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Ocelot passenger side window - why have it?


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#1 melcooke

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 02:51 AM

As I look and look and look at different builds I can't help but notice where the passenger side window is located. It looks to me as though it is way to low to be useful for anything more than a vent. As a view, it seems unless you are laying down in a lower sleeping setup, all you can see is the ground. Fold over couch/bed arrangements and side dinettes always seem to cover the window up for the most part or are once again sitting to high to look out that window. If one is sleeping up top it does not provide a view. If one is standing up in the camper it does not provide a view.

 

In the winter time, which we will be enjoying ski outings, it seems it would be a great place to collect condensation and let cold air in. Another poster stated he uses the tie-down access panels as a way to get ventilation in conjunction with the roof vent.

 

At this point in time I'm wondering if I would rather not have it installed at all. Is it possibly an emergency egress requirement? I've seen several pictures where people have put insulation over the window.

 

Thanks in advance for your input,

Mel

 


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#2 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 03:21 AM

Mel, your thought about egress is spot on.


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#3 Ronin

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 04:02 PM

I'm probably one of a handful of people that has a window on both the passenger side and drivers side. It's true that your view is partially blocked but if I hear anything that gets my radar up I just duck my head down a bit to see what's going on outside. I like lots of natural light and don't like the feeling of sitting in an enclosed box. With two windows I can create a nice cross breeze right where you can enjoy it the most. The majority of my wandering is done late Sept through early May including winter trips. I've been in the snow several times and I haven't felt the need to have Arctic packs. If needed I press pre-cut insulation into the window frames and on a few occasions ( 20* temps accompanied by strong winds) I just lower the top and we're quite comfy. While driving or backing up the passenger window adds a bit of extra vision to your blind spot.

I don't know if the window is required for emergency egress or not. It might vary from state to state, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have it. I had two Hawks prior to my current ATC and always thought it would be great to have an additional window on the drivers side, so it was a no brainer to include it on my Panther build. I'm sure there'll a lot of different opinions and rationales on this topic. Perhaps you could sit in someones rig and block out the side window with cardboard to see how it would be without one. If you opt not to have a side window adding one later would be quite difficult because the window has to be framed in during the build.

Good luck with your decision!!


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#4 melcooke

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 04:39 PM

Just heard from Jeff and as expected the window is required for egress.


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#5 JaSAn

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 04:44 PM

I agree with Ronin.  Windows are mostly for light, with the added bonus of ventilation.

I sleep down across the front and I have windows on both sides of the Grandby.  This gives me a view from bed and cross ventilation.


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#6 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 04:46 PM

IMO, I just can't think what it would be like without the window.Less light plus it may be required .

I am sure you need an escape route.

 

Due to the height of the "hard" side of our campers it's the tallest you can get.

 

We have a side dinette but can see well enough out the window.

 

Frank


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#7 bj40

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 10:33 PM

When I was thinking about my Ocelot shell build, now completed, I took a look at Alleycat's build. His did not include the side window. I wrote him a note and asked what had been his thinking. His thinking mirrored my own. My thinking was that the side window is an easy place for someone to gain entry if I am parked while out hiking in a remote location, provides a large entry point for cold infiltration, and limits the interior design options.  I asked Marty not to include the side window. For ATC that's not a problem.

 

 

My current build gives me a six foot counter on the passenger side with shelves above and storage below. Great kitchen work space!   The driver's side has a full six foot settee with an adequate table and seating for two. The table is on a zaguan arm that allows that table to easily move fore and aft as well as up and down. The best part for me is that I have a full length, 30 inch wide bed that folds down from the driver side wall. To deploy the bed, I lower the table in 10 seconds, deploy two feet,  and lower the bed. The whole operation, either up or down takes less than a minute and could not be simpler. So, when on the road, no need to pop up the top just to take a nap. I have, after a long day, used this lower bed when parked in a restaurant parking lot, and been inconspicuous, not looking like a full on camper in the middle of any town.

And yes, no need for a ladder to come down from the upper bunk when nature calls at 2am.

 

Yes, I gave up any views from the settee. The upper windows, power fan and the sliding front window should provide me with adequate ventilation. With my current solar and single lithium battery setup I have lots of electric light as needed. In the unlikely but possible event that I need an emergency exit, I like others I have read, keep a dedicated, very sharp kitchen knife ready to quickly cut an opening in the soft material above. I'll take the risk of a minor injury that might be incurred in that kind of exit in order to have the design I have created. Additionally I have a very adequate fire extinguisher that could/should allow me to put out a fire that might block the rear door exit. 

 

I am still very much a newb when it comes to this popup truck camper business. I have been out only about 12 nights in total. I created my design and did the build out with intention that I could go solo, as a pair with a dog, or a pair and a grandchild. I definitely built to enjoy in the shoulder seasons and with current set up think I could do winter snow trips as well. I did install a Propex heater. Time will tell regarding snow trips. 


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#8 melcooke

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 05:28 AM

Thanks to all for your thoughts. As I mentioned yesterday I think it was, the window is an egress requirement per Jeff. I didn't ask if it could be omitted anyway. Sounds like a liability issue for the people at ATC. I'm still mulling this over..... does mulling things over ever stop with these campers?! And, as I expected, the opinions vary greatly.

 

BJ40, when was your Ocelot built?

 

We do like light for sure. Oh how I wish there were a place to see the options side by side.


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#9 bj40

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:34 PM

Mine was delivered in June 2018. You might check this out. I think a shell might have a different exit requirement from the fully built out camper. I kind of think, that given that we are talking about maybe 30 square feet of floor space, a door should provide sufficient provision to exit in an emergency.  I would be eager to hear others thoughts on this topic of just how many exits one needs for a shell camper.  I did have the team at ATC put in the normal framing for the window so that if alterations, somewhere down the road were desired, it could be an easier install.

 

I do understand the desire that many people have for a "room with a view".  I decided, during my design process, that a lower level, fold down, single bed and a long bench, for prepping food or other types of inside work, plus a settee for a guy with long legs and big feet were my higher priorities.

 

BTW, I have always intended to provide the build process story with photos, to the readers of WTW.  I hope to get that into the mix before the new year. When I was in my planning stage, I read, with deep appreciation, all of the build stories on this site and found answers to many of my questions regarding water storage, solar and electrical storage, stoves and space heating, and more. I think WTW is a great site.


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#10 craig333

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 03:36 PM

I always figure if I can't make it out the door I'm not too likely to get out the window either. Keep a sharp knife handy if you're worried about getting out. 


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