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#21 OFFLINE   Gary S.

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 12:06 PM

I think a box is pretty handy for hauling fire wood, sand, gravel and what have you.

The guy next door has a flat deck and ended up building a wooden box on it.......

#22 OFFLINE   XPCAMPER

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:18 PM

Hi ralphl
see answer below:

I can see where a T/C built exclusively for a flat bed layout would allow for lots of extra storage room, and this is sure nifty looking. I just can't dedicate my truck to camping only and there are too many things that I use my truck for that require a standard truck bed.

So what can’t you carry in this one www.oztray.com (That’s what’s on the XP ) that you would be able to do in your standard bed?

Maybe there will be a standard truck bed model someday.

Maybe,I like flatbeds for all the xtra storage :D

Seems like it all runs diesel, heater, etc. I wonder where you store all the extra diesel?

In a vented compartment in the rear of the camper.
There is enough storage for 13 gallons ( 2 x 5 gal jerry cans plus 3 gal internal tank ) and oil etc.
On my camping average/usage; 3 gallons last about 12 days, ( water/ air heating and cooking.)
And since it is locked, no unauthorized siphoning here.


The main reason I love my propane generator is that I would rather carry propane tanks than gas tanks.

Well you would carry Diesel not gas ,less flammable.
There is NO generator on the XPCamper.
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4; Denver off road Aluminum Front bumper; Aluminum Flatbed; XPCamper NO 2; 285/75/17; otherwise stock.


#23 OFFLINE   XPCAMPER

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for your reply.
To bad it's not to be seen at the show.
I'm planning to go there.

Price seems to be a bit high and I'm not sure if I would like my truck bed removed from the truck.
But I DO think there is a limited market for these kind of campers.



You are welcome,

Yes, it is not a cheap built.
Considering the construction method applied, materials used, it adds up.
If you would add all the Electrical and Diesel equipment alone, it would be another $12000 + to your unit.
That doesn’t include the flatbed though.

As for the truck bed removal, yes it shrinks the market, but IMO I prefer a flatbed with drop sides than a regular truck bed.
That’s why I built it. :) :D
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4; Denver off road Aluminum Front bumper; Aluminum Flatbed; XPCamper NO 2; 285/75/17; otherwise stock.


#24 OFFLINE   Wellsdesigned

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 03:37 PM

Luv the shots of Pismo (I grew up 3 miles from the dunes).

The openness dictated by the raising walls is nice. I would have to have a dedicated toilet compartment though. Do you have plans to make a version where the toilet walls will raise and lower with the rest of the camper? The upper half could be attached to the roof and the lower half attached to the floor. The low traveling profile and low center of gravity would be excellent.
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#25 OFFLINE   XPCAMPER

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:01 AM

Luv the shots of Pismo (I grew up 3 miles from the dunes).

The openness dictated by the raising walls is nice. I would have to have a dedicated toilet compartment though. Do you have plans to make a version where the toilet walls will raise and lower with the rest of the camper? The upper half could be attached to the roof and the lower half attached to the floor. The low traveling profile and low center of gravity would be excellent.


I did that in the 1st round, just didn't like the lost space in the camper.
The toilet is being used 10-15 minutes a day ,so i didn't see any real advantage to block up the nice openness I achieved with this design.
Let's face it, a solid wall is not going to dampen the "sound" much more than a soft sided one.

BTW I am building in Marysville, give me a call or come by, I show you the camper.
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#26 OFFLINE   btggraphix

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:46 AM

I haven't been on the site much lately, but thought I'd make a few comments. I guess the obvious one is I really like the camper overall. It's not what our current use is but if I were interested more in off-road and less in full-timing in our camper, this would be oh-so nice for off-roading and durability - and then being able to stay a long time on the diesel fuel and the wtare storage.

But closer to my heart, and a clear case of "can't make all of the people happy all of the time" is the flatbed design. If there was one design shortage in the TC industry, it is the lack of models for flatbeds. Northstar does it in one model, and as far as I am aware, the XP is the only other.

The single best thing you can do to improve the USEFULLNESS of a pickup truck is to remove that useless, sheet metal, cosmetic, space-waster that is a pickup body. There is nothing about the flatbed that is less useful. If you want sides, the flatbed can have stake pockets and you can build an endless array of sides that work for whatever use you need, for the price of some scrap wood. The pickup bed has those wheel wells that effectively keep you from loading anything with a small dimension of 50" or so unless you put it vertically in one way or another. With a flatbed you get almost a full 8' of width (if you don't have top boxes or they aren't removable.) If you don't need sides because you are loading big big stuff, you leave them off. Tieing stuff down is easier. If you need sides for loading a bunch of little stuff, you slap in the stake sides and now you have any height box you want.

We were asked to help a friend move not long ago, and we emptied out our boxes and removed the TC. Our bed is 8' wide and exactly the same length as a pickup bed (8'2" I think). Our top boxes could be removed, but they provide the "sides" that are somewhat useful. We proceeded to load the middle of the bed (50" by 8'2" with all the large items - same as you would get with a pickup bed) and then loaded a phenominal number of smaller items and loose things into the boxes. Even I was pretty amazed of how much we got into one load this way.

I could not disagree more with the comments that a flatbed is less practical than a pickup bed. The only drawback I can even think of is that the deckheight is a bit higher than a pickup bed (though that can be addressed by wheel wells if you really wanted them.

Sure, you can put a traditional camper in a flatbed and use all the extra space very efficiently with boxes and such like on mine....that works pretty well. BUT, by designing with a flatbed in mind from the beginning, you could do soooo much better. In particular you can have the basement go all the way (or mostly) across that full width, allowing for storage tanks that would dwarf those available in my Lance (for example.) You could also more easily put the cabin central heater in the basement, both allowing for more efficient basement heat AND make the furnace so much more quiet (I hear a lot of complaints with how loud our furnaces are when they kick in.....I know I have to change the volume of the TC when the furnace kicks on.) You could have a taller shower. Lastly (and this isn't applicable to the XP) you could have slide-outs be much taller since they wouldn't have to be above the bedrails.

In any case, I applaud Marc's efforts on this camper....a lot of people complain there haven't been innovations in a long time - this is clearly one of them and I surely hope he can make a go of it. I'm not going to bother to ask him to build a hard-sided model built forgiants trucks ;) because even though I hope someone does that someday - I sure can't afford to go out and buy one! Maybe someday.....

Good work Marc!
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#27 OFFLINE   ralphl

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 03:32 PM

never looked at a flat bed with removable sides in mind. That does put a different light on it.
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#28 OFFLINE   btggraphix

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 09:43 PM

never looked at a flat bed with removable sides in mind. That does put a different light on it.


My boxes do come off, but it's a pain enough that I haven't done it yet (plus I have a mid-size flatbed trailer....with removable sides I built out of scrap 2x4's....see a theme here?) :) I also have a 'tray' of sorts in the bed to raise the TC high enough to clear my tall cab and hold the TC in place....so mines not quite as friendly to quick conversion back to a totally flat deck.

If I were putting a rig together myself, I would start with a stakepocket equipped flatbed to make it really easy to mount wood or metal sides. You see a lot of farmers setup like that. I seriously considered it with my old truck, but it was already overloaded and I knew we wanted a bigger truck AND camper.

The problem of getting TC manufacturers to make them for flatbeds, is that any camper will fit on a flatbed (of the right size/shape anyway) but a flatbed designed camper won't fit on a regular truck - making the resale potentially a lot harder. So I understand why they don't, but I wish that would change..... At least with the XP they are also targeting the offroad market - and those people are much more likely to make major changes to their truck.
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#29 OFFLINE   John Ro

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:40 AM

Marc has a well built camper. My suggestions would be: (1) Lower the flatbed so that it isn't truly a flat bed but has raised wheel wells. This would allow many more square inches of space and a lower center of gravity. (2) get rid of the canvas over the cabover. Provide solid panels that would install and retract when the camper is raising and lowering. (you could even have windows in them for viewing and venting) (3) Add a slideout. (With the use of a flat bed a slideout is perfect)

#30 OFFLINE   btggraphix

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 09:44 AM

(1) Lower the flatbed so that it isn't truly a flat bed but has raised wheel wells. This would allow many more square inches of space and a lower center of gravity.


Seems like it already has an awfully low COG as-is, for having a camper. But I'd guess the main thing is being able to use the full-width for camper systems. Also, if you did have wheel wells that stuck into the the camper "plane" to load it, you'd have to lift the camper up high enough to clear the wheel wells. Not that you couldn't do it, but it would be more complicated for not much gain. In fact, look at the side view, how much could you even lower it down? That's a very low profile flatbed.....looks like the deck is no more than 6 inches or so above the frame rails. You are right though, you could eek out maybe 6" more of height for usage, but of course, if you use that, then the camper is still the same height. In fact, there's no way to lower the overall height anyway as it still has to clear the cab....

And of course, doing that would require making substantial changes to the existing aftermarket Ute beds.....probably easier for him to use available pre-made beds.

(3) Add a slideout. (With the use of a flat bed a slideout is perfect)


I'm not sure how you could have a slide-out on the side, and still have a pop-top camper - at least not easily. But flatbeds are awesome for making a better slide-out.
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#31 OFFLINE   XPCAMPER

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:54 PM

Marc has a well built camper. My suggestions would be: (1) Lower the flatbed so that it isn't truly a flat bed but has raised wheel wells. This would allow many more square inches of space and a lower center of gravity. (2) get rid of the canvas over the cabover. Provide solid panels that would install and retract when the camper is raising and lowering. (you could even have windows in them for viewing and venting) (3) Add a slideout. (With the use of a flat bed a slideout is perfect)


Thanks John

(1) Well i wanted a true flatbed but BT already answered that perfectly.
(2) I love the canvas ( its actually not canvas) brings in the outdoors and feels more like camping.
I DO have panels which go behind the tent when needed. See,in a rainstorm the bed can't get wet...
(3) No way, it;s an off road camper. I don't think it would be beneficial to cut a big hole in the side of the unit and then expect it to work perfectly after banging the camper over some rough roads for a period of time. Also my unit is a side entrance and it really wouldn't give you any more usable space. But that's just my opinion.

I know you have done it.Looks good ,just not my cup of coffee.
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4; Denver off road Aluminum Front bumper; Aluminum Flatbed; XPCamper NO 2; 285/75/17; otherwise stock.


#32 OFFLINE   John Ro

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 12:07 PM

Thanks John

(1) Well i wanted a true flatbed but BT already answered that perfectly.
(2) I love the canvas ( its actually not canvas) brings in the outdoors and feels more like camping.
I DO have panels which go behind the tent when needed. See,in a rainstorm the bed can't get wet...
(3) No way, it;s an off road camper. I don't think it would be beneficial to cut a big hole in the side of the unit and then expect it to work perfectly after banging the camper over some rough roads for a period of time. Also my unit is a side entrance and it really wouldn't give you any more usable space. But that's just my opinion.

I know you have done it.Looks good ,just not my cup of coffee.






I didn't mean to make this post. I was trying to post a picture from my camera. I have the pics on "my pictures" on my C drive. I see where I could "insert image" on a reply but it asks for image URL (http://) I usually post pics with a Brouse option.

Edited by John Ro, 14 February 2010 - 12:18 PM.


#33 OFFLINE   John Ro

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 08:42 AM

Marc: I believe, based on the photos of your rig, that my flat bed height is approx 8 inches lower than yours. BT says "awfully low COG as-is". I'd say, if you could lower your CG 6 inches that would be significant. Additionally you could have considerably more space for cabinets etc. My flat bed is low because I was able to have the flat bed sit only 1 1/2 inches above the highest part of my truck frame. (I used 1 ½ beams across the top of the truck frame) I did need to do some custom work to accomplish this but if you increased this 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches or so, no custom work would be required and you would have a flat bed height that would be approximately 5 inches lower than you currently have. Of course you would need to have wheel wells that stick up into the flat bed and corresponding recesses in the floor of the camper. It might be easier to build a flat bed to accomplish this than to use the one you currently buy. I would build the flat bed wheel wells large enough to accommodate all the 8 foot bed truck models. In reference to BT’s comment “to load it, you'd have to lift the camper up high enough to clear the wheel wells”. You are already lifting the camper to get it off the flat bed, not that big a deal to lift it an additional 6 inches.

As far as a pop out, you wouldn’t believe some of the places we have taken my rig, sometimes needing to wench it, and never had a structural problem or failure of the extending device. (Maybe you could have a pop out at the rear of your unit). I know the idea is to keep the unit compact but, if you could add a pop out that would add additional room, that would be great. If you go to the following site to post number 29 you will see pictures of the wheel wells in my flat bed and how my flatbed stakesides look with the wheel wells. (I couldn't figure out how to post pics on this site)

http://www.expeditio...9040#post569040

#34 OFFLINE   btggraphix

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 11:23 AM

First off John, very nice build you did! You obviously took a lot of time, effort and thought in putting yours together.

Marc: I believe, based on the photos of your rig, that my flat bed height is approx 8 inches lower than yours.


I'd be curious as to the exact measurements -andit's a little hard to tell from your pictures - but I'd be surprised if it was 8 inches...but maybe so. It is certainly lower on yours. My first thought in looking at yours was "is there enough space for wheel travel and/or tire chains?" But the aim of course would be for minimum necessary. Could you fit bigger tires in there if you wanted to?

BT says "awfully low COG as-is". I'd say, if you could lower your CG 6 inches that would be significant.


It definitely would be. Dropping the deck height 6" wouldn't translate into the whole rig C-O-G dropping though. The roof would still be the same height - but that's a minor amount of the whole rig's weight.

Additionally you could have considerably more space for cabinets etc. My flat bed is low because I was able to have the flat bed sit only 1 1/2 inches above the highest part of my truck frame. (I used 1 ½ beams across the top of the truck frame) I did need to do some custom work to accomplish this but if you increased this 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches or so, no custom work would be required and you would have a flat bed height that would be approximately 5 inches lower than you currently have. Of course you would need to have wheel wells that stick up into the flat bed and corresponding recesses in the floor of the camper. It might be easier to build a flat bed to accomplish this than to use the one you currently buy.


I'll be curious to hear Marc's answer on this.....My assumption would be that he wanted to go with an existing commercially available bed and/or he didn't want to build the bed. BUt you are certainly right, if you build the bed as well it might give more options....but it would it sell more campers that way? Maybe, maybe not. As a want-to-be someday builder of my own TC, I have to admit my ideas for my use would not likely be able to sell to others.

I would build the flat bed wheel wells large enough to accommodate all the 8 foot bed truck models. In reference to BT’s comment “to load it, you'd have to lift the camper up high enough to clear the wheel wells”. You are already lifting the camper to get it off the flat bed, not that big a deal to lift it an additional 6 inches.


You would have to not only accomodate all makes/models, but also all possible tire sizes? That would be a variable as well. But as far as the unload/reload, you are right. YOu guys are using bed heights that are much more reasonable than mine...and how high you have to raise it to get it up above a MDT cab. I use about 16" of blocks already.....add another 4-6" for wheel wells and I'd have to make more blocks. I'm already near the end of the travel my jacks have!

It sounds like you haven't yet had any structural issues so far - another reason I don't see trying to eek out every last bit of a low deck height,is if I ever get around to custom building a TC, I'd probably want to put it on atorsion free (or minimal) mounting system. That's one of the big topics over on the expo and was asked of you already. But if it is holding thight so far that is awesome.

And here is a key point in your description:

"It took approximately 3 months working with the prototype and 9 months with the actual build. That's working 10 hours a day 6 days a week. I hate to say how much it cost but will say it cost way too much. Don't ever try to build something like this to save either time or money (at least from my experience)."

Just remember, Marc is trying to build these, to actually MAKE money. That changes the equation somewhat. :)

But the key for you was "I enjoyed building it and came out with something that is unique." and you sure did - very very cool. I'd love to see more photos of it, especially during the build itself - but it should probably be on another thread.
BT
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#35 OFFLINE   XPCAMPER

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 07:09 AM

John,
to do your set up is great if you do a one off.


Commercially it would be hard to do, since all trucks have different wheel bases roof heights etc....
That would mean a different camper mold and flatbed for each truck.

Mine is; one fits all ;)
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#36 OFFLINE   John Ro

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:40 PM

Marc: It looks like your camper is designed for a short wheel base truck. (If your camper is also designed to fit on a long wheel base truck then the wheel well in the flat bed would need to be about 12 inches longer) Between the various truck manufacturers that you plan on putting your camper on, I doubt there is very much variation between the wheel base, and the distance between the wheels. But, in any case, I would design the flat bed to fit all the models (in other words, I would determine what is the narrowest and the widest width between the wheels and what is the longest and shortest distance from the rear of the cab to the rear wheels and make the wheel well large enough to accommodate this). As far as the height of the camper overhang above the base of the camper, I am sure you measured the various models to come up with a measurement that would accommodate all the truck models. You must be adjusting your flat bed height in your current design so that the camper overhang fits over the cab at the desired distance. It just seems to me you are wasting a lot of space below the bottom of your camper/flatbed surface and the frame of the truck plus a higher CG.

Edited by John Ro, 23 February 2010 - 01:52 PM.


#37 OFFLINE   Harried Harry

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 09:15 PM

Nice looking unit, but I didn't see a place for the shower & porta-john. My wife insists I shower and she wants a shower so she can stay beautiful. At my age (born in the last century), I need the porta-john to be nearby. I also want to keep my current bed, since I also tow a 5er and need a place to keep some of the stuff.

#38 OFFLINE   XPCAMPER

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 06:19 PM

Here are some pics of the truck in use while the camper is off.

Any thing you can do with a regular bed plus more...

Posted Image

Posted Image
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#39 OFFLINE   XPCAMPER

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  • Name (Public):Marc Wassmann

Posted 04 April 2010 - 06:26 PM

Nice looking unit, but I didn't see a place for the shower & porta-john. My wife insists I shower and she wants a shower so she can stay beautiful. At my age (born in the last century), I need the porta-john to be nearby. I also want to keep my current bed, since I also tow a 5er and need a place to keep some of the stuff.



Harry

There is a full wet bath in the unit.
And with 80 gallons of water you can take quite a few showers.
You can also tow a 5 er with a hidden hitch.

The cabinet to the right of the pic houses the shower.


Posted Image
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4; Denver off road Aluminum Front bumper; Aluminum Flatbed; XPCamper NO 2; 285/75/17; otherwise stock.


#40 OFFLINE   XPCAMPER

XPCAMPER

    Grand Potentate

  • TC- Manufacturers
  • 63 posts
  • Local time: 03:58 AM
  • State/Province or Region:ca
  • Country:usa
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco,CA
  • Interests:Exploring, fly fishing, BBQ, Exploring the great US.
  • Camper Brand:XPCAMPER
  • Truck Make & Model:Dodge 3500 4x4
  • Name (Public):Marc Wassmann

Posted 06 June 2010 - 01:05 PM

The new website is up http://www.xpcamper.com

Let me know your comments

I attached also a press release

Marc
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4; Denver off road Aluminum Front bumper; Aluminum Flatbed; XPCamper NO 2; 285/75/17; otherwise stock.





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