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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Outfitter's New Molded Fiberglass Body for the Apex 8 Camper

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terryrey

Utah

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Posted: 05/05/14 09:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last week I was at Outfitter in Longmont, CO to have a couple of items fixed under warranty on my 2011 Apex 8 pop up camper. While I was at Outfitter, they were in process of assembling their new all molded fiberglass / gel coat Apex 8 camper shell body. I was told that they made the molds for this camper awhile back, but are just now making camper serial #1. I guess that it took their fiberglass manufacturer awhile to work out the production bugs of making acceptable parts. If the camper is well accepted, I was told Outfitter plans to convert their Apex and Juno models to all molded fiberglass bodies. The price right now is projected to be a little more than the current welded aluminum frame / Filon composite camper with the molded fiberglass roof, but I’m guessing that the final price will be worked out after they add everything up and apply overhead and profit.

The current Apex and Juno campers use a molded / gel coat fiberglass tub, roof, cab over insert (the part that makes up the under bed storage box, bed drawer slot, and cab over storage boxes on either side of the bed), and shower stall. These will be re-used in the new all fiberglass / gel coat camper. The molded (fiberglass with balsa wood cores) granite-look counter top, table, and overhead cabinet end pieces will also continue to be used. What is new is the entire upper camper box / cab over, which is now 100 percent fiberglass / gel coat with no wood whatsoever used in its construction. The new upper camper box / cab over also now sports a really nice looking raised design on the front nose of the cab over. The overall look and size of the camper will be unchanged. The height and width of the camper are fixed by the mold size, but the length can be varied from the 8.5 foot Apex 8 box up to the larger Juno 10 box. To my knowledge, all other features and options remain unchanged, although Outfitter is now using pre-finished birch plywood (called UV coat in the trade) for their cabinet work instead of framed panel construction. Also Outfitter will continue to use wood for other interior construction, and the basement floor will also continue to be an aluminum framed, waterproofed luan / foam sandwich as before. This is necessary in order to make the floor removable to give access to the water tanks and other mechanical in the basement.

The new molded fiberglass / gel coat upper camper box / cab over is constructed as follows: an outer layer of white gel coat, a layer of fiberglass, a high density block foam core, and an inner layer of fiberglass. All high strength areas use sandwiched, synthetic, high density solid board that is designed to completely saturate with resin. No wood, balsa or otherwise, is used in the exterior shell construction, which makes the Outfitter shell 100 percent high strength, wood free, molded fiberglass, which is different from molded fiberglass campers which use balsa wood as a sandwiched core structural material. (I'm not saying fiberglass / balsa wood construction is inferior, just that there is no wood to ever get wet and possibly rot.) The shell’s inner fiberglass surface is not gel coat, but is trimmed out with high grade, durable, soft vinyl upholstery material that is backed with a foam liner for additional R factor. The final weight has yet to be determined, but is projected to be about the same as the current aluminum framed model, and hopefully a few pounds less.

I’m guessing that the move to a molded fiberglass / gel coat body shell is to allow Outfitter to differentiate itself in the marketplace with a superior construction technique.

I look forward to seeing how this new upgrade works out. I really like my Outfitter Apex 8 and, in my opinion, the features that make Outfitter the best pop-up on the market just got better.

Terry

whazoo

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Posted: 05/05/14 09:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A nice in-depth write up Terry. Will it weigh a little less I wonder? Regardless, I want one.

Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 05/05/14 10:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am totally miffed at folks not realizing how much better the construction is with molded fiberglass than other RV construction methods.

My bet is, Outfitter will have a greater product than they or their competitors have had in the past.

Wayne

jimh406

Western MT

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Posted: 05/05/14 10:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fiberglass is fine, but the floor plans for the choices I had when I bought my tc left a lot to be desired. So, Fiberglass wasn't really a choice.


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805gregg

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Posted: 05/06/14 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am totally miffed at folks not realizing how much better the construction is with molded fiberglass than other RV construction methods.

My bet is, Outfitter will have a greater product than they or their competitors have had in the past.

Fiberglass may be good but those camper have fabric sides, it's a tent camper


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joerg68

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Posted: 05/06/14 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I want one, too ;-) Sounds like a great evolution for a great camper.

I am still amazed how well our Apex 8 is designed. Just spent an afternoon at the local RV show and wouldn't trade for anything I saw there.


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cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 05/06/14 01:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The best part about this is that existing customers get a free upgrade ---- right?


Cal


billtex

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Posted: 05/06/14 03:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terry
Where's the pics?
Bill


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terryrey

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Posted: 05/06/14 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry everyone, no pictures were allowed.

If existing owners get a free upgrade, I'm at the head of the line...

Brian told me that he hopes the new camper will be lighter, but it won't be by much if it is.

I really have to agree that Outfitters are extremely well designed. I'm the first to admit that I am somewhat biased, but I get to experience the great design features every time we use our Outfitter Apex 8. Some of these great features include:

>Low profile = low wind resistance, great off-road capability.
>Basement design = heavy components like water tanks, batteries etc are down low, which when combined with the low profile give a low vertical center of gravity.
>North South bed.
>A huge amount of storage built into a structure about 15 ft long (with cab over) by 7 ft wide by 6 ft high (top down) including: a dedicated outside storage box for a Honda 2000 genny and gas can, "16 gal" misc storage compartment under the cassette toilet in place of the black tank, 9" deep storage locker and drawer under the entire queen size bed, plus the usual floor, over head cabinets (2), bed side cabinets and storage under both dinette seats. In fact there may be more storage than many similar sized hard side campers.
>50 gal of water carrying capacity (44 gal fresh tank and 6 gal HWH) and 16 gal grey tank.
>Room for up to four batteries.
>Easy up remote control electric lift roof with 81 inches head room with the top up.
>Granite look molded counter top with molded double sink and molded granite look table.
>four season capability. (we have camped as low as 15 degrees and been very comfortable.)
>Insulated Weblon soft wall with loads of windows (with screens and insulated covers) for a very light, open, airy camper interior, but still as stable as a hard side in high winds (we have experienced >40 mph), rain, and snow.
>375W solar.
>And the usual stuff: 20K BTU DSI furnace, 6 gal DSI HWH, Progressive Dynamics converter with smart charger, VSR battery isolator, Polar Cub AC, 7.5 CF Nova Kool 12V compressor fridge, 30 lbs propane, inverter, TV/DVD, microwave, stove, Wave 6 cat heater, wet bath with cassette toilet, LED lights, stereo, system monitors, roof top ladder & rack, electric jacks, AT 5 gal jerry can holders on the back of the camper for additional fuel for long off road trips, etc.

SORRY, I guess I sort of got carried away... I guess you could say an Outfitter is really just like a hard side camper, but the roof goes up and down giving a much more compact rig.

ADDITIONAL NEW FEATURES:

I forgot to also mention in my post that the new Apex will now feature dinette seats with a downward rake on the bottom cushion and a backward rake on the seat back cushion. This should make sitting there more comfortable than the current design. This feature will still enable the dinette to be converted to a single bed, as before. Also, in designing for the raked dinette cushions, the dinette bases had to be made slightly longer (at the expense of a little knee room, but there was extra before), which now leaves enough room under the rear dinette base to fit four batteries (!), instead of the current two battery fitment. In addition to the molded fiberglass body, I really wish I had these features on my camper.

Terry

dadwolf2

Henderson,NV

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Posted: 05/06/14 06:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An Outfitter's benefits are sometimes difficult for some to fully get. The FACT that it easily has more storage that most hardsides of the same size for instance. Or that the Weblon soft sides are not your Grandfather's canvas tent and that there is no muss or fuss when lowering the top.

I hope Outfitter does well with it's new future direction.


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