Four Wheel Camper Storage Space

ccw

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Hey folks,

Long term I’m strongly considering getting a Four Wheel Camper - or similar - for my truck; however I have concerns about available storage space.

Some examples of things I could easily be wanting to carry with me:
  • Two bags with recovery gear, including winching gear. These bags are relatively large and heavy (one is well over 20” long, the other is smaller but very dense).
  • Tire chains, with each pair weighing 50 pounds each.
  • Snow shovel.
  • 12” long bag with ratchet straps, bungee cords and such.
  • 12” long bag with basic hand tools and such.
  • Morrflate for airing down/up.
  • Portable air compressor.
  • Probably some other things I’m forgetting about.
And, of course, normal camping gear (clothes, food, cookware, etc).

Does that seem at all feasible? Or totally crazy? My step down would be to a Go Fast Camper or similar, but I like the idea of a slide-in camper for comfort in wet or winter conditions (would love to start driving to ski hills and camping there).
 
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ccw

ccw

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Pull off the bed and get a flatbed w/ locking boxes.
That said, I'm putting one of these on mine in August: https://atoverland.com/pages/at-atlas-truck-topper
I mean, that's the dream*. But I can't justify saving up for the next 10 years to be able to afford a $10k+ flat bed (can easily hit $15k) along with a $30k+ flat bed camper (can easily hit $40k).

Ya that's exactly what I'm considering. That, Go Fast Camper, FWC Project M, whatever. Lots of options revolving around the "canopy with a built-in RTT” idea.

* Really my dream is OEMs making their truck beds have storage space in the gobs of empty space in the existing bed sides. No, Ram Boxes don't count because they intrude on the bed and aren't accessible if you have a canopy, camper, etc on because they're top-loading. Rant over :p
 
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pods8

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I've had FWC campers for over a decade. My chains/straps/winch supplies/tools are under my truck rear seat. You have have to break up the bags they currently are in to fit stuff in nooks. A sturdy D handle shovel is under the couch in the camper. I don't run a compressor but I'd put in in the rear of the truck if no passengers or under the couch storage.

If you go with a side dinette or front dinette you'll need to review options. I'm actually welding up my own replacement currently that will be front dinette.
 
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ccw

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I've had FWC campers for over a decade. My chains/straps/winch supplies/tools are under my truck rear seat. You have have to break up the bags they currently are in to fit stuff in nooks. A sturdy D handle shovel is under the couch in the camper. I don't run a compressor but I'd put in in the rear of the truck if no passengers or under the couch storage.

If you go with a side dinette or front dinette you'll need to review options. I'm actually welding up my own replacement currently that will be front dinette.
Thanks! That context is super useful, but unfortunately points me away from FWC or similar.

Under the back seat is already half full with permanent stuff. Has a bottle Jack, high vis jacket and battery jump pack in the main space. Then jumper cables, and some miscellaneous other things in the slightly elevated bit. I’ll probably also have blankets under there (they’re currently living behind the passenger rear seat, but they’ll need to move when I finally do my electrical install in that space).

So I might have a bit of room, but nowhere close to enough absorb even my non-winching recovery gear (kinetic recovery rope is large!), don’t mind everything else.
 

pods8

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Blankets go in the camper. ;) Seriously one of the perks of a camper on the back is you have basic supplies/food/etc. in there if you keep it stocked.

Yeah they aren't for everyone but just think about your gear as a whole. You're not likely going to gain storage space with a different truck camper that is slide in whether it is a pop-up or hard side. You can fit a fair amount of gear in the camper though.

I find camper discussions vary wildly, I have a trailer too. The things some folks think are "required" for "camping" is comical. A FWC camper caters to a bit more of a minimalist mindset but is still far from roughing it (IE tent or such).

How much of the stuff that you're trying to store is needed/used regularly? Don't pack your fears if you don't get into stuff that actually requires it IF you want to accommodate a truck camper.

I get into some crappy places, not for the purpose of wheeling in crappy places but I want to get to those places. Personally I've only had to use my winch twice in a decade (once for someone else, once for me). Under the rear seat of my smaller quad cab ram I have: 4"x30' strap, multiple clevis, winch pulleys, ratchet straps, beefy jumper cables, tire chains, first aid supplies, bow saw, basic tools. (Often in the camper I have an ax and other extra supplies too).


Jump pack: if you have a camper on the back of the truck you don't need it as long as your jumper cables can reach between your camper battery(s) and truck battery(s). Been there done that. :)
 
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ccw

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Jump pack: if you have a camper on the back of the truck you don't need it as long as your jumper cables can reach between your camper battery(s) and truck battery(s). Been there done that. :)
Fair point with this, though the battery pack is pretty small so it's not really a blocker. Just on the list of things currently under there.

Blankets go in the camper. ;) Seriously one of the perks of a camper on the back is you have basic supplies/food/etc. in there if you keep it stocked.
Good point! Ok, blankets are in the camper for sure.

Yeah they aren't for everyone but just think about your gear as a whole. You're not likely going to gain storage space with a different truck camper that is slide in whether it is a pop-up or hard side. You can fit a fair amount of gear in the camper though.

I find camper discussions vary wildly, I have a trailer too. The things some folks think are "required" for "camping" is comical. A FWC camper caters to a bit more of a minimalist mindset but is still far from roughing it (IE tent or such).

How much of the stuff that you're trying to store is needed/used regularly? Don't pack your fears if you don't get into stuff that actually requires it IF you want to accommodate a truck camper.

I get into some crappy places, not for the purpose of wheeling in crappy places but I want to get to those places. Personally I've only had to use my winch twice in a decade (once for someone else, once for me). Under the rear seat of my smaller quad cab ram I have: 4"x30' strap, multiple clevis, winch pulleys, ratchet straps, beefy jumper cables, tire chains, first aid supplies, bow saw, basic tools. (Often in the camper I have an ax and other extra supplies too).
Overall I agree with you completely. There's no question I'm packing a lot of stuff. My complicating factor is I'm also involved in Search and Rescue, in the 4x4 unit. Particularly in winter on unmaintained forest roads it's not uncommon for us to get stuck and have to extract ourselves - first with chains, then with kinetic ropes and/or winches (I'm relatively new to the unit, but there's stories abound about this and lots of advice to be prepared).

So I need to have somewhere to put that stuff while the camper is installed so I can still respond to missions.

And that's why I'm reconsidering the camper. As you put really well:

Don't pack your fears if you don't get into stuff that actually requires it IF you want to accommodate a truck camper.

The whole basis for this thread is questioning whether I want accommodate a truck camper, but needed to know the available storage space in order to understand whether I want to or not.
 

pods8

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Gotcha. I lived in WA for 8yrs, I'm familiar what you're talking about. Yeah its a different story when you have to gear up to represent something like search and rescue versus personal use. Let me tell ya the first aid kit in my hunting pack is nothing like the one I had when I was on ski patrol.

Some options you have depending on your camper goals and what you want it for.
1) FWC has that new truck topper version, I haven't looked at it too close.
2) Order a shell and build it out with a bunch of storage and a more minimalist camper setup. I'd likely order an ATC shell for the cost versus a FWC the last time I looked at them.

Frankly for me the truck campers are great for run/gun. I can jump in the back at a rest stop to sleep, I can pull up to a trailhead at 11pm on a friday night, sleep for a while then hit the trail in the AM. I can hunt/camp at a trailhead of it, etc. I sold my newer FWC a while back, I have had sparse/crappy/older ones the last few years (I currently have a flatbed so I can fit the older models and I live in CO now where the older models were originally built so the show up) while I build my own new one.

Keeping in mind I have a trailer for family camping with more frills, what is important to me in a truck camper that is nimble:
*Dry
*Lights
*Heater
*A couch/bench setup I can sleep on still with the top down and enough headroom I can sit upright on said couch/bench with the top down.
*Storage.

Those are must haves. I enjoy a stovetop when the top is up but I also use a canister stove routinely in there, you have to with the top down camping. Why camp top down? Its stealth and warmer in the winter. Sink I could take or leave (I'll put one in my built though). No fixed freshwater/grey water, use 5gal jerry cans instead even if they're plumbed up with temporary fittings. You can take them out to gain back the space, clean them, refill them, etc. Powered vent fans are recommended.

That's off the top of my head. :)
 

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Thanks! That context is super useful, but unfortunately points me away from FWC or similar.

Under the back seat is already half full with permanent stuff. Has a bottle Jack, high vis jacket and battery jump pack in the main space. Then jumper cables, and some miscellaneous other things in the slightly elevated bit. I’ll probably also have blankets under there (they’re currently living behind the passenger rear seat, but they’ll need to move when I finally do my electrical install in that space).

So I might have a bit of room, but nowhere close to enough absorb even my non-winching recovery gear (kinetic recovery rope is large!), don’t mind everything else.
I was able to fit the whole SGT bottle jack kit and a jump pack behind the back right seat by taking out the OEM jack with a little room to spare above those.

I have the FWC hawk shell in mine without the heater or anything. There is enough room to build whatever kind of storage space you could possibly need. I’m in love with mine although I’ve only had it a few months. It took 1 yr from order to delivery.
 

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