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Old 03-22-2020, 08:25 AM   #1
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So Long Truck Campers

I sold my 2011 Lance 1050s yesterday.

It has been a good run with truck campers since we bought our first in 2004.

Our first truck camper was a 1985 Lance 200 I purchased on eBay from an RV dealer in Sevierville, TN. We traveled many a mile with it loaded on to our 2004 RAM 2500. After a bad shower room experience at an RV park in Oklahoma, the wife said "we need a truck camper with a dry bath and shower."

I made a call to the RV dealer in Sevierville, TN and they had taken a trade in of a 1999 Lance 1030 that had only been used two times a year for a couple to travel from Connecticut to Florida in the Fall and back to Connecticut in the Spring. The female had an aversion of using public restrooms. The stove and oven had never been used and there was plastic still covering the carpet. The dealer said they had other people interested so I gave her a $1000 deposit over the phone. I drove to Sevierville, TN the next weekend, loaded the 1030 and drove back to Arkansas. I ordered a set of 19.5" wheels and tires due to the heavier load. Despite all the weight police, we traveled in excess of 100,000 miles with the Lance 1030. I sold the 1985 Lance 200 to a person from Illinois.

Next purchase was a 2008 Lance 1055 that had been in a very small accident with a utility pole. I sold the Lance 1030 on eBay to a person that drove to NW Arkansas from Charlotte, NC. We drove to Granbury, TX in our new Dodge RAM 3500 SRW and picked up the Lance 1055. The Lance 1055 made several trips, with the most memorial being a trip to Maine. In all our travels, there were still 3 states that I had not traveled to - Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. In 2010, we headed across Tennessee, North Carolina, and then north to Maine via I-95, stopping in every state for National Parks and Monuments. I hit a major pothole in Tennessee and cracked one of the 19.5" aluminum wheels that didn't show a leak until we got to Maine. We hated the position of the toilet in the Lance 1055. It did not allow a comfortable sit. One of our planned stops was the TRUCK CAMPER WAREHOUSE in New Hampshire. While looking through the various campers, my wife walked inside a Lance with a slideout and said "we need one of these". She didn't have to tell me twice! We didn't buy there, but completed our trip home in the 1055.

Next purchase was the Lance 1050s in 2011. I did an Internet search for Lance 1050s campers and found 3 in the US at the time. One was in Round Rock, TX, one in Phoenix, AZ, and one in Washington State. My sister had passed away in Mesa and her caretaker had some belongings that she wanted us to have. I called the RV dealer on the phone and made a tentative deal to trade the 1055 in on the 1050s. We made a leisurely trip through Texas, New Mexico, and into Arizona. Before leaving, I had placed an order for a lemon meringue pie in Pie town, NM. We arrived just before closing time and the owner had sold my pie to some firefighters that had been battling the wildfires in the area. We purchased a couple pieces of apple pie and headed to our campground for the night. We arrived the next afternoon at the RV dealer and completed the transaction. We offloaded the 1055 and parked it next to the the 1050s underneath their covered loading dock. The next morning, we transferred our "stuff" (how much can a TC hold?) from the 1055 to the 1050s. This was June of 2011. By 10:00 AM it was 106F and we were just wrapping up. We headed on the rest of our vacation. In New Mexico we stayed at the Petroglyph National Monument park after receiving warnings concerning Mountain Lions in the park. After parking and taking a walk, I saw the lion tracks in several places, but never encountered the lions. The wife told me the refrigerator wasn't working on LPG. The igniter would not relight the flame. I could light it manually. When I arrived home, I called Dometic with the issue. Their response, return to the dealer for warranty repair. My response was I needed a local dealer. I purchased the part locally and changed it myself. It has worked for 9 straight years since.

To end the truck camper saga, I posted the 1050s on a Facebook Truck Camper group on Thursday and it was picked up Saturday by a person from Lafayette, LA. The 1050s had been transported by the 2008 RAM 3500 SRW, a 2013 RAM 3500 DRW, and a 2014 RAM 3500 DRW for many miles and through many States.

In 2014 we purchased our first Motorhome and have made more use of it than the Truck Camper.

If you see a Motorhome going down the road with the occupants waving a friendly wave at you in your truck camper, it may just be us.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:24 AM   #2
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That is a good story, filled with adventure and good times. Our experience with TCs has been similar.

In '74 we moved our family of 5 + a Beagle and pet Groundhog from WV to CA in a '62 4wd International school bus with a top speed of 50 mph towing an Opel wagon. The next year we moved to OR with the same rig.

After making a few trips between OR and WV with smaller vehicles we bought our first TC in '78 and made one trip with it and a '63 GMC pickup. For the next trip I converted a '69 F250 4wd to diesel using a 6-354 Perkins engine and various other parts. At the time diesel was 70-80 cents per gal compared to around a buck for gasoline. We used that combo making a trip to WV every year except one when we spent several weeks in the San Juan Islands with it and the boat. We also made many trips to the OR coast with the TC and boat, as well as to local lakes.

On each trip to WV we would plan to see parks and other interests along the way between the North and South US borders. We also spent from several days to a week at EAA Oshkosh each of those years.

In '93 we sold the camper to one of my wife's friends and bought a '92 11.5' caribou. I gave the truck to our oldest son and bought a '89 Dodge Cummins W250 that we used until just a few years ago when we bought our first MH. We did all the same things with the Dodge/Caribou combo that we did with the Ford/Security, an exception being a 1.5 month trip to AK.

On the AK trip we took the ferry from Prince Rupert to Skagway stopping at Ketchikan, Wrangell, Sitka, and Juneau before touring the rest of AK and seeing the things we wanted to see. The TC was perfect for that, and it averaged 16 mpg on the trip.

We bought the MH, a '94 26' Flair, because my wife thought one of us could fall climbing into the TC bed. Since having it for the last few years and her being up doing things while I was driving, she has fallen several times each year on our annual OR-WV trips when I had to apply the brakes. Last year she fell pretty hard and I made the decision to get rid of the MH and go back to a TC. She had never fallen in the TC except one time when she was exiting with an armload of bedding that prevented her from seeing the place where her feet needed to go. That resulted in a broken wrist and delayed our trip for about a week.

We thoroughly enjoyed the TCs we had as well as double the fuel mileage of the MH. There were also numerous times when having 4wd was the only way we could have gotten where we wanted/needed to go.

At this point we have a '96 Dodge Cummins 2500 4wd truck and are hunting for a 11.5' camper. A few days ago we returned from a trip to LA to look at a '99 Lance 1110 that would have been perfect had it been a little better on the outside. If we don't find one in time for our late Summer trip to WV, we'll have to make do with the 30' Monaco DP we bought after selling the Flair.

Just be careful with the freedom to wander about in the MH while traveling.

Steve
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:46 AM   #3
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sorry la didn’t work for you’ll find theright one in time
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:12 AM   #4
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Thanks Larry, you're right, we have a lot of time to look.

It was a long 1400 mile round trip with a few naps in the truck at truck stops. We planned on having the camper to sleep in on the way back, but that didn't happen. Motels were out for us because of the Coronavirus and we're on the older side, 80 and 73, so we made do.

Larry, and all you other folks stay safe and avoid this virus.

Steve
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:36 PM   #5
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Update

Back with a TC. Not near as fancy as the 1050s, but serves the main purpose - hunting and camping on my 40 acre wilderness land.

RAM 2500 with a Skamper 850. Stayed in it twice while deer hunting. Worked great.

A few things to fix, but that will all come in time.
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Old 03-28-2021, 12:11 PM   #6
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Great story!!! We can’t give up the things we do with our Chalet triple slide it’s our 3rd truck camper but bought a DRV mobile suite 5 th wheel for longer stays but will never I think give up truck camper to go to races or tow stuff to play with behind me! Fortunately able to have both.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:04 AM   #7
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TC’s definitely have their place. We spent six months traveling the lower 48 four years ago in our TC. Left first week of October and seen 3 degrees at Beaver Creek and 6 degrees at Watson Lake but was nice and toasty. On way back in early March we hit -30 in northern British Columbia and the Yukon. Winterized the TC before leaving Washington so we hoteled it on way home. After that trip we bought a 24’ TT for our travels down south..just needed more room for extended stays. The TC is perfect for Alaska, there are so many camping areas where you just can’t get into with anything much larger. We will always have a TC but for trips outside the TT is much more comfortable.
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Old 05-01-2021, 07:20 PM   #8
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i use my TC way more then the other ones. Its my rig of preference. So much more versatile. I wouldn’t give up the other 2 , but i will never be without it.
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