Joel Bingham has had a long history of Truck Camper experiences throughout his life. And he shared them in a interview with Truck Camper Magazine when he was interviewed about his new Custom Popup camper for his Chevy Avalanche.
Joel’s Uncle and older cousins, had truck campers growing up. He has very fond memories of playing Battleship with his Uncle Mike in his truck camper after a long day of hunting. His dad also had a smaller pull behind camper that they had great times in while hunting. His cousin Neil would even live out of his truck camper in the summer. He would travel around Minnesota and stay for periods of time with family around the state. “Neil is no longer with us. Most of the good memories we have of Neil involve the outdoors.”
Joel also remembers, once his dad and him got lost deer hunting. When they finally found their way back to the campsite, he remembers how good the pancakes were that his Uncle Mike made for them on his truck camper stove.
After Joel grew up and formed a family of his own, he decided to make a small cabin for his sons in the back of his house. This would give the boys a feel of camping, and grow up having these great experiences in their lives. Joel made this cabin of recycled materials, and items he picked up along the way. But don’t think that this was an ugly shack, this little cabin ended up being amazing!
This cabin inspired Joel, to take the camping experience to another level. He started looking for a company that could build a truck camper for his Chevy Avalanche. He came across a Truck Camper Magazine and discovered Phoenix Campers was building a prototype truck camper for an Avalanche. He then contacted Robby and Cari Rowe (co-owners of Phoenix Pop Up Campers)and explained to them what he was looking for. Cari told him they would be happy to build an Avalanche truck camper for Joel and his family. But when the quote arrived he discovered the price was a little over his head at that point in time.
He put the project on hold, but never gave up on his dream. He stayed in touch with Cari, and kept reading about the custom campers they were building. He even kept a file of pictures, articles, quotes, and emails. But all things come to those who wait, Phoenix had an Avalanche camper on trade-in. The owner decided to travel around Europe and commissioned Phoenix to build a bigger camper. Joel agreed to a deal with Cari, and asked for a few modifications to be done before pick up. Specifically, Joel had played with solar on the cabin playhouse and wanted his solar power system on the truck camper. Cari said, “No problem” and set a date to pick up the camper.
When it was ready, the whole family drove west to get their new toy. When they arrived, Robby had mounted the three solar panels on the roof, and the charge controller and inverter were mounted in the camper. All the cables were hidden and thesolar system was ready to go.
Truck Camper Magazine: “Did you enjoy your new camper before heading home?”
Joel: “We did. We explored Denver and did some urban camping the first night we had it. I would have rather been in the wilderness, but it was nice to be able to quickly pop-up anywhere; whether that be a Walmart parking lot, or next to a river.
In the days that followed, we took in my son Tanner’s favorite place in the world, the Lego Store, and one of my favorite places, a major league baseball stadium for a Rockies game. Then we headed back towards Iowa.
On the way, we decided to camp for the night in North Platte, Nebraska and came across a campground the city maintains. In talking to the locals, I found out that the money for the campground was donated by a gentleman who wanted a place for children and families to enjoy themselves as he would have liked to when he was young. It was $5 a night to camp.”
“Casey and Tanner were my biggest motivation for getting the camper. They love the camper and want to go camping every weekend, which I am fine with.” – Joel
The full article is worth reading, so check it out when you have a chance.
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