TCM: What made you want a truck camper?
Felix: I was fascinated by the idea of traveling the world on top of four wheels without a long trailer. In Europe, we don’t have huge vehicles like you do in the new world. In Europe, the city streets are not as wide, the parking areas are not as large, and often the infrastructure is much smaller. Our cities and villages were planned and constructed 100 or 200 years ago. With our truck camper, it is barely possible to move through these narrow lanes.
On the other side, you can reach calm and lonely places in the landscape with a truck camper. Some of these are abandoned places can only be reached with a 4×4. Neither a motorhome nor a trailer could get to these places. The main advantage is to leave the camper and drive only with the truck. You are independent and most flexible!
TCM: How did you purchase your Adventurer truck camper?
Felix: That’s another adventure. It was at the end of 2004. I was spending my nights on the internet investigating suitable offers for truck campers. That was hard work but, thanks to the unlimited possibilities of the internet, I found interesting offers. Then I talked to the vendors by phone and, in many cases, received more detailed photos of the campers.
My problem was that most truck campers were on the west coast of the United States and Canada. The harbors for the shipping lines are on the east coast. Finally, I made contact with some guys in Halifax where I found a 2002 Duramax in Quebec. Special thanks to the very pleasant Bob Curtis, former salesman for Fraserway in Halifax, I found a fine one year old Adventurer 810WS in the best condition.
Bob helped me in merging the Duramax and the camper and brought it to the Halifax harbor. In Bremen harbor, in Germany, I picked up my gigantic purchase two weeks later, which I had never seen before. Yes, it was a risky undertaking, but thanks to a reliable person at the other side of the ocean, it was successful.
After one year, I sold the Duramax and made a good buy on eBay; a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie Cummins from Dallas, Texas. It was also in the best condition. I picked up my truck in Dallas and transported it to the vessel. Two weeks later, it was here in Germany.
TCM: Did you have to make any modifications to your truck and camper to make it legal in Germany?
Felix: To make an American truck legal in Germany or Europe, it’s a long and expensive trudge. First, you need a homologation (government approval) for the engine. That’s the most expensive part. Then you have to modify turn signals as they must have orange color in Europe. Then you have to present the camper truck at the TÜV, German Association for Technical. A problem is the speed limit is fifty miles per hour for all vehicles over 7,700 pounds. To bypass this restriction you need two official declarations; the truck without camper, and truck with camper on it. This declaration is hard to receive.
TCM: Could someone fly into Germany and rent a truck camper?
Felix: Truck campers are not very popular in European Union. There are not many camper manufacturers here. Due to the small market, there are only a few dealerships where you can hire truck campers. I only know of two car rental places that offer campers for hire.
TCM: What do you like to do when you go out truck camping?