New Alaskan side entry flatbed 8.5' build!!

ncalies

New member
@ncalies , we just ordered a thermal pack for the camper so hope that improves things. Generally condensation is a problem due to the aluminum. it is warm enough and a have camped for awhile in single digit temps. We have not been diligent about having a vent open when we sleep so going to try that out. Heat loss through transmission is a big factor, we have an aluminum flat bed, so next steps are foam between camper and bed. Did you insulate your bed at all? Our build: https://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/ram-2500-06-mega-cab-build.133994/
I hope the thermal pack helps out in those cold temps! Definitely play around with the fans, they make a huge difference. We have a rubber mat between the camper and our aluminum bed. The floor is not insulated but we do have a rug. We have the Truma Combi heater/water heater and there are three vents, so our floor area is quite warm. That's awesome you made your own bed!
 

beachbunny

New member
that was my concern about the alaskan also, i saw one at the expo and asked that question,he said the bed would get wet. and i was thinking 100K?
 

ncalies

New member
that was my concern about the alaskan also, i saw one at the expo and asked that question,he said the bed would get wet. and i was thinking 100K?
By bed, do you mean the mattress because of the aluminum framing around the tiny short walls?

Also, 100k for what? Alaskans aren't even close to that price. They range from $30,000s to low $40,000s.
 

beachbunny

New member
yes, the mattress, it was sitting on a gmc 3500 i belive, that got 8mpg , so yeah 100k is what they wanted, did not need to hear the one wall needed to be shimmed with a piece of paper to keep the wind noise down,did not need to hear if the hydralics don't work on lift that i had to be creative, propane door looked to be made of thin floppy alum and the tank was held down by a block of wood and a screw,so yeah, 100k,i don't think so
 

ncalies

New member
yes, the mattress, it was sitting on a gmc 3500 i belive, that got 8mpg , so yeah 100k is what they wanted, did not need to hear the one wall needed to be shimmed with a piece of paper to keep the wind noise down,did not need to hear if the hydralics don't work on lift that i had to be creative, propane door looked to be made of thin floppy alum and the tank was held down by a block of wood and a screw,so yeah, 100k,i don't think so
Ahh, I see. Those are valid concerns for sure, I don't disagree with you that some things could be thought through a bit more and better designed. But I think overall, it's very well built and they've been around since the 50s, so they are doing something right. I'd say that in general, you can't take into account the price of a vehicle. Every truck camper needs a truck, so the separation of prices is required. If you already own a flatbed truck, then the price is just the camper. But yes, if you are buying a relatively new truck with a new flatbed and a $40k camper, you are looking at $100k. You can immediately take of $8-$12k if you do a slide in camper.

As for the hydraulics, they are very robust and very well made. From my understanding, Alaskan has only had a couple fail at which point, you leave it down and you sleep on the dinette bed for the rest of that trip (not ideal, but still functional). Most of the popup campers have some sort of lift that can fail, so I wouldn't ding them for that, they are not the only one's that can have a failure.

One thing that I did not think about when we decided to go with Alaskan was that the camper is two halves. So mitigating drafts is going to be tough, especially since they aren't using the standard popup "tent" siding. Overall, it's not a big deal, but I do wonder if there is a better way of sealing those gaps.

Do you have a camper that you like or are looking at purchasing, I'm very interested in other thoughts? We chose Alaskan because it's the only hard sided pop up, they let us fully customize it (FWC, Hallmark, and plenty of others do not allow this type of customization).

I would say the one thing I wish was different would be the outside material. I wish it was a composite form, it would handle tree branches better, hail, wouldn't need as much yearly maintenance, etc. But it would add a ton to the cost... There is no perfect camper, you have to pick and choose what's most important and then "deal" with the rest.

There are cheaper campers out there and more expensive ones. Just have to pick where you want to put your money, but again, I don't disagree with your concerns, they are concerns of mine as well.
 

Motafinga

Adventurer
On the subject of wet mattresses I recently discovered a product for use under mattresses in campers, boats and any high condemnation environment called Froli. We surprisingly discovered mildew forming on our foam mattress on the bottom under the cover so we got a thinner 3’ foam topper and the thinnest froli system and are headed out to test it this weekend in cold weather. I slept on it last night and it’s WAAAY more comfortable and gives a good air space under the bed
 

ncalies

New member
On the subject of wet mattresses I recently discovered a product for use under mattresses in campers, boats and any high condemnation environment called Froli. We surprisingly discovered mildew forming on our foam mattress on the bottom under the cover so we got a thinner 3’ foam topper and the thinnest froli system and are headed out to test it this weekend in cold weather. I slept on it last night and it’s WAAAY more comfortable and gives a good air space under the bed
That's interesting, thank you for sharing! So you think a thinner mattress and the Froli is more comfortable than the original mattress? Which system did you order?
 

Motafinga

Adventurer
That's interesting, thank you for sharing! So you think a thinner mattress and the Froli is more comfortable than the original mattress? Which system did you order?
I ordered the froli “travel “ queen size which is the thinnest height they make. I do think it’s more comfortable but then again it wasn’t brand new when I got it and my rig is a 2000 so who knows if it was even original.
 

Chorky

Observer
What about using an inflatable mattress (a high quality one, not a $10 one from Walmart) instead? Some breather space could be made under it with some plywood and strips. It would probably be just as comfortable without the chance of absorbing water and getting moldy? The one downside I suppose would be the bed being colder in the winter. Something I have thought about anyway.
 

Atti

New member
Beautiful.
Did you have the pickup box removed for the flatbed? Wonder if the cab-chassis might be lower and bring the cabover closer to cab? Did you have other reasons in choosing a pickup with box?
 

Motafinga

Adventurer
We have a bit of a higher gap between the cab and camper after the utility bed mod but it doesn’t bother me. It makes a good place to store traction boards on a short roof rack 👍
 

beachbunny

New member
Do you have a camper that you like or are looking at purchasing, I'm very interested in other thoughts?
I went back to fwc.i wanted the hard sides for bear country cause when i worked at glacier and when the bears started acting up, they threw soft sides out, I asked them about fwc being a soft side but could not get a straight answer, maybe the guv'ment will have to do another study! lol.!
i wonder if anyone had had bear issues with fwc?
 

PV Hiker

Observer
This past year ar Glacier was told with FWC type camper while under a bear restriction you can camp but overnight you can not pop the top up. So if you can sleep with the top down, good to go.
 

lzpup

Observer
Saw a 7 ft flatbed Alaskan at Mammoth, similar layout to yours, they were loving it. Seeing the model in person has us thinking, great space and they look great inside, super cool.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ncalies

New member
Beautiful.
Did you have the pickup box removed for the flatbed? Wonder if the cab-chassis might be lower and bring the cabover closer to cab? Did you have other reasons in choosing a pickup with box?
Yes, we did have the truck bed removed to have the flatbed installed. The cab-chassis would definitely bring the camper lower since the flatbed could be mounted much lower. I believe we didn't choose the cab-chassis because when we were building it online, there were way fewer options and those options were important to us. The wheel base of the cab-chassis is about 3" longer, so not a huge difference there. I think if you are interested in the cab-chassis, build it out online and make sure it has what you want. If we were to do this again, we'd definitely consider the cab-chassis a lot more now that we know the flatbed sits so much higher.
 
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