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Adventurer 80SK Truck Camper

We talk to Dave Frampton and Dave Catron of Adventurer Manufacturing’s design team to get the inside scoop on the development of the 2010 Adventurer 80SK.

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Truck camper layout and design choices are often debated on the web forums, at truck camper rallies, dealer lots, or anywhere truck campers get together.  Here at TCM, we often have conversations about floor plans and other aspects of camper design.  Why did they design it like this?  Why don’t they design it like that?  Many a napkin has been inked in our camper dinettes.

It turns out that these debates are echoed at every truck camper manufacturer as well.  To illuminate one such story, we interviewed Dave Frampton, Product Development Manager, and Dave Catron, Engineer, about the design and development of the 2010 Adventurer 80SK.  During the conversation we also learn more about the 2010 Adventurer 80GS and get a peek into the future of design at Adventurer.

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2010 Adventurer 80SK Specifications:

The 2010 Adventurer 80SK is a hard side, non-slide, truck camper.  The interior floor length of the 2010 Adventurer 80SK is 8’0″, the interior height is 78″, and the exterior width is 84″.  Adventurer Manufacturing is reporting the dry weight of the camper at 1,296 pounds without options.  The fresh water tank is 15 gallons.  The 80SK accommodates one battery and a 20 pound propane tank.  The MSRP of the 80SK is $12,950.

TCM: Do you go RVing?

Dave Catron: Yes. I grew up truck camping, fishing, and hunting with my dad and uncles, so I also have always been around RVs.  Right now I have a travel trailer, but I had two truck campers before purchasing the travel trailer.  I had a Conestoga and Western Wilderness truck camper.

Dave Frampton: As long as I can remember, I’ve been going RVing.  My dad took me RVing every weekend we weren’t playing baseball.  I go RVing as many times as I can during the year.  I have a half-ton pop-up truck camper.  I go hunting and fishing.  My wife and kids love to go waterskiing and wake boarding at Lake Roosevelt.  That’s like two and a half hours from here.  Dave and I go hunting together.

TCM: Tell us how you got into the RV industry.

Dave Frampton: In 1990, I was looking for a job in Yakima and interviewed with Doug Mathews at Western Recreational Vehicles.  Since then, I’ve been involved in product development.  I started as a drafter and gradually worked my way up in the company.  I learned CAD (computer aided design) drafting through the Phoenix Institute of Technology.

Dave Catron: In 1983, I came on board with Western Recreational Vehicles building cabinets and laminating.  Two years later, I got into management and became the Assistant Plant Manager overseeing the cabinet shop and half of the production line.  Twelve years later, in August of 1997, I joined the product design team.

TCM: Have you brought anything specific from your days at Western Recreational Vehicles to Adventurer?

Dave Frampton: Absolutely.  Our skills and experience at WRV translated directly to Adventurer.  Getting a new start at Adventurer was refreshing and getting an opportunity to work with James Epp, President of Adventurer and Fraserway RV, has been eye opening.  Designing for the truck camper user has been gratifying.  I am really enjoying the experience.

Dave Catron: Some of the processes that were in place at WRV are processes currently in use here at Adventurer.  We are also implementing some of our own processes that we brought over from WRV.

TCM: Tell us about the actual design process.  Do things start on napkins and then progress to AutoCad or SolidWorks?

Dave Frampton: Ideas come at any time and any place.  Ideas can start on a napkin, a piece of cardboard out in the plant, or in the middle of the night.  We never know where inspiration comes from.

The idea for the 80GS came about at a dinner with the Fraserway group of dealerships in Canada.  They were looking for something to fill a niche with the half-ton market.

Dave Catron: Inspiration comes from the fact that we are truck camper users ourselves.  We come up with ideas while we are out there using the product.  Plus we see how others are using truck campers which helps us with our designs.

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