Let’s get the technicalities out of the way… I just installed an upgrade to Gallery at http://www.koransky.com/gallery/. You can now subscribe to our new Gallery RSS feed thanks to the new Gallery RSS plugin.
Our camper shell worked very well in dry weather and about 90% of our trip has been in dry climates. Unfortunately, this configuration has a number of flaws in wet weather.
- The shell isn’t very waterproof. Alaska is currently seeing rain as it hasn’t seen in years. It has rained pretty much since we have arrived in Alaska. Most locals say that they haven’t seen weather like this in 20 years. Our Jason Trek truck cap is leaking. We’ve had to wrap all our sleeping bags/pillows in garbage bags and put everything we don’t want to get wet into some kinda waterproof container. All I can say? What a piece of excrement. This is after Ned and I tried to remedy problems. I suspect the main problem we remedied (rear splaying) is now the cause of the leaks in the side windows. The roof rack mounts are probably leaking because seals have gone bad.
- We can’t cook easily in the rain. The stove is covered by the camper’s rear window, but we are left out in the rain. We have a tarp, but we haven’t found a setup that works well and/or is easily set up.
- It isn’t all that bug proof, and ventilation isn’t great. We set up a fan that seems to work ok in warm weather, but you don’t want it on in wet weather.
- No indoor shower that is protected from the elements. We don’t need to shower every day, but after days of rain, an indoor shower would be nice!
- Perhaps most importantly, when the weather turns crappy, we don’t have an area we can simply hang out and be dry.
We used to own a Sunlite pickup truck camper, but it was so unwieldy off road, it constantly had problems requiring costly repairs, and it kept us isolated from the great outdoors. We sold it for an Aliner Truck Cabin. The truck cabin was even worse, falling apart just a few weeks after purchase! We chose our current simplified camper shell because it there was less to break, and it handled great. Unfortunately, we went for the el cheapo Jason Truck Cap. We probably should have paid for the supposed higher quality ARE, but who knows… I’m not sure any of the truck caps out there can handle the kind of torture we have put them through.
I’ve come full circle twice now on needing a better camper. We downsized to a simple truck cap, but now we find ourselves ready for something more suited for lengthier trips. Basically, the cap is great camping setup when playing, but isn’t so great for living. For example, take cooking… one of the things we hated about the Sunlite camper was the fact that it kept us from being outdoors because the stove was indoors. But if the weather outside is frightful, you want to be indoors while cooking. So the quest continues. How do we cook both outdoors and indoors? What about off road handling? How about a shower? Maybe this is the answer?
In the meantime, while I dream up new purchases, we are hoping we have more sunny weather down the road. 🙂