Tom Hanagan, President of Four Wheel Campers, and Stan Kennedy, Sales Manager, debut the Raven and give us the skinny on new developments at Four Wheel Camper.
After last month’s 2012 Dream Truck Survey, it would be easy to assume that everyone wants a Ford F-350, diesel, crew cab, long bed, automatic, four-wheel drive, dual rear wheel truck. While our survey results clearly point to a trend in that direction within the truck camper community, the overall truck market is quickly shifting towards smaller more fuel efficient trucks. For example, Ford has widely reported that their F-150 V6 EcoBoost is setting sales records.
Short beds are also becoming increasingly popular in the truck marketplace. And why not as most people don’t need a long bed or 5,000 pounds of payload. In the real world, a half-ton, gas, crew cab, short bed, automatic, four-wheel drive, single rear wheel truck is more than enough. Throw in highway fuel mileage north of twenty miles per gallon and you have Ford’s new EcoBoost recipe for success.
The pop-up truck camper manufacturers obviously love this trend as their campers work well with the relatively limited payload of these fuel efficient short bed trucks. Of course nothing is easy anymore and a short bed is no longer a short bed. It’s not unusual to see five and six foot short beds depending on a truck’s make, model, and configuration. Unfortunately, this is a trend that we’re seeing with short and long bed trucks; different bed lengths, rail heights, and cabover heights for every truck make, every truck model, every year.
Before this turns into an all-out rant for the major truck manufacturers, let’s bring it back to the subject of today’s story; the 2012 Four Wheel Camper Raven. To accommodate the increasing number of five foot short beds, Four Wheel Campers has built a new model that fits five foot short beds beautifully. And that’s not all the news that’s fit for print at Four Wheel Campers.
2012 Four Wheel Camper Raven Specifications:
The 2012 Four Wheel Camper Raven is a pop-up truck camper made for short bed trucks with five foot beds. The interior floor length of the 2012 Four Wheel Camper Raven is 70″ and the interior height is 6’6″. Four Wheel Campers is reporting the dry weight of the Four Wheel Camper Raven at 695 pounds with standard features. The Raven has a 22 gallon fresh tank, can accommodate one or two batteries, and has two ten-pound propane tanks. The MSRP for the Four Wheel Camper Raven is $12,095.
At the time of publication, a floorplan of the the 2012 Four Wheel Camper Raven was not yet available. Check out the Four Wheel Camper Buyers Guide for current campers.
The following is an interview with Tom Hanagan, President of Four Wheel Campers, and Stan Kennedy, Sales Manager, about the 2012 Four Wheel Camper Raven.
TCM: Tell us about the 2012 Four Wheel Camper Raven and why Four Wheel Campers developed it.
Tom: We’re seeing more and more customers with five and six foot full-size short bed trucks from Ford, Chevy, and Toyota. We debuted the Finch model in 2008 to accommodate the five foot full-size short bed trucks. Our Hawk model works well with six foot full-size short bed trucks, but extends just barely past the rear bumper.
The new Raven is designed to fit five foot full-size short bed trucks. Essentially, it’s a 70” version of the Hawk.
TCM: Are you seeing an overall shift towards short bed trucks?
Tom: Yes. Long bed trucks are becoming less predominant and short bed trucks are what our customers are going for.
Stan: With fluctuating fuel prices, our customers are focusing more on half-ton trucks like the Ford EcoBoost. They are also opting for four doors to get the larger back seats.
TCM: Were you able to just change some measurements here and there, or is the Raven a whole new camper design?