Hard-sided wedge style pop-up camper shell currently in development/testing in the mountains of Wyoming

WY_CC

Member
Hoback? I am local and want to see it. I am probably going to add a popup to a trailer in the spring. I am interested in options for a smaller lighter truck.
You nailed it. Howdy, neighbor! I'll shoot you a direct message, so we can figure out details.
 

WY_CC

Member
As much as I'm pleased with my GFC, having a hardside camper would remove any campground restrictions in bear country, and should make for a warmer space in winter. We're fortunate to have this latest wave of wedge and full pop-up truck camper options to choose from.
Great point on the no tent restrictions in bear country. My folks love camping, and I tried to send them out in my old Wildernest, but my mother's two rules were #1 No Bears Allowed & #2 No Mildew Allowed. I think I'll have an easier time getting them to try out a hard sided popup made from composites! (y) ... Also couldn't agree more on the exciting ideas and products that are circulating right now across the spectrum of pop-up campers. There's a lot of credit due to this community for helping to keep the wheel of innovation spinning!
 

shirk

Member
Your frame looks to be aluminum? How are you planning to deal with thermal bridging and condensation? Looking at Aliners used in the winter and they aren't well sealed and bridge around the side panel frames.
 

AeroNautiCal

Explorer
The strong, lightweight, composite bonded panels (SIP's) and the wedge design looks to offer a structurally rigid, well insulated, lightweight and spacious camper.

I assume that your design will allow for loads to be carried on the roof and for the roof to be raised without having to unload the roof rack.

Offering the basic shell with modular components will probably be the most popular choice to reach a broader customer base.

I will follow your development with interest.
 

WY_CC

Member
Your frame looks to be aluminum? How are you planning to deal with thermal bridging and condensation? Looking at Aliners used in the winter and they aren't well sealed and bridge around the side panel frames.
Great questions, and I think you’re getting right to the heart of the matter with campers in winter. There are lots of techniques you see employed to deal with thermal bridging and condensation issues, and I plan to take an iterative approach to find the best balance of performance and cost/complexity for this setup. I’m building the prototype as a 3+ season season shell that can selectively have insulation and/or a heat source added to boost its utility in cold weather. You’re correct that the framing is aluminum, which can be used to create a single or double layer wall system for the fixed camper base. Much like you can find in traditional timber frame homes in the cold corners of the globe, there’s a method to offset the (aluminum) studs in the camper wall to provide an uninterrupted layer of insulation around the base of the shell. This would be the ‘arctic’ version of the shell with a bit of added weight and cost. Alternatively, if lighter winter use is intended, then removable insulation panels could be used on the inside to selectively increase the camper’s warmth seasonally. In terms of condensation, I think good ventilation, dry heat, and composite materials are the best options in winter. Like the old Forest Gump saying, “Condensation happens,” but fresh air, dry heat, and materials that won’t mildew should put us on the right track! Lastly, sealing around the pop-up wall panels is a critical focus wherein I’m taking the same iterative approach. Material overlaps, bulb seals, and well placed latching points are my current weapons in that battle... Thank you for your interest!


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john61ct

Adventurer
Yes an important design principle in that regard is shooting for as well-sealed an envelope as possible,

and then add ventilation facilities which CFM exchange rate can be closely controlled by the occupants.

CO, low O2, propane sensors / alarms and a humidity indicator (hygrometer) would also be a useful option.

No one wants to allow mold to take hold, but it's counter intuitive to keep an exhaust fan running when you're actively heating the space.
 

LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
I have found using a heater using a heat exchanger system (Propex, Wabasto) will reduce condensation versus a forced-air heater.
 

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shirk

Member
Great questions, and I think you’re getting right to the heart of the matter with campers in winter. There are lots of techniques you see employed to deal with thermal bridging and condensation issues, and I plan to take an iterative approach to find the best balance of performance and cost/complexity for this setup. I’m building the prototype as a 3+ season season shell that can selectively have insulation and/or a heat source added to boost its utility in cold weather. You’re correct that the framing is aluminum, which can be used to create a single or double layer wall system for the fixed camper base. Much like you can find in traditional timber frame homes in the cold corners of the globe, there’s a method to offset the (aluminum) studs in the camper wall to provide an uninterrupted layer of insulation around the base of the shell. This would be the ‘arctic’ version of the shell with a bit of added weight and cost. Alternatively, if lighter winter use is intended, then removable insulation panels could be used on the inside to selectively increase the camper’s warmth seasonally. In terms of condensation, I think good ventilation, dry heat, and composite materials are the best options in winter. Like the old Forest Gump saying, “Condensation happens,” but fresh air, dry heat, and materials that won’t mildew should put us on the right track! Lastly, sealing around the pop-up wall panels is a critical focus wherein I’m taking the same iterative approach. Material overlaps, bulb seals, and well placed latching points are my current weapons in that battle... Thank you for your interest!


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The offset wall system should make a big difference. Looking forward to seeing how your sealing of the pop-up.
 

Nukeproof

Member
my buddy built the same thing out of his palomino popup, but reversed as he wanted the space over his bed. from your description above it sounds like he built the walls, overlaps, bulb seals ect. similar to what your planning, its working great. people ask him about it when they see it deployed, but he's not interested in producing them, you should have good interest and sales.
 
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MuleShoer

Adventurer
Maybe i missed it but i believe there is a key element needed in your design of aluminum to aluminum skin joints. You should add a thermal barrier. These are thin phenolic stips you bond to the aluminum frame before attaching the outer skin. They will eliminate thermal sweating, then i assume you will add insulation between the frames before you skin the inside. This sweating is not the same as condensation from use. I sent almost 10 years running military shelter production and 100% use this design requirement. From small humvee 788 to large ******’s shelters.
 
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