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Old 05-05-2010, 08:09 AM
 
94 posts, read 344,337 times
Reputation: 66

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Although a truck camper would be great it is not financially feasible for me right now. However, my wife and I "converted" our ARE truck camper shell to a truck camper and it works great.

Curtain rods quickly removed to avoid the "hippie" look but easily replaced for privacy at night.

We use foam pads and several sleeping bags to make a giant queen size bed. You could probably one up that and use an air mattress.

I keep one of those port-o-potty portable toilets in the corner so if its really cold and we don't want to open the tailgate there is a bathroom option (recommend #1 only).

Hang a coleman fan and light from inside if needed, and you can slide open the side windows to get a nice cross breeze at night.

By no means a "true" truck camper but cheap as heck if you can find a nice used camper shell, absolutely no maintenance, and very versatile and easily doable on our 1500 silverado because you definitely will need a bigger truck.

Just a thought if you don't want to drop the money but still want to get that "truck camper" feel. We are both tent campers too but for a quick trip or an extended road trip it is so nice now to pull off the side of the road, set up camp, and drive away the next morning no matter what the weather. You could even pick up one of those camper shells with the elevated roof to make it more comfortable to move around. And rig up a "sliding bed" - my next project - so you can store camp stove, gear etc underneath..

Now, if I had the money, I'd have a freakin huge diesel truck with a lance camper on the back but that's ok life is more simple this way.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:37 AM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,679,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snosurfa7 View Post
Although a truck camper would be great it is not financially feasible for me right now. However, my wife and I "converted" our ARE truck camper shell to a truck camper and it works great.

Curtain rods quickly removed to avoid the "hippie" look but easily replaced for privacy at night.

We use foam pads and several sleeping bags to make a giant queen size bed. You could probably one up that and use an air mattress.

I keep one of those port-o-potty portable toilets in the corner so if its really cold and we don't want to open the tailgate there is a bathroom option (recommend #1 only).

Hang a coleman fan and light from inside if needed, and you can slide open the side windows to get a nice cross breeze at night.

By no means a "true" truck camper but cheap as heck if you can find a nice used camper shell, absolutely no maintenance, and very versatile and easily doable on our 1500 silverado because you definitely will need a bigger truck.

Just a thought if you don't want to drop the money but still want to get that "truck camper" feel. We are both tent campers too but for a quick trip or an extended road trip it is so nice now to pull off the side of the road, set up camp, and drive away the next morning no matter what the weather. You could even pick up one of those camper shells with the elevated roof to make it more comfortable to move around. And rig up a "sliding bed" - my next project - so you can store camp stove, gear etc underneath..

Now, if I had the money, I'd have a freakin huge diesel truck with a lance camper on the back but that's ok life is more simple this way.
There is a lot you can do with just a camper shell. You can cover a piece of plywood with foam and carpet and put it in for a comfortable place to sit and sleep - use the same carpet over wooden boxes along the sides where you can store things -- such as a tent when you want to set up a tent.

It's good to be versatile - I keep my tent, have the camper shell for extra sleeping space or when I want to stretch out there and a pop up for longer trips or when I want a pop up, and now I have a travel trailer too -- but that's not for off road camping but having a place to stay when traveling. For a large family a camper shell adapted for sleeping in with a pop up provides plenty of sleeping spots.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:33 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,649 posts, read 40,020,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snosurfa7 View Post
...
Now, if I had the money, I'd have a freakin huge diesel truck with a lance camper on the back but that's ok life is more simple this way.
keep your eyes open and dream alive,

I got a one owner Cummins for under $5k (with 120k miles) It will last the rest of my life, as it is a 12v, no computer to go haywire, should be good for at least a million more miles. (since I am usually driving my 50+mpg diesel VW Passats or Rabbits anyway)

My neighbor just got a decent used Lance for less that $5k.

You just have to be VERY patient. It took me 7 yrs to find a VW TDI Passat Wagon for under $2000. The 25 gal tank and 52 mpg (1200mi+ range), makes a nice Mini Motorhome for Canada and rural America (can sleep in back). I'm fixing a canopy (camper shell) for my 'snowbear' trailer, so should end up with a 45 mpg RV, and be able to bring a motorcycle along for quick exploring. I'm adding a motoraid HW heater and outdoor shower to the Passat. I am also designing a modular camping box with sink, stove, lantern, and work surfaces.

It will be 'just my size' (and CHEAP)
It helps that I can run on veggie oil if fuel is not available. Many of my friends use Jet-A that they get for free from Maint shops.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:27 AM
 
94 posts, read 344,337 times
Reputation: 66
Yeah, diesel is the way to go...especially in economy cars, I wish the rest of automakers would wake up and realize this fact. Just like you, I just watch and wait and in the meantime enjoy what I have and don't stress upgrading any time soon. After all, I still do love the intoxicating sound of duals (exhaust) on an American V8 as well - I really can't complain!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
keep your eyes open and dream alive,

I got a one owner Cummins for under $5k (with 120k miles) It will last the rest of my life, as it is a 12v, no computer to go haywire, should be good for at least a million more miles. (since I am usually driving my 50+mpg diesel VW Passats or Rabbits anyway)

My neighbor just got a decent used Lance for less that $5k.

You just have to be VERY patient. It took me 7 yrs to find a VW TDI Passat Wagon for under $2000. The 25 gal tank and 52 mpg (1200mi+ range), makes a nice Mini Motorhome for Canada and rural America (can sleep in back). I'm fixing a canopy (camper shell) for my 'snowbear' trailer, so should end up with a 45 mpg RV, and be able to bring a motorcycle along for quick exploring. I'm adding a motoraid HW heater and outdoor shower to the Passat. I am also designing a modular camping box with sink, stove, lantern, and work surfaces.

It will be 'just my size' (and CHEAP)
It helps that I can run on veggie oil if fuel is not available. Many of my friends use Jet-A that they get for free from Maint shops.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:37 PM
 
Location: NE CT
1,496 posts, read 2,917,135 times
Reputation: 712
I had a very good set up with a Lance 11'4" and a Dodge 2500 Four Wheel drive diesel w/ airbags under the p/u bed. I could go anywhere but had to watch my clearences since I haul kyacks on top. I was almost about 13' high The Dodge also had a tow package and a heavy duty rear.

It handled the Lance perfectly. We took it onto to beaches, into the woods, or into campgrounds. It was self contained and also had a generator that ran on propane. I bought the Lance new in 2002 and sold it 4 years later to buy a 30' boat( a camper on the water). I still have the pick up truck with only 28K on it. I paid about 21K new and sold it for $15k after four years of use. It was in very good condition. Again I kept the p/u of course.

Truck campers are great since you don't have to license them. You can slide them out if you are camping for a week or two, but we were weekenders, and if we were in a campground, we drove in town camper on and all. This way we had our bathroom with us for use at anytime.. No looking for dirty overused public toilets. It takes a good half hour to unhitch and slide out but I had electric jacks.. You also have to be on solid ground since if it rains, and you out from under it, the last thing you want is it sinking into a mudddy mess.

Truck campers are the way to go since when winter comes, you can unhitch, winterize it, and cover with a tarp. Then you can use your p/u to get around in the snow.. Of course you can use them year around so long as you keep it warm so the water and water lines don't freeze. The guy who bought mine was tickled to find it as I gave him the set up in the pick up bed to secure it and even the small TV inside the camper.

I can't say enough good things about truck campers...
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:52 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,445 times
Reputation: 11
I have a 2009 Dakota supercab 6 cyl two wheel dtive short box and have a 2002 Sunlight skyhawk SB. both work well together and if I want I can also tow my boat as truck has a 6000 lb tow rating. With just the camper we average 17mpg on the highway. The truck alone does 20 on the highway so we really like this option for us. We are in our mid 50's and travel with two dogs. It works well for us. We removed the inner spring mattress and opted for an air bed. Good luck.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:25 PM
 
4,247 posts, read 9,725,659 times
Reputation: 3788
Well I just went to an event that billed itself as the "world's largest RV show" and saw at least a few nice shiny new truck campers (a recent trip to Maine showed that they do exist in the East ) off in a dusty corner.

One dealer had Lance, they looked a bit too pricy and top-heavy for what I had in mind although they do have a couple of models that claim to fit half-tons, even with remote controlled hydraulics to ease on and off.

Another dealer had Palomino, the fellow said the new shorties have deeper sides to fit bigger but shorter pickups like mine. I'm not sure I like the Palomino setup as much as the Sun-Lite I saw earlier, I kinda liked the thought of sleeping on the dinette bed and not bothering popping the top when it's just me without the wife and kid. The Palominos all seem to have the LP tank in the back right corner shortening the dinette bed.

The Palomino brochure has a picture of a truck with tailgate still on and camper extending past the bed onto the tailgate, is that really a good idea to shift that much weight behind the rear axle?
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