MY DREAM BUILD… ULTRA-LIGHT "GO FAST" CAMPER.

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Weight vs. Comfort

While body construction does affect weight, the real issue is comfort. What do you want in your camper?

-- Stove? Multi-burner? Microwave?
-- Insulation? 45F, 32F, 10F?
-- Heat? Air conditioning?
-- Water? Sink? Shower?

Water, batteries, etc., are the real weight monsters. One reason why it is next to impossible get any but the most rudimentary camper to work on a 1/2 ton vehicle. Thus even "mini" campers like the XP Cube are built on one ton pickups.

All of that said, you can build as wild as you like on a one ton platform.
 

Clutch

<---Pass
While body construction does affect weight, the real issue is comfort. What do you want in your camper?

-- Stove? Multi-burner? Microwave?
-- Insulation? 45F, 32F, 10F?
-- Heat? Air conditioning?
-- Water? Sink? Shower?

Water, batteries, etc., are the real weight monsters. One reason why it is next to impossible get any but the most rudimentary camper to work on a 1/2 ton vehicle. Thus even "mini" campers like the XP Cube are built on one ton pickups.

All of that said, you can build as wild as you like on a one ton platform.
The OP did mention traveling to Alaska, going with a 1/2 ton sparten camper...will have the comfort level going down. Might be ok South of the Border, up North
not so much. Sounds like ZG wants a Trophy Truck Camper...which they are pretty low slung...ok for Baja...but for Alaska...a 1 Ton on Portals would probably be the better
solution.

Me living in Southern Az for the past 20 years now living in Idaho, I might have to change my tune as well. Different locale requires different tools.

If you read Sonke's thread you can see their needs changed for a camper for exploring Northern latitude.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/20822-Sönke-s-hard-side-popup-camper
 

LovinPSDs

Adventurer
Clutch, Any comments on driving around the world/country in a 1 ton on portals? I didn't think they were good for high speed, or huge power scenarios. 1-ton on portals with no lift and cut out fenders + lockers + PMF suspension + big tires = one hell of a setup.
 

Clutch

<---Pass
Clutch, Any comments on driving around the world/country in a 1 ton on portals? I didn't think they were good for high speed, or huge power scenarios. 1-ton on portals with no lift and cut out fenders + lockers + PMF suspension + big tires = one hell of a setup.

I don't have any experience with them, so I couldn't tell you. There is a member on here that has a LR 130 IIRC that runs Portals...I'll try and find the link for you, perhaps he can have some answers you. Or drop RMP&O a line...think he has a set...not sure how many miles he has traveled on them.

EDIT: Here is a thread on Pirate: Member "Oilworker" is the owner of the LR, believe he is on here too.
 
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DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
The OP did mention traveling to Alaska, going with a 1/2 ton sparten camper...will have the comfort level going down. Might be ok South of the Border, up North
not so much. Sounds like ZG wants a Trophy Truck Camper...which they are pretty low slung...ok for Baja...but for Alaska...a 1 Ton on Portals would probably be the better
solution.

Me living in Southern Az for the past 20 years now living in Idaho, I might have to change my tune as well. Different locale requires different tools.

If you read Sonke's thread you can see their needs changed for a camper for exploring Northern latitude.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/20822-Sönke-s-hard-side-popup-camper
We are on the same page. I spent years freezing my ankles off in the back of a Blazer; this time around I wanted a camper I could live in, not beside, for months at a time. That understood:

-- Enough room to live inside, not beside the vehicle.

-- A bed that did not have to be converted, that is, did not double duty as table, sofa, etc.

-- Enough storage for off season clothes, spare parts, etc.

The months-at-a-time criteria changes a lot once you get past age 50 or so.
:)

As you might imagine, I hit a one ton truck very fast, in fact, Tiger prefer to build my truck on a two ton (550/5500) chassis.

The XP Cube is an interesting study in the opposite, it does all the same things, but everything must be stored/converted. Neither is "wrong" but each involves trade offs.

The only time I get grouchy is when folks try to ignore the trade offs.
 

Clutch

<---Pass
We are on the same page
Yes sir.

While I like the Flip Pac...not sure if it will work here. I have seen a couple few of the Pacific Northwest guys go that route, and then convert to solid roof camper. Since I am a hop, skip, and a jump away now. Many a trip is planned to the PNW. Not to mention Northern Idaho is cold and wet. Not sure a FP will work here...heck I know it won't.

I hear you on the not having to convert the interior. Amazing of the things you'll do when you're young and spry. But as we age won't put up with... I am still pretty spry...I "think" I am getting smarter though...memory isn't quite what it used to be....umm...err...what were we talking about? ;) :D


I do like those Earth Cruisers on the Fuso chassis...now if it were a hardsided popup. (I have a thing for a vehicle being too tall) The FWC on a Fuso was cool too.






I can see that setup on a F550 Chassis too. If you can envision either camper on this brush truck. Of course now that is going down the Earth Roamer road...

630.jpg
 
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pugslyyy

Robinson Fuso
We are on the same page. I spent years freezing my ankles off in the back of a Blazer; this time around I wanted a camper I could live in, not beside, for months at a time. That understood:

-- Enough room to live inside, not beside the vehicle.

-- A bed that did not have to be converted, that is, did not double duty as table, sofa, etc.

-- Enough storage for off season clothes, spare parts, etc.

The months-at-a-time criteria changes a lot once you get past age 50 or so.
:)

As you might imagine, I hit a one ton truck very fast, in fact, Tiger prefer to build my truck on a two ton (550/5500) chassis.

The XP Cube is an interesting study in the opposite, it does all the same things, but everything must be stored/converted. Neither is "wrong" but each involves trade offs.

The only time I get grouchy is when folks try to ignore the trade offs.
I'm with Fred on this 100%, it's all about tradeoffs - his list is pretty much my list, though we each have slightly different solutions.

We really like being able to cook outside the camper whenever possible, to keep the heat / odors / moisture at bay and have a pretty good configuration for that.
 

ZeneralGod

New member
I appreciate the points that have been raised, and I am realizing I am going to need to hone the design criteria and get as specific as possible to achieve the goal.
I have decided NOT to go with a custom tube frame solution at this time, purely because of cost. I do stick by my original design ethos, however, which is an engineering study in lightweight materials. For example, Starfire systems makes a bullet proof panel that is highly insulating and extremely lightweight. These are the panels used on Space X Rockets, etc. They are Ceramic-Forming Polymers, (Polymer TO Ceramic). A single panel does multiple duty; structural, insulating, friction / abrasion resistance, even bullet proof. A single coating of Arovex carbon-nanotube epoxy on the outer shell will increase strength even more while adding very little weight. I hope to have a wet-bath built out of Arovex as well.

***Now, if we consider other methods of construction, even water tanks can be molded out of "fiberglass", which in this case would be Arovex Carbon-Nanotube Epoxy. If I were considering making a large RV or a Sailing Catamaran, I would look into creating bulkhead "cavitations" in the resin moulds, in which a heat resisting coating could be sprayed, and then molten titanium foam poured and allowed to cool and harden. This, while being incredibly light, would also be incredibly strong. On a camper the size I am considering, such metal foam bulkheads would work great for something like an overcab bed.

Now, I admit I have to do a full cost / benefit analysis on these materials and make sure the builders know how to work with them. That all raises further price concerns.
I am working on preliminary designs, and when I have something to show, I will post it up.

I do stick by my original claim though, which is, for example, if the XP cube was made with Arovex Epoxy instead of the usual yacht grade stuff, it could lighten the weight of the shell by 50%. If the furniture was made with Arovex, similar weight savings can be realized.

I do realize there are other trade offs that must be considered; for example traveling with a companion increases weight exponentially, because of all their added gear, water, etc.

So, perhaps the Raptor is not the ideal platform. I haven't come to any conclusions yet. I DO know that I want a GO-FAST camper, something you can pass with on the highway, and something that will get you pretty much anywhere off road.

I need Heat, wet bath with a Cassette Toilet, all tanks and plumbing must be INSIDE the camper to prevent freezing. Breville "The Smart Oven" or Panasonic Infrared Toaster Oven INSTEAD of a microwave. Butane Stove. Uni-Solar Lightweight Adhesive Solar Panels. Lithium-AIR Battery Bank. Ideally I would like to have a rooftop Rainwater Catchment System.

All of the Auxiliary Gear will also be super Light Weight. Including "Zero SR" Electric Auxiliary Motorcycle.

I am dedicated to this "Discipline of Ultra-Light Weight" by any means necessary, and I realize there are significant engineering challenges to get there. But I have at least a year before I will be ready to begin construction, and much design work can be accomplished by then.

I would be happy if this thread became the "go to' spot for discussions of Light Weight design, or perhaps a new one should be started with that intention. But I am sure I'm not the only one thinking about these things. When I say "light weight" I mean even down to Titanium sporks. EVERYTHING light weight.
 
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Clutch

<---Pass
So, perhaps the Raptor is not the ideal platform. I haven't come to any conclusions yet. I DO know that I want a GO-FAST camper, something you can pass with on the highway, and something that will get you pretty much anywhere off road.
Dakar for inspiration...??? :D

 

dwh

Tail-End Charlie
I thought UniSolar went out of business?

If this is going to morph into a lightweight dream thread, maybe it should be renamed? Dunno why it has EarthRoamer in the name anyway, since they apparently already refused.
 

Clutch

<---Pass
Have you thought of a van? already have a walk through design. Small compared to an ER. Don't have reinvent the wheel either...toss on a raised roof, builld out the interior...throw some go fast suspendy bits under there. Next thing you know you're in Alaska being chased by bears. :D

Boulder Offroad out of Colorado did a linked GM.



 
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ZeneralGod

New member
How do I rename it??? Even though I joined a few years ago, I have only used this forum a few times.
UniSolar did go out of business, but you can still buy their panels from left over stock.
 
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dwh

Tail-End Charlie
You can still get the UniSolars, but who services the warranty?

I don't know how to rename a thread because I've never done it, but I've seen a boatload of "For Sale" threads renamed to "For Sale - SOLD", so I know it can be done. My guess would be to edit the first post, change the title and save it, but like I said, I've never tried it myself.
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
I actually did give them a call and ask them and they resolutely and flatly REFUSED... I was pretty surprised... They claimed they were booked solid and the next big project would be the XV-HD.

I asked again, in a different way, and they said they had "no plan" to go smaller, only larger...

LOL
Having spent the day in their facility as the guest of Bill and his team, I can fully understand his position here. This is not a fabricator shop where they build one-offs or anything of the sort. Because they have a year-long waiting list and a bustling pre-owned refurbishment business, deviating from their normal production routine would simply not be good business. They have a well oiled machine at work. The process of building their current offering keeps them more than busy.

They also do extensive testing and engineering before they even make minor changes to their existing platform. It would be no different if you called American Expedition Vehicles and asked them to build out a Toyota.
 

ZeneralGod

New member
I have heard several individuals mention that EarthRoamer is not a "one-off" shop and they don't do custom fabrication, due to economies of scale, they produce serial campers.

I never suggested, nor implied, a one-off build. I suggested they do a feasibility study on producing a new SERIAL camper, based on a go-fast, ULTRA-LIGHT design&#8230; I just wanted to get # "001"...

Hope that puts this question to rest.
 
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