Hello boys,…. and girls, i hope there are some.
This is jefe, pronounced, Hay’-fay, aka Jeff Reynolds. I’ve been floating around RV.net, the Lance Owners Association (LOA) forum, and Expedition Portal for a long time and am anxious to interact with other people who have the same focus: namely about taking your truck camper off pavement to reach locales that other forms of RV’s can only dream about. I call this narrow slice of truckcamperdom, XTC (Extreme Truck Camper). Here is what my rig looked like in 2001: stock everything except the running boards: That’s Mount Whitney directly over the top of the Lance.
A couple of those sites started out being off-road oriented, but over time sites like the hard side truck camper forum on Expedition Portal have completely dried up and have become dormant. For 17 years I’ve been upgrading my truck and camper to take on the wild areas of N.America. Many, many great lessons were learned along the way, many the hard way.
The fastest way to become an XTC-er is to be an eX-four wheel driver or (lower case) used-to-be jeeper. I’ve owned and cut my off road teeth on: 1949 Willys Ute Wagon, 1966 Toyota FJ-40, 1970 Toyota FJ-55, 1973 Jeep J-4000, 1980 International Scout Traveler TD, 1982 Jeep Scrambler (CJ-8), 1989 Jeep XJ Limited, 1990 Jeep XJ, 1999 Jeep XJ, 2001 Dodge 2500 CTD, 2011 Jeep MK Cherokee Limited, 2008 Kioti 4WD diesel tractor. Several of these had close to 200K miles by the time I wore them out. Most of these went through upgrading spurts, as I can never leave ‘good enough’ alone, so the lessons started to pile up. Many of the techniques involved with grinding over unforgiving terrain with a 10K pound truck camper are lessons learned while in low range with one of those rigs. What about traction aiding differentials? Approach, breakover, and departure angles? How tall or wide or heavy is too tall, or wide, or heavy? How can you keep from pulling that camper apart because of the twisting of the truck’s frame over said undulating terrain?
Once you have that can-do AND can-get-back-to-civilization attitude and technique developed with a smaller 4WD, it’s a short hop over to the hard-core, truck camper camp. I have no dog in the fight between hard side and soft side TC’s. They both have their good, bad, and ugly: In my case, all three.
I find the forums I’ve been on are all in a state of flux with the focus shifting constantly and people coming and going as they get in and out of the TC business. The situation I find myself in, at the 11th hour of my lifetime, is I want to hang with people with the same focus with the TC without infringing on someone else’s unfriendly turf aka: their paradigm. This may be the place. We’ll see.
regards, as always, jefe
2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.