Posted by: Steve and Bethany | March 23, 2009

THE CONCEPT

date; 3/16/09

Back in 2001 I got the idea in my head to build my ultimate 4×4 motor home. It came to me during a 4 day hike through the Beartooth Mountains. I saw this camper as a pop-up even at that time, already knowing the benefits of that on small dirt roads (nimble through the woods was my goal). At the time, I envisioned this built on what I thought was the ultimate four wheel drive vehicle, the hummer H-1. With that assusketches-002mption in mind, I started laying out a rough floor plan, enough to find certain dimensional & spacial problems, fortunately I kept myself busy with architectural projects while ideas fermented in my head. A true H-1 has one huge hump down the middle, and although its width was good, the length was too short for my needs. So I began looking into kit hummers such as  the badlands rt.

http://www.classicroadsters.ca/html/badlands_rt.html

or the catvee

http://www.catvee.com/cat9_1.htm

but the length was still a problem, that plus hummers developed a bad name, & the H-2 or H-3.. .. come on.  So I kept looking around for a year or so until I saw an older suburban, nice body shape, looks good lifted, but length & width were too small, so this only lasted a couple months. Then I finally did some sketches with a camper built on the back of a cab & chassis, not the motor home look I was originally thinking, but my first sketches looked good & solved all the dimensional problems.

Now I had a platform in my head to work with, so the goals are many:

A pop up roof, similar to the four wheel camper, but hydrolically lifted, as this roof would be too much bigger & heavier to lift by hand. This would help maintain a low center of gravity, bigger tires to increase my clearance between dirt to differential, but no lift.

A queen size bed that does not require pulling out or more importantly pushing back in, or removing the bedding from, to put the roof down (the four wheel requires both).

Outside storage for dirty items like firewood, chains, tools, a high lift jack, a spare tire, cookstove, camp chairs & table, sand ladders, & emergency gas cans(I almost learned this once the hard way up in the yukon) as well as propane storage, an outside water spicket, water hose & key lock.

A power system including two AGM batteries, a twelve volt charger/converter for line current, solar panels & controller.

Interior amenities, such as two dog beds just behind the cab’s seats dresser drawers, dry food pantry, a cabinet for cookware, min 20 gallon water tank, ¾ height 3 way fridge, sink & cooktop of course, hanging cabinet for jackets, another cab for toiletries, a heater.

Truck amenities will include:

Power winches front & rear, two navigation systems, one in dash for roads, one dashtop handheld for trails, dirt roads, topo maps etc.,  a custom center console for maps,  books etc., a place to hide & lock cash, direct access back into the camper (& to dog’s noses), & a CB radio.

This also, was to remain a camper, not a home for years at a time, but capable of trips of 2 to 3 months, and I’m a sunshine camper, so given this, this vehicle will remain smaller than a true expedition vehicle, not have the same requirements of a full time domocile, but absolutely will maintain extreme offroad accessibility

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