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Camper Building with Modifications

On June 2, 2017, in RV and Campers, by Gayle Brantuk

Glen-L has been providing Camper plans for amateur builders since the 1970’s. In addition to Campers, we also have trailers, fifth wheels, camper shells, van conversion and motorhome plans and patterns. You can find them all on our site in the RV Plans section.

We sell a lot of camper plans but we don’t always hear back from builders. But, last week we got an email from a builder of our Acapulco Camper. He provided a bunch of info on his build and he altered it to fit a short bed truck. So, I thought I’d share his comments…

My name is Norm Stevens from Reno, Nevada.

I thought you might be interested in my finished project. I ordered the Acapulco plans but modified them for a short bed truck as well as other features I desired. I have a construction / carpentry background so I framed the unit in a weekend but things slowed from there. Since I did lots of modifications to the original plans, it took lots of contemplation and work to fit in all of the appliances and features I wanted. The overall project took me about 6 months to complete. I finished in May 2017.

build your own camper

Acapulco built by Norm Stevens

This camper is fully self-contained including heat, AC, large refrigerator, microwave, stove top, sink, self-contained portable toilet with its own water supply reservoir and its own black water tank, outside shower and (4) Rieco Titan 2,000 lb each screw-type jacks.

All framing was screwed and/or tapped and screwed depending on the application and various wood glues were used. This camper is super solid and built very very well. Much better than factory built units where they use nail guns, automation and fast paced production requirements. All of the interior wood is birch and/or birch veneer.

Walls are painted in a universal and pleasant beige, the cabinets were hand stained, the main floor is quality linoleum, and the steps and bed area are covered in carpet. The bench seat is professionally upholstered with a zipper so the covers can be removed and laundered.

The windows are black frames with tinted glass and custom built mini blinds for privacy. The walls, ceiling and floors are all insulated very well with quality hard board-type insulation. This unit maintains its desired temperature very well. Exterior siding is polished aluminum diamond plate over 1/4″ exterior grade plywood for strength. Again, this camper is super solid and built very very well.

Camper plansSome Specifics:

  • Dometic RM2451 4CuFt 2-way Refrigerator (propane and electricity which the fridge will automatically pick depending upon availability and priority)
  • Hamilton Beach 900 watt Built-in Microwave oven
  • Camco Olympian Safety Wave 3 propane heater (designed for use at high elevation as well as sea level)
  • Advent 13,500 BTU roof mounted AC unit.
  • Atwood 6 gallon propane water heater–Manual light
  • 10 gallon fresh water tank
  • Water inlet with direct hook up or fill-and-go neck (two different options)
  • 9 Gallon grey water tank with easy access discharge
  • Dometic 970 series portable toilet with its own fresh water holding tank and black water tank
  • Flowjet 4406 12v water pump
  • Stainless steel bar sink with pivoting, tall neck faucet for easy access/use
  • Suburban 2-burner propane stove top
  • WFCO 30 amp electrical power and inverter system with three 15 amp breakers for plugs, lighting, charging. One 20 amp breaker for the AC unit. And (4) 12 volt fuse breakers for 12 volt system. 25 ft 30 amp power cord and adapters included
  • High Quality Safety Detector (detects propane and smoke)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bed area has an emergency escape hatch which can also be used as a large roof vent
  • Kitchen area has a roof vent with a 12v fan
  • Screen door
  • Custom mini blinds
  • (3) exterior porch lights at the door and at the equipment locations
  • 20lb propane tank
  • Battery (charged by the inverter power center and by the truck when truck is running)
  • Exterior shower (includes hot water)
  • (4) Super heavy duty Rieco Titan 2,000 pound capacity (each) manual screw camper jacks

Camper plans

You too can build your own camper. Glen-L has several different models designed specifically for the first time builder and you can find them in the RV section of our site.

Editor: Thank you Norm for taking the time to provide such great feedback on building your Glen-L Camper! You did an awesome job and should be very proud. 

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Your Thoughts?

5 Responses to Camper Building with Modifications

  1. Dan says:

    Wow Norm, that is some beautiful work. A true masterpiece in action. The exterior is unique and demands respect. Your attention to detail leaves nothing to be desired. It should serve you well for many years AND, fetch a hansome price when you want to sell it.

  2. Mike says:

    Beautiful camper. Great Job. How difficult was it to modify the plans to the size and specs you wanted? Where did you get your building supplies, appliances, etc.?

    • Norm Stevens says:

      Thanks for the compliment.
      Super easy to modify the framing and structural part of the Glen L plans. I just reduced the front and rear dimensions (lengthwise) . Even though I don’t think it was entirely necessary, I shortened the cabover (bed) dimension, in order to reduce the cantilever over the cab and to reduce weight. I kept all widths the same as on the Glen L plans.
      As far as supplies, believe it or not, Home Depot carries 1×2, 2×2, 1×4, 1×6 lumber which are the dimensions you need for framing. They also carry structural plywood for the base, etc, and 1/8″ veneer for the interior.
      Appliance and accessory wise, I used the internet…primarily eBay. That way I was able to shop and compare, and look for the best prices.
      Thanks for the inquiry.

  3. Scott V says:

    Beautiful work – far better than “factory” and of course, exactly how you wanted it. What is the total dry weight?

    • Norm Stevens says:

      Thanks for the compliment. The total dry weight is 2,000 lbs. Works on a short bed, heavy duty 1/2 ton with rear air bags but a 3/4 ton would be better.

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