Our New FourWheel Camper
October 11 and 13-14, 2012
In September 2012, after much consideration, we bought a 4-wheel-drive truck and ordered a custom-made pop-up camper. It was a Hawk model by Fourwheel Camper of Woodland, California (near Sacramento) and took about ten weeks to build. We like the fact that it is small (for a truck camper), low profile, low center of gravity, and yet fairly full-featured. Mileage is about as good as you can get with any sort of camper, 15 to 17 miles per gallon.
The camper has a queen-size bed, built-in seating for three (which folds down to make another bed), a small table, a propane furnace, and six foot six inches of headroom when popped up. Also a sink with hot and cold running water, a two burner stove, an ice box, two roof vents with fans, LED lighting inside and out, 12-volt electric power from a deep-discharge battery, and 110 volt if plugged in to shore power. There is a hand-held shower on the outside, and we hook up a hose and bucket for gray water. We chose not to have an inside toilet, but can carry a porta-potty if necessary.
I made my last few tent-camping trips while we were awaiting delivery, and was reminded of just how irksome it can be, dealing with yellowjackets, mosquitoes, bears, heat, cold, rain, wind, dust, and general grime. The camper promised to deliver us from all of that, giving us convenience and comfort, and still allowing us to go anywhere there is a road.
(Click any picture to open a larger version.)
Even before we took delivery I had been working out how to equip the camper, and I was ready with unbreakable dishes, utensils, cookware, bedding, and miscellaneous.
Our first overnight trip was a one-nighter a few days after we took delivery. The weather was stormy so we went to Mount Diablo State Park, less than an hour drive from home. We set up camp at Juniper Flat, an exposed location at 3000 feet with an incredible view. There was nobody else up there, we never even saw a ranger.
There were high winds that night and the camper was so buffeted that I had to take an anti-vertigo pill. We cooked dinner and breakfast, washed dishes with hot water, and ran the heater. We were comfortable and enjoyed the experience.