48 Cars In 48 States : Pre-Trip #001 Irene The Camper

A few months ago I announced to the world that I was going to do something big and awesome in 2017. The plan is simple, I’m going to hop in the Galaxie, with the canned ham camper on the back and I’m going to hit all lower 48 states in one monster road trip of a life time.

This weekend I finally got to tear in to the camper to fix some of the rotted wood. Most old campers have some rotted wood, this one had more than I bargained for…

Order the 48 Cars 48 States book here:

It’s only $86.50 shipped anywhere in the USA

If you want to know more of the genesis of this #48Cars48States idea you can check out Episode 113 of Chrome Pipes & Pinstripes Radio Show here or this blog post here. Some details have changed as this is a work in progress and I don’t have enough cars lined up yet so changes will be coming throughout the next few months.

When I bought the camper I did a completely inadequate inspection. Yes I saw the water damage, but I was already buying the camper for about half of what they had been asking for it so I figured that I was going to do some mods anyways, what’s the big deal?

This weekend I found out that the rot that I had seen was nothing compared to the rot that I didn’t see. 80% of the camper is garbage and must be replaced. Lucky for me it’s a simple procedure and I have a good buddy that’s handy with woodworking.

Here’s the camper “Irene” the day I brought her home. Her name comes from the fact that she came from a house on Irene Street.
Here’s the passenger side, the door, the closet and the couch in the back that folds down to a bed.
In the front the dinette had been removed, I’m now sure that it was because it was destroyed with water damage.
The kitchenette area, the ice box and 2 burner stove long gone.
Another shot of the kitchenette.
The square flange with four holes behind the hubs means that it should be simple to add electric trailer brakes. I wouldn\’t bother with them if I was just going to a few car shows with the trailer, but I plan on being in mountains and traffic and adding 2000 lbs to the weight of the car means that I want more braking power. The Galaxie will get disk brakes and the camper will get modern electric drums.
The day before Thanksgiving I hooked up the Galaxie to a utility trailer that I borrowed from my Dad and I headed to Lowes for some wood for the project. Instead of shopping on Friday I loaded up another spare FE engine and took it to Hillsboro Racing Engines in Hillsboro, KS to get it rebuilt for the Galaxie.
My first view of the rot under the aluminum siding. How this works is that the ¾” ply wood walls screw to the floor. Then about 4 places across the roof a 2×2 ties the two sides together, then a thin sheet of plywood wraps around the roof front to back and then the whole thing is wrapped in tin.
So we built some supports to hold the roof up and cut the side out! Here we find more rot underneath.


These folks are making 48 Cars In 48 States possible! Support them, let them know that you appreciate them supporting this adventure

My buddy Ryno is handling getting the Galaxie ready for the trip. If you want your car done right, Ryno is one of the few guys that I trust.
Labor Day Weekend in KC is all about the Greaserama. Held out at the fairgrounds in Tracy, MO, it’s a great time with amazing cars, bands, artists, and people.

One of my favorite shows in the last few years has been Pistons And Paint in Denton, TX each November. Put it on your list!

Check out the far side. NO WOOD LEFT! Plus the floor is rotted about 16″ from the front edge back. And the sides of the floor framing is rotted. So it all got cut out and replaced. 20″ of the front of the floor was replaced as well as the 2×4 on the side of the floor frame.
Here’s the new floor section and the side 2×4 in place.
Rather than take the whole camper down to the bare frame and start from scratch we decided to do sections at a time. The walls and floor will come first then the roof. Then I will add solar panels, a small fridge, hidden air conditioner, batteries for running all of the 12v lights and accessories when I’m not plugged in and a small generator to power the AC and some sort of cooking appliances.
Essentially what I purchased was a life size 3d pattern for a camper and a few items that can be re-used. Here’s the passenger side front section ready for tracing so I can cut a new panel.
And the same for the rear panel. I am making some modifications to the wheel well area so I\’m not finished with the center section yet.
Here’s the passenger side as of 1:30 Sunday afternoon. Jared had to return to Tulsa and I had other stuff to do. I’ll finish up this side’s wood once I figure out how I want to modify the wheel wells they don’t exist now so I’m adding them to make tire removal easier. Then add some exterior house insulation and re skin the walls.

The supports that go across the camper are now re-attached, but the outer plywood and skin on the top are loose because they are destroyed and need to be replaced. So that’s the story as of right now. The camper will be ready to roll on a shakedown trip to the Lonestar Roundup in April.

In February I’ll open up the spots for the photo shoots on the 48Cars in 48 States trip. Essentially I’ll be pre-booking 48 separate photo shoots, one in each state. There are a few spots already spoken for, if you’d like to see if your traditional hot rod, kustom or drag car is a good fit for this project please use the Contact Page to send me a note. For more info on the ins and outs of the plan go here.

See you at a show,


Support Royboy Productions!!!

The easiest way (which costs you nothing) is to share this post!  IF you like this post, share it with your car friends using the social media sharing buttons below or just by sending them the link to this page.  Every set of eyeballs on the site helps!

Or if there’s something you need to buy from Amazon, click here to go there. Drag that link to your menu bar for quick and easy access. It costs you nothing extra and Royboy earns a small commission.

Don’t forget the Royboy Merch!!!! I have keychainscooziesstickers & hats for sale. Every piece you buy gets me further down the road to bring more show coverage and podcasts to you.

All Royboy photos on this site are available as prints up to poster sizes. Buying them not only makes your walls cooler it puts gas in the tank to get me to another car show or feature shoot. Please consider buying a print, if you can’t do that, I understand. Or just hit the Store page and buy something or make a donation!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.