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  #1  
Old 02-06-2012
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Camping in a Ranger (camper shell/topper)

I'm looking to do a little more camping this coming year, and i've been casually looking at camper shells/toppers thinking it would be a nearly ideal setup. I like the low-top style.

How realistic is it to sleep in the back of your truck? What's the comfort like? Convenience? Privacy? Two people? How do you store your supplies/tools/firearms/etc...

What do you use for a mattress? Heat?

I've seen some neat setups, like slide out trays with a sleeping platform elevated within the topper.

Should I look at a different setup?

I will likely be pulling a small trailer for my ATV/extras also.

Picures and advice are welcome.
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Old 02-06-2012
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If your camping in the summer heat won't be an issue. I've actually never slept in the bed with a cap, I'd like to start as well. I'm typically a tenter, so it cant be much different. A nice quilt would serve as a good bottom, then just blankets etc. if you have an extended cab storage may not be an issue, but like me I have the regular cab, maybe a small pull behind trailer?

Two people probably wouldn't be bad in a full size pickup. I wouldn't sleep two people in my ranger bed unless it was my lady friend. its a bit close.
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Old 02-06-2012
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I suggest getting a utility trailer large enough to pitch a cabin tent on with a little extra length for the tent entrance , enough for a couple chairs and maybe a small fold up table. When you get to your destination just unload the atv and a few other things , pitch the tent at the front of the trailer , use a tarp to extend the rain fly over the back of the trailer. In the event it rains you're up off the wet ground and have a canopy to sit under. You'll be able to mostly stand up in the tent without smacking your head and have room for a couple folding cots to sleep on. It's easier to level the trailer than hunt for level,stone free ground that won't flood in a downpour to pitch the tent.The utility trailer will hold all your stuff and be much lighter than a camping trailer and is not a single use unit.
When you get back home too tired to unload or it's raining you just cover the trailer with the tarp till you get to it and not have to worry about unloading a truck bed full of stuff if you need it empty for the next day.
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Old 02-06-2012
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Used to do it often when involved with search & rescue. Had a cot that JUST fit on one side, a small electric cooler and foot locker on the other. Most gear was under the cot. Mounted a 12volt oscillating fan on the cap to maintain a cool breeze. Not the greatest, but beat the hell out of a tent and cold ground. Sorry but never took any picks.

Chris
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Old 02-06-2012
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I just ordered one of these:



It hasn't even arrived yet so I can't give a review, but it was $230. You can also get an air mattress that is fitted to the truck bed if you want. A topper was not an option for me because I have no where to put it when its off the truck.
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Old 02-06-2012
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ive slept in the back of my camper many times. just with a sleeping bag. always been comfortable and warm.
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Old 02-06-2012
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I used to go camping a lot until I added up how much it cost me all totaled. Now I will only go to hotels or motels while I'm traveling. It's much cheaper and you don't have to deal with insects and wild animals.

I knew one guy who spent about $75 grand on an RV and hardly ever used it. It was such a gas hog he couldn't afford to drive it anywhere, he ended up selling it at a huge loss.
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Old 02-06-2012
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Originally Posted by dj wayne View Post
I used to go camping a lot until I added up how much it cost me all totaled. Now I will only go to hotels or motels while I'm traveling. It's much cheaper and you don't have to deal with insects and wild animals.

I knew one guy who spent about $75 grand on an RV and hardly ever used it. It was such a gas hog he couldn't afford to drive it anywhere, he ended up selling it at a huge loss.
who buys an RV and DOESNT take a huge loss? talk about low resale value.
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Old 02-06-2012
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who buys an RV and DOESNT take a huge loss? talk about low resale value.
That's what I mean, camping costs so much you can stay in a nice hotel much cheaper. You can fly to any city you want and stay in nice hotels and it will cost you less than buying and maintaining an rv. Camping is a rip. But if you insist, go for it.
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Old 02-06-2012
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I think the act of camping itself is fun. I wouldn't camp if I went on a trip somewhere unless that was the main focus of the trip. Camping out of a ranger with a little enclosed trailer, Though will be pretty cheap. Most campgrounds have bathrooms and even shower facilities too, and national campgrounds are extremely cheap.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2012
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I go camping with my truck and cap, and i have a canoe rack that goes on the top of the cap, and a double mattress fits between the wheel wells.It fits me and the girlfriend great, and we don't go to campgrounds, usually at a remote lake or river and set up camp.
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Old 02-06-2012
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Let's see now, what do we need to go camping..truck shell or tent, cot, sleeping bag, firewood, cooler for food,ice, food, beer, pop, bug spray, campground fee, TP, fishing pole, fishing license, bait, lures, boat, anchor, paddles, life preserver, beer, lawn chairs, frying pan for cooking food, water container, dinnerware, paper plates, plastic silver ware, salt and pepper, coffee, coffee pot, sugar, coffeemate, coffee cup, boom box, batteries for boom box, soap for washing frying pan, eggs, bacon, bread, butter, hot dogs, ketchup, portable tv, video games, cell phone, ....now do you get the picture ???
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2012
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i've slept under the topper of the ranger... not camping though, but it wasn't too bad... for having mal fitted windows
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  #14  
Old 02-06-2012
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I grew up going out in the woods to stay the night on snowmobiles in the winter, and 4 wheelers or trucks in the summer, and we just bring what we need, not all the stuff that is listed above, and we never stayed in campgrounds, and never bring any electronics with us, i think its all how you are brought up if you prefer to go camping or to stay in a hotel, just different things for different people
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  #15  
Old 02-06-2012
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I plan on making a small camper like my dad did with his ranger. and just be able to load it up and go. Of course for awhile ill prolly just get a big tarp and get a small frame made to form a tent. (I have a crap load of angle iron laying around lol.)

But I need to start accumulating some camping gear as all "my" stuff is actually my dads.

I think just something to block the wind/rain in the bed and a sleeping bag on top of a few blankets should be sufficient.
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Old 02-06-2012
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never thought of building my own...
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  #17  
Old 02-06-2012
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for storing stuff in your reg cab rangers, back when my dad had his 98 150' he took a sheet of plywood, cut it to size, then in half so you could slide it to the front of the box and if you wanted to put something in the back when you arnt camping, it was pretty much out of the way( dont ask how the second piece of plywood was supported and could slide overtop of the other piece of plywood, i dont really remember) . it was supported underneath with some 2x4's. it was about a foot off the bed so you still had enough room to sit up without hitting your head on the canopy and have plenty of storage for all your camping crap!

ranger smith, where did you order that from?
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Old 02-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj wayne View Post
Let's see now, what do we need to go camping..truck shell or tent, cot, sleeping bag, firewood, cooler for food,ice, food, beer, pop, bug spray, campground fee, TP, fishing pole, fishing license, bait, lures, boat, anchor, paddles, life preserver, beer, lawn chairs, frying pan for cooking food, water container, dinnerware, paper plates, plastic silver ware, salt and pepper, coffee, coffee pot, sugar, coffeemate, coffee cup, boom box, batteries for boom box, soap for washing frying pan, eggs, bacon, bread, butter, hot dogs, ketchup, portable tv, video games, cell phone, ....now do you get the picture ???
These are all I need
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Old 02-06-2012
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^^ that's great... notice how he mentioned beer multiple times?
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Old 02-06-2012
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Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
^^ that's great... notice how he mentioned beer multiple times?
can't forget the beer, then you need ice for the beer, and a cooler for the ice, and a tent for the cooler...and the list goes on and on....
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  #21  
Old 02-06-2012
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i don't drink beer, but i might pack a couple cases of Dew in a cooler...
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  #22  
Old 02-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj wayne View Post
Let's see now, what do we need to go camping..truck shell or tent, cot, sleeping bag, firewood, cooler for food,ice, food, beer, pop, bug spray, campground fee, TP, fishing pole, fishing license, bait, lures, boat, anchor, paddles, life preserver, beer, lawn chairs, frying pan for cooking food, water container, dinnerware, paper plates, plastic silver ware, salt and pepper, coffee, coffee pot, sugar, coffeemate, coffee cup, boom box, batteries for boom box, soap for washing frying pan, eggs, bacon, bread, butter, hot dogs, ketchup, portable tv, video games, cell phone, ....now do you get the picture ???
WOW bud , maybe you need to get out of the city more and learn how to have a good time without all the commercial crap that goes with "trendy" camping.
Stay in a hotel. that's where you belong since it is obvious you can't handle the great outdoors on your own wits.
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  #23  
Old 02-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Smith View Post
I just ordered one of these:



It hasn't even arrived yet so I can't give a review, but it was $230. You can also get an air mattress that is fitted to the truck bed if you want. A topper was not an option for me because I have no where to put it when its off the truck.
If you would review this product when you recieve it, I would be interested in what you have to say. Keep us posted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dj wayne View Post
I used to go camping a lot until I added up how much it cost me all totaled. Now I will only go to hotels or motels while I'm traveling. It's much cheaper and you don't have to deal with insects and wild animals.

I knew one guy who spent about $75 grand on an RV and hardly ever used it. It was such a gas hog he couldn't afford to drive it anywhere, he ended up selling it at a huge loss.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj wayne View Post
That's what I mean, camping costs so much you can stay in a nice hotel much cheaper. You can fly to any city you want and stay in nice hotels and it will cost you less than buying and maintaining an rv. Camping is a rip. But if you insist, go for it.

The places I want to go don't have hotels. For many people, it's about getting away from civilization.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dj wayne View Post
Let's see now, what do we need to go camping..truck shell or tent, cot, sleeping bag, firewood, cooler for food,ice, food, beer, pop, bug spray, campground fee, TP, fishing pole, fishing license, bait, lures, boat, anchor, paddles, life preserver, beer, lawn chairs, frying pan for cooking food, water container, dinnerware, paper plates, plastic silver ware, salt and pepper, coffee, coffee pot, sugar, coffeemate, coffee cup, boom box, batteries for boom box, soap for washing frying pan, eggs, bacon, bread, butter, hot dogs, ketchup, portable tv, video games, cell phone, ....now do you get the picture ???
I don't know what picture you're getting at. The big items are a one time purchase, and they're a minimal investment. Some of that stuff you need, some you don't, most you all ready have and some defeats the purpose of camping.

I think you didn't enjoy camping because you were doing it wrong. If you're worried about spending $100 for food/supplies/fuel for a long weekend of camping, then you must have some seriously boring hobbies.

Everyone else, thanks for your input so far and keep it coming!
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  #24  
Old 02-06-2012
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I used to do the outdoor thing and all the other stuff creeps up on you as time goes on. The last time I went camping I was so bored I couldn't stand it and swore off of it for life. No more tents for me.

You're talking to a guy who used to live in a tent year round.
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Old 02-06-2012
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camping just isn't for some people, thats cool.

it's not something you do to save money when going on a trip, rather it's the focus of the trip. Just relax, fish, cook food, and eat.

with the right cot/sleeping bag you will be comfy and cozy all night long and you dont even need a tent.
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