Vagabond Outdoors pop-up camper

chmura

Adventurer
#48
Look great!

Can you store 2 sleeping bags and 2 pillows ontop and be able to close it? This is a must for me. I don't want to be moving sleeping bags up and down. I rather just store all sleeping stuff up top where its clean. Sleeping bags/comforters are bulky and take up alot space. For an overland rig space is limited. In my current RTT I store all my sleeping gear up top and close it fine, saves a huge amount of space in the vehicle/bed of truck.

This is probably a deal breaker for me if I cant.
 

Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
#50
^ With fixed side screens there is no entry via the side "doors" (and, hence a ladder): Correct? So a couple is sleeping in the RTT and in the middle of the night one or both need to get up and out to relieve themselves: How's that work out if the side "doors" are fixed? Exiting out the rear door would be a hassle. And exiting down through the truck bed would involve re-positioning the mattress segments. I must be missing something?
Definitely understand the side access desire coming from an RTT. We opted for the clear vinyl windows on the sides and the privacy screen, so 2 sets of zippers. A 3rd for the screen would be nice, but we felt that side access wouldn’t be as important after people saw how easy it is to get down from inside. After having 4 different popup campers, my experience is that climbing out of bed, stepping down to a bench, putting on your shoes inside, and making a quick exit, without letting out the heat, is much easier than climbing down a ladder. My wife and kids use the porta potti inside on cold nights. We’ve been using that setup for the last 11 years and it’s worked really well. No panels to remove.

These guys have years of experience with RTT’s and I’ll get their feedback in the coming days. They just got back from a trip to Mojave.

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Well done!! Congrats on getting this marketed.
Thank you!

With the bed platform setup there is still a space between it and the end of the topper, 20” or 30” if I remember right. You’d be able to get down easy but would need to open the topper/tailgate to exit the truck.
Exactly! 30” of space between the 6’-8” mattress and the rear. It’s so easy to get out of bed. And the extension panel slides to the rear so you can hang out with the rear window wide open. It’s easily accessible from below or the bed.

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If there is a gap as you describe, what holds pillows in place? For me, after extensively using roof top tents for a dozen years, I would also like the side windows to be doors. The pickup bed will have a fridge/freeze, camping gear, etc. and not always conducive to getting in/out of bed and to the outside via the truck bed especially during the middle of the night and half wide-eyed. Never mind the slight gymnastics of turning around, down the escape hole...unlatching the topper hatch/door, etc. I also get the fact not all are enamored with using a ladder. But options are good and just my $.02.
Pillows seem to stay put since the mattress is 6’-8” long and I usually leave a gap at the top of the sleeping bag. I’m 6’-2” for reference.
Definitely understand the ladder option, but those who have switched from RTT’s are really excited to not deal with one. Especially because one could get dressed and put on shoes, standing up, before heading out into the night.
Get up and go outside or pee in a bottle, don't see what all the fuss is about. It's gonna be easier than climbing down from the pop-top bed in a VW camper. And hopefully there fridge or cooler will be in the way as that'd make a good step to get in and out of the upper bunk.

For falling pillow issues just make an 8" x 4ft bungee net that goes across the head of the bed. This was also my biggest issue in pop-top campers and I stole the idea from another vanagon owner I met while on the road in my old syncro.

So stoked to see you guys underway and getting production units out the door. Very cool. Do you have any plans in the works for insulation for extreme temperatures? I'm the main shell body and for the pop-top fabric as well?
Thanks man! Great idea on the net and we already have plans underway for a similar option. Another option is a split panel system @Iggy came up with in December of 2016. That would make for a 110” bed. Minut Bol friendly sleeping platform...

Side and cab wall insulation is an option. It will include foam insulation and durable paneling. The ceiling/ roof and space below the overhang come standard with 1” foam insulation on the base model. We don’t have immediate plans for additional fabric insulation, but it’s definitely possible if the demand is there. I’ve slept in 0° weather in my 4wc/ Scout camper without additional fabric insulation. With a forced air heater, it was ridiculously warm in there.

There is plenty of space for a roll-down insulated “curtain” that would store above the rear glass door. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and should have a simple solution very soon.

You can sleep with your head in the hinge end. The platform looks long enough that it shouldn't feel cramped.
Definitely a possibility! We’ve tried it and are not fans of sleeping with our noggings in the wedge. Flipping over to the belly and crawling out is not hard, but that’s definitely up to the users!

Although I’ve never relied on it, our units will come with a standard safety bar for the roof. It is mounted inside, and out of the way of the windows. So campers can easily deploy it in the middle of the night, from a sleeping or standing position, for additional peace of mind.

Congrats on the first production unit. Looks great.
Thank you! 2nd and 3rd rolled out on Wednesday night.

Look great!

Can you store 2 sleeping bags and 2 pillows ontop and be able to close it? This is a must for me. I don't want to be moving sleeping bags up and down. I rather just store all sleeping stuff up top where its clean. Sleeping bags/comforters are bulky and take up alot space. For an overland rig space is limited. In my current RTT I store all my sleeping gear up top and close it fine, saves a huge amount of space in the vehicle/bed of truck.

This is probably a deal breaker for me if I cant.
Thanks! Yes, there’s definitely space for bedding. It makes setting up camp very easy. It closes easily with a double sleeping bag and compressible pillows. I haven’t tried it with standard pillows. The roof and ceiling are extremely robust and the latches are adjustable, so you can always pull the lid down hard to compress whatever bedding you have.

Many that have owned popup campers understand the versatility of field adjustable latches. We went through 6 or 7 different latches before arriving back where we started. A strong, easily adjustable latch that won’t freeze closed, and is easily operable with ski gloves.

Some of them looked really cool, but required an Allen key to adjust. That took away from our goals: strong, easily adjustable, corrosion resistant, and lockable.

Now one for a first gen Tundra
In the works!
 
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#51
These guys make similar.. also seems like they have made very few units...all fun n games n instagram until the warranties start rolling in, or you get the first call from a lawyer...

https://www.gofastcampers.com/

The problem with rtt's and these are they are just glorified expensive tents.. like someone said.. Westfalia pop tops. If you use them sparingly, or where it's nice all the time, great. Wind and rain, forget it. Gotta be hardside imo.
 

Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
#52
These guys make similar.. also seems like they have made very few units...all fun n games n instagram until the warranties start rolling in, or you get the first call from a lawyer...

https://www.gofastcampers.com/

The problem with rtt's and these are they are just glorified expensive tents.. like someone said.. Westfalia pop tops. If you use them sparingly, or where it's nice all the time, great. Wind and rain, forget it. Gotta be hardside imo.
We started making these in late 2016. We began by designing the camper and working with a manufacturer. Our intent was always to bring them to market. Although the campers they made are awesome and the construction is extremely robust, we couldn’t get them to take the project seriously and consistency was an issue. Plus, their lead welder had limited hours and was retiring. He was crucial in the successful build of the (4) V1’s. That’s why we took on the project ourselves.

We definitely support and have a presence on Instagram and Tacomaworld. There’s no denying the exposure and support we’ve received from both. We’re not building these “for the Gram” though. I started by putting a popup camper on my 1972 Scout in 2007ish before “Expedition Campers” merged with Expedition Portal. My poor Tacoma has beared a camper shell tent, a Flippac, 4wc, custom flatbed camper, and now a Drifter. With @Iggy ‘s ingenuity and years of professional manufacturing knowledge, and my popup camper experiences, we are producing campers that balance livability and capability. With 4 season camping as a priority.

I definitely see your point with hardsides. The weight and cost are prohibitive for our place in the market. With our insulated seamless 1/8 aluminum roof and waterproof 18 oz. vinyl coated polyester fabric, it’s very weatherproof. We received almost 2” of rainfall in the past 24 hours. I left the tent up during that time (always testing!) and it was leakproof. :cool:

As far as a call from an attorney... we have patent pending status. (y)
 

plh

Explorer
#54
Not sure what portion of the Vagabond is unique and patent-able, but your patent attorney will figure that out.

Yours does look like a great execution of the pop-top topper shell thou. I like it!
 

Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
#56
Any plans at this time for a full size build?
Yes! We are definitely going full size this year and have a preliminary design.

Not sure what portion of the Vagabond is unique and patent-able, but your patent attorney will figure that out.

Yours does look like a great execution of the pop-top topper shell thou. I like it!
Thank you!

We definitely used their guidance and did figure it out.
Did I see you guys down in San Felipe for the 250? We were having dinner at Anisetos.
Wasn’t us, but hope to be there next year! Camper class trophy truck?
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
#60
I am working the Overland Expo and can't wait to check these out....I assume you folks will be taking orders there?
My goal is to do the Continental Divide again next year border to border (did it 10yrs ago) and I am spec'ing out a new build for SEMA and that trip.
Thanks for making cool stuff and beating on it properly in prototyping (desert pics in the air are killer)