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Old 09-30-2018, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ram-Aero-Camper, just a study

Been a while since I posted any sketches, but I got inspired when driving by a car dealership and took a moment to take some photos and dream a bit.

Puzzling thing is there is no discount on the 30-33,000 prices, in fact the boxless versions are one or two grand more. They even had what looked like a custom service truck with the tool boxes on the sides like a phone service truck, it was cheapest of all.

If I were to do something like this Ram-Aero-Camper it would have to be hybrid Diesel and 4WD, otherwise where is the sense of adventure?

I'm posting an un-altered base sheet for anyone wishing to test out their own ideas, feel free to post them in the same thread for idea sharing and critique.

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Old 09-30-2018, 02:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I like the idea of extending upward for camping. Would you use hydraulics? Would you enter from between the seats in the cab? Could solve the "door" problem.
Are you using the long chassis?
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Last edited by Angel And The Wolf; 09-30-2018 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel And The Wolf View Post
I like the idea of extending upward for camping. Would you use hydraulics? Would you enter from between the seats in the cab? Could solve the "door" problem.
Are you using the long chassis?
I cannot read your .bmp attachment.

I would imagine the rear door to be magnetic strips or zipper, just a plastic or cloth flap like a tent - simple.

The sides also roll down tent material, this is all similar to one of those pop-up tents in operation.

The telescoping posts could be manual, but then four people would be needed. Hand crank or electric gear driven I would favor over hydraulics but I'm not an engineer. I just suspect that it need more than a gas spring or two, it would have to be idiot proof so that putting it up in the dark would be a safe operation.

I was originally favoring a hinged at the high point of the roof an accordion or baffle-like hinged top. This would allow the five feet at the hinged end at the back of the cabin and the 7-8 feet at the tail where a flap door or curtain would be. However when I though about it I wasn't sure that it would be any simpler, lighter and cheaper, but I was sure that it offered less internal space.

Going back to a straight vertical scheme, solid panels in lieu of tent fabric could rise out of the substructure, but that is less of a home made scheme and would be cause for additional engineering, money and time. I'm not trying to make this bear proof, but solid sides would make winter travels better.

EDIT: Sketched up the hinged version, should be able to use heavy duty gas springs like on trap floor doors.
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George
Architect, Artist and Designer of Objects

1977 Porsche 911s Targa
1998 Chevy S-10 Pick-Up truck
1989 Scat II HP Hovercraft

Chin Spoiler:
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/off-t...effective.html

Rear Spoiler Pick Up Truck
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/off-t...xperiment.html

Roof Wing
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...1-a-19525.html

Last edited by kach22i; 09-30-2018 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Straight up may be simpler? Either hard sided (Hi-Lo trailers) or soft sided (VW camper van, others) have been done.
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kach22i View Post
I cannot read your .bmp attachment.
Sorry.
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't think there is a 4x4 version, the regular ones are FWD. There is at least one aftermarket 4x4 version but it looks a bit weak
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...72&v=HeQxk1Y_X
I say if you want a 4wd then start with something 4wd. I never get the super expensive Quigley Ford and Chevy vans. Just start with a Suburban 2500 or a Excursion and put a pop up top tent on that.
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Instead of pushing it straight up, have it on 4-bar linkages so it goes up and back. Telescope longitudinally.

Then a rear step that hinges down under the overhang.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hersbird View Post
I don't think there is a 4x4 version, the regular ones are FWD..........
Sprinter, Transit, Ram..............none of those have 4WD versions?

I had not looked into it, not even sure if they offer Diesel in the US.

The Diesel-Hybrid electric I was pondering is to the best of my knowledge not offered by anyone (yet). However I can see having a rechargeable battery pack for energy storage onboard as a camping asset, electric heat at night as in a heated floor anyone?

There are some Cab-Over-Engine (COE) 4WD offerings on the market, but I'm told sitting on top of an engine over long distances can be a problem, plus the weight of those vehicles is going to kill mpg no matter how aerodynamic the skin is. It's just overkill in other words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Instead of pushing it straight up, have it on 4-bar linkages so it goes up and back. Telescope longitudinally.

Then a rear step that hinges down under the overhang.
I'm going to have to see a sketch of that, I'm just not getting it.

EDIT: Related info............

The 5 best vans for your DIY camper conversion

https://www.curbed.com/2018/1/31/169...camper-vanlife

I did see on the road a couple of days ago a Winnebago based on one of these newer European van formats, it had all the typical condensers and shat on the roof that perhaps could have been tucked under the vehicle between the frame rails...................or is that a bad idea?

Also found this:

2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4
https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...t-drive-review

For now I'm going to assume all the major manufactures offer a front of cab only version for their commercial customers, and that one or more offer 4wd, one or more offer Diesel, one or more doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

The starter shell does not have to be a Ram, that just happened to be the dealership I was passing while I had some time to kill. This is a study in form, a concept, and a chance to discuss some of the mechanicals of getting an aerodynamic cap to raise.

On the cut-sheet collage you will notice that the heavier rated commercial truck has much larger side view mirrors...........I'm going to assume this is to accommodate an ungodly box perhaps wider than the cab some customers will be adding. Those huge mirrors have to go, as I understand it the larger RV's have video cameras all over them making the mirrors redundant, so smaller may not mean less safe.

EDIT-2:

Winnebago
https://winnebagoind.com/products/cl...avato/overview
Quote:
Travato

Class B Starting at: $111,645*
View Model



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Chin Spoiler:
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Rear Spoiler Pick Up Truck
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/off-t...xperiment.html

Roof Wing
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...1-a-19525.html

Last edited by kach22i; 10-01-2018 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd like to point out that the most economical camper may not be the most aerodynamic one. It depends on your ratio of driving to sleeping in it, and just how much it can displace.

The lowest cost per mile "camper" would be sleeping in the back of a used Nissan Leaf at the bottom of its depreciation, or Honda Insight. However, in the case of the Leaf, you're only going to be camping ~40 miles from home, max, and let's not get into trying to sleep in an Insight.

Taken to the other extreme, a vehicle may have poor aerodynamics, but a full kitchen, room to sleep two, a shower, and heck maybe even laundry. If you spend more time staying than driving the offset of needing to ever get a motel or airbnb for their facilities can pay for itself in some circumstances. Much like with a home, the place with the lowest rent may not be the least expensive place to live.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
I'd like to point out that the most economical camper may not be the most aerodynamic one. It depends on your ratio of driving to sleeping in it, and just how much it can displace.

The lowest cost per mile "camper" would be sleeping in the back of a used Nissan Leaf at the bottom of its depreciation, or Honda Insight. However, in the case of the Leaf, you're only going to be camping ~40 miles from home, max, and let's not get into trying to sleep in an Insight.

Taken to the other extreme, a vehicle may have poor aerodynamics, but a full kitchen, room to sleep two, a shower, and heck maybe even laundry. If you spend more time staying than driving the offset of needing to ever get a motel or airbnb for their facilities can pay for itself in some circumstances. Much like with a home, the place with the lowest rent may not be the least expensive place to live.
Yes, these are all very good points.

What I have sketched up in the past is toilet, shower and kitchen area, note all of these items are 30"or 36" in height. A shower head can be supplied water via flexible hose, lighting built into ceiling and so forth.

One of the things I liked about these Sprinter-like cabs is the access out the back, they Gator taped some coroplast to the back as a temporary patch.

NOTE:
Some of the things in life that puzzle me is the so-called American Dream.

Part of that dream as I understand it is retiring and traveling the country (USA only) in an RV.

Last I read the number one stated intended use of lottery winnings is to buy a better house and buy an RV to travel the country with, not sure if there is a particular order to this but my point is it's part of the American Dream.

I don't see the attraction of staying in an RV park or other camping ground as they are typically filled with loud screaming kids in the day time, loud drunk people in the night time and biting insects day and night.

However as an American this is somehow in my DNA to do so.

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George
Architect, Artist and Designer of Objects

1977 Porsche 911s Targa
1998 Chevy S-10 Pick-Up truck
1989 Scat II HP Hovercraft

Chin Spoiler:
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/off-t...effective.html

Rear Spoiler Pick Up Truck
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/off-t...xperiment.html

Roof Wing
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...1-a-19525.html

Last edited by kach22i; 10-01-2018 at 08:50 AM..
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