So with the evolution of builds and meeting people with various types of rigs one develops a sense of what works best in a given configuration. My first brief chance to check out a Four Wheel Camper was at a gathering of friends from the Portal and new faces which would become friends and lead to other adventures in there own right. Jeff Wanamog's awesome FWC Eagle build was inspiring to say the least. He is a skilled craftsman and fabricator. Seeing the ease at which his Tacoma handled the FWC on our trek to Wheeler Crest impressed me. The dream was put forth. Many nights were spent online looking at various builds and modifications to all kinds of pop-up campers.
Wasurf and Overland Hadley both moved into pop-up territory. These two individuals are quite capable in fabricating what will suit their needs. Hadley's Tardis build is more than impressive. Taking a shell model and outfitting it in simple well laid out way got me to thinking more about a clean slate too. This whole time the goal was a well built out Eagle. Preferably new so I could have exactly what I wanted. This is a costly choice. The Tardis build showed that it was quite possible to have enough to camp for long periods with minimal kit and cost. A shell model. Could be the answer.
FWC began offering a new option not too long ago. The Silver Spur. White has been the standard for RV's and campers for at least a couple decades. Before that it was the modern aluminum look which had its roots in aeronautical pursuits. There is a romance of sorts in the history of car camping in the silvery hue of the Airstream. I see the Silver Spur as a look back at those times when silver tubes were towed all over our nation. Not only a shell but a Silver Spur shell.
Along comes PTO with his Silver Spur Finch. Slightly optioned. Unique. Simplistic yet comfortable. Well thought out. This and the Tardis were setting my mind in motion. Some things in life seem meant to be. Another member noticed some posts I made hinting about my want of a FWC. He was interested in a flippac and let me know if I wanted to sell mine to get in touch. Shortly thereafter PTO contacted me to see if I was interested in buying his FWC Finch. Wow! Are these two working together??? In only a couple weeks discussions were made and the deal was on the brink of taking place.
Saturday I headed down to San Diego to finalize the sale of my Flippac. I arrived and the buyer was ready and prepping his truck. Another friend, whom I met at the first Mountain Rendezvous, suggested we just swap our bed rail systems since mine were already drilled for the Flippac. This worked like a charm. After a couple hours at most the flippac was on the new owners truck and he and his wife were already gleaming with thoughts of trips in the future. I've been there too. I sent a text to PTO to see if later in the afternoon would work out for me to pick up the FWC. He was good with that and I shot off to AZ. The trip to the metro area of Phoenix was pretty simple. Some interesting sights along the roadsides of the Arizona.
This was a big weekend for our community with the Overland Exp taking place up near Flagstaff. Since I didn't plan on picking up the FWC on Saturday I didn't bring anything to camp per se. I arrived at PTO's place and he did more than help get the FWC installed on my truck. Thanks for all the help! With the FWC installed I pondered going up to Overland Expo. I was excited to get home and begin loading it up with the basics. The drive home was a long one and I really should have caught more zzzz’s up at Chiriaco Summit. I saw the sign for “free dry camping” and drove a short ways back. Saw more of the tanks for the Patton Museum and didn’t think to go further. Wish I had. It’s even right by the airport. Another destination by land and air! Definitely need to come back and check it out.
Getting further along the way closing in on home I got to the Banning Pass and got hammered by the wind. I’m used to coming down 395 South of the Eastern Sierras and getting blown all over the road. This was a new experience. At first a strong buffeting developed. I slowed slightly. Then the real fun started happening and I heard the vent cover on top of the camper making noise. I pulled over to have a look. It all seemed in order. From there on out I drove at about 50-55. Pretty sad.
Out of the pass I saw something very strange. A row of lights in the sky just slightly above a freeway overpass in the distance. What in the hell? Was I seeing things? It was late and I was tired. Area 51 is quite far away. No it happened again…and again. When I arrived at the spot I pulled over to enjoy watching a night time crop duster doing his patterns above a field. From and aviators point of view it was awesome. With most of the fun over it was time for the inland empire and finally home to Orange County.
The next day was quite fun. The camper was home. Time to take the jacks off and start packing it with what I had in the Flippac. I knew it couldn’t hold everything. I was surprised when only two items weren’t included. One being an old sleeping bag I kept in the truck just in case I needed it. The other is my three legged camp toilet. I’ve decided to go with a 5 gal bucket anyhow. After I had it all dialed in I took it to Long Beach Airport and took the usual photographs.
What I have planned at this stage is an airfoil/dam up front to help with air flow around the camper. Kodachrome has a huge wing in the front which is quite simple of design and looks to be a winner even though it is ginormous. I am also looking at the Lagun table. A second battery system is in order as well. I bought the fridge PTO had in the camper. It seems to be a perfect fit. A second battery system will also allow for use of the lights in the camper. Why have them if you can’t use them. I never hooked up the light in the flippac and we made due quite well. Nothing like a Snowpeak Hozuki lantern and headlamps.
Now quite a few may be scratching their heads as to the name. I liked how Overland Hadley found a name for his FWC. I kept wondering what I would come up with. Oxcart aka Gini’s Burden. The name Oxcart was used by Kelly Johnson to describe the A-12. Predecessor to the SR-71. In Kelly’s mind it was the furthest thing from an actual description of the capability of the A-12. After many years most aviation enthusiasts found out about Oxcart and the humor behind the name. The name Oxcart immediately brought the image of the A-12 and not of a lumbering beast of burden. Well now I may use it to relate to my slower going pseudo titanium goose.
Ah the burden. My truck is named Gini after a nickname my cousin gave my mother Virginia. Well now the Gini has more of a burden to bear. The burden is also a benefit as it provides shelter. I think she would get a chuckle out of it.
So I’m really not sure what to name it for sure. I do know as of now I’m happy with what fate seems to have made happen. As far as I know I am the first to have a dark gray truck with the Silver Spur color. I think it works quite well.
Enjoy the journey.
With Flippac, nothing in the bed
No flippac...suspension is ready for some weight to bring it back down.
A happy new Flippac'r
Out on the 8
More weird stuff out in the middle of nowwhere
What's with the funky space stuff?
Oh they are gonna land at the Gila Bend Airport
Not too much going on here. Neat old Piper Apache though
AZ has some interesting art on their freeways
and a funky church where I stealth napped
Twins. Can only guess they were coming from Overland Expo