A Hawk in the Arctic


Expedition Leader
My wood framed campers are not heavy. I can promise you that.

IDACAMPER2.0 is a 10' flatbed, 4-season model, and weighs just 2200 lbs dry.

Similar 4-season units using other methods of construction are considerably heavier.

An Artic fox 990 for example, has a dry weight of 3010 lbs.
Im speaking to composit panels. Not a camper, with lenolium flooring, various window products, appliances, heavy plywood lower structures etc.

The campers your using as examples are big campers were weight is really secondary to accomidations ment to simulate a sticks and brick house. In the sailboat world we call it hauling the furniture. When you fill a structure with skinned ply furniture your not concerned about weight one bit. If you were there would zero wood in the build. Example XP campers does engineered composite campers the interiors are composit pans, light and strong. Labor costs result in $75,000 $80,000 campers, vs 30k wood frame aluminum skinned campers.


Expedition Leader
Campers are all about labor cost today. Stick campers are just simple to build and really offer the lowest cost to make. That does not mean its light.

The composit panel builds using aluminum framing and minimal plywood structure internally are more or less the hybrid approach to keep glass labor cost down yet gain the weight to strength advantages of composits materials.

Get fancy and wood skin composit panels for interior parts and you get the sticks house feel at a fraction of the weight. But rarely do you see that done except in high end or high performance rigs be it boats or RVs.


Expedition Leader
FWC approach is actually brilliantly simple, smart from a production vs enviormental work space aspect, and the end product is pretty good. Get the composit smooth skinned option for a little better Rvalue.

You want full on artic capability regardless of material used nothing beats insulation. Think of it as a giant ice box. Yetti coolers are good for a reason.


Im not going to quote all of your posts... :)

My reference to IDACAMPER wood framed units was specifically in response to your claim that wood and epoxy are heavy.

When in fact, they are not, if done correctly. Done correctly you have a strong, lightweight, and incredibly well insulated camper.

You also make mention of XPCamper

They make some superb campers, but even the V1 which is considerable smaller than my flatbed model is nearly 3000lbs dry.


As a builder of extremely energy effecient homes the concept of thermal bridging is one that I am intimately familiar with and frankly one of the reasons I did not purchase a FWC since I live in VA.

On of the products we use particularly when we are doing a remodel and space considerations are considerable is a house wrap that has a significant R-value like this:

I would like to see someone like FWC install this product in some of their units and see if it can make a noticeable difference in the condensation issue. I would think it would work and would not require any retooling to compensate for product thickness..

Stan are you listening? I'll be at Expo East if you want to find out more about my experiences with this product.....


Thank you, Stan for your input on this. I'm 75% sold on the FWC flatbed camper, condensation and thermal bridging being the 25% not sold portion for me. I live in the PNW and get that I'll have some moisture issues, and I'll go to reasonable lengths to minimize that. But I won't be okay with water dripping on me while I'm sleeping, or anywhere else in the camper for that matter.

Not owning a FWC, for those that do; is it possible to remove the soft sides (fabric) and get in between the walls with spray foam? Very interested in the product smlobx mentioned and the ease of installing that if FWC won't do it during the build.

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Expedition Leader
FWC has panel foam between the aluminum framing. The Articpac on tge soft top section creates an air gap / insulation aspect that most report as being a big step forward on insulating and condensation aspects. The volume of air in a compact camper is small. Add sources of water vapor ie breathing and the ideal approach will be a combo of things, air flow, temp, and some style of dessicant/dehumidifier set up. This is a long time issue on sailboats also. Nothing new. Just requires understanding that drying out the cabin/camper is part of the deal.

The Flat Bed FWC also has slightly more air volume so that helps vs slide in. I really like the flat bed fwcs.

Roger M.

I think noting that the Articpac type of product for pop-tops represents a "big" step might be slight overstatement ... it helps, but doesn't come anywhere near to solving the problem.

The house wrap noted a few posts ago has a declared R value of "6", which is substantial. Without knowing the actual and accurate R value of the panel foam FWC uses in its construction currently, it should be assumed to be low, if indeed it offers any R value at all.

Some sailboats, just like some campers, have absolutely no issues with condensation ... this due to a combination of zero thermal bridging, effective insulation, and very effective - often indirect, constant air exchange.

Nobody is disputing that condensation is a major issue in small, poorly designed and insulated spaces - just as it's difficult to dispute that, with the appropriate design engineering and construction techniques - condensation ceases to be an issue at all, as in "ever".


I believe the rigid foam board FWC uses is 1" R-5.

FWIW, the reading I've done online indicates the Insultex wrap claims are bogus. 1mm of insulation cannot give R-6...

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If it is XPS foam, then yes, it is rated at R5 per inch.

Nobody is disputing that condensation is a major issue in small, poorly designed and insulated spaces - just as it's difficult to dispute that, with the appropriate design engineering and construction techniques - condensation ceases to be an issue at all, as in "ever".

Correct. :victory:


West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Did you open the top vent a little bit and keep the cabinet doors ajar? Nothing like running a propane heater to humidify up the joint. My bro has an OUTFITTER! 9.5 and it is amazingly cold worthy with the 'sleeping bag' curtains and all weather tanks. He does run the heater a lot but with the top vents open. I think the biggest difference is he only plies the Southwest U.S. which has a lot lower humidity than where you were at Inovik.
Bro's '99 F-250, 4X4, Diesel, 6-speed with palacial OUTFITTER! and my small looking '01 Dodge CTD and Lance hardside in a remote section of Death Valley:


I have a forced air heater which certainly does not add any humidity and I kept the vent open a bit.

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