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Readers Respond: How To Inspire Truck Camping

This past Monday we asked, “What could we do, as individuals and a community, to better reach out and inspire others to enjoy truck camping?”

Here are your responses:

“My answer is to encourage those who own a truck camper to go truck camping more so more people see the advantages of a truck camper.” – Marie Inman

“Keep up the great work!  You are the truck camper ambassadors.  I do everything I can to pass the word about truck camping too.  Every time I see one of your emails come out, everything stops.  I have to read the articles.” – Dave Miller Bigfoot 10.6E, 8’ non-cabover Alaskan, and Space Kap 8’ Classic

“Keep doing what you are doing.  I just put a downpayment on a Four Wheel Camper to take to Alaska in May.  This was not the original plan.  I credit your magazine for the new approach.  Your site has some of the best personal stories and photographs of Alaskan travel and the places I want to see.  So I have been spending evenings reading the articles and following along with folks who have been to Alaska.  One of the words or phrases that kept coming up in the articles was freedom.  The truck camper gave people the freedom to get down the tougher roads, turn around, park, and see more in less crowded conditions.  Many had or still owned fifth wheels or travel trailers, but swore by the truck camper when it came to traveling in Alaska.  And then there was a passage in one of my travel books that described backing a travel trailer onto a ferry for a river-crossing.  It turned my knuckles white.  There was also a note somewhere cautioning against towing anything over “Top of the World.”   So what would I do with a small no-ground-clearance travel trailer?  Night after night, the truth became clearer and clearer.  My plan just works a whole lot better with a truck camper.  Thanks Truck Camper Magazine!   I will let you know how it goes with me and two Golden Retrievers and I’ll send lots of photographs.” – Linda Norman, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania

“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Truck Camper – You’re already doing a great job promoting truck campers!  The question should be pointed at us, your readers.  Are we referring people who stop us to ask about our pastime to your magazine?  Or, if it’s a question about support equipment, are we your readers referring them to your site?” – Terry Mechler

“That’s a great question, Angela.  I think one way is to be active on the internet, promoting the truck camper lifestyle.  While it’s true that simply using truck campers will bring many into the fold, the internet has a much greater reach.  Specifically, I think one way is to tap into the ever expanding world of the internet blog.  Unfortunately, there are precious few truck camper bloggers out there who actively blog let alone have a blog.  I can count the number of truck camper blogs on two hands so huge gains can be made in this area of cyberspace.  The truck camper blog gap is what partially inspired me to start my own truck camper blog, Mello Mike’s RV Adventures.  I think it would be great if you, Truck Camper Magazine, encouraged truck camper owners to not only blog, but also keep a list of those who do so on your website.” – Michael Smith, Mesa, Arizona

“It would be cool if you could report on truck camper folks attending news events.  For example, when the Grammys were on, were there any truck campers that stayed nearby to experience the event?  What about major golf tournaments?  The Superbowl?  The reports would be like a “man-at-the-scene” series of stories that highlight uses for the truck camper.  I suspect we all find our truck camper sitting in the yard more than we like!” – Bonnie Belza, Scottsdale, Arizona

“Gordon and Angela – As a marketing person from the old school, what you need to do is sell the sizzle, not the steak.  Promote the adventures one can have with their family or hunting buddies.  Show how you can reach remote fishing holes and other places where only a truck camper can get you.  Write about sitting beside that loved one drinking some brewed Starbucks overlooking the hard to reach North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  I love it.  I am ready to leave now because I am heading to Pulaski, New York in a few weeks to do some steelhead trout fishing on the Salmon River.  Oh how I need this.” – Ed Krech, Tennessee

“Hi Gordon and Angela – My wife Kathy and I met you a few years back at the Springfield RV & Camping Show.  We’re snowbirds now, so we’re in our North Carolina home.  I suggest that TCM start a forum section for truck campers.  I know there are other forum sites out there, but since your website is geared exclusively to truck camping, a forum would be a natural evolution (and additional space and opportunities for your sponsors).  We’re off to Savannah and St. Augustine in a few days, camping in our 2004 FWC Hawk on the new 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE ext. cab,  5.3L V8, 4×4, standard bed.  The truck and camper are a perfect match!  We’re really looking forward to our trip.  Wishing you continued success.  Hope to meet up with you again.” – Bucky & Kathy Hydal, New Bern, North Carolina

“Until I was invited to see my friends truck camper, I could not envision how owning one could enhance my life.  I always offer friends or the curious casual acquaintance to tour my little home on wheels.  My suggestion is to have a huge sign that would welcome passersby in campgrounds or RV parks to come in for tea, if they are interested in seeing a truck camper.  Our truck camper is not a showcase, up to date, or the latest model.  We have a 2002 Lance 1130 that sits on a 2011 Dodge 3500 dually, but it shows that we have all the necessary amenities for comfort.  The only thing lacking is space, but then there is the great outdoors, which truck camping makes readily available!” – Maggie Karam

“Interview hunters and fishermen and get a good article into outdoor magazines about the benefits of truck campers over tent or trailers or cabin and motel rental.” – Dennis Thorell

“How about making connections with the many pick-up truck forums out there?  TCM  readers could post on the forum for the truck brand they own (Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota) about how well their truck hauls their camper.  Then we link the post to TCM and NATCOA for those who are curious and want more info about truck camping.” – John Wells

“Angela and Gordon – My wife and I have traveled all over the country so I can participate in FLW bass fishing tournaments.  We (mostly me) have been contemplating a truck camper for some time.  I have always thought this market (weekend fisherman, especially tournament fisherman) would be an ideal market for truck campers.  Most of us are on tight budgets.  I see a few truck campers every once in a while but no where near as many as you might think given the expense of hotels and the often remote locations of some of the lakes we fish.  Boat ramps are jammed with tow vehicles (usually big 4×4 HD trucks) and guys hanging out talking fishing.  At tournaments, there are always crowds around, especially for the weigh-ins.  The best part about this market is that it is very much a word of mouth, “show and tell” marketing opportunity.  Maybe a Truck Camper Magazine multi-sponsor “wrapped truck, camper, and boat” that tours the tournament trail.  Any of your truck camper sponsors who want to know more can shoot me an email.” – Mike Wokasch, McFarland, Wisconsin

“Hello Angela, My wife and I just returned to New Jersey from spending a month in Marathon at Knights Key RV Resort and Marina with our pickup camper and seventeen foot boat.  We had many fellow campers check out our camper and comment how neat it was to be able to travel with both.  We will be going to the RV Show in Atlantic City this weekend, even though there will not be any pickup campers there.  I do not know of any truck camper dealers in New Jersey.  I would think that if a dealer showed a pickup truck with a truck camper on it and a boat or motorcycle trailer behind it, there would be quite a few people interested in the idea.” – Wayne 

“Angela and Gordon – This is a very good question!  I feel that the truck camper is treated almost as a second class camper.  When my wife and I attend RV shows, one being the Tampa show in January which was the largest I have ever attended, there were only a few truck campers.  There were less than seven campers and only one brand, Lance.  This past week in Jacksonville there were four total units with two different manufacturers.  I think the manufacturers could bring more units, or at least have a dedicated truck camper only representative at these RV shows.  Maybe someone new to camping will gain some interest into the  great world of truck camping.  My wife and I have a thirty-two foot fifth wheel along with an eleven and a half foot truck camper.  Since we have become truck campers, we love it!  We love the flexibility of truck camping so much that we are leaving our fifth wheel in Florida and only using the truck camper from now on for our travels.” – Denny and Deb Berry, Pennsylvania in the summer and Florida in the winter

“Clothing and apparel with Truck Camper Magazine decals and license plate frames would be good.  Have you ever seen the Good Sam stuff?  We need things that get people’s attention and gets them asking questions.  Do the two of you have “Truck Camper Magazine” painted on the doors of your truck?  Or perhaps a large magnetic sign to move from vehicle to vehicle.  The magnetic sign is good so that you can hide from us when you wanted to.  My new 2012 Arctic Fox 990 will be built and picked up from Thunder RV in La Grande, Oregon on March 30.  Caleb at Thunder RV has been great and I’m looking forward to meeting him personally.  I’ll be driving up from California to pick it up.  Of course I’m excited.  I’m giving my 1996 S&S to my daughter and her kids and they are excited too.” – Steve Cilenti

“We need to just go.  We need one big road trip.” – Bill Palleschi

“Hi Angela – I live in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and went to the RV show here and in Syracuse, New York.  Toronto had one truck camper and Syracuse only had one dealer, Palomino.  The RV dealers on the East Coast of the United States and Canada have to educate the public by showing the advantages of the truck camper at the RV shows.  They also need to have a variety of truck campers, not just one or two.  Manufacturers should also help the dealers by having their models on show room floors, say on loan or consignment.  If the dealer sells the truck camper, the manufacturers have to build more truck campers, so it’s a win-win.” – Geoff Ross

“Hi Angela – Whenever someone shows a slight interest in our rig, we take a couple of minutes to chat with them and show them the inside, even if we’re in a rush.  We remember how we were when we were thinking of buying an RV and had not thought of a truck camper yet.  Not everybody realizes how keen it is to have a camper.  It allows us to move around better and has all the same commodities of a regular trailer.  During our first trip out with the camper, we were on our way to the next town and my husband’s belt broke so we stop at the next shopping store.  Right after parking, a car pulled up beside us that was looking at our rig.  They had just sold their fifth wheel and they were thinking of buying a motorized RV to travel around more but had not yet found one with low millage that met their budget.  The wife looked at her husband and said, “That seems like a small RV so the price must be lower than a big one”.  He replied: “It’s not a RV, it’s a camper”.  She did not seem to know what it was by the look on her face.  The man came up to my husband and started to chat.  By the way, my husband forgot that his pants were not holding up well.  I showed the lady the inside and she was surprised to see all of the standard RV amenities in our camper.  Coming out, she said to her husband, “Hey darling, maybe this is all we need?”  We never saw these people again.  Did they get hook to truck camping?  I hope so.  If not, they don’t know what they’re missing!” – Denise Hupé and Robert Joanisse, 2010 Ford F250, 2004 Adventurer 810WS

“I live in Mesa, Arizona and it appears to me that there aren’t many truck campers around this part of the country.  I don’t really know why, because there are so many interesting places to explore here.  Having a truck camper has so many advantages.  One bright spot is that I have seen more RV dealers starting to sell campers.” – Al Cerf

“The right way to show truck camping is by promoting the non-camping activities that we enjoy including hunting, fishing, boating, and rallies.  The 2012 Bassmaster Classic would be a great opportunity to promote truck campers.” – Emilio Camarasa, Spain

 

Truck Camper Information
American RV Dealership Grand Rapids, Michigan

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