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FC-Camper Transformed by ROAM

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Features

UPDATE: Tom from ROAM reported (see comments) that this camper FC was a custom installation. He noted that the camper was unsalvageable, so they felt it was a good candidate for something unique.  Tom plans to do a post about the camper in the future.

Here’s what it looked like when they bought it:

Here’s the completed project:


Follow the whole build here:


17 Comments on “FC-Camper Transformed by ROAM

  1. Merlin Hanson

    With enough restorable FC’s in the world why they had to do THAT to this one is beyond me.

    I want a TV show and I want to call it “Mancard revoked” and we go to different people who have done things stupidly, badly, or just should not have done them and we take their tools away…….


  2. Tom @ Roam

    Come on, I thought everyone would love the build!

    The camper wasn’t factory, we were told (initially, and in error) that it was when I bought it. (and yes, I paid more than I would have, hand I known it wasn’t factory – but frankly doubt he would’ve taken a lower offer.) I’m working up a follow-up blog post with a little more detail on the camper. The photos don’t do the camper’s condition justice, it simply wasn’t salvageable. We could have rebuilt a new camper…. but that is where our opinions likely diverge, and my use-case for the truck is unique to me.

    Can we at least agree that removing the Ford 289 made sense?? 😉

  3. mmdeilers Post author

    Tom, thanks for the updated info. You can probably imagine how easy it is for us to wonder why the camper was cut up given the exterior photos make the camper appear sound. But, pictures often don’t tell the whole story and cheap camper insides can be difficult to refurbish.

    I did look at your blog and Facebook page prior to writing the post, but didn’t run across any reference/recognition to the unique/custom nature of the vehicle (maybe I missed it). I’m glad to hear you did do the research, but sorry to hear you overpaid for something that wasn’t original.


  4. Ian

    I love it. Right up to the point the tracks went on, but they can come back off. I think the trailer to bed conversion is right on and the 4.0 and modern suspension is cool. Do mine next!

  5. Joe in Mesa

    I do respect a man who stands up for his work. So now I’m curious: what IS the “use case”, Tom? Simply Upper Penninsula Winters? I saw a Humvee transformed like this at an R&D lab on Ft Belvoir, but never knew why they did this either.
    BTW, I really like the way you reworked the M105A2 military trailer.

  6. Tom @ Roam

    That tracks, candidly, were a promotional move for a show we brought it to. It’s about 6″ taller on the tracks and makes a wicked ‘first-impression’… However, the 33×12.50 Duratracs are by far my favorite look. In the blog post I wrote up you can see it back on the tires, which is the way it was built.

    Use-case for me is to be sure my (soon to be) wife could drive it just as easily as I could, justifying (for me), the updated 4.0L, auto-trans, new brakes, power steering, etc. We’re looking at the possibility of a honeymoon road-trip and wanted it to have good road manners. I was surprised how light the rig turned out, too. With the JBA header and head-work I think it’ll be a peppy fellow.

    At 35, I’m still a big fan of the Rooftop Tents – but suspect that may change down the road. We had looked at the more modern pop-up style campers, but they’re big bucks and the fit was odd with the FC cab being so tall. Alternatively, I didn’t want to lose the truck-bed real estate. (bikes, gear, etc.)

    The trailer really turned out nicely. TJ really did a great job with it … our initial plan was to keep the wheel wells centered on the the trailer and space it back from the cab allowing the rack vertical supports & radiator to be in between the cab and bed, but I’m REALLY ( really really ) glad we put in the extra effort to build a true-fit bed.

    Thanks for the comments, guys – I appreciate your feedback.


  7. Tom @ Roam

    … also I should add that we were all pretty bummed by the camper removal. We were prepping for the UP Overland trip and had planned for this to be “command central” for the kids – but just the mold alone sort of set the decision for us. I went through my share of hurricanes in Florida and don’t do well with mold, can’t imagine knowing the kids got sick from it. We tried to pull out the affected materials, but the insulation behind the paneling was all full of mold. When we got that far with the insulation removal, we noticed the expanded rivet holes in the tin & sealer fill on all the riveting – and that rabbit hole of repair pretty much sealed the deal. Which, as I said above, would’ve had us either completely building it new (even the welding and fabrication on the frame wasn’t what we would want to ‘keep’, or we end up with what we did).

    Not sure that explains much, ha, but I try… I try… . 😀

  8. Alaska Paul

    It’s your Jeep so modify it to suit your needs. When I first began driving my Willys as regular transportation (many years ago) I quickly realized the brakes, steering, lights and just about everything else was marginal for the traffic speeds at that time. The more I drove it the clearer it became to me that major modifications were necessary. Yes, my Willys was an original military M38 but if I expected to drive it on the road system things were going to be changed. I do like the tracks on this Jeep, they’d be quite handy here in the northland during our long winters.

  9. Merlin Hanson

    I was just sad about the loss of the camper….. but with it in such bad shape it made the vehicle into just another FC, and now it is definitely not just another FC 🙂

  10. Robert Anderson

    Not my personal cup of tea, but hey, each to their own, and it is HIS FC.
    I would much rather see this conversion than have it sit and rot.
    Looks like a well done conversion, so good luck, and enjoy 🙂

  11. Craig B.

    Saw the tracked FC a while back and didn’t put two & two together. So sad to see the camper wasn’t able to be saved. It would of cost a ton I’m sure but so did this build. So long two lane backroads adventure rig. Hello Moab?

  12. Tom @ Roam

    Hey gents – well, this discussion turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I ended up talking to the original owners wife and spent about 30 minutes with her on the phone…. enjoying every minute of it, I might add. Turns out the story of a man building it in Colorado in his sign shop is true. And it turns out he’s 84 years old currently out in his garage working on a 65 Mustang. Also, she said he was “just talking about the Jeep, because he found some stuff that went with it”… looks like I may get a package soon. 🙂 At any rate, as promised, I added some context in a new post about our build. I explained the work we did to it and she was certainly attached to the camper that her husband built. All I could offer her was that what he built lasted longer than most trucks do, and that the truck itself will be on the road for many more. Thanks again for the comments – cheers, Tom

  13. Bill

    I’ve been watching this build on Roam’s Facebook page.

    I think that the use of the FC in ANY marketing/sponsorship type deal is awesome as people still don’t know what these are. I have guests in my garage all the time that ask about one of my FCs and they state that they’ve never seen one. My FC-150 gets driven as often as possible, it’s actually filled up right now with a trash load to the dump…. I wonder how many friends I’ll make over there 🙂

    Tom- LOVE the 4.0L/auto combo. Re-powering these to make them more useable is ok for me… they have trouble keeping up with today’s traffic around here with our hilly terrain. We considered the same 4.0L idea for my 170DRW, but since I’m a diesel nut…. it may end up a Cummins 4bt. If I ever see yours in person, I might need a test-ride!

    Keep up the good work

    Bill @ Lime Street Carriage

  14. Tom @ Roam

    For sure, Bill. It’s crazy how many times I’ve answered the ‘what is that?’ question. TJ is a specialty diesel mechanic primarily – so your 4BT comments are right in line with where our heads were, too. BUT, I think this 4.0 will be well mannered for our use. We’re dialing in some of the odds and ends this week, in preparation for winter ending sometime this year – and a then we camp.

    The ride is yours, anytime; I’ll squeeze you in between all the kids in our small town that expect one as well. That’s what it’s all about!

    BTW, nice FB page – gave you some Likes.

  15. yooper chris

    tom, what you did is no different than a 57 chev with a new suspension and crate 350/350 hp. I tried to buy this fc from you last year and am impressed with what you did…might come looking for some blueprints….Chris in Negaunee

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