Slide in Camper Survey

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Slide in Camper survey



TotalComposites is looking for your input! We love to engage with our customers and always appreciate feedback. No better place to ask a couple of questions than here on Expedition Portal :)



We are getting increased requests for slide in campers for all size pick up trucks. Our current panels system was not designed to serve that market. Therefore we have developed a brand new system that will hopefully solve the shortcomings of other brands. Like our bigger camper bodies, the new design will be sold as a kit without interior. This will allow you to outfit as you like! Warehoused and shipped from our HQ on Vancouver Island Canada. Turn around time should be less than 2 weeks.



We will only be offering fixed side walls. NO pop up. We truly believe that fabric/ plastic walls have just too many short comings (condensation, low insulation value, very poor sound proofing and possible weak point when it comes to wear and tear) . We can’t imagine it being fun having the bedding touch a wet fabric at night…

How will it be delivered:
Flat packed as freight FOB Victoria BC
In person pick up in Victoria BC is of course also an option!

How long to assemble the camper:
We will supply you with the adhesive, pre cut panels and extrusions. Everything is clearly labeled. We recommend two people for handling the components. Based on previous builds we are confident that you can successfully do this in a weekend.



Key Features:


True 4 season capabilities with 2” foam core panels all around
  1. Zero thermal transfer with our brand new super tough FRP extrusions
  2. Real glass awning style insulated windows (aluminum frame with thermal break)
  3. Panorama hatch (big opening in sidewall that is of course insulated and thermal transfer free)
  4. Zero wood inside the panels = No decay-ever!
  5. All outside corners/ jack mounts are stainless steel = No rust-ever!
  6. Also available with a full size bottom for flatbeds.







Now that we have the laid out the important technical details, we need your input:



  1. Size: For added security we like to keep the main body within the truck bed so you can close and lock the tailgate. At the same time you can use the gate as a “porch”. The downside is the reduced interior space. What is your thought?
  2. Cab over bed: Our current layout allows for a ~48” deep alcove . This means part of the bed will be a pull out design. Thoughts?
  3. Width: We truly believe that the width should be kept as narrow as possible, following the vehicle outlines. This will allow you to go down narrow trails and also make it easier finding parking in confined spaces. This in return will compromise the interior space… Thoughts?
  4. Interior height: We need a happy medium. 78” is the current measurement. Thoughts?
  5. Although we think we will hit the mark with smaller trucks like the Tacoma, Ranger, Colorado… We think the more sensible way would be a Gladiator, F150 or bigger to avoid being overloaded… Thoughts?





Pricing:

A very sensitive topic… :)

We understand the need for fairly priced quality products. Our campers will never be sold to dumping prices as the material choices do not allow for that… But we like to ask what you think a flat packed camper should cost.





Timeline:

First units should be in stock by end of September.

Thank you in advance for your highly valued feedback!

Drawings are NOT to scale!
Branded Slide in Rear left.pngBranded Flatbed Left Rear corner.png
 

UHAULER

Explorer
I like the idea. Out of my price range, i'm sure. Only you know what you need to sell them for, everything else is just a wild guess.
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
  1. Size: For added security we like to keep the main body within the truck bed so you can close and lock the tailgate. At the same time you can use the gate as a “porch”. The downside is the reduced interior space. I think this is a pretty good idea and would have no issues with it. I have an F150 with 6.5' bed and that would allow me to keep my rearview camera, have a "porch" and use the integrated step that is in the tailgate. I also have no issues with not being able to keep the tailgate, because space in these campers is already at a premium.
  2. Cab over bed: Our current layout allows for a ~48” deep alcove . This means part of the bed will be a pull out design. If it pulled out to be queen sized that would be great. I don't need king size in a camper.
  3. Width: We truly believe that the width should be kept as narrow as possible, following the vehicle outlines. This will allow you to go down narrow trails and also make it easier finding parking in confined spaces. This in return will compromise the interior space… I feel like height is more of an issue on trails that I have been on than width. Something like this could easily be mounted to a small trailer as well, so I don't think you would want to sacrifice too much width, especially if you're going short on length.
  4. Interior height: We need a happy medium. 78” is the current measurement. I'm 6"2" and that would be plenty for me. I like pop ups due to the lower height when traveling, so I wouldn't want a hard sided to be too much taller than it needed to be.
  5. Although we think we will hit the mark with smaller trucks like the Tacoma, Ranger, Colorado… We think the more sensible way would be a Gladiator, F150 or bigger to avoid being overloaded… I feel even half tons can be too small for some of these, but if you keep the weight down I see it being perfect for full size half ton trucks.
PRICING - If I could get my hands on a kit like this for $10k-12k or less I think it would be great.
ETA: Obviously the lower the price the better IMO, but I wouldn't purchase one for more than $12k.
 

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Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
1-2. For mid sized pickups, yeah, I'd want a short camper that does not overhang the rear bumper. The rear tailgate secures nothing. So I'd rather see no tailgate, and a nice door. It's easier attaching steps to the camper, than using a step bumper or whatever. Climbing onto the tail gate ''porch'' is a major pita. Pull out bed is fine. The rear of the camper might be a place for maxtrax rotopacks etc. So the tailgate would kill that.

I'd rather see a 3/4 ton, 1 ton shortbed version with a small rear overhang. Bundutecs Bunduvry for example. The rear overhang allows me to put in a much nicer bathroom and steps. These would need a fixed queen sized bed to be competitive.

3. Width. They need to be a hair wider than the truck to allow the jacks to clear on normal-ish brackets. But yeah, narrow is good. Bundutec and FWC have nice campers about this width.

4. 77" interior ht is fine. Recommend including a bubble style fantastic fan vent thing for the bathroom. These give a little more headroom there.

5. I think the fullsize 3/4 to 1 ton market is your best bet. Little trucks are for tight trails. Hardcore trails are not popular spots for slide in campers. Nobody, big truck or little, goes rock crawling with a camper on the back. But a fullsize with a tall slide in can go down the TAT just fine.

Pricing? With complete door, nice windows, assembly parts........$10k is about my limit. A ready to rock Bundutec is $25k, as is a Capris. If I hit $15k before my own labor.....I'll likely just buy one built.

Roof must support an AC unit.
 

Grenadiers

Adventurer
I reckon, that 85% of the posts on this forum are from people that have small trucks, RTT trailers and SUVs, and very few large overland vehicles. The big demographic that’s not heard from much, are the 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day. There’s the money. No offense to younger people of course! I love our Saurer 6dm conversion, however, it’s not as suitable to us as we are older. I’d like a large truck camper that’s lighter than the mammoth Lance or Bigfoot units. A completed utilitarian unit without the fancy teak woodwork or diesel powered cooktops, etc., would have a saleable market. Of course, having plenty of water, battery, solar storage would be a plus. Most older people that go to Baja, like myself, aren’t going to travel off-camber over mountains to find that hidden beach.
 

Alloy

Well-known member

  1. Size: For added security we like to keep the main body within the truck bed so you can close and lock the tailgate. At the same time you can use the gate as a “porch”. The downside is the reduced interior space. What is your thought?
Kind of defeats the purpose of a 4Season unit if security takes precedent over insulated/heated space. I'd maximizing capacity for payload (tanks/batteries/storage). Payload is one thing that production campers suffer from. On those payload takes 2nd place to the heavy (cheap) materails used for finishing.

  1. Cab over bed: Our current layout allows for a ~48” deep alcove . This means part of the bed will be a pull out design. Thoughts?
Full size bed ++ above the cab....same as other mfg.....how many have master beds that need assembly?


Width: We truly believe that the width should be kept as narrow as possible, following the vehicle outlines. This will allow you to go down narrow trails and also make it easier finding parking in confined spaces. This in return will compromise the interior space… Thoughts?

4Season = more interior space so 8'0 - 8'6"....width doesn't matter as much as weight. Our Subaru gets pin stripped just as much as our F350.

  1. Interior height: We need a happy medium. 78” is the current measurement. Thoughts?
What other builders are doing or make it 78" after adding vents/AC.......4Season = more time inside.

  1. Although we think we will hit the mark with smaller trucks like the Tacoma, Ranger, Colorado… We think the more sensible way would be a Gladiator, F150 or bigger to avoid being overloaded… Thoughts?
Agreed...but Northern Lite stopped making the Lite Series so there could be a market to fill there.

Pricing:

A very sensitive topic… :)

We understand the need for fairly priced quality products. Our campers will never be sold to dumping prices as the material choices do not allow for that… But we like to ask what you think a flat packed camper should cost.

Myself If I can't buy everything (electrical/mechanical/plumbing/appliances/cabinets/upholstery), add my time (@$5/hr) and save $10k US then I'd buy a new/used Bigfoot or Northern Lite and modify it because the resale on those is better.

 

Rovertrader

Supporting Sponsor
Another retired boomer here. My question is can it be modified easily for say an F-350 CCSB w/ Decked drawers. The drawers are actually a bit short of full length, which would allow full size door. Honestly, I would prefer it to be the 8’ version to fit with tailgate down, and factory plug option to retain rear camera onto camper. Either way, I would need to notch it if you will to raise the floor over the decked drawer system- bit difficult to explain fully. Primary question, can the side module panels be modified? And interior built out by owner....
thanks
 

Alloy

Well-known member
I reckon, that 85% of the posts on this forum are from people that have small trucks, RTT trailers and SUVs, and very few large overland vehicles. The big demographic that’s not heard from much, are the 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day. There’s the money. No offense to younger people of course! I love our Saurer 6dm conversion, however, it’s not as suitable to us as we are older. I’d like a large truck camper that’s lighter than the mammoth Lance or Bigfoot units. A completed utilitarian unit without the fancy teak woodwork or diesel powered cooktops, etc., would have a saleable market. Of course, having plenty of water, battery, solar storage would be a plus. Most older people that go to Baja, like myself, aren’t going to travel off-camber over mountains to find that hidden beach.
Lost count of the people I've cautioned to be careful, take their time buying a RV and been told later "You're were right". In my experience there aren't many people with money, skills and the patience to finish something like this. Finishing would be something for a cottage industry.
 
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Furaites

Member
Well I was actually thinking of doing this already...and now...BAMM.

I like the idea of both the Truck bed, and Flat Bed style campers....But I feel like space is always a premium.

In the Realm of keeping it short for added security of closing the Tailgate, sad to say if someone wants to get in...they can just stand on the bumper and beat their way in above the bumper. The added security of keeping the camper in place well travelling, I do not know if that would be really needed either. As many people have Truck campers already, that are held in via the tie downs along the outside, and they almost always have no tailgate closure from what I have seen.

In the Realm of a Cab over....depending on your width....Why not just try for an East West bed....48" deep (or in this case 48" wide) would be plenty big for a single person or even most couples...depending again on how wide the camper is.

I know a few tall people, but not one over 6'6" so 78" seems like it would be a decent interior height.

Now as for Price, well price is always a touchy topic, but I do not think anyone should be sold short. Depending on the size of the unit, and for a ready built SHELL....I could see in between maybe 8-12K. 12K being on the size of an 8' Flat bed unit with cab over.

Anyways just my .02 cents
 

rruff

Explorer
1) No need for the tailgate to be up. Buliwyf covered the negative aspects well I think.
2) I made my cabover shorter because I didn't want it to extend over the cab. The bed doesn't have a slide though, it just extends further back (~2 ft) with a big storage compartment (drawers) underneath.
3) 80" wide is good IMO... I think you don't need clearance lights for that width. You can put extenders on the jack brackets so they clear the rest of the truck.
4) 78" is plenty high for most people.
5) All the little trucks and 1/2 tons are overloaded. Just depends on demand. One advantage you have is that someone can do a light build if they wish.

Pricing? With complete door, nice windows, assembly parts........$10k is about my limit. A ready to rock Bundutec is $25k, as is a Capris. If I hit $15k before my own labor.....I'll likely just buy one built.
Service bodies cost more than $12k new... I expect TC will be >$15k and maybe $20k. They won't be able to compete with Bundutec or Capri on price, but you'd have a much better shell as a starting point. Bahn lists their shell at $40k+... don't know if there are any others who have a rugged insulated shell available.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
That's all true. But I'd struggle to justify a really nice box of foam and plastic panels for more than $15k.

I'd consider it. The TC boxes that I've seen are very nice. I'd love to have a camper based on that. Curious how they reinforce it around the jacks.
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
Service bodies cost more than $12k new... I expect TC will be >$15k and maybe $20k. They won't be able to compete with Bundutec or Capri on price, but you'd have a much better shell as a starting point. Bahn lists their shell at $40k+... don't know if there are any others who have a rugged insulated shell available.
Overland Explorers Camp-X is $30k for a completely built out unit with insulated pop top. If something like this got too expensive, it wouldn't make any sense for me to just not buy a complete Camp-X.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Very good input so far! Thanks.
Most of the people that showed interest in these type of campers did not want a fully build camper. They where looking for a basic shelter that has heat, washroom, bed, somewhere to sit and make coffee. Pop top was a no go for most. Another big point was the shitty quality and 60's interior design in regular campers.

As for pricing: We are trying to go higher end with the windows and doors than what is currently available. The Stainless corners also ad to the price... In other words, the goal is to offer you something new and fresh with quality components. Our target is around US$11.000 for the kit.
 

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FlatlandSK

New member
I'll weigh in on this since I am in fact looking for something very similar (pop-up instead of hard side) for a 1/2 ton pickup. I have looked extensively at the Camp-X by Overland Explorer, and there is only 1 sticking point for me...I lose the benefit of the tailgate.

  1. Size: For added security we like to keep the main body within the truck bed so you can close and lock the tailgate. At the same time you can use the gate as a “porch”. The downside is the reduced interior space.
    1. This is exactly what I am looking for. I have the GMC Multi-Pro tailgate with the steps. Unlike the older style step tailgates where the "step" is more of a ladder rung that pulls out, these are true platform steps and actually work incredibly well, not to mention the cameras in the tailgate. This provides a great area to sit and swap out gear (ski boots, snow shoes, waders, etc.) without getting the camper messed up. With a standard bed (6'6") there would not be much interior volume lost by making the camper fit. I have been looking at the Camp-X models, they have a 6'8" floor length..2" inches isn't much real estate to sacrifice to keep the tailgate.
  2. Cab over bed: Our current layout allows for a ~48” deep alcove . This means part of the bed will be a pull out design. Thoug
    1. Pull out isn't a deal breaker, as long as it is very quick/easy. Given that the majority of pickups purchased are crew cab, can the fixed alcove actually accommodate a full-queen size bed without pulling out? At 6'5" tall, short beds aren't the most comfortable.
  3. Width: We truly believe that the width should be kept as narrow as possible, following the vehicle outlines. This will allow you to go down narrow trails and also make it easier finding parking in confined spaces. This in return will compromise the interior space…
    1. Within reason narrower fits. Given that it is a full hard side, it is already quite a bit larger than the vehicle. Going tall and skinny doesn't gain much in my mind.
  4. Interior height: We need a happy medium. 78” is the current measurement.
    1. Seems reasonable. I'm 6'5", which is one of the reasons I have looked at pop-up rather than hard side as they typically offer more head room while parked and less headache while travelling.
  5. Although we think we will hit the mark with smaller trucks like the Tacoma, Ranger, Colorado… We think the more sensible way would be a Gladiator, F150 or bigger to avoid being overloaded…
    1. The half ton market is wildly overlooked in my opinion. Half ton pickups are one of the highest selling vehicles out there and are plenty capable of carrying a reasonable payload. There is already an enormous array of 3/4 ton+ options on the market, and the small trucks face many more limitations for space/weight issues. With a 1,800lb payload capacity on my GMC 1500, a practical slide in with a reasonable level of "comforts" should fit well within the weight range with minimal upgrades to suspension.
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
Very good input so far! Thanks.
Most of the people that showed interest in these type of campers did not want a fully build camper. They where looking for a basic shelter that has heat, washroom, bed, somewhere to sit and make coffee. Pop top was a no go for most. Another big point was the shitty quality and 60's interior design in regular campers.

As for pricing: We are trying to go higher end with the windows and doors than what is currently available. The Stainless corners also ad to the price... In other words, the goal is to offer you something new and fresh with quality components. Our target is around US$11.000 for the kit.
How open would you guys be to offering CAD of the main structure (interior space mostly) so people could build out the rest of it in CAD? I would be much more inclined to buy something like this if I could load the floorplan in to Fusion360 and design my layout.
 
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