Total Composites full introduction!

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Hi everyone,

Many of you are well aware of Total Composites www.totalcomposites.com and have already been in contact or met in person at overland gatherings. We made some great connections over the years. Thank you.
We thought it was time to start a thread where we can show a bit more about what we do. At the same time this should also serve as an opportunity for anyone to ask questions about our offerings.

Overview:
Total Composites is the importer and manufacturer of flat packed composite camper bodies and truck bodies. Our office is located on beautiful Vancouver Island (stop by if you are around!), our components are all sourced in Germany and assembled/machined for the global market in China. At this time we are processing 3-4 camper bodies a month for North America. Even though some of our campers look the same, we can assure you that each one of them comes with a custom element. This means we can get you exactly what you want! Therefore please reach out and tell us all about your dream camper body. I'm sure we can help you.

Process:
First- customer service and honesty is very important to us! Even years after the sale, we are still here to help you. In fact, we are friends with most of our customers :) If you have ever called our office and talked with Andreas (our founder and CEO) you will have experienced first hand that he is not just a sales person. He has actually gained expertise with years of overland travel all over the world, building the most advanced expo trucks in Germany at Unicat and successfully finished several expo trucks on his own.
In addition to proper advice, Total Composites also created "quoting templates" and set price lists to make the ordering process and information exchange as straight forward as possible. We leave very little guess work in the process.

Why choose a Total Composites DIY kit over anything else?
1. Assembly time. On average, our customers assemble the empty shell within a weekend! There are reports where someone did it in 5 hours!
2. All composite construction without thermal transfer or components that could Rott or rust over time. No refinishing or resealing of the roof needed.
3. All corner extrusions are made of super tough Fiberglass. This means we do not have thermal transfer and the panels expand/contract at the same rate. No tension cracks!
4. No finish needed! Out of the box, everything is UV stable and ready to go
5. Pricing. Compare the average built cost by our customers (including truck) at around US$100.000 with anything else in the market and you will find out that this is actually a smoking deal. The added benefit is that you are fully in charge about the craftsmanship, components and timeline! Go fancy or basic. It's all up to you.
6. Fast turn around times. On average we deliver within 6-8 weeks.
7. Customer support. Your first address is the TC headquarters in Victoria. If the need arises we have commercial partners all over North America that could help you.
8. NO specialty tools needed for the assembly. It's almost like lego.. simply apply adhesive and stick the parts together. (please see video below)

What if you don't have the time, space or desire to built it yourself?
No problem. We are working with several commercial builders throughout North America that have proven themselves to be very capable in serving you. You will find the contact on our websites contact page.

Accessories:
We have been offering windows, doors , heaters and much more for some time. But it took on it's own life and at the end of 2019 we started a sister company called www.expeditionupfitter.com There you will find he latest and greatest bits and pieces to outfit your custom camper or modify your existing one! The store is open for everyone!
We are constantly adding more cool unique products. There are several in the testing stage and we can't wait to show you soon.



There is soo much more to talk about.... Let see if you guys have some questions?

I know you all want to see pictures... Here you go.

There are also some cool videos to watch:
IMG-5668.jpg20180406_165026.JPG20190221_145551.jpg21150113_506849319658223_8549902337103326983_n.jpg60170824_10157341363561974_9213898485756067840_n.jpg65269358_891509447858873_1347004535477895168_n.jpg67488041_10219270108973739_7786416081446371328_n.jpg80640169_2747022805336506_7386229888006488064_n.jpgIMG-3491.JPGF350 01.jpg
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
The Steps, bumper and tire carrier are done by ITB. Will see if I can get more detailed pictures.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Do you have any panels that would be about 5 mm to 10 mm thick? I am looking for a material to skin my truck camper with (build is in my signature). Preference is a 100% fiberglass material but FRP would be fine if thin enough. Based on website it appears all your panels are 1" thick or more so I thought I would ask here.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Do you have any panels that would be about 5 mm to 10 mm thick? I am looking for a material to skin my truck camper with (build is in my signature). Preference is a 100% fiberglass material but FRP would be fine if thin enough. Based on website it appears all your panels are 1" thick or more so I thought I would ask here.
Unfortunately, this is not what we offer. Sorry.
 

Joey G

Member
I've seen at least one camper posted that appeared to be built with a welded aluminum angle frame to join your panels rather than your extrusions. What's your opinion on this method? Pros/cons?
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
I've seen at least one camper posted that appeared to be built with a welded aluminum angle frame to join your panels rather than your extrusions. What's your opinion on this method? Pros/cons?
Very good question!

We are actually getting a lot of people calling us asking for "just" the panels as they are planing of welding up an exo skeleton. I have to admit that we have done this in the past but only with great hesitation. It turned out that the customer feedback proved our reasoning for not offering this anymore.

Let me explain:
1. You are trying to combine two very different materials (FRP and Aluminum). Both materials have completely different expansion and contraction rates. There are ways of making this work....
2. To compensate/allow for those material movements you need at least an 1/8- 1/4" thick flexible adhesive thickness. Not many adhesives can offer that without compromising the tensile strength.
3. When working with metals and adhesive, you need to use some type of primer to make the glue bond to it. There are not many out there and if you find them they are very expensive and hard to ship as they are considered dangerous goods.
4. To achieve a consistent adhesive thickness you will need A LOT of it. This in return translates to added weight and cost.

If you are thinking about durability as a reason for going aluminum. Then I can assure you that it is very hard to actually damage our FRP corner extrusions. In fact, if you manage to crack them, they are very easy to patch with some bondo and a rattle can of spray paint.

When our head engineer came up with our current Fiberglass Extrusion system, he knew very well about the points I just mentioned. . Both my dad (owner and head engineer of our factory in China) and I both worked in the German composite truck body industry for many years. Have seen pretty much everything in terms of material failures, construction methods and manufacturing challenges.

Our System was designed so that anyone, even without experience in this field, can successfully assemble our truck bodies. All you need is space, some basic tools and helping hands to lift the panels around. We had commercial builders introducing our flat packed bodies into their existing production line without much effort as they did not need to retool or re arrange much. After a day of training with us, they rolled on their own.

In other words:
It won't get any easier or more efficient to build bodies other than with our system.

Cheers,

Btw, keep the questions coming!
 

Attachments

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Thank you to everyone that reached out to us via email over the last couple days! We had quite a few interesting conversations. One question/ request that came up a couple times was about the difference between our Fiberglass and Aluminum extrusions. It seams like that the common assumption is that aluminum is stronger than FRP. This could be true in some cases... But largely depends on the shape and thickness of the materials. As mentioned in my earlier post, the biggest concern is the expansion and contraction of the AL vs the composites. Putting this aside I like to show you a couple pictures that will explain further why we only recommend our AL extrusions for our commercial dry cargo bodies. They are a bad choice for campers...
AL0210 30 to 30 with coldbridge.jpegAL0210 30 to 30 min.cold bridging.JPGCamper Body Construction.pngFRP Extrusion02.jpg
 

Alloy

Well-known member
Any thoughts on filling the voids in the FRP extrusion with insulation?

What about sealing the perimeter of the panel to prevent water absorption?

Can the panels be made with extruded foam?
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Any thoughts on filling the voids in the FRP extrusion with insulation?

Usually people use the void to run wires. No need to insulated the void. It's also next to impossible to so.

What about sealing the perimeter of the panel to prevent water absorption?

We are using closed cell foam. From experience I can tell you that no matter what type of foam, water WILL find it's way in if given the opportunity! For that reason, we seal the foam edges on our panels.

Can the panels be made with extruded foam?

I don't see the benefit in this. We use rigid PU foam that is precision sanded to size.
You can see our family owned operation here: Just FYI, please don't contact them directly as they will send you straight to us :)

 

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