Hi Ho, Silver!
Over the years, we’ve had several recreational vehicles for transportation: a pop-out trailer, a standard trailer, a pop-up camper, and three VW campers. Over time, we found we don’t like pulling things and the VW’s bed was just a tad too small – even though we drove them for years. We also like going places you can’t go with those things; we needed a four wheel drive truck for that. So, we decided on a pickup with a slide-in camper.
Robert’s research determined that the Dodge Dakota would be the truck we’d use and we started looking – albeit not too hard. We eventually found a 2008 Dakota at the Lithia dealer in Grants Pass that had been especially rigged for towing. So, we bought the Dodge, had air support bags installed (camper support) and started looking for a camper. (Yes, we did it backwards. You’re supposed to find the camper first, then the vehicle for it.)
If you’ve seen trucks with the HUGH slide-in campers on the back, you’ll understand why we went for something smaller. The large units are heavy, requiring a larger truck. They are susceptible to high winds and when we watch them corner, we wonder what keeps them from falling over. They don’t look fun at all. We decided that a pop-up slide-in was the way to go.
We, of course, started looking for used campers and guess what? There were none. Of the two brands we were looking at, once people get them, they keep them. Used are rare and gone quickly. So, new was the way to go and since we had all our camping gear, we bought the All Terrain Bobcat shell. All Terrain brought the camper up to our area and installed it on our truck.
The Bobcat shell is light weight (650 lbs), has low wind resistance, and great stability. We had the lift assists installed which made raising the roof even easier (great for those of us getting older). The lifts and a 12 volt plug were the only options we had installed.
Our 2014 Adventure was the first big adventure for our new rigs. All Terrain Campers sponsored a portion of our trip by adding a couch, furnace, stove, and backup battery system. We found the ATC to be a sturdy, well-built camper that carried nicely into some pretty remote places – all the way up until the vehicle operators would chicken out. It’s low profile allows much stabler driving in the high winds. The comfort items were a welcome addition on our first long trek. We gave thanks to the “Furnace Gods” one frosty morning in Colorado; the first of only a few. Peggy performed the “Coffee Mass” at least two, mostly three, times a morning, on the stove alter. And the couch was a cozy comfort during the thunderstorms and rain.
We enjoy dispersed camping – some place out in the middle of nowhere. You know. Somewhere you can hear the sound of silence. Luckily, we were able to do that several times this trip. We also like to explore the back country and we were able to do that with our 4×4 truck, Silver (Hi, ho, Silver, good job!), who bore the ATC with ease.
All in all, we have the best combination of truck/camper to fit our needs.