The Redheaded Stepchild, Truck Campers

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Well-known member
Apr 9, 2005
Benson , AZ.
Good Morning.
Looks like us poor ol' Truckcampers still need to worm in where we can.  Today we take delivery f our 'new' truck camper, a 2002 AArctic Fox with a slide out.  Yup, our slide-in has a slide-out!  We took it in trade on Thursday and I leapt upon it.  Thing is, we don't carry truck campers, so we don't get many folks looking for them, so it was an easy chance to buy it.  If it had been a 5th wheel, I would never have had a chance at it.

Nice unit, a 990 with generator, 2500 Onan LP unit.  We are psyched, and looking forward to being able to get away a little. 

Now I need to change my sig line.
Hi Bill,

Congratulations on the new slide-in! A slide-in with a slide-out is more common today. Lance has a couple and they are really neat. One of those in Alaska would be great.

Congratulations Bill. Sounds like you picked up a nice unit.
Hey, delivery went perfect!  Actually it is an As-Is unit, so all we did was propane safety check and fill, plus had the generator checked out, (2500 Onan LP), it wasn't starting, had an air lock and tech took care of it.  Had a new cable made to fit my truck. 

Being an employee I didn't get our nifty starter kit, but I can order a fruit basket! 

Need to get my Thousand Trails free 90 day membership this morning.

Oh, we went from an 11.5 to a 9.9, the slide out gives more living room inside, but the storage is less.  Probably better for us because we carry too much stuff anyway, (right Jim?)

Quality of construction is a lot higher than my Coachmen, which was ton's better than the Sunline we had. 

Hope to get away this week!

Right, I have no idea how you got all that stuff in the first slide-in!! :)

Fruit basket is better than the starter kit after you have the first one. We never did get a basket from Scholenburger.

Funny thing.  That one you remember, when we emptied it we couldn't figure out how to get it in the Coachmen.  Now we emptied the Coachmen and can't figure out where it will go in the Fox.  Getting us to live with less.  Of course, now that I have a trailer to pull, we have a place to put the extras.  Like my motorcycle, my bike, the stove, the grill. Canopy chairs, portable jacuzzi, (just kidding) (so far), just have to watch loading.  It trails great, and keeps clutter out of the camper. 

Went for our first overnight Monday.  First since we arrived here in August!, It was great!  Went to Thousand Trails near Orlando.  Used the 90 trial membership we give out here.  Doubt we will join as we don't have enough time to travel to make the dues work for us.  May join something like it once we can full time, but not now.

If you go to Northwood website the 990 pictures are almost exactly the same now as 2002.  Gives you an idea what we are now in.

PancakeBill said:
Good Morning. Looks like us poor ol' Truckcampers still need to worm in where we can.
Hi Bill, I know I am promising to do a full review of Aussie vehicles seen at the recent South Australian Caravan and Camping Show but I just have not managed to make the time to put it all together yet. As you are talking about slide-ons I thought maybe you might be interested in these links to vehicles that we saw at the show. Nice vehicles all of them. will also show you some nice 5th wheels including an interesting toy hauler combo.

One of the best we saw was this range at Some nice innovations in their models. Check out their cantilevered kitchen tray. Swings in and out with one hand!
Don't miss their fabulous Gallery filled with pics taken in some of our wonderful 'bush'. Especially this charmer...  LOL

These nice vehicles are made at a factory just a couple of miles from us, nice people, nice gear.

Those are great camper and the Adventurer reminds me of the old Apache pop top made in the US during the 60's and early 70's. They went collapsible hard side -I watched a couple try to put the wall up in a rain storm with winds- but it was all vanvass and wnet anywhere you could pull it.

Glad to see you at the campfire last night. I hope your lunch didn't get cold.  ;D

That first one was one to remember. I still can't believe what you hauled out of there at the Breachway!

Ian,  yes slide-in's.  I'll check the links, and wonder if the Adventurer is the same I am familiar with, built in Canada.  Also saw one called a Host recently. 
Had a chance to look at the links.? These all seem to be towables.? Maybe I missed something?? Interesting unis, looks like a modern version of my first unit, a 197 Starcraft Vacationer Deluxe!~? check here on the truck camper page, and mine is the 990.?
PancakeBill said:
These all seem to be towables.  Maybe I missed something?
All of those links had truck-mounted campers as part of their product range. Here are some specific links so you won't get lost again <VBG>
Pictures of tray tops in use in the outback:

For those who would like to see virtual tours of outback locations select the Downloads Tab on their site. You get the option of view on the way up to Coopers creek or else the magnificent Fraser Island. You have a choice of small downloads or Quicktime VR images. Well worth it to see some lovely countryside.

This page links to 8 or so detail pages about traytop campers.

1 tonne slide-ons:
"Trailblazers RV 70 and 80 range of slide on campers suits single or extra cab one tonne utes or tray vehicles. The RD65 is built for the smaller Twin Cab utes with shorter tubs."
1 tonne + slide-ons:
"Trailblazers RV 90 and 100 range of slide on campers suits most single or extra cab one tonne plus utes or tray vehicles."

Wow, some of these are really different from the stateside variety.  never saw one for a flat bed truck.  It is a concept my friend and I were tossing around.  Felt we could get a lot more floorspace and or storage this way.  Definitely outside the thinking box our guys have been in.

Bill, the one that really impressed me was the Adventure Offroad Camper. Two things got my attention:
1. The ease of swinging out the bench that holds the cooler and stove. It is cantilevered off a heavy duty spring system and really just takes one hand to lift up and slide away. Access to that area is available no matter whether you are on the side of the road or in the campsite.
2. The way they have built the king bed so that it can be left made up and when dropped out it doesn't need a ladder. It is already at waist height! I hate ladders and if the vehicle required me to climb a ladder to get in and out of the bed then it isn't the vehicle for me.

The business is run by a lovely mature-age couple who have been camping since they were students together at 19. They have built the campers based on a long experience of what they found appropriate for their comfort, hence the bed idea!  The finish of the work and the equipment provided was first class.

Oh, and they will export to the USA ;)

BTW, our outback is unrelenting so anything designed for offroad is almost to milspec just so it has a chance of surviving the journey. When they say dustproof, they mean dustproof because one of the most common things found on what passes for roads in the bush is bulldust. No, I said bulldust, not the other kind of bull...., though the outback is full of that too ;)

Bulldust is so fine that talcum powder seems coarse. Bulldust can find its way into cameras, it is that intrusive. Being dustproof isn't an extra feature, its a necessity. Campers like these are made to get off the road and really hit the rough stuff!
Are you talking about the one that comes out as a tent?  Everything on the ground?  I guess it is a great choice for those that want something like that, certainly a well thought out and designed unit, but it sure doesn't fit my needs.  Maybe 30 years ago I would have been all over that.  I was thinking about what it would take to get out and head to the store, then considered the use.  Probably no store to go to!  So for that use in that terrain, it is great.  I know I wouldn't want to attempt the terrain with my setup. 

Bill, I had a look at the plans for your slide-on and was very impressed with it. I also agree with you that you would not want to take that unit out into the bush. That is a vehicle for made roads only ;)

We do have a number of folks that make slide-ons of the same kind as you have.  The original Australian Winnebago was just such a unit, but that was many years ago before they moved into the mobile home business. This shows their first unit back in 1965:

Another Slide-on for a flat tray:

Freeway Slide On Camper:

Supreme Sunray Tray Body Campers:

I will see if I can find some links for you for other Australian manufacturers.
Meanwhile here are some more links to downunder sites:

Weird and Wonderful Vans and RVs:

One of the first motorhomes in Australia, completed in 1929 on a chassis from a 1924 Dodge:

Something to smile about:

Old folks are worth a fortune - silver in their hair, gold in their teeth, stones in their kidneys, lead in their feet, and gas in their stomachs.

I have become a little older since I saw you last, and a few changes have come into my life. Frankly, I have become a frivolous old girl; I'm seeing five gentlemen everyday.

As soon as I wake, Will Power helps me out of bed, then I go to my Lou. Next it's time for Uncle Toby to come along, followed by Billy Tea. They leave and Arthur Ritis shows up and stays with me the rest of the day. He doesn't like to stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint.

After such a busy day, I'm really tired and glad to go to bed with Johnny Walker. What a life. Oh yes, I'm also flirting with Al Zymer.

PS. The preacher came to call the other day. He said, "At my age I should be thinking about the here after". I told him, "Oh, I do all the time, no matter where I am, if I'm in the kitchen or down in the basement, I ask myself, 'Now, what am I here after?'"

If you don't think this is amusing - wait till you get old!!
I think I need a translation on Uncle Toby and Billy Tea. 

What amazes me with all camping setups is the ingenuity and the evolution.  Question, how does the flat bed variety tie down?  For mine I use a quick draw unit that ia am in total awe of.  I had Happi-Jac system, and liked it for quite awhile, then started to dislike it.  When the Quick Draw came out, and I bought my new truck, I jumped on it.  What a huge difference in safety and ease of use.  I think I have sold a 1/2 dozen for them since I bought mine.

My apologies Bill, As I was putting that up I was thinking that a couple of the lines needed translation. As it was already past 2-oh my its late, I forgot that line of thought and posted it. These things happen.

Uncle Toby's is a major brand of breakfast foods that have been around since the year dot. In the early days, certainly when I grew up, they were the main producer of oats for porridge, it used to be my job to steep the rolled oats overnight then boil them up for breakfast next morning <sigh> In Australia they heavily promote and support the Ironman sport, in fact the sport and Uncle Toby's is almost synonymous they have been doing it for so long, and you know how we Aussies supposedly love our sport.

Billy Tea is a very old brand of loose leaved black Tea well known in Australia. If you listen to the popular version of "Waltzing Matilda" you will hear "Billy" mentioned in each refrain, " he watched and waited as his billy boiled". Well originally the song only mentioned "billy" once. It was added to all the lines when used as an advertisement for Billy Tea company. See my recent posts about Tom singing "Waltzing Around Wall-Mart" for more information and links.

Now, about the mounting mechanism, I have no idea. Never seen them enough to have wondered how they kept them on there. Each of those sites would have an email address. I suggest you contact one or two of them and they would be glad to tell you how they mount them.
Funny, here the lyric is sung billibong, not billy boiled.  Always wondered what a billibong was.  Heard of a bong in my younger days, but didn't think it was related.

I was just curious about the mounting, but not enough to get some poor bloke in sales worked up thinking of a sale to the states.  (G)  Some turnbuckle type arrangement I am sure. 


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