I’ve been thinking about adding a truck camper to my equipment list. Since I’ll need a heavy-duty truck to haul the trailer around, I have plenty of capacity to add a truck camper to the mix as well. Truck campers are great at mobility since there’s nothing to hitch up, unhitch, and backing up is a breeze. Depending on the trip, I might take the trailer or the camper depending on the duration, number of stops, etc.
After many days of research, I found a whole ton of different truck campers, and if I won the lottery, I’d probably get this or this by Northern Lite. Their designs are based on a two-piece fiberglass construction, much like boats. This makes them lightweight, strong, and less likely to have water-leaking-related issues. Very cool design. Also, rather expensive.
Browsing the used market, I found a possible gem. This 1996 Veri-Lite appears to be very well taken care of, clean, and has a lot of positive attributes. After discussing the camper, in perhaps more detail than they really wanted to hear or know about, my Grandma and Uncle encouraged me to contact the seller of the unit, which I did. Vicki, the owner, actually replied via email (the only contact method available), later in the evening.
The pros and cons of this unit, starting with the pros:
- It’s cheap! At $3,995, it’s a great bargin for a fully-featured unit
- It’s in good condition
- It’s light weight (Hard to tell if it’s 1,955 pounds wet or dry, but either way, it’s very reasonable)
- Has all appliances (except air conditioning)
- It’s relatively nearby
- It’s only 8’ long, so it’ll fit nicely in the bed of a 8’ bed pickup so I can tow without worrying about turning
- Sink sink (doubles just take up too much room in truck campers)
- Has an oven
- Terrible wallpaper
- Needs a battery (not that big of a con, and it has positives as well)
Apparently the current owners have had the unit for 13 years, and they store it indoors between their trips. They say they’ve been using it about 8 times per year. I asked about leaks, and they said they had one leak last summer, which they took care of. No rips in the floor, upholstery is in good shape, and everything is supposed to be in “very good condition”.
I sent Vicki another round of questions late last night and invited her to call me today as well. I’m guessing I don’t have a lot of other people knocking down her door to buy this thing, as selling a used truck camper in February in Wisconsin from a private party can’t be a high-demand situation.
There’s a few things about this idea I really like:
- Real furnace. It has a vented furnace like real RVs do, so I’ll be able to warm it up and live in a civilized fashion.
- Cabinets, counter space, sink, water pump, stovetop. These are all pretty standard items in an RV, but after living in the trailer without basically all of them for a couple weeks, they’re really appreciated.
- Shower. Even if I have to take brief showers in it, having a shower changes it from a “living in a temporary situation” to “living”.
- Short length. Because it barely extends beyond the bed of the truck, it has no significant overhang which means I can hook up trailers easily. No need for hitch extenders (which wouldn’t work with a weight distribution hitch), and no worries about sharp turns causing collisions between the trailer and the camper, it’s a really good match for towing. Add in the light weight of the unit, and that means I should be able haul it and tow a trailer and not be concerned about maxing out the truck.
- It’s clean. It has been stored inside between trips, and I think the lady of the house must have been keeping up with the cleaning. It really doesn’t look 20 years old.
Given that I currently live in MN, my parents are in NC, my trailer is in AZ, and we’re all moving to TX, I’m going to take a safe bet and assume that I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next year, in and particular, the next six months. If I had a truck camper that was light weight enough and small enough that I could have it on the back of the truck and tow various things with it, then I wouldn’t have to use hotels, and that’s a major bonus. It gives me a lot more flexibility with my travel plans.
I’m in Breck right now, heading back to Shoreview today. I really need to get some billable in on Monday and Tuesday, but I should have some flexibility after that to go look at the unit. If they can keep it in storage for me for a couple months, then I’ll probably buy it.