One of the cons of a truck camper is storage and on our Northern Lite outside storage is limited. In a four season camper the fewer openings to the outside the better, so one has to compromise outside accessible storage for insulation, one of the pro’s.
We have two RV set ups for traveling. One is when we plan on doing a lot of lake camping and staying in one spot for some time, we take our small 4×8 trailer with our 17 foot Grumman canoe as a tow behind. Or when we are planning a trip that requires extra fuel, water and supplies in areas that don’t offer any services.
The second mode we call our “Free and Easy” way of travel with nothing in tow. This is when we do more travelling and less camping. Our back seat is taken up with our 16 foot Sea Eagle kayak, tools, my camp kitchen, portable 100 watt solar panel, camera equipment and anything else we can fit in. This is our preferred way to travel even while camping as we can pretty much go anywhere our truck can get to and be at home. We also can park just about anywhere to overnight. Mileage is much better as well less carbon tax. This limits what we can take like extra fuel.
In the photos I have been posting on our blog I have had a lot of inquiries about the rear storage box. This has been one of my better ideas, that actually works great, some don’t. I started with a hitch carrier from Princess Auto. Due to the design of my back step on the Northern Lite I had to add a drop receiver under the standard hitch as shown in the photo. This will be different depending on your truck and camper, but in my case hides the storage under my back step.
I then built a box to fit inside the carrier 4 feet long 19 inches deep and 14 inches high out of 3/8 inch plywood all in one piece no openings. I then cut the lid at an angle so I could pull it off to the back. Inside I then put a liner 1/2 inch higher than the opening to create a seal when the lid was slid back on. This keeps out 95% of the moisture and dust. I bolted the box to the storage carrier and it works great. The photos will perhaps show it better than I can explain it.
I can now carry my levelling blocks on the outside of the box, inside I carry a small 10 lb. propane tank, a small propane fire pit, two 10 litre gas cans, a splitting axe, two outdoor mats, water hoses, grill and anything else that fits. We always travel with way too much stuff and think we are travelling simple. For me the extra fuel and propane is almost a must where we travel…the rest well. Over the years we have found the simpler the better and less stuff to worry about makes for a more enjoyable time. Hence the truck camper, home in the back of a pick up truck.
Hope this helps those who were inquiring and give others some ideas. Some day I would like to get one of those fancy checker plate well sealed boxes and figure a way to put it on a slide out track so I could get at things from the top easier, but for now this works and that quick prototype I built has been in service for at least five years. Just never got around to building one out of better material.
In my next post the last of our northern travels to Meadow Lake Provincial Park and more photographs. I hate playing catch up on posting so will attempt to post regularly as we go. January 2022 has seen no travel yet but the road is calling, we will either be in Quartzite Arizona in February for a truck camper rally we are registered for or going to our plan B of more winter camping in Canada.
This post pretty much was for our truck camper family, for the rest of you with a different RV than a truck camper…well you just don’t know what your missing out on.
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Charlotte and I look forward to meeting you as we travel down the road.