I clearly remember George Bull saying, “Everything is a compromise” in regards to an expedition vehicle and he is absolutely correct.
- A Tacoma with a FourWheelCamper would be overloaded.
- A large flatbed American truck with a FourWheel Camper increases your wheelbase and could decreased the availability of parts outside the US.
- A vehicle with a larger wheelbase would decreased maneuverability.
- A vehicle with a lot of electrical components may have more failure points than a older more simple vehicle.
- An older vehicle may be easier to work on in the field.
- A pop up top vs a fixed height roof. A pop top has a lower profile but leaves you more exposed to the elements and arguably less secure. It also leaves you with another possible failure point.
- A fixed roof camper increases the height of your vehicle and could limit your ability to clear trees, bridges, or fit in a shipping container.
- Two spare wheels and tires is a lot more weight, but could be necessary in very remote places. With the extra spare, where do we put it? Do we put it on the back of the camper, 4’ behind the axle and 5’ off the ground or do we put it on the roof rack? If we put it on the back, we have to beef up the structure of the rear wall to support the 200+ lbs of weight plus a winch system to lower it or do we put it on the roof rack which adds weight up higher? Do we just carry a tire and not a wheel on the roof rack? That would be lighter, but make it more difficult in the field to change a tire.
- A fixed bed vs a convertible bed. A fixed bed = ease of use but decreases free space in the camper.
- Does one make the components of the camper self leveling or do you level the vehicle daily?
- A cassette toilet vs a bag-based toilet like the Thetford PortiPotti vs Wrappon from Cabelas. A cassette toilet needs to be emptied which can be a dirty job. A bag based toilet creates more plastic in the landfills and feels wasteful, but possibly has less odor and less mess.
- Gasoline vs diesel. If diesel, can the vehicle handle the fuel if it’s not Ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD)?
- Do we go with the Seitz windows or the Outbound windows ? The Seitz windows can scratch but are more reasonably priced.
- A vehicle such as a Unimog can handle the weight, but requires more fluids and more expensive parts that may or may not be readily available. It is a capable vehicle that has a known track record as an expedition platform.
So many decisions…