Best Tools for Truck Camping

There are a few items that I am inordinately fond of for full time truck camping

I was gifted with this light and have been overwhelmed with the joy. It recharges by solar, has 3 levels of light, weighs nothing, I can read in bed comfortably, I can cook without holding a flashlight. Really the best camping tool.
Reading Light

I can change a tire if it goes flat, but worried about the battery. So to ease my mind I plug in a trickle charger every time I stop for a while. Peace of mind while truck camping is precious.Car battery trickle charger

I never had a phone or a computer when I traveled in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. Nowadays that no longer applies. To keep everything charged up I have a Goal Zero set up that keeps all lights and all electronics juiced up. Love it. Worth the money. And so much nicer than a generator.

Goal ZeroGoal Zero Hanging

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Awkward Truck Camping

I am on the road full time. This has many wonderful aspects. Some very awkward moments.

I figured out that I could live on my social security of $537/month. And Colorado was very helpful, with Colorado Peak, in covering the cost of the  medical insurance. Then the problems started. The check from SS dropped to $319. Huh? Just got an update for this month. The monthly total is $493. Phew.I guess something worked. Still not up to old $, but better than at first.

I was supposedly notified in July that I needed to do something to continue the coverage. I never got the notification. Because of my job (camp host 50 miles from the nearest library, 40 miles from the nearest cell phone service) it was difficult to get in touch with Colorado Peak. I finally got them on the phone and was told that I had $5,000 extra income from the company I was working for. Called company. Nope, I was paid only $2,000. Unfortunately the internet wouldn’t let me reapply, saying that I was already enrolled. The following week, during my day off. I called again. They said to print out the application and mail it in. I did that. ($7.00 worth of postage and copying fees). There was no result the next week, so I called again. They said to apply on line. I tried. Not allowed to reapply because I was already enrolled. I was feeling very discouraged and borderline panicked.

The next step was to go to the nearest Social Security office and talk to a real person. I drove 60 miles to the nearest SS office to be told that they had nothing to do with Colorado Peak and I should contact Colorado Peak. So I called Colorado Peak again. They said that I should reapply. I tried on line again with no luck. I called back. They said to go to the nearest office for Colorado Peak and reapply. On the internet there was an office 2 miles away, room 203 with a person by the name of Linda Humphries. I went to the office building and was told “There is no such person but if you want here is an application to fill out.” I spent 1/2 hour filling it out. Handed it back to the person at the desk. She said “You may get notification in 3 to 4 months. I have to send this to Washington.”

I tried to reapply a few minutes ago and found that I no longer exist in the Colorado Peak system. I give up.

This is one of the difficulties of living full time on the road. So I am revising the budget to try to live on $493. Hate to think that I will have to sell the truck and take up a backpack, but that could be the start of a new adventure.

Still smiling

Still smiling

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Heading Lower for Warmer Truck Camping

It is almost time to head to a warmer area, but before I go I will stay a week in a motel! Yup. This is my treat at the end of being so busy while working as a camp host.

I love budget hotels.Aneth Lodge in the morning

No one asks me for directions, no one wants to buy firewood, no one has a noisy dog, peace and quiet for a few days while I get it together to go on to the next stage.

Budget hotels are my haven. For the week I will pay $240, which is the amount of the last paycheck. So worth it not to have to rush back up the mountain to be a charming camp host. This is the Aneth Lodge in Cortez, Colorado. Love the people here, the room is great, there is wi-fi and television and lots of hot water for a few long showers.

Another favorite budget hotel is The Robber’s Roost in Green River, Utah. Friendly people, neat town, comfy room, long showers!



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Minimalist Truck Camping

I had so many dreams of making my own pita breads, chapattis and tortillas while camping in the woods. Where did the enthusiasm for baking-while-camping go? Many of my cooking tools have been given away to small town thrift stores. I am delighted to pare down, but wonder how minimalist am I going?

Kitchen is now:minimalist kitchen

Those items, a couple of knives, a few spoons, a fork and the wonderful AeroPress

minimalist quesadilla

This yummy breakfast and lunch had no clean up time, filled me up, got rid of my last two eggs, used the last of a can of beans and was very tasty. The metal plate is great. I use it to flip food over in the frying pan by covering the pan, then flipping everything onto the plate, then sliding the food back into the fry pan to finish.

I don’t know where I am headed after the campground closes. Friends want me to fix my social security problem, but I am so fed up with trying to fix it over the last few months that I am almost ready to give up. Quartzsite was so interesting last year that it may require a repeat to investigate more. I will let you know.

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Winding Down

I will be leaving Burro Bridge campground on Sept 23. Have had so many wonderful campers that it is hard to give up this summer job. But I realized that I really had not seen the area, just the immediate area around the campground.Burro Bridge

So, if you are looking for a great summer job, you love nature, can count change, can be hospitable to a wide range of people you could be the next Burro Bridge host! You get a minimum wage and a uniform and plenty of help. There is no cell service and no electricity. This is a remote site, but SO worth the drive. If you are interested apply here.

Rocky Mountains

The evening walks are spectacular. This is a great way to spend your summer in a truck, without spending lots of money on camping. I have loved the summers I spent here. There are great towns nearby, lots of libraries, lots of museums and lots of great support from the folks at Rocky Mountain Recreation. If you are interested apply here.

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