Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread: Outfitter Camper Apex 8

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Default Outfitter Camper Apex 8

    Greetings from the Big Empty -

    I'm very strongly considering the purchase of a used 2005 Outfitter Camper Apex 8. Here's the link to the 2008 version: http://www.outfittermfg.com/Campers/...x_8/apex_8.htm. I would appreciate the comments of past and present Outfitter Camper owners. Thanks much and best regards. ELN

  2. #2
    ...Howdy. I've been following the Expedition Portal for some time, and just caught this question on Outfitter campers:

    We own an '05 Caribou (8 foot tub; no basement; substantially lighter than the Apex models), purchased new from the "factory"

    Our experience has been positive; our unit has held up well over the 3 years we've been outbacking with it. We had the unit built for our '04 Silverado, 2500HD, 4x4, long bed truck. It's air conditionerless (our decision), and furnaceless. We opted to use our PolarAire rooftop variable control fan to draw air through the camper's cabover vent (above the bed) to cool the unit down when needed. We installed a very light-weight 3000-btu catalytic heater, and many other custom upgrades, making out camper weigh-in at 1300 lbs when packed (minus fresh water).

    Buying a camper, especially a used one, requires you to make a pre delivery inspection before you plunk down the bucks to buy. I would suggest that you inspect every seam, and tub join, every square inch of TPO roof and seaming, and carefully check every square inch of fiberglass for micro-cracks, bubbles, and dings, lift up all cushions and inspect the marine plywood structure for signs of water intrusion, and inspect the jacks connection to the camper shell for signs of separation or abuse (this applies to any camper purchase, too). Then, run all the appliances (including water pump) and air conditioner for several hours (Outfitter has an AC outlet you can connect the camper to; depending on where it is parked on their lot, you may need a very long 14AWG extension cord).

    If at all possible, bring along a portable scale, and crank each jack leg up, then down onto the scale, and add the 4 corner weights up to obtain a total "dry weight"

    Check this dry weight adding ~~600-lbs (your cargo), and any tongue weight of the trailer with cargo/boat you may envision pulling, to come up with the total you'll be hauling. Check this number with your truck's rating.

    If all the cards line-up for you, you'll have a good solid pop-up.

    Warm weather and high winds:

    The Outfitter has very well insulated softwalls made of something called Weblon. Weblon is an insulated reinforced vinyl like material (used, for example, on the fly bridges many hundred thousand dollar + yachts), that will hold in the heat or cold quite well. This Weblon, in our experience in 55+ MPH winds (up on Island in the Sky, Utah) barely moves; this means NO flapping. The air conditioner on the Apex will keep you quite cool (I've been in several Apex units with air conditioning on the Maryland coast in 100F + weather) in hot humid climates....if you have the juice to run it (if boondocking/expeditioning, bring along a gasoline generator to power the air con, like a light-weight Honda EU-2000), you'll be fine.

    We've used our Caribou 8 Outfitter throughout Arizona, New Mexico and Utah in the summer, and have no problems at night using our PolarAire method of cooing us down in the desert.

    We're looking forward to many more years with our Caribou, and hope to expedition through Mexico with it before too long. I don't expect that we'll take it as far as Central America. I've had many, many years of past exploring through Central America via 4x4 and kayaks, and perhaps will return there one day, but not any time soon....

    Good luck!
    Silver-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    802
    Silversand,

    Welcome to ExPo!!...really appreciated reading your informative post on TC's and your Outfitter.

    Just wondering also what your experience has been with COG (center of gravity) issues and performance...have you taken it in any off-camber situations and how does it feel? I realize that it should be significantly superior to a regular truck camper but your personal experience would be insightful. thanks
    '98 Taco 4x4, Flippac, cargo bed seats/cabinets, Deavers, Donahoes, Stubbs Sliders, discos, ARB Bullbar/Warn M8000 winch, Hella 550's, custom rack, swingout gas can carriers, CB & 2M radios, Coolmatic 50L frig/freeze...too many $$$
    Kawasaki KLR 250
    Honda Shadow Aero 750
    Member #15

    http://www.bajataco.com/vikingvince/...pPac/index.htm

  4. #4
    Silversand - thank you for the most informative post. I'll keep your thoughts in mind while giving it the "once over". Best regards, ELN.

  5. #5
    Just wondering also what your experience has been with COG (center of gravity) issues and performance...have you taken it in any off-camber situations and how does it feel?
    ...by "off-camber" do you mean truck bed twist/torsional? Or, side/X trailing it at at a steep bank to either side?

    This is our rig banked to driver's side while driving the Valley of the Gods trail in Utah (a still taken from a digital video frame):



    We loosen-up our barrel turnbuckles when offroading to allow some (natural) truck bed twisting, and to take the twisting forces off (or, minimize) the camper tub. After trial and error, we developed a feel for how the un-braced camper "tub" moves around in the truck bed (natural and inevitable movement). A year and a half ago, I cut some closed-cell industrial foam (industrial air conditioner packing shock foam) to fit around the inside of the truck's bed between the tub bottom and steel bed edge fore of the wheel-wells. I tested to tub movement offroad near Moab to gauge to net camper movement, and I was pleasantly surprised. One quarter inch movement net to the passenger side. Later that trip, the camper sided to the driver's side by about the same amount. The front to back movement always biases towards the front of our rig because of it's permanent camber towards the cab (our truck's net rear height when loaded for a 1-month expedition is always 2-inches higher in the rear, no suspension aids added to our rig).

    I personally believe that unless you have an extremely rigid flat-bed with articulating device that allows cargo deck to move around (but not twist), and the frame to twist naturally, the bed of a pickup (wile under duress, torsional/twisting while offroading) will want to twist the camper tub, too. I believe that this twisting of truck camper tub can be minimized by loosening-up the tiedowns (one will need to experiment with their own configurations to minimize tub twist). Bear in mind that these campers are made up of welded aluminum frames, and reducing the stresses on the frames as much as possible, is a good thing

    Just our experience,
    Silver-

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    262
    Hey Silver,
    welcome aboard, I'm glad to see you found this forum. Your insights and experience will be appreciated.
    regards,
    RT

  7. #7
    haven is offline Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    10,527

    Default offroad.com

    The folks at Offroad.com purchased an Apex camper for use on a Ford F350 Superduty. The article describing the project is here
    http://ford.off-road.com/ford/Projec.../detail/198442

    The six-month followup is here
    http://ford.off-road.com/ford/Projec.../detail/198441

    The conclusion was that the weight of the camper was a poor match for the custom offroad suspension on the truck. This is not a criticism of the camper, but rather a reminder that the suspension should be chosen after the full weight of the vehicle is understood.

    The company website is http://www.outfittermfg.com There the dry weight of the Apex 8 is listed as about 1500 lbs. Options can easily add 300 lbs to this amount. Add a load of water, propane, food, gear and passengers and the weight carried by the truck would exceed 2500 lbs. So you'll need a pretty serious truck chassis to carry the load.

    One useful feature of the Apex is extra storage beneath the cab-over bunk. There's a large compartment 11 inches high below the bunk mattress.

    Chip Haven

  8. #8

    Default Thanks Chip

    I'd previously read that article and found it very informative. My truck is a stock '00 Ford F250 V10. I really like the concept of the Outfitter and hope that present or previous owners can comment on how it works "in the real world". Thanks again and best regards, ELN.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    802
    Quote Originally Posted by haven

    The conclusion was that the weight of the camper was a poor match for the custom offroad suspension on the truck. This is not a criticism of the camper, but rather a reminder that the suspension should be chosen after the full weight of the vehicle is understood.

    The company website is http://www.outfittermfg.com There the dry weight of the Apex 8 is listed as about 1500 lbs. Options can easily add 300 lbs to this amount. Add a load of water, propane, food, gear and passengers and the weight carried by the truck would exceed 2500 lbs. So you'll need a pretty serious truck chassis to carry the load.

    Chip Haven
    Chip,

    I stumbled across those articles/links a couple weeks ago and read them with interest. Fill me in here if you would: If I recall correctly, the payload of a Ford 350 is ~4000 pounds. So I'm a little confused as to why the above approx 2500 pounds wouldn't work out...especially after customizing the suspension. I couldn't really garner an answer from the articles. Maybe something to do with the way the weight is distributed? Thoughts...???

    I just reread the 6 month follow-up again. He said that he wasn't satisfied with the balance of the load...so I guess that answers my question. BUT, they were doing pre-races down in Baja with the rig. That's a different set of expectations and demands than one would normally encounter in going offroading here. So it leaves me thinking the rig would be a pretty viable choice...some compromises, yes...but a low profile popup truck camper with all the amenities on a 350 with winch, lockers etc has appeal to me.

    Just reread the followup again...I guess he pre-ran Baja without the camper on the truck...but then says he'd buy the camper again but with a stock suspension...so I guess the modified suspension for Baja racing didn't work with the camper.

    Wyoming Shooter...I hope you get one. Do you have a long bed? I think that would be my choice so there'd be no overhang in the back...then I could still carry my KLR 250 in the receiver hitch.
    Last edited by VikingVince; 01-05-2008 at 06:16 PM.
    '98 Taco 4x4, Flippac, cargo bed seats/cabinets, Deavers, Donahoes, Stubbs Sliders, discos, ARB Bullbar/Warn M8000 winch, Hella 550's, custom rack, swingout gas can carriers, CB & 2M radios, Coolmatic 50L frig/freeze...too many $$$
    Kawasaki KLR 250
    Honda Shadow Aero 750
    Member #15

    http://www.bajataco.com/vikingvince/...pPac/index.htm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    802
    Thanks alot Kalahanie...that clears it up

    Your name sounds like it has Hawaiian influence. ???
    '98 Taco 4x4, Flippac, cargo bed seats/cabinets, Deavers, Donahoes, Stubbs Sliders, discos, ARB Bullbar/Warn M8000 winch, Hella 550's, custom rack, swingout gas can carriers, CB & 2M radios, Coolmatic 50L frig/freeze...too many $$$
    Kawasaki KLR 250
    Honda Shadow Aero 750
    Member #15

    http://www.bajataco.com/vikingvince/...pPac/index.htm

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •