This week’s Question of the Week was, “How far, and for how long, will you drive your truck camper rig in a given day?” What we didn’t expect was all the funny stories. Let’s just say we’re hoping your spouses aren’t reading these answers! Otherwise, some of you may be sleeping in your campers outside for a while. A truck camper sure beats a dog house.
“If I’m alone on a trip, I’ll do 700+ miles per day (think Fairbanks, Alaska in eight days from Maryland). With my better half along, however, once it gets to be 5-ish, the pointed looks start from the shotgun seat, the Walmart directory comes out, and muttering about stopping gets louder.
Somewhere near 550 miles seems to be the hard limit, else I may not get fed. I might get to go further but she doesn’t enjoy driving this rig, so there’s only so much knitting, reading, and sitting that’s tolerable.
Around the second day on the road I start mentally composing entries for the annual Buller-Lytton fiction contest, per its website “a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.” We’ll negotiate daily distance driven versus number of possible entries spoken aloud.” – Duncan Crawford, 2008 F450, 2008 S&S
“While traveling with our truck camper, we try to adhere to some advice we were given by a wise old sage. He said that to enjoy the journey, you should remember the number two. This meant that you should drive no more than 200 miles in a day, get off the road by 2:00pm, and stay for two days. Adhering to this was his guarantee of a stress-free journey!
To make the trip more enjoyable and memorable, and to pass the time, my wife and co-pilot takes a lot of pictures as we drive. These picture range from bridges, to scenic vistas to anything we feel might make a good inclusion into our online trip journal!” – Charles Coushaine, 2001 Ford F350, 2012 Chalet DS116RB
“We try to keep off the red. We like to meet people in the small towns and burgs. For the most part, we keep about six hours average time driving. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. My wife will read a book to me. Usually a real juicy survival SHTF type book. Gus, our Jack Russell, needs a break about every two hours, so that helps break it up.” – Jim Furubotten, 2006 Ford F350, 2014 Northern Lite 10-2 CDSE
“Ten hours or 450 miles. We plan and focus on a destination each day and stay at 65 miles per hour, or slower when speed limits apply. We recently drove cross country over eleven weeks and covered over 13,000 miles. We love to travel in our truck camper. To pass the time, we listen to satellite radio and an iPod with lots of country music.” – Jim Comperchio, 2013 Ram 3500, 2015 Northstar 850SC
“I have blitzed trips and it invariably ruins the trip. My current rule is no more than 250 miles in a day while avoiding interstate highways whenever possible. This makes it about the journey, not the destination.” – Steve Christensen, 2004 Chevrolet Z71, 2012 Palomino Bronco
“I like to drive approximately 250 to 350 miles, sometimes more or a little less. I pick my spots based on minor or major attractions in a certain area. I prefer to see something when I pass through, whenever possible. We also choose stops by availability of free camping, either boondocking or free campgrounds.
We prefer not to be exhausted when we get to our final destination. We have two mountain bikes along for exploring. We have plenty of time being recently retired. For short trips we will visit various bike trails in Minnesota and Wisconsin. XM radio helps.
Watching crazy drivers and other travelers is also a hoot! You can’t make this stuff up. Also, we look for odd things people create along the side of the road. We prefer two lane blacktop, not cement freeways.” – Chuck Pearson, 2008 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Hallmark K2
“We usually try to keep it at 300 to 400 miles per day when we are trying to get to a long-distance destination. This just seems like an relatively easy amount of driving. My wife doesn’t drive the camper, so this is solo driving. We listen to books on tape or CDs.” – Dave Neumann, 2010 Toyota Tundra, 2011 Adventurer 80GS
“It depends if we are in a hurry or just want to get there. This past summer we drove from Kalispell, Montana to Seattle in one day just to get there. Other times we have driven about three to four hours if we find a place we want to stop. We have satellite radio and also many hours of music on a flash drive we play.” – Jerry Cunningham, 2010 F450 King Ranch, 1989 Lance 900
“We have covered 600 miles in a day on several occasions. Satellite radio and NPR podcasts help the drive go by. Plus, Cathy is a writer and brings her laptop typing away in the passenger seat. Her first book was published last Fall. Now she’s working on the sequel while I drive.” – John and Cathy Strasser, 2012 Chevy 2500HD cc 4×4, 2012 Lance 855s
“Our longest annual trip is just shy of 600 miles. We used to Iron Man it in one day. The last couple years, now that I’m retired and can spend an extra day or two on the road, we do about 70% of the trip the first day, stopping overnight at a convenient Cabela’s, where they welcome boondockers. We get a little early morning shopping in the next day, then complete the last few hours of driving to our destination.
Our longest trip so far with the camper was to the Texas Truck Camper Rally from our home in Pennsylvania. We plotted and planned a couple intermediate destinations and tried to do about 350-400 miles per day out and back. We boondocked for real on this trip, trying out Walmart, Gander Mountain, and Cracker Barrel parking lots along the way like our friends, the Whites. It truly stirred my gypsy blood!
It added a daily element of adventure to the trip as we decided the sun was going down and it was time to find the nearest large reasonably well lighted parking lot to utilize for the evening. The AllStays app and our Garmin RV760LMT were both indispensable in scouting out our campsites.
We enjoy music and satellite radio to make the miles fly by, but our absolute favorite thing is to listen to audio books. Both of us are Audible junkies and enjoy the same authors and readers. Don’t know how we traveled before without Larry Correia, Bronson Pinchot, Jim Dale, and Oliver Wyman in our ears and minds!” – John and Marylou Wells, 2011 Chevy 3500HD, 2012 Chalet Ascent S100F
“Not being retired yet, we have a limited amount of time to see our grandkids who are 1,250 miles away. It is a long two day trip so we drive about 800 miles the first day, spend the night at a Bass Pro Shop parking lot, and then continue on the remainder 450 miles the next day. Of course this depends entirely on the weather since we travel through the Midwest heading north during the holiday season.