Today we got the first glimpse of our new Phoenix pop-up camper and it is AWESOME! Almost too good to be true! In fact, we won’t actually believe it’s ours until we get to load it on our truck and drive away.
Coyote RV has been hand building our camper for the last few months and just sent us these pictures of their progress. We had previously discussed some custom options with them and even mailed them a couple of our own additions which they went ahead and mounted on for us. Our additions included a roof rack to hold our surf boards, a jerry can (5 gallon gas can) mount and two Hella lights for the back of the camper. We are really impressed with the vision and ingenuity that these folks had when it came to customizing the camper to our needs. It is actually quite hard to find open space on these compact campers because nearly every inch of space is already resigned to a purpose (they sure do fit a lot of stuff in a small package).
We were really surprised to see how compact and light weight the solar panel is as we were expecting a large bulky panel that we commonly see on RVs and had concerns that our surfboards would cover most of the panel rendering it useless most of the time. However, this thing is long and skinny and definitely not in the way at all. It actually looks like it is as thin as a cardboard box. Just another reason why these campers are top of the line when it comes to being light weight and efficient.
We decided that we wanted to mount the super bright Hella lights on the back of the camper. One of the lights is wired to the inside light switch by the door so we can illuminate the rear of the truck (our back porch) at night. We also see this working as a great safety feature. Should someone come creeping in the dark, there is nothing like a bright light in the eyes to welcome them.
The other light is an auxillary back up light which will definitely aid in tight night time campsite recon . Rob at Coyote RV hooked this light directly to our reverse lights so that it comes on automatically when we put the rig in reverse, and he even handmade the mounts to fix the lights to the camper!
The back of the camper also has a lockable storage area accessed from the outside. I see this serving as a great place for keeping a folding table and some sandy camp chairs (a.k.a. our dining room).
They did a great job building the interior living space, maximizing our storage area without compromising comforts.
One of our requests was to be able to turn the lower bench in to a suitable bed for when we need to do some inconspicuous pirate camping in locations where we don’t want to pop the top. Plus, for any of you dirt-bagging gringos who plan to travel to meet us somewhere along the way, this will also serve as your guest bed.