This Homemade Truck Camper is Brilliant

This Homemade Truck Camper is Brilliant

Whether you call it DIY, built-not-bought, or run-what-you-brung, the absolute best way to become intimately familiar with a vehicle is to build it yourself. Hours spent wrenching in the garage or driveway will not only save hard earned cash, but the knowledge gained by doing it yourself may save your bacon when Mr Murphy shows up deep in the backcountry. Building your own rig will also make it easier to assemble a spare parts kit, as well as the tools needed to replace them. Jim Feehan is the mastermind and the hand that created the 2001 Dodge Ram 3500 you see before you.

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Jim’s custom flatbed is the central component of his build. Not only does it provide a secure mounting platform for the camper, but it also includes mounting points for a pair of under bed storage boxes, a swing out tire carrier, and a large air tank for his on board air system. In addition to the camper, the bed can also be configured to carry a number of other components including jerry cans, a Hi-Lift jack, and a set of MAXTRAX -just to name a few.

 

The interior of the camper is accessed through the passenger side door, or from the rear by releasing the swing out tire carrier, and raising the large rear hatch. Once inside you will find a thick comfortable mattress that provides a touch of comfort for those long trips into the backcountry along with a set of custom curtains that urge voyeuristic bears to move on. Lifting the rear of the mattress reveals a hidden storage box for securing camp chairs and other gear. Large tinted windows provide a generous amount of light and panoramic views of nature with a spot of privacy. 12V interior lighting was also installed for nighttime reading.

 

The extended cab is a bit tight for rear passengers, but has more than enough space for a 63 QT ARB fridge/freezer, 15 gallons of potable water, a solar charge controller, recovery gear bag and a host of other miscellaneous items. The front dash houses the switch panel that controls the ARB air compressor and locking differentials. A large solar panel sits atop the cab of the truck providing the necessary charge for the battery and 63 QT ARB fridge/freezer.

 

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The front of the truck is protected by a Buckstop bull bar which houses a Recon 17,500 lb winch. Factory skid plates help to keep vulnerable components safe from rocks and other large obstacles.

 

Jim tells us that he has driven this rig from Key West, Florida to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and back -that says a lot for the reliability and capability of this rig. We think he has done a fantastic job of creating one of the best outfitted overland rigs we have ever seen. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


Fast Facts:

VEHICLE:

  • 2001 Dodge Ram 3500, 4x4

 

ENGINE:

  • 5.9L Cummins Diesel
  • Supertuner engine programmer
  • Magnaflow 4” stainless turbo back
  • Exide Edge AGM starting batteries

 

DRIVETRAIN:

  • 47RE
  • Trans-Go shift kit
  • B&M deep pan

 

AXLES:

  • Dana 60 / Dana 80
  • Rear -Yukon gears, front -stock, ratio: 4:10
  • ARB lockers F/R
  • Great Lake Off Road ¼” steel covers

 

STEERING:

  • Borgeson HD steering box
  • High capacity pump
  • Billet steering shaft
  • DT Profab brace
  • 1.5” x .25 DOM tie rod and drag link with Chevrolet 1 ton tie rod ends
  • Mr Gasket power steering cooler

 

SUSPENSION:

  • Custom valved 2.5” Sway-A-Way reservoir shocks by AccuTune Off Road F/R
  • Raised rear shock mounts
  • DT Profab 3.5” front springs, stock and custom leaf pack -rear
  • Daystar polyurethane bump stops

 

BRAKES:

  • Crown Performance braided stainless steel brake lines
  • Front calipers from 1980.s Chevrolet 1 ton
  • ABS deleted

 

WHEELS AND TIRES:

  • Mastercraft Courser MXT, 37 x 12.50 r17
  • OEM 3rd generation Dodge 17x7

 

BUMPERS/ARMOR:

  • Buckstop Truckware front bumper, with Recon 17,500 lb winch and synthetic cable
  • Rear bumper integrated into flatbed

 

EXTERIOR:

  • Front, Bushwacker fender flares
  • Approximate weight: 9,000 lbs

 

MISCELLANEOUS GEAR:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • 750 W inverter
  • 63 QT ARB fridge/freezer
  • First aid kit
  • Hatchet
  • Machete
  • 15 gallons of fresh water
  • Dry food storage
  • PETT toilet
  • Alcohol stove
  • Aero-Press coffee maker
  • Cold weather and rain gear
  • Portable CB radio
  • SPOT tracker
  • BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band UHF/VHF Radio
  • Dash mount for cellphone and GoPro camera

JIM CAN BE FOUND AT:

Instagram: @backcountryvehicles

Website: http://backcountryvehicles.com/

Images by: Pat Bonish Photography


Mentioned in this post:

Accutune Off Road: accutuneoffroad.com

Aeropress Coffee makers: aeropress.com

ARB: arbusa.com

B&M Racing: bmracing.com

Borgeson Steering: borgeson.com

Buckstop Bumpers: buckstopinc.com

Bushwacker Fender Flares: bushwacker.com

Crown Performance Brake Lines: crownperformance.com

Daystar Suspension: daystarweb.com

DT Protofab: dtprotofab.com

Exide Edge AGM Batteries: 2.exide.com

GoPro Cameras: shop.gopro.com

Great Lake Off Road: greatlakeoffroad.com

Hi-Lift Jacks: hi-lift.com

MAXTRAX: us.maxtrax.com.au

SPOT Location Device: findmespot.com

Magnaflow Exhaust: magnaflow.com

Mastercraft Tires: mastercrafttires.com

Trans-Go Shift Kits: transgo.com

Yukon Gear and Axle: yukongear.com

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