Camper Beast

The Anza-Borrego Squeeze

Prospect Overland takes us deep into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and draws a proverbial line in the sand between traditional truck camper rigs and overland truck camper rigs. Think your rig is ready? Better squeeze.

The Anza Borrego Squeeze With Truck Campers

There’s a fine line between the traditional truck camper set-up and an overland truck camper set-up. Overland enthusiasts are often quick to point out what is and is not an overland set-up based on the size and aesthetics of a particular rig. For example, if a truck and camper setup is too big, heavy, and/or doesn’t have aggressive enough tires and suspension, it’s not overland.

Anza Borrego Prospect Overland

Of course, traditional truck camper enthusiasts might laugh at these assertions since we chose our truck and campers specifically because they’re off-road and off-grid capable. Truck campers (and by that I mean traditional truck campers) have been ‘overland’ for decades before the overland phenomenon hatched. Want proof traditional truck campers can go anywhere and camp anywhere? Check out eighteen years of our Truck Camper Magazine calendar.

As I wrote and believe the above paragraph, I would never, ever take our four-wheel drive dually truck and 11-foot hard side camper where the fellas in the featured Prospect Overland video above take their rigs. Yes, we have taken our truck camper set-up off-road for many, many miles, but we do not attempt the kind of terrain these guys tackled.

Anza Borrego Camper Group

So where is that fine line? It’s not in the rig. Some folks will take anything down any road. That stated, I believe the line is the road–or lack there of–and the condition of that road. From watching the featured Prospect Overland video, there are a few hints that they’re no longer on a traditional truck camper road, and entered the realm of overlanding.

Clue 1: You need to air down your tires.
Clue 2: You find yourself rock crawling.
Clue 3: Your rig is suddenly at a 30 degree angle.
Clue 4: You need a spotter to navigate something called, “The Squeeze”

Anza Borrego Squeeze Four Wheel

Above: Would your truck camper fit through, “The Squeeze”?

Before some readers throw rocks because your rig is (a) a traditional truck camper set up, (b) you don’t identify as an overland, and (c) you often get clues one through three without a problem, hang on. I know a properly outfitted traditional truck camper rig can air down, rock crawl, and take on 30 degree–or better–ascents and declines.

Anza Borrego Group Up Hill

However, the great majority of traditional truck camper rigs are not set up for this level of off-road travel, nor are their owners willing to put their rigs through it. By and large, this is the realm of the overland truck campers.

Anza Borrego: Fish Creek Wash

The other reason this video was selected for a Camper Beast feature is the spectacular look it offers of the Fish Creek Wash in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Prospect Overland does a stunning job at showcasing not only the beauty of Anza Borrego, but the opportunities that an overland-tuned truck camper rig offers. This is go anywhere, camp anywhere, and then some.

For a complete twist of irony, we’ve had several winning calendar contest entries over the years from Anza Borrego with what most of us would identify as traditional truck campers. I’m thinking specifically of Nolan Sturgeon who has wowed us with winning shots in his 2001 Ford F-350 and 2015 Wolf Creek 850 in Anza Borrego. Nolan probably didn’t tackle “the squeeze” in that rig though. And that, dear friends, is the fine line.

For anyone who is interested in visiting Anza Borrego (as we are), the 585,930 acre California State Park is about two hours northeast of San Diego. The desert part has 500 miles of dirt roads to explore, a dozen wilderness areas, and many hikes. Anza Borrego is known for its dark sky stargazing and wildflower super blooms. It’s been on our bucket list map for years but we somehow haven’t made it – yet.

For more fun videos with Prospect Overland, feel free to follow him on YouTube and Instagram.


Truck Camper Chooser
To Top