Truck Camper Magazine discovers hot pink tape, top secret attendee testing, and 113 off-road and off-the-grid truck campers at Overland Expo 2013. But first, we got pulled over.
About two miles before the entrance of the Overland Expo, we got pulled over. The officer was off to the side of the road and forcefully signaling us to stop.
“How fast were you going?” I anxiously asked Angela, already anticipating an expensive ticket, increased car insurance, and possibly bail money for my lovely bride.
“I don’t know,” Angela replied. “Is that even a cop?”
As she brought the rig to a full stop, it was clear something wasn’t exactly right. First, the officer’s motorcycle was a BMW. And second, the guy had a big happy smile on his face.
“Are you Angela White?” he asked.
“You must be Bryan Appleby!” exclaimed Angela. My wallet exhaled.
“Can you tell I was once a police officer?”
Well, Bryan, you scared the living heck out of us. So, yes, we could tell you were once a police officer. And by the look on Bryan’s face, you could see he was quite pleased that he still had the touch.
Then Bryan explained how to find the Overland Expo.
“Make a right on Mormon Lake Road, go past the fire house, past the general store, take a right into the campground entrance, go through the campground, follow the dirt road until the fence ends, then make a right and go through the field until you see my rig. Park there.”
Honestly, all I could remember was something about a fire house, but Angela seemed to understand and off we went. When we arrived, the group wasn’t too impressive; just Bryan’s rig, and ours.
As a volunteer for the Overland Expo, and a lead organizer for the RV.net truck camper group, Bryan had been busy marking off a large area in the camping field with hot pink tape, and rocks with more hot pink tape tied around them.
In a wide open field, with nary another truck camper in sight, Bryan knew exactly where he wanted us. Posted on his Lance Camper was a carefully drawn chart designating where each and every truck camper was to stay. From his chart, Bryan pointed to an area in the field and Angela maneuvered our rig precisely to that point. There, next to a rock with hot pink tape, we dry camped for the following five days. Our first Overland Expo experience had begun.
The next morning we published, “The Survivor Truck Bug Out Vehicle” from our truck camper dinette, blasted out the email alerts, and posted the story to our Facebook page and Twitter feed. It’s always a kick to publish a story from our truck camper, but it’s particularly fun publishing while off-road and off-the-grid. Publish anywhere!
We spent the rest of the day walking the still forming Overland Expo and getting to know the lay of the land. The crews from Four Wheel Campers and Northstar Campers had arrived and were busy setting up their displays. As the hours progressed, one truck camper, and then another, and another, arrived in the camping field. For not being a truck camper rally, it sure started to feel like a truck camper rally.
By late afternoon, there were at least a dozen of us starting to fill in Bryan’s chart. We were meeting truck campers from all over the United States and Canada, putting names to faces, and checking out rigs we had only seen in pictures. Other truck campers came unannounced and were added to the mix in fanned out layers.
The conversations and laughter went on long into the night. It’s so exciting to meet other truck campers and learn about their truck camping lifestyle. For Angela and I, this is what it’s all about.
EXPO DAY 1: Friday, May 17th