When we do our reader poll on trucks for truck campers, there’s never any doubt that nearly all of us want four-wheel drive. In fact, 92.15% of our readers responded last December that they want four-wheel drive in their next truck.
I even tell folks at RV shows that truck campers are the “Jeep of RVs”, able to travel off-road and off-the-grid with four-wheel drive trucks, solar power, generators, and large holding tanks. Four wheel drive is at the very core of the truck camper persona. It’s part of who we are; rough and tumble, go anywhere, camp anywhere truck camper people.
Or, at least, that’s what we say. In reality, many truck camper owners have never once put their truck in four wheel drive. Others have put their trucks in four-wheel drive only a couple of times. To be honest, Angela and I have only needed to put a truck camper rig in four-wheel drive once, and that was a truck we borrowed from Lance Campers. Beyond that, we have never, ever needed to put our truck in four wheel drive.
That’s right, we never once were in a situation where we had to put our 1998 Dodge Ram 3500 or 2013 Chevy Silverado 3500 in four-wheel drive. In the ten years we’ve been truck camping, we have only once needed to put a truck camper rig in four-wheel drive. There, I said it.
On the flip side, we know plenty of beach campers and off-roaders who practically keep their trucks in four-wheel drive all the time. They’re reading this and thinking I’m nuts, which is something I can handle. The questions is, what about the rest of us? Do we really need four-wheel drive, or not?
This week’s Question of the Week is, “Have you ever needed four-wheel drive while truck camping?” If you have, please tell us when you needed four-wheel drive. If you have not, tell us if you’re still glad you have four-wheel drive, or if you would consider the cost, weight, and payload savings of two-wheel (aka rear-wheel) drive for your next truck.
Personally, I like having four-wheel drive, but I question whether I really need it. I’m not sure I’m ready to declare that I don’t, but I’m thinking about it. I fully realize this is truck camping heresy. Heck, some folks still haven’t forgiven me for buying a gas truck, or a short bed. That said, we must always challenge our assumptions, and explore what it is to be truck campers.
Here are the results to our Question of the Week, part 1 and part 2.