Posted by: Steve and Bethany | January 21, 2009

UPHOLSTERY & PAINT

5/4/11

After a week at Stans Upholstery in Eugene, & a couple small  details I did, the interior of the bullet is totally done. Stans did an amazing job working with all the curves, & print patterns we chose, making the boot between the camper & the cab, curtains, cushions, lining the bed cabinets, making bungee cargo nets for the rear wall storage shelves, dog beds, & cargo nets to protect the dogs (& our heads) in case of a quick stop, plus a comforter cover & pillows for the bed. I would HIGHLY recommend them.

they pulled the cab's interior completely out to fabricate the boot

the boot between the cab & dog bed area

cargo netting with bungee to keep things in

don't forget about this!

I had Stans put 2″ of dense foam on both sides of the pee toilet lift, then put a softer foam on top of all three pieces, so the cushions have the same softness across the whole bench

bedding & bed cabs

lining on the interior of the bed cabs

the dog bed area (x two dogs) i wanted the dogs to be able to see down the road as we drive

While Stans did the upholstery, I had randy at Harvest Valley Specialties make up some stainless custom short railings for the above-the-counter shelves, I made full size templates to help get the exact dimensions & curves right. I installed those yesterday

& also yesterday, I met with the exterior painter with the first mock up of the exterior accent. The main body will, of course, be silver, to match the cab, but I was concerned about there being too much silver & looking like a refridgeration truck, or the dog officer’s truck, so I needed an accent to break up this otherwise big plane of silver.

we talked out several ideas, including stripes, fades  & images, before arriving at this

This will be done in a charcoal color, & go across the lower portion of the body, curving up & down, to give some dimension & curves to soften things a bit.

5/21/11

The bullet’s been up at the painters this last week, getting proper prep & painting done. As of yesterday, the main body color & the charcoal detail are done, I also had a painting template of the bullet’s logo made, & had the lettering painted on with the main body color because I decided to have the back nameplate covered with the charcoal accent verses the main silver color with charcoal vinyl lettering that was on there, this will all get covered with the three coats of clear-coat on Monday.

the charcoal detail

Jeff, cleaning up the lettering

On Tuesday, the truck will get put back together, & should be ready for pick up.

5/30/11

I picked up the Bullet last Wednesday, Bethany & I got it packed that night & Thursday, & left Thursday night for the first trip over to central Oregon, I was looking forward to testing all the systems in the camper, making sure they all worked together,  this part of Oregon is in the high desert, ‘desert’ being the fundamental word. Most years, during this same weekend, the days are 65 degrees, nights are maybe 40 degrees,

not this year

not quite summer temperatures

This ended up being a far better weekend to test everything than I could’ve hoped for (but really didn’t want) temps were between 28 & 34  degrees all weekend, but fortunately everything worked perfectly. As a matter of fact, the Bullet kept a much warmer  temperature inside than I ever would’ve expected. Bethany & I really aren’t snow campers, so I wasn’t too concerned about insulating value or the soft sides, but after three days of these temps, there was only minimal condensation or bridging on the softwalls or aluminum wall cap on the interior. We kept the heater, water pump, fridge, water heater, & air compressor on all weekend (the latter used to fill up a raft) & had no problem with battery power, water level, & only used about 3/8 tank of propane. One thing however, didn’t go as planned

Now, we all know I’ve tried to pre-think everything going into the Bullet, but one HUGE thing I can’t foresee, (none of us can), is the unintended consequences of our actions. I thought out each scenario of how Bethany & I would use the camper, & thought I had all situations pre determined, but the biggest surprise of the weekend was that given the outdoor temperatures, Bethany actually offered… .. repeatedly.. .  to do the dishes! pay attention gentleman, seems the 28 degree outside temp, got Bethany thinking fondly about standing inside the camper, with warm air blowing at her feet, & warm water pouring over her hands. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!

At this point, everything, I mean EVERYTHING worked perfectly, so much so, we may not need to take this year to make small trips to work out all the kinks, we may just take our cross-country trip sooner than expected.

Enough about the weekend, onto the finished product.

I darkened the accent color a bit, from the mock-up

& remember, this all started as an improvement to my four wheel camper.. …

hard to believe…

I’m not one to talk about our day-to-day lives or camping, (I’m sure you can go to Facebook to read about other people’s lives) so, this will be probably the second to the last post. I’ll post one more time at the end of the summer, with specs, changes made etc. as well as any specific info requested.

Remember one thing, I don’t have a great shop filled with state of the art tools, & before this project, I didn’t have any real automotive skills, (or curving cabinet making skills)! I just had an idea that kept me awake at night, basic hand coordination, the ability to figure things out, & a hell of a lot of stamina.

The most important thing I’ve learned about myself over the past 20 years, is to just ‘start’ , once I start something, the momentum’s there. I always figure it out as I go, & I ALWAYS finish it.

P.S.

in case you were concerned about the dogs experience, they settled in  quickly to their new bedrooms.. .. 

annie, always watching as we drive

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Responses

  1. Steve, On my next trip to Africa, I will get you real Zebra and Bengal Tiger skin for the rig. Synthetic is completely unacceptable.

  2. I’ve now followed your build from start to finish in real time…and I’m still amazed. I was right there with you until final fitout when the project went from understandable technical design issues to a work of art. Like watching a gifted painter work you see layer on layer of paint go on and it’s interesting, then all of a sudden there’s a whole damn painting finished in front of your eyes and you’re left wondering what you missed.

    Congrats on a beautiful job and I hope you two have wonderful times with your new camper.

    Les

  3. this is amazing work! it should be featured in a magazine.

  4. looks really good.

  5. Very impressed… just read this front to back in one sitting. Will be following the progress and look forward to some trail shots!
    Greg

  6. This is awesome! I hope you have a fabulous journey across the country. Please let us know if you will be blogging you trip! Diane

  7. Driving around the neighborhood Friday –
    Wow! – BulletXV in front of your house -That is a serious bespoke toy –
    -Went home and found this blog – Grabbed my camera went back -Perfection —
    Spent the next morning reading these excellent details and photos –
    My Apache camper has been in places it shouldn’t have gone but now it seems less foolish to have done it.
    The “Old School Vineyard” house and “Personal Residence and Office” galleries on your web page are similar eye-candy treat
    I’ve lived in the shadow of your hilltop aerie for 50years – my kids spent afternoons digging fossils out of the cut bank on the other side of your street over 40 years ago – Good to know such a talented yet modest person has worked and lived for 14 years in this area –

    Thank you for sharing your art and projects with us,

    • tell you what,
      I’ll show you the inside of the Bullet, & you show me the inside of that red Camaro!

  8. just saw you guys out camping last night,truck look great,got the wife thinking she dosn’t want to tent anymore,awesome job!


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