Suggestions : Popup Camper vs Aluminum shell


Check out caravan campers. Used ones are cheap in Nevada and many have double rear doors. They look very sturdy.


Expedition Leader
Having owned a few pop-up campers as well as caps/toppers/canopies/whatever I'll just say this: it doesn't matter what you buy as far as putting your bikes etc inside (they WILL fit in a camper), either way, your going to be moving them out for the cooking, eating, sleeping times.

Personally I'd rather move the bikes or 'yaks out and then grab a cold one out of my fridge and sit at a table with the furnace on, then roll into a nice comfy bed, and make breakfast at the stove when it's pissing down rain in the morning than crawl into a metal box over my tailgate. Others however, may prefer to grovel...
Yep. I had a Callen on my F-250 which was nice,but this popup gets me out of the perpetual sun and other elements down here. I've got chronic back issues and that queen bed at night sure helps.


Expedition Leader
I have a canopy that I built myself that does everything I need it to do...

You could probably drive a quad up the back if you wanted to....:Wow1:


I put two bikes in the back of my fwc grandby pretty regularly and also wheel about as hard as you are talking. Dunno if you are long bed or short bed but I think they would fit fine in a hawk as well if you made sure the area in front by the cab was clear. There isn't that big of a convenience factor between shell and camper. If price isn't at the top of the list in the decision I'd say fwc or equivalent shell model for sure. If you are into ice climbing that right there says you are not a strictly fair weather camper. With a pop up you can rejuvenate after foul weather recreation comfortably instead of bouncing to a motel. The convenience of setting up camp is a great plus to. Driving a ram mega cab rules out being compact already so I don't believe the camper will ever be a deciding factor on the trail. I've ripped the crap out of gemtop workmaster aluminum shell. I won't say a slide in will be more durable but if you do your own minimal interior it will hold up ok. I've been using the piss out of my gradby for 8 or 9 years and it is still intact. I bought a shell model new from them and any of the interior stuff it came with fell apart but I could tell that from looking at it. Also broke the frame but they warrantied it. I think besides a caravan camper most everything including the dodge are gonna be a cycle of repairs with heavy off roading. Fwc is relatively easy to work on and almost every time I'm in a tent or the back of a pickup I think I should have brought my camper. Long winded but hope it helps


Thanks for the reply Burt, That is helpful. Do you have to take the font wheel off? Do they go straight in or do you have to turn them to get the bars through? I was wondering if you need to keep some space clear near the door so the tire can turn a bit to go in. Have through axles on my bikes , so would love to keep the wheel on.


Mine has a pretty large bench up front behind the cab so the space is shorter than it could be for bikes and I went a lot bigger on cabinetry than I would next time around and I do not disassemble the bikes at all. I put them opposing each other, one front forward and one backwards with the handlebars crossed up. It's not super convenient but it works. It's more user friendly to use the tule rack (the one where the wheels sit in saddles with a bar that holds the tire not the frame) but for hiding them or getting them out of profoundly dusty conditions it works fine. As far as going straight in, you probably need to snake it in alittle but nothing too puzzling. Really no less convenient that piled up in the back of a shell with all your gear. Height wise it's not tight at all and I'm talking free ride bikes not bmx. If you got a shell model and built it with bikes in mind you could make it very handy and secure. Price is the only consideration I'd have making your decision. A custom shell will probably be 3k or so at the top end and you would be hard pressed to get out of fwc for much less than 10k. Full size fwc aren't as hard to find used tho and hold their value very well