Question Of The Week

How Truck Campers Set Up Camp

We are campsite minimalists.  Unless we’re camping with friends, we don’t even setup our outside chairs.  Of course our RV neighbors often appear to be hosting an outdoor wedding with tents, tables, seating and outdoor kitchens from one end of their campsite to the other.  Comparatively speaking, our campsite is buck naked.

Realizing that our behavior is rarely typical, we asked Truck Camper Magazine readers about their own campsite rituals.  Funny enough, it turns out that we’re not the only connoisseurs of spartan encampments.  That said, one reader admits to not only putting out pink flamingos, but naming them.  That’s pretty wild, and just the beginning.

This week’s Question of the Week was,How do you set up your campsite when truck camping?

Lance 1050S Towing Quad Trailer

“Brimming!  We have a quad trailer with an awning for the outdoor kitchen.  We bring along a fire pit, chairs, tables and of course, Betty and Beatrice – the pink flamingos!” – Bob Smith, 2001 Ford F-250, 2015 Lance 1050S

“I am a minimalist.  I drive in and look around to see if it’s safe.  I try to find a level place to park and leave without a trace.” – Jesse Black, 2015 Chevy 3500, 2010 Lance 1055

BLM Land In Nevada

“The picture above says it all.  I boondocked for seven months from September 2nd, 2017 to March 28th, 2018.  The picture above is on BLM land in Nevada.” – Kenneth Dunn, 1998 Dodge 3500, 2010 Arctic Fox 811S

“The first thing out is a clothes line, then the small speaker with an obnoxious small barking dog with the intent that it will get other potential campers away from our spot.  That’s it.  Realistically, we keep the campsite to a minimum.  We pull a cargo trailer for the toys and extra stuff.  The less we get out, the less we have to put away before we move on.” – Bob Nelson, 2015 GMC 3500, 2013 Arctic Fox 1140

Bigfoot 9 4 Camper camping

“We set up exactly like you and Angela (including the cats).  When we set up camp, we want to enjoy the outdoors by going kayaking or hiking.  There is no need to bring it all when getting away from it all.  Heck, the camper itself is pretty luxurious compared to our backpacking gear and tent.” – Lyle Tremblay, 2004 GMC 2500, 2006 Bigfoot 25C9.4

“The only items I set up are a Coleman folding table, a couple of camp chairs, the hibachi, and the American flag.” – Frank Kaye, 2005 Dodge 3500, 2008 Northstar Arrow

Campsite With Truck Camper Sign Adventurer 116DS

“It varies for us.  Sometimes we’re minimal, other times not.  We’re generally in the truck camper for seven straight months, so we try to keep it simple.  We do a lot of boondocking, so if we put anything out then it will be one solar light to illuminate the bottom of the stairs.  However if we’re at a campground for several days, you’ll find our camp chairs and BBQ grill set up along with a dog bed for Rugby, our camper banner, a truck camper solar light as well as several other solar lights.  We used to carry a large screen house, but didn’t use it and wisely sold it to another truck camper who got much use out of it this past winter in Florida.” – Chuck and Jodie Ramsey, 2012 Chevy Silverado, 2014 Adventurer 116DS

2014 Palomino 8801 camping

“We’re not as spartan as you guys.  We usually get out our chairs, a griddle, and a grill.  But, that is about it.” – Dan Robinson, 2017 Ram 2500, 2014 Palomino HS-8801

“We’re pretty much minimalists due to weight restrictions with our old truck.  With our new truck we can carry everything we had been carrying and still be 1,200 pounds under payload.  Therefore, we’re adding more stuff every time we go out.

We set up two camp chairs plus a small table, a rug to reduce dirt infiltration, a tablecloth on the picnic table, and a hammock.  We will be adding a screen tent for the next time out.” – Randy Smith, 2017 Ram 3500, 2017 Adventurer 910DB

Lance 855S Camper off the truck at the Campsite

“If we are going to be at a place for more than a day, we will unload the camper and put the awning, mat, and gas fireplace out.  We also have a table for the stove (we never cook inside) and chairs.” – Bill Richcreek, 2013 Ford F-350, 2017 Lance 855S

“Just like you and Angela, we are bare bones with two folding lawn chairs.  We have an awning (bag awning) that gets deployed for sitting under in the lawn chairs and cooking outside on a fire in the evening.

We both like food prepared on an open fire because it tastes better.  Being an Eagle Scout years ago, I like cooking meals on a fire or in the coals (we have a dutch oven).  About the only luxury item we have is out trusty Coleman gas lantern.  Everything does double duty if possible.

There are not a lot of storage options in a pop-up, so we pack just what we need and nothing extra.  Extra stuff equates to extra weight.  I like running as light as possible since we mostly camp disbursed off road.  In fact I don’t believe we have ever camped in a commercial campground in 30 years.  We’re not fond of neighbors.” – Daryl Davis, 1997 Ford F350, 2014 Palomino SS-1500

Camping In The Rain, Umbrellas and Campfire

“Sorry to say, but we go all out with food tents, eating tents, a dishwashing station, wood for campfires, propane stoves, BBQ grills, and two picnic tables – one for kids projects.  We are spoiled rotten.  I forgot we also have an oven smoker.  Yes, we smoke fish while camping.  When we do, we have lots of people stopping by.” – Bruce Erickson, 2006 Dodge Ram, 2016 Adventurer 8.6FB

“We are very similar to you folks, except for the cat.  Turn the ignition key to the left, unlock the camper door, lower the bumper step, and it’s cocktail hour.” – Bob Lick, 2003 Dodge 3500, 1993 Alpenlite 11-foot

Lance 855S Campsite

“There normally is a few of us camping together.  We are almost always are camping in the bush in the middle of nowhere.

We try to set up in a wagon train.  Being in the bush means we have room to set up our cook tent and lights so we can see at night.  We have outdoor games we play and always set up our chairs around a fire pit.

Sometimes we cover the fire pit with a parachute depending on the weather and time of year.  And, if its a new place we are trying, I have arrows to point the way down the bush roads to our campsite.  That way all our friends can find us if their GPS batteries go dead.” – Ken Leona Atamaniuk, 2012 Ram 3500, 2016 Lance 855S

Homebuilt Camper Campsite

“I carry solar panels that I set up at the campsite and plug into a pre-wired controller in the camper.  After that, I go exploring!” – Dieter Karaluz, 2017 Toyota Tacoma, 2017 home built hard side pop-up

“We think less is more.  We have two chairs, a small round table, and a carpet to try to limit the dirt getting into the camper.  We are prospectors so, when we are out on a prospecting trip, our campsite is more like a mining operation than a camp site!” Warren Sidney, 2006 Chevy Silverado 2500, 2015 Arctic Fox 811

Toyota Hilux Camper

“We are usually minimalists like you.  Once we put up the flag of our small country of Catalonia (Spain).” – Frederic Amorós, Toyota Hilux, PSI-Azalaï (French Fix Cell)

“We park without making a fuss, set the camper, pull two chairs, grab a book, needle works, and the binoculars.  If we are boondocking we go from truck cab to camper; no jacks, no blocks, no noise, and no shining light inside or out.  We are in stealth mode most of the time.” – Jake and Sylvie Mathis, 1994 Dodge Ram, 2005 Northern Lite 9 Q

Bigfoot 25C9-4 Campsite

“If we’re in a spot for more than a day, then the stairs go down, the oilcloth goes on the table, and the clothesline goes up – in that order.  We like to travel and golf so we don’t usually spew ourselves too much around at the campsite.  It all has to go back in before we can take off for the golf course for the day.

Boondocking however is different.  It’s our home, rain or shine, and we make it so since we like to be outside.” – Cathryn Curtis, 2010 Chevy 2500, 2008 Bigfoot 25C9.4

1980s SunLite Popup Sellers

“We get out an E-Z UP awning over the picnic table, a Coleman cook stove and BBQ grill.  We only cook outside.  We also get out the comfy camp chairs.

We’ll usually have fishing float tubes laying around and a hummingbird feeder if we’re in a place that allows them.  But, we pretty much keep it tidy.” – Greg Sellers, 2002 Ford F250, 1980s SunLite pop-up

“We do pretty much as you and Gordon do.  We park, hookup, unhook, and go.  We don’t bother lowering the jacks.  That’s probably because I am not that good at remounting the camper.  We carry the tarp, dual awnings, camping chairs, and are set up for a propane grill.  I just haven’t found the right one.  Also, we don’t tend to stay in one spot very long.” – Joe Sesto, 2015 Silverado 3500, 2015 Bigfoot 2500 25C10.6E

Campsite In Quartzsite Setup

“A chair and a campfire is good enough.  Sometimes the chaise lounge comes out to sleep.” – David and Lila Weinstein, 1999 Ram 3500, Arctic Fox 1150

Minimalist Camper Sunset

“I too am a minimalist.  I remote camp whenever possible.  Even when I stay at an organized campground, a camp chair and maybe a recently purchased bundle of firewood is all that you will find outside of my camper.  If I have a campfire, I will have water nearby to put it out if the wind picks up or I go to bed.

Weather permitting, there is nothing better than a small campfire and some star gazing, which is why I boondock.  Strings of lights, torches, generators at night, and boom boxes next door are not a pleasant camping experience for me.

I guess it might be the difference in where people live.  Urban and suburban people live where there are lights 24/7 and maybe the threat of intruders.  Lighting is a way of life and a security blanket.  Living at the edge of the woods I am used to a dark night sky and the only intruders I usually worry about are bears trying to get into the bird feeders or the garage.

To each his own.  RV parks and full hookups are popular and becoming the norm, but I seek out my minimalist camping locations.” – Terry Gfeller, 2015 Ram 2500, 2013 Lance 865

Lance Sportster Camper

“We are minimalists.  I also hate clutter.  So, unless we spend more than one night in a campsite, we pull in, plug in, lower the jacks to level and stabilize, pull out a footstool and lawn chairs, and we are set up.  For more than one night, I may plug in a rope light for ambiance.  Otherwise, I’d rather spend my time enjoying the outdoors than decorating it!” – Shelley Pike, 2009 Ford F350, 2006 Lance Sportster 950

“We camp very conservatively.  We back into a site, check for being level, hook up to the electricity (if available), crank up the top, and we are home.

My wife’s folding chair is out any time she wishes to use it, and I usually sit at the picnic table, which we place near the fire pit.  I do a lot of hiking, so I may be away from the campsite much of the time, and she will sit outside and read while I am away.  Or she may sit in the camper and read.  My wife and I do some short hikes together, but she is not a long distance hiker.

We sometimes eat outside, but mostly inside is more convenient.  The camper is our biggest investment, so we should use it.  Also, there are no insects.

We don’t advertise where where we are from, nor do we light up our campsite or play loud music.  We just enjoy nature and the friendship of the campground host.  There are some wonderful and dedicated people maintaining our campgrounds.” – Ellis Tyson, 2006 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, 2000 Sunlite Fold-down

Camping By The River

“It depends.  If it’s just me for a night or two, I’ll just roll out the camp chairs (carried inside camper) and be done.  Maybe I’ll set up the generator since I’m still working on the solar thing.

If I’m at a place more than two days, I’ll break out the small kitchen, or maybe just the BBQ.  For extended stays with a group, I’ll break out the big kitchen; a Camp Chef two-burner stove, prep table, and side table lights.  I’m working on another canopy.

If there’s a group happy hour, I’ll break out my Carmen battery-powered margarita mixer.  Carmen means a “Camping Anywhere Remote for a Margarita Environmental Nirvana”.  It’s yellow, battery powered, and will go anywhere – Margaritaville.

So it depends.  I’ll be purging Carmen and the Camp Chef back to storage since I don’t really use them that much to keep carrying around.  Purging is a continuous process.” – Frank Poole, 2016 Ram 5500, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

“We take our two chairs off the bed and put them outside.  We do not have a mat for outside.  If the site has services and we will be there more than one night, we hookup.  We own a picnic shelter, but have never used it.

If it’s just overnight, sometimes we don’t even deploy our scissors camper stairs.  We’ll use a three step ladder instead.” – Rick Brundrige, 2015 Chevy Silverado 3500HD, 2000 Bigfoot 25C9.6

2005 Lance 1030 Campsite Setup

“We have a small carpet to keep the dirt inside to a minimum.  The flag goes up, rear step go down, and chairs, grill, and tablecloth are deployed.

The rest depends on where we are and how long we are staying.  Kayaks come off if we are near water.  The bikes come out if we are staying for more than a day.  We hardly sit or cook inside if the weather allows.

We never unload the camper, so we usually can be mobile in under ten minutes.” – Harrie Ashley, 2012 Ford F350, 2005 Lance 1030

“We have gone from minimalists to having everything.  Now we’re back to minimalists.  Our life is so much more rewarding without television, computers, and stuff.  Sandra and I enjoy the quiet times so much; we can have devotions, and just talk.

It has even led to less television and computers at home, but that is not for everyone.  We have also eliminated extra chairs, the awning and – unlike you – we never put the jacks down.

On our last fishing trip to Colorado (which lasted two months), I believe we only had hookups four or five times.  We are very blessed to have an awesome truck and camper that allow us to go to many beautiful places which so many can not go.  KISS.”  Ed Krech, 2006 Dodge 3500, 2011 Northern Lite 8-11

Four Wheel Grandby Campsite

“We are minimalists. We park, pop-up the roof, plug-in the power if available, and camp.  On nice days we take out our camp chairs and sit in the sun or shade, but we put the chairs back in the truck at nightfall.  We once woke to seeing a wall cloud in the distance, dressed, and got the camper ready to roll in ten minutes before the storm hit in Nebraska.” – Laurel Wilson, 2018 Ford F-350, 2016 Four Wheel Camper Shell

“When we set up camp, it’s level the camper, open the three slides, and we’re pretty much done.  Sometimes we’ll put out a boot brush or small rug if the weather is wet and the ground is muddy.  Generally, we less is more when it comes to set up for camping.

We do have a couple of lawn chairs that we put out, but that’s it.  All in all, it makes for a cleaner camp and less stuff to pack in the camper as well.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevrolet 3500HD, 2017 Host Mammoth

Fishing With Lance Camper

“Out comes two tables and a camping gear stored in floor/walkway, one 10×12 outdoor rug/carpet, a pop-up shade over the tables and folding chairs, three milk crates of solar LED stake lights, firewood, and miscellaneous extension cords and a water hose.  I also have fishing gear, a vacuum sealer, freezer bags, knives, cutting boards, an extra case of bottled water, a flagpole, flag, and finally, the generator.” – Kenneth Beal, 2008 Chevy Silverado 2500, 2000 Lance 810

Adventurer 810 Campsite Set Up Rich Bain

“It really depends on how long we stay at a campsite, and what our intensions are for the trip.  If we are staying at a specific site for a few days, we set several things out.  If we’re just passing through, a couple chairs and a grill is about it.

We always set up a sign of who we are and where we’re from.  We figure it is an invitation for someone to chat with us.” – Rich Bain, 2010 Adventurer 810, 2014 Dodge 3500

“We go fairly minimal, but there are essentials that come out every time.

1. A picnic shelter tent.  We have a Coleman screen tent which literally sets up in one minute.  It’s essential since we prefer not to cook indoors or become food for insects.

2. Camping chairs.  Again, because we don’t spend a lot of time in the camper, camping chairs are essential.

3. BBQ and camp stove.  They come out immediately because they store where the cat box goes.

4. Pet stuff.  We have a disabled cat so we set up his pen the moment we arrive (unless it’s raining) and get the dog’s tether tied up.

5. Last but not least is a fake-grass type door mat which gets placed at the bottom of the stairs.  That way we can wipe off excess dirt, mud, and pine needles before going inside.

Depending on what time we arrive and how long we’re planning to stay, we may bring out other things right away, like the axe and wood.  We usually bring our own if it’s legal.

We’ll bring out a shade shelter for the cat pen, unload the bikes, balls and toys for our kid, and a solar panel.  We do not have any flamingos, signs, string lights or even a hammock.” – Melissa Malejko, 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 1981 Okanagan

Four Wheel Camper With Camp Chairs

“The only item that is always set up outside is the portable barbecue since that is where most of the cooking takes place.  It’s usually on a flat bit of ground unless there is a picnic table handy.

The two folding chairs may or may not come out depending on our mood and how long we’re staying.  They’re probably out for half of our camping nights.  We also have a small, 2-foot by 2-foot folding table that gets used occasionally for eating at or playing cards.  The canopy is extended once in a while for shade or rain protection.

I had owned the camper for over a year before I put the canopy out for the first time.  Five minutes later, a ranger drove by and said there was a tornado warning and I should close the canopy and put anything loose inside.  It was almost another year before I used it again.

Generally, I use the camper for traveling rather than staying, so I try to keep the clutter to a minimum so that breaking camp is quick and easy.” – Richard Mount, 2013 Ford F150, 2013 Four Wheel Camper Grandby

Thunderbird 2 Lance 850

“We level the truck sometimes with wedges and other times just with the air bags for a tweak.  I have a little T-type level in the cab and another that I put on the camper floor.  I have set the position of the cab level so it shows level only when the camper section is level.  I have named the truck camper, Thunderbird II.

I pull out the aftermarket folding stairs (not the useless concertina factory ones), roll out the awning, lay down the ground sheet, and put up the camp table.  Next, I bring out the comfortable folding chairs.  I check the water heater is on and the refrigerator is on gas.  I break out a good book or the iPad and I roll a smoke.  I crack a beer and I am am set.” – Dominic Costello, 2001 Ford F-250, 2015 Lance 850

“With the exception of an occasional camp chair, I keep my campsites clutter free.  I don’t have the room to carry all of the stuff that some RVers carry and I don’t want to deal with any of it.  The beauty of traveling in a truck camper is that is it easy to keep the amount of stuff to a minimum.” – Wanda Myers, 1999 Dodge 2500, 2003 Hallmark Cuchara

Elaborate Set Up Camping

“Because we are also minimalists, we don’t have much outside our camper.

That being the case, when we leave to go exploring, the site looks vacant.   We actually had our site taken a couple times, even with our tag on the post.  To fix this, I converted a conventional bright yellow real estate sign to say “This Site Occupied by Neil & Yoly”.

When we had the Adventurer, we never used the 10×10 pop-up we carried.  We did occasionally sit outside in the Zero Gravity recliners.

Our campsite reflects the amount of time we’re staying.  If it’s an overnight or two, things don’t get set out.  If we’re staying longer, more stuff gets set out such as the camp mat to keep the cabin cleaner.  If it’s hot and there’s no shade, we’ll put up the 10×10.

Now with our new Eureka we’ll probably spend more time outside in nice weather due to the more confined spaces inside.

As you’ll see in the picture, back when we had the Range Runner we’d set up an elaborate camp largely due to the more confined space of the small 6×8 trailer.” – Neil and Yoly Mullen, 2016 Ram 2500 Tradesman, 2018 Eureka

Naked Shore Power Only

“Naked!  We only use the electrical shore power.  We’ve learned over time that once the fresh water is used, we refill it as needed.  That keeps the chlorine level higher, and we have less of a chance to get skunky water in the fresh water tank.

We never use our campsite dump.  I’ll actually make a couple laps around the campground before dumping at the common dumpsite to stir up the contents before dumping.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050

“Only my truck parked.  No other junk!” – Chuck Cox, 2005 Ford F-150, Range Rider Cap

“Bare minimalist, mostly.  I dry camp the majority of times finding trail heads, grocery parking lots, park entrances, and (in cities) flat somewhat secluded dead end streets.

There is no set up.  Also I don’t normally spend more than one night in one spot unless I am feeling under the weather, in which case I am not interested in decor.

I do more of a set up if I’m staying several days to see an area, especially if I am having guests.  Then I will set up the standard picnic table with a covering, a stove top, some folding chairs, etc.

I do carry a small roll-up outdoor rug for use in muddy or sandy situations, but I don’t generally roll it out except for then.  I have no awning.  My pleasure comes from cycling, hiking and the water.  Sitting outside in camp doesn’t appeal unless there are guests.” – Michele McLeod, Ford F-150, 2000 Travel Hawk 9.5

Pop Up Camper Campsite

“We do the bare minimum.  We camp in grizzly/black bear country, so we keep everything inside when we are gone for the day on our quads.  At night, we have a two burner cookstove and maybe a fire.  The fire depends on fire restrictions, which happens frequently in Montana.

We have two chairs we bring along, but that is the extent of what we do.  We cook outside even in heavy snow but, when it rains, we usually scamper back inside.

We enjoy camping with our extended family, which involves mostly hiking, photography, exploring, and quad riding.” – Diane Erhart, 2002 Dodge Ram 2500, 2016 Northstar 950

“Very minimalist.  We set out our lawn chairs, put a table cloth on the picnic table and that is about it.  Maybe we’ll put the camp stove on the table.

We rarely stay in one place for more than one night.  If we are going to stay in a campsite for a week or longer, we might take a screen house along to set over the table, but we have only done that once or twice in ten years of truck camping.” – Allen Brummel, 2013 Ram 2500, 2016 Northstar 650SC

“Less is always better since storage space is always at a premium.  Our theory of RV stuff has always been if one thing is to be added, one thing must go.  And if we need everything we take with us then we can’t add anything new.  That way traveling is cheap since we can’t buy new stuff.” – Russell Berquam, 2014 Ford F-350, 2015 Arctic Fox 1140

Red Fish Lake Campsite

“I set up two chairs under the slide-out.” – Jeff Hauser, 1996 Dodge 2500, 2006 Arctic Fox 860

“As full-time RVers in a fifth wheel trailer for almost three years, we have also embraced a minimalist life.  Our campsite consists of putting out two lawn chairs and our dog’s lead.  The less we have out, the quicker we can head out in case of severe weather.

This fall we’ll migrate to a truck camper for our six months of winter travels – includng Mexico.  Our minimalism will be tested further.” – Mike and Louise Bacqué, 2013 GMC 3500 HD, Unknown camper as of yet

“Pretty minimalist.  We put out chairs and maybe a table.  We do use a portable barbecue and sometimes a tablecloth on the campground’s picnic table if it’s dirty or greasy.  That’s it.” – Neal Williams, 2016 Ford F250, 2000 Bigfoot 2500 10.6

“It depends on the length of the stay, or if we are towing our boat.  If we’re staying less than three days, we create a run for the dog between the camper and a tree.  If that’s not possible, I screw a leash ring into the ground to tether Fido.  Then, I’ll hookup utilities, hook on the camper steps, put out the door mat, open the slide and the awning (if it’s not windy).  That’s about it for outside.

If it’s more than a four day stay, we’ll take the camper off the truck.  We usually haul stuff in the camper and boat (chairs, BBQ, stabilizing jacks, camper steps, ladder, fishing gear, water jugs, and an ice chest with extra food if it’s an extended stay).  Once we arrive at our destination, we empty the vehicles and stow our gear under the camper.

If we know we are going to entertain friends during our visit, we will pull no stops – awning lights, outdoor rug, picnic table cloth, gazebo over the picnic table in case of rain, extra chairs, side tables, firewood and accoutrements.” – Tim and Grace O’Sullivan, 2017 Silverado 3500, 2008 Snowriver 9.6 camper

Arctic Fox 990 Campsite

“I put down the Fox Landing, unlock the door, power out the slide, plug-in, install the pressure regulator, install the water filter, hook up the water hose, and turn on the water.  Then, I get out our chairs, and the table and grill if I have to grill anything.  I get my wife/best friend her beverage and a beverage for myself, and we relax.” – George Visconti, 2015 GMC 3500HD, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

“Just like you and Angela, we open the door, transfer the cat, and plug in a 20-amp power cord.  We go bare minimum.

We consider ourselves travelers and not campers.  We stay in a campground only to dump the tanks and fill the fresh water for one night.  Even if we stay multiple nights, we use the campsite as a base camp so that we can visit multiple sights in the area.

We dump and fill as we leave the campground in the morning.  We can vacate a site in ten minutes or less.” – Jon Hancock, 2015 Ram 3500, Northern Lite 10-2EX CDSE

“We are minimalists.  I have a United States flag on the ladder, tiny charcoal grill (not always used, but I remove it to access the flag), and sometimes a chair or two.” – Scott Spradley, 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, 1998 Lance Squire Lite 186

1991 Lance 9-6 Campsite

“My wife Elaine and I enjoy dry camping in remote areas while gold prospecting.  In that situation, we are usually there for a week or so.  Usually we don’t see anybody so it doesn’t have to have it real pretty.  If we are just exploring or passing through, we become pretty minimalist.” – Ron Meredith, 1994 Ford F-350, 1991 Lance 8.6

“We are minimalists.  A couple chairs and a stove or grill are all we set up in camp.  Sometimes we deploy the awning if we need the shade.” – M. Stoute, 2002 Dodge 2500, 2004 Lance 920

“Usually we just unload if we are staying more than one day.  Then we put the slide out and hook up water and electric, if it’s available.

We will walk the dogs and then relax.  We have a couple of camp chairs if we want to sit outside and hope to meet fellow campers.  We also sit inside and play a game if the weather dictates.” – Pam Conner, 2015 Ford F350, 2015 Arctic Fox 1150

Campsite With Arctic Fox 1150 Camper

“We typically pull in, level, and pull out our stairs.  Then we send out the slide, and we’re done.  If the weather and landscape are right, we’ll get out the chairs and table.  We will sit there with our wine or beer and enjoy the outdoors.  If I’m really adventurous, I’ll make a fire and enjoy the evening.”  – Tim and Linda Zeh, 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 3500, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150

“I am a minimalist.  I just pull into a level campsite, extend the awning over the back door, and set out a lawn chair.  Then, I’m done.  Campfires are almost obsolete, and banned during hot season.  The British Columbia provincial campgrounds no longer supply firewood.  They want to reduce polluting the air.  Too bad radios, barking dogs, and loud talking people aren’t banned too.” – Vic Smith, 2015 Ford F350, 2013 Adventurer 89RB

“Our idea of setting up is to plug in and drop the steps.  We may use our folding chairs, but we do not leave them up.” – Matt Wiegand, 2014 Ford F150, 2017 Adventurer 80RB

“We deploy the awning and a couple of camp chairs, hookup water and electric, and call it good.” – Howard Bisco, 2015 Ford F250, 2014 Palomino HS-6601

Gamble Rogers State Park Florida Campsite

“Although we are not total minimalists like you, we usually put out our folding chairs and folding table.  This allows us to sit and relax outside the rig and talk with other campers walking by.  We have had many memorable conversations sitting outside and it’s a great way to make friends while on the road!” – Charles Coushaine, 2001 Ford F350, 2012 Chalet DS116RB

“If there are hookups, we’ll use them, but not always.  I have smaller United States and US Navy flags that I display on the front of the truck.  We’ll pull out the folding chairs and set them up.  Bobbi likes to sit outside and read.  Also, a small rug for wiping our feet to keep dirt out of the camper goes at the bottom of the steps.

If we’re going to cook dinner over a campfire, usually a “pan of stuff” or hamburgers, the axe, and small bow saw come out so that I can get firewood ready.  An oilcloth goes on the table if we’re eating outside.  Other than that we’re fairly minimalistic – no fancy lights or other decorations.” – Wes Brubacher and Bobbi Chamberlain, 2018 GMC 3500 Sierra, 2005 Bigfoot 10.6

Northstar 850SC With Canoe On Roof

“I am not going to take up space, weight, or my time on crap to display.  We camp to enjoy the outdoors.  We only use the bare minimum to be comfortable when we are in the campsite and not out enjoying the surrounding areas.

The above picture is how we typically look.  We have since upgraded our camper, but have not changed what we bring with us.  It is all put away when we are out or at night.  It is less than two minutes to set up and take down.” – Lou Buesseler, 2000 Ford F250, 2016 Northstar 850SC

“Just the bare minimum.  It’s less work that way.  I go camping to relax; not to load, unload, and set up a bunch stuff.” – Ron Williams, 1997 Ford F250, 2003 Lance 1010

“I guess I could be considered a minimalist like you guys.  I think at the most I unload the grill, but that’s about it.  Everything else is contained in the trailer.  The generator is out front so I just run it while it’s on the carrier.

I keep it simple so, when it’s time to leave, I just pull off.  I haven’t used hookups yet.  I’ve only been to two campsites but neither had hookups available.  That’s the only two times I’ve tried.  I prefer to be self supporting.

I’m not that organized to call in advance and make plans to camp.  I just jump in the truck and go wherever.  I figure out what’s available when I decide on a destination.” – Jacques Bonaparte, 2000 GMC K3500, 2018 Camplite 8.6

Adventurer Camper Off Truck

“When we camp we have our chairs and, of course, our Christmas lights around the camper.  We also have a sign which I designed and my husband made letting everyone know who we are and where we are from.  We bring a lawn chair for each of us.  Of course a nice rice mat at the entrance which is covered by an awning.” – Pem Richardson, 2016 Ram 3500, 2017 Adventurer 86FB

“We always put up our side awning and our chairs.  If it’s really rainy, we use our rear awning as well.  It’s great to kick it after a day of hiking or biking.  Great sunsets.” – Mike Kolinski, 2012 GMC 2500 HD, 2012 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

Northstar Igloo Truck Camper Towing Trailer

“Truck camping in and of itself helps assure a minimalist approach, which my dog, Paco, and I really appreciate.  I get out a couple of chairs, a small table for the grill, an awning and some good tunes.  In fifteen minutes we are packed and ready to move to our next cool and exciting location.

No fuss.  I am solar powered, completely off the grid, and able to go almost anywhere.  It makes me smile just thinking about it!  How about you?” – Eddie Cano, 2012 Silverado 2500, 2013 Northstar Igloo 9.5 Igloo

“We are somewhat minimalists, though after reading my list, maybe not so much.  We do have our nice folding chairs, a doormat, a step stool, a bucket for the grey water, and a screen house pitched over the picnic table.  We like to be outdoors, but we live and camp in mosquito country.

We also like to cook outdoors, so the camp stove goes on the picnic table.  We use an old shower curtain to cover the sundry yucky things that critters leave on picnic tables.  Various other things go in and out like dish pans, food, binoculars, a bird book, Banana-grams, etc.

If we are fishing, a 17-foot boat follows us into the campsite.  If we are camping on our land, fire-starters and marshmallow forks also come out.  I cleaned out under the bed in the old pop-up prior to selling it, and off-loaded lots of stuff that we used only once.” – Kathy Claycomb, 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 HD, Getting a new Northstar in two months

Arctic Fox 990 With Fox Landing Campsite

“We are minimalists.  We usually don’t have anything out except our chairs.” – John Bull, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2015 Arctic Fox 990

“It depends.  A lot of times I use my truck camper as a base camp for hikes, canyoneering, exploring, etc.  At those times, nothing comes out of the camper.  I sleep at the trail head, make a quick breakfast, and then I am out exploring.  Getting to those remote trail heads is one of the main reasons I purchased a truck camper.

When we camp at a destination for a few days or more, we set out chairs, BBQ, table cloth, awning, and a few other things.” – Jim Hignite, 2016 Ram 3500, 2007 Lance 1055

Four Wheel Camper Campsite Turkey Hunting Camp Greer, Arizona

“My camp is pretty much bare bones.  Outside there is a table with a stove and my chair.  Since my camper is the shell model, all that’s inside is a bed.  The photo is from my turkey hunting camp near Greer, Arizona.” – Tom Waters, 2003 Dodge 2500, 2014 FWC Grandby Shell

“I would say we are minimalists.  The camp stove or BBQ only comes out when we are using them and camp chairs are put away for the night.  My only excess is a Zero Gravity recliner for nap time.

Most people look strangely at our campsite since we pull the picnic table right up to the back door since our dog has not learned to climb a ladder.” – Tricia Mason, 2009 Ford F350, 2008 Montana Ponderosa 9.6

“It depends.  If I am traveling with my wife and we are at the same place for more than one day, we’ll set up the awning (weather permitting), get out the chairs, and the folding table.  If I’m by myself, I may get out a chair or two but I keep it simple.

If others are joining us, then we will also get out the other folding table, hang lines for lanterns, and try to get wood for the fire pit.  Mostly we keep things simple since it’s very easy to leave things behind or run over things.  If the dogs are with us, we set out their water dishes and find a place to anchor their 50-foot anchor lines.” – Harry Palmer, 2008 Dodge Ram 2500, 2008 Lance 915

“I’m definitely a minimalist.  My usual setup is a camping chair, small folding side table, and a folding footstool.  It makes for a quick getaway, if needed.” – Ralph Goff (aka Ramblin’ Ralph), 2006 GMC 2500HD, 2001 Lance 845

“We have a truck camper to keep things easy.  We stop, put out the slides, throw out the step and a couple of chairs, and we are done.  Maybe later we take out the charcoal grill and grill up some burgers or brats.  Truck camping is supposed to be easy, right?” – Lee and Mary Nelson, 2015 Ford F350, 2015 Lance 1052

“Most of the time we have a campsite that has electric.  Our campsite normally only consists of a couple of chairs, sometimes a small table, and once in awhile a screen room, depending upon needs.  We usually utilize the picnic table when available.  When cooking outside, we use an electric skillet.  Weather permitting, we spend most of our time outside, either relaxing, people watching, crafting, or exploring by walking or biking.  If we are stuck inside, we will read or craft, sometimes listen to a small portable radio, but we have never had a television in any camper we have owned.

Depending upon where we are at, or how long we will be there, or if I want to do something and Rose wants to stay at the campsite, we will unload the camper and use the truck to get around.” – Stan and Rose Schroth, 1999 Ford F250SD, 2016 Travel Lite 800X

“Very minimal.” – Dorsey Emmerich, 2015 Four Wheel Grandby

“We back in and open the door.” – Dave, 2017 Ram 4500, 2005 Lance 1191

“Very basic.” – Jim and Irene Thompson, 1999 Ford, 2001 Kodiak K-99

Monument Valley Bigfoot Campsite

“I am the minimalist.  My wife is the presentation.  I set up chairs, put down the awning, and my wife sets up a little sign, doggy play area, and planter!” – Frank Makin, 2010 Ford F250, 2010 Bigfoot 2500 9.6


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