Popup and slide outs

HowardH

Adventurer
I see pop up camper bodies with canvass. Why not full hard bodies? Also I have yet to see any expedition truck campers with slide outs. Why is this?
 

whatcharterboat

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
Hi Howard,

Full hard bodies are good too but there are obvious advantages of a poptop with regards to wind resistance, clearance from tree damage in the bush and some may want to ship in a container which is then possible......but one of the best advantages is the extra ventilation available in hot weather.....by the way, ours aren't canvas. They are ripstop PVC same as ther curtain-sided semis run but two layers sandwiching about 4 mm thick foam padding....so they are insulating somewhat and very weatherproof.

A full hard body would almost certainly require air-conditioning in hotter weather. Not saying one over the other cause we have built plenty of both .....just stating the advantages of the poptop IMO. With a hardtop , the advantages are better thermal insulation, structural integrity of the body, no lifting mechanisms, and you could say probably more internal storage.

Re: Slide-outs. They are great on vehicles that never leave the blacktop.......but corrugations (washboard roads) are a killer on the mechanisms that are commonly available and dust ingress around the slideout panels would be almost a certainty....so that's why you don't commonly see them on proper offroad motorhomes.
 
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dlh62c

Explorer
I agree with John on all points.

I'm torn between a pop-up and a hard top myself. I'm leaning towards the hard top because I like to winter camp. Then again, winter temperatures can very in different parts of the USA or even the world. A pop-up or a slide out seems less stealthy. I want a design that will allow me to pull over somewhere, roll into the back through a cab/camper pass-through and not appear I'm inside. The perfect set up for me would be some sort of hard top that could be removed for containerization should I ever need or want to do it.

Its all a compromise!

daryl
 
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whatcharterboat

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
I want a design that will allow me to pull over somewhere, roll into the back through a cab/camper pass-through and not appear I'm inside. The perfect set up for me would be some sort of hard top that could be removed for containerization should I ever need or want to do it.

daryl
;)
 
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Lynn

Expedition Leader
... The perfect set up for me would be some sort of hard top that could be removed for containerization should I ever need or want to do it.

...

daryl
Somewhere around here there is a hard-sided camper builld with removable upper walls. For shipping he raises the top a few inches, removes the upper walls, and lowers the roof down onto the lower walls.
 

HowardH

Adventurer
Whatcharterboat, thanks for the reply. Would it be possible to see a picture of how the "canvass" is attached to the camper body? Interesting comments regarding ventilation. I also do like the idea of a 360 degree view via the translucent material in the "canvass".

My question was specifically about pop ups that are hard sided. Something like the one done by Westyess referenced here.

Perhaps someone could tell us just how much weight is saved by having the expanding portion covered by "canvass" as opposed to the same material the rest of the camper is made out of.
 

HowardH

Adventurer
Hi Howard,
Re: Slide-outs. They are great on vehicles that never leave the blacktop.......but corrugations (washboard roads) are a killer on the mechanisms that are commonly available and dust ingress around the slideout panels would be almost a certainty....so that's why you don't see them on proper offroad motorhomes.
How is the mechanism for a slide out different then one for a pop top? Other then having to carry the weight it would appear to be similar. Keep in mind I am a newbie here.

My thought is a side door hinged just like an enclosed trailers rear door. You know the kind that hinge at the bottom and drop down to double as a loading ramp? Have one of those style doors on the side, open it to lay level with the ground and it can/could support the weight of your slide-out. With rubber gaskets and a proper locking mechanism on it I would think it could be sealed tightly for travel.

Either way a slide out would have to made the camper still partly accessible and useable for seating while traveling.
 

JRhetts

Adventurer
Unicat Slideouts

...Re: Slide-outs. They are great on vehicles that never leave the blacktop.......but corrugations (washboard roads) are a killer on the mechanisms that are commonly available and dust ingress around the slideout panels would be almost a certainty....so that's why you don't see them on proper offroad motorhomes.
I agree with John re: impact of washboard on slide outs. The only two campers I know of with slide outs that have stood the test of time [>>100,000 km and multiple continents] are ones built by Unicat approx. 20 yrs ago:

one for Richard DeSomme, now for sale in Argentina, and

Kenya-branch-gone.jpg

one for Max Dietrich, who had his 6x6 for sale in Vancouver BC four years ago when we looked at it.

Test_im_Gelaende_2.jpg

bat_innen-2.jpg
 
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SkiFreak

Expedition Leader
I fully expect that Unicat design and build their own slide out mechanisms, as they do with many of the other components they use.
When you have a budget that supports buying a Unicat, pretty much anything is possible. ;)

An "out of the box" RV slideout unit I expect is not designed for much in the way of off road conditions. However, I figure that if you did want to fit a one of these, it would be possible to make it strong enough.
The first thing I would add would be some securing clamps on the inside, that held the slideout tightly against the seals and camper body. This would take the job of securing the slideout away from the actual slide mechanism.

A hard sided poptop, which is what I intend to build, is a different story entirely. You have gravity on your side, helping to maintain the contact between the roof and the camper.
That said... I will likely preload the roof/camper joint with a spring mechanism in the lifting/lowering actuators.
 

whatcharterboat

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
Hi Howard,

How is the mechanism for a slide out different then one for a pop top? Other then having to carry the weight it would appear to be similar. Keep in mind I am a newbie here.

My thought is a side door hinged just like an enclosed trailers rear door. You know the kind that hinge at the bottom and drop down to double as a loading ramp? Have one of those style doors on the side, open it to lay level with the ground and it can/could support the weight of your slide-out. With rubber gaskets and a proper locking mechanism on it I would think it could be sealed tightly for travel.
Not really the same. Most of the slide-out systems are like a drawer runner and some are even like a rack and pinion so after a while on the corrugations, as you can imagine, those components will experience wear. As for sealing, a roof comes down to rest on a horizontal plane and its own weight will add to the seal. If something has to seal on the vertical plane then it's harder to apply even force all the way around the seal.

Howard, this is just what I've seen, and please note that I am talking about trucks that go into rough terrain and not your average road going palace.

Your idea sounds really interesting but I think with that concept, the bigger issue with would be weatherproofing when it was setup for camping rather than when it was travelling.
 
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