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Question Of The Week

The Double Lives of Trucks Without Campers

Over 110 Truck Camper Magazine readers clearly demonstrate the unbeatable versatility of a demountable camper.  Drop the camper and haul goats!

Obviously we are preaching to the choir, but it’s amazing to see all the ways fellow truck campers are using their trucks.  It starts with hauling 8-foot sheets of plywood, bags of gravel and mulch, and junk to the dump – then it runs the gamut.

It’s also striking how many of us use our truck camping trucks as daily drivers (like we do).  This week’s Question of the Week was, “How do you use your pickup truck when you’re not truck camping?”

Trucks Without Truck Campers Ford F 350

“Here on the ranch, I haul hay, sheet rock, lumber, and pull a 20-foot trailer with my John Deere.  I’ll take it to the shop, or take a load of brush to the brush site, or pick up a load of raw materials for the manufacturing company I own.

My truck pulls any of the four trailers I own for various uses.  Yes, the truck is used and used daily and hard.  When we have a business trip and the camper is loaded, we also pull the trailer.” – Don Pryor, 2017 Ford F350, 2008 Arctic Fox 1150

Using Trucks Without Camper for Supplies

“A pickup is the Swiss-Army-Knife of vehicles.  I use the truck to commute to work, but I also use it to load up on stuff.  I have moved myself, my grown kids, towed equipment, loaded the bed with gravel, mulch, garden equipment, bikes, lawn tractors, and about anything else that can fit in the 5×8 space.

Years ago a friend said, “If you only have one vehicle, it should be a pickup truck”.  I have followed that advice for about 30 years.  Even if I didn’t have a truck camper, I would have a pickup truck.” – Steve Merrill, 2009 Chevrolet 3500, 2007 Lance 992

Trucks Without Campers 2015 Ford F 150

“Since my F-150 is my only vehicle, when I am not camping, I use it as a daily driver for short and long trips.  I also use it as a garbage hauler and parts chaser.  I will tow my various antique Caterpillars to shows, one at a time of course, and never with the camper attached!” – Peter Oswald, 2015 Ford F-150, Northstar TC650

“We purchased our Ram truck to be used exclusively for our camper.  We consider the camper permanently attached and removed all four jacks.  We own another one-ton truck that is used for hauling purposes on our farm.” – Jon Hancock, 2015 Ram 3500, 2016 Northern Lite 10-2EX CDSE

2005 Chevrolet 3500 Silverado To Haul Camper

“I use my truck as a daily driver.  I’ll take trips to Lowes and Home Depot.  I have even towed my father-in-laws big John Deere tractor to the repair shop with it.  I wouldn’t be without a truck.” – Gary Hughes, 2005 Chevrolet 3500 Silverado, 2015 Lance 1172

“Our big truck has only had the camper off of it one time since 2006.  That was to seal the camper’s bottom.  As of our May trip, we have put 166,000 miles on the rig.  Our Toyota truck is used everyday for all kinds of rural chores from hauling wood to the wife’s goats.” – John Markwell, 2006 Chevy 2500 HD and 2005 Toyota Tacoma, 2006 Pastime

Ram 3500 As Wedding Limo

“When we get home from a camping trip we unload the camper and put on a hard folding tonneau cover.  To look at our truck you wouldn’t know we use it to haul all the stuff that is too heavy, too large or too dirty to be in anything else.  We do take care of it, and keep it clean inside and out.

It was recently a great honor to use our truck, as requested, to chauffeur newlyweds from the church to a reception in their honor and of course the truck shined.  It was a 45 minute ride of passerby’s honking and waving, many in trucks themselves.  The newlyweds loved it.” – Bruce and Deb Van Aken, 2016 Ram 3500, 2012 Northern Lite 10-2

“More than half the year the camper is off the truck.  We have real winter here!  It hauls wood, dirt, fishing gear, boats, and ATVs.  I put a topper on it after camping season so the stuff being hauled isn’t covered by snow and ice.” – Randall Gilbertson, 2013 Ford F250, 2017 Wolf Creek 850

2015 Ford F350 XL Errand Mobile

“I use my truck six days a week for my landscape maintenance business, hauling equipment/materials for remodeling of our house, off road exploration on National Forest/BLM land, hunting and fishing, and family road trips.  My wife uses it occasionally for errands as well.  We use the camper on weekends and winter camping trips.” – Robert Hirakis, 2015 Ford F350, 1993 Lance Squire 8000

“We only use use our Ford for camping.  We have an ancient GMC that we use around the farm or for picking up supplies in town.” – Jamie Rea, 2012 Ford F-350, 2012 Lance 855s

Trucks Without Campers Daily Driver

“My truck is also my daily driver.  I drive it every day unless the weather’s right to take my motorcycle.  I also use it to pull a motorcycle trailer.” – Joseph Smiy, 2017 Ram 3500, 2017 Lance 850

“We use the truck for hauling grandkids to baseball, soccer, gymnastics, etc.  I take my Dad to doctor’s appointments.  We move friends and family, haul dirt bikes, dirt, and horse pucky!  Sometimes we even put the camper in the back.” – Howard Bisco, 2015 Ford F-250, 2014 Palomino HS-6601

Ed Krech Fishing

“Fishing, fishing, and fishing for those beautiful trout.  I will drive my truck to get it serviced.  Since I am an active senior citizen, I might use it to go to the doctor to hear him say all is okay and he can not cure getting old or ugly.  I truly love camping in our Northern Lite 8-11, and going fishing.” – Ed Krech, 2006 Dodge 3500, 2011 Northern Lite 8-11

“Mostly I have used our truck for truck camping.  But I also use it to take the dogs out to the woods for runs, as an emergency third vehicle for several reasons like maintenance for our cars, visiting family, etc.  I also use it for dump and hardware/lumber store runs.

This may be the last truck we will own based upon the low overall miles we have on it.  I have a 2005 truck with less than 95,000 miles.” – Ken Ward, 2005 Chevy Silverado, 2014 Arctic Fox 990

2017 Ford F 350 SRW For Dogs

“I use the truck for very little use other then camping.  I like to call it our $50,000 trash truck.  Hauling to the transfer station is the most regular thing it is used for other than hauling the items too big for an SUV.” – Bill Cox, 2017 Ford F-350, 2009 Lance 1040

“I use my truck for hauling crushed stone, slate, topsoil, food bank deliveries, and anything that requires a pick-up.  I take the camper off when camping or visiting my children to help them with moving or chores.  I don’t use it much in the winter, except for the food bank.  It’s kept it in my garage in northern New York.” – Chip Collin, Ford F350, 2014 Chalet DS116FB

1995 Ford F350 SD Long Bed Crew Cab Goats

“We have a farm and care for 175 meat goats.  The F350 has to take its turn on farm duty just like our F150 and the F250.  All the trucks have to work to earn their fuel.  You only get to see a glimpse of the truck on the other side of the tractor (below), but it pulled the roofing steel in for the barn we are building.” – Jerry and Janice Bonneau, 1995 Ford F-350, Lance 1061

1995 F350 SD Long Bed Crew Cab Construction Site

“This is my latest and third Ram truck in a long lifetime of trucks.  I always have a truck (trucks are for girls you know!).  For the last several years the Ram has been my only vehicle.  I use it for everything from hauling furniture to hauling trash to a sweet ride to visit family and friends.  She gets all dude-ed up and cleaned up before every camping trip.  That is when she and I are happiest.  No, I don’t have a boat!  Loving life.  Happy camper.” – Nancy, 2014 Ram 1500, 2018 Northstar TC800

“Let’s see.  Yesterday I was hauling mulch and today I am hauling plants.  A couple of weeks ago it was sheets of plywood in the back.  I carpool to work but on the days that won’t work out, the dually is my commuter car.  It is not the most fuel efficient and parking can be a pain, but other drivers tend to move out of the way when I merge into traffic!” – Randy Smith, 2017 Ram 3500, 2017 Adventurer 910DB

2016 Ford F350 Short Bed

“I haven’t been without a pickup truck for over 25 years.  Besides commuting to work daily and household chores, I used my first two trucks to haul Boy Scouts and their gear all across the southeast United States.  I have also towed my boats from northern Georgia to the coast and lakes in between.

After I retired, I bought the one-ton truck specifically to be able to expand my fishing trips by taking the truck camper (my first camper, by the way) to tow my boats.  Now I do not face $150+/night motel rates.  I could have gotten a bit more room with a motorhome, but I would have given up the versatility of the truck with the camper removed.  I would also have an additional vehicle to store, maintain, and insure.” – Gary Bramlett, 2016 Ford F-350, 2004 Lance 845

“We use our truck in every season of the year except winter.  We live in the rust belt, but our truck was from Oregon when we purchased it used.  It has zero rust and we intend to keep it that way.

When the camper is not on the truck the truck functions as a truck.  We haul anything and everything from horse manure for the garden to furniture when helping our kids move.  It’s a great utility vehicle.  We use it as a truck probably 60 to 70-percent of the time.  My only wish is that I had gotten a full crew cab instead of the extended cab and that it was an F-350 instead of an F-250.” – Arn Chamberlain, 2000 Ford F-250, 2004 Palomino Maverick

2017 GMC Denali Crew Cab DRW Camper Off Truck

“We have a garage where we put our Lance when we’re not using it.  Then we use our truck for picking up supplies at Lowes, and helping friends and family who don’t have trucks.  Taking junk to be recycled or to the dump is another activity we use our truck for.

I have a utility trailer that I pull with my truck.  I use that to take my lawn tractor in for repairs as well as towing ATVs and UTVs to off-road trails.

I have a vacation home in Florida where we stay a few months of the year.  We take our Lance on the drive down south from our home in Pennsylvania.  When we get there I demount the Lance and use the truck as a daily driver.  I have a car as well, but find I use my truck much more than the car.” – David Fradkin, 2017 GMC 3500, 2017 Lance 975

Towing Horse Trailer With Ford Truck

“Oh gosh, um, for everything!  When I added it up, my daughter and I logged 8,000 miles doing horse stuff last year.  The truck is my daily driver for now.  I get spoiled with the size advantage in DC rush hour traffic.  It even parks fine in most parking garages as long as you’re careful fitting the duallies through the curb bumpers.

A bonus side benefit is that I’ve hardly had any dings on the side from car doors in parking lots.  Perhaps the duallies force people to sit far enough away that they don’t bash their doors into the truck as much.” – Jim McIrvin, 2015 Ford F350, 2012 Lance 1191

Towing Jeep With Just 2015 Ford F350 Dually

“Oh gosh, um, for everything!  When I added it up, my daughter and I logged 8,000 miles doing horse stuff last year.  The truck is my daily driver for now.  I get spoiled with the size advantage in DC rush hour traffic.  It even parks fine in most parking garages as long as you’re careful fitting the duallies through the curb bumpers.

A bonus side benefit is that I’ve hardly had any dings on the side from car doors in parking lots.  Perhaps the duallies force people to sit far enough away that they don’t bash their doors into the truck as much.” – Jim McIrvin, 2015 Ford F350, 2012 Lance 1191

“We just bought our truck and camper in September of 2017.  We had never owned a truck before, but when we decided to upgrade our RV from a Little Guy Teardrop trailer (which we towed with our Subaru Outback), we went with a truck and camper over the Class B we had planned to buy.  That was due specifically to the ability of driving away from our campsite and not taking it with us as we explore.

Since we bought our truck camper, we have only had the camper off once, and that was at the RV dealer to have Torklift Stable-Loads installed on our truck.  We are still nervous about mounting it and need to practice.  We live in a small city lot, and have minimal room to maneuver.  Now that it’s summer, and we’ll be out on longer trips, I’m sure we’ll get good at it.

We do not plan to use our truck much at all as a second vehicle at home, mostly due to the nature of where we park it, and the terrible gas mileage.  Our primary vehicles are our electric car and our bicycles.” – Beverly Hanson, 2017 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2018 Cirrus 820

“We live in the country and use the truck for everything; plowing snow, hauling firewood, getting mulch and topsoil for the garden and raised flower beds as well as those untimely runs to Home Depot.

For example, in the last four weeks I’ve hauled two yards of topsoil, six yards of pine bark chips, twenty bags of cedar chips, two bags of peat moss, eight large bags of potting soil, and twenty-six yards of sod and various pieces of lumber.  Things do get busy in the spring.

It’s not a daily driver since we both have cars.  If I had to put a number on it I’d say we use it 90-percent for everyday use and 10-percent for camping.” – Stan Thornton, 2010 Ford F350, 2014 Adventurer

2007 Dodge 3500 Cummins 4WD DRW

“At home, our camper is generally off the truck.  We use it as a second vehicle, for hauling stuff, towing a utility trailer or a three axle trailer with a tractor, bush hog, and front end loader attached.

If not filled with lawn mowers and landscaping tools for several of our properties, the utility trailer may be filled with musical equipment for my wife’s band gigs, or camping equipment for her annual Sun ’n Fun Aviation event, or with her Caddy (Club Car) for other events.” – Gus Postreich, 2007 Dodge 3500, 2002 Lance 1130

“I use my truck all the time.  I have a lot woods so, in the spring, I use it for sugars, to make my firewood, and to pull my trailer to move my tractor.  My truck serves me year round.” – Marcel Burelle, 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, 2013 Camplite 8.6

2006 Ram 2500 HD Also For Fifth Wheel

“If I am not using my truck camper, my 34-foot fifth wheel, or hauling my CJ-5 Jeep, the Ram is parked inside the garage.  It has only 85,000 miles on it.” – Ben and Carole Boulet, 2006 Ram 2500, 2012 Lance 855S

“I purchased my truck for the sole purpose of carrying my truck camper, so it sits most of the time as we use our hybrid car for daily running around.  When we purchased it new a few months ago, I realized that it did not come with a sway bar, air bags, or suitable overload stops.

I have since added those items, and unfortunately now the truck went from riding like a caddy to riding like a box of rocks when unloaded.  So, I don’t really get much more use out of it.” – John Maci, 2017 Chevy 3500HD, 2014 Lance 865

“The great majority of the time, the camper is off the truck.  The truck is used for hauling building supplies (I built and remodeled my house), bicycles, stuff, towing the boat to the lake, hauling more stuff, picking up dirt and compost for the garden, and hauling still more stuff.  About the only thing I don’t do is put the tailgate back on.” – Bill Peters, 2017 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

Northstar Pop Up Camper Stored Off Truck

“One of the reasons we have a truck camper is because we would have a truck regardless.  The camper is only on the truck for a day or two before we leave on a trip and comes off as soon as we get home.  Also, if we’re on a trip and stay at a location for more than a couple days, we often remove the camper and live in it off the truck while using the truck for side trips.

I use our truck for many things including hunting, hauling things such as grass clippings and branches to a composting area, and many other chores.  It is so nice to not have to worry about another set of tires, registration, etc.  That is the beauty of having a truck camper.  Naturally, we understand that not everyone can live in a confined space like us.  We enjoy our mini home and get a lot of use out of it.  Included is a picture of where we store it right by our house.  It’s always ready to go.” – Allen Brummel, 2013 Ram 2500, 2016 Northstar 650SC

“We use the truck as a second vehicle when we are not camping.  We run errands and haul stuff around town.  We have had the same truck and camper for almost fourteen years now.  In that time the camper has been on the truck about 65-percent of the 240,000 truck miles.

Since we have a short bed, single wheel truck, we can fit the truck (with our without our camper) in almost any space that a car can fit.  When we’re on the road, we almost never take the camper off, even when we are in the same place for awhile.  We’ve gotten too used to having everything with us when we are on the road.

Once we get home, we take the camper off the truck and keep it in the driveway until we set off on our next adventure.” – Larry Routt, 2005 Ford F-350, 2004 Lance 820

2017 Ford F250 red truck

“It’s my daily driver.  I commute to work, pick up groceries, tow my boat to the boat ramp, etc.” – Mark Saglimbene, 2017 Ford F250, 2018 Palomino HS-2901

“My dually is our only true four-wheel drive vehicle.  Minnesota winters make that very useful without the truck camper on board.  I also own my late father’s retirement pickup, which is a 1973 Chevy Camper Special.  That one holds the truck camper in winter indoor storage and does all the pickup errands during the camping season.

You mentioned lawn/garden waste and compost hauling.  My old 1973 is better than your pickup for those duties.  It has to be, my wife is a rabid gardener.  It is not only designed to haul 3,500 pounds but, when I had a body-off restoration done three years ago, I had a box hoist installed.  It’s a mini dump truck.  We no longer have to shovel dirt out of the box.  Oh, that old 454 V8 sounds much nicer than the newer pickup’s 6L.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, Lance 1050

“Eighty percent of the time my truck is empty.  I use it as my work truck and daily driver.  It’s also my long distance vehicle of choice.  The other 20-percent is with the camper and a 20-foot enclosed trailer.

We do three out of town car shows each year in Pella, Iowa (Bologna Nationals), Salina, Kansas (KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular) and Reno/Sparks, Nevada (Hot August Nights).  We had a 28 foot Class C and open towed with it, but always had issues with parking.  Not anymore!” – Ron Carr, 2017 Nissan Titan XD, 2017 Lance 650

Melissa Using Truck Without Camper

“Yes, we certainly use our truck without the camper!  We haven’t used it to move (we just rented a U-Haul), but we have used it to haul garbage from a hoarder’s house, including three full loads of metal recycling which pushed the payload limits of the truck.

In the last two summers, I personally drove repeatedly to pick up gravel for our yard.  The biggest load was over payload.  I had been close the day before and asked for less that day.  That was scary.

I’m proud of the fact, that as a woman, I’m not intimidated by driving the truck, our truck camper, or 2,000 pounds of gravel in the truck.  In case you are curious, driving the truck with gravel over the payload isn’t nearly as hard as shoveling all that gravel out!” – Melissa Malejko, 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 1981 Okanagan

“Our truck is registered as a farm truck and used that way.  It hauls the stock trailer and the flat bed trailer with hay or equipment on it.  We have used it with the trailer to move us and our kids various places.  A few times we had the camper when the trip was several days long.  However, we do not like to run the diesel in the winter, so those jobs get done by the gas three-quarter ton.” – Tricia Mason, 2009 Ford F350, 2008 Montana Ponderosa 9.6

“We only have one vehicle, and that’s our truck.  So if we are going to be somewhere for a week or more, the camper comes off and our truck is our daily driver.  When we get home, the camper comes off.” – Tracy Rivera, 2016 Ford F350, 2016 Northern Lite 8-11

2005 Dodge 3500

“Ever since I purchased a fixer-upper house four years ago, the camper has only been used twice.  The truck is now mostly used for material runs to the building supply store.  In fact, if someone makes a decent offer on the camper I would probably take it!  Camping is less of a priority on weekends with other pending chores on the house at hand.” – Frank Kaye, 2005 Dodge 3500, 2008 Northstar Arrow

“Since my husband traded in his vehicle on our travel truck, he has to used it as his daily driver to and from work.  It has come in handy for moving, dump runs, and lending out to family for their large projects.  It is a pleasure to drive.” – Nicole Senff, 2016 Ford F350, 2018 Host Mammoth

“My truck is a daily driver, car hauler, toy hauler, and snow plow.” – Kevin McDermott, 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 2014 Lance 850

2012 Ram Mega Cab Dually

“When the camper is off the dually, it gets used as a regular truck almost daily.  It has pulled out flat deck with a skid steer on it, and towed other vehicles like our Jeep and side-by-side.  It has taken trips to the local dump.  We live on a acreage so there is always things to pick up from lumber to bricks.

We take trips to the local watering station to change the hot tub water with a portable water tank in the box.  We also have three kids who seem to need something picked up or dropped off at their place.  Also, you can’t forget the yearly firewood trip.  Our truck is essential to our living in the country on a day to day basis.” – Ken Leona Atamaniuk, 2012 Ram 3500, 2016 Lance 855s

“Our truck is used as my daily driver, our camper hauler, and our fifth wheel tow vehicle.  Momma prefers the fifth wheel over a truck camper.  And of course it gets used to haul construction materials, dump runs, and just general off-road driving.  There are many thousands of miles of gravel roads, dirt roads, and two-tracks here in Wyoming.

My RV pad at home is not a drive though spot.  Neither are any of the places we camp with our fifth wheel trailer, although there was that one time in the Black Hills.” – Bob Watts, 2011 Dodge Ram 2500, 2001 Fleetwood Angler

“I use my truck for hauling dirt, rocks, brush and tree limbs as well has pulling my 20-foot boat to go fishing.  It’s used to help family and friends move heavy cargoes and furniture as well as canoes and kayaks for canoeing and kayaking.

Living in Maine, we need a truck to do things with.  I would not have a truck without four-wheel drive.  Mine has an extended cab with a long bed.  I love it.” – Roger Couturier, 2012 Ford, 2000 Lance 1030

2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Berger

“We have the camper off the truck when we are not traveling.  We live in the country and use the truck for hauling brush, lumber and supplies for home projects.  We also have a fifth wheel and we use with the same truck.

We belong to a four-wheel drive group and occasionally take the camper off the truck using electric jacks so that we can travel with the group and explore.  We have had no problems so far with campgrounds and RV parks in unloading the camper.  If there is any doubt, we check with the park or campground ahead of time.” – Ted Berger, 2001 Dodge Ram 2500, 2014 Northstar Laredo

“We haul stuff when the camper is not on the truck.  We carry plywood, firewood, and junk to go to metal recycling.  We load the canoe to go to nearby lakes and bikes for a nearby trail.  However, we load the camper in late March and leave it on until early November so that we can get on the road just about any time.” – Laurel and Howard Wilson, 2018 Ford F-350, 2016 Four Wheel Camper Shell

2001 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab 4x4 Diesel

“The camper is off the truck and stored in the garage about half the year.  We use the truck as a daily driver.  It also takes us out to the desert with our motorcycles in the bed.” – Paul Creason, 2001 Chevy 2500HD, 2017 Four Wheel Hawk

“We only use it for camping.” – Tom Scholtens, 2010 Silverado 2500HD, 2013 Bigfoot 25c10.4

2012 Chevy Silverado 3500

“For seven to eight months of the year, the bed of our truck doesn’t see much daylight because we’re traveling all over with the truck camper.  Our general rule of thumb for taking the camper off is four nights or more at a campground.  During this time the truck is used for scenic travels, shopping and what not.

To make the ride more tolerable when the camper is out, we disengage the lower Torklift StableLoads and lower the pressure of the airbags from 35 to 20 pounds.

During the remainder of the year, the pickup is used as his daily driver.  We’ve used the truck to help friends move furniture, get supplies for home improvements, or to transport our kayaks for an outing.  When not carrying the camper, we have a tonneau cover and tailgate.

To Bob Jones in the original blog: after owning both a truck camper and fifth wheel at the same time for three years, we finally came to our senses and sold the fifth wheel last month.” – Chuck and Jodie Ramsey, 2012 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2014 Adventurer 116DS

“We use it a lot.  We pull a large Voltage 3895 toy hauler that’s 43-feet long.  We have a large 27-foot boat, and pick up items from the lumber yard.  With the Lance 1181, we tow a car trailer with a tractor or a small Mini Cooper.” – Richard Alves, 2013 Chevy 3500HD, 2006 Lance 1181

2017 Ford F250 and Adventurer Camper

“Our truck needs to be a Swiss Army knife.  In addition to truck camper duty, it is also a ranch truck and hauls brush, wood, and all manner of ranch life fixings.  We also have three Arabian horses and a horse trailer, so the truck needs to pull the horse trailer as well.  When it’s all hooked up we have the truck camper towing the horse trailer.  Our truck may be the most versatile tool we have on the ranch; a true beast of burden.” –Marc Wilde, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Adventurer 89RBS

“We definitely use our truck for other things besides hauling the camper.  We use it for hauling the boat for day trips on the water and for hauling construction materials, garden supplies, and steel for shop projects.  We also use it to pull the flatbed trailer when we need to bring something home that doesn’t fit in the bed of the truck.

Recently I’ve been using the truck to pull Pacific Northwest United Methodist Church Disaster Response trailers.  I would estimate that we use the truck for other things about 60 to 70-percent of the time and the rest is using it for the camper.  That ratio will likely change over time as we do more traveling in retirement.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevrolet 3500HD, 2017 Host Mammoth

“Our dually is our daily driver and only driver at the moment now that we are no longer full-time travelers and have settled down in Tucson.  I would eventually love to get a compact grocery getter that wasn’t such a gas guzzler for use around town, but right now it is not in the budget.

All in all, though, driving the monster truck is just fine.  Yes, I park in the back of the lot because of its size, but I can use the extra exercise!  It is also very handy to load all my gear when I sell my crafts at art shows in the area.

When we are on the road, we drop the camper any time we are staying somewhere for several days so that we don’t have to haul the camper with us everywhere we go.  I was a bit intimidated when I first started driving the truck, but now it’s second nature.  A  smaller vehicle would be handy, but for now we’re fine with having the truck as our only vehicle.” – Joanne Hall, 2014 Chevy 3500HD, 2014 Lance 1172

2015 Ford F 250 Super Duty Towing Boat

“I use it for towing my boats, driving it daily, taking trips to the lake, and I winter in the Florida Keys with the Lance.” – Bill Bors, 2015 Ford F-250, 2006 Lance 881

“Fortunately, I do not need the truck as a second vehicle or as a daily driver.  I mostly leave the camper on the truck.  I use it sparingly as an emergency vehicle with the camper on the truck.  In a pinch, I unload the camper and use the truck as it was intended.” – Bill Gahafer, 2008 Ford F450, 2013 Lance 1181

“We rarely take off our pop up camper.  We use it regularly.  It’s a third vehicle for us.  If we need to haul a heavy load, we use our van.  For going to the dump or for bulky loads, we hook up our utility trailer to our truck camper.  Since it’s pretty much permanently attached, we can go camping or bug out at a moment’s notice.” – Mike Kolinski, 2012 GMC 2500 HD, 2012 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

F350 SD and Ford F250

“I use my pickup when I’m not camping.  My old pickup was my only car.  I removed the camper as soon as I returned home, and used it whenever I went to work, to the grocery store, or any other place if I wanted to go.

When my F250 accumulated about 220,000 miles, it was still running well but I wasn’t sure I should risk being a thousand miles away from home with it.  So I bought an F350.  Now my camper stays on my new truck all the time.

My old F250 is a genuine work truck with 263,000 miles.  It still runs great and hauls/pulls whatever is necessary for me or any friends or relatives who wish to borrow a truck.” – Fred Patterson, Ford F350, 2002 Lance 1161

“We use our truck as a second vehicle a lot.  Most importantly, we use it when we camp in Baja or a stateside lake to launch the boat.  I’m not sure you could ever do that with a motorhome.  I would never try to tandem tow a travel trailer and a boat trailer.

The truck makes a truck camper very versatile.  We are never stuck without a set of wheels to explore either the boondocks or the local town.” – Mike and Sharon Nervik, 2002 Silverado, 2004 Eagle Cap 1150

Flatbed Truck Hauling ATV

“I’m a little different since I have been a full-timer 2.5+ years and I have a flatbed truck.  I went through the same dilemma and realized that each configuration from Class C to toy hauler to trailer have their own pros and cons.  At the time I had an off-road buggy with possible trips to staging areas.  The game plan was to off load the camper, run the buggy up onto the flatbed (winch on flatbed) and go to the staging area without pulling a trailer.  I do not have a buggy right now.

I don’t off load unless I need to go into town from an isolated area, so it’s maybe two to four times a year, if that.  Off loading means taking everything off, which is not big deal.  I do have external batteries for solar.  They are a pain to move around and then I need to have them connected to the camper while it’s on the ground.

Typically, I’ll just do what I have to do before I go to town or pick it up on the way back. Carrying the camper is no big deal.  I just park away from the maddening crowds, and it’s good exercise.  Numerous times I’m glad camper has a small footprint to get into smaller campsites, roads, and areas.  So, for me being solo, the truck camper works best.

I would do it again.  I would also do the flatbed again – even without a buggy – for the extra side storage.  The only time I use the truck is for errands if I’m at a place for awhile, like Quartzsite.  Even then I still have to do the dump and fills.  I schedule errands on that day.” – Frank Poole, 2016 Ram 5500, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4

“In the past, our camper was married to our (previous) truck.  Since we try to take it camping every weekend, it was too much trouble to take it off repeatedly, plus we weren’t at all comfortable loading and unloading the camper on those four wobbly corner jacks, especially with a full water tank and loaded camper.

In came Stable-Lift and now loading and unloading is a breeze.  In a matter of minutes, the camper is on the truck and it’s stable/solid as a rock.  Knock on wood!

Now we have our truck available again to act as our second vehicle for my wife to use to go shopping and do her stuff on weekdays.

While camping, the camper comes off and we have a truck available to go grocery shopping and go on day trips away from our campsite.  This is all without carrying the big camper around.  More importantly while camping and needing to go somewhere, we don’t have to put everything away again just to run an errand.  This is especially nice when camping somewhere for an extended period of time.

The attached picture shows our truck at the trail head towards Cibecue Falls on the White Mountain Apache Indian reservation (Arizona).  Reaching the trailhead requires driving several miles on a dirt road in varying conditions and driving through a creek. With the camper on the truck, we probably wouldn’t have gotten there or at least wouldn’t have attempted it!” – Jorn Vangoidtsenhoven, 2005 Dodge Ram 3500, 2014 Camplite 8.6c

“Since I travel alone, I very rarely demount the camper.  When it came time to buy a new truck, I kept the old one around for hauling stuff like furniture, garbage, recycling, yard waste, and firewood.  Going four-wheeling for firewood is a family affair in the summer with kids, dogs, a chainsaw, many hands, several trucks and a picnic lunch.

When I sold the old camper the fellow wanted the old truck to put it on.  I sold it to him as well.  Now I regret not having the old truck around, especially with spring yard cleanup upon me.  If I get desperate, I will just borrow my daughter’s truck.“ – Linda Haley, 2007 Dodge 3500, 2016 Wolf Creek

“Being a retired machinist and still doing freelance machine work at the house, I need my truck to pick up shaft material, assorted steel, and parts for jobs.  Also, I use it to transport our family so that we can all ride together.

The truck can carry six grown ups and all the BBQ pits, ice chest, chairs, canopy cover, and whatever will fit in an 8-foot bed.  I would never be without a truck.  Everybody needs an 8-foot bed.  After all, a sheet of plywood is 4×8.” – Sam Tardo, 2002 Ford, 1997 Shadow Cruiser 1100

2016 F150 Towing Trailer

“The camper is basically on the truck from May to November.  I have a farm so it is used for farm work, general transportation and hauling a horse trailer.  I have a trailer that I use when the camper is loaded so it is an everything vehicle.  I did have a Subaru car, but decided that the truck can do it all without double insurance, maintenance, etc.” – Heather Rutherford, 2016 Ford F150, 2015 CampLite 5.7

2007 Ford F350 Crew Cab

“We’re retired and travel full-time in our truck camper.  We tow a Suzuki Sidekick to use as our transportation when we park.  The only time I remove the camper from the truck is for washing and waxing the truck and camper.” – Scott Elliott, 2007 Ford F350, 2013 Chalet TS116

“99.9-percent of the time, my truck is used for the truck camper only.  It’s mostly because we have another truck in the family for rough use.” – Bruce Allison, 2017 Ram 3500, 2012 Adventurer 910FBS

1997 Ford F250 Diesel truck

“It was my daily driver until a year ago when I bought a new Chevy half-ton.  Now it’s the RV truck and spare vehicle.” – Ron Williams, 1997 Ford F250, 2003 Lance 1010

“We have two trucks, one camper, one 27-foot trailer and a new big fifth wheel coming any day.  I use the small GMC with the camper when I am working out of town as a base.  I have a specific spot available to park with power, but no water or sewer.

I work out of town about four days a week and remove the camper when I’m out of town.  I am able to leave the camper unmounted and use the truck for regular use.  I drive it home on the weekends without the camper.  We are remodeling our home and the truck is used for hauling yard waste, demolition waste, carrying tools and new building materials, etc.

I also use it to pull an enclosed trailer or bring in trailer mounted equipment when needed.  The big truck is my wife’s primary vehicle and is used to tow the trailer and the new fifth wheel when it gets here.

We plan on selling the small trailer and will have one truck for each RV.  My wife loves the big truck.  I is also equipped with Torklift tie-downs for the camper.  We can use either truck for the camper depending on our needs.” – Scott Randolph, 2000 GMC 2500 and 2017 Dodge Ram 3500, 2017 Wolf Creek 850

“I use my truck more for non-camping activities than for camping.  Hauling wood and landscaping are a couple of examples.  I just finished unloading around 6,800 pounds of rock to fix up the front landscaping.” – Phil Rodacy, 2012 GMC K3500, 2006 Okanagan

2017 Ford F250 4x4 Truck

“I rarely use my new 2017 F250 with 8,243 miles other than hauling my camper.  It stays barge bound mostly.  During the winter it never goes on the road because of salt.  We will use it all next summer once again camping throughout Canada and Alaska.”  – Shellie Barnes, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Palomino SS-550

“I use my truck without the camper for various things including helping friends move, which I did recently.  Several loads were made to move friends into their new house.

I also use the truck without the camper to haul my dual sport motorcycle around to ride off-road areas.  I love the fact that I can remove the camper in about ten minutes and can use my truck as a truck.  If I camp anywhere for an extended period of time (more than three days), I remove the camper and drive the truck.

I also fish a lot and can pull my boat either with or without the camper attached.  I originally opted for a truck and camper for these reasons, and I am still glad I did.” – Mike Walker, 2016 GMC, 2017 Northern Lite 10-2 DB

“We use it all the time to pull our horse trailer.  I also use it to pick up bulky loads like shavings, lumber, etc.  Once our competitive season starts, the camper stays on the truck.” – Esther Fiddes, 2001 Chevy 2500 HD, 2006 Lance 915

2016 GMC 3500HD SRW On The Beach

“My truck is our main transportation when the camper is off.” – Gary Goyette, 2016 GMC 3500HD, 2011 Northern Lite 8-11 QC

“We use our truck to help our children move furniture when they relocate.  We use it when we need to haul wood and building supplies from hardware stores or building supply stores when we have wood working projects to do.  We also use it for hauling trash to our dumpster or the landfill.  So, it gets used frequently.  Of course our favorite use is with the camper to head to the lake, beach, or mountains!” – Pem Richardson, 2016 Ram 3500, 2017 Adventurer 86FB

“I use my pick-up to haul anything that needs to be hauled.  It also hauls my camper.  It works great to take the camper off when we’re camping.  We can launch the boat, run to the store, go sightseeing, and what ever we need.” – Bruce Moses, 2006 Chevy 3500, 2009 Lance 1191

1996 Ford F250 Trailer For Church

“I use my truck with the camper off about half the time.  I pull a small trailer for our church that provides a traveling lunch stand at area auctions.  In addition, I haul firewood since I still heat our home with wood.

I do some handy work around our area and use my truck to go to the worksite and to haul materials for others who don’t have a truck.  I also use the truck to pull a 16-foot trailer to haul tractors and other farm equipment for myself and for friends.  I bought my first pickup in 1980 and have not been without one since.  I love my Ford trucks!” – Dan Forry, 1996 Ford F250, 2006 Palomino 1251

“We have a 27-foot camping trailer we take on summer trips to the Adirondacks.  We usually go twice each summer with six to eight other families.  The truck camper gets used when it is just me, my wife, and two dogs.” – Randy Bunce, 2017 Ford F350, 2016 Wolf Creek 840

“When we remodeled the basement, I hauled everything from insulation to 2x4s, to drywall to paint.  When I built a retaining wall I hauled all the stone, rock and dirt.  All the waste building materials went to the dump in the truck.  Just about anything and everything has been hauled in the truck.  Sometimes we even haul something called a truck camper.” – John Bull, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2015 Arctic Fox 990

“I use my truck to haul plywood.  I mount my bicycles in the bed.  I tow my brother’s backhoe.  I use my truck.” – Russell Erbe, 2013 GMC Sierra 3500, 2012 Lance 992

“I have not used my pickup truck a lot when I’m not truck camping.  It is ten years old and has only 84,000 miles on it.  Most of that has been put on initially towing a fifth wheel trailer.  Since 2011 it has been hauling my Lance truck camper.

When I do use it for other purposes, it is to haul construction material or cabinet plywood for projects around the house.  Occasionally it is used to haul landscape materials.  But most of the time it just sits there waiting for the next truck camper adventure!” – Eldon Rhodes, 2008 Chevy 3500, 2011 Lance 1050

“We agree 100-percent!  We love to camp but, when we are not camping, I use my long bed to pick up 4×8 sheets of drywall and building materials.  I also can haul my motorcycle and tow my boat as needed.  Try that with a motorhome.  As truck campers, we are way more versatile in how we use our equipment than any motorhome or fifth wheel can be.” – Rick Hermanns, 2002 Chevy 2500HD, 2006 Travel Lite 960

“When not hauling the camper, our truck is used as a daily driver.  We also use it for taking yard waste to the yard waste site, hauling the boat, going hunting, and hauling firewood, dirt, and landscape stone.  We also take for long weekends when the camper is not needed since it has more room than our car.” – Dan Entringer, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Travel Lite 770R

“I use our truck as a daily driver, everyday for work, for getting groceries, etc.  Our camper is unloaded at camp and our truck is used to launch the boat.  I can use my truck for other activities.” – Paul Totemeier, 2015 Ram 2500, 2015 Arctic Fox

“When we truck camp, it takes about twenty minutes to load and hook up our unit.  When we return to our bricks and mortar house, we unload and store our truck camper in front of our garage.

I use the truck for daily running whether it’s to the golf course or a run to recycling center or for yard work.  The truck gets used.  I still have our fifth wheel hitch that has been used to move other people’s trailers as well as a float trailer that is fifth wheel connected.” – Eric Devolin, 2007 GMC 3500, 2006 Adventurer 106DBS

2015 Chevy 3500 Dually with travel trailer

“Our truck is a daily driver.  I’m a volunteer firefighter and I’ll run calls to the station as well as haul all types of food items for our auxiliary (my wife is a member) for our various fund raising events.

I’ve moved family members with it along with building supplies for the 40×50-foot shop that I built to do woodworking.  It also houses the truck and camper.  I’ve owned trucks my whole life and I can’t imagine not having one.  The picture is our camper before getting the Lance along with my shop in the background.” – Brian Mackison, 2015 Chevy 3500, 2015 Lance 1172

“My diesel, long bed, crew cab, dually F350 is my daily driver.  It tows boats or U-Haul trailers occasionally, makes trips to the lumber yard, picks up compost, and much more.  I also get groceries and go out to the latest fun activity.  Yes, it’s a beast!

It’s more than I need for a daily driver and it’s a serious nuisance in a parking lot.  We had a Tacoma that I really loved, but we decided it didn’t make sense to register and insure two vehicles when I only needed one.

The Tacoma only got slightly better gas mileage.  The Tacoma was not going to haul my truck camper so I had to say goodbye to it.  While I miss the Toyota, I enjoy my one-ton, too.  It gets any job done and I sit in the lap of luxury.” – Brett Binns, 2014 Ford F350, 2014 Arctic Fox 1150

“I use our truck as a daily driver.  It hauls anything we need.” – Mike Chesnutt, 2010 Tundra, 1995 Hide Away

2013 Toyota Tacoma Off Road

“I replace the camper with a BesTop folding canvas cap, put a canoe on the roof, and explore the Canadian bush on logging roads 100 miles north of Quebec city.” – Frank Tuttle, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 2017 Four Wheel Camper Swift

“We use our truck all the time without the camper on.  We haul hay and different things, and pull a horse trailer.  We can’t leave our camper on all the time because we use our truck too much.” – Rhonda Saul, 2004 Ford F350, 2008 Arctic Fox 990

“We had a small Toyota pickup in the 1980s for me to use as an inexpensive commuter. It was that and more.  When you live in rural New Hampshire, you find many uses for a pickup; dump trips, bark mulch, firewood, etc.  Alas, when we got a sailboat, the four cylinder pickup just could not do the job.

Then we had a Grand Cherokee and an Acura MDX.  So when we were looking for some kind of low usage RV (occasional weekend, vacations) the truck camper made sense.  We get two for the price of one, and only pay the DMV for the truck’s registration.

We got an F350 with additional suspension capability, single rear wheel (duallies are not quite as nimble around town) to handle an Arctic Fox 990.  It sits high and rides rough when empty.

Now living in a new home in Florida, we do not need to use the truck as much.  But we still take it out once a week or so.  At 13 miles per gallon (without the camper) it is not an every day ride, but it is incredibly comfortable and more noticeable in traffic.  And when we or our friends need to haul bags of mulch or move furniture, it is handy.” – David Cox, 2014 Ford F-350, 2014 Arctic Fox 990

2012 Ford F 250 Super Duty and pop up camper

“I use it as a daily driver, for wood cutting/hauling, a rolling tool box, for towing trailers, garden tools and supplies, etc.  That was definitely the big attraction to buying a truck camper.” – Wayne Petrie, 2012 Ford F-250, 2012 Northstar 850SC

“I show Great Danes.  My little Ranger can transport one at a time but, if I’m bringing two, I need to drive the big crew cab dually.  It’s also fun to commute to work in the big boy once in awhile.  Ninety percent of the time it’s ready for that spur of the moment weekend camping trip.

One more advantage over fifth wheels and travel trailers is that sinking feeling you get when your GPS takes you down a two lane road and you see that yellow sign ahead saying dead end.  Ouch.” – Gary Usher, 2017 Ford F350, 2015 Lance 1172

“It’s my daily driver.  I’ve not got stuck finding a spot to park even though I may have to walk further.  I drop the air in the tires for a less bumpy ride when it’s empty.  I use the camper two months of the year and for ten months it’s off the truck.  Then it’s my main transport.” – Bill Close, 2017 Ram 3500, 2012 Lance 850

“My truck is my every day vehicle.  I use it with the Lance 992 camper about 30 to 40 days a year for fishing trips of more than one day.  I also go to out of town shooting competitions.  I do a lot of hunting and fishing and it’s always done using my truck.  If I could only have one vehicle, it would most definitely be a pick-up truck.” – Robert Hicks, 2010 Chevrolet 2500, 2011 Lance 992

2008 Ford F 250 blue

“I have many uses for my truck.  I use it to haul lumber for deck projects and I use it for hauling my camping gear when I’m not using my camper.  I haul my boat to go fishing.  I throw float tubes and fishing gear in the truck and head to Red Feather Lakes to go fishing.  We use it for hauling landscaping materials for projects at home.  I also help friends and family move.  There are many uses.” – Tom Redfern, 2008 Ford F-250, 1976 Idle-Time

“The Ram is used year around.  We usually load the truck camper around the first of May and then put it back in the shop for the winter around October or so.  Then the Ram becomes an all use vehicle to haul stuff for whatever needs hauling.  It will pull the flatbed trailer to haul the quads somewhere to ride.  I use it to drive when the weather turns bad and four-wheel drive comes in handy.” – Wayne and Diane Erhart, 2002 Ram 2500, 2017 Northstar 950SC

“Are you kidding?  It’s a daily driver, delivery truck, tow truck, grocery getter, and a business truck.  That’s why a truck camper works for us.  There is less money tied up in something not being used daily.  When it’s time to enjoy, we back up and we are gone!” – Dixon Boggs, 2015 GMC 3500, Lance 850

“My camper stays on the truck 24/7/365 and I rarely use it for anything but camping.  I may take the rig for an occasional spin in the off season just to get the batteries charged up, providing I’m not snowed in.” – Maaja Sutak, 2012 GMC Sierra 2500, Northstar Adventurer

“I would only remove the camper from the truck if the truck needed major repairs and the shop could not accommodate the combined unit.” – Bernie Neale, 2006 Dodge 3500, 2016 Northern Lite 9.6 SE

“I’ve used our truck to move my children from one state to another, to relocate from one state to another 2,000 miles away, and to haul trash and trash cans to the local land fill.  I also use it to tow my 16-foot utility trailer.  I haul long pieces of pipe as well as PVC when I’m only buying short 10-foot sections and lumber.

I’ve used it, in the past, to go geocaching and camping.  Many years back, I didn’t have a truck camper, but I did have a fifth wheel trailer, which was towed by the truck.  I still use it to help clean up stuff when helping the BLM on Land-Use day.” – Harry Palmer, 2008 Dodge Ram 2500, 2008 Lance 915

2007 Toyota Tundra SR5 4x4

“The truck is our second vehicle, so I use it when necessary.  The camper is in the bed truck around six months a year.  During that time, I unload the camper a few times to use the truck to carry some stuff for myself or my friends.  Also, I do some carpentry and I need the truck to move my tools around.

The truck gets busier in the fall.  I get my wood for the winter since my main heating source is a wood stove.  I use the truck for hunting season; moose in the fall, and caribou in the winter.  That’s about my routine living in the Yukon.  Cheers!” – Roch Nadon, 2007 Toyota Tundra, 2007 Okanagan 89WS

“My truck is my everyday driver.  I love the truck, but it’s brutal on gas!” – John Pysarchyk, 2016 Ford F-350, 2016 Palomino HS-2910

“My pickup is also my daily driver and my foul weather go to vehicle.  We live in rural northern Ontario and we see a lot of snow!  I also tow boats in the summer.  It will be towing my boat behind the truck and camper for a fishing trip this May.” – William MacPhee, 2015 Silverado, 2017 Palomino SS-550

“We have always had a pickup.  It is an extension of our family’s vehicles.  I have used it for all the normal pickup hauling activities.” – Terry Berg, 2013 GMC 3500, 2013 Arctic Fox 992

2002 Lance 815 And 2013 Chevy 2500

“My pickup truck is my daily driver.  Now that I’m retired I don’t drive as much, but I do use the camper more.  So keeping my truck in the best condition is very important.” – Charlie Young, 2013 Chevy 2500, 2002 Lance 815

“We are currently making plans to go RVing full-time and have just recently landed on the truck and camper decision.  It has not been an easy decision and we have see-sawed back and forth on other RV options.

There are two main reasons we settled for the truck camper option.  First, as covered in this article, the ability to detach and go camper-less makes exploring cities and congested areas much easier (better views, etc).

The second reason we chose a truck camper configuration is the four-wheel drive aspect.  We would like to explore Canada’s north (Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Arctic Ocean) and we’d like to explore off-road sights way up there as well.

The truck camper is one of the few four-wheel drive options there is and should not be overlooked in our opinion.” – Rob Casey, no truck or camper yet

Dually Truck Hauling Mulch

“Oh my gosh, I couldn’t live without the pickup.  When my wife has the car I use it as a second car.  I don’t really like driving it places that I don’t need the pickup, but it’s not worth having a third car.  I have a long bed with dual rear wheels.  When parking I need to make wide turns and longer spaces.

We have our camper on it for three months in Arizona in the winter.  We usually put on about 4,000 miles and the rest of the time camper is stored inside the hanger.  I haul about 2,000 gallons of used oil in 55 gallon drums to heat the house and hanger every year.  In a few days I will pick up a ton of rubber mulch, and then about 6,000 pounds of crusher fines to finish my landscaping.

Pickup To Tow ATVs

Just yesterday I picked up a full kitchen someone was selling after a remodel.  I take the ATVs up to cabin and pull a trailer with the RZR.  The use goes on and on.  All that is another 6,000 miles in about nine months.  How can you not need a pickup?  What a silly question.” – Frank Niehus, 2007 Ford F-350, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150

“We use the truck camper and truck primarily when camping with our horses.  For regular camping we also use the truck to tow our 25-foot travel trailer.  Sometimes our kayaks are loaded onto the roof of the truck with our bikes in the bed.

There is always work to be done around a horse farm that requires hauling and toting.  The pick-up truck is the best vehicle for flexibility.” – Don Norris, 2003 Chevy 2500HD, Travel Lite 800SBX

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

“I have always had a pick-up since I started driving.  When the camper is demounted, our truck is used as a daily driver.  My wife’s daily driver vehicle is also a pick-up.  For me, a pick-up truck is a must, even if I just haul home the groceries.  A truck camper is also a must have for me.  We can mount the camper on either one of our trucks.” – Scott Spradley, 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, 1998 Lance Squire Lite 186EC

“Most of the time my camper is off the truck in an enclosed shed.  The truck is used to carry all sorts of items like dump trailers, boats, car haulers, tow dollies, skid steer trailers, etc.  I also haul building material and help people move.  Sometimes we just ride in it.

Our truck probably has more miles without the camper than with it. It is the best of all worlds.” – Hiat Crawford, 2015 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2014 Arctic Fox 990

“Our truck is the farm truck.  When the camper isn’t in the bed (and it is off and on a lot), the truck has a diesel fuel tank in the bed and the gooseneck hitch is screwed into the bed floor.  It’s pulling a tandem axle drop goose neck trailer hauling round bales from the field to the barn or delivering diesel to the tractors in the field.  If I have to pick up supplies like feed and fertilizer, I use the truck.  Because my GCVW exceeds 20,000 pounds at times and I move farm related products interstate, I’m required to display US DOT numbers on both sides and hold a CDL as well.

The truck is too cumbersome to use as a daily driver because the turning radius is about the size of a football field.  It’s the longest wheelbase that was available in 1997 and bumper-to-bumper, it’s just under 19-feet long.  Plus it sits real high (6-inches over stock height).  When we go shopping or to the grocery, we take either my Ford Focus or my wife’s Transit Connect van.

I would never own a short bed pickup truck (which seems to be the popular option today).  I use every inch of the 8-foot box regularly.  I’ve always wondered how you haul 4×8 sheets of plywood or 8-foot fence posts in a short box truck.  If I buy a new truck (doubtful because my 1997 is never driven in the winter), it would have to have an 8-foot box or a flat bed conversion.

It’s a truck, not a grocery getter.  It’s not about status with us, and it never has been.  It’s all about utility and getting the best use from a piece of equipment.  The truck wears many faces but all those faces (except hauling the truck camper) are about work and the farm.  The truck is a necessary piece of farm equipment.” – Daryl Davis, 1997 Ford F350, 2014 Palomino SS-1500

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