When I think RV, a truck camper doesn’t readily come to mind. After all, my idea of an RV is something you can access from the driving area. Funny how personal experience changes your perspective!
So, from bumper to bumper, let’s share some user input on this awesome RV. Packing? Storage? Comfort? What’s it like to take a shower? How often do you need to empty the tanks? Is it fuel efficient? What about parking?
It’s mounted on a current model truck - the pictures make this quite evident so no need to dwell on that. Entry to the camper is via the back – manufacturer Northern Lite has made this easy with fold-down steps and a fold-out handle beside the door. Once inside it’s a case of ‘what you see is what you get’ space-wise.
Entry to the RV | The inside of the TCA
The interior is well laid out to take advantage of every nook and cranny in the RV. Between the fridge and the door you’ll find a good size cupboard with a hanging bar - you can hang clothes in it but for us it was more useful as a pantry, as storage space for food and drink was somewhat sparse elsewhere in the RV.
The 6.3 cu.ft fridge/freezer was a decent size with more than enough space for the frozens and perishables. Hint here – the fridge can be a little temperamental if your vehicle isn’t parked on fairly level ground. CanaDream provided a small bubble level in the fridge to enable us to check this, but we had no issues ourselves. The fridge ran on propane when we weren’t plugged into an external power source and automatically converted to run on electricity when we were.
Microwave and overhead cupboards | Three burner cooktop and oven
The camper comes with a microwave (which does take up one of the overhead cupboard spaces) but could only be used when we had external power. The oven proved to be a godsend when we weren’t. That, combined with the three-burner cooktop, gave us the ability to prepare all our meals on the go.
There’s a pull-out drawer under the oven, useful for storing bits and pieces, and another under the sink where CanaDream places the cutlery, utensils etc. The cupboard under that had pots and pans which didn’t really leave room for other storage. Overhead, the two cupboards are filled with plates, kettle etc. Three more pull out drawers in the camper are available for random storage needs.
Hot water is heated by propane with the flick of a switch – well, almost – it takes around 15 minutes to heat the water for kitchen or bathroom use. The freshwater tank holds around 33 gallons (or 125 litres).
Alcove storage | Stargazing skylight
The bed is queen sized and oh so comfortable. There’s enough head room for most people sitting up and, if you’re a star gazer, the emergency exit above the bed can be left without the blackout blind pulled and you can gaze away to your heart’s content. On hot nights you can leave it open for ventilation but make sure it’s not going to rain! It’s in this bed alcove that most the camper storage lies. Underneath each of the side windows are boxes with hinged lids - perfect for all your personal gear. Suggest however that you pack your stuff into individual storage cubes or bags, as these boxes are cavernous enough to lose what you’re looking for! This alcove also has a wardrobe on each side where we hung clothing and stored our collapsible luggage.
The dinette was functional and ideal for sitting doing work on our laptops. USB ports (powered by the coach battery so not reliant on electricity) were under the dinette seats. Other USB ports were located at the end of the kitchen counter. Although we travelled in the fall, we were never cold. The onboard furnace kept us toasty on cooler nights while the air conditioner kept us cool on the few hot days we had (note you need a minimum 30 amp external power source for this to work).
DInette | Bathroom
What about the bathroom? Not lying … it was a reasonably tight squeeze sitting on the toilet with the sliding door closed, even for a smallish person like me. On the other hand, stand up showering was fine – the basin faucet fits into a shower-height holder on the wall. Power showers are the order of the day though - long, luxurious showers have no place in this RV. We did use campground showers where we could.
We found we needed to empty the waste tanks about every three days (although we sometimes did it more often as opportunity arose) and always topped up the fresh water tank at the same time. We could use only one-ply RV/marine toilet paper so the toilet wouldn’t clog (sometimes hard to find at a store) and dropped a toilet chemical into the toilet each time we emptied the tanks. This helps break down the waste matter and prevent smells.
The truck was fairly fuel efficient – a diesel – and we averaged between 16 and 18 miles to the gallon – not bad for an RV. And finally – parking! We loved the fact that our TCA was able to fit (at a squeeze!) into a regular parking spot, saving us money in places with parking meters.
A tight squeeze in the parking space | On the road
The overall impression – CanaDream's TCA truck and camper is a definite consideration for couples looking to rent an rv or even a couple with a small child (as the dinette easily converts to another bed). With the camper and truck being separate, there isn’t the road noise often heard in a traditional C class RV. The truck has lots of bells and whistles not present in some RVs – read my previous blog which has more information on the truck itself.
A definite thumbs up!
CanaDream has this RV combo for rent from many of its locations.
Campers are also available for purchase.
Trucks are sold separately from the camper at Woodridge Ford.