'd se it when in bed. Red Dale was a premium brand back in the day. Very well made with a better grade of parts and H/W.
I couldn't keep it from leaking and it finally went to the dump.


I'm looking forward to hearing from other Red Dale camper folks.
So far I've had a few conversations with others familiar with the make.

Previous owners of this camper ripped out the original inside. I have no idea what it looked like before. Would be cool to see a picture of it before...and I have a feeling this thing has been all over. There were some badly faded travel stickers on the back. I've heard that Red Dale was considered a great builder of campers.

We're now in the homestretch on the inside....it's getting a new look. Won't have much in common with the original appearance.

Ahh yes...leaks. The bane of all camper owners.

Right now it is sealed up tight....we've had so much rain during this build. Buckets of forceful sideways rain. No leaks since we did the intense sealing of every crevice, cranny, and crack. But this is one of the areas that must be maintained with Jedi mindfulness....especially important in old campers. May the force be with us.

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