New FWC layout - what do you think?

Pacific Northwest yetti

Expedition Medic
:wings: I happily stand corrected. Phoenix, makes awesome rigs! I am going to get in contact w/them thanks, they may be just what I'm looking for. Thanks!Wish this worked better on my phone.
 

skiroc

Observer
Has anyone changed their FWC order to this new configuration? You lose some storage and its an additional $3200 on the Fleet. I am holding my order until I can see it at the Long Beach show, but I'm still thinking the couch configuration is best for me, a primarily solo traveler. The couch config is also better for stealth camping and has more storage.

Has anyone seen this in person and changed their order to this configuration?
 

porscha356

New member
fwc layout

Went to FWC last week to check out the offerings,........still recovering from the huge dent in my skull when trying to negotiate the realllly small door, and I'm only 5'8". Great workmanship though, and the folks are nice and informative but, succinctly, their product has NO room. The pull out bed smacks of my tent camper of the 70's with all those "cracks" in the mattress, plus it is east-west, another inconvenience. And the counter containing the sink and stove is way too high......making it uncomfortable to work there. Overall, the unit is rather claustrophobic, and has no storage. It seems geared to be purposely utilitarian in nature whether it makes sense or not. To sum up, when I was young roll up windows and no A/C in the car went unnoticed......now that there is some wrinkle on the grape, wellllll, I do like those power windows......................
For those of you wanting a bit more creature comforts, there are other fish in the sea!
 

eugene

Explorer
I'm starting to see why the slide out bed. My camper has an 84x48 east west bed that I divided in the center to make two north south beds for my kids who are starting to grow longer. So I want to extend the cab over and thought I'd future proof it and make it long enough fit a pair of twin size mattresses at 40x75" north south. The cab over is already 44", I was looking at making it 60" but that means I then have a 15" overhang inside which looses the front center bench. But if I slide it more forward the weight on the front is putting too much upward force on the rear. At least if I'm reading my father's old machinist handbook right. I am just using wood since thats whats there, currently the cabover is about 10" tall, I want to shorten to 8" so I thought about using a straight 12' 1x8 board but joining it at the back the I'm running into trouble. I'm not using the staples like it had originally, I've been doweling all my joints but I think I'm starting to exceed the shear force on the dowels. So I've tried designing a small steel strap to go over top.
Anyway, long story but I see their issue, the weight of a person near the front of the cabover multiplies significantly as you extend the length of the cabover so its not going to be a simple as extending it with the exact same material as whats there.
 

Stan@FourWheel

Explorer
Just a little clarification on the pricing.

This first Self-Contained Fleet was a prototype, so we are still fine tuning things.

The price seems like a lot more, and it is higher than our normal models, but in the $ 3200.00 upgrade you get the hot water & outside shower option too.

So for the new layout, cassette toilet, and inside shower, the price increase is really closer to a $2600.00 upgrade.

We will be building this model in the Fleet, Hawk, and Grandby Model sizes.

:)

_____________________________________________________

. . . its an additional $3200 on the Fleet . . .

_____________________________________________________

PS: sorry our product didn't meet your needs porscha356

:(

But I love Sebastopol! That is where I grew up when I was a kid.

Lots of good memories of that place. When I lived there I think there were only 2500 people.

Still have family that live on the outskirts of town.

:)





.
 
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pods8

Explorer
For those of you wanting a bit more creature comforts, there are other fish in the sea!

Most folks wanting a FWC want light/low profile/rugged. Of course a bigger/larger camper is going to have more space and creature comforts available but in turn it is bigger/larger/heavier. Everything has it's trade offs and with the FWC campers its quite obvious the nitch they are designed for. Not sure why someone would be looking at one that really wants/needs a huge truck camper or a trailer.

I'm starting to see why the slide out bed. My camper has an 84x48 east west bed that I divided in the center to make two north south beds for my kids who are starting to grow longer. So I want to extend the cab over and thought I'd future proof it and make it long enough fit a pair of twin size mattresses at 40x75" north south. The cab over is already 44", I was looking at making it 60" but that means I then have a 15" overhang inside which looses the front center bench. But if I slide it more forward the weight on the front is putting too much upward force on the rear. At least if I'm reading my father's old machinist handbook right. I am just using wood since thats whats there, currently the cabover is about 10" tall, I want to shorten to 8" so I thought about using a straight 12' 1x8 board but joining it at the back the I'm running into trouble. I'm not using the staples like it had originally, I've been doweling all my joints but I think I'm starting to exceed the shear force on the dowels. So I've tried designing a small steel strap to go over top.
Anyway, long story but I see their issue, the weight of a person near the front of the cabover multiplies significantly as you extend the length of the cabover so its not going to be a simple as extending it with the exact same material as whats there.

I put an large enough slide out in my Hawk to make it a north/south kind sized bed.

I'm a bit confused about your post, it sounds like you're making structural changes to your camper cabover but you're talking about making it a thinner depth (which is weaker) and talking about a 1x8 which is not up the the task of carrying a cantilever. To my knowledge FWC uses a C-channel to carry the cabover, they put a board inside that C-channel to provide some support for the channel flanges (top/bottom) since it's not a boxed tube to try and prevent them from buckling. The board also provides backing for the interior installation. The board is not intended to carry the cantilever, the top/bottom pieces of the C-channel are carrying the load (tension on the top/compression on the bottom). Not sure if I'm just misunderstanding what you're saying...

As for FWC not making a larger cantilever I'm not entirely clear on what they feel is the structural challenge on that front. Increasing the C-channel thickness and/or section height (ie a bit thicker cabover) should do the trick. Maybe it's more of a function of sourcing materials and/or shop jigs or something?
 
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eugene

Explorer
I put an large enough slide out in my Hawk to make it a north/south kind sized bed.

I'm a bit confused about your post, it sounds like you're making structural changes to your camper cabover but you're talking about making it a thinner depth (which is weaker) and talking about a 1x8 which is not up the the task of carrying a cantilever. To my knowledge FWC uses a C-channel to carry the cabover, they put a board inside that C-channel to provide some support for the channel flanges (top/bottom) since it's not a boxed tube to try and prevent them from buckling. The board also provides backing for the interior installation. The board is not intended to carry the cantilever, the top/bottom pieces of the C-channel are carrying the load (tension on the top/compression on the bottom). Not sure if I'm just misunderstanding what you're saying...

As for FWC not making a larger cantilever I'm not entirely clear on what they feel is the structural challenge on that front. Increasing the C-channel thickness and/or section height (ie a bit thicker cabover) should do the trick. Maybe it's more of a function of sourcing materials and/or shop jigs or something?

My camper isn't an FWC, its a wood framed camper. But my point was that I see why they don't just make the structure a little thicker and extend it, its not that simple. The forces on the front wall and behind that as the cabover acts as a lever and wants to pull up on the center make the design change anything but simple.

I was trying to make mine work without a slide out. Until FWC's get popular on the east coast to where cost comes down enough that they are affordable I have to stay with my plan B :)
 

Frosty_1

Adventurer
Saw this model today in person at the Portland Sportsmans show. First time inside a FWC. I really like the layout of the new model, perfect for one person, maybe two. I don't think I'd want it on a Tacoma though. I'd rather have a Grandby sized camper with the new layout on a full size truck.

One thing I wasn't that impressed with was the quality of the cabinetry. Seemed cheap and hastily put together. Everything else seemed great, just wasn't that impressed by the cabinets...
 

pods8

Explorer
My camper isn't an FWC, its a wood framed camper. But my point was that I see why they don't just make the structure a little thicker and extend it, its not that simple. The forces on the front wall and behind that as the cabover acts as a lever and wants to pull up on the center make the design change anything but simple.

I see, didn't catch that. That camper only uses a wooden 1x8 to carry the cantileaver? Surprising.

As for the forces they really aren't that big of an issue in my view. Assuming you aren't trying to increase the load in the cantilever design the vertical force on the front wall should remain the same. To moment increases but that is going to be seen in the top/bottom of the cantilever beam and that is generally what may need an increase if anything. The force to tip the campers back up isn't really a concern for the most part since there is a good amount of camper mass, cabinets/appliances, and gear. In addition to that if the moment on the cantilever did over take the resistive moment force of all that weight there is still the fact the camper is secured to the truck bed... its not going anywhere.

If I had to wager why its likely an issue of getting the cabover plywood floor in a width over 4' or an issue getting a certain beam size (or no desire to stock another size). Just my guesses.
 

NothingClever

Explorer
I don't think I'd want it on a Tacoma though. I'd rather have a Grandby sized camper with the new layout on a full size truck.

I think if you come from a tent-camping, backpacking or sailing background, the new Fleet on a Tacoma is pretty abundant for a couple and even a family of three, maybe four, with young children. Perfect? No, definitely not. But we're talking about a niche product for campers who are looking for those things pods8 listed above...ruggedness, lightweight, simplicity, etc that fits on a small, production-model truck with minimal fuss.

Like you've observed, if folks want/need more space, they need to move up in size. That's what my wife and I are going to do. As much as I have hoped my wife would osmotically absorb all my backpacking experience thereby maximizing our (old) Taco and (older) Fleet combination, I can tell that I'm not going to inspire and magically transform her point of reference which is carrying a Macy's bag 100 meters from the storefront to her little station wagon in the mall parking lot.

So, shopping for a new camper we are. The Grandby on a full size is the start point in the truck pop-up category.
 

NothingClever

Explorer
If I had to wager why its likely an issue of getting the cabover plywood floor in a width over 4'......

I think you're getting warmer.

Also, I don't think I totally understood the post(s) about the cantilever but, FWIW, the aluminum frame 'band' that runs horizontally around the cabover from the camper's main body is about 6 inches in height. While I imagine it could be made taller allowing the bed to be extended further forward of the main body, it would increase overall height and weight.

Just my armchair research analyst's thoughts....Stan will be the man to ask.
 

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