This post is a follow-up to last week’s “Of the many ways to camp, why we chose a truck camper”.
After all the research that went in to deciding on a truck camper vs. a trailer, camper van, etc., we thought we had made some progress when really we had a long way to go. Okay, so we want a truck camper, now we need to decide on a truck and a camper.
We wanted to get a rig that suited us perfectly so we settled in to the idea that this process could take a long time. It was a pleasant surprise that things fell in to place rather quickly.
We had only just begun diving in to the world of truck campers when I came across a Four Wheel Camper shell model on Craigslist. The shell model is just that, a stripped down version of a truck camper with nothing more than a large open area to store your stuff and a queen size bed. No kitchen, no couch. A door, a window, two small benches, and a bed. I had never seen anything like it and was intrigued. It sold the next day.
To our delight, a Four Wheel Camper dealership had just opened a few months prior in Denver. Just those three words FOUR WHEEL CAMPER were enough for us to know that it was something worth checking out. Off-roading capability with our rig was a must. So we drove to Denver and met Chris, the owner of Rocky Mountain Four Wheel Campers. We knew within 20 minutes of walking thru the door that Four Wheel Camper was EXACTLY what we were looking for.
Here are some of the key points that had us hooked:
- Aluminum-welded frame for maximum flexibility while off-roading (booyah!)
- Lightweight with low center of gravity for ultimate handling off road (yes!)
- Models to fit any size truck from a Tacoma short bed to a F350 long bed (nice!)
- Made with durable materials to handle the off-roading lifestyle (of course!)
- A pop top to keep clearance low (love it!)
- Superior craftsmanship, a product that the owners obviously take much pride in (as a small business owner, this says a lot to us)
The education we got from Chris that day about Four Wheel Camper and truck camper travel was priceless. We learned more about the Shell Model and totally fell in love with this option. You can get a basic, bare bones shell like I described above or outfit it with options like a furnace, dinette seating, solar power, etc (the list goes on and on). We planned on camping all four seasons of the year and for weeks at a time so the furnace and solar panels were a must. However, we would rather cook outside than in, which is why we didn’t feel the need for the full camper with a kitchen.
At this point, everything started to fall in to place. Four Wheel Camper was the obvious choice for us. We managed to find a great used 2001 Ford F250 7.3L Powerstroke Turbo Diesel within a couple of weeks. Then it was back to Rocky Mountain Four Wheel Camper in Denver to place our order.
We had no intention of purchasing anything new but:
- Used Four Wheel Campers are a hot commodity making them not easy to find (further assurance that we were purchasing a great product)
- We learned through further research that Four Wheel Campers hold their value (we felt good knowing that we wouldn’t be losing money the moment we drove away from the dealership)
- We could customize a new Shell Model to have exactly what we wanted and nothing that we didn’t want
- The Shell Model is rather affordable
With that, we put in our order for our Hawk Shell with the following options:
- Dinette Seating
- 90 watt Solar Panel
- Screen Door
- Front Opening Window
- Auxillery Battery System plus 2nd Deep Cycle Battery
Ever since our truck camper was installed in June 2012, we keep saying how perfect our setup is. It is everything we wanted and more. We can camp off the grid in the far away places that we love exploring all while staying warm, dry and insanely comfortable (I sleep better in the camper than I do at home).
Thanks to Four Wheel Camper for making an incredible product. If you’re in the market for a truck camper that can take you past the campground and in to the backcountry, FWC is where it’s at. For a complete list of Specs, Standard Features and Available Options for the Shell Model, click here.