Dave's AT FlipPac Thread

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Dave

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The FlipPac is a simple yet ingenious pop-up camper utilizing a flip open design. This feature essentially doubles the space of your living quarters, while having a lower profile than a traditional pop-up camper. Setup of the FlipPac is a breeze, taking only a few minutes to be camp ready. Once deployed you are able to stand fully upright in the bed of your truck. The interior is truly spacious, allowing the bed of the truck to be converted to a living area. The sleeping area extends out over the hood of the truck offering a comfortable mattress and six large windows for good air flow. There is also a collapsible bunk bed (180 lbs max.) made from the same material as the tent that can be used for an additional sleeping place or as a gear sling or shelf for clothes, shoes etc.

I purchased my new AT FlipPac in November 2009 from Adventure Trailers. It was manufactured in Riverside, CA by Fiberglass Reinforced Products aka FRP. I considered buying it directly from FRP but chose to buy mine from AT instead due to their great reputation and unrivaled customer service. Mario from AT mounted the shell at their shop and outfitted it with an LED lighting upgrade per my request. I subsequently added the National Luna Power Pack, 80w Solar Panel, Heatsource propane heater, Engel 12V fridge/freezer, Fiamma F35Pro awning, shower enclosure, custom built interior, curtains, and many other small refinements. Here's the story of how it all came together

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The 10 FlipPac Freedoms:


* FREEDOM to ignore vacation hotel worries - and bills
* FREEDOM to live comfortably and easily on the road or at the end of the hardest technical trail
* FREEDOM to decide and then go - straight away - for a day, a week, or a month+
* FREEDOM to drive without tiresome towing or technical trail restrictions
* FREEDOM to tour - from Prudhoe Bay to Patagonia - and take all the comforts of home with you
* FREEDOM to take advantage of those spare moments - those crisp, clear winter days - when owners of other trucks stay at home
* FREEDOM to eat what you like, when you like and cooked how you like it
* FREEDOM to sleep - comfortable and secure up high - at the end of an exciting day
* FREEDOM to enjoy outdoor interests - fishing, shooting, climbing, hiking, relaxing - or just exploring that old road to see where it goes and camp when you get there!​

ABOVE ALL
* FREEDOM to relax, in your camper, wherever you may roam!

Modified by Dave Bennett from the original 10 Dormobile Freedoms by MARTIN WALTER LTD.


FlipPac Specs:

  • FP Weight: 290 lbs
  • FP Length: 78 inches
  • FP Width: 64 inches
  • FP Height: 32.5 inches
  • Interior Head Room: 7 ft 1 inch center
  • Main Bed Weight Capacity: 1000 lbs
  • Hammock Weight Capacity: 180 lbs
FLIPPAC SPECIFICATIONS:
ALL MEASUREMENTS IN INCHES.
FULL SIZE TRUCKS
Ford F250, Dodge 2500, Toyota Tundra, etc.
LONG & SHORT BED
MINI-TRUCKS
Toyota Tacoma, Hilux, etc.

Maximum length 101″ 78″
Maximum Width 74″ 64″
Height, Rail to the top of the roof 34″ 32.5″
Gross Weight (approx. lbs) 325 L/B 290 – S/B 290
Interior Head Room
7′ 6″ Center
6′ 6″ Rear
7′ 1″ Center
6′ 1″ Rear
Max. Width of Door Opening 58″ 50″
Max. Height of Door Opening 44″ 37.5″

Weight Capacity:
1000 lbs Double Bed
180 lbs Hammock

Measurements are to be used as guidelines only.

FlipPac with Fiamma awning deployed

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FlipPac Storm Cover

I despise the big blue rain fly that FRP sells. It is designed in a way (not a true rectangle) that makes it necessary to put it on one way only - reversing it 180 degrees causes it to not fit right (too tight) and this can be a royal pain. The color was awful and when inside you had almost zero visibility in addition to minimal ventilation. And, a cheap system of securing the fly to the tent - FRP supplied white bungie cords that were instantly dirty and matched the "hobo tarp" look of the fly after one use. The two battens for the vents are sewn in place i.e. not removable or replaceable... For a $300+ OEM fly I was less than impressed.

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Thankfully, Adventure Trailers sells a MUCH improved storm cover design made by SLO Sail. Better material, better ventilation, windows for better visibility, a 360 degree bungee cord around the bottom of the fly and multiple attachment points/buckles for real straps to tie it down if needed in a Pacific Northwest storm. It features removeable/replaceable battens for the vents and, you can throw it on in either direction because of it's true rectangular shape and generous cut. Much easier to use and more functional than the original.

Finally, a modern design that works good and looks great!

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Newly designed rain fly is a vast improvement over OEM

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New color matches the vehicles color scheme and is less obtrusive outdoors. Windows and more ventilation improve the living area inside. 80W solar panel ensures power in camp.

360 degree visibility from inside is nice. Only ninja bears can sneak up now.

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Detail of vent and window from inside. Having four vents (two on each side) allows for a nice cross breeze. If you place the vents forward you can have three of the four vents right there at the bed - nice. If it get's cold just zip the interiors shut.

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NOTE:
I am not affiliated with FRP/Fiberglass Reinforced Products or its related companies in any way. Flip-Pac® is a registered trademark of Fiberglass Reinforced Products. Adventure Trailers® is a registered trademark of Adventure Trailers LLC.

The challenge with the FlipPac was, how to build out the interior? It's a shell after all so it;s up to you to add, or not. I chose to build mine out.

BUILDING THE INTERIOR:
Entrance and the robust aluminum step up I sourced for this application.


Blank slate. Note the National Luna Power Pack placement for now.


Shell to cab pass through. Locks all face inward to the cab so this can be unlocked from one side rather than running back and forth.


Upper deck, all poles/hammock stowed in this shot. There is room enough here to sit and put on or take off shoes.


Full size bed. Mattress seems to be far better/thicker than my Eezi-Awn was.
 

Dave

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#2
Interior Build Continued

This is proving to be a very challenging project due to the space provided. Good thing I enjoy a challenge ;)

Here are some step by step photos detailing the evolution of the interior to date. Each and every piece is being hand fitted one at a time to ensure that everything works well together.
The end result will be a fairly lightweight, removable camper module that will be bolted to the bed floor for safety. It can be taken out when I need to use the truck as a truck out by removing a few fasteners.
Careful fitment of the Engel base, when installed the power outlet is still usable as well as the side storage box.



I chose Action Packers as my removable storage for supplies as they are very lightweight.


Here is the load I was trying to build everything around.
Two Action Packers can be fitted in the floor space. Water can be carried in the side box.


The foundation of it all - 1/2 inch Birch plywood and 2x3 studs.


Boxes going together.

Nearly completed sides.



You can see here how the power outlet and side box are unobstructed.


5 gallon Scepter can in the side box to show size/volume available. Side box is reachable behind the jug.


Tie downs are still usable, and there is plenty of room to use the all important opener!


Left side storage box is complete and allows access to the bed side storage bins, I also saved some weight by making it "3 sided".

This box also serves as a bench on that side.

The picture below shows how the module slid out onto the tailgate. It is designed to slide out when I need to use the truck to haul things.

It is light enough to be easily taken out by one person, and will ultimately be secured to the bed via bolts (they would need to be removed to take this module out).


To be continued...
 

Dave

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#3
Fuse Box and Power

Pictured below is the Blue Sea 6 circuit fuse block with negative bus mounted with a Scosche 100 amp fuse block in line from the National Luna Power Pack.
LED camper lights and any future electrical additions now have a safe source of power

The Engel will be plugged into the 12v outlet on front of the power pack.




Here are the the LED camper lights, they have a 3 way switch - off, white, and red. Each housing also features two 12v sockets.
The switch for the rearmost light is reachable from the rear hatch and the front light switch can be reached from bed.
They are VERY bright at night and the red light option is very cool!



 

Dave

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#4
Shell Mounting

I get questions about the way the shell attaches to the truck.
Plastic bed caps are removed for a tighter, more even seal and 4 layers of automotive grade bulb seal are laid along each bed rail between the sheetmetal and the shell. Two layers of bulb seal are used in the front with silicone sealant in all the little places water might try to creep in ;)

Six bolts, three on each side drilled through the sides of the shell and straight through the rail system.


 

Dave

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#5
Some more shots of the build. Working toward getting the inside finished a bit at a time













 

Dave

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#7
Two inches of foam padding on the left side bench seat and carpeting completed.


I'm no upholsterer, but it turned out better than I expected ;)


The floor section will get deck paint (eventually) and I have a very nice grey industrial floor pad that will lay there so that it's easy on the knees when needed.
Now to get the fridge slide in and finish the kitchen side of the build...
 

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#8
Death Valley Test Run

Camped near Striped Butte








The 12v mattress pad had us sweating at night despite the temps dropping and the howling winds - the tent did GREAT in the wind BTW and we slept great. Very comfortable setup and SUPER easy to set up and take down.
Next interior mods will be the completion of the kitchen side, Engel fridge slide install, and cargo deck w/tie downs.

We were very impressed by the versatility of the FlipPac on this trip - it felt lightweight even with all our gear and unlike my old rack/RTT system I never once felt top heavy when off camber.

In camp, it is a dream as we now have shelter from the wind/weather to cook and eat if we wish AND privacy for changing and restroom activities with room to stand up, even for my 6'4 frame. We also learned that it does very well in gusty, high wind situations. It is really nice to finally have a real "expedition camper" that we can tackle most any trail with AND live in comfort once we get to our destination.

The shell holds ALL of our gear and then some and we had very little other than our jackets up front in the cab with us. On previous trips with our old system we had quite a bit of "gear creep" and disorder in the cab which drove me nuts - now there is room for most anything we could imagine, protected from the weather and theft, in the back ;)

The next big interior mods will be the kitchen side (still trying to decide just how much I do or don't really need there since I prefer to cook outside tailgate style) and the cargo deck so I can maximize the full potential of the upper 50% of the interior of the shell when closed - lots of cubic inches there for chairs, tables, firewood etc.




 
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Dave

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#9
From this:
Note the C-channel aluminum


To this:
The entire upper area can now be used for storage, and I have also added a new Engel fridge slide


The table on top of the fridge is now plated with galvanized steel sheeting so I can cook inside in inclement weather if need be, and I added eye bolt tie downs all around so I can secure chairs and other light camp gear on the decks.


My chairs fit perfectly here


The deck doubles as a shelf when slid out for kitchen use, and I plan to use the eye bolts as attachment points for the deck to double as a table when attached to the swingout... stay tuned :ylsmoke:


Engel thermometer shows temp inside the camper, and temp inside the fridge :beer:
 

Dave

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#10
A few improvements

Finished out the "utility compartment" inside the FP, note the toolbox tray and divider keeping the electric and air apart from the commode. This was a safety concern for me as I wanted things kept apart and not sliding around.


Lightweight divider wall with air holes and 1.5 inch lift for the commode that doubles as a shower deck in camp.


Completed utilities compartment (for now) with National Luna Power Pack, Blue Seas 6 circuit fuse block powering the LED camper lighting and Viair 400C air compressor. Compressor has a remote switch at the drivers door kick panel and is plumbed to the rear bumper for no-fuss air use.


Exterior air quick connect, armored and protected from mischief when the swingout is closed ;)


Added a hefty magnet to catch those pesky bottle caps in camp.


One of the reasons for the whole build - Savannah the Happy Camper!!!
 

Dave

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#11
And a few more...

I've been looking at different ways to use this central shelf as a table in camp.


So, I was talking to XJ Mike and he had this idea to use some channel aluminum.


Added a couple lengths of small chain and some small carabiners and - voila! Table in camp!


I got this lightweight Snow Peak Giga Power Plate Burner Li at the Hollister Rally. Mmmm, stainless.
Now I only need one type of fuel canister since my trusty Jet Boil takes the same style, and these work better at higher altitudes and colder temps ;)
I may modify the table later by cutting it out to allow the stove to drop in like it does on the Iron Grill tables, we'll see how this works first.

http://www.snowpeak.com/stoves/camping/gigapower-baja-burner-gs-400.html


One of the reasons I got this stove - the small footprint and low profile easily lends itself to use inside the FP in inclement weather.
Very nice :D
 

Dave

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#12
Nik Wax

One of many projects that I have on the back burner, I've been meaning to seal up the tent according to my standards... bomb proof.
Today I broke out the supplies and knocked this out, it was about as easy a project as you will ever do. I used about one liter of the NikWax Solar Proof on the FlipPac itself and have another liter for the storm cover. Not only is it a good wax that soaks in nice and gets in all the seams and stitching, it also provides some UV protection for your tent fabric.

Here is what I used today:


I also worked on the storm cover, replacing the bungies that FRP has on these and replaced them with something a little more serious - secure and adjustable tie downs from Nite Ize.
This ought to make it easy to secure the cover!

http://www.niteize.com/collections/figure-9/products/figure-9-tent-line-kit
 

Dave

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#13
I installed these small utility tracks to connect the Car Tarp to, easy project and cheap!
http://www.easternmarine.com/Aluminum-Super-Track-Kit-ST6/





I set it up real quick with 2 lines and 2 stakes just to show coverage, if I added 2 more guy outs and moved the poles back it can make a pretty good shade patch, I have it configured to block the late afternoon sun in these pics. This configuration provides shade and privacy ;)





 

Dave

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#14
Fiamma Awning and Custom Enclosure aka The Wanigan

Here's the bag it came in, very well made with a big fat zipper. Enclosure made by: http://www.slosails.com/


Deployed, 4 sided enclosure. Totally private.
This enclosure will be a multi-purpose room for showering, bathroom, or even sleeping kids.


Front wall, note the big grommets all along the bottom that allow the use of the big Snow Peak stakes, this thing isn't going anywhere.


Entrance, note the big fat zipper with pulls on both sides and the big pocket sewn on the far wall for items like soap, shampoo, iPod, etc.


Hooks attach inside wall to Fiamma case, inside wall provides extra privacy as well wind protection.
Hooks have grommets which allow the mounting of lights or just about anything on that wall like a Thule RV wall organizer.
I'm also going to add some 550 cord along there threaded via the grommets for hanging towels.


Inside corner mounting details. Note how the velcro wraps around the bars for max privacy and wind proofing.




Shown here during enclosure mounting, the 7mm channel in the Fiamma allows the use of this "rope" for mounting and a completely sealed front edge.
 

Dave

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#15
Pacific Northwest Trip

Camped at Lake Sylvia in Western WA on my way to the Northwest Rally


Detail of the rain fly, mounted just in case :)


My well known signature dish ;)


I arrived at the 4W Ranch near Ellensburg, WA on Tuesday night and saved a nice spot for the crew from Northwest Overland Society (NWOS) who were out doing the Washington Back Country Discovery Route (WABDR). This pic was taken Wednesday morning after their arrival in camp, note CoastalDefender's 8,000 lb antichrist black Nissan


All the comforts of home. The new hot water shower room was the source of many new friends in camp and assured me of a steady supply of free cold beer


 

Dave

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#16
Load Organization

All the comforts of home. I get asked how do I possibly pack so many amenities and so much gear into a 5 foot bed?
It's all about organization!



Gear bombs in camp or in the back of the truck annoy me! Here are some pics of how I manage my gear. All the campsite gear pictured above at the Rally packs up in minutes and fits neatly into the FlipPac, everything must have it's place and remain undamaged or it can add unwanted stress to any trip.

The med bag, Engel, wag bag toilet and ARB Bushranger X-Jack and many other things like the rain fly, tools, fuel cells, MRE's, bedding and the shower enclosure are stored in the truck full time so they are never forgotten (all are stowed inside the built in boxes/module pictured) .

When breaking camp the first things loaded up are the kitchen in Action Packers. I can stack up to SIX of the smaller Action Packers along that front row but my typical load is the three pictured here (one is hiding under the pillows on the right) - one for COFFEE, one for kitchen (pan/plates/Snow Peak Baja Li stove, etc etc), and one for the Snow Peak single BBQ box and accessories. Then I add the Zodi Extreme shower, old school sleeping bag, two full size pillows and sun shade.


The lower gear area was designed to hold two of the large Action Packers under the gear deck. I typically only need one of these for dry goods etc but can add a second for longer trips or more of the small ones up above. I like them because they are LIGHT, ubiquitous and inexpensive.


Now the gear deck has been slid into the channels to provide a second layer of storage which I use for camp chairs, firewood, supplies or even MORE gear. This also allows for a nice spot to transport my complete Snow Peak Iron Grill Table (IGT) pictured on the left by the chairs. I like this configuration as it keeps my water jugs down low and accessible and makes a nice "trunk" to throw dirty boots etc into if needed on the fly. All the assorted gear pictured in the camp pics posted above from the WA Rally fits in with room to spare, I lived 10 days in the truck with this arrangement and my only limitation was fuel and water, one grocery run at the beginning of the trip was plenty. This was a great shakedown run for future long range unsupported trips into wild...


I have yet to run out of space with the FlipPac even with the family "adding" the usual last minute blankets, bags, balls, stuffed animals etc that usually happens when the Loadmaster (me) isn't looking... :D
 

Dave

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#17
FlipPacs at SoCal Mountain Rendezvous

What a great event! - pic by Tbars


Our setup, ready for rain - pic by xj_mike


gfiero's setup - pic by xj_mike


ETAV8R's setup - pic by flyingwil


Shruk's setup - pic by Suntinez
 

Dave

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#18
Propex part 1

Big thanks to Mario and Martyn at AT for coming through with this - now to get it installed!

Heatsource 2000 with 10lb propane cylinder and aluminum bracket from AT


Heater will be installed down inside the pre-existing storage box inside the FlipPac, it's almost like it was made for it.


Propane cylinder bracket will mount easily to the swingout. Never mount your propane inside your living space.
 

Dave

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#19
Storm Cover

I hate the big blue rain fly that FRP sells. It is designed in a way (not a true rectangle) that makes it necessary to put it on one way only - reversing it 180 degrees causes it to not fit right (too tight)and this can be a royal PITA. The color was awful IMO and when inside you had almost zero visibility in addition to minimal ventilation. And, a cheap system of securing the fly to the tent - FRP supplied white bungie cords that were instantly dirty and matched the "hobo tarp" look of the fly after one use. The two battens for the vents are sewn in place i.e. not removable or replaceable... For a $300+ OEM fly I was less than impressed.

Adventure Trailers sells a MUCH improved design made by SLO Sail. Better material, better ventilation, windows for better visibility, 360 degree bungee cord around the bottom of the fly and multiple attachment points/buckles for real straps to tie it down if needed in a Pacific Northwest storm. It features removeable/replaceable battens for the vents and, you can throw it on in either direction because of it's true rectangular shape and generous cut.
Finally, a modern design that complements the vehicle :cool:









 
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