Truck and Camper Modification

This will be a long, technical post geared more towards those individuals who like turning wrenches and are skilled at it.  Ken has done all the mechanical work on the truck and the camper except for a very few things.  I’m a lucky girl to have him and his insane ability to fabricate and fix anything, I barely know the difference between an Allen wrench and a regular wrench….is there a difference?

If you have read about our trip prep, we spent a few months scouring Craiglist and the internet dreaming of our ultimate PanAm vehicle.  It turns out our ultimate PanAm vehicle was way out of our price range.  We realized we could utilize Ken’s Ford Ranger, but then needed to find a suitable camper to fit in the back, one that was not too heavy or large.  Enter Suzie Skamper, a 1988 pop top truck Skamper camper.  Unfortunately, the previous owners had rarely used her and due to an extremely heavy snowfall the past winter there was a significant amount of water damage to the roof.

Suzie Skamper disrobed and ready for a makeover

It is much easier to list out everything we, meaning Ken, has done to both the camper and truck, so here it is.


  • Removed water saturated ceiling and replaced with foam board and plywood.
  • Sealed all seams with 3M 5200
  • 2×4’s on roof to mount 40W solar panel and roof rack
  • Roof rack fabricated out of 3/4″ pipe
  • Deep cycle battery for camper
  • Solar charge controller and battery isolator in order to for the alternator from the truck to charge both batteries
  • 400W AC/DC inverter with USB port
  • New fuse panel and complete rewiring
  • Installed 3x 3W LED lighting in the camper, 6W flood light outside
  • 12 volt fan over bed
  • Installed fans (actually old computer fans) in the vent over the stove
  • Dead bolt and new door knob on camper door
  • Removed the pain in the hole screen door
  • New water pump and faucet
  • Everpure Charcoal filtration system for water purification
  • New propane regulator, hose, and thermocoupler for the heater
  • Custom awning conceived and created by Ken Inc.
  • Reinforced rear side doors and master locks to side doors and propane door
  • New curtains thanks to our fabulous friend Krista

Homey and read to roll!

Gonna have to get creative with just a 2 burner stove.


  • BF Goodrich All Terrain LT 245/75/R16 E (Ken’s pride and joy, I think he has Armor All’d them at least 2 times in the past week)
  • Firestone Sport-Rite air springs
  • Shocks
  • Alignment
  • Towing mirrors
  • Hidden kill switch
  • Radio with auxillary and USB input
  • Locking gas cap
  • Ball hitch converted to step
  • Custom shelf in extended cab
  • Isn’t she pretty?


Lets get this show on the road!


5 thoughts on “Truck and Camper Modification

  1. nice work! I want to see the awninig you made, Ive tried rigging one up on the road out of tarps, bungees, and painters poles. Needless to say its a disaster.

    • Damnation! Looks like we’ll need to rethink our awning. Basically made out of a tarp, painter poles, paracord, and tent stakes. Hilarious. We weren’t willing to shell out the bucks for a manufactured awning…guess we’ll see!

  2. Lookin’ good guys, that Skamper looks much more comfy than our tiny Toyota and budget friendly too!

    Think long and hard about that manufactured awning…1000x cheaper in the states and worth the convenience. We’ve wasted quite a few dollars at cafes, just trying to rehab in some shade, so we wish we would’ve picked one up before heading south.

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