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Adventure Stories

From Crash to Camper Again

After renting a truck and camper three times, Rose and Gary Kindon finally bought their first truck camper.  Then disaster struck.  Phone pole, meet camper.

Renting a Truck Camper to Buying a Truck Camper

Before we get to this amazing truck and camper meets truck and phone pole story, I have a rant to share with you.

Why on earth can’t we rent truck campers in the United States?  Sure you can rent a truck and camper in Alaska, but what about Alabama, Arizona, or Arkansas, or the other forty-six states that don’t begin with the letter A?

It’s darn un-American that some company hasn’t figured out how to rent Americans a truck and camper in America!  We want to roam this land of the free, home of the brave, and we want to do our roaming in a proper truck and camper.  How hard is that?

I’ve heard every insurance, liability, theft, and cost-benefit excuse there is.  I’m not interested in those excuses any more.  Figure it out.  We need truck campers for rent here in the United States.  Opportunity awaits.  Make it happen.

This was half of my reaction after reading the inspirational, then tragic, and then inspirational again story of Rose and Gary Kindon.  The other half was pure horror.

Consider this a warning.  What happens to the Kindon’s camper a few paragraphs from now isn’t for the squeamish.  If there are any children in the room, or grown men who are prone to tears if they rub a branch with their camper, have them leave the vicinity of your computer now.  That said, I promise that this story, as gut wrenching as it is, has a happy ending.


TCM: You have an interesting story of how you got into truck camping.  Could you share that with our readers?

Rose: It all started when we decided to go to Alaska.  We were researching ways to see Alaska and read about renting a camper in Frommer’s Alaska book.  With that information, we found a recommended camper rental company and made our plans.

We flew to Anchorage and picked up our truck and camper from a rental company.  In two weeks we drove 1,500 miles.  We loved the experience of having a truck camper.  We could go anywhere and it was so doable, especially when gas was so expensive at $2.00 a gallon (at the time that was expensive).

Gary: We already were campers, but we didn’t have a truck camper.  We have used pull behinds and pop-ups for years and years.  We wanted to go to Alaska and only had two weeks off since we were both working.  Traveling from New Jersey, we wanted to have quality time in Alaska, so we rented a truck camper.

Rose: Because we had a truck camper, we were able to go in to see places we wouldn’t have otherwise seen.  It was a wonderful time.  For people not as experienced with big motorhomes or trailers, a rental truck camper is very comfortable experience.

Gary: The reason I wanted the truck camper was that it was just the two of us.  We don’t need a lot of room.  We don’t need three beds and two baths.  We just needed enough room for us.  Plus, smaller is better for gas mileage.

Rose: From my perspective, renting a truck camper gave us so many more opportunities.  We covered so much territory.  It was also good for our budget.  We stayed at state parks and national parks and saw so much.

TCM: After your Alaska adventure, you flew to California and rented another truck camper.  Tell us about that trip.

Rose: We flew into San Francisco and drove to Yosemite National Park and traveled up the California Coast.  Then we went into California’s wine country and explored the Pacific Coast Highway.  Once again, we had the experience of being able to see much more than if we had gone to one place or rented a car and had to stay in hotels.

Gary: If we wanted to explore a city, we didn’t worry about not finding a place big enough to park the rig.  Driving the truck camper was like driving my pick-up truck at home.

Rose: That was a major consideration for us.  Going over the Golden Gate and through little California towns, it was much easier and more flexible than having a larger RV.

TCM: How did you pack when you flew in and camped?

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