Question Of The Week

2016 Truck Camping Bucket List Adventures

This week we asked our readers, “What’s on your truck camping bucket list?”

Many readers reveal that Alaska is at the top of their lists, with plenty of National Parks along the way.  If Alaska is on your list, we strongly recommend reading, “Plan A Trip to Alaska”, and “Alaska On A Budget”, for starters.  And don’t leave home without a copy of  The Milepost.

If you would prefer to go to Alaska as part of a paid tour, there’s a 2017 Alaska Truck Camper Tour being led by fellow truck camper, Charlie Coushaine.

In the meantime, we couldn’t help but be inspired by your bucket lists.  You might want to get a pen and paper handy before you read these responses.  Better yet, go get your bucket list.  Our list now has a few more destinations.

“I would like to go back to Alaska.  The first time we traveled there we took three months to explore the beauty of Alaska.  It is a breathtaking place to visit.  We went to Montana and crossed into Canada and up to Alaska.  The Icefield Parkway was beyond words and on the Trans-Alaska Highway we saw so many black bears.

What an outstanding trip!  I advise anyone who has the means of going to Alaska to do it.  You won’t be sorry.  We went on a cruise to Alaska, but it serves no justice.  You need to travel through it on land.” – Richard Luczynski, 2015 Chevy Silverado, 2015 Lance

“We are looking forward to a spring trip to Gonzaga Bay, Baja Norte, Mexico and an early summer trip to Blue Ridge Reservoir, north of Payson, Arizona.” – Mike and Sharon Nervik, 2002 Silverado 3500, 2004 Eagle Cap 1150

“We have three big truck camper bucket list trips; (1) the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Boulder Dam loop, (2) the Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Great Lakes loop and (3) a sixty day trip to Alaska all starting from Indiana.” – Jon Hancock, 2015 Ram 3500, 2016 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CDSE

“In one word – Alaska!  We haven’t yet retired so we’re saving Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon for our trip of a lifetime with no time constraints.” – Rick Guffey, 2012 Ram 2500, 2013 Hallmark Everest

“Next year we plan to drive across Labrador.  Then we’ll take a ferry to Newfoundland. This is a less traveled route to Newfoundland as it is very remote with few services.  The roads across Labrador are not paved, but in good condition.  The ferry crossing the strait of Belle Isle to Newfoundland is less than two hours.” – Judi Sutherland, 2016 Ford F350, 2014 Adventurer

“I would have to say that to approach a bucket list item many times seems overwhelming!  That being said, we made our first trek to Alaska two years ago via the ferry and drove back, re-entering in Montana.  We studied, prepared, packed, repacked, bought more, unpacked, and repacked.  You get the picture.

We had the chance to be there for about six weeks and we loved it so much that we are going back this year for about twelve weeks.  We will only pack once this time.  Never let fear of the unknown make you miss an adventure or the ultimate truck camping adventure.” – Tom Elliott, 2007 Ram 2500, 1999 Lance 835 Lite

“My immediate wish is that the cancer my wife has is cured.  Truck camping is a distant thought.  However, my bride and I were talking that when she is cured we would like to find a beautiful spot to dry camp on a mountain stream and fish for trout.  We want to be in a place where there is no cell service or television if possible.” – Ed Krech, 2006 Dodge 3500, 2012 Northern Lite 8-11

“My husband’s bucket list includes a trip to Alaska.  We’re getting a bit over the hill, but  we still think we could go if he’d just stop working all the time.” – Cheryl Nelson, 2004 Chevy 3500, 1990 Shadow Cruiser 9.5

“My truck camping bucket list is to get a truck camper!” – Van Savell, 2010 Honda Ridgeline, tents

“We’re making our second trip to Alaska this summer.  This time we will be taking the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry through the inland passage along British Columbia.  Two years ago we drove via Banff and Jasper Parks and the Alcan Highway.  We’ll take the ferry north, and likely drive home.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050

“We hope to go to Alaska this summer.” – Robert D Mayton, 2014 Ford F-450, 2014 Lance 1172

“Alaska – going up on the Alaskan Highway and returning on the ferry.” – Robert Lee Hicks, 2010 Chevrolet 2500HD, 2011 Lance 992

“We are gearing up for retirement to the West Coast of Canada.  When the farm sells, our first activity before getting settled in our new digs on Vancouver Island will be to take a leisurely (no time constraints) trip around North America.  We have a 42-foot Trawler on the coast and realize that once we get on the water we will be less inclined to take the time needed for such a truck camper adventure.

We plan to travel first from west to east across Canada and then down into the USA.  We will continue down the east coast of the United States through the lower southern states and up through the central area on an angle ending up back at the west coast of Canada.  We think we could spend six months on this trip and are very excited about the whole affair.  We have upgraded our truck and I am in the process of upgrades in our camper in anticipation of this amazing trip.” – Wes Hargreaves, 2016 Ford F-450, 2006 Snowbird 108DS

“Alaska, Maine, and Florida.  Basically I’ll spend 50% of my retirement time traveling the country.” – Pete Haidinyak, 2008 Ram 3500

“The three things on my bucket list are Skyline drive in the Shenandoah Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the most attainable, the Dolly Sods in West Virginia.” – Chris Takach, 2013 Ford F250, 2014 Arctic Fox 811

“North to Alaska is on the near future list.  The Pacific Northwest can hopefully be started on the way to Alaska.  We like to spend more time touring British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.  Long term plans are making our way from Colorado to Maine then into Nova Scotia, Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.” – Pam Conner, 2015 Ford F350, 2015 Arctic Fox 1150

“Alaska or bust!” – Denver and Linda Woods, 1997 Ford F350, 2001 Lance 1121

“In a word, Alaska!  Having traveled to Alaska back in 1971 in a VW Beetle, we’ve spent a lifetime thinking about returning knowing that the adventure will now be completely different in many respects.  Most highways are paved and there’s actually fuel stops within fifty miles of each other.  That was not so in 1971!

Now that all our life chores are completed – you know, earning a living and all that comes with simply existing – we rekindled our desire to return to Alaska.  This will be the year we do so.  This time however, being 45 years older, we’ll be traveling in complete comfort in our Eagle Cap 1165 carried by our Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn.

Unfortunately, we’ll miss the 1200+ miles of dirt, dust and mud road (aka the Alcan Highway) as it was back in 1971.  But, with a little detouring, I’m sure we’ll find enough underdeveloped roadway to dirty-up our rig and quench our retirement-aged adventurous thirst for wide open spaces.

And this time, we are not venturing out alone.  We’ll be part of a convoy of 15 RVers managed by the Adventure Treks RV Touring Company.  We will leave home in mid-June to rendezvous with the group in Dawson Creek, British Columbia on June 29th.  Our escorted tour will last 60 days.  We should be back home in early September unless we get side-tracked along the way, which is entirely likely!

This will be our trip of a lifetime – again!  Wish us luck!  Happy trails!” – Dan Daddieco, 2015 Ram 3500, 2015 Eagle Cap 1165

“Alaska is the waves on top of our bucket list.  On the way we want to finally be passing through Glacier National Park in season enough to see the Going To The Sun Road. Newfoundland calls loudly.” – Anne and Joe Brown, 2013 Ford F-450, 2013 Chalet triple slide

“In 2015 we traveled 28,000 kilometers on the Silk Road and Mongolia.

In 2016 we are doing the Northern Lights Project of Moscow, Saint Petersbourg, Russia, Helsinki, Finland, NordKapp, Norge and return to Tarragona in Catalonia, Spain.  In the summer, we are going to the Morocco Dunes (Erg Chebbi) and Iriki Lake.

In 2017, we are planning on the USA, Canada, and Alaska.  But, more important is health.” – Frederic Amorós, 2011 Toyota Hilux, 2011 Fix Cell, France

“My husband and I dream of retirement when we can take a couple of months and head to the Yukon and Alaska and then down the British Columbia coast.  However, due to vacation and farming time constraints, our short term goal is Jasper and Banff National Parks.” – Tricia Mason, 2009 Ford F350, 2008 Montana Ponderosa 9.5

“We didn’t win the lottery, so there went to plans to chuck it all and drive from the Yukon to the tip of South America.

But even before the Lotto hit billions, we planned on the National Park to Park Highway, to and through the national parks of The West.  There are books, a great one by Lee Whitely, and a PBS documentary PBS: Paving the Way: The National Park-to-Park Highway.  The route was determined to promote tourism around 1920.” – Bonnie Pascucci, 2011 Chevy 3500, 2012 Adventurer 86FB

“It was a lifetime dream of my parents to see Alaska, and they finally did, not long before my father died in 2006.  My wife and I want to retrace their steps in his memory, and live our own Alaskan dream.  We also want to retrace the path I took during a hitchhiking trip around Lake Superior in 1976.  Oh, and we have never been to the Grand Canyon.” – Marlin Marx, 1999 GMC Sierra 2500, 1977 Trek 10.5 foot

“In 2012, we followed the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon.  Similarly, we would like to follow the Louis and Clark Trail and the Santa Fe Trail, at least as much as possible.

We like to wander, so we would like to pick a two lane US Highway and follow it across the country just to see what’s there, such as US Highway 2 or US 50.  In Canada, we want to visit the Maritime Provinces, and we want to someday drive to Alaska in our truck camper.” – Buzz and Sherri Merchlewitz, 1998 Dodge Ram 2500, 2015 Hallmark Ute

“We would like to visit all of the national parks in Utah this year.  In addition we hope to attend any recumbent rally that fits into our schedule.” – Bob and Jan Bromley, 2007 Chevy Silverado, 2010 Eagle Cap 850

“Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico (Angela), Burning Man in Black Rock Desert, Nevada (Gordon) – we’re in, when are we going?” – Charles Coushaine, 2001 Ford F350, 2012 Chalet DS116RB

“In our years of travel we have visited 46 of the lower 48 states, Alaska, and all provinces of Canada except for Quebec.  In recent years we have focused on using our Jeeping in many of the known off-road areas.

In the last five years, we have visited Ouray, Colorado to enjoy the world class Jeep trails.  The beauty of the San Juan mountains in western Colorado is unprecedented with its mountains and old mining areas.  We also enjoyed the Moab Easter Jeep event.

Remaining on our bucket list is visiting Oregon and Washington where we have not been.  We would enjoy visiting many of the federal land areas, and especially traveling along the Pacific coast.  Seattle is a must, and a tour of the Microsoft facility would be in order.

Also on our bucket list is taking our Jeep to more of the world class Jeep trails out west.  Mainly, we want to go on the Rubicon Trail in California which is perhaps one of the most technical challenges for the driver.  Also, Tillmook in Oregon, and Monument Valley in Utah would be a must.

With reduced travel expenses, and lower fuel prices, 2016 should be an opportunity for all truck campers.” – Warne Todd, 2000 Ford F250, 2005 Lance 981

“My wife and I have started a bucket list of places we want to visit.  We also just purchased two new Honda Fourtrax Rubicon 500s.  We plan on trailering them to some of our bucket list destinations.  One of those destinations is Tree Step Hideaway in LaSal, Utah because it looks like it has some great places to ride.

We started a favorites file called Bucket List.  When a destination catches our eye we add it to that file.  Then we pick one for our vacation and go see it.” – JT Tardif, 1998 GMC K2500, in between campers right now, but still use our truck with topper to sleep in

“Just roaming around is on our bucket list.  North to Alaska, the Trans-Canadian Highway, Vancouver to the Lighthouse, criss-crossing the USA to knock off the lower 48 states and the ten cool itineraries, north to south, and east to west.  Taking secondary roads not traveled before, if possible, even if it takes longer.  Fun!” – Frank Poole, 2016 RAM 5500HD, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

“My husband and I want to go back up the Alcan Highway and drive on the Dempsey Highway and to explore the Northwest Territories of Canada, including the town of Yellowknife.  In 2013, we drove from Chilliwack, British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska, back through Sweet Grass, Montana to our home in Ohio.  We will just reverse this and go to places we missed the first time around!” – Linda Clark, 2006 Dodge 3500, 2008 SnowRiver RK102

“First the past.  We drove our truck camper to Costa Rica and back and took a year to do it.  Also, we bought a VW camper van in England and drove it around Europe for six months and 15,000 miles.  Then, we sold it to another traveler for what we paid for it.

Those two trips were about 27 years ago while on a four-year, mid-life, around-the-world retirement.  It can certainly be done again now.

My house will be on the market within the month.  My truck and camper are ready to go.  My plan is to travel for six months of the year around the US, Canada, and Mexico, and then put it into storage while I travel to Southeast Asia and South America with a backpack.  Another trip to explore Europe by camper is also in my future.

I’ll do these six month flip/flops for the rest of my life or until either my body or mind gives out.  I’m now 67, retired, single (again) and ready to hit the road forever!  You can, too.” – Steve Cordis, 2000 F250 Ford, 1996 Weekender 1010

“We are planing a trip to Petersburg, Alaska in July 2018 for a family reunion.  Then we plan to go further north into Alaska and then come home to Washington State through Canada.  We will take the Ferry up and drive back.  I can’t wait.  I’ll be retired by then if all goes right.” – Bruce Moses, 2006 Chevy 3500, 2008 Lance 1191

“This year our bucket list is going to Charleston, South Carolina and, from there, going to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit a niece and check out the Quaker culture in North Carolina where some of our Quaker ancestors came from.

The next trip will be to the Midwest Truck Camper Rally in Minnesota.  I have always wanted to visit the Northwest, so we will leave the Midwest Truck Camper Rally and head to Washington and Oregon.

From there we will attend the Glacier National Park Rally on the way home.  We have never seen Glacier National Park, so this will be all new to us.  We will be attending the Midwest Truck Camper Christmas gathering in December also.  If something else comes up we may be going somewhere else.  We can’t get enough traveling in the truck camper.  I feel so lucky to be able to do this.” – John Bull, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2015 Arctic Fox 990

“We need to get to Minnesota and Wisconsin to complete all the continental states.  We plan then to hit the last eight Canadian provinces/territories we haven’t made it to.

After getting our new Northern Lite last March, we have driven over 9,000 miles testing it out.” – Philip Bolding, 2012 Ford F350, 2016 Northern Lite 8-11 SE

“I would like to add a powerful inverter to provide AC power for my refrigerator.  It will run off a separate battery charged by my truck as it runs, and as we travel.  My truck already has a heavy duty alternator and built in switches for the wiring.  I want to be able to avoid the use of propane to keep our food cold as we travel.

We are planning a trip to Myrtle Beach, Sanibel Island, and Key West from our home in Vermont.” – John McGuire, 2015 Ford F-350, 2013 Palomino M-2902

“I’d like to spend a week in Death Valley and tour some of the ghost towns.  I want to go back to Grand Canyon and tour the western tier and then go into the canyon itself and raft down the Colorado.

Montana is amazing and Oregon looks inviting.  If you want outdoor activities, Colorado is loaded with stuff to do.  There is lots to see here in New England as well.  Full retirement is April 9 and then I’m on the road.” – George Randall, 2012 Ford F 350 Super Duty 4 x 4, 2016 Arctic Fox (coming shortly)

“My grandmother was born on Prince Edward Island, so I would also like to visit the Canadian Maritimes.  I’ve had the rig to British Columbia, so I might as well book-end the country.  Living in southern California makes it a mighty trek, but I think I’ll soon give it a try.” – Mark Obert, 1999 Ford F250 SD, 1999 Lance 920

“We want to explore more of New Mexico, and Taos, and then down to the Carlsbad Caverns.  We also want to camp along the Washington State coast.  We want to ride the steam locomotive train from Durango to Silverton, Colorado.  The only thing more fun and adventurous than truck camping is… we haven’t found it yet!” – Mike Kolinski, 2012 GMC 2500 HD, 2012 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

“Our bucket list includes the Oregon coast, Monument Valley, Lamar Valley in Yellowstone, and any remote camping, off-grid, in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and New Mexico.  Also, any remote off-grid fly fishing for trout.  We love where trout live, which is cold clear water rivers, streams, and lakes.” – Fred Stanley, Ford F-350, Northern Lite 8-11 Classic Sportsman

“Our bucket list is to complete the Lower 48, except for North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  So we are thinking of an early fall trip that goes up the Pacific coast to Vancouver, then east to Calgary, down through the Dakotas and back up through Minnesota.

Then we’ll take the Upper Peninsula back into Canada eastward until we drop down through New England and then back home via the Colorado and Utah National Parks.  We have visited Montreal and Quebec a couple of times and have taken the cruise up the St. Lawrence and down to New York City.

We got tired of the air, cruise, road trip, air hassle, so we began our search for the right truck and camper combination for us.  We’ve clocked 20,000+ miles in its first fourteen months.” – Joe and Sandee Sesto, 2015 Silverado, 2015 Bigfoot C2500 10.6

“Having been blessed to have made three trips across North America, we now have to look at what we would like to repeat.  All would be nice but, to narrow it down, we will probably travel more in Canada.

The Yukon would be my first destination, which would also include Alaska.  We’re looking at Newfoundland and hoping to see old acquaintances again.  That will probably be on the list this coming year.

I would love to attend more truck camper Rallies along the way if possible.  There are lots of good friends there.  We want to spend time with family and welcoming fellow truck camper friends whenever the occasion arises.” – Lewis and Elaine Turner, 2003 GMC 2500HD, 1998 Sunlite 9.6 / 2008 Northern Lite Classic

“In 1976, we took the bicentennial year to go on a trip from Oklahoma to Maine via Niagara Falls and down the East Coast back home.  Our mode of transportation was a Volkswagen bus with flower curtains.  The VW was all of 35 hp.

We want to repeat that trip next fall and go all the way to Nova Scotia.  However, this time it will be in our truck camper and without our one-and-a-half and three-and-a-half year-old boys.  I’m sure we’ll make a little better time since the VW would go fast down the hills and slow up them.  Last time we did the trip in two weeks. This time we’ll take about a month since we have the time now.  I retired two-and-a-half years ago.” – Gene Miller, 2008 Ford 350, 2012 Eagle Cap 1165

“Wish we had more truck camper caravans.  A person can make a list, say where to meet, and off we go.  Get like ten to twenty-two trucks.  We pay for the guide’s night stays for his work.” – Betty Stratton, 2014 Ram, CampLite

“My bucket list starts with a truck to haul the Mini that I picked up last summer.  I am looking for a Tacoma Access Cab two-wheel drive with a V6.  I will consider an S-10 or Ranger, but the Tacoma seems to be the better choice.  I just have to find one to go camping.” – Kathy Fox, mid-80s Palomino, Mini S

“Route 66 and anything along the way.  This would start in Illinois and end in California.” – Dale Workman, 2003 Dodge 3500, 2012 Lance 1181

“I am planning a trip to Alaska from my home state of Washington.  I will go in the next couple of years!  I plan on doing lots of fishing coming and going and while I’m there!” – Michael L Sasse, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 2014 Four Wheel Camper Eagle

“This year it’s Florida for a month in the winter, then Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Yosemite National Park, exploring Washington State, more of Montana, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Hells Canyon, Idaho.

After this year, we’ll go to Canada and Alaska.  I’m 56 and I don’t think I’ll ever hit all the places I want to hit in the USA.  There are too many places, and not enough time.” – Dave and Cheryl Barker, 2014 Ram 3500, 2015 Northstar 850SC

“All of the National Parks in The West are a short term goal.  Alaska and the Gold Rush areas in Canada are also on the bucket list.” – Tom Waters, 2003 Dodge 2500, 2014 FWC Grandby Shell

“I want to go to Newfoundland by way of Banff and Niagara Falls.  The idea of a ferry ride enthralls me.  Next is the Florida Keys.” – Steve and Joyce Hannan, 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500, 2013 Hallmark Everest

“I would love to camp at NASCAR races.  I would also want to see the national parks when I retire.” – Jerry Estelle, 2005 Ford F350, 2000 Lance 920

“I want to complete the US 83 drive which runs from the Canadian border to Mexico. Visiting small-town America is as rewarding as off-the-grid.  And yes, I have plans for some of that, too!” – Phil Cohen, 2015 Ram 3500, 2016 Northstar 950SC

“We want to tour The West and go to Alaska.” – Steve Wright, 2015 Dodge 3500, 2015 Lance 1172

“We have been to 49 states from one end to the other, and have gone through Canada except Labrador.  Maybe we could fly to Hawaii and rent a VW bug camper and island hop.  No motels.  We’d just bum from island to island.  We could drive around one and go on the ferry to the next one.   I would love to hear it if someone has done this!

Next, we want to head down to the Panama Canal.  Wow what a trip!  My wife, daughter, and I went down into Mexico, almost to Guatemala, ran out of time and came back to Mazatlan.  We took the ferry on the Baja side up and crossed in Nogales.  It’s a great place to cross.  What a fun trip with just the three of us!” – Neil Steirer, 2008 Ford 2008 F350, 2015 Lance 1172

“We have been detoured several times, but Blue Ridge Parkway is our present dream destination, then on to Niagara Falls, Vermont, Maine, etc.” – Paul Roberson, 2014 F350, 1988 Lance 980

“My bucket list would be to travel across the United States to national monuments, national parks, and boondocking in the national forests.  But, since my camper is a tad too much for my truck, I’m relegated to just local places here on Arizona.  I will upgrade my truck and camper to do the serious stuff, which will come in due time.” – DuWayne Hermann, 1996 Ford F150, 1993 Fleetwood Elkhorn

“Like many fellow truck campers, I would like to tour around the roads of Canada and the United States.  Also on my wish list, I would like to have fellow truck campers come to a gathering in my hometown in the first weekend of September to participate in the Hot Air Balloon Festival.  That way I can meet you all in person.” – Denise Hupé, 2010 Ford F-250, 2004 Adventurer

“My wife and I are planning a trip to Alaska in 2017 after she retires.  We are looking forward to seeing the Canadian Rockies on our trip north.” – Dan Forry, 2004 Ford F-250 Lariat SC, 2006 Palomino 1251

“I would like to hike the Appalachian Trail.  Don does not want to go, but has agreed to meet me at road intersections in the truck camper.  I can have a hot meal, hot shower, and sleep off the ground.

We are also national park junkies and still have a few on our must visit list, like Yosemite, King’s Canyon, and a couple others that can be driven to, plus Banff and Jasper in Canada.  For the ones we can’t drive to, we’ll go as close as we can in the truck camper.

Someday maybe we’ll go to Stanfest in Canso, Nova Scotia.” – Sue and Don Graf, 2008 Ford F350, Arctic Fox 865

“I plan to go on the truck camper caravan with Spike in Alaska in 2017.  We plan to make this a three month trip and circumnavigate the country.” – Tim Tuttle, 2005 Chevy Silverado 3500, Chalet DS RB

“I want to follow the entire Mother road (Route 66) from Chicago to Santa Monica.” – James Comperchio, 2013 Ram 3500, 2015 Northstar 850SC

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