Equipment Update

Hi, it’s David, chiming in for the first time for an update on equipment.

We love Stimpy (big Caterpillar C9 – 400 HP Diesel pusher). Stimpy was a cat. More on Stimpy later.

Ren is our “toad.” A very chubby Chihuahua.

We struggled mightily to envision our dream setup. We were initially going to set up an apartment somewhere and RV frequently using something. Something was, at various times, a smaller fifth wheel (Like the Arctic Fox 27L) pulled by a single rear wheel 4X4 Ram 3500 diesel. A travel trailer pulled by a large suv. Or a bigger TT pulled by a truck, and various over-weight and under-powered motorhomes.

I copied, cut out and mocked-up scale models of RV combinations we were looking at. All pasted up on a big board with specs for each
I copied, cut out and mocked-up scale models of RV combinations we were looking at. All pasted up on a big board with specs for each

We landed on a hard sided Adventurer 96FB and truck above. We’re active and love solitude and long hikes in the mountain. A truck camper seemed perfect.

Then we decided to go full-time.

So we figured to live in we (might) be good in a long travel trailer. But travel trailers have very little storage.  You can use the back of a truck, but there goes your camper. Or a fifth-wheel. But no camper possible.

We were kind of locked into the idea of having a 4-wheel drive camping rig we could explore the back-country with. Big motorhome towing a small truck/camper rig seemed like a perfect fit for us. This put us in big motorhome territory.  With a suitable motorhome, you can tow a lot.

Our 2006 Fleetwood Revolution 40E LE is overbuilt for Ren. Stimpy has a 400 HP Caterpillar C9 diesel engine and an Allison 3000MH 6-speed auto transmission. He has a tow rating of 15,000 lbs and a rated hitch weight of 750 lbs. Stimpy’s a beast.

Our 41-foot Stimpy
Our 41-foot Stimpy

Ren is more petit. As our “toad,” Ren is required to be our primary transportation. We didn’t want a big camper now. We wanted something we could drive every day. Reasonable fuel economy and maximum maneuverability. We went with a mid-sized truck. 2016 Chevrolet Colorado LT 4X4, extended cab, 3.6 L. V-6. Payload on the door sticker is 1,484 lbs. This is a sweet ride.

We’ve put about 2,200 miles on it and we’re still liking it a lot. More on the truck later.

Camper is a 2016 4-Wheel Campers Fleet model with the front dinette, small 3-way fridge, 6-gal water heater with outside shower, forced-air furnace, an LED outside light package and the coolest 270 degree bat-wing awning you can imagine. We tried to keep it light but capable. No gray tank. Porta Potti in small cupboard.

It’s a thing of beauty. We’re just setting it up now for use.

Not great photo of our wiz-bang Bat Wing awning
Not great photo of our wiz-bang Bat Wing awning
Loading our new Four-Wheel camper
Loading our new Four-Wheel camper
Our new Four-Wheel Camper freshly mounted on Ren
Our new Four-Wheel Camper freshly mounted on Ren

We’ve got drama with the air-bag installation on Ren. I might write about it. Don’t want to be negative and the vendor has it scheduled to be fixed up in a couple of days.

So Ren and Stimpy are generally complete and functional. Lots of back story but this is where we are now.


4 thoughts on “Equipment Update

  1. This is an awesome setup! We, too, looked at a million different options for our rig (and we’re not even planning to full-time permanently, but for a year or so), and decided on a 28′ travel trailer that had a decent amount of storage and a layout we liked. We love it overall but despite its not crazy big size it does limit us in where we can camp sometimes, so I love the idea of having the truck camper as the toad – especially since I’m not too keen on tent camping! We might keep this kind of setup in mind for the future. 🙂 Oh, and that awning is a thing of beauty! Also, a quick glance at your guys’ other posts makes me want to go back to Oregon and California to see the things we missed! Beautiful photos and can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jane!
    Great to hear from you. We went round and round so many times on setups. For a couple of years. So far everything’s working out well. We’ve got Ren (the camper/truck) pretty much outfitted now and will try our first couple-of-night trips with him in the next day or two.


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