For the last few years Tyema and I have been criss-crossing the United States, making uncountable laps through our Nation’s most breathtaking scenery.
Along our travels we have camped inside a single dome, lightweight tent in all four seasons. Blistering hot summer days in the desert to brutally cold nights in Colorado winters. Sleeping in a dog park in Pisa, under bridges, in the shrubs of an outside botanical garden and along the River banks of Florence. In every climate, altitude and rural and urban area we have set up camp, regardless of temperature, noise or discomfort.
Then we upgraded to the extreme luxury of 33’ Travel Trailers, adorned with glass showers, slides, comfy couches, surround sound, heat and AC. Plugging into RV parks, stabilizing jacks, and oven baked goodies. The high life. There has also been everything in between : we have lived in the back of three different trucks for over a year. The most luxurious of the three was built with tongue and groove paneling, had heat and an outdoor kitchen set up.
The worst a leaky truck cap that built up condensation every night in all temperatures, soaking and freezing our pillows and blankets.
Bumper pulls and fifth wheels. 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, 1 ton handicap bus and a 1 ton truck kept us moving through the landscape.
In the middle of this summer, we had enough of the real rugged and also the excessive comfortability. We wanted to start over and find the “right” travel vehicle for us. My personal favorite travel setup we have had is now attached to our house, the Bus! As much as I love that Bus, it does not suit our needs in performance. No four wheel drive, a heavy chassis and van engine all brought me much frustration. There is nothing worse than not being able to get back to where you want to go when traveling, being limited by your vehicle. Our other dually, although equip with 4×4, was so heavy that it would sink in sand or snow. Sluggish gear shifts and incapable of narrow gauge roads, rendering it useless to the harsh desert environment we experienced in the summer. On washboard roads clenched teeth and tightly gripped to the steering wheel. No backcountry fun.
The moment our odometer crossed 200k we began to rethink our backcountry needs. 4×4 a must. A truck a must. Duallys gone with the old days. Something light, that can actually get us where we want to go without breaking the bank at the pump every day. After months of research we decided to downsize to another 1/2 ton Silverado. Exact same truck as the one we have at home in Pagosa.
Over the last two months we have been updating and outfitting the truck for the harsh conditions we will be putting it through. Suspension airbags, new shocks, all preventative and scheduled maintenance performed. Our list is still quite extensive.
The next step for us was to find a suitable living quarter that would fit all our needs and not over stress our vehicle. After much research, frustration and tinkering with payload calculations, we decided on a pop up slide in truck camper. Once at that agreement we spent another month or so trying to find the right one. We landed on a pop up in Colorado Springs on Craigslist. Dry weight 1068. Perfect for our setup. Eager to get started on our project we took the three hour drive through the snow, excessive winds and icy roads to settle a deal. The owner helped us install the Brophy Stake Pocket Tie Down System as well as hook it fully up to the truck.
The previous owner of our new to us 1999 Palomino Slide In Truck Camper redid quite a bit on this camper. Him and his girlfriend reworked the roof (although there still is quite a bit of hail damage), the canvas, installed better corner supports with steel baskets, reupholstered the interior cushions, painted the cabinets and put on all new hardware. Upon buying it however we were fully aware that we were going to change it up and add our own personal touches to it. After all, this will be our new road home! First things first, repaint the walls and cabinets!
White just never has done it for us. It is true that white does give the impression of a more open, roomier space, but man it really lacks creativity. Also, I tend to get very dirty too quickly, so we both knew that I would have turned them brown in weeks… Our new color scheme would incorporate a buttery/almond finish on the cabinets with detailed blue stencils of mandalas, feathers and flowery designs.
We spent the first week repainting everything, getting the appliances to work and making plans for new window curtains, bedding and furnishings. We have ordered everything that we need to get this truck camper decked out. We will be redoing the Formica countertops with Petrified Wood Laminate Sheets. I also spent quite some time researching a Split Charge System and a Grape Solar 100 Watt Panel Kit to constantly generate enough electricity to boondock for days at a time. We will be spending the next month or so making this truck and camper combo absolutely perfect for our needs. For each new project will be taking before and after shots, as well as writing full length descriptions on wiring diagrams and schematics, and any necessary reconstruction along the way.
Stay tuned for updates!