|12-11-2018 04:30 PM|
|Subybaja||Hey, are you going to build one for those dumb Jeep trucks? Thats a whole level of, um, "marketable con$umer" above the JK owners.|
|11-05-2018 03:02 AM|
Your pics are dead...I hope the business isnt!
I saw this on FB from SEMA. It reminded me of your Jeep idea, even if it's not popup.
|07-13-2018 08:00 PM|
|1st Recline Bn||I've been thinking about building out a Sportsmobile type van for a few years, not for a full on month long Expo right now but maybe a week at max. Then I saw the XP Campers and read your build thread and got to thinking about adapting your stuff to a cutaway van chassis.|
|03-25-2018 07:48 AM|
|wvracer821||hows business? have you built any more units? I followed the build on your prototype and I was impressed with the quality. I could be in the market for a flatbed camper by the end of the year. Ill shoot you an email to talk about that though. Figured I'd give the thread a bump while I was thinking about it.|
|06-04-2017 01:02 PM|
That popup isn't a commo shelter, it's custom built to look like one.
Here's why it reminded me:
|06-03-2017 06:42 PM|
Thanks, I was hoping to hit the expo in flagstaff, but it simply didnt pan out.
Jeep camper? That one hit a wall of reality.
Little TJ is enough of a handful on the highway without adding 800 lbs, and elevating the center of gravity.
So its still a concept. Its doable, just dont think is worth the trouble.
VERY good reason peeps go the RTT or small trailer for Jeeps
|06-03-2017 06:16 PM|
OP, I know that you have said that you cannot do the marketing of a big company, but I think you should go to next years Overland Expo in northern Arizona. Flagstaff? I think you would find buyers there. Unfortunately it just happened.
What happened to your TJ camper project?
|06-03-2017 05:49 PM|
So sorry I missed this. Seems I didnt have the thread notification set up right.... probably still dont
I could certainly build you a new shell. I hate tossing numbers around without doing much actual calculation, but a new shell would probably be in the 18-22k range.
Again, sorry I missed your post. Hopefully quoting your post will pop us as a notification for you. And hopefully you are still interested
Let me know
|06-03-2017 05:40 PM|
THAT reminded you of my stuff?
Not sure how to take that....
Things are slow. The market is tough, and the actual cost of building such custom campers is proving to be very difficult to swallow for would be customers.
Most outfits that are (seemingly) doing okay in this business are spending GOBS of money in marketing. Attending an RV/Trade show alone, as a vendor, can cost upwards of 6-10K, and many companies are hitting ALL the shows.
Good reason why you see $75k campers that really are not anything special They are chasing their own ass to turn a profit, as they are in deep in marketing, tooling, and equipment.
I refuse to do that. It simply isn't us.
Not spending that much allows us to offer the service at, literally, a fraction of the cost.
Still, it is still a lot of money, and we are new. So the willingness to jump in with both feet is tough for would be customers.
We are stopping at the NW Overland Rally this year.
About the Northwest Overland Rally
Not as vendors, but we will be there. We will be traveling through to visit family near Klamath, so we figured we may as well stop by.
So we will be there with our camper on the old powerstroke.
Come by and say hello if you happen to be around
|06-03-2017 10:46 AM|
Bump. Just curious how it's going?
I came across some pics (from 2012) that reminded me of your stuff:
What's new at Coyote RV/Phoenix Pop up? - Page 38 - Expedition Portal
|12-12-2016 12:55 PM|
I might be looking to move the guts of my Fleedwood Angler to a new carcass. Do you have a ballpark price for a shell? The one I have now is for both a 6 foot and 8 foot bed and I'd like to keep that feature. I can get dimensions and other requirements if needed. I've reframed most of this camper already but don't really think it will last. Would be nice to swap everything to a clam shell design.
|10-28-2016 10:43 PM|
Here are a few recent concepts that potential clients have had me work up...
70 series Landcruiser Ute Cab-Chassis
This one was spec'd out as an empty shell.
Hard-side pop top in a slide-in configuration
Spec'd out pretty simple. Interior completely finished out, but just the basics.
1-ton Crew-Cab Cab-Chassis Model
All the bells and whistles on this one, complete with diesel fired hydronic heat/water heat, stove, as well as full solar, 12Vdc fridge, wet bath, and composting toilet.
|10-28-2016 10:34 PM|
Thanks for the response Gator
Not sure if you missed it, or if I simply havnt made it clear, but the entire plywood shell is 6mm marine ply, utilizing glass and aero-marine epoxy
I have no interest in going into large scale production. Plenty of other MFGs doing that, and I see zero benefit in simply reinventing the wheel. There are a few MFGs out there that do "custom" units, but they more or less optioned out base models. I'm offering the ability to build 100% custom units. Simple as that.
The interest is there, I've punched out another dozen quotes just this week. All were requests for truly custom units, that are not offered anywhere else in the industry in one way or another.
Im already plenty on track with costs, no fears there. Plenty of spreadsheets that Ive generated to not only calc costs, but also weights, and labor times. I have the numbers dialed in.
FYI, for "expedition" type or simply RV "specialty" type vehicles and campers, it is not unheard of to have YEARS of waiting lists. So far, potential clients have been 100% aware of this. That said, those are builders that take on more projects than they can manage. I'm only looking to build a couple a year.
Thanks again for the post
|10-18-2016 05:17 PM|
My $0.02 from a business perspective, not particular to campers:
If you're going to stick with plywood, I would look at marine ply and "stitch and glue" epoxy composite methods. Describe that it is the same construction as ultra high end sportfishing boats, is light and strong, and won't rot. They can also be repaired by anyone that works on boats if you hit a tree limb, tip over, etc.
If you want to build one every other year as a hobby, the full custom route is fine. If you want to make some money at it, you need to offer production models that will be your "bread and butter", and take full custom projects as they come as a perk.
I would offer models that fit short and long full size truck beds that will also drop onto a 4x8 or 5x10 utility trailer or even a gooseneck, which some guys on here might buy. Add a model that fits 4-door JK's if the demand is there.
Once you've got templates, solved all the design and fab issues, etc, you could crank out campers in 1/4 or less of the time than a full custom build.
Sell them at various stages of finish/features. A Level 1 would be a bare shell for the guys that want a dry place to roll out a sleeping pad and bag and use a Coleman stove and water jug, or guys who want to build out their own interior. If you could offer that for a full size pickup in the $5k range I think they would sell like hot cakes.
Level 2 could add a basic kitchen/bathroom, storage, and sleeping arrangements from a choice of 3 or so layouts depending on number of people and needs. I'd try to keep this one around $9k
Level 3 would be for people more or less wanting a typical RV with fancy cabinet doors, curtains, real furniture and the whole 9 yards. Sub $20k would be reasonable for this IMO.
I would attempt to use standard parts from Home Depot, Advance Auto, and West Marine stores as much as possible. Not only will it make it easier for people to repair on the road, but it will go a long way to ease worries about lack of dealers, the company going out of business, etc.
For price point and getting that first sale, you really need to build one and then list it for sale. This will also cut down on wait times, as a lot of people will want one now when they see it, not in a year or 2. It is easy to get significantly back logged in hurry as a 1 man operation with big projects.
Materials cost what they cost, you need to know the total amount so you aren't losing money or even worse, having to ask for more. You probably won't be able to produce an affordable product using an hourly labor rate, even if it was minimum wage on a completely custom job of that scale. This is why you need to develop patterns, templates, and systems to maximize efficiency. The first one is likely to be a zero-profit advertising investment, and you will make more and more money in the future as you turn them out more quickly.
For a Level 1, if you have $3k in materials and can turn one out in 2 weeks, you'd make $1,500 per week at $5k selling price. Same weekly profit for a Level 2 with $4,500 in materials in 3 weeks for $9k.
Selling plans for $75-$100 would also be a good stream of income. The guys who will buy plans and build it themselves aren't the same guys that will buy a complete camper from you, so you aren't losing out on potential sales. I also wouldn't price them a whole lot more than that, as you will probably sell 10 sets that will never be built for every 1 that will. Price them at $200-$300 and only the really serious guys will buy them. A copyright and licensing agreement will keep people from stealing them or building them for profit. It's common in the boat building industry.
|10-02-2016 11:06 PM|
Having more than just a front end ROP you might consider too. Check the regulations?? 100% of famlies I know in the RV world assume a person can travel in the camper portion of the box if it is one that sits on the chassis behind the cab. Actually, I thought that was required by law to have the camper cabin pass certain level of safety feature for riders in the Camper Cabin. Would assume Expedition rig would be classified as a motorhome and thus must be built to certain safety guidelines. Travel trailers did not have to pass same safety features as a motorhome cause no one rides in them and thusly its even illegal to travel inside them cause they lack those safety features.
When you think about it....... even if there is not legal regulations for on chassis camper cabins..... know dang well the kids are going to sit in the cabin during travel and not the cab. That's the typical RV way. And for you would be a huge selling feature. Folk with several kids would not have to get a large cab truck chassis to fit everyone. Reduces cost of truck chassis to be purchased. You might could make that a sale feature of one of your product lines.
|09-30-2016 01:30 PM|
I know you're not a RV builder per se, but all these guys on here in the tow rig section slapping together crawler haulers where they put a box on the front of their goosenecks...maybe try to build something for that crowd. They're obviously a less spendy set of people, but if you were able to keep your overall box construction the same, but make the interiors far more spartan you might have a niche there.
Unfortunately, your stuff is too small and spendy for my needs, but I like browsing it for ideas and you do solid work.
|09-25-2016 10:26 PM|
|09-25-2016 05:02 PM|
Its settled then...
Which one of you want to lend me your jeep for a build?
Pricing will be EXCELLENT
|09-25-2016 04:52 PM|
|09-25-2016 01:07 PM|
|Subybaja||And anther thought- that Jeep popup is pretty unique, and the JK crowd spend stupid money... I could see a magazine spread on it pulling in a lot of interest.|
|09-25-2016 12:40 PM|
Thank you for the comments guys.
I feel I do need more examples of my work, and intend to go that route this winter. Currently tossing around two ideas, either a fit-out and poptop conversion to a 4x4 van, or a trailer.
I have no intentions to build a big business, Im simply looking for a handful of customers per year that are interested in such custom units. So Im struggling to see the benefit of investors. What could I utilize them for?
So to make sure Im understanding you....
You want ROL protection for the cabin, that shouldnt have people in it when traveling? Most cab forward units cannot have a pass-thru, due to engine placement.
Am I missing something??
|09-23-2016 01:56 PM|
Something to consider... ESPECIALLY for any box you build for folk with Cab Forward trucks and some other trucks (Plastic cab Unimog among them). Any cabs that crush easy.
Build into the first third or half of the box a solid roll cage. Don't put any travel seating in areas of box not under this cage. This will to some degree act like a ROP that the owner of truck should install anyway to protect their loved ones in box and cab. There has been too many deaths both civilian and military personnel to not to do this. There has also been many in a cab who survived similar large military truck rolls only cause the truck had a Command Box installed on back compared to same trucks rolled with troop bed. These boxes are sturdy and in effect acted a bit like a ROP for the cab.
Kill two birds with one stone. Well in this case..... save two birds with one stone. Cheaper alternative to those who want a box yet are wise enough to know that somehow they still have to incorporate a ROP into scheme of things.
This is the primary reason I will NOT use a typical camper box in my LMTV build.. I want that sturdy Comm box I choose to help save my and my friend or loved one's craniums and spines in case of a mishap.
|09-22-2016 03:22 AM|
Looking at it from a business standpoint I would think you would need some examples of your proposed ideas. Perhaps you could build a couple different ones to take to shows. Better yet find a few people that you could offer a discounted (actual cost) unit to help break into the market.
I'm not sure on the "finished to your spec" idea. I would have a base line finish and modify from there. Have you thought of investors to help get started?
I think you need a product line for people to have a hands on experience.
I think the one you have done is awesome and the fact you want to build more of them is a great idea.
You will have to separate yourself from the mass produced units by example. We all know they are built as cheap as possible with crappy interior products. You are making rugged expedition type units.
|09-20-2016 10:45 PM|
From the Promise section: " This starts wit the initial consultation, "
Slick website and design. Looks like NASA.
I'd personally like to see the construction advantages more prominent- epoxy paint, r-value vs a regular camper, weight savings, real wood vs particleboard, etc. But then, I'm just browsing. Maybe someone seriously shopping would get all that info consulting you.
|09-20-2016 06:45 PM|
Thanks for the feedback guys.
All is appreciated. This isn't an overnight success business, and we are still just getting the ball rolling, so I'm all ears. And appreciate it all.
Ive said before that if I do not secure a contract or two by the end of the year, Ill push to building another one. That is still in the plans.
As far as the wood-fear goes, Im well aware, and its a tough nut to crack.
Some people simply refuse to go wood. And that's fine, I wont try too hard to convince them otherwise. The rest are at least willing to realize or already know the incredible benefits, and are also aware that when done right, there is nothing to worry about.
Personally, I feel there is market enough to more than satisfy my handful of custom campers a year. Just have to break into that market.
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