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49 Readers Reveal Their Campsite Behavior

This week’s Question of the Week was, “Are you a park and done truck camper, or are you a park and set-up a campsite truck camper?”  Readers reveal their campsite behavior.

“I am a park and done truck camper.  The best part of having a truck camper is the ease of use.  Part of that is understanding what each outing requires and tailoring your gear for that specific adventure.  This makes loading and unloading a breeze, which encourages my wife and I to use our camper more often.  Less is more when it comes to truck campers.” – Chuck Trinka, 2008 Dodge Ram 2500, 1997 Lance Squire Lite 185


“The intention on one trip determines a drive by or stop in and stay awhile existence.  It’s kind of like the chicken and the pig concerning breakfast.  The chicken has a passing interest whereas the pig is totally committed.  My last trip to Alaska was three months and two weeks long.  It was more a park and done trip.


The trip to Florida was five months and two weeks.  That was park and set-up trip.” – Paul Foster, 2005 Ford F250, 2008 Lance 845

“I am a park and done truck camper.  The majority of our truck camper use is for road trips and sightseeing trips rather than simply camping.  About the only thing we put out are our lawn chairs and a rug.” – Allen Brummel, 2008 Dodge Ram 1500, 2008 Northstar TC650

“I am a park and done truck camper.  We usually park and head out to explore the area. The folding chairs can wait.” – Dave Miller, 2012 F350 CC LB 4X4 SRW , 2003 Bigfoot 10.6E

“It truly depends on what I am doing.  If I am hunting or traveling I tend to park level and go, but if I am out camping I set up camp”. – Richard Wolf, 2007 Dodge Ram 3500, 2006 Six Pac D650

“I’m primarily a park and done camper.  I arrive early, park on a level spot, then take a leisurely hike or drop a line in the nearest stream or river.  I arrive back at the truck early evening and turn into a set-up campsite person.  The set-up of my campsite is easy. I unfold a couple of chairs, open up the bar-b-que and a couple of beers, and enjoy life!” – Phil Rodacy, 2012 GMC 3500, 2006 Okanagan 90W

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I like to boondock so I keep it simple; low impact on the site.” – Greg L, 2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD, 10′ CO AKC

“I am a park and done truck camper.  After owning various campers, from pop-up to bumper hitch to motorhome to fifth wheel, we have settled on a truck camper.  We have done so because we were tired of having to drag a trailer, go through numerous set-up procedures, and had difficulty finding parking for a big rig when we wanted to stop at an attraction along the way.  We very much like the simplicity of the truck camper, minimal procedures in set-up and the ease of breaking camp when we are ready to travel.  We spend little time sitting in camp, preferring to see the surroundings.  We are not trying to impress others with decorations and just prefer to keep things simple. – Dewey Lackey, 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500, Snowriver 9.6

“We are park and done truck campers.  The most we ever set-up is to take a couple of folding chairs out of the truck.  We are not the types that like to just laze around the campground.  We keep the camper on the truck and explore the area for a few days and then move on.  Putting out stuff just isn’t our style. – Larry and Barbara Routt, 2005 Ford F350, 2004 Lance 820

“It depends on the situation.  I park, level, hook up, extend the canopy, start the water heater, grab a cold soda, set up a chair, and that’s it!  No string lights, pink flamingos, flags, banners, or other useless stuff.” – Gary Atsma, ’13 Ford F-150, Snugtop shell


“It depends on the situation.  If I have plans to stay a few days and it’s a campground with full hook ups I’ll drag out all the stuff, set it up, and have fun.  If I’m boondocking I’ll maybe set up the easy up and limited stuff.  It just all depends.” – Jeff Hagberg, 2002 Ford F250, 2006 Travel Lite 800 SBX

“We are somewhere in between.  We keep it simple, but will put out a couple of chairs and a small grill.  Too much stuff just makes camping a hassle.” – Bill Teixeira, 2006 Chevy 2500HD, 2003 Adventurer 810WS

“It depends on the situation.” – Tim Burk, 2005 Dodge 3500, 2010 Eagle Cap 950

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I camp on the beach and if the tide comes in higher than expected I am ready to go at a moments notice.  When I go to campgrounds I am still a park and done truck camper out of habit.” – Jerry Estelle, 2005 Ford F350, 2013 Lance 1172

“It depends on the situation.  We park and sleep most of the time.  If we are going to stay awhile we will set an easy up and put the pink flamingo lights up.  After all, we are campers.” – Eric and Linda Andeson, 2001 Dodge 3500, 1998 Shadow Cruiser


“It depends on the situation.  If it’s an overnight or weekend stay, I level the camper, hook up electric if it’s available, and I’m done.  If it’s a several-day stay, then camp gets a bit more involved.  Often those are artillery competition events, and friends may visit in addition to the longer stay.  Then we roll out the red, er, brown/white carpet and some extras.” – John and Marylou Wells, 2011 Chevy 3500, 2012 Chalet Ascent S100F

“It depends on the situation.  When we go for a weekend, we’re park and are done.  However if we stay at one place for a week or more, we off load the camper, set-up a screen tent for cooking and dining along with several chairs.  The main reason we have a truck camper is that we take a boat when we go.  The wife and I enjoy your magazine!” – Ernie Clark, 2012 Ford F25, 1997 Hideaway by Sportsman

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I don’t have room for all that other stuff!” – Ron Day, 2008 Chevy 2500, 2005 Sunlite 865

“It depends on the situation and how many days we’re out.  For one or two days, we park and camp.  For three or more, we a set up a campsite.” – Karl Aube, 2005 Ford F550, 2007 Host DS

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I’m of the less is more school.  I prefer to park and play.  If I bring all the set-up stuff there would be no room for the toys.” – Bruce, 2003 Ford F250, 2003 Hallmark Guanella


“I am a park and done truck camper.  The more you get out, the more work to put away. And all those goodies weigh something.  We get out our chairs, and portable table if there is no picnic table and we want to eat outside.  This year we were really glad to have our little screen tent as the wasps were everywhere!  Otherwise we rarely take it with us.” – Orian Hartviksen, 2011 Ford F350, 2010 Northern Lite 8’11’Q

“I am a park and done truck camper.  We are very mobile, and want to be able to go for a hike or move on down the road without a lot of fuss.” – Philip Webster, 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 2004 Citation

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I rarely go camping.  I go to a place to do activities, and those places are far from home, so I camp. If everywhere I wanted to kayak, bike, or hike was within an hour of home, I wouldn’t need a camper.  Staying at the activity destination is easier, cheaper, and allows for more time doing.  And proper sleep is necessary to enjoy these things to their fullest, so a camper is often better than a tent in adverse conditions.” – David Schmitt, 2007 Ford F350, 2006 Bigfoot 9.4 LB

“I am a park and done truck camper.  However, my wife isn’t, so I set up a campsite to keep her happy.  Most of our camping is done in unimproved areas in Idaho.  During the summer it can be hot and dusty.  So putting up an awning and putting down some AstroTurf is a good idea.” – Dave Erickson, 2011 Ford F350, 2006 Arctic Fox 990

“We are heavy on the park and done, and extra light on the set up a campsite.  We are basically travelers instead of campers, so when we park, to us, it is basically a parking spot.  If we are going to spend some time outside the camper, we have two camp chairs we put out.” – John Bull, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2004 Lance 920

“I am a park and set-up a campsite truck camper.  We like to keep it simple.  But, since we need to make the campsite feel like home we want it comfortable for us.  We put out our American flags, patio mats, folding chairs, a small aluminum table and sometimes we put up a screen house and or we put out our awnings.” – Joe and Nina Mac Donald, 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 3500, 2013 Northstar IglooU


“It depends on how long I’m staying and how many people are with me.  I use a truck camper so space is limited compared to tow behind or fifth wheel.  Sometimes it’s park and done, and other times I set up outside.  I do not do the whole flamingo and carpet thing, but do have chairs, a table, and cover if needed.  I do set up for a month during spring Salmon season and clean and process fish outside.  Hunting season I do the same thing, with chairs, tables, and normal hunting camp things.  Also I camp to tailgate for gootball games where more like the flamingos come out.  I have banners, flags, BBQ, tables, chairs, a cover, heaters, etc.” – Rob Mallery, 1998 Dodge Ram 2500, 1996 Shadow Cruiser 851

“I am a park and done truck camper.  That’s the best part of truck camping.  No fuss, no muss.  I can be on the road in twenty minutes!” – Chris Marcucci, 1996 Chevy 1500, 1999 Alpenlite

“I am a park and done truck camper.  Keep it simple.  Then there’s less to carry and less to pickup in the rain.” – Tom Bender, 2011 Ford F250, 2008 Sun Valley Apache 8.6WS

“I am a park and done truck camper.  Most times my camper is a mobile bedroom.  I go to music festivals and to motorcycle meets.  I get up in the morning, we meet up for breakfast somewhere in town, and then head out to the ride or festival.  In the evening we usually meet and eat somewhere, talk a bit over dinner, and then set a time and place for breakfast to meet the next morning.  This is why I park, unload the motorcycle and I’m done.  The trailer neck makes a perfect step into and out of the truck camper.” – Steve Lowery, 1999 Toyota Tacoma, 2010 Travel Lite 690FD


“I am a park and done truck camper.  I get a level spot, a few rocks and an easy chair.  I am always going somewhere, so set up is not needed.” – Dave and Lila Weinstein, 1999 Dodge Ram 3500, 2005 Arctic Fox 1150

“I am a park and done truck camper.” – Joe Pospicil, 2007 Ford F250, 2000 Lancer 960

“It depends on the situation.  If just passing through we just park and sleep.  If we are going to stay for a couple of days or more then I’ll put out the entry rug and a couple of lawn chairs.  I’ll set up the generator if it is needed.  Then I hook up the cable run for our cat so he can move around without getting lost (he loves to walk on a leash around the campground).  Then we sit back and relax.” – Mike and Nancy Pohl, 1999 Ford F150, 1985 American Pilgrim 8.5

“We are park and done truck campers.  We are travelers more than campers, and we like to stay light on our feet.  A couple of chairs and a table cloth is pretty much it.  We like to bring along a minimum of extra stuff.  The necessary goodies weigh enough.” – Walt and Gail Hotz, 2005 GMC 2500 HD, 2009 Lance 861

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I just bring out enough equipment for use for that day and then everything is put away before sleeping.  If we have full hook ups, the camper is hooked up until we leave in the morning.  Everything else is put away for the night.” – Rick Law, 2005 Ford F550, 2003 Bigfoot 30C 10-11 SL


“One of the reasons I bought a truck camper is because I can be a park and done truck camper!  The camper is self contained so I don’t have to worry about anything except if it’s level and the steps go up to the door.  We used to camp with a truck cap and it took a solid day and a half’s work to get ready, set everything up, pack back up, and then tear everything back down when you got home.  Now we just load the camper, pack the consumables and we’re gone.  If I come home tired and don’t want to mess with unloading, the truck just sits in the driveway keeping everything dry and safe until I get to it.” – Jason Schreckengost, 1986 Chevrolet K30 Silverado, 2012 Palomino Real-Lite 1806

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I am a minimalist.  Also, I usually only stay the night and I do not want to have to pack up wet stuff the next morning.” – Leo LaRochelle, 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500, 2012 Four Wheel Camper Hawk Shell

“I like to keep it simple and enjoy my time camping rather then setting up and taking down.  I have friends who do the who huge set up and spend half the day when they get there and before they leave.  I think that is time wasted from enjoying the scenery and riding horses, which is what we do. – Joshua Magner, 2010 Toyota Tundra, 1996 Harmar


“It depends on the situation.  When I am a park and done truck camper it is because there is too much going in in my environment.  I do not want to get stuck with a bunch to do when there is so much to see and do outside in the great outdoors.  Not to mention the lack of space to carry superfluous baggage.


If I am going to stay a while, then I buy some plants, set up my bird feeder and hook up to shore power if it’s available. I  leave the plants behind when I pull up stakes.” – Maggie Karam, 2011 Dodge Ram, 2001 Lance 1130

“I am a park and done truck camper.  Once we reach our destination, we put out only two things, a small plastic weaved mat and two folding camp chairs.  Then, I open a beer for the hubby and a glass of cool wine for myself.  There is no need the set up anything else since we will be out visiting the next day or back on the road if we are on our way to somewhere else.  That’s one of the main reasons we bought a truck camper to begin with!” – Denise Hupé, 2004 Ford F250, 2004 Adventurer 810WS

“We are “Boomers on the Move” truck campers.  We always want to see what’s on the other side of the hill.  We move often even after we getting a campsite.  For us life is too short to be parked for an extended period of time.  The urge to explore the surrounding landscape keeps us moving.  Having the truck camper with us lets eat and rest anywhere we stop to visit.” – Lucien Langlois, 2012 Ford F250, 2004 Lance 1025

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I am self employed, so I usually take three to five day trips.  I want to get at relaxing ASAP!  That’s the beauty of the truck campers, when arriving or leaving.” – COURT, 2011 Ford F350, 1997 Timberline 1150

“I am a park and done truck camper.  We can park anywhere as long as it is safe.  At a campground we ask to be near the wild animals.  On the beach, we pull up, open the door and take out a chair.  In a parking lot, we like lit areas so that we don’t need interior lights.  Simple and easy, that’s the rule.” – Tom Chappuis, 2006 Dodge Ram 3500, 1989 Lance Squire 9000


“Pretty much it’s park and done.  For thirty years I was a tent camper.  But after the last tent collapse from the wind at Truck Haven, I was done.  I go camping to relax, not to work.  The hardest thing I want to do is figure out which tire to put the leveling blocks under.  Then I pull out the canopy, set up the hammock, grab a beer, and I’m done.” – Tim May, 1993 Dodge 2500, 1987 Vacationeer 9-10

“I am a park and done truck camper.  I get there I want to enjoy my new home.  I don’t want to do yard work.” – Phil Olson, 2011 2500 HD , 2013 Lance 992


“I am a park and done truck camper.  Most of the time it’s an ove night stop, so once the leveling is done it’s “5 o’clock somewhere time”.  Space is always a premium, so very little creature comforts are brought along.  The most set-up would be if I set-up my ham radio antenna to make contacts back home to friends.” – Jim Longthorne, 2005 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, 2005 Four Wheel Grandby Camper

“It depends on the situation.  I’m a park and done camper, but my wife is a park and set-up camper.  Most of the time we set-up an outdoor kitchen, if we’re staying a few days so that we can enjoy the out doors.” – Bruce Moses, 2006 Chevy 3500, 2007 Lance 1191

“I am a park and done truck camper.  When I’m at a campground I run a cord over for the electric and maybe try to level things a bit.  But that’s it.  I removed the toilet years ago and replaced it with a porta-potti.  It’s so much easier than having to hook up hoses or emptying tanks at a dump station.  It’s just me in there anyway and I’m easy to please.” – Jack Pavie, 1995 Ford F350, 1987 Real Lite 950

“It depends on the situation.  Usually the most we set is a couple of chairs and the table top bar-be-que.  That’s all we need.” – Alex Blasingame, 2007 Ford F250, 2002 Lance 815


“I am a park and done truck camper.  When we are in the truck camper, we are park and done.  We are normally traveling or just enjoying where we are.  That kind of camping we do in the fifth wheel.” – Ken Chambers, 2007.5 Chevy 2500HD, 2014 Lance 855S


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