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RV Lifestyle

Jeff and Pam Attend a Truck Camper Regional Rally

I’m Jeff Johnston for “RVing Today TV.” We’re here in beautiful Kampers West Kampground in Warrenton, Oregon for a truck camper owner rally. Just about every type of RV out there has gatherings for that specific type of RV, and the same is true for truck campers. So we’re here to attend a rally, a regional rally, that has a bunch of truck camper owners getting together, hanging out, having fun. Let’s go and take a look and see what they do.

Rich Bain: Okay, so we’re here in Warrenton, Oregon, for the NATCOA Rally. That’s North American Truck Camper Owners Association, and we had a good turnout at the rally. NATCOA, what NATCOA is, is a group of truck camper owners and also manufacturers, like-minded people, who like to get together, exchange ideas.

Jeff: All kinds of campers from fold-downs to high-end hard-sides are welcome at the rally. This is a great opportunity to take a look at some other brands and models and talk to the owners about their experiences. Socializing and swapping ideas with other like-minded RV owners is part of the fun of a truck camper rally. Each day, they have group activities planned, and the kids are always included.

Pam Johnston: We are taking part in the chili cook-off tonight, so I am making a white bean chili with chicken, and I threw a little bit of onions and carrots in there for color. I think people will like it. A little bit of flavoring never hurts. And for this particular chili, I’m adding a jerk-type seasoning, so it’s not really like a chili bean seasoning, but it’s a jerk, and it’ll add kinda of a nice Jamaican kind of taste to it, I think. We’ll hope for the best.

A standard rally feature is camper manufacturers or part suppliers displaying their wares for attendees to browse and perhaps make some future purchase plans. We saw this new side-door flatbed camper from our friends at Rugged Mountain
and heard a few words about it from the manufacturer.

Jesse Collinsworth: So this flatbed has a few unique features. This is a triple slide unit. It obviously goes on a flatbed truck, mounts with five bolts on each side. It’s a center island, triple slide, as I stated. A big, unique feature in this one also is the bunk bed system. So with my two kids, the wife and I still have a place to sit in the back. Great layout, dry bath, big holding tanks, It’s got it all. We’re still workin’ on a prototype so soon put it in a production unit.

Jared Sund: Hello, I’m Jared Sund with Stablecamper. My wife and I are founders of this small company. We build products specifically for truck campers, slide-in truck campers like you see here behind me. We do stability systems for when the camper is on the ground, but we also do truck camper bed kits, so we’ve partnered with CM Beds mostly for Class 4 and Class 5 trucks, for cab chassis trucks, to build out a product like you see here. We supply boxes and camper mounting systems to mount your sliding truck camper to a flatbed, creating a system like this. Our stability product here at Stablecamper is designed to use when the camper is off the truck. Many campers will rock and shimmy and sway while using it off the truck, so this product is boxing the front jack to give it stability, so while you’re in the camper, while it’s sitting on the ground instead of on the truck, it’s very stable, and it’s a simple system. We use what we call a side tube that connects the front jack back to the rear–on the camper, and then we use the front tube the connects back to the body of the jack, and that just stabilizes this front jack, and it eliminates any sway or motion of the camper, side-to-side or front-to-back. They’re also easy to use and easy to store, so they simply swing around and store on the front of the truck– or on the front of the camper for storage, and then the side tubes store underneath the wing, so it easily goes into storage when you’re on the truck.

Jeff: Camper owners have a variety of reasons they attend rallies and why they own a camper, for that matter, instead of another larger RV type.

Kevin Golembeski: So we’ve had a truck camper going on four years this upcoming August. We live in it full time. We chose a truck camper because of its size and convenience. We can hide away pretty much anywhere whether it’s a downtown street or way out in the woods where the big fifth wheels can’t go.

Roger Odahl: Yes, we’ve had this camper for over ten years, and we had tried tent trailers, C-class motorhomes, and we thought it would be so much easier with a pickup truck, put the camper on, and you’re able to go so many places, easier to park, and we really feel it just makes traveling easier, and I have no problems setting up daily. Sometimes, we just stop, stay the night, go on. So it has worked well for us, and we’re gonna continue.

Doug Caruolo: We’ve had several truck campers over the past 10 or 12 years. We’ve been about everywhere– Except Hawaii,
We absolutely love it. Gives us a lot of versatility. In the big picture, we’re short wheelbase, so we can get into almost anywhere, very tight spots, and the boondocking is amazing cause we are not dragging a lot of camper behind us, and it keeps our life simple. It’s like trying to put, 25 pounds in a 10-pound sack, so you gotta do the best you can do. We absolutely love it. Wouldn’t trade it for the world, and it’s something we’ve been dreaming about for years anyways, like, since we’ve been married,

Jeff: Shopping for a new RV? A truck camper may be just what you need. It was a typical beautiful night with a modest pre-fire season campfire at the Oregon coast, just what we needed after a busy day at the rally. We enjoyed our first truck camper rally
and hope to attend again one day.