New Video: TCA Bradshaw Trail Overland Rally

Truck Camper Adventure (TCA) hosted its very first overland rally on California’s Bradshaw Trail earlier this month. This free trip, scheduled immediately after our truck camper rally in Quartzsite, Arizona, consisted of 14 truck campers. To our knowledge, this was the largest number of campers to explore this historical road at any one time. The two-day trek was fantastic. The trip was completed without any mishaps and benefited greatly from recent road grading as well as near perfect weather. Temperatures ranged from the high 60s to the low 40s. The 77-mile-long road, which borders the Chocolate Mountains Aerial Gunnery Range, is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management and is suitable for a high-clearance truck camper with 4×4. FRS radios were used to coordinate all activities and provided an enjoyable source of banter throughout the trek. This is a music video of the overland trip featuring the song Outlaw Man by the Eagles.

Those who took part in the Bradshaw Trail inaugural overland rally were: Alex and Julie Blasingame (Lance 815), Bob and Sheila Eckert (Lance 825), Randall and Jeanne Grepling (Hallmark Everest), Dave and Pam Lindahl (Hallmark Cuchara), Steve Luoma and Judy Brainerd (Arctic Fox 811), Kevin and Linda MacAfee (Bundutec Odyssey), Pres and Janice Meyers (Alaskan 10), Rick Miller and Malia Dailey (Hallmark Ute), Con and Erin Nguyen (Northstar Laredo), Thom Price (Outfitter Apex 8.5), Jeff and Jeannie Reynolds (Northstar Laredo), Tim and Brenda Tahitinen (Northstar 650), Walt Simpson (Lance 825), and Mello Mike and Karen Smith (Northstar Laredo).

This is Truck Camper Adventure’s first official video of the trip.

About Mello Mike 895 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.


  1. Enjoyed the video love driving over dirt roads get to see more of the untouched world or close to it. But at last not a thing I try with our rig an 2012 Ram 3500 non 4×4 with a Adv 116DS a big heavy weight yet we boondock a lot in it have over 250 hrs on the genny. Was a long term member of NATCOA till they went to face book. Looking for a new home.

  2. Yes great video but I was wondering a drw with a heavy camper could make that it the width of the truck or the weight that would be the problem

    2019 ram drw
    2019 host mammoth

    • Two things: the long-bed crewcab makes for a very long wheel base. Unless your truck is lifted, the departure angle will be very poor and will drag in deep washes. Inner are problematic as well due to the prevalence of flats. The one short-bed dually, which made this trip, got a flat due the numerous rocks on the road.

      • Ok thanks how would the same rig do on the beach I live in nj and you can camp on the beach at island beach state park I know you
        Have to air down tires etc or is the rig to heavy I see a lot of TC there but no drw

  3. Great article. WeI would consider going a future rally but before we do, we would like to know what things people do to set up their rig for off road. I’m worried the cabover will smash the marker lights and/or roof of truck. Its never happened but it concerns me. We have airbags but they don’t seem to do anything. If we inflate them more than a few pounds it seems to lift the truck up off the suspension defeating all the other suspension upgrades we have made such as the the torklift stableload upper and lower and Hellwig Bigwig sway bar front and back.

    We will take advice from anyone, but would really like to hear from others with short bed trucks with SRW. I’m wondering if the short wheel base is the source of the problem? Until we get this sorted, we just aren’t comfortable going too far off road – its just not fun. We got our truck and camper to do exactly what you folks are doing.

    Thanks, Rita
    2016 F350 Crew cab, short box, SRW
    2015 Adventurer 89RB (no slides)

    • IMHO, I think you have too many suspension upgrades on your truck. What purpose do your air bags serve when you already have Stableloads installed? Both are designed to keep your truck level under load. Does your truck need both? I doubt it. We will soon be publishing an article by Jeff Reynolds on getting your truck camper ready to take off-road. He presented the material at our recent truck camper rally. I’d definitely take note of the suspension upgrades section about the “boinga-boinga-boinga” effect of air bags when overinflated.

    • Hi Rita. I’m Thom and attended this ‘most fantastic’ rally with Mello (AKA MAD) Mike and the other great TC’ers. I was the new Ford with the American flag and Outfitter camper. I have done a few mods to my truck but did not raise it (pretty high from the factory). I would be honored to go over my additions if you are still interested. I gross nearly 12K Lbs with camper and have no problems. 2017 F-350 SRW, 6.7 litter diesel, Crew cab. We can e-mail if you wish. THOM.CEIJE@GMAIL.COM or ask Mike to contact me.

  4. Great video Mike! We enjoyed the Bradshaw overland trek as our first-time truck camper convoy. All the folks on the joint venture were warm, wonderful, and fun. Thanks for organizing both the TCA rally and convoy trip.

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