If you wish to travel with ease and enjoy camping in your truck, then this guide is for you. Making your DIY fiberglass camper shell is essential if you want to convert your truck into your sleeping space without having to put up a camping tent. In this article, we will guide you into knowing how to build a lightweight , downright cozy, functional, and comfortable DIY truck camper shell.
Read more: What you need to build your own camper shell
We won’t stop there. We will also guide you on how you can choose the right cap for your truck and how to do the job the right way. Even if it is your first time, constructing a DIY camper shell will not be challenging for you.
Tools and Supplies
Every project requires tools and supplies to carry it out. Here is a list of everything that you will need for this project. You can buy them online.
Mexican serape blanket.
Neoprene stripping tape.
Portable power station.
USB string lights.
Charging cable of about 15ft long.
Undercover swing case.
You will also need items like nuts, bolts, and washers. You can purchase them from your local hardware. When it comes to the tools, you will need the following:
Fabric scissors (heavy duty).
A small hand saw or a Dremel tool.
If you don’t have these tools, you can buy them online or get them from your local store.
For these kinds of DIY projects, you need to practice patience. When you are patient, you become more level-headed and this will lead to a solid and well-finished product. Keep in mind that even with a step by step guide, mistakes will still happen. You should just enjoy the process as you perform each step.
If you reach a point where you are stuck, you can do further research online. You will find lots of valuable content for free. Here are some of the platforms you can do some research on:
You can find almost all the answers on Google. You can find a lot of useful ideas on similar projects.
YouTube is a great teacher. The good thing about it is that you get to see videos that make it easier to learn how something should be done.
Amazon too is a great source of information. Besides offering you the items that you will need for every project, you will also get recommendations from customers that have already used the products that you are purchasing.
Also, you can check this post for the accessories for truck bed.
Choose Your Working Locations
If you live in a city, then finding a working space shouldn’t be difficult. You are also likely to have your garage or know someone with a garage and is willing to let you work in it.
Building Your Camper Shell
Building the Truck Cap
Take the measurements of the truck bed. The measurements that matter are the interior length and width of the bed. Cut off four pieces of PVC with the same length as that of the bed. Do the same for the width measurement. Nail or glue the length pieces together end to end to create a square. You should repeat the same procedure but this time around, create a square without one of its width pieces.
Connect the two squares using four short PVC pieces. You should connect them by the corners so that you end up with a cube that is of the same length as your truck bed. The cube will have a missing lower peace. This is where the tailgate will touch. You should allow the frame some 10 to 20 minutes to dry up.
You should then make holes for the windows. It is on these holes that you will install your fiberglass. You should properly seal the edge of the windows so that they don’t leak. This will keep you safe from the weather in case it decides to rain.
Apply Adhesives to the Truck Cap
You will need to spread out a blanket on your truck. The blanket should be bigger than your truck. You should then get someone to help you to flip your truck cap upside down before laying it gently on the blanket. You should then apply an adhesive insulation tape around the truck bed’s entire bottom.
The only place you shouldn’t apply the adhesive insulation tape on is the rear hatch. This is to facilitate the closing and opening of the tailgate.
Mount the Truck Cap
The next thing is to mount the truck cap on the truck bed. When mounting the truck cap, make sure that it is carefully placed so that it sits evenly on both sides of your truck bed.
Secure the Truck Cap
Apply two aluminum hardware clamps against the truck bed cap and rail. You should then drill holes that you will use to fit the truck cap onto the rails using bolts. You should then drill a small hole for the wiring of the tail light assembly.
Wiring the Brake Lights
Locate the brake light wiring. Connect the wires to the high mount brake lights. This can be a tedious process and you may have trouble getting it right. In that case, you can head to YouTube for some tips on how to “Wire tail light for a truck cap”.
There you have your DIY fiberglass camper shell. Don’t be frustrated if you can’t get it right for the first time. Everyone usually runs into a few difficulties when carrying out a DIY project. You can also do your research online to come up with additional ideas. Check out this video on YouTube for some ideas. Feel free to watch other additional videos.
If building a truck camper shell on your own is quite overwhelming, don’t worry, you can try again next time. Meanwhile, you can buy a readymade truck camper shell. Just make sure you choose one that will find on your truck.