Sunday, January 4, 2009
Last week, I was given an old slide-in pickup truck camper. It has a small amount of wood rot, but is basically sound, as evidenced by the fact that it is still in one piece after being brought off a mountain over a rough, rocky, steep jeep trail. As you can see, it has a bad case of the uglies, but a little sweat equity should improve that. It will never be a show queen, but that is fine for the places I camp; and maybe its looks will cause the criminal element to leave me alone on the assumption that anyone camping in something that ugly can't have anything worth stealing. It's hard to beat the purchase price, too: free.
I wish I owned the truck we used to bring it off the mountain. A late-1980s military surplus Chevy crew-cab 4x4 with the following specs: 6.2l (379 cubic inch) diesel V8, Turbohydro 400 (heavy duty 3-speed) automatic tranny, all-gear NP205 transfer case, Dana 60/limited slip front axle, 14 bolt/Detroit Locker rear axle, 4.56 gears. It had zero problems toting that camper over extremely rough terrain. And even with low gears and no overdrive, it still gets 15 mpg. That's pretty good for a one-ton truck, especially a 4x4. If one were going to use it for extensive highway use, swapping to a set of 3.54s would almost certainly put it over 20 mpg, while still not severely impacting offroad ability.