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For someone who loves getting deep into the great outdoors and going mountain biking, there isn’t anything better than a Four Wheel pop-up camper. Sure, a campervan is also great, but these lumbering giants aren’t as nimble as a truck camper, which can tackle even rough dirt roads and snow.
Those are just a couple of reasons why Cole Gregg chose a pop-up truck camper for his passion and his work: mountain biking. Not only does Cole ride for fun any chance he gets, but he also works as a technical editor for a company dedicated to mountain biking reviews and information called The Loam Wolf. Cole routinely tests mountain bikes as well as tracks and trails for The Loam Wolf.
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Four Wheel Truck Campers are lightweight, pop-up truck campers that fit on almost any truck. As with all sponsored content, all opinions and writing are our own.
Cole Started in an Aluminum Camper Shell
Cole is no stranger to truck campers; he’s had a 2005 Dodge 2500 truck with a lift kit and enhanced suspension for YEARS. He used to travel around in an aluminum canopy with some built-in drawers in back, a set-up he used for seven years for exploring mountain biking destinations.
“I just kinda roughed it,” Cole said. “At one point, the truck had shocks that came up through the bed, so there were holes in the truck bed. So we’d get back from biking and there’d be a squirrel in our stuff. My friends and I even spent six weeks in the back of that camper shell, traveling, rock climbing and biking.
Eventually, Cole decided he was too old to keep roughing it like that, so at the ripe old age of 30 decided to invest in a more robust truck camper.
Cole’s First Look at a Four Wheel Truck Camper
Cole knew something had to change when he went to Mountain Bike Oregon and was sweltering inside his aluminum camper. It was 95 degrees inside the camper shell! Another mountain biker at the event had a Four Wheel Camper’s Hawk pop-up camper, and Cole asked for a tour.
“I stepped inside and it was significantly cooler,” he said. “There were two fans going and he pulled a drink out of the fridge. I was like yep, I’m done. I went back home on Monday planning on buying a Four Wheel camper of my own.”
Cole went through the online builder to create the truck camper of his dreams, using it 20 times or more to look at all the options he could fit on his truck. One year later, he had his very own Four Wheel Campers Hawk model perched on the back of his Dodge 2500.
“I’d gone down to California to purchase the camper, and my very first night was just outside Mt. Shasta,” he said. “I thought it would be warm as it was summer, but it was freezing. I brought just one blanket and spent the entire night shivering, and then I looked down and remembered I had a heater! There was a learning curve, but it was a total game changer.”
What Cole Loves Best About His Four Wheel Camper
As an avid mountain biker, Cole is really into his health and fitness. One huge benefit of having a Four Wheel pop-up camper is that now Cole has access to a fridge and a simple way to cook food.
“I know you can put fridges in your truck,” said Cole, “But it’s the whole package for me having a stove as well. It’s completely changed the way that I feel about traveling for the sport I love. It’s just so nice not having to stop for ice!”
The camper also has a heater, a 20-gallon freshwater tank, instant hot water, a two-burner propane stove and a queen size bed. When the camper is fully popped-up, there’s 6’6″ of headroom inside.
Due to space savings, Cole decided to have an outdoor shower only with his pop-up truck camper, which has worked really well for him. You can also choose the option of having a shower INSIDE your camper, but Cole preferred to save on space.
He also loves that the pop-up truck camper is really lightweight – around 1300-1400 pounds – so he doesn’t have to take it off when he’s not using it for camping.
“It barely impacted my gas mileage, I can fit in a normal parking spot, and have the ability to go off-road,” Cole said, which are all reasons he didn’t choose a larger truck camper. The overall gas mileage difference was only 2-3 miles per gallon after putting the truck camper on his Dodge.
Cole also said his truck still handles really well with a 1400 pounds camper on the back, another big benefit.
“I tested the truck in a parking lot, like braking and turning quickly,” he said. “I wanted to know how the truck would react in an emergency, and it surprisingly that much different. You can feel the extra weight and I did add heavier-duty brake pads, but the truck handles amazingly well.”
He also tested the truck and camper in snow and they handled beautifully.
The Downsides of a Pop Up Truck Camper
Right now, Cole said the only real downside to his Hawk pop up truck camper by Four Wheel Campers is that he has to be plugged into shore power to charge his computer. The camper does come with 130 watts of solar, one battery and a small inverter which works to charge small electronics, and he’s considering upgrading to an inverter that will also work with his computer.
You can choose to get an upgrade on your pop up truck camper for solar and off-grid power, something Cole didn’t choose to get. Eventually, he may get this done, but says for now, he’s fine with plugging in.
He said another downside for some people is that you can’t really put tons of gear on the top. The pop up campers are rated to about 150 pounds of weight on the pop-ups.
“I’ve had about six inches of snow on there and it was quite difficult to lift,” said Cole. “So there are some circumstantial downsides like if your sport is paddle boarding or kayaking and you wanna have all this stuff on your roof, it’s going to be more complicated.”
However, he said he’s seen paddleboard mounts that hook up to the side of the camper, so that’s another option. Cole stores his mountain bikes on the back of the truck camper, so they are easily accessible for loading and unloading.
Four Wheel Campers have “lift assists” that can be added to a truck camper with more weight, which would help a person lift the roof to its popped-up state. The camper tops can manage 1,000 pounds of evenly distributed snow, but it sure would be hard to lift the roof!
How a Four Wheel Pop Up Truck Camper Helps Cole with His Career
Cole is a technical writer for a website called The Loam Wolf, where he sometimes takes mountain bikes out and tests them for articles. The pop up camper is a great way for him to get to mountain bike trails and parks with the ability to live for a few days in comfort.
“When you’re testing a product, you can’t just go ride it on your home trail, you might have to take it somewhere else so it can be tested efficiently,” said Cole. “I also work with a scooter company so I travel to a bunch of skate parks and do videos. It’s amazing just having somewhere to hang out and have cold drinks. It’s so convenient.”
He loves going to places where mountain bikers meet up, like the mountain bike festival in Oakridge, Oregon which attracts up to 300 cyclists. He hopes one day, he can take the Four Wheel camper to other large biking events and races as far away as the East Coast.
“So being able to drive out there and take, take a month or two to explore that area of the country and ride is something that has been on my bucket list for a long time,” said Cole.
Want to Learn More about the Four Wheel Campers Hawk Model?
The model Cole chose for his lifestyle is the “Hawk”, which fits full-sized trucks with a 6′-6’5″ truck bed. Here’s a little more about the Hawk:
- Dry Weight: 1100 pounds
- Exterior Material: Aluminum
- Expanded Interior Height: 6’6″
- 20 gallon water tank
- 2 10-pound propane tanks
- Roof vent
- Extended cabover mattress
- 2-burner propane stove
- And tons of options
- Click here to see the entire spec sheet for the Hawk
Here’s Cole’s final advice about choosing a Four Wheel pop up truck camper:
“Yeah, “I would say if you’re thinking about doing it and you’ve been on the fence, do it. It’s worth it. It’s worth every penny,” he said. “Sometimes, I think of all the sacrifices I made to get this truck camper. When I wake up in the morning and have a nice, hot breakfast in the place I want to be, it’s all worth it. Like stepping out of the camper and seeing the chair lift. It’s so sweet!.”