Hodakaguy's Vagabond Camper/Truck Build - Yes Again!

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
With our previous Tacoma's and Four Wheel Camper Sold it's time to harness my super squirrel powers and start in on another project.

We just returned from a 1700 mile two day road trip to pick up our new Camper at the Vagabond factory in CA. The guys at Vagabond are a great bunch! We were scheduled to arrive Friday morning but half way down to CA realized we would arrive early enough (about 4pm) that we could snag the camper on Thursday and roll north again to get part way home again. A quick call to Vagabond and they were very accommodating with the change in schedule. Installing the camper went quickly and we were on the road again. 1000 miles the first day, not bad!

My father and I placed the order for the Drifter back when we still had our 3rd gen trucks, The drifter was originally slated for my fathers truck and was going to serve as both a canopy and camper that we could leave on the truck year around. The light weight and low drag of a wedge camper makes it ideal for road trips and off road use. After we sold our 3rd gen trucks we decided to leave the Drifter on order since we planned on eventually finding another used truck. Fast forward a bit and we found a super low mile (9000 miles) 2012 TRD sport that we picked up for my father. It already has a OME 3" lift and Dakar springs installed so it's ready for the Drifter Install.

Now some background on our decision to purchase the drifter. Originally we planned on purchasing the GoFast camper and while camping at last years Northwest Overland Rally we were able to check it out in person along with several other brands. The GFC construction looked really good and finish work was top notch. Canvas material is similar to what we had on our Four Wheel Camper and it’s proven to be super waterproof. We live in the desert and the camper will be outside 365..the sun here tears things up fast. We were both concerned about how well the composite roof will hold up over time to intense sun we see here. We were also not huge fans of light coming in through the composite translucent top, when I sleep I like it dark and the inside of the camper glowing could be a issue. Guess one could always make an internal light cover for the top. We also didn’t care for the short overhang and the need to move bedding every time you want to enter the bed, you also need to mess with bedding if one wants to stand up and get dressed. If you want to open up the whole interior space you need to do something with all the cushions which I see as a pain. The tubular framework of the GFC relies on a large number of seals to keep water and dust out, this seems like it could be problematic over time. The tubular framework also makes it difficult to install decent size side windows and harder to insulate. Overall it was a nice camper but we were glad we could check it out in person before we ordered one, it just wasn't a great fit for us.

After checking out the GFC we walked over to check out the AT and Vagabond units. We both really liked the Vagabond unit a lot, the construction is top notch and we both preferred the solid aluminum structure, this camper is rock solid! We loved the insulated HD one piece aluminum roof (1/8") and solid sides (No seals against tubing), will make dust proofing the camper an easier task. The drifter has similar canvas material to the FWC as well which again we have found to be bullet proof in rain. The tent is roomier than the GFC and the larger side windows are nice. We liked the longer extension over the cab and the ability to have a standing space with the bed deployed, no need to mess with bed panels. We also liked the side windows in the Drifter and they offer several options to choose from, we like the Windoors as they allow easy access to the interior of the camper and give a view through the camper while driving. Without the tubular frame of the GoFast insulating the interior will be far easier. When standing in the camper you can slide the bed all the way forward and have the entire interior area open to stand in, the mattress and supports are all stored in the cab over area leaving the entire bed space open....Nice! This will be great when hiding out in the camper when waiting out weather. The top utilizes hidden lift struts which is a also a nice touch, overall a very well thought out package!

The AT was great as well but higher $$ and the canvas material looked more like treated tent material than a true waterproof material like the vagabond and GFC. The fit and finish of the AT was really good as well. They also had the habitat on display but we both preferred the wedge design over the Habitat.

They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but the Drifter was the best choice for us.

We have plans to install lighting and a Diesel heater. I'm sure plenty more mods will follow lol. I'll post up pics as progress happens.


Here's a few pics of the new Camper



Our new Drifter waiting to be installed.




Another Drifter being assembled.




Camper being installed on the truck.






Rolled out and ready to hit the road. We immediately hit the road again and headed north a ways, ended up putting in 1000 miles that day.




On the way home we stopped to take a few pics and play with the camper a bit. I really like the fit of the Drifter on the Taco.






Top up






Tracks installed, these will be great for Solar install and carrying the Kayaks.










Interior. The side windows open for access to the interior and the side panels are insulated. The bed is slid out in this pic.




Standing in the camper with the bed deployed










Continued Below...
 
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Atl-atl

Adventurer
Damn, that thing is sweet! Do the soft side windows zip completely open? So you could get into the camper via a ladder from the exterior, say if you had the truck bed full of gear? When its "down" does the bed store pushed all the way forward or do you have to slide the bed all the way back to close it? How much does it weigh?
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Looks like a neat unit!

Not terribly impressed with the hinges, but beyond that it looks pretty well designed and put together.

Must be crazy light :)
 
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02rangeredge

Adventurer
I love that cap system, but I would kill for just 1 of these people to make it just short enough to get a barn door set that retained the tailgate for a porch/ becn and ease of closing up at night
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Damn, that thing is sweet! Do the soft side windows zip completely open? So you could get into the camper via a ladder from the exterior, say if you had the truck bed full of gear? When its "down" does the bed store pushed all the way forward or do you have to slide the bed all the way back to close it? How much does it weigh?
Yeah the sides do zip completely open so that could be an option if one wanted. When you fold the top down it's best to slide the bed to the rear of the camper, this isn't a must but with the rear section of the bed slid back it supports the top material and keeps it from hanging down into the interior. I'll have to weight this camper soon to see a total weight, it should be about 340 lbs.

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Looks like a neat unit!

Not terribly impressed with the hinges, but beyond that it looks pretty well designed and put together.

Must be crazy light :)

The hinges are plenty robust but I agree aesthetically there were better choices :)

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
What brand of heater are you going to use?
Looking forward to see what you do.(y)
I have a brand new Espar diesel unit that I'm planning on running, Still trying to get my shop set back up after our move then I'll start fabrication and get it installed :)

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
I love that cap system, but I would kill for just 1 of these people to make it just short enough to get a barn door set that retained the tailgate for a porch/ becn and ease of closing up at night
I believe Vagabond played with that idea at one time.

Hodakaguy
 
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