A Hawk in the Arctic

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
UHauler,
You did see me on Hwy. 20 near 5 mile house, as I live 5 more miles up Hwy 20 off Casci Road. I'm always on the lookout for interesting camper designs and applications of the many rigs i see passing the other way. The really weird part is I saw YOUR rig at the same time and thought to myself what a great set up you have with a pop-up on a 3-series truck. I like that kind of overkill. Chances of you being overloaded or breaking something are approaching nil.
jeff reynolds, aka: jefe, west slope, Northern Sierra Nevada
 

Ramblinman

Observer
The FWC is in many respects a very good camper. I was looking for a camper I could put on my daily driver, take on rough roads and use for about 6 weeks in summer for mostly back country camping in Canada and North Western US. The Hawk does a lot of this quite well. Northstar, Alaskan etc are certainly good products but I would not want to take them on Forestry Service Roads on a half ton truck. The Hawk has one big problem though it is not designed for our Western Canadian climate.
I therefore really have only 2 options. Either I find a way to keep at least our bed dry even if the weather is lousy for a while or I get a new camper, an expensive solution. None of the existing products I looked at is really convincing. Either it is way too heavy or I would not trust it to survive a few thousand miles or kilometers on bad roads.
As you suggested LiteIndustries (Jeep) would know how to build a modern lightweight yet robust pop up camper with reasonable 3 (Canadian) season capability. Composite materials are certainly the way to go. I have owned a camper build with these materials for almost 6 years now and it definitely is way better than anything I had before. In Europe only some very low priced RVs still use aluminum let alone wood framing. Jeep certainly seems to know how to work with these materials and his shop is actually quite close to where I live and I will have a chat with him. But first I will try to improve my Hawk to meet my minimum standards, a dry bed even in lousy weather.
Stefan
Stephan,

I use my FWC almost exclusively in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. I estimate about 200 nights thus far. I have taken that camper down some horrendous roads - no issues yet. One 5 week voyage to Baja last year. 75% of my use is in the shoulder seasons - Fall and Spring. During an Elk Hunt last January we camped in -22C (I would suggest this is the outer limit for my taste but we were comfortable). I have seen condensation in all of the climates. Yes there is condensation but it is certainly manageable. Looking at the Truck camper article it sounds as ALL Truck campers are experiencing condensation - everywhere.

The nice thing about the FWC/ATC (I see them as very similar and would own either) is that they are simple and durable and those 2 campers meet a very specific purpose. In the words of ATC owner " This camper was initially designed to go Elk Hunting for a weekend - 40 years ago" Looking at some of the different designs they are so expensive that the trade off ($$$$) is not worth it to me.

Getting a new camper, outfitting it again etc. Is time consuming and expensive. Also FWC's generally hold their value over time.

From my perspective FWC meets many needs and it is durable - puts a roof over my head - and is cost effective allowing me money to use it and do other things.

I am very interested to see what camper is durable, low profile, and does not attract condensation.

I have not experienced ANY Moisture under my mattress - I am not sure why, I know that this is common with most FWC owners. I Always leave a window open near my face and the 2 roof vents open.

I really wish I could fit a wood stove in my Hawk - problem solved
 
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steviebam

New member
You can fit a woodstove in your hawk. You would disconnect the stove pipe and off you go. The dry heat is why I bought our little sardine stove. Might have jumped the gun since we dont have a camper yet.
 

Rando

Explorer
I don't get why people think a woodstove produces 'dry' heat? The heat produced by the FWC propane heater is no more or less 'dry' than the heat from a wood stove. The only exception to this would be catalytic heaters (eg 'Wave' heaters) that dump their combustion products inside the camper.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
I don't get why people think a woodstove produces 'dry' heat? The heat produced by the FWC propane heater is no more or less 'dry' than the heat from a wood stove. The only exception to this would be catalytic heaters (eg 'Wave' heaters) that dump their combustion products inside the camper.
You are correct.

Wood stove = dry air is a false assumption.


There are only a few ways to actually remove humidity from air, and a wood stove isn't one of them.

Never would I want a wood stove in a camper. Propane or diesel is where its at.

Due to weight limitations, finding fuel will be the primary concern when traveling for any good amount of time.

Good luck finding fuel to feed it in the dead of winter when you actually need the heat.
 

jackattack

Observer
The drying effect of a wood stove is a result of the constant mixing with cold, presumably dry if winter, outside air. The rate at which this mixing occurs is the real difference between a normal furnace and wood.
 

Rando

Explorer
Drawing the combustion air from inside the camper is a good point - you would have to leave a vent open for makeup air. However it is really no different than running your furnace with your vents open, and in that situation you can close the vents if moisture is not an issue.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Hot air holds more water. Warmer you keep the camper less water seperates out in the form of condensation. Yes a fire stove would generate some air flow, and lots of heat, both would give you the impression it drys things out, because it does.

The small micro stoves originated from the sail boaters, I've used a few. The heat you need in campers and boats isnt much, and those little micro stoves dont need to burn much. A gallon ziploc bag full of compressed wood pellets will last you a few days. No need to rummage the wet woods for dry wood.
 

Rando

Explorer
Hot air holds more water. Warmer you keep the camper less water seperates out in the form of condensation. Yes a fire stove would generate some air flow, and lots of heat, both would give you the impression it drys things out, because it does.

The small micro stoves originated from the sail boaters, I've used a few. The heat you need in campers and boats isnt much, and those little micro stoves dont need to burn much. A gallon ziploc bag full of compressed wood pellets will last you a few days. No need to rummage the wet woods for dry wood.
All true - but it doesn't make a wood stove any drier than a propane or diesel furnace, and much more work to install and use.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
And a while lot less user friendly, and potentially much less safe than a traditional propane or diesel furnace.


I love wood heat, I really do. We burn 4-5 cord a year to heat our home.


But wood heat in a camper is silly, given the alternatives.

And using interior air for combustion is absolutely asinine.
 

grogie

Like to Camp
Wow… thanks for sharing your story Stefan. I was actually wondering about moisture and truck campers as I do plan to move up to one. For the first time at the recent Expo East my wife and I saw the FWC and loved them. But we live in the midwest where humidity is an issue and has to be considered. When we travel out west with our current roof top tent, even if it storms at night, the tent is typically completely dry when the sun comes up, and that makes since that FWC were designed for that climate. For our last night at Expo East, it was clear and no rain, but the next morning the RTT, my Jeep and everything was dripping wet like it had been dipped in a bucket. I couldn't wait for the sun to dry everything out so I put the RTT away wet. I can certainly see what Stefan went through on his trip north with being wet all the time… Yikes.
 

sg1

Adventurer
I had a RTT a few years ago. A Hawk is certainly more comfortabel and handles rain better than a RTT. You will have problems though when it is wet AND cold for a while. It can handle either one of them but not both.
Stefan
 

jrod420

Observer
Our last trip was 0 degrees celcius daytime and -5 ish overnight. We use some dollarstore automotive reflective sun shields as the oversize ones tuck into the hardwall and fit snugly to the roof. Using these (15 dollars total for 5), our furnace only runs half the time it would without the insulators. They are reflective both sides and seem to be made of a durable bubblewrap type construction. Our condensation situation went from a morning wipe of walls and roof, to just a wipe in the sleeping compartment. Hope this helps. Sometimes simple is right. My wife bought these for the cab of the truck as that is where we keep our food, coolers and these worked so good to insulate in plus 30 degree C. She suggested them for the cold and we haven't looked back. The reflective on the inside helps with interior lighting as well.
 

uriedog

metal melter
I am all about the wood heat. This will be our fifth season of winter camping ( in Alberta and BC) 2 years ago I installed a wood stove and will never look back.

Best heat, least amount of condensation problems even at -30'c. And best of all no need for shore power to keep a furnace running!
 
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