I've never hauled a camper like this before and there's a bit of a learning curve! I'm finding that my years of driving tour buses on the Denali National Park road is coming in handy! With all that weight and height on board, the truck handles differently. But, like a turtle carrying its home on its back, the truck is made for the job and does it wonderfully.
The F-250 truck has the payload and power to haul the 1,800-pound camper, plus the extra hundreds of pounds in fluids (gas, water, propane), all my stuff, and me. I needed something comfy, too, for those times when Mom, and/ or Uncle, or Tom, or other friends & family join me on a road trip.
This camper is made by Lance. It's a 2001 825 Lite EC (for extended cab). To safely carry it on the truck bed, I needed to have the proper mounting system installed. Seth (from whom I purchased the camper) recommended Joe Bruns, of Joe's Truck & Trailer Supply in Springfield, Oregon, as the guy to do that. Joe was great to work with! He helped me out months in advance with advice and ordering all the parts ahead of time, and ensuring it was all done neatly and quickly once we dropped the truck off at his shop. After doing my research, and with input from Joe, I chose Torklift Talons and Torklift Fast Gun turnbuckles, hardware that locks the camper down solid onto the frame of the truck, eliminating swaying, sliding, and any other movement. I've got locks on these expensive pieces to ensure they are not stolen!
It is so spacious inside! The part that extends over the roof of the truck has a queen-sized bed, plus quite a bit of storage. In the kitchen are a 3-way fridge (electric, 12V, and propane), a counter with a 2 burner propane stove & sink, overhead cabinets, a closet near the counter, and cabinets below the sink. I hope I'll remember where I put everything!
Opposite the kitchen is a U-shaped dinette that is comfortable and makes into a bed. I'll be sitting there a lot writing, editing, and putting this project together. More cabinets run the length of the roof above the dinette, with storage below the seating, too.
There's even a bathroom! A flush toilet, sink, and shower are tucked into the space on the left rear of the camper. I was OK with a porta potty, but a real bathroom is appreciated by family!
One of my concerns is being cool enough. I'm not good in heat and I really don't want to be plugged into power all the time, like at an RV park. There's an air conditioner in the roof that, when I'm plugged in, will keep the rig cool. I've scheduled an appointment with a local RV shop to install a Maxxair Fan in the camper roof.
I was thinking of doing some redecorating but have decided to save money (for gas, which Tuktu loves to drink in copius amounts!). This summer will be the camper's shakedown cruise, and that will allow me to decide what needs to be done. In the coming weeks, I'll do some work on the interior and figure out where everything will live.