5 Tips for Being a Happy Camper
If the spirit of adventure is calling you, it might be in the form of a truck camper.
A slide-in truck camper offers a number of advantages over a travel trailer or fifth-wheel. Most obvious is that as you’re not pulling an RV, you can tow your boat, ATV trailer or horse trailer. Hunters, hikers, and outdoors enthusiasts especially love truck camping because of the ease of getting to off-road destinations where a trailer simply can’t go. But don’t think that just because a camper has a smaller footprint than a trailer that it’s going to lack in the comforts of home. Today’s truck campers may come equipped with modern kitchen appliances, self-contained bathrooms, entertainment systems, comfortable sleeping spaces, and even solar panels for when you’re camping off the grid.
ClickIt RV has great deals on pre-owned campers to fit any lifestyle and budget. Consider these five tips that are sure to make you a happy camper.
When you’re camping out in the woods, a self-contained bathroom is one of the most convenient features you can have in camper. Bathrooms come in two styles – dry and wet. Both have a toilet and sink – the difference is that a wet bath is all-in-one where the entire bathroom is the shower stall, and everything gets wet when you’re taking a shower. Cleanup can be more of a chore, but you will usually have more room to move around. A dry bath will have a separate shower area, typically closed off by a curtain, but the trade-off for privacy is a more compact space (if you’re a big guy, this can make a big difference). If you’ve found a camper that you like but it doesn’t have a bathroom, don’t automatically pass it up. Consider where you’ll be camping and how much time you will be spending in there. Bathrooms can take up a lot of floor space, and you might be better off utilizing the campground facilities.
Space is at a premium in most truck campers. Don’t plan on having a hoe-down in the living area. Unless you’re sleeping or in the bathroom, about the only place to hangout is at the dining table. Many modern campers are now incorporating slideouts, like their travel trailer cousins, that add a significant amount of living space. The slide typically moves out the dinette area, which may not expand the actual dinette, but makes more room for moving about when using the kitchen across the way. A slide can also create more storage space. Before you get your heart set on a slideout, there area a few cons to consider. First and foremost is that the mechanics of slide add considerable weight to the camper, and thus may require a heavier duty truck. Because a slide slides in and out of the camper shell, there’s also more opportunity for water to creep in – something to take into account if you live in an extremely wet climate.
Using a camper is considerably more of a chore than simply backing up and hooking up to a hitch. A camper must be raised and lowered into the bed of the truck, and that is accomplished with jacks at the corners that also serve as stabilizers when your are parked at your destination. Electric camper jacks offer the most convenience of all the camper jack styles. These jacks mount on the four corners of the truck camper, and with the push of a button you can raise or lower all of the jacks together or each jack independently. The Clickit RV Parts Department can help you select the perfect jacks if your camper doesn’t come with them already installed or you want to upgrade.
Don’t count out a camper just because you own a lighter-duty truck. A pop-up expandable camper may be the perfect solution as this style can be thousands of pounds lighter than hard-side campers. A pop up will have a water-proof fabric section in between the top and body, and when collapsed, the low profile allows for a lower overall height and less wind resistance without sacrificing interior room. The result of the superior aerodynamics and a lighter duty truck is improved gas mileage compared to hard-side campers.
Once you have your camper, don’t forget about a few accessories that will make you a happier camper. If you’re camping in the wilds, where there isn’t a level parking spot, Leveling Blocks from Andersen Hitches will make putting the bubble right in the middle a snap. Because a camper will create a giant blindspot, and you won’t simply be able to look out the rear window when backing up, a remote backup camera will give you better view of your backing progress and any obstacles that may be in the way. If you’ll be spending a lot of time outside your camper, a retractable awning is a great investment – the Freedom Patio Awning by Carefree of Colorado comes highly recommended; it mounts easily to the side of the camper and can extend to up to eight feet.