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Old 08-19-2010, 08:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Quigley 4x4 or Truck Camper help!

I have a F150 4x4 4 door 150k with short bed and my cheapest option is a Truck Camper. I am a kite boarder and already upset at gas and wondered about a car. Figured if my 4x4 could do more I would stick with the gas usage. I am really upset that a truck camper does not put the driver in the living space. Also on average I am not going camping and even have a cottage available where I go most weekends. We kite year round by ocean and on snow fields and lakes. I really wanted a warm place to change and pile in a few people to rest and eat lunch.

I found a 2004 Quigley with 140k for under 15k. I am crazed by the thought of a project or truck camper. Truck camper is immediate full gratification heat/ac, toilet, accessories. The van only 2 seats which is far cry from my fully loaded F150. But I see the SMB's and I know that is for me or future at least. I realize the poptop will be first upgrade. I also worry about buying a van and then having to sell my truck fast which may not be so fast or fun(no trade in). I also see financing 15yr ect and maybe getting a real SMB in future will go the distance in details that my otherwise project will fall short. (thats reality of my $$ and time though I can frame it all)

I am chasing here not sure the best move. 3k-6k and I can have a great thing with the truck camper. But I see the SMB and I am torn. My wife thinks I am crazy with either and feels I will never use the camper and for ease will head out without it. She also thinks teh vehicle swap is crazy gas guzzler for guzzler no trade in. I dont know buying a 140k van and selling a better vehicle (feature) is crazy to her. I hoped a SMB owner might have once had a truck camper and could guide me. Maybe I get into this and then save for SMB when truck gets older and needs replacing. Buy a real SMB and get it all. Or do I realize the van as being there all the time for me even after work sessions. Live the project which may end up being a bit band-aid in solutions over all with my interior reality.

No right answers here I know but I am a bit over my head and any experiences may trigger a direction.

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: Quigley 4x4 or Truck Camper help!

I am chasing here not sure the best move. 3k-6k and I can have a great thing with the truck camper.
Well, with the caveat that free opinions from strangers are not worth a whole lot..........I think the quote above points strongly towards the truck camper.

SMBs are awesome, but they are luxury items with a luxury price tag. Well worth every penny IMHO, but it sounds as if a truck camper will cover 85%+ of your needs for less than 50% the price of the Quigley you found. This is especially true if you typically go solo or with one other person and don't expect to camp often. Setups like the Four Wheel Camper popups offer a LOT of utility for a very modest price and many owners love them.

If you camp a lot and/or transport more passengers, then the 4x4 van starts to look more appealing.

Good luck in choosing.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:22 AM   #3
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Re: Quigley 4x4 or Truck Camper help!

I have/had an F250 crew cab longbed and went through the same dilemma. Yeah, a slide in would have run me a fraction of the SMB cost, but I've always been a van guy and this great photo from Geoffff I think really puts a point on it, and pretty much cemented my decision:

There is
another thread here with similar discussion.

Keep in mind you're talking to a biased crowd here. I know adventureduo went back to his landcruiser and trailer, and deminimis to a full truck camper slide in, but otherwise we're pretty biased. Here is deminimis' thread.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:05 AM   #4
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Re: Quigley 4x4 or Truck Camper help!

I came here for opinion and bias! I had exhausted my own thoughts and realized that a number of folks might have something to share with me from a new perspective. I guess I will focus on my sport and not a project as thats my true passion. But I wanted the opinions. What I found was a few people admitting get what fits my pocket and its easy to get rid of the TC and I am back to square one. I think one day I will get my SMB and likely finance the right one with the right features.

The one thing that I am unhappy about is that I really wanted to have the driver and passenger seat part of the living space. This really is the big bummer for me! I did really enjoy that article My goal is to get into the lifestlye and experience so that I can justify the next step SMB. I have to assume that many did not start with a 60-100k van and started camping as kids, had a VW Westy, or TC ect. After evaluation of experiences choose SMB. I did actually want your opinions and knew they would be bias :-)

I did the same post on a TC site :-) I will be a SMB fan with a TC but I will be able to have a nice warm room at the beach or frozen lake this winter and it will be really cool for those that join me. Then I will determine what the experience brings.... But bring on your thoughts. I wanna hear! Who else can tell be about SMB life...
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: Quigley 4x4 or Truck Camper help!

Also I am married and while I can see the SMB style my wife has not had these experiences I have. I am a boater which fueled the self contained concept. and empty quigley will not convey what a fully featured TC will provide. So i need to use my money to assure the best 1st impression :-)

But I am not here to talk TC in the wrong place. I just really wanted to know what I am missing.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: Quigley 4x4 or Truck Camper help!

Here is another old thread that covers the same topic:


In addition, a full size camper (Lance style) on a pickup is more top heavy than a popup SMB. And wider.

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: Quigley 4x4 or Truck Camper help!

I considered both options before I bought my SMB. I also looked at the work that my brother did in converting his bare cargo van to something a little more liveable, and I decided I wanted to find something that was already converted. Our SMB is a third vehicle for us as we both travel some for work and prefer to drive a higher mileage, better handling vehicle for everyday driving. A pickup would also be a third vehicle.

In day-to-day practical considerations, the pick-up more sense - yardwork, general utility, ability to throw bikes and whitewater kayaks in the back for quick trips to the trail / river / beach. I thought that the SMB would offer better "always-ready" ability for camping or even just day trips where you want your camping chairs / stove / utensils, a little easier in and out through the side door than a pickup camper offers through the back, more practical space inside, better 4wd capability, and IMHO it's just plain cooler.

So far, the "just plain cooler" part has certainly turned out to be true! The 4wd is great, too. As for the rest, we would probably have been just as well off with a full size pickup and a properly outfitted camper. Bottom line, as long as you are out there enjoying yourself, that's the important thing, right?
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