Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum How I got to "minimal." Reply To: How I got to "minimal."

Don Nelson

Happy to, Mike.

Capri has been building the same two designs since 1969, the “Cowboy,” like mine, and the “Retreat,” a cabover. I’m told that construction methods and materials have improved a lot since then, and having seen an older, still in use, camper, can confirm the new interior materials are better. Construction is wood-frame with several choices of interior simulated wood paneling plus genuine aromatic cedar. The outside skin is the quilted aluminum you see above, again with a limitless choice of color combos. Between those are two inches of fiberglass insulation.

Each basic design can be built to various heights and lengths and can accomodate cooktops, sinks, fridges, a/c and most options available in bigger campers, except heads, and in the case of the “Cowboy,” an inside shower (due to the inside height of 5′ – an outside shower is offered). They are custom built to order. For example, I asked that the back wall be reinforced in order to mount a gas can.


Later I decided against carrying the generator, but might still mount the can.

The inside is cozy. OK, snug.


The Capri website has better pictures, but they cheat a bit with ultra-wide angle lenses. Even so, my first experience inside when picking up the camper found it surprisingly roomy – especially if one thinks of it as a hard-sided tent.

The standard E-W bed is 48″ x 80″. I chose 39″x 80″, or “Twin XL” to get the additional 9″ of floor length for the dog bed. The side benches are handy, as standing completely upright isn’t gonna happen in the “Cowboy.” I’m also not happy with how I’ve organized the underbed storage yet.

Capri estimates the dry weight of a bare “Cowboy” at 750lbs. I haven’t weighed it myself, but with a payload capacity of 3700lbs, it’s not critical. I suppose my regular load amounts to a couple hundred pounds total.

Capri is a small shop in Bluff Dale, TX, in the hill country. The owners, father and son, are very easy to work with, very flexible and just good folks. When I pointed out that their option price for the Fan-tastic Fan™ installed was lower than I could buy the uninstalled fan for on Amazon, they just shrugged. I spent a lot of time quizzing the foreman on construction methods and was impressed by his candor and knowledge. They really are handmade.

“Confirmation bias” is the tendency of a person who’s made a decision to defend it against all criticism. I picked the “Cowboy” and remain happy with the choice, but won’t ever say it’s the right one for everyone. It’s good for me and the dog so far though.