JK/JL Jeep Camper Concept

LostInTheWorld

Builder/Traveler
My wife & I have followed your project for Dan, beautiful workmanship and creativity >> KUDOS!!

We have used the Froli in both our van conversions and topped it with a custom size/cut natural latex mattress from https://sleeponlatex.com/ (no affiliation, just happy repeat customers; both vans and also our primary bed in our sticks/bricks home. They will make a mattress in any size/thickness you wish).

Our favorite combo with the Froli is the 3" thick mattress. In fact after arriving back home waaaay back in 2011 after the maiden voyage in our Chevy van my wife asked me the morning after sleeping in our home's Sealy Posture Pedic if i could order a Froli & Latex to swap out :)

OH, and IF you ever decide to offer your designs to the general public, my wife and i would like to be on that short list!! >> and as an FYI, your idea of "sleeping downstairs" is how we would go also. Versatile in our preferred, often windy, southwest desert (we live in Nevada just east of Death Valley)

Happy Trails,
Thom

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Hey @Accrete, I’m glad to hear that you have been following along via Dan’s posts. Thanks, it’s all been a lot of work, so I appreciate the feedback.

We really liked the Froli Stars that we put in our Mog, and I can totally see that your Froli + 3" thick mattress would be a great combination. I’ve been chatting with Yvonne about that combination, and I think we would like it, but it’s challenging with the dinette setup that we have.

I’ve been getting a ton of requests to build more of these campers. I think they are turning out to be really cool travel vehicles, but they sure are a lot of work to build. Making more would be a serious undertaking for sure.

Yvonne and I totally agree with you that "sleeping downstairs" is really versatile for us as we also often camp in windy southwest locations.
 

LostInTheWorld

Builder/Traveler
@LostInTheWorld how is the tent coming along? Love to see some recent pictures.
Good timing. I just finished the pop top cloth today! I’ll try to round up some photos and post about it in just a bit.

I’ve also been making a lot of other camper interior progress, so I’ll post an update on all of that, too. I just made an update post on Instagram, so I’ll grab that info and post it for you all here. Standby.
 
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LostInTheWorld

Builder/Traveler
I’ve been super busy working in the shop on the new interior and getting everything ready for more test trips next month. I’ve made a lot of progress lately; here are some captioned photo collages from the last month or so.

It's all still in-work, but it’s really satisfying to have the electrical system finished now, and I’m quite happy with the size and layout of the kitchen cabinet. Overall, recent progress has been good, and I still think that the weight is tracking close to my planned limits, but I won’t know for sure on the weight for a bit longer. Keep your fingers crossed.

The kitchen cabinet is compact and includes:

-50L Dometic front load refrigerator
-Sink with hand pump faucet
-Graywater system
-Slide out Trelino separating toilet
-Autoterm diesel heater
-Travel Buddy 12V oven
-Slide out storage bag
-Switch/breaker panel
-Slide out trash can
-Fire extinguisher
-Victron battery monitor
-120VAC and USB sockets

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LostInTheWorld

Builder/Traveler
In other news, I finished the pop-top cloth installation today. Sewing the cloth was a good bit of work, but I’m happy with how it turned out. Having the cloth finished makes the interior feet a lot larger. There is 7’3” standing height in the back, and at 6’2” tall, I can stand as far forward as the middle of the habitat.

The Sailrite sewing machine was great to use, and I liked the Top Notch 9 cloth. In the end, I decided to use 10mm molded zippers for the window closures and fine no-see-um mesh for the screens. I cut all of the cloth with a DIY hot knife (I made a blade tip for a normal soldering iron), so the cut edges of the cloth are fused and won’t unravel.

I attached the cloth to the aluminum angles that I previously installed on the camper and roof using marine grade hook ad loop. I then added (with Yvonne’s help on the inside) small stainless steel bolts every ~10 inches as a secondary attachment.

The gas struts feel really nice and have a very solid feel when the roof is up, but the force to close the roof is reasonable.

When finished, the pop top cloth with hook and loop, zippers, and screens only weighed 4.7 lbs.

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86scotty

Cynic
Michael, you may have addressed this earlier in the thread but I'm curious and thought it would be a good time to mention it now that the top is on. How tall is the box without the top, or perhaps better said how tall from floor to ceiling with top down? And how far forward can the average person walk from rear to front before you touch your head or need to stoop over? I guess my basic question is how much clear walk around space do you have.

I like your use of a hand pump sink. Very practical. I did a marine foot pump in a previous build and kind of wish I had done it in my current one now. So much more conservative. For me, adding an outdoor shower and hot water heater pushed me towards needing an actual RV water pump/pressurized system.

Sidenote: I love the wood stove and hearth in the shop. I'm a big proponent of having a fireplace in the shop. It's where I spend my free time and a real fire not only provides heat and is constantly fueled by wood/paper scrap but also provides ambience that I love while working.
 
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LostInTheWorld

Builder/Traveler
Attention to detail is off the chart! Incredible build.

And it looks like you crammed 10 lbs. of ******* into a 5 lb. bag with the kitchen. Not one square inch of unused space.

You even sewed in zipper keepers in the windows. Completely over the top!
Thanks. It really is a lot packed into the kitchen, but I think it's a functional space and it's pretty light.

Thanks for the recommendations on the Sailrite materials. I pretty much ordered exactly what you had in your list and it was all great. I liked working with the basting tape.
 

LostInTheWorld

Builder/Traveler
This is one of those builds that I'm going to hate to see get dirty, however I sure hope that's your plan.
Getting it dirty is the plan. Hopefully it will see some dirt in the next few weeks. It's time to start testing things out with some longer trips.
 

LostInTheWorld

Builder/Traveler
Michael, you may have addressed this earlier in the thread but I'm curious and thought it would be a good time to mention it now that the top is on. How tall is the box without the top, or perhaps better said how tall from floor to ceiling with top down? And how far forward can the average person walk from rear to front before you touch your head or need to stoop over? I guess my basic question is how much clear walk around space do you have.

I like your use of a hand pump sink. Very practical. I did a marine foot pump in a previous build and kind of wish I had done it in my current one now. So much more conservative. For me, adding an outdoor shower and hot water heater pushed me towards needing an actual RV water pump/pressurized system.

Sidenote: I love the wood stove and hearth in the shop. I'm a big proponent of having a fireplace in the shop. It's where I spend my free time and a real fire not only provides heat and is constantly fueled by wood/paper scrap but also provides ambience that I love while working.
Floor to ceiling, the wedge is 7'3" tall in the back and 4'10" tall at the very front. I am 6'2" and I can easily stand right in the middle of the camper. My wife is 5'7" and can walk substantially further forward than I can. There is a ton of head clearance all around the kitchen with the top up. With the top down you can comfortably sit and the pop top cloth bunches up nicely with straps along the top of the wall and doesn't get in the way of seating.

So far I think the hand pump faucet will be nice. I actually think that the foot pump faucet like you mentioned has a lot of benefits because you can more easily wash both hands without touching anything, but the hand pump faucet fit a bit better in this layout.

As nice as the fireplace is, the shop space is nearly impossible to heat just because of its size. It's reasonably well insulated, but it's 3,000 square feet with an 18+ foot tall ceiling, so the little wood burning stove doesn't make a noticeable temperature difference. Nice ambiance for sure, but sadly I have to wear 2 jackets and coveralls for about half of the year.
 

LostInTheWorld

Builder/Traveler
The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur in the shop with a ton of progress. Long story short: the Jeep camper is done! The last two big things that I finished were the water system and the new lightweight carbon fiber bed platform. The interior has a really nice feel with a “daytime mode" couch arrangement that converts into a nice bed that is way more comfortable than before (with backpacking air pads under the Hest mattress).

In other big news, Yvonne and I put the camper on the scales yesterday before going on our first test trip with the finished camper. The new curb weight with a full tank of fuel and everything finished is 570 lb under the gross weight rating, so I’m pretty happy with the current vehicle weight. With Yvonne and I both in it, that should give us about 250 lb of capacity for all of our provisions. We’ll do an all up weigh-in with us and our provisions in it as we head out on our next trip.

Our test trip last night went really well. It was really comfortable and nice to finally have all the creature comforts working. Note in the interior photo the little red light on the oven means that our tacos were being cooked.

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