overland

80/20 Interior Buildout for Camper

OTG Ben

OTG Principal Explorer
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Apr 24, 2021
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329
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NorCal
If you've been following our IG feed, you saw that our Ram 3500 was outfitted with an AT Overland Atlas Camper this March. All of AT's camper models (save the Aterra) come as raw shells, meaning they don't come with any sort of interior storage/buildout. The owner can simply leave it as it, but many folks, like myself decide to do their own buildouts. Rather than drop $10k on storage modules from Goose Gear, I thought it would be more fun to design my own interior, and then build it out using 80/20 aluminum extrusions (the same stuff GG uses for to frame all of their modules).


This is one of those situation's where I wish I was an engineer by training, or at least had the CAD skills to design everything on the computer. However, this may not have worked out so well, as the Ram 3500's truck bed is not a perfect rectangle! It's actually more like a trapezoid, and the height of the box is different if you measure from the bed at the tailgate vs where it meets the cab-- ugh!! With theses challenges in mind, I figured it made the most sense to draw everything up with approximate dimensions based on the truck bed measurements, and then to create a prototype using cheap 1x1" wood boards. Thank god I went this route because I found a few flaws in my initial design for things that are hard to account for with even a CAD modeled design. For example, I hadn't accounted for extra 1/2" of space that was needed to allow the dometic fridge door to open and close.

I'd sketched all of my design ideas out on 8x11 paper for beginners, and then once I'd settled on a design I used google sheets to capture all of the measurements. It was super helpful to go this route to keep track of the length of the various aluminum extrusions that I'd need, but a CAD program loaded with 80/20 parts would be super useful as I'd be able to include the various corner braces and joints that would be needed. Also, the Spreadsheet approachonly allows you to view your design in 2D, so you've gotta make your designs from a side view( like below) and a top view). Even then it can be super easy to miss pieces that do not sit at the floor level or top level (thinking drawers and other things that sit somewhere between these two levels).

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Here's the "top view" of the unit, but it only shows the extrusions that will attach to the floor. There was a lot of mental modeling that I needed to do in order to capture all of the extrusions that sat somewhere between the floor and top levels!

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Here's the wood prototype that I'd built to confirm the fitting of the fridge, along with the length and width dimensions. This isn't a complete prototype. I'd opted to only focus on pieces of the design where I needed to test the fitment within the truck, and components like the fridge. The opposite side of the fridge is essentially a storage bench, so I wasn't too concerned about this module fitting.

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Here's phase 1 of the buildout that I started a few weeks back. In hindsight, I would've broken this down into three separate modules that can be bolted together, instead of one giant module. I'll get into that later, but I think it'll become quite obvious as to why this is a major flaw-- at least in what it means for the amount of work required to install in the camper!

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I'm headed out of town this weekend (not an overlanding trip), but I'm hoping once we're back in town next week, I'll be able to resume the build, as the remaining extrusions arrived yesterday!!

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Davidnig

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Nov 20, 2022
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