In the truck camper dictionary, the wheel area is the area of a truck bed, both in front of and behind the wheel wells, that is not used by a standard truck camper design.
Non-basement truck campers often take advantage of this space by providing cabinet door access. When these doors are opened, the wheel well area of the truck bed is accessible from inside the truck camper.
When Gordon and I had our 2004 Lance 1030 (our first truck camper), we used these spaces for storing one gallon water jugs on the driver’s side, and Gordon’s shoes in the passenger’s side. The water jugs were sealed against the wind and weather and heavy enough not to move while we were traveling. After a long day of hiking, Gordon’s shoes could be quite odiferous making the ventilated wheel well area a perfect airing out opportunity. The local wildlife may have a different opinion.
We also enjoyed the wheel well storage spaces available in the 2009 Northstar 9.5 Igloo U and 2014 Northstar 8.5 Arrow U we borrowed as both were non-basement designs. Once again, we used this space for water and Gordon’s shoes, scent sensitive squirrels be damned.
Truck Camper Magazine reader, Orian Hartviksen, recently wrote us an email about what she keeps in the wheel well area of their truck and suggested a Question of the Week asking fellow TCM readers about their wheel well habits.
Her email reads, “We keep all sorts of things in the wheel well area of our truck. We keep mini propane bottles, dog towels, leveling blocks, a 4’ by 6’ mat, a door mat, folding chairs, and sometimes an umbrella. For the last trip, I brought back a bag of extra long pine cones. You never know what may end up in the wheel well area. Truck camper rigs are so inefficient in that you have that extra space in the truck bed that’s wasted.”
We agree. And it needs to be pointed out that Orian’s truck camper is a basement model; a 2010 Northern Lite 8’11”. Her camper sits on a raised platform to clear their Ford cab. This makes it easy for her to reach in and grab stuff from the wheel well area. Wheel well areas aren’t just for non-basement campers.
Here’s our question of the week, presented by Orian Hartviksen; “Do you store anything in your wheel well area as your traveling? If so, what do you put in that space?”
Thank you to Orian for sending this in question. We “wheely” like it!