After publishing, “Return of the Amphicamper”, we asked Truck Camper Magazine readers if they would consider buying an amphicamper. For those who didn’t read the article, an amphicamper is a cross between a truck camper and a boat. On land, an amphicamper is truck mountable camper. On water, the amphicamper is a boat, ready for fishing, water skiing, and waterway exploration.
As you might imagine, the responses ranged wildly from, “Sign me up, I’ll buy one.” to “No way Jose! You’re out of your mind.” The irony is that these comments are very similar to what we hear at RV shows when we approach folks about truck campers.
After reading the results, it’s clear that a small company could build a few dozen amphicampers per year, and sell them. Of course this would require that the amphicamper would function well, be constructed at a high quality, and be priced right.
What are the chances of this actually happening? Who knows! Maybe someone out there saw the amphicamper article and got to work building a camper-boat.
“Not being a boater, I would not purchase a combination boat/camper but would certainly consider using my existing Alaskan Camper on a pontoon boat. Rental of a good sized pontoon boat, transferring the camper to it, and enjoying a few weeks of lake exploration sounds like fun. Wouldn’t that be a nice break in a longer road trip? I really enjoyed this article about the Amphicamper. Ingenious!” – Bob Ragain, Stewart and Stevson M-1078, Alaskan 10-foot NCO
“Yes I would! I have already researched the idea numerous times. You would have the best of both worlds.” – Greg Vickery
“Yes, if the price was reasonable. It would seem that a simple box without bathroom, would be fairly cheap. If it needed to be loaded and unloaded easily, it would probably be just a shell without insulation.” – William Rogers, 2010 GMC Sierra
“No, I will stick to the land camper. I had a friend that had a house boat once. I spent many a weekends on it, and made many memories. I do like the concept of the amphicamper. The recycled Avion amphicamper was really nice. I have thought about buying a small boat to do a little lake fishing when I retire.” – Jeff Hagberg, 2002 Ford F250, 2006 Travel Lite 800 SBX
“There are already a number of compromises to truck campers without having to have the ability to float. In the 1960s they built car/boats, car/airplanes, and camper/boats with none of them doing both tasks well. The Amphicar from 1961-1967 sat rusting in barns for decades before recently bringing between $50-100K at auction. At my age, I don’t have decades to wait for a camper/boat to become valuable.” – Bryce Dillree, 2007 GMC 2500HD, 2013 Wolf Creek 850
“As a truck camper and boat owner, I admire the old amphicampers. I look at small house boats with envy and would like to see the amphicamper return. My entire family would certainly get a lot of use out of one. Bring it back, please!” – Rick Guffey, 2012 Ram 2500, 2013 Hallmark Everest
“In a heartbeat! I have fallen asleep many nights trying to design the welded aluminum boat that my camper would slide onto. I sold C-Dorys for 24 years and they were a great boat but, if I could only have the amenities and comfort of my Bigfoot on the water. I’ve got lots of concepts stored in the old pillow crusher. I just need to learn how to weld!” – Dave M, 2015 Ford F350, 2003 Bigfoot 10.6E
“For my wife and I, the possibilities are endless. We sailed for more than 25 years and have owned a variety of watercraft. While I don’t like stink pots (motor boats) for something like this, I could make an exception.
The little pontoons are both hideous and impractical on the 1961 Ford model, but the overall concept of a camper/boat is a great one. There are so many places to explore that are accessible only by water. My greatest concern would be safety, ensuring that the it would be safe in near-shore waters and rivers.” – Jon Hunstock, 2008 Ford F250, 2014 Northstar Arrow U
“Timing is everything. We were just in Alabama for three months at a COE park and starting talking about what it would take to make a truck camper houseboat. We visited with a gentleman who specialized in pontoons and looked at 30-foot tubes with 24-inch and 30-inch diameters. We thought in a couple of years of taking a pop-up truck camper and having it installed on a pontoon deck and cruise the Tenn-Tom and Intercoastal waterways.” – Glenn Blount, 2012 Ford F350, 2004 Lance 1010
“We had a customer that mounted a Four Wheel Camper Grandby shell on a bare pontoon. He liked the pop-up for going under bridges on the Eagle River chain of lakes. He would also take it to Lake Powell for extended winter expeditions. It had a 40 horsepower Honda outboard motor. He also had a Four Wheel Camper Hawk model on his pickup truck.” – Sean Dempsey
“I probably would not purchase one because it would be out of my price range. I remember about 20 years ago, some manufacturer made a motorhome called a Boaterhome that could drive on the highway and become a boat on a lake. It was much larger than the amphicamper that you had in your article.” – Bob Chan, 1989 Ford F250, 1988 Lance 780
“No! It makes a poor boat and a poor truck camper; like putting A-1 Steak Sauce on a Del Frisco Ribeye. Neither will benefit from it.” – Don Pryor, 2015 Ford F350, 2008 Arctic Fox 1150
“It would have to be designed for something other then a mirror smooth lake. A great destination, if it could handle it, would be Lake Powell. My concern would be how top heavy it would be but, yes put me on the list and hurry. My truck is getting old, my truck camper is getting old, and I am getting old.” – David Weinstein, 1999 Ram 3500, 2005 Arctic Fox 1150
“Interesting concept, but the licensing for each state could be a nightmare.” – Philip Bolding, 2012 Ford F350, Northern Lite 8-11 SE
“Absolutely! Ignore my wife, who will only consider a 40-foot+ Class A.” – David Latour