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Great Escape: What Living With A Slide-In Camper Is Like In A Nutshell

Great Escape: What Living With A Slide-In Camper Is Like In A Nutshell

Another day, another day of living with this craving for a recreational vehicle setup of some kind, because getting away from everyone and living next to a stream somewhere near Tarryall, Colorado sounds like heaven on earth right now. We’ve looked at the realities of life. We aren’t going to afford a big diesel pusher bus unless we hit the lotto, I play the right machine in Vegas, or I get maimed in an accident and get paid off royally by whoever screwed up. The more realistic options that we could make work involve a one-ton truck and either a tow-behind or bed-mounted camper system of some kind. Me personally, the dream is a Ram 5500 with no bed, a fifth-wheel system and Cherokee trailer towed behind it. But even that is a pretty penny and a half. So how do we pare it down even further without diving into the sketchy world of Craigslist RVs?

Well, let’s pare the Ram down to a one-ton. That’s plenty doable, a good Interstate cruising size, and useful even without anything in the bed. Speaking of the bed, this is where a slide-in camper system comes into play. Yeah, they are still a thing, and yes, they’ve gotten really decent. It checks all of the boxes regarding basic RV camping for a weekend setup and is plenty mobile. And when you aren’t using it, just undo the turnbuckles, lower the jacks and drive out. Congratulations, instantly useable pickup truck.

Regular Car Reviews took a look at one of these rigs, a Host camper loaded into a Ford Super Duty. There’s issues, but there’s a lot to appreciate here. Ok, back to pipe dreaming…

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8 thoughts on “Great Escape: What Living With A Slide-In Camper Is Like In A Nutshell

  1. Gary

    OK, so annoying I couldn’t watch a full minute of it, and who is the douchenozzle wearing a mask, outside, by himself?

  2. john

    Wearing a mask during a pandemic is not the problem. Putting an over sized camper on an improperly set up truck is. Class A motorhomes get blown around by crosswinds and passing trucks.

    1. Weasel1

      Had a slide in for years before we got our bumper pull. Don’t go huge like the one in the video and it drives and rides fine. We did it with a F250, 2wd long box. Not for living in, just a bed, fridge, stove and a bathroom for at night.

    2. OK2NV

      I have had several motor homes and campers over the years and I have found out it is worth a little more to make sure you get one with a heavy chassis. My class C was almost dangerous to drive as it did get pushed around by any wind but the Class A pusher I have now is on a Freightliner chassis and you just set the cruise control and never worry about it.

      1. Arn Chamberlain

        We have a truck camper and just love it. I STRONGLY suggest you visit “truckcampermagazine.com” before making any decisions. Truck campers can be affordable. I would definately get a dually 1 ton truck equipped with front and rear anti-sway bars though. Pay attention to camper/vehicle matching and you should be ready to go. For the most part, don’t trust the RV dealler to help you. They generally are simply sales people and don’t understand or in some cases care about matching the truck to the camper. DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE PURCHASING!

  3. Wes

    My mother-in-law bought a 2019 F-250 FX4 with a 6.2L and an in-bed camper for her retirement. She has this grand vision of living in the damn thing…even sold her house. To date she might have spent three nights in the unit that sits out in front of my house at the time of this writing. I drove it once. In my neighborhood just to recharge the batteries. Holy shit what an unsafe contraption. Pretty certain there is at least $130K worth of truck and camper just baking in the Texas sun right now. We all told her to get a Class C and a small vehicle she could flat-tow but she has this delusion that she can go “off road” with the set-up she bought. Right. Off-road and tumbling right down the side of a small hill. I predict this rig will be for sale soon.

  4. Truckin Ted

    I don’t have first hand experience at owning one of these, but the last time I looked for a slide in camper…………they were pretty expensive. And compared you could get a heck of a lot more space and comfort with a bumper pulled trailer for the same or less money…….I’ll take a pass.

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