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176T Modifications - removing tent? - Event Date: 01 Jul 2020

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PhoebeTheDog View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhoebeTheDog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Calendar Event: 176T Modifications - removing tent?
    Posted: 21 Apr 2020 at 2:50pm
We are very interested in purchasing a new 176T.  We like the 176T model instead of the 176, not so much for the tent or the additional bed that comes with it, but that the back side completely opens up. 
 We are thinking of removing the tent and the fold out "floor" of the tent and just being able to close and open the back side while sitting in the dinette with the back door completely open.  Has any one else done this? Also, since the back side does not have a window on this model we were thinking of putting an after-market window in where the 'tire' is (keep the tire in our truck) Any thoughts/ideas on this would be appreciated!
Christopher & Robin
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2020 at 4:04pm
If you want to make a major change like that I'd suggest starting with a used trailer. Hybrid trailers appeal to a specific group of customers and you would be basically eliminating them as resale customers if and when you wanted to resell your trailer. Also, perhaps anywhere but certain areas of the West Coast, folks wouldn't consider doing what you are suggesting because the trailer would be full of bugs eating you alive all night....A hybrid really opens up very nicely even if you leave the flexible walls and screens intact, why not try that first and see if it meets your needs for having an open to the air camping experience? Or you could also consider getting a rdome which you can set up as an open air environment if you want to. 



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furpod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2020 at 10:37am
As rare as 176Ts are.. I would not want to do anything not "returnable to stock", so to speak.

I know of no one who has done such a thing as you are suggesting, but most definitely agree that the dome option should give you everything that it seems to me you are looking for.. but of course only you know what you are trying to accomplish.

That said, I also agree that finding a used one to start is probably the best idea, though when it comes to 176Ts.. taking any one you can find may be your only real option...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhoebeTheDog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2020 at 10:39am
Thanks for your reply! Yes i get it that the resale value may not be there, bit frankly not concerned about this. You raise some good points. We are on the west coast north of San Francisco and are fortunate enough not to have bugs, however when camping elsewhere we would create some kind of screen to use. We really like the idea of being able to open up the entire back for the view and fresh air. Do you know how easy/difficult it may be to just remove the tent? How is it secured?   Thanks for any feedback!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2020 at 10:47am
The tent is held on by keder rail and snaps, as I recall.. I have worked on, or helped with hundreds of Pods over the years, only 2 176Ts that I recall. No one wanted to remove it, generally trouble with the keder rail insert at the top.

As was said above, the dome may get you what you want..

The dome is, to most, fairly easy. It took me about 10 minutes, solo, to put it up or take down. 

A few years ago my wife just sat and videoed me setting it up. Usually takes the dogs for a walk while I set up camp, once in place and leveled up...

Dome set up..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhoebeTheDog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2020 at 11:11am
Thanks for the suggestions. We definitely dont like the dome as what we are looking for is a dinette in the back with the opening there, not a tent setup. Interested in what you are saying about the “keder rail at the top” though. If i understand we could unscrew the keder rail, unsnap the snaps and it would come off?   
Ideally we couls go to a dealer and see one but there are none in stock anywhere close to is so i appreciate your
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhoebeTheDog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2020 at 11:14am
Here is a pic of a tiny Happier Camper that shows sort of what we are looking https://www.google.com/search?q=happier+camper+open+back&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiagdmvtvzoAhUXg6wKHWy1BLkQ2-cCegQIABAC&oq=happier+camper&gs_lcp=ChJtb2JpbGUtZ3dzLXdpei1pbWcQARgAMgIIKTICCAAyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAOgUIIRCrAjoECB4QCjoHCCEQChCrAjoFCCkQqwI6BggAEAUQHjoECAAQGDoGCCkQBxAeOgQIKRADOgQIKRAYOgQIKRBDOgQIABBDUMmmAViyigJgipICaA1wAHgCgAGHAYgB2CCSAQUxMS4yOJgBAKABAbABWA&sclient=mobile-gws-wiz-img&ei=62ygXtrfBZeGsgXs6pLICw&bih=619&biw=375&prmd=sivn#imgrc=KDsumZXDKM66rM
Christopher & Robin
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2020 at 12:49pm
Yeah, some parts or Norcal might be OK for bugs much of the time, but even there you can have problems. Even at the beach you can get tons of kelp fies sometimes. When I lived in Santa Cruz and had a Westy bus I still used a screen in the rear hatch.  

If the tent is held in by a keder rail then it should slide out.  Then, unscrew and remove the hinge for the bed bottom. Leave the keder rail in place and you could sew up a flat screen to slide into the rail in place of the tent.  Save all the stuff and put it back when you sell. Should work. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhoebeTheDog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2020 at 2:37pm
Awesome!  Great thoughts.  I just wanted get other's opinions and thank you for yours.  Last q: Any ideas who to contact at Forrest River to verify how the current model is configured (i.e.tent and tent bed).   Also I was thinking it seems like a tent could need to be replaced so I figure there must be a relatively easy way to remove.    Sorry for so many questions!  Maybe this info is on this forum elsewhere
Christopher & Robin
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2020 at 2:46pm
If you go to FR's website, they have a listing of all current models and specs.

Looking though.. it appears the 176T is out of production, which isn't surprising considering how little demand there was for them.
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