View Full Version : Alaskan Camper Question
We have been wall tent campers for salmon fishing and hunting trips, but as "old" age slips in we are looking at "pop" up campers.
I've been following your discussions here about different brands, so far I've been interested in the Alaskan, Hallmark and Four Wheel. My only question is after seeing the different threads on the Alaskan is this: Did Alaskan Camper leave the wood frame behind them and go to a metal one? I ask this as I was eagerly following the Alaskan rebuild thread and then went to their site (I admit I am an Alaskan Camper junkie) and read the following.
Spaceage composite solid panels
"AlumaShield" skin, two aluminum skins bonded to a polyethelene core provides outstanding strength and stiffness to the Alcan
Aluminum corner angles
At what year did they then stop using wood for their framing etc.
If this is so does this mean that the flooring has changed also?
I've got a million questions, but I'll just stop myself right there.
12-31-2009, 03:26 PM
I can't find the words "aluminum frame" or "spaceage composites"
on the Alaskan Camper website. Can you provide a link to the web
page where you found them?
To my knowledge, Alaskan Camper uses laminated wood beams and
marine grade plywood to construct the frame of the camper. The
skin and top use two sheets of aluminum fastened to a frame and filled
with insulation. Maybe this is where the "aluminum frame" reference
12-31-2009, 04:07 PM
Sisu, I agree with Haven. I've been on the phone with the folks at Alaskan as recently as just few days ago and no mention was made of aluminum. On the contrary, the benefits of wood were touted, so unless something was in the making that they failed to mention...???
Here is the link with the supplied info
12-31-2009, 05:39 PM
And the link sisu provided does say "monocoque construction," which implies
that the shell serves as the frame. I sent email to Alaskan to clear up this mystery!
01-01-2010, 03:40 PM
Here is the link with the supplied info
You're absolutely correct, sisu. I completely forgot that they now produce the Alcan model. I was thinking about their more traditional slide-in type. It's my understanding that the Alcan is a chassis-built version, but I'm not sure. In any case, when I spoke with them there was no mention of the Alcan for our use.
Sorry for my errant rejoinder.
01-06-2010, 04:44 PM
I received the following response from Bryan Wheat, President of Alaskan Camper:
"The Alcan isn't a production camper. They were a few we did with different materials at the customers request.
The normal construction is the laminated 2x2's. The bottom half is solid exterior plywood. All front and rear walls a 3/4" Ply and the bottom half has 1/2" ply on the sides."
01-11-2010, 04:18 PM
Any camper, especially a pop-up, benefits from not being flexed much. Anyone building up a camper should consider the benefits of a torsion-isolated bed (flatbed or otherwise). If you ever want to go offroad then IMHO a non-flexing platform is a requirement for a camper.
The old Alaskans will take a lot of flex. Yeah the doors can get out of alignment but the reason is usually related to how it's mounted and where the lower rear edge is supported. Mine is 40 years old and it goes places that many 4wd empty vehicles cannot go.
Seems to me an aluminum frame would resist twisting and break. How do the frameless campers do when mounted on a flexing pickup bed?
I agree, a full sized Alaskan and all the supplies is a full load on a standard pickup, but they handle them just fine as long as the roads are not too bad. There are hundreds out there that have been around for decades.
Looks like they have two types (brands?) now "Alaskan" & "Alcan".
It's about time!
I never thought much of the old construction type. The main complaint is OVERWEIGHT (for the interior size & strength you get). The aluminum skin wasn't really bonded to anything (except frame) so it dinged easily & FORGET about climbing on the roof - all roof loads had to be mounted on a frame mounted only at the end panels. The interior was full of heavy ply. The doors tend to go out of alignment over time with rough use. That said - mine lasted 40 years & is still going with a new floor & some roof rot repairs...to be fair the construction method was flexible & forgiving - mine survived a great deal of Ford F250 maximum frame twist without breaking - or leaking. A stiffer/lighter construction method would have to be either much stronger, and/or more thought given to how it's mounted to the chosen vehicle.
I'm glad they are looking in new directions - although am I the only one to think the standard pickup is being asked to do an awful lot with that load? I was disappointed to see the weight as 1850dry/2250wet versus 1700dry/1900wet for the "standard 10ft cabover. Doesn't look like they did much in the weight dept. but it is a very difficult problem to solve in a production camper @ that price. This isn't a fair criticism given the great utility of a off/on camper on a standard pickup but an Alaskan built for a flatbed mount makes a ton more sense in the strength (simple box) & space utilization departments.
I'd be very interested in more details about the "Alcan" Peter
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