Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Buying a New TC Hauler
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 > Buying a New TC Hauler

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riah

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Posted: 03/05/21 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We bought the TC used and realized it had a little bit of water damage in the overhang area which needed to repair, and when we tore up the area of the overhang to repair, reinforce and reinsulate it, we realized that we could utilize the sunroof as a pass through if we installed a hatch in the overhang of the TC; and since we were already working in that area, we went forward with our new design.

(Plus, after realizing how minimal the support there actually was in the original design, any structural enhancement one adds is going to be an improvement to the overall structural integrity in the overhang area of the TC.)

NRALIFR wrote:

That’s awesome. I’ve never seen anything like that.

That was actually billtex who said that, but that’s ok. I wanted to see a picture of it too. Some mods take more balls to execute than others. This one took the large kind. [emoticon]


[emoticon][emoticon]


riah

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Posted: 03/05/21 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lol, no I wish we were that small in stature! But now that we are newly retired, once my hubby’s badly sprained ankle heals (but it’s going to be minimally another 4+ weeks) we plan to start hiking and biking regularly in hopes of getting back into shape again!

Regarding the TC redesign with the hatch-
We missed the convenience of being able to access the restroom from the passenger area, so this resolved that issue (since the only thing that fits through the rear window pass through (which we booted) seem to be our cat and Bassett hound/Beagle mix dog!)

We had initially contemplated having the rear window replaced so that would be capable of retracting and enter the camper that way, but the sunroof and hatch design was easier not to mention much less expensive!

The size of the hatch we installed is 26 “ x 18” .

It’s mostly used as internal access into the camper/truck passenger areas, so that we can use the restroom without needing to have the driver stop and pullover and enter it through the rear door. Instead we just pull ourself up/drop down through the hatch while still in motion.

It also comes handy when the weather is inclement - as well as in an emergency situation. (For instance, we had pulled off to rest overnight in a mall parking lot and were awoken by popping noises that sounded very similar to gunshots going off nearby at about 1 AM! Thankfully it was there, and we were able to drop down through the hatch and safely get out of there. Also very thankfully we didn’t come across wherever the source of the popping noises had originated when we pulled out of there either!)

But having gone through various versions of camping - from tenting, to a TC, to a 5th wheel and more recently to an RV, we are now empty nesters and decided to return back to a TC for traveling now as new retirees.

Unfortunately though, our retirement start date coincided with the year of this global pandemic, so we have not really had the freedom to travel very much yet - as our travel plans have been put on hold for the most part until we are eligible for a vaccination - which most likely will be in the last eligibility group as is sadly typically our luck.

Hence our travel/trips have been limited to shuttling my elderly parents and their vehicle back and forth between the NE area and Fl. Last May we brought them north along with trailered their car back home from Fl, then brought them and their car back again to Fl in December, and we returned back north again for a couple months until last week when we returned to Fl again, as my parents have been having some health issues of concern, so we wanted to be closer than a 2days drive away to get to them, in case any further issues arose or help was needed. (So we are following the CDC recommendations and staying self contained and just self isolating in their driveway for the most part since we arrived last week - partially due to my hubby’s inability to walk much yet on a recently sprained ankle, and partially because the Covid positivity rates are greater than 5% here in Fl which is higher than the recommended rates epidemiologists, CDC and WHO otherwise recommend to be out and about safely in the community. So we are just sitting around in the sun in their driveway enjoying the warmer climate zone - which is a very welcome change to the snow and frigid temps we left back in the NE region!)

Thanks for your response (and your interest in this topic!)

Bert the Welder wrote:

Wow, Riah. That is something and does indeed take some brass to do. Love to see a pic of the boot.
How big is the hatch? Looks like you'd have to be a starving 12 yr old to get through it! LOL!
My first thought before going back and reading your use of it was escape hatch. If something dodgy going on outside the TC, you could drop down and drive off. If someone broke into the truck, you could drop a noose or down. LOL!
Me, I'd let the three Chihuahua's through and grab the popcorn.....


billtex

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Posted: 03/05/21 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe I missed it, but where do you sleep?

You must be retired from “Stunt-man” school! It’s a cool idea, but I can’t imagine crawling through that hatch, accessing/using the bathroom, and dropping back in!?

God bless you, no way I could accomplish that even if the truck were parked!


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riah

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Posted: 03/05/21 12:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The mattress is a tri-fold. We separated 1 of the 3 sections off and we are able to fold it up on the side and bungee it against the left side of the bunk and then the 3rd section of the mattress fits snugly, into the section in the front of the camper during travel (no bungee needed for that one, lol) which frees up the area in the center of the bed area for the hatch to be opened! . ??

(Going up into the camper does require me to work on my upper body strength though, but it gets easier once I get the hang of it initially on each trip; plus, dropping back down into the truck is much easier, as gravity is on my side, lol! )


billtex wrote:

Maybe I missed it, but where do you sleep?

You must be retired from “Stunt-man” school! It’s a cool idea, but I can’t imagine crawling through that hatch, accessing/using the bathroom, and dropping back in!?

God bless you, no way I could accomplish that even if the truck were parked!


Bert the Welder

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Posted: 03/05/21 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the reply. Hatch looked smaller then that in the pic.
Would still love to see dashcam footage of the entry/exit procedure! LOL! Must be funny to look across from another car on the road and see that! Ha ha ha!
Hope Mr. ankle heals up soon and you get some true vacation time in. And hats off for being cautious these days.
Nice the hatch came in handy for that emergency bugout. Up here, it would usually be drunk idiots or big animals. Lead Mosquitoes are less common. [emoticon]


"> 1998 GMC 2500, 10.5 Okanagan, My better/smarter half, George and Finnegan(APBT), all I need.


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