We arrived in Australia on a Thursday, looked at a car on Friday and another one on Saturday. That one was love at first sight. A 2003 Toyota Landcruiser. On Monday we picked it up from his previous owners which had obviously taken good care of him. Except for minor rusty spots Elliot is in great shape for a 16 year old car!
As Cody had already worked on the design for the camper box, we were ready to start right away.
Not interested in the details? Check out the overview of the build here.
On Tuesday, the first materials arrived: aluminium tubes for the frame of the camper box! We immediately started cutting, filing and welding the bottom part of the frame.
Details of the bottom frame
The aluminium frame has been built from 50x50mm SHS with 3mm wall thickness. For the outer frame as well as the cross members.
The outer frame corners are cut on 45° angles and welded together. We decided to have the support tubes slightly closer together in the back of the box, where there is going to be more weight. We also included strengthening gussets in the four corners.
This bottom frame is 1900mm wide and 2500mm long and will serve as a base to build the frame for the walls.
Tipp: Double measure everything! Even if you worked out how long a piece should be in theory, the reality can vary some millimeters. When welding, due to the heat, the frame can shrink or expand in some places. If this happens make sure to correct it as soon as you realize. This frame is the base for everything else, so if you mess this up now, everything else will be wonky, too!
On the second day of building we went upwards!
On top of the frame that we built on Day 1, we started building the bars that would support the walls , doors and the pop up ceiling, the lid as we call it.
Details of the upper frame
For this part of the frame we used 50x25mm tube, 2.5mm wall thickness. The walls of the frame are on an 8° angle. We cut the base of the upwards tubes on 8° to match the angle that we were aiming for. It aligns very well with the angle of the cab of the 2003 Toyota Landcruiser. The top 120mm are again vertical.
Tipp: You can adjust this angle to suit your car. It is also possible to have a cube shaped box, however, we were aiming for a more streamline shape.
The gap for the two rear doors is 1300mm wide. The top of the box is 3000mm long and will stick out over the cab of the car. At this stage, without the roof, the box is 1220mm high, off the bottom frame.
The front section for the spare tires is 350mm wide, the doors will be 300mm wide.
Tip: Adjust the size of the tire compartment (door) to the width of your tires.
C-Channels and chassis mounts
After having finished the frame, we had to weld on two big C-Channels. These will not only add to the stability, but also serve as the base to be screwed to the chassis rails of the 2003 Toyota Landcruiser, after we take off the tray.
Details of the C-Channels
We welded on two parallel C-Channels front to back, with the opening facing inwards. We measured exactly where we were going to attach the camper box to the chassis of the Landcruiser and welded the C-Channels under the frame with that distance in between them. The C-Channels are 100x50x6mm thick. The height of the C-Channels (100mm) will allow for enough space for water tanks under the box and clearance.
Details of the mounts
We made six small angle brackets which bolt to the chassis rails as well as the C-Channels on the camper box. These are fixed on with high tensile M12 bolts and lock nuts.
Find out more about the next step: The Walls here.