In the News

TCM EXCLUSIVE: 2018 Alaskan Flatbed Side Entry Camper
By Gordon White

Alaskan Campers debuts the Alaskan Flatbed Side Entry, a hard side pop-up truck camper with an all-new side entry floor plan.  Alaskan Campers has also upgraded their hydraulic cylinders and is now installing Truma combination water heater and furnace units in the flatbeds as an option.

In the truck camper industry, six emails often lead to a lot of trouble, and opportunity.  For example, a potential customer emails Alaskan Campers with a request for a flatbed model.  She has some interesting ideas, but it’s definitely not a standard build.

It will take considerable time and resources to construct what she wants, but Alaskan is a custom shop.  In response, Alaskan emails a quote.  It’s quickly accepted – via email.  Three emails, and we’re off.

When the camper emerges from the factory a few months later, it’s a stunner.  “That came out really nice” thinks the Alaskan team.  Then they return to work on standard Alaskan models.  They won’t see one of those again, or so they think.

Email four fires away, “Your Alaskan flatbed side entry camper is ready.  You can pick it up next Friday.”  Email five immediately RSVPs.  It’s a date!

About six weeks go by.  The customer is very happy.  In fact, she’s so happy that she posts photos of her new camper on social media and various internet forums.  Then it happens.  The notorious sixth email.

“I saw this flatbed Alaskan Camper on the internet.  Can you build me one?”

And so it begins. Read the full story >>

Alaskan Campers: New Ownership Announcement
John Macpherson has acquired Alaskan Campers. Here’s the story of why John bought the company, the changes he’s already made, and his vision for the nearly 60 year old truck camper manufacturer.

Above: John Macpherson with Dorrie Benson, Office Manager, Bryan Wheat, President, and Rick Bremgartner, Foreman

Above: John Macpherson with Dorrie Benson, Office Manager, Bryan Wheat, President, and Rick Bremgartner, Foreman

John Macpherson has acquired Alaskan Campers.  Here’s the story of why John bought the company, the changes he’s already made, and his vision for the nearly 60 year old truck camper manufacturer.

Alaskan Campers was founded in 1958 by Californian, Don Hall.  After serving in the Seabees 30th Battalion (naval construction) in World War II, Don moved to Sunland, California from Rochester, New York.  There, in 1948, Don designed and built a truck camper for a three-month adventure to Alaska.

With its unique hard side roof that raised and lowered with hydraulics, Don’s camper quickly captured the attention of outdoor enthusiasts and became the prototype for Alaskan Campers.  By 1965, Don and his wife, Irene, had grown Alaskan Campers to seven factories across the United States and Canada.

After experiencing a boom in the 1960s, the 1970s were very hard on the RV industry.  Alaskan was one of the few truck camper manufacturers to survive the fuel crises of 1973 and 1978, and the following recession of 1981 and 1982.  By the time the late 80s arrived, Alaskan Campers was for sale.

Don Wheat bought Alaskan Campers from the Hall family in 1989 and moved the company to a two stall garage at his home.  That year Don sold 16 Alaskan Campers and began an upward swing for the company.  By 1992, production demands increased and Don asked his son, Bryan, to join Alaskan Campers.  Bryan soon took over the day-to-day operations and continued steering Alaskan Campers forward.

That brings us to 2016.  After owning Alaskan Campers for 27 years, it was time for Don Wheat to put Alaskan Campers up for sale.

Having worked with Alaskan Campers for over 24 years as their Alaska dealer, John Macpherson purchased the company last fall.  John knew Don, Bryan and the Alaskan Camper production team well, and was excited at the prospect of taking the nearly 60 year old manufacturer to the next level. Read the full story >>

Top 7 Pop Up Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks (by Truck Camper Adventure)
If you’re thinking about buying a pop-up truck camper, you probably fall into one of two camps. Either you’re looking to upgrade after camping in tents or you’re looking to downsize after owning something larger. Whatever the reason, buying a pop-up truck camper is a great move. Not only is it cheaper, more aerodynamic, and more fuel-efficient than a hard-side truck camper, but it also weighs less, handles better off-road, and is easier to store. What’s more, the pop-up’s compact size and low center of gravity also means that you can take it to places where most hard-side truck campers can’t. Sure there are negatives associated with a small pop-up—its compact size, lack of amenities, and the need to raise the roof to effectively use it immediately come to mind—but the pros of having a small pop-up truck camper far outweigh the cons. Read the full story >>

Pop-up hard side truck campers by Alaskan Campers: Overland Expo 2017 (You Tube)
This pop up truck camper caught my eye because it has something not many pop up truck campers have…and that is “hard side walls”.

Most have canvas or some other fabric integrated into their pop up design which is great for mild weather but in places where it snows, those fabric walls simply don’t hold up as well as hard walls.  Yes you can upgrade to a winter package that gives you more insulation with those fabric walls but they still take a beating if its windy and can make ALOT of noise when hit by constant wind.

That’s where the Alaskan camper dominates! You have the protection and insulation of a hard wall camper but the benefits of collapsing the camper down when driving to give you better gas milage as well as lower your center of gravity for off roading. Watch the video >>

The 2007 National Truck Camper Show: Ten Years Later (Truck Camper Magazine)
Ten years ago this week, the second annual National Truck Camper Show kicked off with 19 truck camper manufacturers, 10 gear companies, and over 200 attendees.  If there ever was a Woodstock for truck campers, this was it. Read the full story >>

Three-Month Retrospective (
We’ve been on the road about three months now, and so have long since surpassed the length of our previous longest road trips (52 days each to the Arctic in 1999 and California in 2003). It seems like a good time to calculate some trip statistics, and in this post I’ll also provide some additional description of our camper, as requested by one reader. Trip stats: Our budget is broken into three categories. Fixed/recurring costs, which are dominated by healthcare and other insurance premiums, run about $1850 per month. Read the full story >>

Long Drive for a Short Pickup (Truck Camper Magazine)
Linda Norman drove 2,500 miles with her two Golden Retrievers to pick up a custom Alaskan 5.5.  Along the way, someone ate a seat belt, someone barked at Bison, and a surprise snowstorm descended. As retired military, I keep returning to the field.  My troops and traveling companions are two Golden Retrievers.  This year, a new generation joined the ranks; Preston, a three-year-old male large body, and Charlie, a one-year old female with an expensive appetite for bifocals, among other things. The three of us present a hard-charging trio on the road.  And the road is the goal, traveling the northern hemisphere reaching beyond the Arctic Circle to the end of the road.  So let’s go! Read the full story >>


Winds turn New Castle campground into ‘war zone’ (Post Independent)

On the first month of their five-month vacation, Betty and Al Wetherbee came out to New Castle’s Elk Creek Campground for what they thought would be a nice trip into the mountains. Mother Nature had other plans.

On Monday afternoon strong winds were reported throughout Garfield County, including speeds up to 90 mph at Douglas Pass, but few places were hit harder than the campground.

“It was like a bomb zone, and you just needed to get out of the way,” said Tom Martin, who’s from the Roaring Fork Valley and camped at the Creek Monday night. “I’ve never seen winds like this before, and I lived in Florida for 14 years.” Read the full story >>

"It Raises - It Lowers."

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