FWC; major design changes, issues, and value?

kodiak-black

Observer
The Khaya looks good, decent price. Looks a bit tight though for a family plus a dog, especially if everyone is stuck inside during foul weather. My Wildernest is huge on the inside..but gotta tell you I go a little nuts if I am stuck inside for too long, and there are only 2 of us...and 95% of the time it is just me.

I keep looking at the OVRLND camper, seems like the best use of space out of all them. As you loose some with any slide-in.

https://campovrlnd.com


If you're concerned about style. FWC has some new colors and interior fabric options coming.



Agree on the OVRLND camper set up. Love the flexibility of the product layout and the weight consciousness of the design. My build out would consist of a cabinet/ sink/ stove set up that would be as shallow as possible. The open interior design allows you to take advantage of every nook and cranny of a particular trucks bed layout. OVRLND is at the top of my list at the moment, but I won't commit until next years Expo West. I want to see how people build them out and see if anyone comes out with anything more interesting.
 

Clutch

<---Pass
Agree on the OVRLND camper set up. Love the flexibility of the product layout and the weight consciousness of the design. My build out would consist of a cabinet/ sink/ stove set up that would be as shallow as possible. The open interior design allows you to take advantage of every nook and cranny of a particular trucks bed layout. OVRLND is at the top of my list at the moment, but I won't commit until next years Expo West. I want to see how people build them out and see if anyone comes out with anything more interesting.
That is the major draw back with slide-ins. Loose a bunch of usable space which is in high demand on smallish platform like a Tacoma.

Up until this year, there weren't any options. Nice to see these style of campers get some attention again. Love my Wildernest since it is so veristile, but it has it short comings plus being old. The OVRLND would be a great replacement for it.

I like the simple shelf they have in the pictures. Think I would make it flip down, keep it super simple for quickie weekend trips. Then perhaps build some modular cabinets that you could toss in and clamp down for longer trips.

Would like to see it skinned with a different material...liking the checker plate that is used on the Alu-Cab. Would assume the smooth that they use now would get beatup pretty quick.

That's a very cool set up! Custom DIY build?
Maybe? I can't remember where I found that...will have to do some digging.
 

kestrel69

New member
Agree on the OVRLND camper set up. Love the flexibility of the product layout and the weight consciousness of the design. My build out would consist of a cabinet/ sink/ stove set up that would be as shallow as possible. The open interior design allows you to take advantage of every nook and cranny of a particular trucks bed layout. OVRLND is at the top of my list at the moment, but I won't commit until next years Expo West. I want to see how people build them out and see if anyone comes out with anything more interesting.
Wouldn't this camper have the same, or possibly worse, condensation issues as a FWC?
 

freedrive

Member
That's a simple (good) question with a not so simple answer. I've thought about this quite a bit since this thread started. Here are my thoughts.

Condensation is caused by one simple thing, the surface reaches dew point temperature. Dew point temperature can be reached by either lowering the dry bulb temperature or raising humidity.
Relative to condensation, insulation does one thing, it allows the temperature inside to be kept above due point more easily (eg using less fuel).
Inadequate or poorly installed insulation, and/or 'thermal bridges', can create cold spots where due point is reached (eg, on certain walls, or areas of walls).
Humidity is increased by humans simply living, and by the type of fuel being burned for heat.

So, the idea is that a composite structure would have less thermal bridges than a metal frame structure, and hence the inner walls would be easier to keep above dew point.

Imagine worse case where you have a closed (well sealed) area, cold outside temperature, poor insulation, a few people in a small space, and are creating additional moisture in the space by burning propane. (Propane combustion creates water vapor....a non-trivial amount).
 

tacomabill

New member
Freedrive: good analysis on condensation. Regarding propane heaters, it is best to have them exhausted outside, like most of the slide in popups, which offer propane systems as an option. It would be a major undertaking for most folks to build a safe and secure propane system from scratch, especially one that can handle offroading. If OVRLND does not offer such I think it will significantly reduce their sales potential.
 

kodiak-black

Observer
Wouldn't this camper have the same, or possibly worse, condensation issues as a FWC?
Quite possibly. Depends on how well I could insulate it and type of insulation as well as the type of heating mechanism. In some ways I view the OVRLND set up as several steps up from a roof top tent. Being able to stand and move about is important. Flexibility of build out is also important and lastly being able to use this as a camper top day in day out is also a requirement. The light weight design is attractive as I believe most people whether they admit it or not are running very very close to or likely over payload if hauling an FWC, unless you have a 3/4 ton or more.
 

freedrive

Member
Freedrive: good analysis on condensation. Regarding propane heaters, it is best to have them exhausted outside, like most of the slide in popups, which offer propane systems as an option. It would be a major undertaking for most folks to build a safe and secure propane system from scratch, especially one that can handle offroading. If OVRLND does not offer such I think it will significantly reduce their sales potential.
Yea, venting the heating system to outside is obviously the right answer, I should have said that.
Cooking with propane, or any open flame inside, will raise dew point, which is not good.

Pick your typical summer evening in the Ohio valley or Mid Atlantic, and the dew point outside is already within a degree or two of air temp. Add a few bodies inside a small closed space, and condensation will be something to be managed. Doesn't matter what's in the walls.

In the winter, thermal bridges between outside walls and inside walls can be an issue re condensation, again, mainly because of bodies inside small closed space. But if you're getting condensation on surfaces other than the inside walls, the problem is more than the metal frame. Ventilate, turn up the heat, or both.

Great discussion!
 

XPTom

New member
I started my path to FWC ownership as an old guy worn down by nearly 30 years of motorcycle/dome tent camping. I wasn't comparing the FWC to full blown RV's.

The internet search for a good pop-up turned toward FWC when I clicked their dealership link. Their 15 dealers were 14 more than some other makes and one was 90 min from my house.. Actual touchy-feely-pointie-talkie on various models confirmed I wanted the roomy shell model and not the claustrophobia models. Dealer was doing siding off work on an older FWC and ground up major mods on host vehicles. Knowing I would be well supported clinched it.

Planned mods are to increase current 100w solar and 75AH battery...… they are adequate for moderate temps but don't quite keep up with the 12V frig on hot Nevada days.
 

Pilotamis

Observer
I'm ordering a FWC next week and after reading all these comments I still feel like it's the right choice. My main reasons for selecting a FWC over any of the other more modern designs is price, proven history of reliability, their customer service. I'm going with a shell because I felt like their interior design and materials do not meet my expectations. Also, the fact that they do not make a flat bed shell or make any changes to a shell like window placement is very frustrating. But again, price being a major point, not of the campers I've looked at can deliver what a Hawk or Grandby shell does for the price.
 

Ghetto Fab.

New member
So you want FWC to change a design they've been perfecting for 46yrs(that they can't keep on the shelf), make a heavy investment in composites engineering and prototyping units, retrain there skilled workforce to use composite construction, gaurantee that they will be as good or better than the 46yr old design, and sell them for the same price or less? All to fix one real issue that isn't an issue for everyone, and because you don't like the way they look?

I would suggest you never open your own business.

Kevin
 

crolison

Observer
The Khaya looks good, decent price. Looks a bit tight though for a family plus a dog, especially if everyone is stuck inside during foul weather. My Wildernest is huge on the inside..but gotta tell you I go a little nuts if I am stuck inside for too long, and there are only 2 of us...and 95% of the time it is just me.

I keep looking at the OVRLND camper, seems like the best use of space out of all them. As you loose some with any slide-in.

https://campovrlnd.com


If you're concerned about style. FWC has some new colors and interior fabric options coming.

Agree on the OVRLND camper set up. Love the flexibility of the product layout and the weight consciousness of the design. My build out would consist of a cabinet/ sink/ stove set up that would be as shallow as possible. The open interior design allows you to take advantage of every nook and cranny of a particular trucks bed layout. OVRLND is at the top of my list at the moment, but I won't commit until next years Expo West. I want to see how people build them out and see if anyone comes out with anything more interesting.
That is pretty much the setup I’m going with for my Ovrlnd camper, sans a sink basin, plan is to do most cooking outside on a side fold down table.

I am planning to be at expo west this May, so I have a deadline to finish up my whole interior.

Quite possibly. Depends on how well I could insulate it and type of insulation as well as the type of heating mechanism. In some ways I view the OVRLND set up as several steps up from a roof top tent. Being able to stand and move about is important. Flexibility of build out is also important and lastly being able to use this as a camper top day in day out is also a requirement. The light weight design is attractive as I believe most people whether they admit it or not are running very very close to or likely over payload if hauling an FWC, unless you have a 3/4 ton or more.
One of the reasons I got an Ovrlnd was I wanted a four wheel camper, but not the weight. I describe it as a dirtbag four wheel camper. I’ve only lost about 1-2 mpgs with it on, looking forward to getting the whole thing done and weighed.
 

Trikebubble

Adventurer
So you want FWC to change a design they've been perfecting for 46yrs(that they can't keep on the shelf), make a heavy investment in composites engineering and prototyping units, retrain there skilled workforce to use composite construction, gaurantee that they will be as good or better than the 46yr old design, and sell them for the same price or less? All to fix one real issue that isn't an issue for everyone, and because you don't like the way they look?

I would suggest you never open your own business.

Kevin
Yes, my Four Wheel Camper sucks. All 40+ nights and 15K+ km we experianced in it last year. Here's to a sucky adventurous 2019 with it as well. ;)


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