Grab your prep list. 149 readers reveal exactly what stays in their truck camping rigs ready to roll. Adventure or evacuation, truck campers are always set to go.
Almost every response points to the desire to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Some cite the convenience of spontaneous truck camping adventures while others take comfort that their rig doubles as a Family Emergency Vehicle; ready to escape at any time.
As a side note, we would like to hear from anyone who has actually used their truck camper rig in such an emergency situation. Have you actually had to use your camper to evacuate your home? If you have, click here and tell us your story.
This week’s Question of the Week was, “Do you completely dump your truck camper rig when you get home, or keep it fully or partially stocked?”
“I leave most everything inside except for bedding that needs cleaning. I store the camper on the side of the house on cement. I live in central California, so I don’t worry about winter weather.” – Bob Rosenhagen, 2003 Chevy Silverado 1500, 2014 Travel Lite 690FD
“We love truck camping! We have had four truck campers and several motorhomes. We learned the hard way not to empty our rig when got home when we lost our house to fire. We lost everything. Our RV was sitting safely away and wasn’t damaged. It was empty of all clothes and essentials. So now we take out only what we need (most of us have duplicates of most things) after a trip so, if we need to, we can leave on short notice.” – Frank Watson, 2016 Ford F250, 2016 CampLite 6.8
“When I get home I completely reload all non-perishables. The next time I use the camper, I only need to fill the refrigerator and fresh water. Having it mostly loaded aligns with the bug out vehicle concept. I can be ready to pull out in less than an hour.” – Leonard Pennock, 2006 Ram 3500, 2002 Eagle Cap 950
“We live in a townhouse complex and are fortunate enough to have free storage. Our camper and cargo trailer are only fifty feet from our unit. We leave the camper fully stocked and ready to go. The only thing we clean out after a trip is the refrigerator, if it will be more than a few days before we go again.
Clothes are put in/out depending on the nature of the trip and time of year. We usually take everything out of the camper towards the end of November, (end of hunting season), and restock at the end of March. We’re not into winter camping, yet.” – Rick Jones, 2005 Chevy 2500HD, 2013 Wolf Creek 850 SB
“I am lucky to have a large, tall metal carport behind my lake house. I installed a 30-amp service and keep my rig resting on the jacks or attached to my truck. It stays plugged in most of the time. I have a few items of clothing plus towels and toiletries that stay in the camper at all times. Condiments, dishes, dinnerware, coffee maker, etc. all live in the Cirrus. At go time, I add food, water and my travel bags containing things I use every day at home, but need to take traveling.” – Stephen Smith, 2015 Chevy 3500 HD, 2017 Cirrus 820
“We use our camper each week for a overnight trip to do daycare for our new grandson. Between these and other longer trips we leave our camper stocked except for the refrigerator, which we leave empty, wiped out, turned off, with the door propped open.
I drain and refill the fresh water tank, and empty the grey water tank onto our pavement which drains via the culvert into our orchard below (we wash dishes and shower with biodegradable soap). I replaced our flush toilet with a compostable toilet from Nature’s Head and we go five to six weeks between dumping. The resulting compost mixture of waste and coco-fibers gets buried at the forest edges of our orchard.
A two week supply of hard cider, wine, and canned and containerized food is left onboard. I keep clothes for a two week trip in the camper at all times. My partner packs a bag for each trip and the cabinets for her clothes remain empty. I don’t figure on being able to convert her to leaving camping clothes in the camper until our 6 week trip to Alaska next June.” – David Casterson, Ram 3500, 2016 Cirrus 800
“Yes we keep our camper stocked and ready to go. We take our camper out on its adventurers throughout the year. The only thing we have to take out to the camper prior to any trips are some fresh food and clothes. We keep things like ketchup items and so on in the camper at all times. The refrigerator stays on at all times. Since we can park it here at home with power, we are able to do that.
With the setup I have, I take the camper on and off the truck and it takes me about a half hour to be ready to drive away. I get the camper on the truck and get the turnbuckles set. While I do that, my wife gets the items I mentioned placed inside the camper. So it is pretty fast for us to be down the road.” – Rich Bain, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2010 Adventurer 810
“I keep the necessary items in the camper; pots, pans, portable generator, dish washing soap, spices and condiments that won’t freeze (we live in Michigan) as well as canned goods. Items like blankets and sheets get washed and put back after a trip.
The refrigerator gets emptied and the door stays ajar. I keep my camper inside all winter. It actually stays inside except when I use it. My main reason for buying a pop up truck camper, besides the lower center of gravity, was being able to put it in the garage. It stays on shore power in the garage. It’s a three car garage so the truck sleeps next to the camper in the winter.” – Daryl Davis, 1997 Ford F350, 2014 Palomino SS-1500
“We remove perishable items only. We empty all the tanks, sterilize the potable water tank, and sanitize the grey and black water tanks. For winter storage we do the same and we winterize the water lines, flush the hot water tank and treat all drains with RV antifreeze. In bug seasons (if we store our truck camper for any length of time) we treat all outside areas, especially those parts that touch the ground, with Ortho Insect Killer.” – Dan Daddieco, 2015 Ram 3500, 2015 Eagle Cap 1165
“We leave our camper loaded on our F450 at all times so it can be used as an emergency place to stay. It is also ready to take out for a trip on a moment’s notice.” – Bill Gahafer, 2008 Ford F450, 2013 Lance 1181