It was the summer of 2010 that I first laid eyes on a VW Syncro, you know, the bad ass 4wd camper van.  It was about the same time that Mark & I discovered Sportsmobile.  It was like we had opened a door to a whole new world.  I always thought that if you wanted to travel the open road, a motorhome was the only option.  Boy was I living in a box.

Mark & I have always loved off-roading.  Finding out of the way places that few can access and basking in the serenity of those places is how we most enjoy spending our free time.  With that, a motorhome never appealed to us.  But that summer that we discovered Sportsmobile and the VW Syncro, we knew a means of travel in that form was definitely in our future.

Fast forward to 2012 and the search began to purchase that perfect rig that could take us to those out of the way places while also serving as a comfortable home for the night.  What followed was countless hours surfing the web to determine just what that rig was.  Just two years prior I didn’t even know there was one such option that fit our desires and now I was overwhelmed by the endless possibilities.

Should we go all out (and break the bank) with a Sportsmobile or Tiger ProVan or keep it simple with a Flippac or Adventure Trailer?  We had no clue.

Why the VW Syncro was out: Although I lusted after this vehicle for two years, once we got serious about moving forward with a purchase, it was pretty obvious that this was not the right fit for us.  We were interested in something that offered a bit more space for 2 adults and 2 dogs.  Reliability was also a big concern as we weren’t confident parts would be widely available for a vehicle that was produced for such a short amount of time.

Scouring Craiglist for Sportsmobiles:  Though we still continued to research all our options, Sportsmobile was the object of our desire.  We weren’t about to take on a second mortgage to afford a new one but it looked like an affordable option could turn up in the used market.  Far too many hours were spent on Craigslist and we ended up test driving two.  Both with asking prices that far exceeded the condition of the vehicle.

The Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show: The Tiger Provan was much more than we wanted to spend but we had been curious to see one so we went to the Colorado RV show to check it out.  While there we were quite entertained and enamored by the countless options that can be driven and towed to your favorite camp site.  It didn’t take long for us to decide that this particular show was geared to the retiree crowd and we weren’t going to find exactly what we were looking for.  However, this was the point in which the Truck Camper entered our radar.  Up to this point we had overlooked this option entirely but briefly stepped inside one at the show and were surprised by just how roomy it was.  Yet another option to consider.

Getting serious about a truck camper:  After the RV show, it was back to Craigslist and on to where we discovered the wide world of truck campers.  Again, the options were far beyond anything we could have imagined.  What inspired us the most were the lifestyle profiles on Truck Camper Magazine that showed us there was a truck camper for every purpose and personality.  Although it seemed at the time like it would be more work, we liked the idea of being able to choose a truck that suited us perfectly and then a camper that did as well.  The truck camper route felt much more customizable.  In addition, with such a huge market of used trucks and used truck campers, we were encouraged by the fact that we could spend as much or as little as we wanted to.

After countless hours spent on Expedition Portal, Wander the West and Craigslist trying to determine what rig was right for us, we decided that a truck camper best fit our wants and needs.  It was the new found knowledge that a truck camper could be customized to meet our criteria, be a rig with off-roading capabilities, be large enough for the four of us but still compact enough to travel the back country and fit within our budget constraints that led us to this decision.  It’s an incredibly versatile way to camp and is exactly what we were looking for.

Coming up next, of the many truck camper manufacturers, why we chose Four Wheel Camper.