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Hodakaguy's Vagabond Camper/Truck Build

Vagabnd Drifter wedge camper FWC GoFast GFC AT Habitat

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#1 Hodakaguy

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 01:57 PM

With our previous Tacoma's and Four Wheel Camper Sold it's time to harness my super squirrel powers and start in on another project.

We just returned from a 1700 mile two day road trip to pick up our new Camper at the Vagabond factory in CA. The guys at Vagabond are a great bunch!  We were scheduled to arrive Friday morning but half way down to CA realized we would arrive  early enough (about 4pm) that we could snag the camper on Thursday and roll north again to get part way home again.  A quick call to Vagabond and they were very accommodating with the change in schedule.  Installing the camper went quickly and we were on the road again.  1000 miles the first day, not bad!

My father and I placed the order for the Drifter back when we still had our 3rd gen trucks, The drifter was originally slated for my fathers truck and was going to serve as both a canopy and camper that we could leave on the truck year around.  The light weight and low drag of a wedge camper makes it ideal for road trips and off road use.   After we sold our 3rd gen trucks we decided to leave the Drifter on order since we planned on eventually finding another used truck. Fast forward a bit and we found a super low mile (9000 miles) 2012 TRD sport that we picked up for my father. It already has a OME 3" lift and Dakar springs installed so it's ready for the Drifter Install.

Now some background on our decision to purchase the drifter. Originally we planned on purchasing the GoFast camper and while camping at last years Northwest Overland Rally we were able to check it out in person along with several other brands. The GFC construction looked really good and finish work was top notch. Canvas material is similar to what we had on our Four Wheel Camper and it’s proven to be super waterproof. We live in the desert and the camper will be outside 365..the sun here tears things up fast. We were both concerned about how well the composite roof will hold up over time to intense sun we see here. We were also not huge fans of light coming in through the composite translucent top, when I sleep I like it dark and the inside of the camper glowing could be a issue.  Guess one could always make an internal light cover for the top. We also didn’t care for the short overhang and the need to move bedding every time you want to enter the bed, you also need to mess with bedding if one wants to stand up and get dressed. If you want to open up the whole interior space you need to do something with all the cushions which I see as a pain.  The tubular framework of the GFC relies on a large number of seals to keep water and dust out, this seems like it could be problematic over time.   The tubular framework also makes it difficult to install decent size side windows and harder to insulate.  Overall it was a nice camper but we were glad we could check it out in person before we ordered one, it just wasn't a great fit for us.

After checking out the GFC we walked over to check out the AT and Vagabond units. We both really liked the Vagabond unit a lot, the construction is top notch and we both preferred the solid aluminum structure, this camper is rock solid!  We loved the insulated HD one piece aluminum roof (1/8") and solid sides (No seals against tubing), will make dust proofing the camper an easier task.  The drifter has similar canvas material to the FWC as well which again we have found to be bullet proof in rain. The tent is roomier than the GFC and the larger side windows are nice.  We liked the longer extension over the cab and the ability to have a standing space with the bed deployed, no need to mess with bed panels.  We also liked the side windows in the Drifter and they offer several options to choose from, we like the Windoors as they allow easy access to the interior of the camper and give a view through the camper while driving.  Without the tubular frame of the GoFast insulating the interior will be far easier. When standing in the camper you can slide the bed all the way forward and have the entire interior area open to stand in, the mattress and supports are all stored in the cab over area leaving the entire bed space open....Nice!   This will be great when hiding out in the camper when waiting out weather.  The top utilizes hidden lift struts which is a also a nice touch, overall a very well thought out package!

The AT was great as well but higher $$ and the canvas material looked more like treated tent material than a true waterproof material like the vagabond and GFC. The fit and finish of the AT was really good as well. They also had the habitat on display but we both preferred the wedge design over the Habitat.

They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but the Drifter was the best choice for us.

We have plans to install lighting and a Diesel heater.  I'm sure plenty more mods will follow lol.  I'll post up pics as progress happens.

Here's a few pics of the new Camper 1f642.png


Our new Drifter waiting to be installed.

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Another Drifter being assembled.

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Camper being installed on the truck.

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Rolled out and ready to hit the road.  We immediately hit the road again and headed north a ways, ended up putting in 1000 miles that day.

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On the way home we stopped to take a few pics and play with the camper a bit.  I really like the fit of the Drifter on the Taco.

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Top up

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Tracks installed, these will be great for Solar install and carrying the Kayaks.

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Continued Below...
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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE


#2 Hodakaguy

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 01:57 PM

Continued from above...

Interior. The side windows open for access to the interior and the side panels are insulated. The bed is slid out in this pic.

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Standing in the camper with the bed deployed

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Bed stored in the cab over portion allowing the entire interior area to be utilized for standing.

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More to come.....

Hodakaguy
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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE


#3 Mighty Dodge Ram

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 05:47 PM

Congrats on the new rig and setup. My observations about the Drifter align very closely with yours. I had an opportunity to check out their prototype when I visited the Front Runner showroom in Agoura Hills, CA. It had barn doors which I really liked...it’s getting tougher to crawl up and into a tailgate/hatch HA HA! I see that yours came with the sides insulated and paneled, something that I knew would have to be done if I had one.

I’m running a tall topper on my long bed right now but I’m pretty sure I’ll be talking to the folks at Vagabond in the future. I closely followed your previous build and am looking forward to seeing you proceed on this one. Good luck!
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#4 craig333

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 05:09 AM

So how's the new plane working out?


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#5 Danneskjold

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 07:43 AM

Congrats on the Drifter!

I lived out of a Drifter for 7-8 months before deciding ultimately the 5 foot bed Tacoma was too small. I LOVED my Drifter, but sold it and the truck for an F150 and a Grandby. I enjoy the space, but the Drifter is definitely better made the FWC.
I think it’s definitely the superior camper option for midsize trucks.
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#6 ETAV8R

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 08:04 AM

Very cool and great to hear your observations.

Did you get a chance to camp in high wind conditions when you had your FWC? I'm interested in hearing how the wedgie/wedgefalia styles do in high winds.

 

Did you delete your previous build threads? I haven't been on WTW as much since selling my Finch.

 

And yes how's the progress on the airplane?


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#7 smlobx

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 01:53 PM

It's great to see you and your Dad working on another project.
I can't wait to see what you decide to do with it.

We saw a similar unit made by Alu-Cab when we were in Africa and were pleasantly surprised at the strength and lightness of the camper.

Good luck!
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#8 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 02:33 PM

Congrats on the new rig and setup. My observations about the Drifter align very closely with yours. I had an opportunity to check out their prototype when I visited the Front Runner showroom in Agoura Hills, CA. It had barn doors which I really liked...it’s getting tougher to crawl up and into a tailgate/hatch HA HA! I see that yours came with the sides insulated and paneled, something that I knew would have to be done if I had one.

I’m running a tall topper on my long bed right now but I’m pretty sure I’ll be talking to the folks at Vagabond in the future. I closely followed your previous build and am looking forward to seeing you proceed on this one. Good luck!


Thanks, we are looking forward to setting up the Drifter and making it our own. We will be adding a retractable step like the one we had on our 3rd gen trucks, makes getting up onto the tail gate very easy. The insulated side panels are an option you can order, we knew we would want that option :-)

Hodakaguy
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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE


#9 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 02:35 PM

So how's the new plane working out?


Well we moved right after we sold the trucks and the new place doesn't have a large shop...the "plane" money will be going into building a shop. I MUST have a shop :-)

Hodakaguy
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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE


#10 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 02:36 PM

Congrats on the Drifter!

I lived out of a Drifter for 7-8 months before deciding ultimately the 5 foot bed Tacoma was too small. I LOVED my Drifter, but sold it and the truck for an F150 and a Grandby. I enjoy the space, but the Drifter is definitely better made the FWC.
I think it’s definitely the superior camper option for midsize trucks.


Yeah it's smaller for sure than a FWC, which is one of it's strong points depending on how it's going to be used. It would defiantly be tight to live in! I agree the construction of the Drifter is rock solid!

Hodakaguy
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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Vagabnd, Drifter, wedge, camper, FWC, GoFast, GFC, AT, Habitat

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