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bajadulce

1995 3.4L 5sp 4x4 Bajarader (Put the sawzall down)

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NEW:

Picture Album added to Flickr.com here

April 2006:

Project started as a 1980 18' 20r 5lug axle 2wd sunrader. I was curious to see how other people have customized their rigs and stumbled across this fun site. So I thought I'd introduce myself and submit my project as well.

Quick background of myself and how it relates to camper:

I’m pretty mellow when it comes to driving and am not looking to build a high performance racer. I’m just looking to go places a 2wd vehicle could prob go, but want to be able to get there with a little more peace of mind. I’m not one to spend money and tend to build things out of normal everyday materials and as many used or recycled goods I can get my hands on. I don’t like getting on the phone or running all over town to find that perfect part. I usually just scrounge around until something jumps up and bites me.

A place to start: (PART 1)

I bought the little beater in SFranscisco sight unseen for $1500. On the outside, the little rader was actually quite decent looking. The interior however was a different story and nothing that I would enjoy camping in. By the next morning the shell was completely gutted. Why waste time? My good humored neighbor laughs, "just put the sawzall down!". smile.gif

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Baja winter 2007 with Cochita#1

After spending most of the summer months getting a new interior & roof together, we finally took it to baja on its maiden voyage. The little 20r carburated camper did fantastic and even got 20+ mpg in some instances. The camper preformed without any troubles, but the chassis was a bit tired and the ground clearance could have been better. It didn't take long before the mind began to wander...

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Update Oct 2009, A New plan and finding a suitable wheelbase truck for Cochita II: (PART 2)

Not content with the old truck, I have decided to swap the shell to a newer 4x4 truck and here's where the fun starts. I wanted a newer 89-94 truck for the IFS, newer cab/body design, and EFI. The single cab longbed 4x4 is for the most part non-existent in this generation and so I got around this obstacle by swapping a single cab onto an extra cab frame. The end result is a frame that looks about a foot stretched, but is in fact an unmolested stock frame.

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Got the truck done, now what?

With the proper cab to wheel measurements, the camper could be assessed how it would be mounted. Chasing a wild hair, it was decided the sunrader needed shortening by a whopping 2' in hopes to shed a little weight + improve the departure angle.

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Why stop here?

The camper has also been built as a portable design and can be detatched from the vehicle. For those that longterm camp, heading into town to resupply means packing up your rig. A removable shell on a flatbed truck offers a lot of freedom.

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Here's a photochop mock up plan of how the completed beast would hope to look: If only it was this simple smile.gif

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Misc build notes:

The shell has been completely sealed by fusing the 2 halves, removing every single piece of trim, front windows, as well as the insane motivation to permanently fiberglass all the windows to the shell. There is but one hole in the camper (the solar feed) and that is very well shielded.

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The interior has a simple galley with a cooking counter, a rear removable dinette, drawers, bench seats, and some overhead cabinetry. A custom pop-up hatch gains some additional headroom in the bunk area. The entire camper has been insulated with rigid foam including both front and back transition areas as well as the complete bunk area. The main galley has 75" (6'3") of headroom. Total weight of truck and shell fully loaded and camp ready is around 5400#'s (just barely under the legal GVWR requirement).

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UPDATE Jan 2012: Cochita III (PART 3)

Chasing another wild hair, I've decided to build another flatbed using a full size 75" width Toyota (1995 3.4L T100 4x4 5speed). This go around features a true flatbed thus alleviating the need for wheel wells on the shell.

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.. to be continued.

So that's my project. Others might be in the same boat with a camper thrashed beyond repair and could benefit from just ripping all the old crap out and starting fresh. A lot of ppl don't have or care to spend big bucks on their rigs and I hope my project reaches out to those wanting a simpler more hassle free camper while using everyday materials.

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Good to have the skills to do this. But you have way to much spare time on your hands.

I only get one mod a year done. Last year was a mild hot rod engine, year before was solar and 210mah of batteries

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Bajadulce - welcome to the site! There is definitely lots of great stuff here to see. We bought a 1982 Sunrader last summer and have been busy repairing/modifying ever since ( but WAY less ambitious than your project). Our roof was sagging due to an air conditioner but we were able to jack up the roof from the inside after removing the air conditioning unit and after leaving it jacked up for about a month, the sag came out. Luckily the air conditioner opening never had leaked, so the wood on the ceiling was still OK. We chose not to re-install the air conditioner. I am eagerly awaiting more pix as you complete your project.

Bill

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Looks like your off to a good start on an interesting project. I know how it is, can't leave well enough alone, I,ve been known to fire up the sawzall a time or two myself. Keep up the good work and have fun.

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@ Nolan:

You're a madman! I just love all the pics I've seen of your rigs on this site. :ThumbUp:

Me, I'm just trying to build a cheap comfortable camper with a sensible floor plan less the majority of the manufacturer's suggested "must have" ammenities (water tanks, toilets, sinks, heaters, holding tanks, etc. etc.) with maybe a few body modifications/tricks.

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Thanks Baja, glad you appreciate my madness, Out of control?? HEY!! I,m not the one with a big hole in my roof "LOL" I just did the same as you, made a few little body mods, eliminated some of the factory junk, made some changes to the drivetrain, just my way of being not normal, beside stock is boring :thumbdown:

OK, back to work, the blue one pictured above is as we speak almost completely sanded down and getting prepped to be painted again, then on to other additions once thats done. Later,

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Bajadulce - Now thats what I call a remodel. I have a question, did you increase the head room with the new roof? We will be at the Big Sur toyin in a couple of weeks. And we are putting on a toyin in sept. oct. in Felton. Keep up the good work and continue to post your progress in this thread. I wouldent mind checking out first hand all those mods.

Nolan - Looks like Blue is out driving around! Send me a progress report and I will ad it to the pages.

Greg

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Hi Greg, Yes Blew is on the road, I got it roadworthy late last summer, logged some miles on it before winter hit then spent the winter finishing some interior work and other details. So far so good, the 22RSC runs like a clock, as usual it'll never be done, always looking for something different to add to it, or change for the better :) Right now its sitting in a paint booth and with any luck tomorrow I'll start the spraying process again, after that I'll try to get some up todate pictures for ya.

Thanks for the offer on the progress update on the site. Nolan

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I have suspicions that my Sunrader's roof is sagging a bit. Does anyone have a photo of their Sunrader's roof that I could use to compare my roof to?

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Hey Baja, Your restro project is coming right along, looking good too. Don't ya just love all that fiberglass work.

No, Greg's site here is the only place that I,m aware of that has any pictures of my Chinook creations.

If your interested or have any questions you can shoot me an email at quadlight@yahoo.com that way i won't take up space on the forum.

Have fun, Nolan

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So the goal of this rebuild is like a hard wall portable tent???

You removed the plumbing, gas , stove and water.

Where do you get the support stuff, cooking, bathing??

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So the goal of this rebuild is like a hard wall portable tent???
Sorta, Yes. smile.gif

I'm sure this seems a bit odd to most touring owners, but there's reason behind this madness. The camper's main purpose is to serve as a shelter for long term dry boondocking camping (basically homesteading) in an environment without access to running water (baja desert). Many others have the same setup and have been doing this for years. The environment just dictates this extreme water conservation. Sinks, toilets, and showers won't work for someone RV'ing in the desert... at least not for very long.

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Dishwashing doesn't have to be this primative, but I don't find it inconvenient.

This isn't to say that this is merely a gutted shell. I still have a very spacious livable rig, with cooking, refrigeration, and electricity. It just happens to be missing most everything associated with plumbing.

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I am in need of a water pump if you still have it. Let me know how much. Mine siezed over the weekend.

Greg

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OK what ever trips your trigger, one party tent it is.

I spent way to much time living in tents, I like my A/C and generator. Roughing it is B&W TV

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Bajajuice --Sounds like a fun time....sounds like a logical approach. I did the composting toilet idea are you buying and installing it or building one? (http://www.compostingtoilet.org/)!

Heck, all you need is 190 AMP Alternator, a DLP projector and screen for movies and a sat. dish for a nice roling hotspot....maybe a Wireless LAN too for on the road gaming with friends in other vehicles. :first:

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Hi Dirk. Ya, I've only done a primitive sawdust/hole burn your tp. Would like to explore a better setup someday. thnx for link.

OK what ever trips your trigger, one party tent it is. I spent way to much time living in tents, I like my A/C and generator. Roughing it is B&W TV
I hear ya and definitely this simplified camper isn't the norm around here. I probably should be posting this project on a camper forum (more specifically a dersert boondocking forum), not an RV forum.

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Love the mini-itx.com site, I like their idea's on computer moding...I've been thinking of making an Ammo can (http://mini-itx.com/projects/ammobox/) using the VIA EPIA N10000 Nano-ITX board. =O) ...looks fun.

Gorilla surfing is a great idea, plus there are more and more hotspots popping up (http://www.wififreespot.com/). Eastern Oregon has a 600-square-mile hotspot (http://wifinetnews.com/archives/002903.html), might as well take advantage of them while on the road. first.gif

Seem like it will be only a matter or time before the prices are equal to CABLE or DSL!!! :ThumbUp:

Hey you have to have something to do once you've done everything....what you want nature ALL the time.... (that's what I tell me wife at least) LOL usd.gif

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My floor is delaminated more near the refer shower side, so my guess is it extends under that cabinetry. I had once considered building a support under the floor that rode on the frame of the truck. But after adding the 1/2 inch ply inside it was stiff enough to where I do not need the extra support. I wonder if there is any way to re-glue all the layers back together. Sunrader really dropped the ball when it came to the floor. If they had just added a bit more support under the floor to stop flex.

Any how yours looks like a good fix. It felt real solid when I was walking on it. Did you glue anything? I elected not to use glue in case at some point I needed to remove the plywood. I used a bunch of screws spaced about 4 inches apart.

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Bajadulce how's the camper coming along?

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Greg, the marine fridge is great. Makes a little bit of noise. Was expensive as crap tho!

An opportunity to buy a 4x4 extra cab for cheap came up and thought... hmmm maybe swap? So I'm in the process of brainstorming to give the old 79 20r a new drive train.

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well, Bajadulce, very interesting project! .. I was wondering if anybody had transplanted a sunrader onto another vehicle.. so, make this a 'sticky' and keep us informed! :)

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Lookin' forward to the write-up!!

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I wrote a reply yesterday, I don't know what happened to it. Could you give more details on the materials and techniques you used to fix the roof? I want to do this also just to raise the roof so I can stand up.

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This guys last post was in 2007, I thing he long gone off this site... but, I too cut the roof of my sunrader and raised it 8'', so I could stand.

PM me, I'll hook you up with everything you need to know.

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