Another X10 leaving the shop today!

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Hi Jefe, here is a link that answers a lot of questions in great detail, it's the first one I built with a lot of the research, and testing information. http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/143766-Flatbed-and-composite-panel-build-on-Dodge-2500 This particular unit has almost the same floor plan, and specs are as follows:

Lite extrusion perimeter
Polypropylene honeycomb core (38 mm) with 1.5 mm Crane FRP skins
Fully bonded construction
42 gallon water capacity
15 gallon grey capacity (approx)
Wet bath with Thetford C200 cassette toilet
Espar endless hot water with hydronic heating
Wallas diesel cook top
Wallas 10 liter dedicated fuel tank
2 Group 31 AGM batteries
2000 watt inverter charger
320 watts of solar
Additional overhead storage in overhead and over dinette
Seitz windows
Heki skylights
Bullfinch outside shower

The camper itself equipped as above weighs in at 2816 lbs. So not that heavy considering the back wall to the front wall is 10', and there is 8 1/2' on the floor, 7' wide, and the the overhead is very comfy and bed is north/south, a king mattress will fit in the overhead. I will admit it's a bit on the physically big side, but was originally designed on my end to replace my F-650 with a 17' long body with a full slide, it was close but not close enough. It did accomplish a very roomy and comfortable interior, at 6'1" the wet bath is roomy and my head doesn't hit the ceiling. If you go through the original build thread, you can see the benefits of the extrusion, especially in a camper. The strength of the corners lets us do a lot of things, like remove it from the truck, and live in it while supported on the jacks. It allows easy anchorage for anything you may want to attach, and very easy to do so. Combining the extrusions with quality composites and adhesives eliminates pressure points created by mechanical fasteners which can create some issues, and vibration is dampened. It's not the only way to build something but it's our way. The flat beds on pick up trucks are mounted solid to all factory mounting locations, modern pick ups have very rigid frames and every generation change has been getting stiffer, we test a lot of truck frames destructively when we develop ROPS for mining and exploration and we get a lot of data from those tests (we have a 100 ton hydraulic press that you can put a full size truck in), as well for these particular applications we do a few more evaluations that mimic rough road travel. The Dodge frame is very rigid, the GM has proven to be the most rigid, even the GM 1500 has a very rigid frame. The new Ford Super Duty has been really beefed up too, we haven't tested a pick up yet. When we mount a flat bed to a cab chassis, we incorporate spring mounts on the front, and shear plate the rear, the frame from the front of the rear spring hangers to the rear of the frame is very rigid, and most of the flex occurs from the spring hangers forward, hence solid mounting the rear. Camper or body weight and height plays a big part in the amount of spring tension and travel in those parts, as well rigidity of the camper or body comes into play, our body is very rigid and some torque can actually be transmitted through the body without issue. We can only get results like we have by designing and building the whole package, and road miles, when there is an unknown it usually surfaces at some time and usually unfavorably. The latches we designed clamp down with 550 pounds of force per unit and also have an inch of allowable movement in them, and assist in fast removal and reloading without any tools. You cannot put more or less pressure on them, or the mounts. The deck surface is 1/2" rubber, over .188 aluminum plate with proper support underneath.

I hope this answered some questions, we are always open to observation and comments, other people have really good ideas and experience too!
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Jeep,
Wow! You have an impressive lineup of R&D experience. Weighing 1K pounds more than my small tanked Lance 165-s, yours is a hard nut for me to crack. I would have to start from scratch with a truck that was beefy enough to carry the X10. I really like the 'all-business' attitude you have with only a passing thought to the 'look'. I just read a piece on Truck Camper Adventure that interviewed a guy that has a new all aluminum, Camp Lite with an all grey exterior. From his experience the grey tended to retain heat more than the usual Appliance White pigment universally used by RV mfgrs. Only the very high end 'campers' or MoHos with rich grey or earth tones can afford the cost of running air conditioning in said rig. Living in the southwest, this IS a real issue. I'm on the other end of the spectrum with a 1842 pound wet camper leaving the jacks at home; all heavy stuff down low; and the ability to traverse awful roads in three seasons: Fall/Winter/Spring. We were set to get up to go the high reaches of the Sierra Nevada today in our TC, but we are in the midst of a wilting, sprawling heat wave, so sleeping in the non air conditioned box even at 10K feet is out of the question. So, I sit here dreaming about a cool outcome. None in sight.
Maybe this is editorializing, but the eternal quest is for each of us to draw his or her line on what we really need in a camper and what we can do without. Your X10 looks to be a heavier version of what my line would be, considering my truck's carrying ability, but it's too late for me to start over again. Another issue that i can address is the reluctance to take a beautiful, custom made camper on poor roads or trails and expect there to be no negative consequence. My rig has been desert pinstriped with passing tree branches and mauling bushes so I just keep up in the maintenance mode patching holes and replacing vent and clearance light covers. Virtually every one, except the ones down the center of the aluminum roof has been scraped off by passing scenery over the 16 years I've owned the Lance. My choice of installing 200 watts of Solar to the center and right side comes from knowing I can choose the left side as the 'incoming' side for tree branches without ruining the solar panels.

Coming from a lifetime of hard core rock crawling in a variety of jeeps (small j), I still like the smell of ozone using the truck camper right on the edge of sanity.

In closing, I like your whole approach to a no nonsense, well engineered, well insulated, well crafted, all season, all weather, all venue, all road surface (or not) expedition style traveling/living box. Much of this is because your product is closest to where I draw my own 'line'.
 

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Maybe this is editorializing, but the eternal quest is for each of us to draw his or her line on what we really need in a camper and what we can do without. Your X10 looks to be a heavier version of what my line would be, considering my truck's carrying ability, but it's too late for me to start over again. Another issue that i can address is the reluctance to take a beautiful, custom made camper on poor roads or trails and expect there to be no negative consequence. My rig has been desert pinstriped with passing tree branches and mauling bushes so I just keep up in the maintenance mode patching holes and replacing vent and clearance light covers. Virtually every one, except the ones down the center of the aluminum roof has been scraped off by passing scenery over the 16 years I've owned the Lance. My choice of installing 200 watts of Solar to the center and right side comes from knowing I can choose the left side as the 'incoming' side for tree branches without ruining the solar panels.

Coming from a lifetime of hard core rock crawling in a variety of jeeps (small j), I still like the smell of ozone using the truck camper right on the edge of sanity.

In closing, I like your whole approach to a no nonsense, well engineered, well insulated, well crafted, all season, all weather, all venue, all road surface (or not) expedition style traveling/living box. Much of this is because your product is closest to where I draw my own 'line'.
Thanks Jefe, and you are absolutely right about identifying what works for you, and there are a lot of factors to that decision. These campers are pretty nice, luxurious, a little overbuilt, and most people are throwing a lot of equipment in them, but they are using them. Maybe not to capacity, but definitely using them. They are comfortable for self sufficient long term travel, while having the ability to take a rough road for a long time, and do it on a one ton chassis. When thrown into percentages of chassis capacity and ability, (in comparison to yours) you would have to put this on a heavier chassis, like a 4500/5500 with some bigger rubber, and a better suspension to tackle situations you put yours into. I come from the same back ground, hence the Jeep moniker, and totally get it. You just have to have a bigger truck to haul bigger weight.

And thanks for recognizing some of the R&D, that is immensely time consuming, with a pretty heavy financial burden, but long term it has always proven to pay off. It points us in the right direction, to the point that we have changed what we offer on the service side of the business, but has also sent us down the path of doing some production units to offset the costs of doing custom and getting more folks high quality products affordably. We will always do custom, we love it, but we have to do it on our terms to make it positive for everybody involved in the project, and unfortunately that comes down to the customer being able to afford the cost, and not working in a restrictive budget situation. Not everybody has that luxury, and we recognize that. To get back to the folks looking for good stuff, getting back to my roots a bit, we did our TDK trailer which is gaining some momentum to the point that we will be doing production runs and keeping inventory. I am currently doing a lightweight composite pop up you can see here http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/172682-Composite-pop-up-project that will be going into production too. One thing our TDK gave us was the push for advanced manufacturing technology to keep the price in check, and acceptable. That is flowing into the camper, this one is a little overbuilt as it sits, but if the weight comes in we will keep it that way. If not, we will lighten it up, there is room. Our TDK body weighs 209 lbs, the bottom half of this camper comes in at 178 lbs (shell weights), the TDK is bigger but we also control the frame, and suspension, and can alter body construction to take advantage of that. Camper could go into a new Taco or a 1980 F-150, we can't control that so we make it a little tougher. The next thing to come out of our company is going to be a result of what we learn from a big camper, a small camper, and what our customers ask for (to a degree!!!), and I think it will appeal to you and a lot of people looking for that solution. Maybe when the Lance takes it's last branch we will meet your line.

Thanks for your observations and sharing your experience,
Mark.
 
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