After a several month renovation project in Indiana I was finally moving into my truck camper. I rolled west, making my first stop in Denver to visit my brother. Unfortunately, my dreams of warm sunshine were dashed by a winter dusting from the Rockies. Brrr… Have I mentioned before how much I dislike winter?
As soon as possible I continued on to Utah in search of warmer weather, which didn’t exactly work, but Tyler and I had a pretty epic adventure driving our rigs on the White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park.
After a few days in Canyonlands (watch our video here) Tyler headed back to Denver and I set out to explore more of Utah. I camped in Goblin Valley State Park, passed through Capital Reef National Park again, drove my FAVORITE ROAD OF ALL TIME, State Route 12, made lunch in one of the most picturesque rest areas ever, and slid through more snow en route to Las Vegas to work a trade show for one of my clients.
The trade show in Las Vegas was busy, and I enjoy cleaning up and acting “professional” now and then, but after several days of real showers, business clothes, and bright neon lights (Las Vegas… yuck…) I was ready to get back on the road.
From Vegas I stopped by Prescott, Arizona to visit family and finish a few more projects on the truck and camper. After the White Rim Road test I needed to revamp the camper setup, so the whole thing had to come off. The rear suspension was upgraded to custom arched leaf packs by Valley Spring Service in Phoenix, my custom steel accessories were already corroding, so I pulled them off and had them professionally powder coated by Raw Customs in Chino Valley, my Uncle Jim helped me design a better mounting system for the camper, I bought brand new load range E BFG KO2 tires, and I installed full size towing mirrors from a 1998 Dodge Ram for better visibility around the camper.
In an effort to regain my sanity after all that truck camper work, I made sure to take some time to enjoy Arizona. I went camping with friends and family in Sedona, got back into running, and backpacked the Escalante Route in the Grand Canyon, a much needed change of pace!
Leaving Arizona I felt like I’d FINALLY completed enough projects on the truck camper to call the renovation a success! I’d already unpacked my stuff in Indiana, but as I drove to Southern California I felt like I was settling into my new home on wheels…
I spent some time in Santa Barbara working, catching up with friends, running at the beach, and getting comfortable in my new digs. Santa Barbara is the last place I’ve called home, and it was nice to be back, even if I was just sleeping on the street in front of my client’s office.
After making some money to fund my summer adventures I was ready to head north, but first, I needed to survive the annual week-long Born To Run ultramarathon festival. I rolled onto the ranch, set up camp, sat down in my chair, and opened a cold PBR. Little did I know that the next day someone else would arrive on the ranch who would change my solo travel plans. With a simple hello, an immediate connection would be made, and I’d be rambling north with a co-pilot, but first, I sat with a few close friends next to my newly completed home on wheels and raised a cold can to the start of a wild week with my weird family of dirtbag running hippies.
Your article would have been more beneficial how do you discuss the pros and cons of using your truck camper. Specifically what you would have improved and lessons learned along the way.
Thanks Mike! It’s definitely been a continued learning process, and as with any DIY project, I sort of wish I could do it over and know what I know today, ha! But, all in all I think it’s been working out just fine with small projects here and there. Bigger picture, I think starting with a bigger truck would be 1st, then I’d put a lightweight flatbed on it and set the camper on the flatbed and build storage around it. Or, even better, a slide in pop up camper built for a flatbed with a side access door vs the rear door so the back could be used for more storage, or to mount a bicycle. Ha, then my thoughts spiral into lots of other ideas, like a 4×4 van or entirely different truck and camper combinations, but mostly, I think I’m really happy with the Tacoma and DIY camper. Thanks!
My wife and i live on the road for 2 years going where the jobs were. we love our 🚚 our home when we’re we went we were fibreglass sub contractor’s we went where the money was!that’s how we made a living back in the 80’s there was no jobs in SC at the time. thanks to our good truck and rolling home and God we did just fine😊!