Army Truck Camper With Trailer

What To Do With a Military Truck

If you're thinking of buying a military truck you've probably already got a good idea what to do with it. Well, that would be the smart thing. When I first bought my Leyland DAF T244 ex-military 4x4 truck I knew I wanted to turn it into somewhere to sleep, to have adventures and holidays with my family. But then I bought a trailer too and the options became limitless.

What I’ve Done With My Adventure Truck

I’ve completed the habitation box of my truck now, and it’s great to see my planning and hard work come together. Some of the design specifics I’ve incorporated into my build are a reflection of my beliefs. I like functional over flashy and I hate waste, preferring to make do and mend than to buy new. I also like a little bit of stealth, having a truck that doesn’t immediately look like a camper is useful, I think. There are some luxuries that I simply cannot do without though, so like everything, it’s all a balance.

Habitation Box Specifications

From the start the main point I knew I had to incorporate was a full size shower with house water pressure. My plan was to have the luxuries of an apartment on wheels, so a small shower and dribbling shower head would have killed the dream for me. I also wanted a fixed double bed, and the kids beds also had to be full size, since I’d use the truck with friends as well. Lastly on my list of must-haves, I wanted a house radiator. I spent years travelling around in a lorry and sleeping in the bunk; the hot air blowers fitted to commercial trucks always give you dry-mouth as the heated air is dry. My completed habitation box includes:

Habitation Box Inside Dash View of Leyland DAF T244

Camper Truck Specifications

Some of my requirements are included in my army truck camper blog, which covers all the details of the build. The biggest requirement is that I need to seat 4 people in the cab; the truck will mostly be used by me, my wife and 2 kids. Fortunately, the Leyland DAF T244 has a larger spaced cab, allowing small seating to be fitted rear of the front seats. Something else that I thought important was the ease of repairs on the road and being able to service the vehicle myself. The truck is really simple, mechanically, and since it was made in 1992 it doesn’t have an ECU or complicated electronics. Most parts are easily exchanged in repair and some parts can be repaired and rebuilt. All in all, a good base truck for adventures. Some of its features include:

Further Changes Planned

I’m still to paint the outside of the box and truck, but the habitation area is complete. However, the truck will never be complete, and I’ve still lots more planned.

The stock power is 145 bhp, equipped with a very low gearbox the truck doesn’t struggle too much. However, I do have a large trailer and when towing this it is definitely under powered. The Cummins 6BT engine can be tweaked to get more power easily, in fact, people have tuned these lumps to 1,000 bhp. I’m only looking for a clear 200 bhp. To achieve this I’ll be changing my stock CAV fuel pump for a Bosch VE and then adjusting the pump for more power. I’ll be replacing the injectors too, twinned with the new fuel pump. I’ve also bought a Holset HX35W Turbo to replace the standard. Since I’m cramming more fuel into the engine I need the turbo to ram more air too.

Cummins 6BT Engine

As mentioned above, the gearbox is very low geared, but the main problem is that there is no overdrive gear to reduce revs when cruising on a motorway. Currently the final gear is 1:1, but I’d like to find a replacement gearbox at around 0:75. Although, technically, the truck would then be able to drive faster (standard top speed is 58mph), the modification is more about reducing revs and using less fuel to cruise. According to the manufacturer handbook, the vehicle can sustain cruising speeds of 54mph, which I don’t doubt, but the noise of the engine revving high enough to achieve that is more than a little off-putting.

What To Do With A Military Trailer

I bought a great big twin-axle box trailer from the military auctions. It was originally an ammunition conditioning fridge trailer. As such it’s very well insulated and, once I removed the shelving, inside has a good open space.

I bought the trailer just because I love it! It is fun to drive, suits the truck perfectly and has a perfect pedestrian rear door. My idea for the trailer has changed throughout the time I’ve owned it. Originally it was extra accommodation for friends and family, then it was going to be a mobile English pub and now I think I’ve finalised the concept.

The army truck trailer will now be an extension to the main truck. The truck is perfect for travelling around, giving a mobile home while on the road. It holds absolutely everything needed for the best road trips. But, when I want a holiday somewhere and prefer the comforts over the ever changing environment around me, I can use the trailer. The trailer will have a full-sized kitchen, sofa sitting area, log burner, house style toilet, shower and bedroom with bunks. I’m planning two large water tanks, lots of gas, solar and space.

Rather than driving, the trailer can be parked for a longer period, allowing for more relaxed time away. Drop the trailer and make a base-camp, using the truck for day’s out while returning to the tiny-home comforts. Home away from home.

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