After staring at my computer screen for the last hour and a half I finally decided to put my order in for a Finch model Four Wheel Camper. I sold my Fleetwood Neon a few weeks ago. Iím sure the person who bought it will be very satisfied based on what he told me he was going to use it for. I know other people on here are building/have built up Neons for off road expedition type travel, but it just wasnít for me.
These were my major gripes about the Neon:
First and foremost there is way to many steps involved to set the thing up. This is fine if you are going to set it up for a few days at a base camp and leave it up all weekend. But to have to set it up and break it down every single day all while donating a pint of blood to the local mosquito population just isnít much fun. Another issue in regards to it needing to be popped up was the accessibility of gear. I could put a lot of gear in it but if I needed to access anything I had to take time to pop it up.
Second, it just isnít made for off road travel. Larger tires and shocks could be added to help with this but in my opinion this is just a Band-Aid solution. I would rather spend my time and money dialing in the suspension/wheel setup on my truck. Another problem I had in regards to off road travel was all the dust that got inside the camper. This could probably be fixed with enough well placed caulk.
The third problem I had was the fact that in stock form it just had one bed and a slide out couch/bed. Everything else had to be added (countertop for sink and stove, water tank, heater, cooler). All of my additions were functional but everything had to be set up in order to be used.
For those of you that own a Neon Iím sure it can be made to work if you have the desire to do so. It wasnít all-bad. Towing it (on road) was super easy. Light weight and no blind spots. Another plus was that it only took about a minute to hook it up to my truck. Just back up, set it on the hitch, connect the safety chains and plug in the wire. Putting the Finch on the truck is going to take a little more time and effort. Also, because itís a trailer, it didnít affect the load carrying capacity of the truck and you could really carry a lot of gear. The electric breaks were also nice even though it only weighed about 950 pounds. In comparison to the Finch, the second bed of the Neon was large enough to sleep an adult. Since itís just my wife and myself, the queen size bed in the Finch will do just fine.
The only options I decided on for the Finch was the furnace, the auxiliary battery system with separator and the electric water pump. In the future I may add Yakima tracks, solar panel and an outside floodlight. I may also try to make or have made an arctic pack to insulate the side walls of the pop up area. I will also need to pick up some camper jacks and make a platform to store it on while itís off the truck. (I am getting the full interior, not the shell model)
The reasons I didnít get a Four Wheel Camper in the first place was that at the time the only option for my truck was the 5 foot Falcon model. Three things I didnít like about the Falcon. 1. At the time, they were building it with a 6-foot ceiling. Just not enough head room. 2. It just seemed that it would have been a bit to small for two people to hang out in. 3. It could only be put on a truck with a 5-foot bed. Iíve seen one fitted to a truck with a 6-foot bed but it just didnít look right on account that it could not be slid forward all the way because of the wheel wells. The Finch solves all of these problems with a 6í4Ē ceiling height, slightly larger interior with a better layout, and it can be fitted to a truck with a 6-foot bed. In fact, my ideal setup would be 05+ Tacoma access cab and Finch with a swing out bumper. For now I will live with it hanging out the back of my truck approximately 10 inches. Canít wait to pick it up in about 2 months.