Flatbed and composite panel build on Dodge 2500

ToyoMoCo

New member
Hi there just read through the 60 pages of this build in a day and I must say outstanding work. I had just a couple of thoughts while reading that I'd like to share.
I was thinking it would be clever or easy if the flat bed had some sort of cone shaped pins at each corner and the camper would have the coresponding shape built in so that when landing the camper back on to the bed it would be some what self centering/aligning and would also provide some additional resistance to side shifting while off-road when combined with your latch system.
I believe the main benefit I is see to your camper is its detachable nature. I have been studying what I think the most versatile rv would be and believe it to be the truck camper. In looking at what was available I was never able to find anything that would fit in the gvwr and still have a reasonable amount of payload leftover to legally carry passangers and be able to tow a fair amount. I believe that your light weight construction methods have solved a serious problem that other camper manufactures have just been ignoring by miss quoting weights and only using dry weights when the campers are likely never used in that fashion and are almost guarantied to be overloading every chassis they are put on.
In contemplating how to build something exactly like what you have here with no real skill set to do so and generally just mulling over what I would do if I had the ability, I came up with the idea that I would be interesting to be able to drop the camper at a remote location and have the flatbed truck be equipt with a fresh water tank and grey/ black tank so that once your base camp was set up the truck could be taken in to town so to speak be able to dump what needed to be dumped and refill what needed to be refilled to provide for an extended stays remotely without having to break everything down.
The cool thing about what you are building here is the ability to have an rv with the dual purpose of having a truck to use during the week and the freedom to roam with the vehicle once camp is set up on the weekend, be it 4wheeling or in town exploring. With the lite weight characteristics you can tow almost any type of hobby behind, be it a boat with the ability to launch without breaking down camp, SxS, dirt bikes, horses or work equipment. No other type of RV can do it all as well as the truck camper. Sorry it was so long but I definitely feel that what you've brought to market is REAL BIG game changer.
Outstanding work. Outstanding.
 

Freebird

Adventurer
The international shipping containers (Conex boxes) use 4 cone shaped centering pins that each go into a receiving hole to center the 4 corners of the containers. It is a tried and true system. I have no idea if jeep's neat new revolutionary lightweight fantastic superb camper would benefit from its addition, but an interesting thought.....
 
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Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Hi there just read through the 60 pages of this build in a day and I must say outstanding work. I had just a couple of thoughts while reading that I'd like to share.
I was thinking it would be clever or easy if the flat bed had some sort of cone shaped pins at each corner and the camper would have the coresponding shape built in so that when landing the camper back on to the bed it would be some what self centering/aligning and would also provide some additional resistance to side shifting while off-road when combined with your latch system.

I have a pin set up that is attached to the bottom rear of the camper, drops into 2 holes on the deck, takes care of any shifting that may occur. We just drove from Calgary to Flagstaff and back with a few detours, and just hit a hare scramble at Panorama BC and the camper has not shifted a bit in over 6000 km, the constant tension and the rubber strip around the perimeter keep it planted, but I can see instances where it could shift and figured addressing it before it occurs rather than later is a better move.


I believe the main benefit I is see to your camper is its detachable nature. I have been studying what I think the most versatile rv would be and believe it to be the truck camper. In looking at what was available I was never able to find anything that would fit in the gvwr and still have a reasonable amount of payload leftover to legally carry passangers and be able to tow a fair amount. I believe that your light weight construction methods have solved a serious problem that other camper manufactures have just been ignoring by miss quoting weights and only using dry weights when the campers are likely never used in that fashion and are almost guarantied to be overloading every chassis they are put on.

Absolutely, the easy detachment and ability to use it to capacity on the jacks makes it very adaptable to several different users. Weightwise, on the 3/4 ton I would say it is at max capacity even though it is under on both axles, it is over on gross vehicle weight. On a 3500 it is 1400 pounds under, on a 3500 60" cab chassis truck it is 3400 pounds under. We did some design changes on the production units and we knocked almost 300 pounds out of the construction and really cleaned things up.


In contemplating how to build something exactly like what you have here with no real skill set to do so and generally just mulling over what I would do if I had the ability, I came up with the idea that I would be interesting to be able to drop the camper at a remote location and have the flatbed truck be equipt with a fresh water tank and grey/ black tank so that once your base camp was set up the truck could be taken in to town so to speak be able to dump what needed to be dumped and refill what needed to be refilled to provide for an extended stays remotely without having to break everything down.

Bonus of the cassette toilet, easy to take out and dump if it fills up. The tanks on the truck are an interesting concept but might be difficult to execute.


The cool thing about what you are building here is the ability to have an rv with the dual purpose of having a truck to use during the week and the freedom to roam with the vehicle once camp is set up on the weekend, be it 4wheeling or in town exploring. With the lite weight characteristics you can tow almost any type of hobby behind, be it a boat with the ability to launch without breaking down camp, SxS, dirt bikes, horses or work equipment. No other type of RV can do it all as well as the truck camper. Sorry it was so long but I definitely feel that what you've brought to market is REAL BIG game changer.

That's exactly the intention, easy on, easy off, GCVWR left to drag a trailer, be it bikes, Jeep, horses. If you need more capacity a 4500 or 5500 adds a pile of capacity. This build on a 5500 would leave you with approx. 8000 pounds of capacity on the chassis alone and give you a hell of a work truck in the process.


Outstanding work. Outstanding.

Thank you very much!
:)
 

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Getting some miles

Second trip, Windermere Valley Dirt Riders hare scramble at Panorama Mountain Resort. First time I raced on a ski hill, great turn out, great event, 272 riders for the main event! Truck hauled my Royal Cargo XR7 16x7 enclosed trailer with 4 bikes, 12 sets of gear, 40 litres of extra fuel without issue. Doing what it was made to do!

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S2DM

Adventurer
The international shipping containers (Conex boxes) use 4 cone shaped centering pins that each go into a receiving hole to center the 4 corners of the containers. It is a tried and true system. I have no idea if jeep's neat new revolutionary lightweight fantastic superb camper would benefit from its addition, but an interesting thought.....
Unimogs use a similar system for centering the cab. A concave half-sphere cup on the chassis and a convex half-sphere on the cab. Allows it to center itself from about 1" out of alignment (if you come down 1" out, it will hit the edge of the cup and then drop and align). Works very well. When I came down more out of alignment, you give it a slight nudge and it drops into place.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Camper looks great Mark. Top notch!

Was hoping to make it to Expo, but got tied up with other events.


What was the final dry weight for the unit?



What is the R value of the panels? I missed it if it was in there. I aslo hail from the land of -40 C

Shawn

Unfortunately it simply doesn't have the insulation capacity that one would hope for such a fancy panel.

Last I checked it was roughly R-3 per inch, depending on the MFG.

It is very rigid and light though. Just lacking as far as insulation goes.
 

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Thanks guys.

Panel R value is approx. R5 for the 1.5" HC core. We stayed in the unit for a few nights, the last 2 nights were 6C (42F) and the thermostat was set to 19C (67F) and we used just over a liter of diesel to keep it that temp, so at $.94 per liter it cost about $.55 per night to stay warm, I spend 10x that amount on coffee during a work day. If more insulation is desired we can build with XPS core panels, and up to 8" thick if you're really cold blooded, but when you are heating such a small area do you really need to trade that kind of structural integrity off? That's an end users decision, and regardless of panel choice they are both superior to conventional fabrication methods. The HC panels are extremely tough, we had 8 people on the roof, 4 chairs, point loading is not a concern! We are doing a big unit with 4" XPS floor and roof, 2" XPS walls in the next few months with a seriously cool heating system, stay tuned!

Final dry weight was 2640 lbs.

Something that really became noticeable was the ease of driving. Flagstaff had a hell of a wind all weekend and it was the same all the way back to Alberta, you could drive with 2 fingers on the wheel, 80-85 mph. The 7' width and the location of the overhead kept the wind going around the truck nicely, you didn't even get wind noise. Sway was a non issue. Going down we drove around 70-80 mph and got 12.1 mpg, the way back driving faster only dropped down to 11.9 for the whole trip.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
For such a small box, I feel the structural integrity of a foam core vs a honeycomb core is really a non-issue.

They are both so stupidly strong (when used correctly) that both are fine choices.

That said, Id gladly trade a bit of strength for increased efficiency in the form of a more thermally effective panel.


But again, thats why I went the way of XPS. We see some crazy cold winter travels.

3-4 weeks with nights dipping towards -20 degree (F) with days that rarely get above 20 degrees (F) will have you questioning the thermal capacity of EVERYTHING :sombrero:



Question for you Mark about those panels, how well do they hold a screw? Or must you bolt thru or use an anchor?

I have a few projects coming up that may use such a panel, but fasteners "in the field" are a concern of mine.
 

DzlToy

Explorer
Any issues with a thinner panel or honeycomb panel not offering insulation can be addressed with a spray on radiant barrier product such as Temp Coat, which works by reflecting the heat (or cold), as opposed to packing the wall with foam or fiberglass. It can be applied to almost any surface, though it is a bit "flat", so it does not have the gel-coat look or automotive grade paint finish look, which may be an issue for some people.

It has an equivalent R-value of 20 to 40 depending on the thickness and product chosen. It is not an elastomeric coating, but can be applied over a polyurea type product or can be coated with that type of a product and I believe it can be painted as well.
 

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
For such a small box, I feel the structural integrity of a foam core vs a honeycomb core is really a non-issue.

They are both so stupidly strong (when used correctly) that both are fine choices.

That said, Id gladly trade a bit of strength for increased efficiency in the form of a more thermally effective panel.


But again, thats why I went the way of XPS. We see some crazy cold winter travels.

3-4 weeks with nights dipping towards -20 degree (F) with days that rarely get above 20 degrees (F) will have you questioning the thermal capacity of EVERYTHING :sombrero:



Question for you Mark about those panels, how well do they hold a screw? Or must you bolt thru or use an anchor?

I have a few projects coming up that may use such a panel, but fasteners "in the field" are a concern of mine.
For a lot of winter use, I'd go XPS as well. Screw retention is not what I'd call great, I use a backing plate and generally bond it in place so it doesn't move if you have to take something off, this is common practise with this kind of construction and works excellent. I do have panels made for some applications with a .040 aluminum skin and they hold screws and rivets really well, medic bodies are built like this.
 

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Any issues with a thinner panel or honeycomb panel not offering insulation can be addressed with a spray on radiant barrier product such as Temp Coat, which works by reflecting the heat (or cold), as opposed to packing the wall with foam or fiberglass. It can be applied to almost any surface, though it is a bit "flat", so it does not have the gel-coat look or automotive grade paint finish look, which may be an issue for some people.

It has an equivalent R-value of 20 to 40 depending on the thickness and product chosen. It is not an elastomeric coating, but can be applied over a polyurea type product or can be coated with that type of a product and I believe it can be painted as well.
I've seen this stuff sprayed on a sea can, and used as a mobile shop in the winter, I was pretty impressed.
 

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
So happy for your well earned success!
Not successful yet but a hell of an attempt and more fun than a lot of "other" stuff!

I left my card on your windshield at Laughlin and was keeping an eye out for you, went out to cheer on Team Graf, was a nice hot day for an ice cold beer.
 
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