Truck Camper vs Teardrop to Alaska?

Alaska

Truck Camper vs Teardrop to Alaska?

Postby Zig » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:37 pm

If we didn't have a choice it would be easy,... take what you got. Here is my problem, We probably may never make it to Alaska again, so I want to make it good. We have had our truck camper for awhile now, four years. and I really like it a LOT! The truck with camper on gets about 11.5 to 12 mpg. Ouch! Last years $4.00 a gallon gas about killed me. We made a emergency trip to Florida from Indiana and it cost over $700 in gas.
Now we got the chance to go to Alaska. Dear wife has three weeks off the same time that I do. At first I didn't care,... earlier this year gas was down to low $2.00 a gallon. Then we got this deal on a new 2006 Little Guy. Great deal, and my wife's Pontiac Vibe can pull it. 26.4 mpg, yea! So I have been getting it ready to go. It had some small problems, (great deal) wrong mattress, vent cover broke. Had a hitch welded on for more storage.
The closer we get,... the higher gas prices are getting. Over $3.00 and climbing in Canada. But... but...
But the truck Camper keeps calling me out,... As in you will be so much more comfortable in the queen sized bed, A/C, furnace, refrigerator. Everything! So, I am thinking,... how much more would the truck camper cost? This is a once in a lifetime trip,... how cheap am I? OK, I did the math.
8400 miles
12mpg truck=
$2100 for gas

8400 miles
25mpg Vibe towing teardrop=
$1008 for gas

So at $3.00 a gallon, (I know, it will be higher) it will cost us a extra $1092 dollars to go in the truck camper. Is it worth it,... maybe?
There are so many pros and cons,... and I still cant make my mind up. Dear wife is little help,... She just wants to GO and dont really care,... so its up to me. Why am I making this so hard,... because, after we leave there is no going back. Gee, I sure wish we would have taken the ......
Sure the $1100 difference is a lot of money to us,... but this is a one time deal. We can swing it.
I even thought about taking both. The teardrop would add no penalty to the trucks mpg. Dear wife was excited about that idea,... but really, why....? No real good reason to do that either. Make it harder to back up, couldn't even see the little camper while towing. I just cant think of a good reason to take both.
I know this is a teardrop tiny camper forum and you all will lean that way,... but I would like some outside opinions. I know I'm opening up a can of worms asking for others opinions,... but I am pretty thick skinned. Lay it on. :twisted:
Note: dear wife is just about ready to kill me, I have gone back and forth so much.
Zig
Last edited by Zig on Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kevin A » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:49 pm

Take the teardrop, use the savings to hit a motel or three along the way.
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Postby madjack » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:55 pm

Zig, the gas alone, would make my mind up...that is 1000+ worth of souvenirs and trinkets (and better meals) or????? The down side(to me) would be the abuse of the Vibe/TD on the roads you will be traveling and the truck might well be more comfortable on a long trip...what kinda mileage do you get with the truck when the camper is not mounted...the compromise option would be to leave the truck camper at home and use the truck to pull the TD...which might be the best of all..............
madjack 8)
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Postby Zig » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:03 am

madjack wrote:Zig, the gas alone, would make my mind up...that is 1000+ worth of souvenirs and trinkets (and better meals) or????? The down side(to me) would be the abuse of the Vibe/TD on the roads you will be traveling and the truck might well be more comfortable on a long trip...what kinda mileage do you get with the truck when the camper is not mounted...the compromise option would be to leave the truck camper at home and use the truck to pull the TD...which might be the best of all..............
madjack 8)

Truck vs Truck and truck camper= 1 mpg difference.
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Postby madjack » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:07 am

Zig wrote:
madjack wrote:Zig, the gas alone, would make my mind up...that is 1000+ worth of souvenirs and trinkets (and better meals) or????? The down side(to me) would be the abuse of the Vibe/TD on the roads you will be traveling and the truck might well be more comfortable on a long trip...what kinda mileage do you get with the truck when the camper is not mounted...the compromise option would be to leave the truck camper at home and use the truck to pull the TD...which might be the best of all..............
madjack 8)

Truck vs Truck and camper= 1 mpg difference.


...well then, that is a total wash...huh...oh well...................... 8)

p.s. another option would be to drive up and take the boat back thru the Inner Passage(fairly expensive)...BUT then you would get a camping trip and a cruise.....MJ
...I have come to believe that, conflict resolution, through violence, is never acceptable.....................mj
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Postby S. Heisley » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:11 am

Okay, Zig, I'll try to help.....

Instead of being torn by the camper vs. tear, try deciding based on the motor vehicle. You'll be spending a lot of time in it, too.

- Which one is the most reliable?
- Which one is the most comfortable to sit in?
- Which one is the easiest for both of you to drive so that if one of you is too tired to drive all the way to your next campsite, the other won't mind taking a turn at the wheel?
- Recognize that Alaska has been known to have blizzards in mid-August. If you will be there in August, which vehicle will handle the snow better or is this not applicable?
- Which one does the wife think you should take? (Recognize that if you choose the one she didn't and it breaks down, you'll hear a few I told ya's or at least the equivalent in looks.)

Still can't decide? Take every plus and minus for each travel set-up and list the plus items on one side and the minus items on the other side of a piece of paper. You should have one paper done like this for the camper and one, for the teardrop. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest, rate how important each plus and minus is to you. Then, add up the total for each. The vehicle with the most plus points and least minus points, or at least the most plus points, is the one you should take.

I'm jealous! :envious: I want to take that trip someday!

Whatever you decide, don't look back! Just have fun! :beautiful:
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Postby Zig » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:28 am

S. Heisley wrote:Okay, Zig, I'll try to help.....

Instead of being torn by the camper vs. tear, try deciding based on the motor vehicle. You'll be spending a lot of time in it, too.

- Which one is the most reliable?
- Which one is the most comfortable to sit in?
- Which one is the easiest for both of you to drive so that if one of you is too tired to drive all the way to your next campsite, the other won't mind taking a turn at the wheel?
- Recognize that Alaska has been known to have blizzards in mid-August. If you will be there in August, which vehicle will handle the snow better or is this not applicable?
- Which one does the wife think you should take? (Recognize that if you choose the one she didn't and it breaks down, you'll hear a few I told ya's or at least the equivalent in looks.)

Still can't decide? Take every plus and minus for each travel set-up and list the plus items on one side and the minus items on the other side of a piece of paper. You should have one paper done like this for the camper and one, for the teardrop. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest, rate how important each plus and minus is to you. Then, add up the total for each. The vehicle with the most plus points and least minus points, or at least the most plus points, is the one you should take.

I'm jealous! :envious: I want to take that trip someday!

Whatever you decide, don't look back! Just have fun! :beautiful:


I have kind of done that, plus and minus, the comfort/reliability/age and it kind of washes out too. She can and will drive either one. The truck has a few more miles on it, but is in great shape. I believe the truck could take the abuse better, the Vibe has AWD. Comfort I feel comfortable in both, easier to drive, the Vibe is narrower, the truck has more power for doing the hill climbing. The Vibe should be able to handle hills due to the low weight combination.
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.
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It might all come down to something as silly as taking our Honda EU2000 generator. At 52lbs, I dont want to take it with the Vibe/teardrop but, would take it we will with the truck camper. Silly I know. We plan on dry boondocking as much as we can.
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Postby Juneaudave » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:33 am

I think I would also consider where you want to go when you get here...some of Alaska'a roads are pretty nasty. If you want to go up the Dalton to the arctic circle, the McCarthy Road to the Kennekott Mining District and the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, or the Denali Hwy....I would take the truck. Otherwise, I would be inclined to take the Tear as gas will be more expensive through Canada and in Alaska, and I would think the Vibe/Tear combo would really be nice for long distance hauls.
:thinking: :thinking: :thinking:
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Postby EffieRover » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:47 am

Just a comment ... I've found that when I waffle like this, there is no choice that will be right later on. No matter which I choose, I get there thinking 'I wish I had ...' because both options have their downsides. Once you make a choice, stick with it and no regrets.

Me, I'd take the tear to be able to easily setup base camp(s) and drive around from there as needed. But my experience with lifting truck campers on and off is limited ... as in none. So I may not know what I'm saying :)
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Postby chorizon » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:56 am

EffieRover wrote:Me, I'd take the tear to be able to easily setup base camp(s) and drive around from there as needed. :)


That was my biggest complaint with a truck camper. You practically have to pack everything back up because oops, you forgot something and have to run to the store.
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Postby Zig » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:03 pm

Thanks for all the honest reply's. We are really excited about being able to go, so whatever we take will be fun.
We are just a couple of working stiffs, trying to make do with the time that we have off. I really like the people here giving real working man answers. Grounded by reality.
I posted the same question on the RV.net. I'm getting answers like,... "we shouldn't drive.... fly,... need all summer... Cant be done in three weeks,... cruise prices are way down!
I know its a lot of driving, but thats part of the adventure for us. We have done vacations like this before. Two weeks for Grand Canyon, Southern Utah, Arches, Canyonlands, Moab. Kind of got bored around the Grand Canyon, allowed to much time. Then a few years later we went to Mt Rushmore/Crazy Horse/Deadwood, Badlands, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, Devils Tower, Walls Drugs, Sturgis, Corn Palace. Seen bear, rented a Harley, Geysers, camped, hiked,... All in two weeks. So even if we only get 9-10 days in Alaska, we will make the best of it. :thumbsup:
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Postby Laredo » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:52 pm

I realize this is not what you want to hear.

The Vibe and the tear would be my choice for nearly anywhere BUT the Al-Can.

You'll need to protect the paint on the Vibe and the Tear if you're taking them, or be prepared to need to refinish both upon your return.
Mopar's what my busted knuckles bleed, working on my 318s...
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Postby mk10108 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:22 pm

Truck Camper......
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Postby S. Heisley » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:47 pm

Laredo wrote:
You'll need to protect the paint on the Vibe and the Tear if you're taking them, or be prepared to need to refinish both upon your return.


Oh, Wow! :shock: Very good point! In that case, take the truck! :yes:
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Postby Zig » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:37 pm

Little Guy has no paint (fiberglass) and it has a stone guard. Its ready for the ruff and tumble!
I still haven't decided yet,... Dear wife is getting MAD! at me She's mad because I got my passport and she didn't get hers yet!
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