Why Wood Construction?

Why Wood Construction?

“Design is not just what it looks like and feel like, design is how it works” ~Steve Jobs

One question we often get from customers just starting to explore and purchase the BundutecUSA brand of truck campers is, why do we use wood construction and not aluminum?

Wood framing is something that in the past 40 years of experience in the Truck Camper industry Rory Willett, our designer, has spent a lot of time perfecting. He has looked at the pros and cons of many building materials but when it comes to quality, design, repair and maintenance wood has always come out on top.

We work with many customers who are looking for the complete off-grid experience and even send units to remote places such as Australia. When it comes to meeting the needs of a country whose best road is equal to our worst, there is no question that we needed to design and produce a unit that will withstand these elements.

Wood construction fits these needs, what better material to build a truck camper with than to build it using the same materials that our everyday homes are built from. Wood has proven to withstand the hardest conditions and we take extra precaution to help weather these conditions as well. We use a rubberized undercoating on all units to seal the floor of each camper so that it will not absorb any moisture it may come in contact, we continue this undercoating through the “ups” and “outs” or the slide-in portion of the truck camper.

Rory pays close attention to all the wooden materials we get in to make sure they are free of imperfections which could cause issues down the road, this means we use only the highest quality kiln dried boards and multi-ply marine grade plywood we can get.

No matter how many of these extra precautions we take, there is always a chance no matter what material is being used that at some point it may need repairs done. We have found that wood construction makes it easier to fix these issues should they arise. If a unit is subject to a neglected leak resulting in water damage or even break due to an accident, we can easily remove the exterior aluminum moldings and skin, remove the damaged section and replace it with brand new framing making the unit good as new!

Another reason we choose to use wood for our construction is to help with the insulation properties of the unit. Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue, when it is processed into framing, it keeps the same porous nature. This porous structure does not allow the material to condensate as you see on aluminum frames. It also reduces the expansion and contraction in the change of temperature from hot to cold. The heat of welded aluminum joints can cause the joint to become brittle and crack in the vibrations of traveling.  With wood construction, you do not have to worry about breaking welds or cracked joints where it is held together.

We build by the mantra of staple, glue and screw. This means that all wood framing is always stapled together, the interior wall panels are glued and stapled to the framing to strengthen the framing even more. Then the paneled wall components are glued and stapled in place before they are finally screwed together in the final framing assembly. The custom crafted interior cabinets are built in the same method. This process gives the units an even better bond of support and structural integrity, insuring it will hold up brilliantly in any area of travel you intend to visit.  

An argument from others may be that wood framing makes the unit heavier. While in a sense this is true, we are in firm belief that the structural benefits, customizing build requests and ease of repair make up for the weight you would “save” when using aluminum. We take extreme care when designing all our units to use only the framing that is necessary to provide a rugged structure while keeping the unit as light as possible, giving the structural integrity to provide years of camping adventures

We take extra care in every unit we produce because we are designing and producing something that we love. We build each camper as if it was going to be our own plus, there is just something about the smell of wood being ran through a saw that makes the construction process even more enjoyable.

“Wood is universally beautiful to man. It is the most humanly intimate of all materials.”

~ Frank Lloyd Wright.

 If you are looking for a unit that will let you travel anywhere you want to go both on and off-grid than look no further, the wood construction of each BundutecUSA Truck Camper is just the beginning of what we have to offer.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Why did the largest manufacturer, Lance, quit using wood several years ago? ( if wood is really so wonderful)

    1. Stan,
      Thank you for your insightful observation! I am not sure if Lance quit using wood 100% but I do know they make one of the Finest truck campers out there. I envy their facility and praise them for their commitment in advertising the truck camper lifestyle! Other manufacturers are using all aluminum framing or laminated walls with fiberglass exteriors with great success. All of them will last for many years if taken care of properly. The post on “Why Wood Construction?” is not about which is better at all. It came about when Mello Mike, the editor of the online magazine, Truck Camper Adventure, asked why I build with wood framing. His online magazine is truly 100% about truck camping and what it takes to camp safely out there. From the camper to the truck carrying it. He provides his readers information at its finest without any consideration to sponsorships or politics. He wanted my answer on the question that so many ask when first looking into buying a truck camper. There are so many different options for the first time buyer, it can be confusing. Being educated on the different styles is all part of the buying process.
      The article is all about why we still use a wood frame. It is not a statement to wood being superior or more “so wonderful” than any of the other brands being sold. I use wood to stay as affordable and customizable as possible for my customers. After 42 years building campers, it is what I know how to do. Not saying I am not open to new ideas or technology but the physical size of our facility and the startup costs restricts me from reprogramming the entire production. I will continue to keep building the same strong, lightweight, quality camper here as always.
      How is your old Northstar holding up?

  2. i agree with Rory 100%. All brands and all types of campers and camper frames have their own special benefits. On ebig benefit of wood is that a custm buid is much easier to offer than on a CNC-designed Aluminium frame. Ask at FWC for a custom outside storage compartment. I asked three times.Due to cnc-aided manufacturing it is no longer possible to build this! I discussed with Rory and Jenn some options and custom builds for our customer on very special European Trucks. They were always able to help me with their flexibility in planning, calculating and showing the best soutions available. Thanks for that! They are great to work with! Second reason for a wood camper is it´s repairability for most DIYers. We rebuilt our private 1992 Jayco-Popup from the bones and it works great. If there would appear a crack somewhere ( another truck hit´s you in the back for example) the frame repair is an easy fix! No matter to do it w/o a repair shop. You will only need a basic knowledge how to work with wood!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu