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Day before departure

The camper is pretty well packed. Clothing, tools, bicycles, electronics, food pretty much on board. We still need to fill the water tank and fill the freezer from our freezer with whatever we want to take.

We are active members of Christ Episcopal Church in Montpelier, Vermont. Helen is on the vestry and I have worked on the property and housing committees. Today was our last service here for a while and we will miss our church family as we hit the road.

It was Paul Habersang’s idea to bless both us and our rig before we began our journey so we drove the camper to church this morning. ┬áHis blessing in church made us both tear up because it was heartfelt with the entire congregation joining us in the prayer. I am sure you recognize it.

We then journeyed outside where we gave tours of the camper and Paul blessed the beast. And with that farewell to our church family, we will be off in the morning tomorrow.

The camper

The truck and camper just about ready to leave Truck Camper Warehouse

The truck camper we decided on is a Northstar Igloo 9.5. We looked at campers for over a year. We went to the big camping show in Hershey, PA. We did on-line research. We narrowed things down to units that would fit on our single rear wheel Ford F350 diesel. That isn’t as simple as it sounds. The truck has a GVWR of 11,500 pounds and weighs around 8,600 pounds without the camper. That means you only have about 3,000 pounds of carrying capacity for the camper and your passengers. You would be amazed how many campers weigh 4,000-5,000 pounds loaded up and ready to travel. Our Igloo weighs 2,600 pounds empty and we weighed it and the truck loaded up and on the road and with a full tank of gas, food, water, two dogs and the two of us the truck weighed 12,410 pounds. Subtract the truck weight of 8,600 pounds and you discover that the camper ready to travel actually weighs 3,810 pounds.

This seems to be pretty consistent with what others say their campers weigh after they have loaded them for travel. That is, add a thousand pounds for water, propane, food, clothing and all the other “stuff” we tend to bring along.

So we are about a thousand pounds over our GVWR. What does that mean? It means we have had to beef up our suspension to carry the extra weight. It is common knowledge that most truck campers exceed the GVWR of the trucks that carry them. The critical issue is what you do to safely carry the extra weight. However we are under our gross axle weights both front and rear, though not by much.

We bought our camper at Truck Camper Warehouse in New Hampshire. Bill and Ryan helped with our selection and then helped prepare the truck for the camper.

After our maiden voyage with the camper to Alabama and Florida we are confident in both the truck and the camper.