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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Wheel Life: Campers provide cozy family living space


Vi and George Chambers' Ford pickup and 2004 Snowriver camper. 
 (Photo courtesy of Vi and George Chambers / The Spokesman-Review)
Vi and George Chambers' Ford pickup and 2004 Snowriver camper. (Photo courtesy of Vi and George Chambers / The Spokesman-Review)

Vi and George Chambers love following the “Blue Line Highways” of America – those two-lane scenic, winding roads that lead from here to nowhere.

During their almost 41 years of marriage, they have evolved through a number of different recreational domiciles.

“We started out with a tarp in the late ‘60s, then a tent and then a tent trailer,” says George Chambers of Spokane. They graduated to a truck camper in 1985.

“There were four of us and a dog in there,” laughs Chambers.

“If the weather was good our two boys enjoyed sleeping outside in their tent,” he says. “If for some reason they wanted to come inside, one would take the dinette area and the other would sleep on the floor. We had a great time.”

Around 10 years later, the Chambers wanted more room and purchased a 28-foot fifth-wheel trailer.

“During the time we had it, we took frequent week-long trips to the Oregon Coast and made two extended cross-country trips,” says Chambers. “We loved it and really enjoyed the extra living space.”

However, they found that because of the fifth-wheel’s height and length, they couldn’t explore many intriguing off-the-beaten-path places.

“You just never knew when you would run into a low bridge on one of those back roads,” says Chambers.

Three years ago they decided to go back to a truck camper and bought a 2004 Snowriver with slide-out dinette area. Their 9-foot-6-inch model has a full kitchen, bathroom with shower and over-cab queen bed. It sits easily in their 2000 Ford F250 pickup.

“Basically with our camper,” says Chambers, “we can go anywhere our truck can go. We’ve taken it out for four-month trips and haven’t had any problems finding a place to park.”

As for the smaller living space, Chambers admits that it can get a tad bit snug for two people at times.

“You just have to make a little space for each other,” he says. “After more than 40 years together you learn these things.”

Camper information

About two years ago the Chambers because involved with a new group calling itself the North American Truck Camper Owners Association.

“We’re a nonprofit club of truck camper enthusiasts,” says Chambers. “We hold rallies and caravans; have a lot of fun and meet some wonderful people.”

“ North American Truck Camper Owners Association www.natcoa.com. For more local news contact George Chambers at (509) 487-8706.

“ International Truck Camper Owners Australia operates as an international affiliate Down Under, where truck campers are known as “slide-ons.” Go to www.intcoaustralia.com.au.htm.

“ Truck Camper Magazine, a free online e-zine published by truck camper Gordon White; www.truckcampermagazine.com.

“ Snowriver Campers are built by Interior RV Products Inc., 190 Commercial Place, Penticton, BC, V2A 3H7; (250) 493-6675; www.snowrivercamper.com.

Rallies, caravans

“NATCOA Pacific Northwest Rally, May 2007, Silver Falls State Park, Ore. Contact George Chambers at (509) 487-8706.

“The 2nd annual national NATCOA Rally, July 8-10, followed by Truck Camper Show, July 12-14, Lake Ogallala State Park, Nebraska, www.truckcampershow.com.

“Alaska Caravan, tentative plans for July-August, possibly starting at the Truck Camper Rally, with another rendezvous point in British Columbia.

“Pacific Northwest Rally, Aug. 29-Sept. 3, Fintry Provincial Park, Kelowna, B.C., www.intcoa.com/forms/natcoa/rallysignup.htm.

“Pacific Northwest Weekend Caravan for fall colors, along Washington state Route 20, October. More details to be announced.

“Australian Truck Camper Rally, Oct. 1-3. See www.intcoaustralia.com.au/rally.htm.

Wheel question

Darrell Johnson sent an e-mail asking for some suggestions from other Wheel Life readers.

“My parents have a motor home that is just sitting in a KOA storage down in Chula Vista, Calif. What would be a good way to sell it for them? They are in their 70s and need some help.”

Send your suggestions to juliannec@spokesman.com or call (509) 459-5435.

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