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Floor/Bottom drop/fall off


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#1 Helmut

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 04:33 PM

Hello,

has anyone experienced or seen a FourWheel Camper where the floor or bottom has fell of (dropped down, broken etc.) or with any other damage due to use as a "stand alone" on the jacks without extra supporting ?

 

 


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#2 longhorn1

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 04:53 PM

Hello,
has anyone experienced or seen a FourWheel Camper where the floor or bottom has fell of (dropped down, broken etc.) or with any other damage due to use as a "stand alone" on the jacks without extra supporting ?

Four Wheel Camper has stated the camper IS NOT designed for use off the truck unless the bottom is fully supported. The wood is stapled to the frame. You probably aren't going to get an answer, since most people take the manufacturer at their word. Not sure many are willing to gamble with their camper. With a full water tank and loaded for a trip there is a lot of weight in the camper tub. Cheers.

Edited by longhorn1, 29 June 2019 - 05:29 PM.

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#3 shellback

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 11:48 AM

I bought my 79 Grandby project with the floor having fell out in the front. The floor pac is just stapled together. No way should you put any weight inside without support. When i rebuilt mine, I used 2x4's long ways like floor joists. I needed the height to clear my cab roof anyway.


Edited by shellback, 30 June 2019 - 11:49 AM.

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#4 Helmut

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 08:04 PM

Shellpack, thanks for your response. Out of 160+ readers the only one with actual expierience. Do you have an idea why the floor fell out? Due to age (rotten wood f.e.), or using it without support? Are the campers still built the same way as 40 years ago? The "floor pac" you mentioned, are those the beams that run from side to side (sort of between the actual camper floor and the truck bed)? Is the actual floor really "only stapled" to the camper structure and do you know in what (is it stapled to the aluminum frame and do you think it could be reinforced by ading screws? The reason for my questions is: We (two adults) have used our very heavy loaded Grandby as a stand alone for about 4 weeks in the last two years (fulltime living in our FWC). Two of those weeks we mostly only slept in it, the other two weeks we "lived" in it as we always do. So far no problems. In Germany we looked at a couple of FWC at an expo and i once counted five adults in a flatbed resting "only" on its jacks. The german dealer said a suport wouldn`t be necessary. When we picked up our new camper in the states, us two and the dealer were in the camper "jacks only" - "no problem if you don`t hop around"


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#5 longhorn1

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 11:20 PM

Shellpack, thanks for your response. Out of 160+ readers the only one with actual expierience. Do you have an idea why the floor fell out? Due to age (rotten wood f.e.), or using it without support? Are the campers still built the same way as 40 years ago? The "floor pac" you mentioned, are those the beams that run from side to side (sort of between the actual camper floor and the truck bed)? Is the actual floor really "only stapled" to the camper structure and do you know in what (is it stapled to the aluminum frame and do you think it could be reinforced by ading screws? The reason for my questions is: We (two adults) have used our very heavy loaded Grandby as a stand alone for about 4 weeks in the last two years (fulltime living in our FWC). Two of those weeks we mostly only slept in it, the other two weeks we "lived" in it as we always do. So far no problems. In Germany we looked at a couple of FWC at an expo and i once counted five adults in a flatbed resting "only" on its jacks. The german dealer said a suport wouldn`t be necessary. When we picked up our new camper in the states, us two and the dealer were in the camper "jacks only" - "no problem if you don`t hop around"

The wood running across is to raise the camper above the bed rails and truck cab.
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#6 shellback

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 12:05 PM

On my camper the failure probably was due to fatigue and age. No sign of any rot. But as I said, the plywood floor pac was just stapled together. Each end was screwed to the aluminum framing, but the bottom joint running fore and aft each side, solely depended on the stapled edge. I screwed and glued 2x4s length wise and across the camper floor at each end and where the floor widens after the wheel wells. I needed the extra height anyhow for my truck. My wife is handicapped so I always unload my camper and use it that way. I support each corner using screw jacks with a 2x6 between them and the camper. I also keep the jacks supporting some weight also. If I was going to use the standard floor FWC off the truck, I would support the floor with 2x6 laid flat and screw jack about 2 feet in from each end. The ends are screwed the the aluminum frame so there is more support there,


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#7 HughDog

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 10:13 PM

I recently made jack brackets that bolted through the frame and also cupped the exterior wood directly underneath each corner to keep the wood wing base supported to the frame (just in case) . . . The entire time, I kept thinking, “what’s to keep the upper parts of the camper being ripped away from the lower?”

 

At any rate, I figure it’s a lot like the highly scientific song that goes “the leg bone is connected to the knee bone” and such . . .

In reality, the lowest parts of the camper (wood floor and walls or “the tub”) are typically hex bolted to the aluminum frame which connects vertically to side walls and horizontally to the floor . . .

 

The wing or bench like thing on each side of the camper that is running parallel to your bed rails is also bolted at the front back and outer edge of the frame, then stapled in to the horizontal wood (walls of tub).

 

On top of this, the exterior skin and trim pieces play a highly integral role as well.

 

I have no doubt that my setup is all interwoven and very well connected – but my materials are all freshly restored and I’m only using the four corner jacks to put it up and drop it down.

 

All that said, if a camper is really loaded up, you’re inviting trouble (new or old). . . As the camper weathers and gets old as hell with wood rot along the edges – Well, that aint gonna end well. 

 

I’ve seen the 40 year evolution of FWC and don’t see much change in the basic framing of the in bed campers (much to their credit of having a good proven product).   If you wanna load up and play in the fort without it being on the truck, your best option is to build a cheap dolly / platform and use detachable tripod jacks that put support at the base of the wings (exactly what a couple of folks above are saying).


Edited by HughDog, 17 July 2019 - 10:15 PM.

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#8 Stan@FourWheel

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:55 PM

If you are going to camp with the camper off the truck, put a plastic milk crate, or 2, under the camper once you take it off the truck. Simple. Easy. Takes about 10 seconds. We usually have 4 or 5 campers in our showroom sitting on campers jacks, without floor support. Customers are in and out of them all day long. No problems. But if you are camping and you have water, gear, and people in the camper, a simple milk crate under the camper will do the trick and would be recommended. No need to over complicate it.
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#9 Helmut

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 04:52 PM

Thanks Stan, that was the kind of answer I was hoping for.


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#10 Stan@FourWheel

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 05:33 PM

I guess that said, if the camper is 20 or 30 years old, it would be much better idea to make sure the floor has some support under it. Still pretty easy to do.
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Stan Kennedy --- Four Wheel Pop-up Campers
109 Pioneer Avenue, Woodland, CA 95776
(800) 242-1442 or (530) 666-1442
www.fourwh.com
e-mail = stan@fourwh.com




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