If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you know that we’ve been busy with several projects the latest of which is an aluminum shelter for the Truck Camper Adventure Rig. While this structure is neither a truck camper mod or a truck mod per se, it does reduce roof maintenance and repairs. Case in point. Two years ago we had a large hail storm pass over our city. The hail stones, which were about the size of small marbles, cracked the Heki vent in our truck camper. If you know anything about the Heki Vent, you know that repairing one is expensive, in this case a cool $700. We have an ADCO truck camper cover, but as you know, fabric covers do nothing when it comes to hail they only protect your camper from the sun and bird droppings. An aluminum shelter or garage is the only way to protect your investment from all of the elements including hail stones, and, of course, the sun.
The new aluminum shelter measures 12 x 21 feet and is 16 feet high. It is anchored using 10, 3-foot-long stubbed rebars, five on either side plus four mobile home anchors crisscrossed in the front and back. The aluminum panels are painted a “Light Stone” color with the trim a slightly darker “Sahara Tan.” The structure is long enough to cover the entire rig except for the Buckstop front bumper, with plenty of height to raise the camper during loading and unloading. The structure is plenty wide too at 12 feet, wide enough to open and close the doors to the truck.
For those who are curious, we went through a dealership called Oasis Carports based out of Indio, California. We considered going with a 25-foot-long structure, but a shelter of that size would require a permit and we didn’t want to go there. The total time to install everything was only three hours. The installers were in and out by 10am. The waiting time after signing the contract was three months. The total cost, which included installation, was $2,500. Of course, you can save even more money by installing the structure yourself. I watched the three-member team install it and it wasn’t that difficult, though you might need to rent or invest in a jack hammer to get the rebars fully inserted into the ground. The ground here in northern Arizona is very hard and it took them a good hour to get all of the rebar installed.
Overall, we are thrilled with the new structure. It looks great and provides excellent protection for the rig year-round. Our main concern when we ordered it was protection from the sun. It’s pretty brutal in Arizona, especially during the summer when temps can reach the low 100s. The structure will also keep the camper cooler and will extend the life of the caulking and sealants used on the roof. Yes, we would’ve preferred having a large garage built, but the cost to go that route would’ve easily exceeded $25,000 and probably $30,000. I’d rather use that money towards a new truck.