Pop Up Camper Storage Box Rebuild

Front Storage Box Pop Up Camper

From the beginning, the front storage box on our Coleman Pop Up was a problem. The lid was breaking and wouldn’t seal correctly. The floor was rotten and falling apart. Basically, we were one bump away from losing the entire thing. So a Pop Up Camper Storage Box Rebuild ended up at the TOP of the must-do list.

Taking the Box Apart!

Taking the Storage Box off the Coleman Pop Up

This was the fun part! At first, we were going to try and keep the outside panels and reuse them but as we took the box apart we ended up cracking them and it wasn’t worth saving. We had a big pile for the dump when we were done. As a side note, the water heater was housed in this storage box, you can read about our replacement here.

From there I looked up buying new ones and that was just out of our budget!! My dad’s response was that we could rebuild it better than it was built in the first place.

Rebuilding the Floor

Rebuilding the Storage Box Floor. Coleman Pop Up
Henleigh was all about helping for this project so you will see her cute face in a lot of the pictures. 🙂

We decided to do away with the pass through that went from the inside of camper to the storage box. So to close off the area we used MDF board and screwed it into the existing walls.

Building the Walls

To make the frame we used 2×4’s cut in half on the table saw. To make the support for the top we notched into the boards so that everything laid flat. For the new top, we decided to have 2 smaller doors that opened instead of one big door. This also meant that we could divide the compartment to prevent things from sliding around.

We made sure to give the top a slight slant so that the water would runoff.

Once all the framing was done we covered the entire thing with plywood. Attaching the plywood to the outside of the framing. We waited to cut the door on the top till the very end.

Building the Storage Box Walls. Coleman Pop Up

Making it Waterproof

We covered the walls with fiberglass sheets that you can get from Lowes. We didn’t want to put any holes in them so we used Construction Adhesive and glued the sheets to the plywood.

On the seems we glued aluminum angle (you can find them at Lowes) and then caulked. We recommend using 3M- 5200 Fast Cure Polyurethane Adhesive/Sealant when caulking.

Waterproofing the outside. Coleman Pop Up
Because we didn’t use any screws or nails Jamie and my Dad created this contraption to keep the fiberglass panels on while the glue dried.

The inside of the storage box was given a coat of polyurethane as a layer of added protection.

Hatches & Latches

Storage Box hatches and latches. Coleman Pop Up Camper

For the two side compartments we ordered used doors off of eBay. I searched forever trying to find two hatches that would fit in our budget and give us the most room to get into the box. The doors ended up measuring 16.25″ x 12.75″.

For the top, we created hatches by cutting rectangles (with rounded corners) out of the top. Then we framed the cut out with a piece of metal about 1 1/2″ wide by 1/8″-3/16″ thick. My Dad created a jig to conform the metal perfectly to the inside of the rounded corners. Now the only thing to do was to use 1 straight piece of metal, bending all the corners at just the right place, to create the lip needed for the rubber seal. Each was sized to perfection then predrilled so they could be screwed into place with stainless steel pan head screws but before that, we removed the metal rim and cleaned it with denatured alcohol and applied a bead of 3M 5200 Marine Fast Cure Polyurethane Adhesive/Sealant to all the surfaces the metal rim will contact. Reinstall metal rim and secure with the stainless steel screws in the holes that have been predrilled. Once secured a bead of the 5200 was applied to the top where the metal rim meets the fiberglass sheeting and another bead was applied to the underside of the metal rim inside the storage compartment. Once the adhesive/sealant cured we lined the top opening with a thin piece of aluminum so that the rubber seal would have something to stick to. For the lids we used the same process as we did for the walls to make a lid that was slightly bigger than the opening, this was edged with aluminum angle and Southco M1-20-31-58 Compression Latches were used to keep the cover watertight and in place.

Extras

1999 Coleman Fleetwood Bayside, storage box rebuild
And because we had the entire thing apart we used black spray paint to give the tongue a nice clean look. If you plan on doing this make sure you tape off the important labels so that you don’t paint over them.

We ordered all new lights from Amazon for the outside of the camper. And while the front storage box was off, my dad rewired the entire camper so that it made sense and installed a new inverter that would accommodate the AC unit we were going to install.

There is probably a step or two that we missed when writing this post. If you have any questions please email us at livingouradventures@gmail.com. We would be glad to help.

More Pop Up Camper Projects-

Coleman Pop Up Front Storage Box Rebuild

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