2017 - Volume #41, Issue #4, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Bulk Feed Tank Converted To “Rocket Camper”
“My friend R. L. Blair actually designed and built it. It was a fun challenge,” says Stracener.
The converted feed tank has a 24-in. dia. round window on front, a 24-in. square hinged air vent with plexiglass on top, and a door with plexiglass window and a 5,000-btu air conditioner on back.
“It isn’t fancy and has only a single twin bed in front,” says Stracener. “The floor, walls, and ceiling are insulated and lined with plywood. But it’s all I’ll need. I pull it behind my 1/2-ton pickup to antique tractor shows and festivals.”
Stracener got the tank from a friend who had recently bought a chicken farm. The 8-ft. tall, 7-ft. dia. tank is made of galvanized steel. Blair removed the fill hole, cone and ladder, then bolted the tank sideways onto the trailer frame. He used an 8-ft. length of 38-in. wide, 3/4-in. thick plywood to make the floor and very thin plywood to form the walls and ceiling. To form the walls he spaced 1 by 4’s 18 in. apart from the floor all the way up to a plywood ceiling that installed on top of the tank, and then ran screws into the 1 by 4’s from the outside. He installed 1/2-in. thick, R-30 Styrofoam between the 1 by 4’s, and then placed 4 by 8-ft. thin panels against the 1 by 4’s and stapled them on.
Curved metal bracing salvaged from the ladder was used to make a frame that supports the plexiglass window on front of the camper.
“It was very awkward to work inside the tank until the floor was installed because you always had to stand at an angle. But it turned out nice. Even though I’m 6 ft. tall I still have 2 to 3 in. of head clearance,” says Stracener.
Blair mounted a big hinged storage box on the trailer tongue just ahead of the camper. He made a “porch” at the back of the trailer by cutting up the ladder and bolting various parts onto the trailer floor to form handrails. Portable fold-down steps lead up into the trailer.
The bucket afterburners are screwed to the camper’s back wall. “When you’re driving behind the camper at night, the red reflectors look a lot like flames,” says Stracener.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harry Stracener, 514 Tanglewood Trail, Buda, Texas 78610 (ph 512 497-1151).
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