four wheel camper lift assist struts

Welcome to our new Q&A series!  We get so many questions from readers on various topics that I’d love to start sharing our responses in hopes of possibly helping others as well.  I’m not one for technical answers but I’m happy to share our experience and anything we’ve learned from 4 years and a few hundred nights in our Four Wheel Camper!

Q:  I too have a Hawk camper on my ford truck.  I opted for the two internal lift assist struts and find they are insufficient, and, as you stated require a lot of effort to pop the top!  Could you please let me know the make and model of the lift assist struts you installed on the front/rear exterior of your camper?

A:  Four years ago when Mark installed our lift-assist struts, he searched high and low for parts and ended up finding what he needed on eBay.  Since then, we’ve been asked a lot where we found the parts and Mark hasn’t been able to find them again.  Recently he found which has all the parts needed to install your own lift-assist struts.  The size of strut needed will depend on the make and model of the camper and our 2012 Hawk may be different than a 2016 Hawk.  However, the crucial part needed that Mark had the hardest time finding is this 10mm Offset Bracket.  Hopefully that helps!

Q:  Do you guys need the heater much?  Is it loud?  Does it use a lot of battery or propane?

A:  We use our heater frequently (at night only) as we camp mostly in the winter months or at higher elevations during the summer.  I (Michele) tend to run cold and love having the comfort of the furnace.  It’s not too loud but does drown out the outside sounds if you’re camping near a river or the like.  The amount of battery power used depends on how much it runs throughout the night.  We go thru propane quickly when camping in freezing temps and below (one ten pound bottle lasts roughly three nights) otherwise our two ten pound bottles usually last us a week or two.

Q:  Is one battery enough for 3-5 day trips?  (I was think of using a Yeti Tunda cooler) But what if I upgraded to an ARB frig?

A:  Unfortunately we don’t have an answer for this one.  A lot of things would need to be factored in such as what is the size of the battery and what else would you be providing power for over the course of a 3-5 day trip.  While Mark has learned a lot about solar since purchasing our Four Wheel Camper I have yet to figure out how to get that knowledge out of his brain and in to written word.  However, a lot of what he has learned about solar came from Handy Bob Solar, en excellent website resource for RV solar.

Q:  I read blogs on a second fan above the bed, is it needed? 

A:  It depends on what type of weather you camp in.  Since we rarely camp in hot weather, we’ve never found the need for it.

Q:  How often do you cook inside?  I’m considering the flush mounted stove.

A:  We actually never cook inside.  We like the idea of having a two-burner stove inside but very much like having that countertop instead for camera gear as well as a place to charge all our electronics.  I imagine if we had a stove it would usually be covered with so much gear that we most likely would not use it.  However, on rainy days it would probably be nice : )

Q:  I have just bought a Four Wheel Camper 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.

A:  We’ve attached a small piece of velcro above the door and on the reflectix panel to hold it on.