After months of internet research, Craigslist scouring, and pipe dreams of pimped out Volkswagen Westfalias and Landcruisers, we found the perfect overlanding vehicle right in our driveway; Ken’s Ford Ranger. Not only did it have 4 wheel drive and has been mostly meticulously maintained by Ken, we also stumbled on a rare Skamper pop up camper in Seward and sweet talked the owners into selling.
As anyone knows who has researched or has any knowledge of pop up truck campers, finding an affordable, light, durable camper to fit on the back of a Ford Ranger is extremely difficult. We did not have the budget to spend $10,000 + on a new pop up with all the bells and whistles, so our affordable 1988 Skamper has and continues to need quite a few modifications. Since I’m not the mechanically minded part of our duo, there will have to a separate post (click here) to satisfy the curiosities of all the gear heads out there, and my simple descriptions will have to suffice for now.
It turns out, after being outside during a record snow year coupled with a few tiny pinholes in the roof equals 200 lbs of wet, rotten plywood and insulation. Ken and a few friends tore everything out, replaced the insulation and plywood, and expoxied the crap out of all the seams and holes.
After the coldest July in the record books along with a lot of rain, the repair has held strong.
Ken acquired and mounted a solar panel and is rewiring and installing new LED lights and an oscillating ceiling fan as well as replumbing the leaky hand pump faucet in the sink. Actually he is doing a lion’s share of the modifications to the camper and the truck including a long list of upgrades to the Ranger.
In an effort to update the dated 80’s interior which included faded tropical floral curtains, faux wood paneling and dusty rose pink upholstery, I tried my hand at craftiness. I guess I am going to have to stick to cooking, nursing, reading, and drinking beer because I failed miserably at being crafty. I managed to successfully coat the stove cover with flammable paint and unsuccessfully dye the cushion covers, albeit they are now very clean. Despite my best efforts and because of Ken’s, Suzie Skamper will be the lean, mean driving machine she was supposed to be.