48 Cars In 48 States : Pre-Trip #004 Irene The Camper Makes Her First Trip!

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I’m a bit tardy on this update on the camper, but only because I was so busy working on it that I couldn’t take the time to sit and write this up! Since the last update I’ve gotten the camper on the road again and made my first road trip with it. 1400 miles rolled under her since leaving the garage a couple of weeks ago and there’s still a lot of work to be done.

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Picking up where I left off it was time to finish the front and rear of the camper’s wood replacement. I started with the rear. Using a 2×2 that was spaced up ⅛” to anchor the wood, I slid it in place and started bending it up around the curve, nailing as I went. This was all done by me alone so there are no in progress photos.
Here’s the rear of the camper with the wood all done! Looks good so far.
While I was working on the rear and front of the wood replacement Jared was building a new desk for the front of the camper, plus a new top for the kitchenette & a step for outside of the door. The desk and the countertop were both built from wood ripped down from old pallets. Great work buddy!
Here’s the desk installed.
Kitchenette and desk installed
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Since these things all leak eventually I got some deck sealant and sealed the entire exterior of the camper.
Desk and counter top installed
Test fitting the cooler and the desk chair
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Next up was to wrap the exterior of the camper with the bubblewrap type insulation. Top first.
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Then the sides, trim all of the openings, and tape it up to seal it as best I can.
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On the roof I went an extra step and wrapped the camper with Tyvek. Any water that gets in should run right out… in theory.


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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!

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Then it was time to do the side panels. I put the originals back on even though they are a bit rough and banged up.
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The drivers side wasn’t much better
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The new storage doors look great! Thanks to Corey Conyers at Crown Custom in Wichita for making them. Now I just need to get new rain gutters for them! On the left you can see the state of the aluminum.
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Next up it was time to wire the running lights. I made a harness (about 6 ft too long, oops), taped the wires every foot or so then wrapped the bundle in some split loom.
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My soldering skills need some work, it’s been years. These are the wires from the side lights and turn signals.
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I ordered up some replacement clearance lights that exactly duplicate the originals. They all have super bright LED bulbs in them now. The amber ones work great, the reds… well when the sun hits the side of the lens you can’t tell if the lights are on or off. You can see in this image that I have run a ground wire to each light. I didn’t want to rely on using the skin to ground the lights.
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New Wheelsmith wheels from Speedway mounted with the tires that were brand new when I bought the trailer. These are mounted on the brand new axle with brakes and EZ lube hubs.
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Then it was time to start wrapping the skin. Since I added width to the trailer by adding the insulation on the outside of the walls the old skin wasn’t wide enough to wrap around the sides like it should. That’s okay, it was super flimsy and really beaten up from hail damage. Here you can see the straps holding the new aluminum in place while I bent the edges over and stapled it into place.
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The new aluminum that I got from my buddies at The Sign House was 103″ wide and 21ft long, you can see here how much needed to be trimmed off, and the rear lights have been installed.
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Here’s a shot of the old roof (bottom side up), it saw just a weeeeeee bit of hail over the years.
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I did use a bit too much overlap when I bent the edges, but it’s on and looks pretty good except for that. The rear window has been reinstalled, the rain guard as well. I got a new license plate holder with built in light as well.
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Pretty much the same shot as last time. I really need to clean those hand prints off.
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Since the new mattress that I got cannot really fold up, I decided to build the camper so that the bed would always be down. Under the bed I built compartments for the battery system and the AC. Yes I know that the batteries need to be vented to the outside world, they are now. Yes, I know that the AC produces a lot of heat and that you need to get rid of the heat from the back side of the AC. I have holes in the floor, covered with screen and will use fans to force air through the AC compartment. I didn’t want to take up storage space in the back section under the bed and for sure didn’t want an ugly AC unit hanging out the back or an equally as ugly roof top unit that would be too heavy for my roof any ways.
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Here’s the compartment after I finished the construction part of it. Still need to finish the forced air system and of course make it look good.
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I then went to Lowes and bought a bunch of square aluminum tubing so that I could build a rack to hold the solar panels without putting any stress on the roof itself. It bolts through the side walls and so far the rack works awesome.
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The first night it was out of the garage I took a 10 mile test drive… pulled okay, but the car has no pulling power with the 2.75 rear gear. I had to deflate the tires to get the camper out of the garage so there’s no going back in now!
The next day it rained for 14 straight hours. I found that the roof vent is leaking, but I think I know how to fix it. I installed a 3rd brake light so that I had some sort of visible brake light, more to do on that front. Then my buddy Brian came out and installed my brake controller in the Galaxie. I was so spent that I couldn’t have gotten it done. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, I was exhausted, having a friend help made it happen. Thanks Brian.
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Just minutes after calling it good for the road I met up with Dennis in the 32 Ford and we drove to Wichita to meet up with Steve in the pickup and headed south. This was at the second fuel stop where I realized that we would be stopping about every 120 miles, this trip was about to get expensive and long.
2017; lonestar; Round; 001; LSRU; lonestar round up; round up; texas
Here we are at the Meatheads CC BBQ on Thursday outside of Taylor, TX. The camper made it! We stopped in Alvarado on Wednesday night and I woke up to about 40degrees on Thursday morning. Some extra blankets kept me cozy.


I have a ton more to do, but the first 1400 miles went great! I am having the 2.75 gears swapped out for a set of 3.50’s that I have in the garage to see how that affects the pulling power. Next event for the camper is the Stray Kat 500 in Dewey, OK the first weekend of May. Come see it and say hi!

See you at a show,


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