I am writing this in hopes of helping out a few of the owners of older FWC units like I am.
Last summer I bought a very well used FWC Granby for a very reasonable cost. I knew that it would need work but figured that it was an affordable way to try out the concept of the light slide in camper and my spouse agreed. Previously we have owned an E350 4x4, and then a rugged Coleman pop-up trailer but wanted something that got better fuel economy than the van and allowed for breaking camp faster than the trailer.
At any rate I ended up with a camping rig that I liked but needed new side fabric, a new folding panel in front and the headliner was water stained and just a little ghetto. The other major issue was that the Utah winters had destroyed the rear door.
After a road trip last fall we agreed that we really like the slide in camper concept and to look into repairing the old Granby and ne ones are sadly too pricey for us.
I shopped around the SLC valley for someone to replace the side fabric and soon realized that I needed to talk to the factories as the FWC design is unique enough to be too difficult for a local RV shop to repair.
Contacted both FWC and ATC (both are in Sacramento) and here is what I learned:
· FWC while very helpful and professional on the phone really didn’t seem interested in my project. I live about 650 miles from the factory and didn’t want to drop the camper off and return 2 weeks later, which was their offer.
· ATC told me to schedule the drop off day 6 weeks out and they could do the job in 3 days. Jeff was very welcoming to my many questions and asked a few of his own to help me feel like my unit was worth spending a few thousand $ on.
· Pricing was surprisingly different from the two factories. FWC asked $1960 for replacing the side fabric ATC asked $1200. Folding panel replacement was also quite a lot more at FWC. The replacement rear door was $100 less with ATC.
In the end I chose ATC for the project and was completely impressed with the results. I dropped off the camper at their small factory at 9 AM last Tuesday and met the guys. Jeff, Marty and the rest of the crew were all friendly and totally get-r-done. Before I left at 10 AM, the old fabric was cut out and the guys were dismantling the roof. A couple hours later Jeff called me recommending that we replace the 23 yr old tin roof as it was already off and pretty beat up. He quoted me an extremely reasonable price on the new tin, a second vent, and a Yakima track system, which I opted for. He also informed me that it looked good for them to be done with the camper by Wednesday close of business.
By 2 PM Wednesday Jeff informed me that the camper would be done by 5pm. Remember this project was for both folding panels, new roof tin, new side fabric (with Velcro for the cold weather kit), new roof vent, Yakima track and a rear door!
On the whole the quality is what I expected from a factory job and the promptness was amazing. I picked it up and paid the agreed upon price with only a couple up-charges for the new tin and Yakima track. I had expected a litany of incidental charges but there were none.
The managers Jeff and Marty still get hands on with every camper thru the door and manage to be both available to answer questions on the phone and keep tabs on the quality control of the product by being on the factory floor.
As for us, my wife and I are stoked to have a dry comfy camper that has set us back a fraction of what a new one would have. Yes my interior is dated and no the ATC door does not match the FWC off white color but those are minor details for me.
I am sure that I would have been just as pleased with the job that FWC would have done but they were unable to make it work with my time table and just their rough quote was $1000 over the cost I paid ATC and their quote didn’t include new tin or the Yakima tracks.
I realize that this is a shameless plug for ATC but thought I’d share my experience as I was quite impressed.
Edited by Torboschen, 29 July 2013 - 02:23 AM.