Trevor Gordon is a Rincon local, artist, and world-traveling surfer. But he’s also a dude who spends a lot of time in a camper. He recently completed work on a 1991 Jeep Comanche in order to spend more time in remote corners of the world. He talked with Cyrus about the conversion process to get a better idea of the time and effort involved in such an undertaking.
Coinciding with the completion of the conversion, he’s dropping part one of a new short film about the conversion of his Jeep and a surf trip up the coast of Canada. Peep it here:
1. What was your purpose behind modifying your Jeep pickup?
I chose to get a 4×4 Jeep pickup because there were all of these remote and epic places I wanted to visit that wouldn’t be possible without a 4×4 car. I had a VW Vanagon before and as cool as it was, it didn’t quite quench the road-tripping thirst. So, after getting a vehicle that would take me to the places I wanted to go, I started to build the camper I’d dreamt of.
2. What kinds of tools did you need for the conversion and how did you begin?
I started by welding a steal frame to be the support of the rig with an old mig welder. I then sheeted that in plywood and fiberglassed and epoxied that to make it water tight. Two 100 lb. shocks pop the roof up. I used some old windows from a beat-up camper shell for the back and the slide-through along the cab along with some new windows for the sides. Once popped, the camper is erect with fabric on all sides, made up of a military-grade rubberized nylon that we sewed up with the Patagonia industrial sewing machines.
3. Why did you choose the Comanche?
For its small size, off-road reliability/quality and its overall good looks…I was just looking into mid-sized pickups and fell in love with the Comanche.
4. How long did it take?
Two months, every day, all day basically.
5. About how much money did it cost?
Hard to say but everything included around $1500 – 2000…
6. What do you like best about the finished product?
I really like how easy the thing is to pop up. I went on a trip recently and had a log on the roof to the right, and a Yakima box with four boards, fishing poles, and wetsuits on the left and the roof popped right up…and stayed up unassisted.
7. Did you learn any new skills in the process?
I had to learn how to weld and how to fiberglass. I learned a ton of patience along the way as well. I think woodworkers have to be the most patient people on the planet.
Trevor Gordon is back with Part 2 of “Bigfoot Country,” this one aptly titled “Escape from Bigfoot Country.” Catch Part 1 and an interview with the filmmaker here.
See more from Trevor Gordon on Korduroy: