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  1. #9326
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    357
    Moving on from my FWC fleet as I am tired of dealing with cold canvas in the winter. Even with the heater, the thing was never warm enough for comfortable ski camping. I didn't use it enough in the summer to justify its downsides in the winter. And, I Had someone offer me enough for it and the truck that it was on that I couldn't say no.

    Thinking of using the money for an older diesel Sprinter with a nice, insulated build and a heater. Really just want something warm for the winter. Anything else should I be looking at?

  2. #9327
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    1,903
    Quote Originally Posted by dub2 View Post
    Moving on from my FWC fleet as I am tired of dealing with cold canvas in the winter. Even with the heater, the thing was never warm enough for comfortable ski camping. I didn't use it enough in the summer to justify its downsides in the winter. And, I Had someone offer me enough for it and the truck that it was on that I couldn't say no.

    Thinking of using the money for an older diesel Sprinter with a nice, insulated build and a heater. Really just want something warm for the winter. Anything else should I be looking at?
    The guys I know who use(older) sprinters for work have rental vans as much as their sprinters because it's in the shop so much. Big repair bills and oftentimes the dealer for weeks because they can't figure out what's wrong with . They just throw parts at it until they figure it out

    Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  3. #9328
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    1,324
    Picking up a Bigfoot tomorrow! Pics to follow, stoked to not pop the top every time I want to get in there….


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    Gravity always wins...

  4. #9329
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    1,903
    Quote Originally Posted by riff View Post
    Picking up a Bigfoot tomorrow! Pics to follow, stoked to not pop the top every time I want to get in there….


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    Score

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  5. #9330
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    MT
    Posts
    1,347
    Quote Originally Posted by dub2 View Post
    Moving on from my FWC fleet as I am tired of dealing with cold canvas in the winter. Even with the heater, the thing was never warm enough for comfortable ski camping. I didn't use it enough in the summer to justify its downsides in the winter. And, I Had someone offer me enough for it and the truck that it was on that I couldn't say no.

    Thinking of using the money for an older diesel Sprinter with a nice, insulated build and a heater. Really just want something warm for the winter. Anything else should I be looking at?
    Did you have the thermal pack?
    My Montana has an East Infection

  6. #9331
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    357
    Quote Originally Posted by Mountainman View Post
    Did you have the thermal pack?
    No, but had a friend with it who was constantly complaining about moisture between the canvas and the canvas of the thermal pack after a night of running the heater. Seems like a recipe for mold imo

  7. #9332
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    14,878
    Quote Originally Posted by SirVicSmasher View Post
    The guys I know who use(older) sprinters for work have rental vans as much as their sprinters because it's in the shop so much. Big repair bills and oftentimes the dealer for weeks because they can't figure out what's wrong with . They just throw parts at it until they figure it out

    Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk
    It does take someone who is familiar with them and they are expensive to fix but hutchski’s is now well over 300k miles and running strong. The rust is gonna get it I fear


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    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  8. #9333
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sölden
    Posts
    415
    Quote Originally Posted by dub2 View Post
    No, but had a friend with it who was constantly complaining about moisture between the canvas and the canvas of the thermal pack after a night of running the heater. Seems like a recipe for mold imo
    This all depends on where you live. It's funny people mention moisture.
    FWIW
    I've had 1990 Skamper 6.5' FWC
    Now I have 1990 Shadowcruier 7' hardside

    I did many a night in Crested Butte, Wolf Creek area, Berthoud pass etc. in my FWC. I had reflectix cut for the entire canvas, in sections, that were helpful, and a big buddy heater plumped to 20lb propane tank. I was NEVER cold, we left heater on low at night cause it would be too hot on high, left roof vent cracked = never cold even at 10kft+ My girl was a complete pussy when it came to the cold also, so it had to be at least comfortable. Yes, it was a freeze/thaw cycle on the canvas but didn't run into any mold issues but I would pop that thing up next sunny day for the entire day to dry.
    Shadowcruiser is colder overall, Wave 3 heater,and not as well insulated due to basically, yes it is hardside, but I can't insulate the inside walls like I could the canvas with reflectix(I get it I can remodel the camper and add insulation, but I don't want to basically)

    Moisture.
    If you live in say the PNW or wherever the sun doesn't shine for years on end..yes. In Colorado, you are hard pressed to find any pop-up with lots of canvas mold due to it being so dry. I could use it for 3-5 days straight in the winter, sunny day, pop that top and it'll dry right out.
    Furthermore, I get the moisture build up on canvas or inside of really any camper when using a catalytic heater i.e. propane
    Well, what about when you are heating up your tea at night, or cooking in the morning using your 2 or 3 stove burner top. It's the same.
    Literally saw a guy doing this last season with his 4x4 Sprinter with a propane stove top. He was telling me forced air heater cuts down on moisture etc...........as he is cooking with no vents. I suppose you are cutting down the moisture, but that tea kettle that is boiling is like a volcanoe of moisture.

  9. #9334
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    357
    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtostaywarm View Post
    This all depends on where you live. It's funny people mention moisture.
    FWIW
    I've had 1990 Skamper 6.5' FWC
    Now I have 1990 Shadowcruier 7' hardside

    I did many a night in Crested Butte, Wolf Creek area, Berthoud pass etc. in my FWC. I had reflectix cut for the entire canvas, in sections, that were helpful, and a big buddy heater plumped to 20lb propane tank. I was NEVER cold, we left heater on low at night cause it would be too hot on high, left roof vent cracked = never cold even at 10kft+ My girl was a complete pussy when it came to the cold also, so it had to be at least comfortable. Yes, it was a freeze/thaw cycle on the canvas but didn't run into any mold issues but I would pop that thing up next sunny day for the entire day to dry.
    Shadowcruiser is colder overall, Wave 3 heater,and not as well insulated due to basically, yes it is hardside, but I can't insulate the inside walls like I could the canvas with reflectix(I get it I can remodel the camper and add insulation, but I don't want to basically)

    Moisture.
    If you live in say the PNW or wherever the sun doesn't shine for years on end..yes. In Colorado, you are hard pressed to find any pop-up with lots of canvas mold due to it being so dry. I could use it for 3-5 days straight in the winter, sunny day, pop that top and it'll dry right out.
    Furthermore, I get the moisture build up on canvas or inside of really any camper when using a catalytic heater i.e. propane
    Well, what about when you are heating up your tea at night, or cooking in the morning using your 2 or 3 stove burner top. It's the same.
    Literally saw a guy doing this last season with his 4x4 Sprinter with a propane stove top. He was telling me forced air heater cuts down on moisture etc...........as he is cooking with no vents. I suppose you are cutting down the moisture, but that tea kettle that is boiling is like a volcanoe of moisture.
    Fair points. I just struggled to keep things dry in the winter when on longer trips. After coming home I would typically find quite a bit of moisture in the canvas and under the bed, that would take a while to dry out. With the FWC, it isn't just the canvas that is poorly insulated, but the aluminum walls with no insulation too.

    Is it doable in the winter? Yes, but like you said you have to be diligent about insulating the canvas at night, and drying things out when you can. My heater would run pretty constantly to keep things above freezing too.

    When I'm on trips, I'm lazy and don't want to think too much about keeping things dry. Ideally just want something insulated with a diesel heater.

  10. #9335
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sölden
    Posts
    415
    Quote Originally Posted by dub2 View Post
    Fair points. I just struggled to keep things dry in the winter when on longer trips. After coming home I would typically find quite a bit of moisture in the canvas and under the bed, that would take a while to dry out. With the FWC, it isn't just the canvas that is poorly insulated, but the aluminum walls with no insulation too.

    Is it doable in the winter? Yes, but like you said you have to be diligent about insulating the canvas at night, and drying things out when you can. My heater would run pretty constantly to keep things above freezing too.

    When I'm on trips, I'm lazy and don't want to think too much about keeping things dry. Ideally just want something insulated with a diesel heater.
    Totally! Come on over to the hardside life(whether truck camper or van or whatever you get) You'll love it. The fact of not setting something up/tearing it down is awesome. As you said also, not dealing with the canvas now is a big win no matter what you do.

  11. #9336
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    617
    Every time i think about buying a diesel heater I remind myself that I still need a generator to charge camper batteries. So, when running my Honda 2200watt gen, I turn off the propane furnace and run a battery charger and electric heater.

  12. #9337
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    990
    Quote Originally Posted by dub2 View Post
    Fair points. I just struggled to keep things dry in the winter when on longer trips. After coming home I would typically find quite a bit of moisture in the canvas and under the bed, that would take a while to dry out. With the FWC, it isn't just the canvas that is poorly insulated, but the aluminum walls with no insulation too.

    Is it doable in the winter? Yes, but like you said you have to be diligent about insulating the canvas at night, and drying things out when you can. My heater would run pretty constantly to keep things above freezing too.

    When I'm on trips, I'm lazy and don't want to think too much about keeping things dry. Ideally just want something insulated with a diesel heater.

    I've only used my FWC w the cold weather pack on 1 colder trip (20F) and it was much like the old days of an aluminum top on my pu bed. Fortunately I was able to open it up in a garage to dry it out immediately after the trip. The aluminum walls and frame are super conductors. While I'm sure it could be a bit more comfortable w some practice, I want to concentrate on my activity not staying warm and dry. Imo, it's a 3 season rig at best, and so I will either keep it knowing that or go big w a Big Foot or Northern Light. I hate the idea of a top heavy outfit and dual rear wheels that is going to be hard to get around the Forest with, but I'm not taking the FWC on a ski trip that's for sure.

  13. #9338
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,204
    Quote Originally Posted by dub2 View Post
    Moving on from my FWC fleet as I am tired of dealing with cold canvas in the winter. Even with the heater, the thing was never warm enough for comfortable ski camping. I didn't use it enough in the summer to justify its downsides in the winter. And, I Had someone offer me enough for it and the truck that it was on that I couldn't say no.

    Thinking of using the money for an older diesel Sprinter with a nice, insulated build and a heater. Really just want something warm for the winter. Anything else should I be looking at?
    I went with the molded fiberglass shell just so it would handle the weather and rough dirt roads. All I was looking for was a warm dry place for winter and Alaska summer. Similar construction as big foot, lighter and cheaper but have to finish myself.

  14. #9339
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Access to Granlibakken
    Posts
    9,455
    This thread keeps on circling back to the same discussion of the main options and trade offs. I’ll just mention that for most of us, the point of having a travel rig is…..traveling. For us that means the western states and W Canada. A nearby E Sierra trip, even if it’s a wet early season blizzard, will soon be followed by a sunny dry spell that’s great for drying out a roof top tent or pop top camper. But visiting friends in Bellingham and skiing near Mt Baker…

    After 20+ years of road-tripping, the #1 reason I’m a van convert now isn’t the 22 mpg, or year round weatherproofness & warmth, or exterior durability….it’s the ability to drive at night after a day in the backcountry & park somewhere, turn off the engine, crack a beer and have camp instantly established. Or drive somewhere in the morning 5 mins after waking up.

  15. #9340
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    357
    Anyone have experience with the stock furnace in a eurovan in the winter? Would winter camp with the top down, wondering if it keeps it warm. Cheaper than a fully built sprinter.

    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...ssenger_banner

  16. #9341
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    1,324
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Finally found one! There’s lots of little things that need work, but it should be decent. Fairly complete, some fiberglass work to do. The truck with Timbrens does great with the weight.


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    Gravity always wins...

  17. #9342
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    3,683
    FKNA should be a bombproof setup.

  18. #9343
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    990
    Very nice! Good luck and have fun.

  19. #9344
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    16
    That Bigfoot is gonna be great. I’m always dreaming about one of those on a flat bed with truck boxes in the void where the bed sides used to be.

  20. #9345
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    11,803
    Quote Originally Posted by CascadeKid View Post
    That Bigfoot is gonna be great. I’m always dreaming about one of those on a flat bed with truck boxes in the void where the bed sides used to be.
    Yup, and a custom long, locking box for skis in that area is my thought.

  21. #9346
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    11,803
    Quote Originally Posted by riff View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Finally found one! There’s lots of little things that need work, but it should be decent. Fairly complete, some fiberglass work to do. The truck with Timbrens does great with the weight.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Nice! I used to have the same truck and hauled a 2,000lb Kodiak on it (similar clam shell camper). Truck hauled it fine. Now the camper is on a newer Dodge. That shell will be good for another 50 years.

  22. #9347
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    6,574
    Quote Originally Posted by riff View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Finally found one! There’s lots of little things that need work, but it should be decent. Fairly complete, some fiberglass work to do. The truck with Timbrens does great with the weight.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Shityeah riff. Looks like about the same layout as my NL. You'll love it.

  23. #9348
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    1,324

    Ski RV's, who's sleeping in parking lots?

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    First night was a success- near North Powder, Oregon. Sweet to pop the escape hatch to look at morning weather. Cozy, warm and the lady digs it. Upgrades to follow!


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    Last edited by riff; 12-05-2021 at 01:24 PM.
    Gravity always wins...

  24. #9349
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    2,759
    Quote Originally Posted by riff View Post
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    First night was a success- near North Powder, Oregon. Sweet to pop the escape hatch in look at morning weather. Cozy, warm and the lady digs it. Upgrades to follow!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Damn Riff, that looks sweet!! Killer setup.

    If you don't mind me asking, what did it cost you? Trying to budget for something similar and want a good idea of what the target number might be

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

  25. #9350
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    1,324
    We scored- the only reason we were willing to drive to Idaho for it. It needs some fiberglass repair which may need professional attention, but for this winter gorilla tape will keep the water out. Here’s a summary of condition to put the price in perspective.
    Pros-
    Most appliances work
    Glass intact.
    Original stuff mostly present.
    Two brand new marine batteries.
    $1200 in receipts from the rv shop in july.
    Two full propane tanks!

    Cons-
    Broken fiberglass
    Needs seat cushions
    Squirrel occupied for a bit, chewed on trim, cushions.
    Needs cleaning.
    Needs nasty carpet taken out.
    Fridge may not work.
    Needs curtains.
    Bathroom is disgusting- probably stripping it all out.
    Needs exterior fittings resealed.
    Jacks need rebuilding.
    Busted strike plate/janky door handle

    Fairly immediate Plans:
    New floor
    Strip bathroom
    Fridge?
    Curtains
    Dinette cushions
    Wash/wax exterior
    Rebuild Jacks
    Battery box
    Usb plugs
    Led lights

    Later:
    New table
    Fiberglass repair in summer


    We paid $2000. After watching for months, I surprised it didn’t get snapped up faster, but I think the glass work scared some folks. Even if it’s a tough fix though, worth it. Even if the fix fails in a few years, worth it.






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    Gravity always wins...

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