When I started planning my Alaska trip, which turned into a North America trip, I decided to get a camper shell. I found a used one online for $300. It was a dark blue and the clear coat was chipping off. It was also from an older Ranger, but still fit and worked for what I would need it for. To top if off the price wasn’t bad.
Starting the overhaul of the camper all the windows and hardware were removed. I spend about one weekend sanding the whole thing down. After sanding my friend Marc painted the shell black. Marc and I then wet sanded the whole thing to try and make the rattle can job look better. Yeah, it got messy. Puddles of paint dust and water was all over the garage flood. Next I started building a small roof rack for extra gear I wanted to carry. I used a small diameter tubing to keep weight low. About 1 inch if I recall correctly. The uprights and cross bars were welded in place. I also added to small pieces in between the cross bars to strap a spare tire to the rack. (See pic 8 below) Over time I added four Hella 500 driving lights to the rack and a CB antenna. The front of the rack, where the lights are, is angled backwards. I did this to keep the lights from being damaged if gear slid forward. The downside is I had to adjust the lights if I hit and tree branches. That didn’t happen too much though. At its max all the gear I had on the roof rack for my 2007 North America trip was : a box that had spare parts, fluids, jumper cables and such. Back in the camper I added a small 12 volt light at the rear. I got this from IKEA. Yep, not you usual off road shop…haha. (Pic 4) Sleeping in the camper shell was decent. My friend Tim was getting ready to hop out while at Monument Valley. (Pic 5) There wasn’t much head room with the platform I had built. But enough that it was manageable. Later I removed the platform and ended up sleeping on my clothing bags as a bed.