Compact Camper Fits the Aluminium Ford F150

The automotive sector is embracing aluminium, but the metal builds more than just cars and trucks.
2 March, 2017
Aluminium construction helps make this camper light enough for fuel savings and performance.
The change of seasons is often a welcome sign to campers, who are ready to get outdoors after a long winter or – depending on where they live – enjoy the autumn experience before the cold nights arrive. These days, though, campers want as many features as possible in a lightweight model. While the full-size recreational vehicles or tow trailers come to mind, many customers want the flexibility of a camper they can fit on the pickup truck they already have, and garage the model when it's not in use.
One of the lightest versions on the market, owing to its all-aluminium construction, is the Camplite. The company has built a special version of its truck campers to go with the Ford F150, with Ford's own designers working hand in hand with the Camplite team and taking design cues from the pickup itself.

The design teams spent more than a year integrating the product lines, so that the Camplite truck campers sport an F-Series-inspired front window and similar style wheels. The blue ovals make clear this is a Ford product, and inside there are Ford elements that include the seat cushions and leathers.
The 2017 Camplite 6.8 for Ford – a modification of the Camplite line for short bed trucks – has a floor length of 2 meters that slides right into the truck bed with very little overhang. The fit appears so seamless that from some angles, the pickup with the camper attached looks as though it left the factory that way.
The upper tier, which extends just a bit beyond the windshield, features a compact bedroom with some full-size features, including a double bed that's about 1.5 meters by 2 meters in a camper "room" that extends like a loft above the main unit. It includes a short shirt closet, storage cabinet, TV mount and the refrigerator. In the lower main cabin is the kitchen, a bench seating area, and a tiny bath with shower. The unit has a fresh water capacity of 13 gallons, with small reservoirs for black and gray water holding. All told, when it's not loaded up with you and all of your gear, the Camplite 6.8 weighs 848 kilograms.
The Camplite is available in other sizes for the larger pickups too, but the smaller version really shows off the engineering behind the lightweight models. Aluminium construction is used for the entire frame and cabinetry, with a thick gauge used for tubing in the camper unit's sidewalls. The roof also is made of aluminium that's tough enough to walk on, with fiberglass insulation to keep out extreme heat and cold.
Image: Ford Media
Ford was the first American automotive manufacturer to launch the idea of campers and recreational vehicles that are licensed and branded, and designed for perfect compatibility with their popular and hardworking aluminium F-150 pickups. The branded line extends beyond the Camplite "camper cab" truck models, which were introduced in 2016, to include full-size aluminium tow trailers in 22 and 24-foot (7.3 meter) lengths and other products available in the 2017 and future model years.

Both Ford and Camplite say theirs is a win-win partnership that builds on the investment each company has made in aluminium construction, and the fuel savings and other advantages that come with lightweight aluminium materials.
Banner image: Ford Media