In late July, Linda and I spent a week in Forillon National Park as a full trial run of our new truck camper, a 2017 Livin’ Lite, Camplite 11.0 purchased from Jerry’s RV in New Minas, Nova Scotia. The 11.0 model is 20 feet long with a slide and weighs in at a dry weight of 3400 lbs. As a result [you guessed it], it requires a long bed, one ton truck to carry it. In this case, the one ton is a Dodge Ram 3500 with a 5.7 litre Hemi engine. After the week, I can safely say, the truck camper is a blast and performed well on and off the road. Although the Gaspe is rugged with an abundance of twisting roads and steep grades, the camper contents stayed put for the most part and the ride was smooth. Some contents did slide towards the front when Linda stopped abruptly; she is learning that even with the excellent brakes on the Ram, the truck does not stop on a dime. The ride did of course benefit from the rear air suspension installed on the truck and are highly recommended when carrying or towing heavy loads.
Once set up at the campsite at Petit Gaspe, we got to try all the amenities, including the microwave! We decided to continue to eat healthy [there is no excuse really with a fantastic propane stove and three-way fridge, both manufactured by Dometic] and made a couple of grain bowls to sustain us as quick, healthy travel meals for a couple days. Our grain bowl consisted of a protein cooked on the BBQ [beef, chicken or lamb], stir fried mixed vegetables [bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes] cooked in olive oil and mixed with a healthy grain [brown rice, bulger or quinoa] cooked with chicken or beef broth. I mentioned the microwave earlier as it served to heat up the grain bowl leftovers for lunches, after the first feast at supper time.
The dinette slide on the truck camper benefits from a rack and pinion gear arrangement and was very easy to set up including the table. The table has a solid base stand but not as stable at the top where it rests on the post; a double post system would be better or table attached to the wall. The north south bed exceeded our expectations with a three inch memory foam over the standard queen mattress. The comfort was as good as home and when the nights were a little too warm for sleeping, the air conditioner did the job on the low cool setting. Some think you rough it in a truck camper; I beg to differ.
After initially thinking the leak in the hot water tap on the outside shower was fixed [see previous article], a slow drip was evident [see attached photo]. Fortunately we could still use the hot water system as water was available directly from the Park system which is brand new this year. The tank capacity is excellent on the Camplite 11.0 with a fresh water tank at 28 gallons and grey and black tanks holding 30 gallons each. We only had to dump the tanks once during the week and it was very easy to pack up and dump at the station near the campground entrance.
After a week in Forillon where we enjoyed breathtaking scenary and hikes with our two Jack Russell terriers, we packed up and left for Montreal via the north coast. And if you thought the south coast was rugged and spectacular, you should see the north coast which has more twisty turns and even greater changes in elevation. Not to worry, the truck and camper were meant for each other and the drive was splendid.