Our FWC Camper, inside build



After our last trip Veronica agreed that an extended front on the camper would be a good thing.  I started looking and found a few but more money than I though they were worth. Found one in TX but not worth a 3,000 mile round trip. Someone posted one up on Wander the West and I sent an email.  6 month old Hawk shell in my price range.  Made the trip to Bend Oregon and came back with the camper.

Cold and rainy going to Bend Oregon. 
Stayed overnight in Klamath Falls coming back.

The new camper when we got home. Just like the old one by nice and shinny with the larger front over hang.

Needed to sell the old camper before I started doing a lot to the new camper. Put it on Craigslist, got an offer the day after it was listed. The Four Wheel Campers sure hold their value.

Our old camper off to a new home. Mixed feelings seeing it go down the road.

Order placed for a new DC refrigerator, sink and cabinet material.  I will be documenting my build here and on Wander the West. Build should start just after Thanksgiving.



Started doing a little removal today. An FWC shell is more than just a shell, they put in finish boards and small storage compartments on each side. I don't need these for my side dinette build, so out they come.  Below is what the shell looked like before removal of trim and front dinette.

Below is what I ended up with after pulling the finish board and hinged tops. The tops are also carpeted, no glue but hundreds of staples. Some of the finished boards will go back up after the cabinet and seat bases are finished. 


Starting putting things together. Got my parts from FWC and the new DC fridge came in. Moved the heater and the battery. Got everything wired, so time to fit the counters. I am a crate maker and not a cabinet maker. This is the hard part for me, trim will cover my errors.

The corner counter lifted. There will be 7" deep storage area here.

 Heater in place

 View of corner cabinet and main counter in place.
The 2x4 is temp just to hold counter in place. Sink and 
Stove just set in for measurements. 

 New power plug where the heater vent was.


Got some holes cut in the side of the camper. large hole to vent the refrigerator. And installed the louvered cover. 

Next up was the fresh water filler. Had to make a bracket first so there would be some metal to screw into and not just the siding. 

Next cut out the inside of the camper to see where the frame was to hook the bracket to.

Installed the bracket with pop rivets and drilled 4 small holes at the corner of the bracket.

Next used a sheet metal saw to cut a hole using the small holes as corners.

Quick fit to make sure the filler fits.

All looked go so drilled pilot holes for the screws, made PVC spacers for the sides and caulked and screwed in the fresh water filler

Camper build on hold. Had accident with my table saw, lost part of a finger. Too be continued. 


I started back on the camper today. Feel like a one hand paperhanger. This is going to be slow, still can't make a fist, but I can hold things sort of. So away I go. Today I installed the fridge and the extra cooling fan. Also mounted the counter top and built a shelf for storage under the counter top. 

Cooling fan

Shelf for under counter storage

Fridge in place and wired up.

R-13 wrapped around the fridge.

Counter in place, note switch on side for cooling fan

Counter top up and view of storage space 7" deep

Looking good. still have to trim around the fridge and and corner moulding. Thats all for today.



Slow work day after a great valentines day. I got the hole cut for the heater exhaust. Measure twice and cut once, first picture shows the small holes drilled from the inside to mark the corners.

This picture show the hole and the new 1" sq alum tube to screw into. 

Next project was measuring and making a decision on just how big and high we want the seats for the dinette. We were happy with the width on the FWC dinette seats and  will use that size. The wife did not like the height of the FWC dinette too tall. We used it on the last dinette, the height matches the shelf my the window and makes the bed seem wider. We never used the lower single bed and may not on the new camper. Going to go with a lower seat height. This will cost us a small amount of storage space over the water tank and batteries,  but will be nice to have our feet on the floor. 

Took one of the cushions apart from the front dinette that came on our shell. I had expected a piece of plywood and foam like my 2002 Hawk. But no, 2" of foam over a box frame make of 1x2 welded alum tube. This is very strong construction I am sure was used to support the 31wide roll over bed on the front dinette. Not sure it would be very good for sleeping with only 2 inches of foam. I know I tried on my 2002 Hawk and could not sleep on it.  We are going to cut down the front dinette cushions and will have to buy 4" foam for the seat cushions.  I will use the roll over back cushion but need to cut down to 19 inches wide. 

Below is a picture of cushion cut part way back, you can see the 2" foam and the alum tube box with 1/8" plywood on each side. I had already removed the 1/2" foam used on the sides.  I cut it back and used 3/16 dia pop rivets and alum angle to put it back together. 

After I cut it down I rewrapped the sides with the 1/2" foam FWC used on the sides. Ready to go to a friend and have the cushion covered. 


Still plugging along. Got the cushions off to my friend to get the upholstery done. Having 5 drawers made my Valley Lumber's cabinet shop. I am a crate maker and not a cabinet maker. This way they will be square and made right.  I did start on the front cabinet over the water tank, put in the solar plugs and wired in. I ran the 12v fridge and inside lights, batteries increased in voltage so I should be good to go. Changed the hinges on the access doors under the drivers side cabinet. This was because of the fresh water drain hose that will be run under them. Only one more to cut on the outside of the camper, the fresh water drain.

Solar Plug right side.

Solar plug and sink drain left side.

Drains, pump and 110v breaker.
Front cabinet started.

Access door with hinges moved



Waiting for the drawers and cushions.  So i got started on the dinette seats. Finished the hinged front section over the water tank and batteries. There is a small amount of storage over the water tank and batteries.  Made the box to hold the fold over seat. Because of the support required for the roll over section there is extra bracing build into this box. 2x2 alum angle on outside of each corner. This 2x2 angle bolts to a 3x3 alum angle that the fold over brackets bolt to.   I did get one cushion back the seat back that attaches to the roll over hinge. Tomorrow I should finish mounting the fold over hinge and the seat bottom of the fold over seat.



We have cushions. My friend got the cushions done, they came out great. Still waiting for the drawers, full extensions slides on back order.

 Plywood lid over rear seat. Lots of storage here.

 Rear seat with cushions

Front cushions in place
Dinette from the side

Rollover down as a bed.



Drilled the last hole in the camper today for the fresh water drain. Also installed the relay for the rear flood lights to come on with the back up lights. Still waiting for the drawer slides. I did get some urethane on some of the wood work.

 Fresh water drain, last hole in the out side.

Relay to operate rear flood lights when backing up the truck.


Got drawers this afternoon, back to work tomorrow.

All 5 drawers

Large drawer with pots


Been busy since my last post. Got water tank flushed and installed. Last hose to install was the drain. Being a metal worker and not a wood worker I made a cover for it out of 1" alum angle. 

    Drain hose with out the cover 

Drain hose covered by the 1" alum angle.

The little stuff takes time. Wires for heater control

Heater box ready for the heater.    
Other end of the cabinet where I put the pump and plumbing

                    Got the drawers and heater installed. 

Set top in to check fit all good.

Set in sink and stove. Hooked up stove to do a leak test on propane, passed
Turned on heater and made heat, looking good.

All the drawers pulled out to show the 18" depth. 

Installed the table from the front dinette. 24"x24"  a little bigger than the table in my last Hawk dinette but wife wants to give it a try. Also not rounded on the end like before. It does rotate out of the way to roll over the seat back.  If we use the top bed pulled out we will be stepping on the seat back to get up top. Did not trust just the screws and brackets.  So I did the following 3" angle the seat sets on is bolted to the 2" angle on the back corner. The bottom of the 2" angle is bolted to another 2" angle inside the seat. This angle is bolted through the floor to a 8" x 1/4" alum under the camper. Maybe over kill, but will not move.

System Monitor, Heater Control and 12v plugs

Next doors and drawer fronts. Still have to wire in Monitor and 12v plugs.  Then build corner cabinet. May move the FWC small cabinet on the passenger side forward and add a cabinet in the back corner. 


Between TP and Dr appointments have not spend enough time on the camper. I am getting things buttoned up. have everything wired up 12v and 110v with GFI. 

FWC monitor panel
Monitor showing battery full.

Put door up as one panel and then marked where I
wanted the cut. Helped to keep it square and match grain.

After the cut, large door folds all the way down.

Smaller door lays on seat. 30" wide opening.

Last door for the day, What does it hide?      
Blue sea fuse box behind the door. 
Not sure if I want to use magnetic latch, or  
a matching slam latch.

Starting to look like a camper. note trim around the fridge. 

I like how the cabinet has come out. Note the drawer fronts, trim and doors still need to have 
poly-urethane  put on. Just received the white birch iron on trim tape. Tomorrow I will put tape on edges of the drawers and doors. Put on the poly and then start on the corner cabinet next to the dinette.


Built and installed the corner cabinet. Looked around and it was time to unload the tools from the camper. Fells good to have the camper ready to load and go camping. But wait Veronica says we have to have curtains. I guess we are not quite ready to camp. Veronica and the neighbor got the curtains made today so tomorrow I put them up and then we are ready to camp.


Small things. While the curtains are being finished I worked on one of the small things that needed to be done. Moved the front eye bolts on the pickup bed back 12 inches. The new Hawk has a different location for the tie downs than the old 2002 Hawk.  Next I mounted levels on the front and side of the camper. Last time I leveled to the propane fridge,  this time I leveled to the front bed.

Level side to side.

Level front to back.

Front level I can see from the cab.

Front and side levels.

Small thing but the levels make it easy to set up camp. 


Build last cabinet for rear corner yesterday. Took a quick picture before it comes apart for trim tape and poly urethane. Watching poly dry now so I posted the pictures up. Install tomorrow.



Got the back cabinet installed. Had to move the FWC overhead cabinet forward to make room in the back corner. I like how it came out. Put two doors on the cabinet. Top  door opens has two shelfs, lower shelf in the top is sized to fit my coffee pot. Bottom door opens to one large space so tall items, like a roll of paper towels or big bottles will fit. I bought an extra 2'x4' birch plywood so the grain on the doors would match.

Passenger side of the camper. Showing dinette, new front cabinet, new rear cabinet and FWC cabinet moved forward. If the bed is pulled back I use the FWC cabinet as a stand to hold my radio.

Top door open on new back cabinet.

Bottom door open, wire is for blue sea 12v plug on order.
The wood and black stripe over the rear door is velcro for the curtain.  

Except for two curtains the camper is done (not my job). As soon as they are finished I will post a photo montage of my build on Youtube with a link.  This camper was build for how the wife and I like to camp, after 5 years with the old Hawk we knew what we wanted. We like the side dinette with storage under the seat. We also knew we wanted more storage than we had on the 2002 Hawk. I tried to maximize the storage with 18" deep drawers, and one large open space under the sink with doors that fold down for access. Two lower drawers in place of the doors that FWC uses. We went with a smaller DC fridge to keep storage above it. The two passenger side cabinets finish the added storage. Not counting the storage over the water tank and batteries (will use for hoses and tools) I have 16.5 cubit feet of closed storage in the camper, way more than we had before. 

This has been a fun winter project, except for the problem with the table saw. Would I do it again YES, I love building things. Many of the ideas I used came from WTW a great resource for FWC camper information. The idea for two lower drawers were stolen from Ski3pin's camper build. I wish I had his wood working skills might not have had the table saw problem. Next post will be a report of our shake down trip to Pinnacles NP.

Note: first stills and before and after.



  1. Very clever design and good job on the build.

  2. Great job on the building of your custom FWC - My wife and I are looking into getting on sooner rather than later. Great narrative - Sorry about the loss of you finger!

  3. Bill,
    Do you still have the seats for the front dinette that came with the camper originally? I'm doing my own build and I'm looking for a setup just like that.

  4. Thank you for sharing your build. As a first time FWC Hawk owner it's been nice reading about how you went about customizing your camper.
    Can you please let me know which fridge you purchased and if you are happy with it? I recently purchased a used shell model which we will slowly start to build soon.
    Also, do you know if a person can lean on the vinyl material? We have a newborn and are hoping my wife can lean up against it while feeding our boy.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Hope you have some wonderful trips planned for the summer!