Truck campers had been around for many years, even going back to the early years of trucks in the 1920s, but Dave Rowe came up with an idea for a super light weight pop up camper. It sure beat hunting in the Rockies with a Volkswagen bus, and it opened the path for a great deal more flexibility where an adventurous kind of person could expand his or her horizons to. The first Four Wheel Camper was built upon an International Scout, not a typical pick up truck, and it was a hard sided camper, not a pop-up camper. Transition to trucks came soon enough, but the company continued to build for Blazers, Broncos, and Scouts for quite some time.
The Seventies and into the Eighties were a heyday for Four Wheel Campers and the RV industry. A major change in ownership occurred, and Jack Billings eventually became the owner of Four Wheel Campers in 1987. A couple of years later, the company moved to Woodland, California, and has been there since. Production bumped along, and then Ben Burnett bought the company in 1996. The basic design stayed the same, production increased, and more and more campers became aware of Four Wheel Campers.
In 2001, Tom and Celeste Hanagan became the new owners, and the Four Wheel Campers started evolving into a more modern and comfortable product. Staying true to the basic concept, system by system the camper improved. All of the remaining particle board was designed out, the electrical system was completely redesigned, and components ranging from foam to fabrics to plumbing fittings were improved. The frame is stronger than ever. Lessons learned from world travelers, and especially Baja California experience taught us where the frame needed improvement. The Four Wheel Camper is truly a work in progress. New materials are constantly researched and studied to lighten, strengthen, and improve performance.
Today the work force is the best ever. The future brings more improvement, much of it suggested by owners who use the product on a regular basis, and many who camp away from the mainstream in harsh and punishing conditions.
The Four Wheel Camper is a lot more developed and refined than it was back in 1972, but the basic concept hasn’t changed at all. The camper must observe three basic principles: light weight, durability, simplicity. Aluminum framing and skin keeps the camper light and durable. Understated cabinetry, made of mahogany plywood, provides lightweight simplicity and a greater feeling of spaciousness in a very compact living space. Decorative design elements are kept to an absolute minimum to reduce weight and increase durability. These three simple, yet complex goals, provide a very small niche in the camper marketplace unlike other brands of truck campers. Whereas larger, more complex truck campers provide amenities and large living spaces, Four Wheel Campers embrace the ability to literally go camping in comfort anywhere your truck can go safely and with relative ease.
The basic idea is a fairly simple, but very strong, cage like aluminum frame fabricated from aluminum tube and extruded channel. Much like an airplane frame, it has the ability to flex, providing greater strength and durability, therefore longer life and the ability to handle the torque experienced on mountain and desert roads, far away from pavement. Optimum off road capability demands the lowest center of gravity. The minimal height over the cab of the truck is essential, and as much weight as possible is on the floor of the camper. That’s why the water tank and propane tanks have migrated to the floor in recent years. Dave Rowe invented a lift mechanism like no other in the market. Instead of a complex lift arm apparatus with difficult linkage and geometry, he devised a simple articulated lift panel at the front and back, spring loaded the piano hinges, and provided a shear wall effect for exceptional stability in high winds. This also provides support for a snow load on the roof.
Four Wheel Campers are built to last. The camper frame and roof are aluminum construction (welded). The camper base is constructed with a high grade plywood that has an applied weather resistant, textured, laminate coating on both sides. This new plywood is excellent quality and the outer laminate layers give the wood maximum protection (compared to a coat of paint). This plywood is sometimes referred to as Skid-Guard material, and is used in the construction of boat docks at lakes, rivers, and in marine environments.
The interior cabinets are now built from a high quality plywood with the exterior finish having a “painted” on wood grain look coating. The new cabinetry we are currently using are more durable, harder, and have less of a tendency to scratch.
The camper walls and roof are insulated with rigid foam insulation.
All appointments inside the Four Wheel Camper, from items like the cushion foam, fabrics, appliances, electrical, plumbing, flooring, are of the best quality. We try and avoid using any of the typical inexpensive “RV” parts & pieces whenever & wherever possible. We always prefer to use upgraded parts & pieces in the construction of your new camper. We pride ourselves in building the lightest weight, lowest profile & most durable pop-up truck campers on the market today. Our customers appreciate our attention to detail too!
|Truck Size||Bed Size||Slide-In Model||Flat Bed Model||Compatible Tray|
|Mid-Size||5'||Swift Slide-In||N/A||Norweld 5'|
|Mid-Size||6'||Fleet Slide-In||Fleet Flat Bed||Norweld 6'|
|Full-Size||5.8'||Raven Slide-In||N/A||Norweld 6'|
|Full-Size||6.5'||Hawk Slide-In||Hawk Flat Bed||Norweld 6.5'|
|Full-Size||8'||Grandby Slide-In||Grandby Flat Bed||Norweld 8'|
TO GET A QUOTE ON FOUR WHEEL CAMPERS, CONTACT SALES@MAINLINEOVERLAND.COM -- 844-656-7626
We know you’re eager to get rolling with your new Four Wheel Camper, so here’s a list of things to do to better prepare your truck to carry a Four Wheel Camper.
Please note that this is a comprehensive list compiled over years of installations. You may need to make several of these preparations to your truck, or only one or two. Your factory representative will be able to advise you of the specific preparations that your particular truck/camper combination will require. Questions? Call us at 844-656-7626
Your truck’s tail gate will need to be removed prior to your installation appointment. The tail gate on the truck will not close once the camper is mounted on your truck. Having the tail gate on the truck usually hinders towing and the ability to mount an optional entry step. It also makes it more difficult to get in and out of the camper. The best advice is to remove the tail gate on your truck before you have your new camper installed. On most trucks no tools are required to remove the tail gate. It is much easier than people expect.
Any shell, soft tonneau cover, hard tonneau cover, tool boxes, etc. will need to be removed from your truck bed prior to your installation appointment. The truck bed will also need to be swept clean of any debris. Your Four Wheel Camper will sit on the floor of the bed – any remaining debris in the bed might cause damage to the truck bed. Please clean out your truck bed before you arrive for installation.
One piece plastic bed liners (*except with the 2005 – 2018 Toyota Tacoma trucks), carpet bed rugs and carpet kits must be removed prior to your installation appointment. Plastic bed liners are very slick, compressible, and might cause the camper turn buckles to unexpectingly loosen up. The one piece plastic bed liners also interfere with installation of the camper tie down system in the truck bed. Bed rugs will also get in the way of the camper tie down bolts (which is used to hold the camper onto the truck). The bed rugs or carpet kits can become saturated with rain water which can damage the bottom of the camper and the truck. Although spray-in bed liners (such as Line-X, Rhino Liner, etc.) and/or rubber bed mats are not necessary, they do help protect the truck bed long term.”Spray-On” bed liners or a simple rubber bed mat will prevent damage to the truck bed and prevent the camper from shifting in the truck bed while in motion. The “Spray-On” bed liner is the preferred choice for most all customers. The newer Toyota Tacoma trucks (2005 – 2018) have a have a composite (plastic) truck bed, so that CANNOT, and does not need to be removed before mounting the camper).
Your truck’s electrical system will need to be in good working order, as will the truck as a whole. If you can, please make sure the terminals on your truck battery are clean and free from corrosion before you arrive for your camper installation. We will be hooking up the main “truck to camper” wiring to the terminals on your truck battery. Having clean battery terminals will make the job easier for our installers.
Some trucks will require suspension upgrades. These include all mini trucks and most all 1/2 ton trucks. The rear suspension upgrade can be over load springs, helper springs, or a set of airbags (or any equivalent). Basic “air shocks”are NOT recommended as they are not designed to be used as a rear suspension upgrade. They cannot handle a camper weight and can quickly fail. Your factory representative will advise you in detail regarding the best upgrade for your particular truck. Most of these simple rear suspension upgrades can be handled by a third party prior to or after your installation appointment. The Firestone “Ride-Rite” air bags seem to be the preferred rear suspension upgrade by many of our customers. Brake, tire, and suspension shops like Les Schwab Tires, 4 Wheel Parts, Big-O Tires, etc. can usually install over-load springs or air bags for you.
Your truck tires will need to be in good shape and of the proper weight rating for the camper you have selected. If you have “stock” tires that are in good condition you can probably use those until they start to show wear. When it comes time for a new set of tires, we highly recommend that customers upgrade their existing tires to a set of “D” or “E” rated truck tires for added stability, better handling & wear, and road performance.
Four Wheel Camper Selector
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