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Slide in Vs Flatbed?

slide in flatbed FWC

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#1 NomadwithaDog

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 05:32 PM

Hello, 
 

I am a newbie at this whole Overlanding thing and I am wanting some feedback on which direction to go. I have the option to purchase a fully "loaded" brand new slide-in hawk, or a two year old fully loaded Hawk flat bed camper.

I have a casita camper that my SUV can't tow, so I will have to upgrade my vehicle to a truck either way.

 

Should I buy the flatbed camper (available now from my friend), or buy the hawk in the Summer (I have a deposit down)? 

Is one better or worse than the other?

 

Is it harder to resell flatbeds vs slideins?

 

Are trails more obnoxious with flatbeds vs slideins?

 

Thank you!


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#2 heinphoto

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 06:05 PM

We went through this same exercise last year and ended up purchasing a slide-in Grandby.  However, in a perfect world with unlimited resources we probably would have gone with the Flatbed. 

 

The Flatbed floorplan is definitely more open and there is significantly more interior storage in addition to whatever exterior storage you build into the flatbed itself.   So if you plan to do long trips or have more than a couple people along, then the flatbed will definitely be much more comfortable.

 

However, to install a flatbed you will have to have the bed removed from your pickup and have a flatbed installed.  This is an added expense (potentially significant depending on which flatbed and options you choose) and probably will make the truck more difficult to sell if you ever want to sell it separate from the camper.  My sense is that slide-ins are easier to sell both becuase they are lower cost, and because they don't require the same level of modification of the truck that the flatbed does.

 

Although it is possible to remove the camper from the flatbed, it is somehwat more difficult, and you are left with a flatbed pickup instead of a standard pickup.  So, if you want to use your pickup regularly for hauling, etc., the slide-in is more practical.

 

This was our first RV/camper of any kind (we come from a backpacking/tent camping background), which defintiely influenced our thinking.  We decided that the slide-in would be the most practical for us at this point in time.  It is lower cost, and if we decide that the RV/camper "thing" isn't right for us, it would be much easier to sell the truck and the camper than if we have a flatbed.   However, if we get the kind of use out of slide-in that I am hoping over the next few years, we still might decide "upgrade" to the flatbed (we bought our truck with this option in mind).

 

Of course your friend's flatbed is available now, so theres that...

 

Good luck with your decision making - I think you will be very happy with whichever route you decide to go.


Edited by heinphoto, 12 November 2020 - 06:08 PM.

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#3 wicked1

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 09:17 PM

I love my flatbed!  We thought for a couple years about what to get, and for long trips, we wanted everything the flatbed offered.  (more space)
I have sides for my flatbed.. So, when I (I should say, if I ever) take the camper off, it's a fully functional truck.  I can still haul rock or whatever.  And, some people really like flatbed trucks.. I don't think it would be an issue to sell.  At least that's what guys who like trucks tell me. 

 

Also, I specifically went w/ the flatbed for trail use.  But I was looking between a hawk slide-in vs fleet flatbed.  The fleet flatbed fits a smaller truck that can get down tighter trails.   Comparing hawk/hawk, I believe they're about the same width, so shouldn't make much difference.  Might have more ground clearance w/ the flatbed, depending on the flatbed itself and what boxes you have hanging off it. 


Edited by wicked1, 12 November 2020 - 09:20 PM.

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#4 Durango1

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 12:30 AM

Although it is possible to remove the camper from the flatbed, it is somehwat more difficult, and you are left with a flatbed pickup instead of a standard pickup.  So, if you want to use your pickup regularly for hauling, etc., the slide-in is more practical.

I agree on this. The flatbed FWC is a challenge to remove and replace. I didn't even buy jack stands for mine- it stays on full time.

 

Otherwise, as the past owner of a 2012 slide-in Hawk and a 2015 Hawk fllatbed model-  and now a 2018 Grandby FB the flatbed models win hands down for ever so many reasons. (I don't have time to expound now!) simply put...

 

If your friend's Hawk FB model is in decent shape I'd buy it real quick before he changes his mind and... GO CAMPING!


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#5 Wango

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:44 AM

Oh Boy,

here we go again. i use my truck(s) for work. My current camper truck is a 2016 f350 cc with a flatbed, new truck is a 2020 version of the same truck. if i keep it, it will have a flatbed on it by spring. Same bed as i have on the camper hauler. Once the new truck is built out, i will swap them out.

Working out of a flatbed vs a regular bed is night and day. They are just easier in every way. 

As far as resale, i build them and use them the way i want. Not someone else. 

a flat bed camper has more space. 

It's your choice. 

Enjoy


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#6 pvstoy

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 03:14 AM

I agree on this. The flatbed FWC is a challenge to remove and replace. I didn't even buy jack stands for mine- it stays on full time.

 

Otherwise, as the past owner of a 2012 slide-in Hawk and a 2015 Hawk fllatbed model-  and now a 2018 Grandby FB the flatbed models win hands down for ever so many reasons. (I don't have time to expound now!) simply put...

 

If your friend's Hawk FB model is in decent shape I'd buy it real quick before he changes his mind and... GO CAMPING!

.

As the current owner of Durango1 past 2012 Dodge Ram - 2015 Hawk flatbed model... I could not be more pleased.  We had 2 FWC's and then a Casita travel trailer.  I told my gal I would not have another FWC unless it was a flatbed model!  Showed her pictures and reasons and she said yes I'm onboard.

 

Having the floor space opened up compared to a skinny walkway with the slide in is a huge benefit.  There is way more storage, plenty of spots to hide things.

 

I borrowed jacks from a friend and removed the camper to do some rewiring.  For me it was a easy task and did not find it difficult. 

 

Yes we miss the extra space of the Casita but you know it was a drag.  (that was a pun because you tow it behind ;) )  What we have now gets us to a lot of exploration places.

 

Yes consider a Flatbed and see if it is right for you.


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#7 eyemgh

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 05:24 PM

I have a Raven slide in. It never comes off. I don’t even own jacks. I love it, but it is limited because it’s both a short bed and a slide in. I find myself dreaming of a flatbed for several reasons. Most obvious, as stated above, they have more interior space. I’m extra attracted though to the additional exterior space. I miss the outside storage that we had on our RV. There are things that you’d rather not have inside, your gas can nozzle or wet things as examples. Plus, depending on the unit you choose, it just adds more space. It’s hard to have too much. The bed in the flatbed model has storage underneath it. That should make it warmer. My truck is a half-ton and it does fine, but if I was putting on a flatbed, I’d probably opt for 3/4 ton. Good luck! 


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#8 patrkbukly

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 12:28 AM

Just curious; Can the camper on a flatbed still fit in a regular garage?


Edited by patrkbukly, 16 November 2020 - 12:28 AM.

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#9 CougarCouple

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 12:41 AM

Hi patrkbuckly

Flat bed if I understand correctly sit higher than the OEM bed currently on your truck.
This is for wheel articulation, I have read of custom flatbeds made to get as low as possible to keep camper weight as low as possible.
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#10 rando

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 12:52 AM

Just curious; Can the camper on a flatbed still fit in a regular garage?

 

Not in mine (7' door) but it could with an 8' door.   The bed on a flat bed is usually a few inches higher than a truck bed, and the cabover is thicker as there is storage under the bed, so overall it is probably 6-12" taller than a slide in.

 

I didn't even consider a truck camper until the flatbeds came out.  For me the 'galley' layout in the slide is a show stopper. 

 

So yes, flatbeds make better campers.   But that comes at a cost - not only is the camper more money, the flatbed is also an expense, and realistically you won't be taking a flatbed on and off so the truck/camper is really just a play vehicle.   If you have the funds and can live with a dedicated camper vehicle, then flatbed all the way!


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