If Not a Topper, Then a Trailer or …


Some days I am inside the topper for many hours at a time.   I go out in the rain/wind/hail/snow and come back wet/cold/hot. I fantasize  about having more room.  Where I could stand up and cook inside, out of the wind/rain/hail/snow/lightening.

Quartzsite, AZ LTVA


A trailer?

My trailer would need to have hard sides. Bears like soft sides. I camp in bear country. An ideal one, for me, might be the Aliner Ranger 12.

It folds down, can be loaded with options for off road/boondocking, and has good reviews. There are very few used ones for sale. One YouTuber finally traded his in after living in it for several  years. His roof got too heavy. Images of high winds/rain/hail/snow. Struggling. Wrenching back. I am getting old (imagine that!). Might have to go with something already all set up.


The cute thing above is a TAG Teardrop. It has a shower and bathroom. That takes up room that I do not need.

Alto Trailer

Then there is the very fancy Alto from Canada. Some US distributors. I would always be thinking that there would be a chance that the thing wouldn’t unfold.

And there  is the Casita. And the Scamp. They are fiberglass and both companies have their fans. The Airstream Bambi was my favorite. Their new small one is called the Basecamp. The old Bambis are very expensive. The new Basecamps are out of my league.


Vintage Shastas make my heart beat fast.

No ac, no fridge but an ice box, oven, no bathroom, permanent sleeping area, and under 13′. Perfect for my likes. The price on a restored one ~$5,000 to $10,000. The ones which are not restored are $800-$2,000 and loaded with problems that require expertise that I do not posses. I do love the look, and the inside has just what I need, not overloaded with modern stuff. Again, this is a bunch of money and the odds are that there would have to be stuff done, even to the restored ones.

A trailer is one more thing for me to worry about.

More insurance “paperwork”, another thing to license, something valuable/available for theft, having to make the trailer level, hooking it up solo without breaking something. The most horrifying images have to do with  dragging it behind me into city traffic. And backing it up into tiny spaces. And not going onto some roads not knowing if I can turn around. Ugh. Too much worry for me. Too many years traveling with just a backpack. Feel comfortable in the truck until there are too many inside days. Then I think …

How about a pop up?

That like a backpack for the truck. These 4 Wheel pop ups are for people like us.

Fleet pop up Ranger 12

Starting at over $17,000 these are great, but … money.  Hmmm. Plus how much money to get the under pinnings on Lilith upgraded for the weight. Do I want to stress her out? And I just dislike the pop up looks. Everything is so right angle. And something else to insure. Something to attract avarice.

I used to hanker for an Alaskan Camper. I did a fat project in college on a redesign of their website. I use to draw silhouettes of their slide-ins. I wrote stories of driving through Africa with one.  They are very expensive, very heavy, very well made. I would need a bigger truck. I am not willing to go that route. Still in love with Lilith.

How about the bare bones approach? There is a company catering to the rodeo crowd. They are out of Texas and their Capri looks possible. You can get it way stripped down. Or add some things.

Capri Retreat model

What About a Van? What About a Schoolie?

A whole ‘nother can of worms. Van too small, schoolie too much work. Next time, maybe.

I will stick with the truck and topper( Lilith). She is easy to back up, easy to unpack and pack, easy going on very rough roads, already owned, titled and insured.

She protects me from most of the rain and some of the dust. She  is the carapace of this turtle’s life.

(* It has been 6 years since I wrote this post. Still happy with “just” a topper.)

ARE Topper 2006 Toyota Tacoma
ARE Topper 2006 Toyota Tacoma
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