Mods & Additions to our Four Wheel Camper

Last year I wrote a post titled “Our Truck Camper Setup” and talked about what our Four Wheel Camper included stock from the factory, what upgrades we ordered at the time of purchase and what we’ve added since then.  I’d love to expand on what we’ve added and why.  Here’s a list of all our truck camper mods and additions, in no particular order…

1. ARB Refrigerator.  This was our first purchase after we got our truck camper installed and I can’t imagine camping without it.  Before the truck camper, dealing with ice and soggy food was one of my least favorite parts about camping.  Our ARB refrigerator fits like a glove at the front of our camper and is powered 100% by solar.  Since there is no ice to take up a bunch of space, we can easily carry a week’s worth of food.

Bonus: Mark had to make a platform for the refrigerator to sit on so that the door handle was not blocked by the dinette seat.  Our dinette table stows perfectly underneath the platform when not in use.

truck camper mod

2. Second Solar Panel.  Our truck camper purchase included a solar panel (for an additional cost) that was mounted to the roof.  However, with all the winter camping we do, our fixed panel wasn’t charging fully due to the low angle of the sun.  Mark added a second panel that stows beneath the cab-over of the camper but could be pulled out and placed anywhere to get a maximum charge.  Now we never have to worry about running out of battery power.

diy rv solar

3. Trimetric Battery Monitor.  With the battery monitor, Mark can keep track of how much power is coming in, how much is going out and at what rate.  Between camera gear, computer gear, the furnace, refrigerator and more, we consume a lot of power so it’s nice to know where we stand.

diy rv solar

4.  12 Volt Plug.  Mark mounted this 12 volt plug to the side of the battery box making it easy to plug in phone chargers, laptop chargers, etc.

5.  300 Watt Inverter.  Mark installed this inverter and household plug to allow us to charge any of our items that require AC power such as our camera battery chargers.


6.  Dometic Cassette Toilet.  Stows perfectly beneath the shelf behind the dinette.  Mark mounted a bungee cord to the wall behind the toilet to ensure it stays secure during off-road travel.  Two toilet tips: 1) We recommend RV holding tank treatment by Happy Camper as it masks the odor the best without the use of toxic chemicals.  2) Be a good camping companion and remember to ventilate your camper when using the toilet.

camping toilet

7.  Reflectix.  We didn’t see the sense in spending a few hundred dollars on curtains when you can buy a roll of Reflectix for $30.  Besides, with its insulation qualities, Reflectix is a far better window covering than curtains.  We cut out panels to fit in each window and even have a couple extra pieces that we put beneath the mattress pad on those really cold nights.  It’s incredible how warm it will keep you.

Bonus: Put a piece of Reflectix on your camp chair and you’ve got yourself a heated seat.

rv window covering

8.  CO2 Tank.  It’s common practice for us to air our tires down for smoother travel on dirt roads.  I don’t think I could handle the amount of washboard we find ourselves on without airing down.  But, airing down means needing a way to air back up once we return to pavement.  Our CO2 tank does just that.  Better yet, we can make our own soda water anytime, any place.  Mark mounted the tank to the inside of our camper using this Quick Fist clamp.  Tip: Our ARB deflator makes airing down easy.


9.  Lift-assist Struts.  Before deciding to add lift-assist struts, popping the top of our Four Wheel Camper was do-able but took some strength and leverage which proved to be difficult in a fully packed camper.  After Mark installed the struts, popping the top became so easy, even I could do it.  It’s a nice addition that just makes life easier.

pop-up truck camper mod

10.  Flashlight Mount.  This flashlight mounted to the left of the door serves as an easily accessible light that can be reached from outside the camper.  It’s also nice to have a designated home for a flashlight so that we know where one is at all times.  (Even though we seem to have at least five flash lights laying around at any given time)

rv flashlight mount

11.  Fantastic Fan.  This remote control powered fan can be set on a thermostat or controlled manually.  It also has a rain sensor and will close the vent if it starts to rain.  We use it frequently as it comes in handy on those hot days.

rv fantastic fan

12.  Screen Door Bar.  I love simple things that make life easier like this screen door bar.  It’s an easy way to get the door shut and is a nice place to hang a towel to dry.


13.  Memory Foam Mattress Pad.  Between this mattress pad and our down comforter, it feels down-right fraudulent to call this camping.  We sleep better in our truck camper than we do at home.

truck camper mattress

14.  LED Lighting.  Efficiency is key in order to make the most of the power we generate off our solar panels so converting to LED lighting was a no-brainer.

RV LED lighting

Whether it’s for ease-of-use, comfort or functionality, all these additions have proven to be well worth the time and money.  And yet, we continue to come up with more ideas to make our truck camper the ultimate camping rig.

What’s your favorite truck camper mod that you wouldn’t want to live without?



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  • Great setup you have created. I also bought Eagle shell and built it myself. It’s very intertesting how we did many of the same things (including putting solar panel under the bed). I do welding so a couple of things I did was to modify a bumper to fit on my truck such that bumper comes out far enough to protect camper and add a storage box. Also built a steel rack for inside of truck cab that has a large steel box that acts as a safe for cameras, etc.

    We recently had the new 4-Wheel camper distributor in Porland add gas lift struts. It was not as helpful as I was hoping. I am wondering how many pounds were the struts you installed? (Distributor put 20# and 30# on mine with thought that I would have solar panel on roof. I am not sure this is enough)

    Thanks for sharing all of your ideas.

    • Hi Chris. It’s cool to hear someone else had the idea of putting the solar panel underneath the bed. Great use of space. Also love your safe idea for in the cab.

      Mark believes our struts are 40#.

      • Anyway you could explain the installation of the struts ? And where you bought yours? Size etc. I called one place and they wanted $300 to install them! Thank you!

    • Hi, I had internal lift assists installed at the factory before I bought my camper but after a year I decided to put on externals as well. I kept the internals as a back-up, but I don’t recommend trying to use them together unless you have a fairly heavy roof load or you weigh 300plus pounds as they are a struggle to get closed. My internal struts are eighty pounders but the externals are only thirties (I think). Like you I put a memory foam pad over the factory matrass and now I sleep like the living dead. I’m very interested in the battery monitor you installed as well as the inverter. Any chance of getting a few more details?

    • Re: lift assists and other add-ons — we’ve had our Fleet/Tacoma since 2010 and have used many many nights and many many miles, including 2 trips into the Arctic. The BEST add-on for me is the rear exterior lift struts. Already had the internal front struts. I’m 70 yrs and often use the camper without my husband. I could barely put it up, but now it’s easy – putting down the rear is a bit hard, probably because we chose 40# (i think) struts to accommodate 2 gas cans on the roof. The other handy add-on was an extra tire holder that fits into the hitch hole and folds down. The tire is mounted on a metal platform that becomes a nice step when folded down. I’m glad we got the 3-way frig, which we use on propane at night, DC when driving. The big camper battery holds for at least 2-3 days and propane lasts a long time. We added air bags early on, which really are essential for the 2010 Tacoma. We often take our fold-up kayaks, etc, which makes for a lot of weight, with water, gear, food, etc of remote trips.

    • Thanks for a great blog. I’m going to try the Reflectix. Anyone have any tips on installing struts yourself? Did you order them from Four Wheel Camper? I could use a little lift assist.
      – 2005 Grandby on a 2001 Dodge 2500 Diesel, 8 ft. bed.

  • Thanks for your up-dates! I have also modified my camper to suit me! My table is one thing…Like your screen door handle! Where did you find it?

      • Michelle ~~ loved the screen door handle ordered one for our ‘Hawk’ Shell prior to delivery. Our screen door looks different than one in your photo. Sits deeper into hinge side frame..Only 1/4″ frame showing. Would have to drill directly into ‘spline’ that holds the screening into the frame. Any ideas. ~~ Kate

  • We’ve been on the road in our truck camper for about eight months (all in southern states) now getting ready to head to Alaska and then the NW until next year so the Reflectix sounds like a winner. How did you attach it to the windows?

    Our ‘love it’ mod is our PortaBote which fits on the side of the camper and a 6 HP mounted on a special bracket on rear bumper.

    Caite & Glenn

    • We’ve always wanted a PortaBote, they look so convenient and fun! We cut out the Reflectix pieces to the exact dimensions of each window and they fit snugly in the window sill without needing an attachment. Velcro is another option. Hope you have a wonderful journey to Alaska.

  • Thanks so much for your very helpful postings. I am curious how you were able to fit the Dometic portapotty into your Hawk w/side dinette. I have the same Hawk shell model with side dinette and the width I have to fit a porta potty is 13 inches without removing the threshhold.. Amazon lists the width of this porta potty at 13.5 inches and the Portapotty store lists the same model as being 14.5 inches wide.

    • Hi Jim, thanks for reading! Our Dometic toilet measures 13.5 inches wide however the base of the toilet is narrower than its widest point which is why it’s able to fit there.

      • Thanks, Michelle, I’ll order one. The one that I ordered with the camper is only 12 inches high and the waste holding tank is only 2.5gal. There are also no carry handles.

    • Hey Greg! Thanks for all the comments! Yes, the fridge runs entirely off solar with no problem at all.

  • Hi Happy Campers …. I have a Hallmark camper that does not have an internal lift system so needless to say it hard to raise manually . So was wondering if you could give any info regards to …. contact manu. E-mail address / Lgh. of struts / lift cap ect. I think these struts could help me considerably reducing effort and would be cheaper than a new roof from Hallmark . Your website has a great sauce of info to me …… Many Thx …. Terry Disley.

    • Thanks for sharing your helpful modifications.
      I built my own pop-up truck camper and would also like all the information you could provide on your lift assist struts .
      I have been looking for awhile but can’t seem to find struts long enough with the right pressure rating


  • You guys have been a great inspiration, and I’ve bought a FWC Hawk shell. Mark was considering writing a blog about your utility trailer use and setup. I’ve looked for it but can’t find it, has he already written it? Thanks

  • If you had to do it over again, would you opt for the inside shower and/ or outside shower. I noticed you used only the solar one

    • I think we’d do it exactly the same. We like keeping our systems simple and low cost which is why we like our shower setup the way it is. Our solar shower works really well!

      • Hi, Michele,
        My husband and I are waiting on our 2nd Hawk (shell). We bought our first FWC last year and ordered it “loaded”. We quickly realized that we function a lot simpler than all that. We are anxious to put our own mods on our new Hawk. We don’t have any shower set up on the new one and wondered what kind of solar shower you’re using. Thanks for your blog and ALL the helpful info.

  • I always find your emails so interesting & helpful. Thanks for taking the time. I am curious if you can tell me how difficult it was to install the 300 watt inverter as well as the fantastic fan. Thanks again.

    • We’re happy to help! I’ve asked Mark about the difficulty of installing both the fan and inverter. He said the fan was easy and you should be able to figure that out on your own. The inverter on the other hand, he does not recommend doing on your own without some electrical experience.

      • Thanks for your reply. I do have some elec experience having wired part of my basement but I don’t particularly enjoy it, so I’d probably have it done. You have been so helpful and I really appreciate your help.

  • Hi, On your utility trailer site, I noticed you have a folding Zamp solar panel. What watt size did you get? Are you happy with it and how does the performance compare to the panel you store under the bed? Love your site!!

    • Hey Bob, Our Zamp panel is 80 watts. I think that as a ready to go platform it is a great option for anybody that wants a plug and play option. No thought required it just works. If you want to educate yourself a little bit on solar power and how it works you can definitely get more power for less money if you build your own system.

  • Ok, so we have been dragging our feet on ordering a HAWK. We are former tent campers. Our trips have run 3 mo. at a time, mainly SW. Like to camp remote. Now want to extend season & range with heat/fridge/shower. Feedback please on outdoor shower or solar/how often you cook indoors/fidge/ awning. Or alternatives for these? Front dinette vs. side. We will order factory made due to our East coast location & we want to just GO! We can mod/build anything.

    • I just added a reply to Chris’ first entry of April 17. Here are some more thoughts. We are often remote in NW Canada and AK. We just did 8 consecutive days out, but usually do 4-5 at a time and usually don’t park anywhere for more than 3 nights. If weather is terrible, we check into a nice lodge. So that limits our demands. We’ve only used the outdoor shower once in 6 years. Maybe would use if we had the little tent set/up mentioned elsewhere on this blog. Also we never use much hot water so never have that turned on either. As I said above, the 3-way frig is just fine – i just take chile, etc, frozen and made at home and semi-perishables. It’s sometimes hard to regulate the frig temp on DC, so I keep vegies out to prevent freezing. We use a little bunji to secure the frig latch and i use Loc n Loc containers for everything – if they fall out nothing opens or breaks. That broken pickle jar made a real mess. Never had an awning, but friends who live on a boat in summer and camper in the south in winter just rig a tarp using the latches and the “leg” brackets. Seems a lot of weight and too high to be effective. I like the new bat-wing design though. We are happy w/ the versatility of the dinette arrangement, tho we only eat inside if it’s raining. We have a little fold-up table from REI to put in the nicest spot. The furnace takes the edge off if below freezing, but if we camped in the north in the winter we’d get the Arctic Pack. That would also help in really hot weather. We drain down and only use grocery store water if very cold. We’ve never needed solar, even w/ non-LED lights. The frig will really drain the battery so we switch to propane when parked. Have 2 Fantastic fans – very helpful in hot weather. Also – the company websites always show the window flaps folded up at the bottom when open. Not sure why – I like as much light as possible. The clear flaps can be left open about an inch at the top in most rainstorms – the fold at the top of the plastic liner will keep out rain. That helps prevent condensation inside. Hope this reaches you in time to be useful and hope you enjoy your camper as much as we do

    • Forgot to add – re: cooking indoors. I have asthma so campfire cooking is not for me. And I much prefer cooking inside in bear country – a significant issue in the north country. I also like having a clean convenient cooking area close to frig and supplies. You do need to run the fan to clear out cooking smells.

  • Hi!
    We have a 2012 Hawk (built in Dec 2011) that was fairly well-configured since we figured it would add to resale desirability. It’s riding on a 2010 F250 6.4L diesel. Here’s some things we did:

    Changed out the 3-speed FantasticFan to the 13-speed remote model you have. 4WC wouldn’t offer those at the time, but we ordered it from the fan company’s website; it wasn’t hard to replace. We always open and close it manually thought, because it takes too darn long for the stupid little motor to raise or shuttle lid.

    We tried every kind of bedding imaginable to make the stock cushions comfortable (we’re older and arthritic); from mattress pads to Thermorest air mattresses, sleeping bags to down comforters. Everything had it’s limitations and we hated how the bed intruded into the limited living space, and how you have to carry cushions to fill it. Finally we took out the bed slide, took out all the cushions, and had a 52″ wide, 3.5″ thick mattress made for us by a local bedding manufacturer. They make standard mattresses, but told us they also make mattresses for semi-trucks, RVs, etc. We know their quality since we have their king-size latex foam mattress at home. We altered sheets and a mattress pad to semi-fit (still some that gets tucked under) and never have to mess with the bed again except to make it up fast in the morning.

    Just a few weeks ago, however, we spent 11 August nights on the SW Oregon coast; temps were about 45-48 F at night and foggy and about 68 degrees during the day. We noticed condensation under our mattress. I’ve read about Reflectix on WanderThe West, but there was nowhere to get any nearby. We were at a Walmart in a nearby town, and saw a cheap 1.5″ thick mattress pad of memory foam sandwiched on regular form. We got it and a cheap waterproof mattress pad, put the foam pad on the bed overhand base with the waterproof pad over it, then our regular mattress. Not only made our mattress a tiny bit softer, but we never had even a hint of condensation under the mattress again. Since we don’t have a bed slide to get in the way, we store a couple of folding camp chairs against the wall between the mattress and the emergency exit window. Makes for a handy nightstand for my phone at night.

    We have the rollover couch in our model, and use the base storage to hold an Engel MT35 12v compressor fridge/freezer (35Qt). We also have an Engel 14 Qt fridge/freezer plugged in up in the back seat of the truck cab, for sandwiches, snacks and/or refreshments during the day and extra space for food we’ll use later.

    After 3 years of never putting a drop of water in our stock water tank, I finally cut the top out of it and we use it for storage. I keep talking about removing it altogether and using the space for the Engel fridge as you’ve done.

    If I had it to do over again, I might do the shell and try to customize it, but I’m not much of a handyman as far as that goes. 4WC has gotten better about letting customers change a few things on stock designs; when we ordered, it was a “take it or leave it” scenario where you could buy the options they offered, but only those, and they put them where they wanted (and even screwed up our order, giving us the useless “ice box” when we ordered a rear cabinet there. I don’t believe they even offered the dinette seating then. Now we’re looking into an Alaskan… those people know how to work with a customer! We’re looking into one with a diesel stove and furnace combo; no condensation like propane and can use the same fuel as the truck.

    Great blog; thanks for writing it!

    • Hi Ron, Thanks so much for reading and for your comments! We’ve enjoyed hearing about your travels and camper setup. My apologies for the lack of response. Our business is in it’s high season at the moment and we’re completely swamped. Hopefully we’ll be back out on the road soon! All the best to you on your travels!

  • Hi, I noticed that you have your portable solar panel in a rack under the overhang. I also noticed that, like me, you own a Ford and have very little space between the overhang and the cab roof. Does the panel ever hit the roof due to flex in the truck chassis? I was going to mount a table in that location but chickened out for fear of damaging the camper or the truck roof. Also, I love your trailer. I sometimes tow a small utility trailer to carry extra stuff, but it’s not built for long over road travel back roads. Thanks for a great and informative blog, Steve

    • Thanks for reading and for your comments! No, we’ve never had any issues with the solar panel rubbing on the cab roof. It’s a great use of otherwise wasted space.

  • Hi, here’s a heads up about mounting something under the overhang of a camper. Jonathan Hansen, author of Overland Tech and Travel used this space to mount a camp table from Front Runner. He goes into great detail about doing this and provides a lot of photos. This info is waaaaaay back in the archives, so look persistently………….Steve

  • Hi Michelle and Mark,

    My husband and I will soon be picking up our Fleet Camper shell (March) and can hardly wait like a kid the night before Christmas. A question for you…. We really like the ABS fridge/freezer you have. We did not get the solar panels (maybe an add on later). Without the solar would the ABS drain our system too quickly if we were camping out in the middle of nowhere for a week? Thanks for all the great info. (Looks like you live near us…we are in Frisco CO)

  • Greetings, Thanks for sharing your lives and camper set up with all of us. We are close to picking up our FWC Hawk. I see that you have an ARB fridg-freezer. Can you tell me what size it is and perhaps the length? That is what we wish to do as well. Also what is the distance that you could use that your ARB sits in. It would be between the side dinette base and the wall at the other end of the arb? I am guessing that you have a 50 quart (length – 27.75″) or a 63 quart (length – 33.27″)

    Thanks for your assistance,


    • No need to reply re. what size ARB – my wife located it this evening – now I remember reading it. Thanks for your indulgence -Reggie

  • Michelle and Mark – you guys have become an invaluable resource for us newbies, particularly with your addition of a memory foam topper. We have the same Hawk and apparently the same desire for sleeping comfort as you do and so were wondering about a few details. It appears you simply placed your foam topper over the existing FWC mattress. If so: How thick is your topper? With the comforter on top of the mattress/topper, do you have any problems closing the camper top? And do you have any problems moving your mattress/topper back so you can both sit at the dinette? Great blog; keep out up. We’re close followers, and in advance, thanks for your help – Bill & Rita

    • I’m so glad you’ve found some of our articles useful. Our memory foam mattress pad is 2″. We leave the mattress pad and sheets on the bad when we close the camper but not the comforter. The mattress pad easily folds back when we sit at the dinette. It’s been a great addition to our FWC!

      • Michelle,

        Thanks for the answer about the memory foam mattress. It turns out that we were just looking at adding a mattress as well and were wondering how to have it and still use our side dinette, so your answer was very timely us. We’ve always found your upgrades and comments very useful and have used them numerous times, so thank you very much..

        We spent 35 days last fall traveling to the NWT, Yukon & Alaska & have a couple of comments that others may find useful. When traveling rough roads the Dometic porta potty (and probably others as well) must be emptied long before the waste tank is full, otherwise there could be leakage. Also, when we were traveling the Dempster Highway in the Yukon in wet weather, on the first night, we discovered the main lock on the camper was so full of mud, we could not get the key into it. By using a very liberal dose of WD-40 into the lock, we managed to wash enough mud out of the lock so we could unlock it. After that, we covered the lock with Gorilla tape each morning before departure. Highly corrosive dust control agents are used on the Dempster Highway which makes the mud stick like glue. In fact, even though we washed our truck (including the underbody) numerous times afterwords, we later had to find a garage so that they could remove each wheel and chip the mud away from the inside of the wheel..

        • Jim, I’m making a mental note of your tips (hopefully we’ll get up to that region in the next few years). Good to know. We’ve already had the same experience with the porta potty, not something you want to ever happen again. Sounds like an incredible trip! Thanks for sharing!

        • See above re: egg crate mattress. We had similar problems on the Dempster – great idea to tape the lock – simple is good. Had that prob once after the Denali Hwy – no WD-40, but Muskol worked. Also the same wheel alignment probs. Our potty hasn’t leaked at all – maybe because it’s wedged in w/ gear. I see some have used bunjis to keep in place. We only put in pee and biodegradable potty powder and empty it often. I’m experimenting with Biffy Bags for poop – I prefer not to leave stuff in a hole.

    • I just got a piece of egg crate foam at Bed Bath and Beyond – for me – my husband likes the firm mattress. I just fold it into quarters and wedge it in on top of the stacked 4 bed cushions in front of window- holds them tight if road is rough.

  • As always, I find you to be an excellent resource. I am wondering about the ARB Fridge and how you power it. Do you use a 12v (cigarette lighter) outlet or wire it directly to the battery? I was recently at 4-wheel campers in Woodland and had them supply me with an extra battery as well as the Zamp portable solar panel you recommend?

  • Great use of space storing the solar panel underneath the cab-over. I’ve had similar ideas to make use of this space such as applying some adhesive diamond plate flooring to top of truck cab along with some tie down points.

  • I have owned a Fleet Demo model for a year. I’ve been completely disappointed in it from week two. The dealer has not stood by anything nor has Fiamma Awning. The battery company was outstanding in helping me replace batteries after an incorrect installation almost fried them completely. I hired an electrician to help with trouble shooting why I had no battery power from my solar panel. The roof leaked during the second rain I encountered on the road. The awning’s metal bracket broke right in half the second time I rolled it in. This was all within the first use and well within warranty coverage but no one but the battery folks honored their warranty. I would have been better off to buy a cheap truck camper and just replace it when anything went terribly wrong as it has with my FWC. I have tried to trade it in but have been offered 1/10th the purchase price from one year ago.

    • Whoa! that’s bad news. We bought our Fleet/Tacoma 2010 new and have nothing but good experience w/ main shop and shop in Denver. Hope this isn’t a trend.

  • Hi, Great articles. I have just bought a Hawk Shell and am looking to add a few items and your blog is an inspiration. I was wondering how you “install” the reflectix insulation over the door window as there seems to be nowhere to hold it, unlike the other windows. I am heading out to get a roll of reflective wrap soon!

    • Hi Mike, congrats on your FWC purchase! We use a small piece of velcro above the door to hold the reflectix. Enjoy your future travels!

    • I have used reflectix for years and like magnets to hold it in many spots when it goes up and down a lot. It all depends on where and the trim material but magnets can let you slap it up quickly and hold it in place without any other more permanent stuff.

  • Hi there – very nice details. Did you happen to consider a Hawk with more amenities such as an outdoor shower and sink? Do you miss not having a sink in the camper? I’m considering the sink and shower, but it will take up space, add cost, and add more components do deal with in the future.

    • Hi Karlton- a sink would be nice but we enjoy our simple system and the fact that it allows us more space.

    • A relatively new version of an old idea has appeared, and speaking personally, I would look at it long before adding the expense of a built in outdoor shower on a 4WC model. The Road Shower, doesn’t even need the camper to be useful.

      As for the sink, we have it and use it to store bread or other soft things. We’ve never used our faucet, and in fact, cut the top off the fresh water container and use that space for storage. Gallon jugs of water work just fine for us.

  • I am looking at getting an ARB or Truckfridge for our Hawk and wondered what you thought about the 50 qt vs the 37 qt size. It looks like they both have the same footprint. I was also wondering you you looked at otyher brands than ARB (such as truckfridge/Indel B)

    • We love the 50 qt and use every square inch when we’re out on long trips (4-6 weeks). We’d heard great things about ARB before getting ours are really happy with how it has performed and held up over the last five years!

  • And another pair of questions… do you have the ARB fridge attached to the platform in any way? Is the only venting needed for the fridge in the area at the bottom left in the photo? I am now leaning towards the ARB50…

    • No, we’ve not attached the fridge to the platform in any way and have never had an issue with that. We’re always certain to not pack anything near the vent that you see in the bottom left. I do believe that’s the only vent.

      • Thanks. Our ARB50 arrived today and I am testing it in the Hawk shell and the C-dory! Do you happen to know how high of a platform Mark built? Looks like 2x4s with a sheet or two of particle board or plywood on top. Am I correct. Did he wire the fridge directly to the 12V system, or did he install a second plug somewhere in that area?

        • Yes, they’re 2x4s with a 1″ board on top. He added another plug next to the fuse panel that’s wired directly to the 12V system. Hope you enjoy your Hawk!

  • Mike,
    Where did you purchase your interior LED lamps, and what brand and model are they. I am thinking about changing my interior lamps to LED’s

    • I’ve had good experiences with, including LED replacement bulbs for the ceiling fixtures in my 2005 Eagle shell.

  • Great mods! Love what you doing, you got some really good ideas. I think I might have to get some of that stuff for my camp chair when it’s cold LOL. I don’t have a truck camper I have a little pull-behind it’s smaller than some truck campers but probably not yours. I’ve done a ton of mods, some you might be interested in. It’s nice to get brave enough to make it your own! I have ripped out the dinette and built a storage couch and found hidden storage places all over. You might have fun looking through it let me know what you think!

  • Hey guys, I was wondering if you are able to leave the mattress pad on the bed or if you have to stow it somewhere when the camper isn’t popped.

    • We’re able to leave the mattress pad on with the top down, however, I’m not sure this will be true with all FWC models.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your tips and tricks! I just purchased the flashlight bracket and the screen door bar.

    As a first time FWC owner (bought a used Hawk shell to slowly build out), your blog is very helpful.

    I am unable to find this information anywhere but do you know if an average person can lean on the vinyl material? We have a newborn and are hoping my wife can lean up against it while feeding our boy.

    Thank you again for sharing your adventures. Hope you have some wonderful trips planned for the summer!



We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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