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FWC DIY modifications & item weights advice

fwc tacoma camper water tank heater plumbing remove weight 20 gallon water heater

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#1 kevmjin

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 06:27 AM

Just picked up a loaded 2013 FWC Eagle (sink, stove, heater, outdoor shower, 6 gallon water heater, 20ga water tank, 3-way fridge) and put it on my 3rd gen tacoma. Very excited about it, have already taken it out a couple times. Before the Eagle became available to me, I was about to put a deposit down on a new Fleet and would have selected fewer options as what the Eagle came with. I know it may bring down the resale value, but I'm considering doing some DIY and removing some of the bigger/heavier options to open it up for storage and reduce overall camper weight. 

 

What are the individual weights of these items in a FWC?

- 20 gallon water tank (empty)

- 6 gallon water heater (empty)

- electric water pump

- plumbing

 

My rationale for considering these changes in a good condition Eagle are:

- I don't anticipate using water heater much, if at all, maybe for occasional outdoor shower, but cold shower is no biggie, if I'm in freezing conditions at the ski resort, the plumbing will have to be winterized anyways and can't use the plumbing, in theory

- using camper water tank is limited since it's not for drinking water, I still have to bring drinkable water, 20 gallons is more than I'll ever need to do dishes or take the rare shower, wouldn't fill it due to weight of that much water

- the scepter 5 gallon water jug I use for drinking water is easy to use above the sink, hence the consideration for not needing the water pump

- FWC camping is about minimalism and space is valuable, so it would be nice if I don't need something to use it for storage

 

Maybe this is me thinking nonsense and I should just enjoy all the amenities of glamping. I'm interested in hearing others' experiences with removing some items from their camper. 


Edited by kevmjin, 26 July 2021 - 06:46 AM.

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2013 FWC Eagle sitting on 3rd gen Tacoma


#2 DavidGraves

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 01:29 PM

Hi Kev

 

Our greatest asset in our FWC has always been SPACE !

 

Our Hawk Shell model was fitted out to serve our specific needs and that left lots of room inside for the occaissional rainy day.

 

Now fitting out a Grandby shell and the design challenge remains " a place for everything and everything (that you need ) in its place.

 

Where are you in Oregon ? We live in Tillamook county.

 

David Graves


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#3 DavidGraves

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:06 PM

I think the FWC home page has somehere a list of option weights....may help you.


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#4 Wallowa

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:10 PM

Don't understand this  "using camper water tank is limited since it's not for drinking water, I still have to bring drinkable water, 20 gallons is more than I'll ever need to do dishes or take the rare shower, wouldn't fill it due to weight of that much water"?

 

One of the big assets of our Hawk is the potable water it carries...in our use the "law of the limits" controls our off road adventures:  Propane, water and food.  Water can be extracted with a pump in a pinch, drain at back of camper and I could cook outside on wood fire or jet-boil, but water normally is the limiter...

 

I agree that the water heater is seldom used, BUT it does have 5 gallons of potable water that can be used out of it [one gallon as I understand can't be drained out of the water heater]....

 

Good luck on your project and it is fun to go through the options!

 

Phil

 

Ps...In winter camping we use the hot water in the water heater, drained back into the main water tank, to forestall freezing in the plumbing....


Edited by Wallowa, 26 July 2021 - 02:12 PM.

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#5 JWL

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:40 PM

It’s all personal preference and needs. I like my Hawk Shell because I can vary everything on the length of the trip. I prefer to do my cooking outside so I carry a 2 burner stove for relaxing times outside but I have a small  SnowPeak backpacking stove for quick hot water for coffee or oatmeal in the morning and warming dinners if stuck in side. Water is for how much we will need carried In a big jug or small reused bottles inside. This leaves us lots of room inside a small Hawk. And everything except the furnace gets removed when we get home so all I am left with is the 900 (?) pound shell.

 

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#6 billharr

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:46 PM

Check out camper builds here. Storage was what I wanted in my Shell Build. Did not need hot water for the way we camp. Always used the 20 gal tank for drinking water, learn how to sanitize the tank and no problems. 

 

Good luck with your build, take lots of pictures, we love pictures.

 

Bill


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#7 Big Al

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 04:19 PM

Lots of people don't use the water in their RV water tanks for drinking.  Sometimes they don't sanitize the system as often as they should.  Sometimes they're filling the tank from questionable sources.  Sometimes they let it sit for longer than is recommended.  

 

In those situations, the onboard water might be fine for things like doing dishes or bathing, but I'd be hesitant to drink it.    

 

We've always hauled water that we used just for drinking.  It's a small thing and getting sick on the road is not my idea of a good time.  

 

If one is good about always keeping the onboard water tank sanitized, it's probably fine, but many of us don't stick to those schedules.  


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#8 BBZ

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 04:37 PM

We have a Grandby Shell with a couple options and its perfect in my opinion..

 

We have a furnace and I added a two burner cooktop.   We mostly cook outside (splitter off propane tank for outdoor stove) but it sure is nice to have a space to cook indoors during inclement weather, buggy nights, windy conditions, dark, cold etc.. 

 

We also carry our water in a few different jugs of varying sizes.. 7 gallon, 5 gallon and 3.. we can go a long time on that.. 

 

Solar Shower works wonders....

 

We have 160 watts of solar and just use a little 12 volt fridge/freezer.. mostly we use it to make more ice for the other cooler.. 


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#9 Wallowa

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 05:09 PM

Hey, I agree to each their own....never trying to convert anyone to my way of doing things....we go off grid for two weeks at a time and just drinking water during hot weather is 2 gallons a day [two of us], so yes, we use and need the FWC 20 gallons plus the 5 in water heater to stretch our off road jaunts...I also carry a great 7 gallon water jug to supplement the onboard water if we are going for longer periods...the weight of water not the container it is in adds weight; unless of course you are using metal Jerry cans...

 

Propane is never a limiter in the summer; winter when using the furnace, three+ weeks is pushing it...

 

Don't know of anyone getting sick from onboard water, but of course it could happen....small amount of Clorox infrequently will keep the water potable...if in doubt Steripen a Nalgene liter bottle and in 60sec good to go...

 

We each use differing techniques and 'tricks' but in the end in my opinion my '16 Hawk delivers all I need and more...we pack the Tundra and Hawk like we were going backpacking....take what you need and if there is room, then pack what you want..

 

Phil


Edited by Wallowa, 26 July 2021 - 05:12 PM.

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#10 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 07:15 PM

kevmjin,welcome to the cult. IMO what you want to remove doesn't amount to much weight.

The 20 gal water tank empty can only be a couple pounds.The water heater maybe a few more pounds.

Pump maybe a pound or so.So taking those items out yes will give you more storage space but the water

tank sure might come in handy.

 

I have a ATC Bobcat full camper basically the same as your Eagle. So for the two of us I have managed to

find a lot of useful space.You just have to be creative,maybe you want to take along too much stuff.

 

Frank


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