Mother of Three Tackles Truck Camper Life in a Palomino HS2901

Truck camper life. More and more people are embracing it. The reasons for full-timing in a truck camper vary, but with the high cost of housing and sky-high interest rates, buying a home in some states can be a challenge. Seeing the sights and life on the road, of course, have their allure as well. If you want a better view, you can simply move to another location. Of course, being able to work remotely helps. This gives one the ability to work anywhere as long as the Internet can be accessed.

Sammy Seles, who travels and home schools three kids, is a champion of the nomadic life with a following that boasts 66,200 Instagram followers. Her rig of choice is a matching matte OD green Ford F-350 and a Palominio HS-2901 hard-side. She chose this setup because of it’s simplicity. Sammy’s Instagram bio says it all: “just a mom, her kids, plus her truck camper road-trippin.” Her hope is to inspire and empower couples and single moms to get out with their own kids and not wait for the “right time” to travel. To learn more about Sammy, her kids, and her truck camper setup, we spoke with Sammy.

What inspired you to live full-time in an truck camper?

Sammy: Travel wasn’t really on my radar until I met my husband who travels for work in the crane industry. In 2019 he convinced me to sell our home and join him on the road in a travel trailer with our two babies. We found a love for travel, especially RV travel and it spiraled from there. We’ve owned and lived full-time in a  travel trailer and fifth-wheel for about three years.

I started venturing off on my own with the kids while my husband was working. He encouraged us to see as much as we can. I began toying around with the idea of getting my own set up. We’ve tent camped, had a rooftop set up, and tried out van travel. When out west I saw truck campers everywhere and that got the wheels spinning. Since we already had the truck it made perfect sense to look into truck campers.

Now the kids and I road-trip in our truck camper. I love camping, especially camping with a view! Being able to take my kids on epic road trips is icing on the cake!

What do you do for a living?

Sammy: I am a stay-at-home mom first and foremost. I home school our children on the road. By sharing our adventures, I have monetized our social media channel helping contribute to our family’s income and travel funds. I also work with brands in the outdoor industry and travel destinations, creating content for them to use for their own marketing needs.

Cool! How long have you owned your truck camper?

Sammy: Over a year now. We bought it the beginning of 2023.

Can you tell us about your truck camper and why you chose that particular make and model?

Sammy: We went with a Palomino HS2901 2023. The pull-out bed is a great size for our kids. The price point was budget friendly. I wanted a fridge, kitchen, and bathroom. We opted out of a slide, because I do the majority of travel solo and didn’t want any issues with a slide-out. I also like that we have access to everything inside without having to put slides in or out. Simple is what I wanted for my first solo rig. We have a short-bed truck so that went into play with which models worked for us as well. This, in my opinion, was best fit and a great model to start with.

What mods have you made to your truck camper to make it more your own?

Sammy: Lot’s of things. We added a Pakmule porch, which includes their Swayback carrier, decking, and stirrup. For that we needed a hitch extension. So we decided to upgrade our hitch altogether and use the Torklift SuperHitch and their SuperTruss Hitch Extender. This all gave us a little more storage, allowing us to haul our cargo case.

We also added the Torklift SpaceDock and Torklift Lock-N-Load SideKick generator trays. One houses our generator and the other holds our Solo Stove Ranger fire pit. The SpaceDock works with our bumper to turn the trays in and out of the way. We also added a 23 Zero Shower awning to the exterior of our camper.

Inside the camper, I added some storage and removed the microwave. We don’t really use microwaves because we camp off-grid so much and it opened up more storage.

Can you tell us about your camper’s electrical system? Did you do anything to improve the OEM system?

Sammy: Yes, we added an entire solar system with inverter/charger/controllers and lithium batteries. We have Go Power’s SolarFlex Eclipse Panels, 600 watts total. I have Go Power’s IC Series 3,000 watt inverter and solar controllers. We have two Lion Energy Safari 105 amp hour LifePO4 Batteries. We also have a Firman 2,100 watt portable inverter generator and their Zero E solar generator for back up.

Do you have any particular pieces of gear or truck camper mods that you would recommend to others?

Sammy:  Our Pakmule porch and step is something that I feel makes our set up! I can haul my ROAM case giving us a little more storage, and it makes getting in and out of the rig that much easier. Especially on my little ones. I like to sit on it and drink coffee with an epic view. It’s very stable and blows other storage racks out of the water. It’s literally our porch and we love it. We also love our Tailgater Tire Table! It’s great for cooking or working outside with a view. Works with your tire and if you get the aluminum one it is light and compact.

We also built a small matching trailer for trips to Alaska and Baja that we have planned this year.

Can you tell us about your truck? Have you made any upgrades to it?

Sammy: It’s a Ford 2018 F-350 Super Duty Platinum Diesel 4WD. We swapped out the stock for a 60 gallon S&B Fuel tank on our truck. We also added a WolfBox dash cam and a Victron DC-DC charger to it recently. On the hood, we added a solar kit from Cascadia 4×4 to keep our truck’s batteries topped-off.

Did you need to do anything to beef-up your truck’s suspension?

Sammy: We added an on board air compressor by Pak Brake, 4.5-inch ready lift, Falcon shocks, and airbags

What wheel and tires do you have on your truck and what inflation values do you typically run?

Sammy: We are running 37x18x12.50 Nitto Ridge Grappler tires with 18-inch Black Rhino Armory Wheels. We typically run the tires at 60 PSI.

Have you had your rig weighed?

Sammy: Yes we did when we first hit the road, when we added our solar, and do periodically.

We love the wrap. Can you tell us more about it?

Sammy: We had the rig wrapped in Tampa, Florida. It’s a matte OD Green. We went with having it wrapped because at the time it was cheaper than having everything painted, and it’s not a permanent change.

Do you have any regrets in any of your truck and camper choices? Anything you wished that you had done differently?

Sammy: We would like to get an even bigger truck truck with a flatbed to have custom storage built. Outdoor storage is definitely the struggle, but not a deal breaker. The new trailer will help with that. We might possibly upgrade to a model with a slide-out to have a little more room now that I’ve gained a lot more confidence being on my own.

Where are you been in your truck camper thus far?

Sammy: We have been all over the United States. Some of our favorite places to boondock have been in Wyoming at Grand Tetons and Devils Tower. Also loved being small enough to camp at California’s State Beaches along the coast. Out West definitely has our heart, but we spent some time by The Great Lakes this summer and I highly recommend that area as well. Especially Lake Michigan.

What have been the biggest challenges full-timing in a truck camper?

Sammy: Fuel costs is probably the biggest challenge. We go in with open minds and hearts loving the challenge of new to us areas and finding the beauty everywhere. Even repairs and hiccups in plans are manageable now, since it’s something we’ve grown accustomed to. Learning to be flexible as we go. Sticking to budget, with cost of fuel can put a damper on things.

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

What kind of mileage are you getting with your setup?

Sammy: We are getting 15 mpg, give or take

What kind of places are you planning to visit in your truck camper rig?

Sammy: We have plans to spend this summer in Alaska caravanning with friends. In the near future I’d like to do Baja, Mexico and we definitely would like to spend some time in Canada.

It was great meeting you at the 2024 Truck Camper Adventure Quartzsite Rally. What did you think of it?

Sammy: We loved the rally! It was first time I attended one solo with the kids. I was apprehensive at first, but we had a blast. It was fun meeting everyone. And we always enjoy camping with the Gills. We walked away with new friends who travel with and have bounced ideas off each other for our rigs. We definitely want to attend again! Your wife, Karen, made us feel very welcome!

Valley of the Gods, Utah

Thank you. Do you have a website and/or social media channels that our readers can follow?

Sammy: Yes, you can follow our adventures on Instagram and on Facebook.

What have been the most popular social media posts/videos relating to truck camper life?

Sammy: Before and afters, showcasing what the rig looked like when we first picked it up and what it looks like now after our mods and getting it wrapped. And anything showing that it’s mine, and doesn’t belong to a guy. It’s shocking to some that it’s a female’s rig.

Do you have any closing words of advice for your readers relating to truck campers and truck camper life?

Sammy: When building your rig make sure you have enough truck. Personally, we recommend going as big as possible so payload is less of a concern. And more importantly, don’t be intimidated! I’m a female who travels with three small kids and solo the majority of the time. I love our size and being able to maneuver wherever we need to go.

About Mello Mike 901 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.

2 Comments

  1. I saw the article that mentioned sky high interest rates. In the 70s when I built my first house the standard house interest rate was 7.5% we never thought anything about it. It only went higher from there, in 1981 it was 18.5%. Young people today are just spoiled with low rates that caused over buying. I only had my loan for 6 years when I sold and used the equity to build the next house without any outside labor.

    • I agree, John. The inflation we all experienced in the late 70s/early 80’s was brutal. That’s the main reason why Reagan won in a landslide.

Leave a Reply (You Must Be Logged In)