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Friday, April 24, 2009

Reflections of Fulltiming in a Truck Camper

Some time back an RVer asked: Can you fulltime in a truck camper? We had to chuckle a bit, as we did for a while, and the answer is one of those long-winded, convoluted, winds up being, "Maybe" sort of answers.

Can ONE person fulltime in a truck camper? Taking a look around the country, and the answer is pretty well, "Pretty much." Can TWO people fulltime in a truck camper? If'n your mother taught you never to answer a question with a question, tune out now. The question we return is: How well do you get along? REALLY get along? We fulltimed in an 11 1/2' "no slide outs" truck camper for nearly a year. We lived through hot weather, cold weather, broken water pipes, and finally, when the better half of the family got pneumonia and laid sick in the cabover for some very long weeks, we knew it was possible--but do you really have to?

A truck camper, as most of you already know from experience, is a mighty small space. In addition to "living in it," we also had to "work in it." At the time we were freelance writing, and had a regular contract to transcribe government board meetings from tape to paper. One end of the galley table was basically set aside for the "office" which was shared with an old alley-cat who was no longer spry enough for alley living. It was a very tough grind, but we are a very close couple, and for the most part can stand to be under each other's feet.

If you must have "your space" than look out! Try spending a few weeks together in the truck camper; see how life goes, and how soon it is before you want to decide whether living in the small confines of a truck camper might lead to living in the small confines of a prison cell after you've committed mayhem on your significant other.

After the pneumonia episode, we finally determined that while we could physically live in the confines of a truck camper, for ourselves it was just a better consideration to move up to something a bit larger. For a long time after that, we moved into a 29 foot fifth wheel, which we still have. After several years though, we found ourselves with another 11 1/2 foot truck camper that we use for road trips and research. We love the TC, and we know if we had to, we could go back to fulltiming in it. If we had to.

photo: Our original fulltiming TC back in the 90s. Photo: T. DeMaris


  1. Carry a tent along for the extra room when "needed".

  2. This spring I saw a truck camper with a Datastorm internet satellite dish on top of it. I am sure he is a fulltimer.

  3. Our first camper was a pickup camper. We traveled all over the country with it -- 35 states. There were times of silence and times of one of us sitting outside for a period of time. The longest trip we took was 6 weeks. However, we cherish the memories of those trips and want to revisit those states using our MH.

  4. We drove to Panama and back. Spent 6 months in a 10.5" truck camper. 4 adults and an 80# german shephard. Had a Datastorm on the roof. We had our moments, but it was certainly doable.