My first truck camper was built custom by Roamin Chariot Industries in 1998 for my Ford Ranger. These campers were sold as ‘basic shells’ and the owner selected options. Mine had the following upgrades: front opening window, interior lighting, rear porch light, large passenger side window, a small interior cabinet and a rear awning. The camper cost a total of $3500 including installation. Roamin Chariot Ind. was based in Spokane, WA, and was in business for about 40 years … the Great Recession closed their doors in 2009.
The camper first traveled on a 1994 4×2 extended cab Ranger with a 3-liter engine with a standard shift (pictured above). The truck was basically maxed out on weight and power .. that 3L engine didn’t have much pickup, especially when there was a headwind or hill (even when the camper wasn’t in the bed).
In 2005 I purchased a new 4×4 extended cab Ranger with a 4-liter engine with a standard shift (pictured above). This truck handles the camper really well with plenty of power for highway speeds, hill climbing and towing. In 2012 I had Roadmaster Active Suspension installed on the rear axle. These ‘helper springs’ levels the truck (sits as if no camper is in place), greatly reduced rear sag when towing, and significantly reduce truck roll when cornering or when driving in crosswinds.
I sold the Roamin Chariot in May of 2016. Great simple camper … she will be missed.
More thoughts on the camper –
- Lots of interest in the Roamin’ Chariot camper
- A BLOG post showing a picture of the RC camping in Idaho in the late 1990s.