Thoughts on the Truckhouse Tacoma expedition camper...

waveslider

Outdoorsman
There’s been a lot of talk about size and how it’s weird using a Tacoma because it makes it big.

The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is the small camper combined with the double cab. Why optimize around carrying four people when the camper won’t comfortably accommodate them? That is a lot of space dedicated to a use that is transitory. Who is this for? A young family of four? It’s pricy for that market. A couple with the money to spend? Those extra seats are suboptimal space utilization.

One word: Dogs
 

rruff

Explorer
The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is the small camper combined with the double cab.
It isn't really a small camper (pretty sure it sleeps 4 with ease)... and the back seats of a Tacoma take up less space than the back seats in a fullsize.
 

gdaut

Active member
In addition to dogs, a lot of people use the back seat for storage; often you see the rear seat removed. Also, for the over-cab bed to be large enough for two, it more or less covers the entire Tacoma crew cab. If you built on a single cab, the camper bed would overhang the truck cab. In addition to looking odd, that may affect visibility.
 

bajajoaquin

Adventurer
I’m not trying to be difficult, I just don’t see how they thought from first principles of having design objectives and got here. It looks more like they said to themselves a bunch of buzzword concepts and then threw them all together. Tacoma! Trophy truck! Carbon fiber! Then built a vehicle afterwards. So commenting on a few posts above.

Dogs. I already commented, but with a pass through, I’d guess they would be more comfortable in the dinette set as a bed. I’m not a dog person, but I’ve got friends who camp and travel with three big dogs, and that’s what they do. More space and when you are camped, the space is better utilized inside the camper than as a seating area in the truck that’s not really useful except for the minority of the time you’re driving.

Sleeps four with ease. I’d dispute the “with ease” aspect. I am selling a Lance 9.5 foot camper. I can’t sleep on the dinette bed without going diagonally. I’m 5’10” so is this designed for families with two small children? It’s a lot of money for a young family. If it’s a lifestyle choice, then where are you going to home school your kids? It’s pretty small to be living in with a family of four.

Is it designed for two couples? Let’s say the dinette has been optimized for adults fitting to the exclusion of other interior uses. Four FAA-standard humans weigh 720 lbs. Water for them for a week (a gallon per person per day) weighs 228 lbs. Thats a significant part of your payload right there and you haven’t accommodated food, clothes, mountain bikes, surfboards, firewood, or any other equipment. That’s to say nothing of the weight to put a fridge, water tanks, stove, propane tanks, batteries, wiring, and plumbing. Nor the shell itself. Or the space. Have you tried to live with four people in a space like that? Where do you fit food, water, refrigeration and batteries? You have eliminated about a third of the area at the bottom of the camper by permanently devoting it to cab space and preventing any clever packaging.

Who optimizes around spending a quarter million dollars to regularly be cramped in a small camper with another couple? If you don’t do it regularly, why optimize around that solution?

Cabover overhang. The short response is that the inspiration for the design, the Sunraider, managed it with a single cab Toyota. A longer response is that there are a bunch of design options. Put tanks and batteries in that space. Put cabinets or fridges. Have a slide out bed like early FWC. All of these offer more flexibility than committing to a passenger compartment that is used a minority of the time and is unused or under utilized the rest.

Storage in the Back Seat. I think I covered that above, but there are lots of ways to provide storage that is better optimized for camping than a passenger compartment. Remember the AT flip camper for Jeeps? They optimized around a four door specifically because they were selling as an aftermarket product into a market where the vast majority of Jeeps were four doors. They thought about end goals. This camper is designed to start as a new vehicle designed as an integrated whole. Why design in the compromises? Why not have lockers, tanks, shelves, cabinets and other things in that space?

GVWR. They say that they are reinforcing the frame to handle it. How are they avoiding stress risers and failure modes down the road? Is there a factory manual for building bodies and stiffening frames? Remember the guy who put a Bigfoot camper on the back of a FG Fuso? Broke his frame in South America. That’s a truck that’s designed to carry loads. Are they following race truck practice? That’s a different load cycle. And race teams go through a lot of trial and error and testing. If they break the truck, they DNF and drag it out with a chase truck. If you break this truck, your very expensive home is stranded out where someone can’t retrieve it. What are they doing to test extensively? They aren’t Unicat, they are a couple guys just out of college. A simple comparison with the Sunraider is that was built when Toyota offered a 1-ton chassis with dual rear wheels, not just built with the contemporary version of a Tacoma.

Trophy Truck Suspension. Who is going to be racing their camper? Didn’t they say they re-gear to fit the weight and power? That means slow, in this case, not trophy truck. If you supercharge it, how will the extra power and weight affect the life of the drive train? Will you rebuild your suspension every trip or every year? Why optimize around that?

Anyway, really I’m not trying to be a ********. I’m not their target market. But they are spending a lot of time and treasure designing something that doesn’t seem to have managed the compromises very well. I don’t see who their actual, paying, sustainable target market is. If it’s you, then that’s fantastic. I’m glad someone built exactly what you need.
 

rruff

Explorer
I’m not trying to be difficult, I just don’t see how they thought from first principles of having design objectives and got here. It looks more like they said to themselves a bunch of buzzword concepts and then threw them all together. Tacoma! Trophy truck! Carbon fiber! Then built a vehicle afterwards.
Your comments have merit, but I don't think the double cab was a bad choice at all. On my page there is an ad for the Nimble at the bottom. That is a double cab also. The camper is no bigger than this one. The double cab gives the owner flexibility. Once you've decided on a Tacoma (for some reason?), anything but the DC Long is going to be cramped. A standard cab does not give you a longer bed option.

Extensively beefing up the frame, suspension, and engine will be tricky tasks IMO. If it was on a nearly stock F350, it would already be risky for early adopters, and this just makes it more risky. Frankly I'll be very impressed if they produce a well sorted rig on their first try... one that functions well off the lot. Long term reliability and support are the things that will make or break them after that.

Target market? Probably youngish urban couples who like Toyotas, with $$$ and maybe a kid or two... who want to go on adventure camping trips. Hiking, skiing, rock climbing, MTB, surfing, etc.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
I’m not trying to be difficult, I just don’t see how they thought from first principles of having design objectives and got here. It looks more like they said to themselves a bunch of buzzword concepts and then threw them all together. Tacoma! Trophy truck! Carbon fiber! Then built a vehicle afterwards. So commenting on a few posts above.

Dogs. I already commented, but with a pass through, I’d guess they would be more comfortable in the dinette set as a bed. I’m not a dog person, but I’ve got friends who camp and travel with three big dogs, and that’s what they do. More space and when you are camped, the space is better utilized inside the camper than as a seating area in the truck that’s not really useful except for the minority of the time you’re driving.

Sleeps four with ease. I’d dispute the “with ease” aspect. I am selling a Lance 9.5 foot camper. I can’t sleep on the dinette bed without going diagonally. I’m 5’10” so is this designed for families with two small children? It’s a lot of money for a young family. If it’s a lifestyle choice, then where are you going to home school your kids? It’s pretty small to be living in with a family of four.

Is it designed for two couples? Let’s say the dinette has been optimized for adults fitting to the exclusion of other interior uses. Four FAA-standard humans weigh 720 lbs. Water for them for a week (a gallon per person per day) weighs 228 lbs. Thats a significant part of your payload right there and you haven’t accommodated food, clothes, mountain bikes, surfboards, firewood, or any other equipment. That’s to say nothing of the weight to put a fridge, water tanks, stove, propane tanks, batteries, wiring, and plumbing. Nor the shell itself. Or the space. Have you tried to live with four people in a space like that? Where do you fit food, water, refrigeration and batteries? You have eliminated about a third of the area at the bottom of the camper by permanently devoting it to cab space and preventing any clever packaging.

Who optimizes around spending a quarter million dollars to regularly be cramped in a small camper with another couple? If you don’t do it regularly, why optimize around that solution?

Cabover overhang. The short response is that the inspiration for the design, the Sunraider, managed it with a single cab Toyota. A longer response is that there are a bunch of design options. Put tanks and batteries in that space. Put cabinets or fridges. Have a slide out bed like early FWC. All of these offer more flexibility than committing to a passenger compartment that is used a minority of the time and is unused or under utilized the rest.

Storage in the Back Seat. I think I covered that above, but there are lots of ways to provide storage that is better optimized for camping than a passenger compartment. Remember the AT flip camper for Jeeps? They optimized around a four door specifically because they were selling as an aftermarket product into a market where the vast majority of Jeeps were four doors. They thought about end goals. This camper is designed to start as a new vehicle designed as an integrated whole. Why design in the compromises? Why not have lockers, tanks, shelves, cabinets and other things in that space?

GVWR. They say that they are reinforcing the frame to handle it. How are they avoiding stress risers and failure modes down the road? Is there a factory manual for building bodies and stiffening frames? Remember the guy who put a Bigfoot camper on the back of a FG Fuso? Broke his frame in South America. That’s a truck that’s designed to carry loads. Are they following race truck practice? That’s a different load cycle. And race teams go through a lot of trial and error and testing. If they break the truck, they DNF and drag it out with a chase truck. If you break this truck, your very expensive home is stranded out where someone can’t retrieve it. What are they doing to test extensively? They aren’t Unicat, they are a couple guys just out of college. A simple comparison with the Sunraider is that was built when Toyota offered a 1-ton chassis with dual rear wheels, not just built with the contemporary version of a Tacoma.

Trophy Truck Suspension. Who is going to be racing their camper? Didn’t they say they re-gear to fit the weight and power? That means slow, in this case, not trophy truck. If you supercharge it, how will the extra power and weight affect the life of the drive train? Will you rebuild your suspension every trip or every year? Why optimize around that?

Anyway, really I’m not trying to be a ********. I’m not their target market. But they are spending a lot of time and treasure designing something that doesn’t seem to have managed the compromises very well. I don’t see who their actual, paying, sustainable target market is. If it’s you, then that’s fantastic. I’m glad someone built exactly what you need.
My exact thoughts much better worded 👍🏼
 

Steve_382

Active member
Extensively beefing up the frame, suspension, and engine will be tricky tasks IMO. If it was on a nearly stock F350, it would already be risky for early adopters, and this just makes it more risky. Frankly I'll be very impressed if they produce a well sorted rig on their first try... one that functions well off the lot. Long term reliability and support are the things that will make or break them after that.

Target market? Probably youngish urban couples who like Toyotas, with $$$ and maybe a kid or two... who want to go on adventure camping trips. Hiking, skiing, rock climbing, MTB, surfing, etc.
I really like the layout of the camper. Lots of windows, EW sleeping, dedicated wet bath space, great view from the dinette, etc. If it was on a F-350 Supercab, we might be willing to take a chance on new company. I know it would make it taller, but it wouldn't really make it longer. The Ford Supercab is 12' long from the back of the cab to the front bumper. The 4 door Tacoma is almost identical. Just upgrade the shocks, wheels, tires, etc. Everything else could remain stock Ford and any jackleg mechanic in the world would be willing to mess up repairs on it.

It would be like a mini EarthRoamer, but with tires that could be bought anywhere.
 

gdaut

Active member
I’m not trying to be difficult, I just don’t see how they thought from first principles of having design objectives and got here. It looks more like they said to themselves a bunch of buzzword concepts and then threw them all together. Tacoma! Trophy truck! Carbon fiber! Then built a vehicle afterwards. So commenting on a few posts above.

Dogs. I already commented, but with a pass through, I’d guess they would be more comfortable in the dinette set as a bed. I’m not a dog person, but I’ve got friends who camp and travel with three big dogs, and that’s what they do. More space and when you are camped, the space is better utilized inside the camper than as a seating area in the truck that’s not really useful except for the minority of the time you’re driving.

Sleeps four with ease. I’d dispute the “with ease” aspect. I am selling a Lance 9.5 foot camper. I can’t sleep on the dinette bed without going diagonally. I’m 5’10” so is this designed for families with two small children? It’s a lot of money for a young family. If it’s a lifestyle choice, then where are you going to home school your kids? It’s pretty small to be living in with a family of four.

Is it designed for two couples? Let’s say the dinette has been optimized for adults fitting to the exclusion of other interior uses. Four FAA-standard humans weigh 720 lbs. Water for them for a week (a gallon per person per day) weighs 228 lbs. Thats a significant part of your payload right there and you haven’t accommodated food, clothes, mountain bikes, surfboards, firewood, or any other equipment. That’s to say nothing of the weight to put a fridge, water tanks, stove, propane tanks, batteries, wiring, and plumbing. Nor the shell itself. Or the space. Have you tried to live with four people in a space like that? Where do you fit food, water, refrigeration and batteries? You have eliminated about a third of the area at the bottom of the camper by permanently devoting it to cab space and preventing any clever packaging.

Who optimizes around spending a quarter million dollars to regularly be cramped in a small camper with another couple? If you don’t do it regularly, why optimize around that solution?

Cabover overhang. The short response is that the inspiration for the design, the Sunraider, managed it with a single cab Toyota. A longer response is that there are a bunch of design options. Put tanks and batteries in that space. Put cabinets or fridges. Have a slide out bed like early FWC. All of these offer more flexibility than committing to a passenger compartment that is used a minority of the time and is unused or under utilized the rest.

Storage in the Back Seat. I think I covered that above, but there are lots of ways to provide storage that is better optimized for camping than a passenger compartment. Remember the AT flip camper for Jeeps? They optimized around a four door specifically because they were selling as an aftermarket product into a market where the vast majority of Jeeps were four doors. They thought about end goals. This camper is designed to start as a new vehicle designed as an integrated whole. Why design in the compromises? Why not have lockers, tanks, shelves, cabinets and other things in that space?

GVWR. They say that they are reinforcing the frame to handle it. How are they avoiding stress risers and failure modes down the road? Is there a factory manual for building bodies and stiffening frames? Remember the guy who put a Bigfoot camper on the back of a FG Fuso? Broke his frame in South America. That’s a truck that’s designed to carry loads. Are they following race truck practice? That’s a different load cycle. And race teams go through a lot of trial and error and testing. If they break the truck, they DNF and drag it out with a chase truck. If you break this truck, your very expensive home is stranded out where someone can’t retrieve it. What are they doing to test extensively? They aren’t Unicat, they are a couple guys just out of college. A simple comparison with the Sunraider is that was built when Toyota offered a 1-ton chassis with dual rear wheels, not just built with the contemporary version of a Tacoma.

Trophy Truck Suspension. Who is going to be racing their camper? Didn’t they say they re-gear to fit the weight and power? That means slow, in this case, not trophy truck. If you supercharge it, how will the extra power and weight affect the life of the drive train? Will you rebuild your suspension every trip or every year? Why optimize around that?

Anyway, really I’m not trying to be a ********. I’m not their target market. But they are spending a lot of time and treasure designing something that doesn’t seem to have managed the compromises very well. I don’t see who their actual, paying, sustainable target market is. If it’s you, then that’s fantastic. I’m glad someone built exactly what you need.
Tanks, batteries, fridges and other heavy stuff in the overcab area would be a very bad idea. Too much weight too high. There is a reason pretty much every camper puts those things down low. But I get your point about the Sunraider; maybe the overhang would not be too bad. I

It would be interesting to see someone do something like Maltec does on 2 door Land Cruiser and Land Rover chassis. I thought the obstacle to building something like that on a NA spec Toyota was the GVWR, but the Truckhouse seems like it would be at least as heavy as the Maltec campers.

I hope they succeed. Good to see people trying new things.
 

tacollie

Glamper
I like the interior. I like the camper portion. Calling it small is BS. It's longer and wider than my F250. It would be a rad camper on a F250. 35s and 3300lbs of payload without having to seriously modify a truck.

They are shooting for a buyer who wants a cool looking mini RV. It's a niche market. Hopefully it works for them.

As a dog person one of my requirements are rear windows that roll down. It's why I shopped for a 17+ super cab F250. I could have saved a lot of money on 11-16'🤣
 

Steve_382

Active member
OK, here is a great video that shows most of the vehicle. They have really done a great job with this unit. I would much prefer the F-350 Supercab, but am still sorely tempted to order one of these anyhow and take a chance. I haven't seen anything else on the market that even comes close.

 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
OK, here is a great video that shows most of the vehicle. They have really done a great job with this unit. I would much prefer the F-350 Supercab, but am still sorely tempted to order one of these anyhow and take a chance. I haven't seen anything else on the market that even comes close.

WOW

As much as I don’t agree with the platform, that interior is amazingly well done and sharp
 

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