Truck Camper Magazine Blog

Announcing the 2022 Reader Participation Award

For the first time, we are awarding a reader participation award to the reader with the most mod entries, destination recommendations, and helpful truck camping insights and suggestions in 2022. And the winner is Peter Puzzle. No, Mike Mystery. No…

2022 Reader Participation Award

A couple of weeks back we awarded two new awards; the Most Funny Mod and Most Practical Mod of the year. In addition, Angela has been quietly brewing a third accolade; a new Reader Participation Award. Can you tell which one of us taught elementary school before starting this magazine? Get back to work, Gordon! Yes, Mrs. White.

Angela is very excited to award one individual whose participation went above and beyond – in both quantity and quality – in 2022. This person participated with multiple Mod Contest entries, submitted photos for the 2023 TCM Calendar Contest, answered truck camping destination requests, offered truck camper product insights, and sent in interesting articles for Camper Beast, again, and again, and again.

Angela was particularly impressed that this reader routinely went out of his way to take pictures specifically for his various mod and product feedback submissions. And if that wasn’t enough, this person recently suggested a feature article topic, wrote-up an outline, and sent it in. That article – on the use of DEF while truck camping – is now in development. DEF-initely a good idea!

And the winner of the first annual Truck Camper Magazine reader participation award goes to…

Dave Riddle of Burbank, Washington!

Thank you, Dave, for being so active with Truck Camper Magazine this year. We truly appreciate you and the effort you take on behalf of TCM and fellow truck campers. Even better, Angela has made you a prize stuffed with, well, stuffing!

2022 TCM Prize Pillow Front

Above: Dave Riddle’s ‘Truck Campers Rock’ prize pillow with his grey truck and side-entry camper

Dave will also receive a very official certificate that we made in Photoshop, printed, and then signed. It’s legit, folks.

2022 TCM Reader Participation Award Certificate

Above: Dave Riddle’s 2022 TCM Reader Participation Award Certificate.  It’s even framed!

Next Year It Could Be You!

Want your own quilted prize and official certificate? Of course, you do! Who wouldn’t?

All you have to do is out participate Dave in 2023. Otherwise, he’s going to win again and the gloating could be unbearable, especially for his family and friends. To relieve them of this potential burden, enter the Mod Contest, send in calendar photos, submit your destination article feedback, share interesting truck camper videos you find for Camper Beast, and complete our product surveys in 2023.   We announce all of our requests in our email newsletter, so if you’re not an email subscriber, feel free to subscribe now.

Dave’s 2022 Participation

What follows is the culmination of Dave’s Truck Camper Magazine participation in 2022. I think he may have written more than I have. Well, maybe not. Thank you, Dave!

From Camping Chairs for Campers:

Timber Ridge Portable Full Padded Camping Folding Chair

“I have a Timber Ridge portable fully-padded camping folding chair. It has a carry bag and high back, with a lightweight aluminum frame supporting up to 300-pounds.

Timber Ridge Portable Full Padded Camping Folding Chair Storage Bag

We have tried various camping chairs over the years and definitely the Timber Ridge is the best. We like the padding and high backs and they are really stable as well. We also appreciate that they came with a nice carry bag and, when we’re not in camp or when it’s raining, they fit nicely on top of the dual wheels, out of sight and dry.

Timber Ridge Portable Full Padded Camping Folding Chair No Rain

We store them inside the camper when traveling. We also have a second set that we use in the boat when fishing.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevrolet 3500 HD, 2017 Host Mammoth

From The Best Portable Grills and Griddles for Campers:

Best Grills And Griddles For Campers

Magma Party Size Grill

“We use a propane-fueled Magma Party Size grill for burgers, steaks, veggies, dogs, and whatever else. We have a special veggie grill so the veggies can be cooked without losing them.

Magma Party Size Grill Riddle 3

Magma grills are made in the USA from stainless steel. The one we have was originally purchased several years ago for our boat and then we added the three-legged stand and started using it with the camper. I store it in the basement storage area.

Magma Party Size Grill

It works well for what we need and is pretty much indestructible. They are still available and can be purchased in other sizes as well.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD, 2017 Host Mammoth

Dave Riddle, Burbank, Washington
Generator Storage Box and Front Mount Carrier
2015 Chevrolet 3500 HD
2017 Host Mammoth

Generator Box And Front Mount Carrier

Generator Storage Box Installed On The Frame

This mod started out as a way to safely carry and protect the new generator. I wanted a way to transport the generator that would be fairly simple, weather resistant and hopefully would slow down any other nefarious interested parties.

Generator Storage Box Inside The Box

I first made the box, mostly from odds and ends of 3/4-inch exterior grade plywood that I had on hand. This helped keep costs down and made use of existing materials. I used exterior-grade adhesive to ensure a tight and weather-resistant box. I lined it with an outdoor carpet to protect the generator.  I stained the wood, again using products on hand.

Generator Storage Box With Portable

Next, I built the front mount frame. I had some of the metal on hand, but needed to purchase the 2-inch by 2-inch by 1/8-inch angle iron and 2.5-inch by 3/16-inch flat steel.

Generator Storage Box Frame Front

Generator Storage Box Top View Box Frame

Generator Storage Box Marker Rod Retaining Mechanism

Generator Storage Box Frame Tightener

Generator Storage Box Front Hitch Extension

Generator Storage Box Anti Rattle

The 2-inch stinger was built with existing materials, and the anti-rattle clamps and lever tightening clamp were ordered from Amazon. Three weldable hinges were sourced locally.

Generator Storage Box Frame Locks

Generator Storage Box Upper Lock

Generator Storage Box Tightening Mechanism And Lock

So far, the modifications are working out well. I anticipate using the entire modification frequently for boat trolling battery charging, and running the air conditioner on the camper, among other things.

Generator Storage Box Mounted And Tied Down To Frame

Materials include:
2-inch by 2-inch by 1/8-inch carbon steel angle for frame
2-inch carbon steel tubing for stinger
2.5-inch by 3/16-inch carbon flat for box retainer
Chain link cut into two pieces
Three weld style 2.5-inch hinges
One lever tightener
Two keyed same padlocks
Two anti-rattle clamps
Exterior grade adhesive
Plenty of coffee

I’d estimate there were 30 to 40 hours of time required to complete this whole project. Multiple cups of coffee were also needed to ensure straight cuts, square corners, and sufficiently precise fabrication.

Since much of the material was on hand it’s hard to accurately estimate the cost. Suffice it to say it was much cheaper than an off-the-shelf purchase. That said, my best estimate for new out-of-pocket costs would be $50. It would be at least double that if you had to purchase everything new.

The skill level for this project is hard, especially for the metal fabrication which required special tools and advanced welding abilities.

From Destination Idaho:

Idaho Bucket List

Dave Riddle
2015 Chevrolet 3500HD
2017 Host Mammoth

Clearwater River At McKay Bend Campground Riddle

Above: Clearwater River at McKay Bend Campground

It’s difficult with Idaho to pick a favorite place as each place is unique and beautiful. In October, we camped along the Clearwater River outside of Lewiston in a BLM campground that gave us fall colors, crisp evenings, and the beauty of the river.

Sunset Above The Clearwater River At McKay Bend Campground

Above: Sunset above the Clearwater River at McKay Bend Campground

McKay Bend Campground on the Clearwater River is very inexpensive, especially if you have a senior pass.

Brunneau Dunes Tallest Sand Dune There

In April, we traveled south of Mountain Home to Bruneau Dunes State Park (pictured above). There were huge sand dunes and lakes.

Sand Dune Brunneau Dunes

It’s definitely desert there. This location was also near the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.

The area along the Palisades Reservoir and the road to Teton Pass are beautiful to visit. Both have campgrounds and dispersed camping. Dry camping is available along the Lochsa River as you drive up towards Lolo Pass and near Palisades Reservoir. Each of these has its own typical limitations including rough roads and low trees.

Snake River Morley Raptor Area

Above: Snake River, Morley Raptor Area

Near McCall on the western side of the state, there are more camping and beautiful places to visit. In our experience, any state park in Idaho is great and reasonably priced. We’ve stayed at Hells Gate, Bruneau Dunes, Massacre Rocks, and Farragut State Parks. There is great access to the state parks and good amenities.

In Idaho, there’s no shortage of great places to visit or things to see. There are activities for the entire family.

From BackUp Cameras for Truck Campers:

Best Back Up Rear View Cameras For Campers

“I have a Voyager rearview camera; model WVOM541AP. This specific model has been superseded by other similar models that can be found on the Voyager website.

Voyager Back Up Camera Attached To Camper Roof

There are four camera and screen combinations listed under the RV section.

Voyager Camera Information

We use it primarily during travel, although it has some utility for backing up into campsites as well. When we travel we almost always have a boat trailer or vehicle behind us. Having the camera makes it possible to keep a watchful eye on the towed items. It’s also very useful for keeping track of the traffic behind us, and our blind spot.

Voyager Screen In The Cab

Making the move back into the right lane can be a bit tricky, but with the combination of camera and mirrors, the move is much less difficult. All in all, we love the camera and always use it when traveling. My only minor complaint is that the suction device that attaches the monitor screen to the windshield can be a bit finicky at times.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevrolet 3500, 2017 Host Mammoth

Rubber Camper Jack Pads

Dave Riddle, Burbank, Washington
Homemade Rubber Jack Pads
2015 Chevy Silverado 3500
2017 Host Mammoth

I wanted to have a non-slip rubber-style pad on each of the Rieco-Titan jack stands. I looked at Snap Pads as my first choice, but they are not sized for my application and are fairly expensive. So, I decided to make my own.

Camper Jack Landing Pads 3

I added a 3/4-inch rubber pad to each of the Rieco-Titan jack stands on my camper. They are just a bit larger in diameter than the steel pad that is attached to the jack.

I cut the pads from the leftover horse trailer mat that I had in the shop.

Camper Jack Landing Pads Rubber On Bottom

Then using Gorilla Grip High Strength clear adhesive, I glued them to the steel pads. A single three-ounce tube was enough for all four pads.

Camper Landing Jack Pads 4

So far, the modification has worked great.

I’ve tried them out on gravel and pavement/concrete surfaces and the glue is holding. The pads eliminate having to put down a piece of wood or similar for the jack to sit on.

We’ve used the camper jack pads extensively this year and they are still holding up great.  Got to love that Gorilla glue!

The pads are also the right size. While loading the camper, I don’t have to worry about the rear dually tires hitting the pads while positioning the truck. All in all, I’m very pleased with this modification.

It took me two hours to complete this modification and cost me $8. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.

From the 2023 Calendar Contest:

Above: One of Dave’s calendar entries from Emigrant Lake, near Ashland, Oregon, 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 and his 2017 Host Mammoth.

From Portable Air Compressors:

Best Portable Air Compressors of 2022

Viair 450P Spec Sheet

“I carry a VIAIR 450P-RV compressor. It hooks directly to the Chevy’s battery. I’ve only used it once and it worked perfectly.

Viair 450P Compressor Parts

It comes in a nice bag with the compressor, two lengths of air hose, and accessories. The two lengths of hose make it easy to reach back to our towed Canyon pickup to air tires without having to disconnect.

Viair 450P Compressor Side

It’s been a great addition and adds a nice level of security knowing if I need to air up a tire, it’s available. So far all I’ve used it for is maintaining the air pressure in the truck and towed vehicle.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevy 3500 HD, 2017 Host Mammoth

From 6 Reader Tips to Beat Fuel Prices:

6 Reader Tips Beat Fuel Prices

Dave Riddle offered his heartfelt take on the, “How many summers do you have left” perspective presented in the article.

“I’ve had too many friends leave this world at a much younger age, and without warning. The last was a good friend who died from a blood clot in his lung and was gone instantly, at age 62.  For myself, not knowing or being able to predict the future means acting responsibly in the present and living in the moment.  So, short of total financial collapse… we’re going truck camping!”

Well said, Dave. Let’s go.

Thank you, Dave, for all of your participation in 2022!


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