Introduction: My Vacation Home
You may have seen my "My Bluebird School Bus Project" where I converted a school bus into my permanent home on wheels. In case you haven't see it you can view it here. In this instructable I will show how I converted a 1992 Ford Ranger into my vacation home (also on wheels). My plan is to travel the USA and see the sights to be seen in this great country. After four years of traveling in the bus I came to realize there were a lot of places I wanted to see that I could not access in the bus. Hence the need for another project. I acquired a 1992 Ford Ranger with a camper top. While this allowed me to access more remote locations than being in the bus, I still had a need to be comfortable. One need was to be able to stand up in the camper. I was getting too old to change clothes lying down.
Step 1: Get Your Pickup
If you don't have a pickup, the first step is to find a pickup that you like. I have a 1992 Ford Ranger that I used. It came with a camper top attached. The second step is to determine how you want to use your "vacation home". I only needed to have it for short visits away from my permanently relocatable home (the bus). I started out trying to build my own lift kit and while searching for parts online I stumbled upon EZ Topper Lift.com. See video. EZ Topper Lift sell the lift kit alone or as a package with the canvas tent.
For those of you "not faint of heart" and the DIY type I found this DIY lift kit video while writing this article. I also found this site where I could have gotten the parts to put it together for less than the commercial kit that I bought. However if you like things simple and complete, you might want to purchase the complete kit from EZ Topper Lift.com.
Step 2: Enjoy
So far I've camped in this setup in several BLM and forest service areas with no problem. It is also cheaper in fuel than taking the bus. My last trip, almost 1000 miles, cost less than $100 in my truck. It would have cost me almost $500 in my bus.
This allows me to camp in the bus somewhere around two to four months at a time. While camped at a central location I can spider out to out lying locations until I've visited the sights I wanted to see and when done I can relocate to another area and spider out from there.