Truck Camper Restoration Project - Part 1
After a lengthy bit of pondering over what sort of RV I'd like to have I decided that a truck camper would be the best fit for where I want to go and the type of camping that I'd like to do. Dispersed camping on NFS and BLM lands and boondocking are the combination that I find most appealing. After 56 Michigan winters, I want to head to the Southwest for at least four months a year when I retire and enjoy some sunshine and scenic views. Of course, if one is going to spend time in the mountains a four-season camper would seem to be a good solution and after a bit of research I decided that I'd like to try a Bigfoot.
Finding a Bigfoot east of the Mississippi can be a challenge in and of itself. I looked on Craigslist via SearchTempest for a few months and always seemed to be the 2nd caller. Finally, I came upon a 1998 Bigfoot 3000 30C10.11FR (no slide) fixer-upper in New Castle, PA that had some water damage, for $3400. As usual, had I known then what I know now I would have offered $1200 for it, but at least having been an electrician for the past 38 years and being pretty handy in carpentry too, I've been able to do all the repairs and a few improvements myself. To date I have about $5600 into the project and should end up with a fairly nice, albeit huge truck camper.
A friend of mine and I fetched the camper home on April 4th on a U-Haul car hauler trailer. Fortunately, my boss invited me to put it in the back of the shop to work on it, and I've been able to spend three of four evenings a week as well as most Saturdays and Sundays working on it. At this point the project is nearly done, with just a bit of caulking and the installation of some solar panels and a charge controller to be done. I also want to add a lithium ion battery pack, but that can wait for the time being. The next step will be to build a trailer for it as my 1/2 ton Silverado isn't able to carry it. My plan is to buy a suitable truck when I retire in a few years as there's no point in having a one-ton dually sitting in the driveway 49 weeks a year.
Tom - KK8M -Warren, Michigan
MI Licensed Electrician, ISA Level 2 Certified I&C Tech, UL Certified PV Installer, Organic "Olla Irrigation" Gardener and bona fide Schlepper