Introducing YOLOM: Our Full-Time Truck Camper Home

Jake, Jennifer with our full-time truck camper and home YOLOM.
Jake, Jennifer & YOLOM

Jennifer and I have been traveling with our full-time truck camper rig named YOLOM (You Only Live Once Mobile) for over a month now. I feel like most of the kinks are working themselves out slowly. I’ve had to do a few repairs on some of the upgrades I initially did to our trusty rig, but now we are mostly settled in. There are always going to be more things I wish I had done or could have done (A/C is the primary one), but for the most part, I am really happy with our setup.

YOLOM

This week I take you through our full-time truck camper rig, YOLOM, on our first VLOG entry. I hope you enjoy and perhaps gets some ideas of how you might create a tiny full-time nomadic home and follow us out into this amazing world. I will go over the specific upgrades and how we did each in following VLOG/BLOG posts so stay tuned for those.

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Specs/Gear Links We Used For Our Full-time Truck Camper Rig:

The links below are to some of the products we used to make YOLOM a full-time truck camper. We use and recommend these products. If you use these links below to order the products from Amazon we will receive a small advertising commission from your purchase. The product’s cost to you through Amazon remains the same, but we would greatly appreciate you using the links. Thanks!

  • 2008 Ford F-250 Super Cab 4×4 with the 8′ bed
    • It’s a Super Duty! I wanted one of the newer aluminum F-150 vehicles because of the outstanding towing capacity, but they aren’t cheap. We found a really good deal on our F-250 and I have been really impressed with it so far. I wish it got better gas mileage, but that is a given.
  • 2008 Palomino Bronco 1500
    • Not the lightest frame or the best manufacturer, but they do seem to hold up fairly well and the interiors are laid out nicely.
Truck/Camper connection
  • Torklift Tie-Downs

    • These are the best way to connect a camper to a truck’s frame. They are fairly easy to install. It only took me a few hours to bolt them to the frame with the provided adapters and then we were ready to put the camper in the bed of the truck.
    • Make sure you get the right parts for your specific truck. If you put your vehicles make/model into Amazon the site can show you the exact tie-downs needed for your vehicle.
  • HappiJac Quick Load Turnbuckles

    • You can use regular turnbuckles to connect the camper to the tie-downs, but one of mine blocks the gas cap so these HappiJac Quick Loads are essential at the pump for me. It is easy to get the turnbuckle off and more importantly back on and tight quickly after filling the tank.
    • The link isn’t for the exact same model. Mine are older as they came with the camper. The linked version allows users to remove the handle to reduce the possibility of theft. That seems like a good improvement.
  • Dee Zee Heavyweight Bed Mat

    • I didn’t talk about this one in the vlog, but this bed liner helps keep our camper from sliding around in the bed of the truck. It is basically just a large cushion. Keep in mind that these are size specific to your truck to make sure that you put in your vehicle’s information to get the proper size.
  • Airbags

    • We also put airbags on our rig to help distribute the weight more evenly across the axles. They also help the rig drive more smoothly.
Truck Upgrades
  • Truck Level

    • This thing comes in handy when trying to park our rig. There are bigger ones to be had. Most are designed for a single axis reading and if you want to know both axes you have to have two. Normally one on two sides of the camper. This one is nice because it gives us both axis readings in the cab. We can see how the truck is sitting while we are maneuvering the rig.
  • Cup Holder

    • These cup holders are great! Our smaller cups fit into the bottom and the bigger cups that we get from convenient stores fit snugly into the top part. They are made for boating applications so they do have a drain hole. I put a little acrylic in the tip to plug them and keep liquid from spilling into the armrest area.
    • Hole Saw:

      • I barely recommend this hole saw. It is the worst hole saw I have ever used. There is no lock nut on it so it will spin off if you let off the drill before it is finished cutting through. If you are like me this was a one time use and cheap is the ideal price. That is the only thing good about this saw.
Camper Upgrades
  • Cassette Toilet

    • Own an RV and don’t like going to the black water dump sights? Who does? This toilet is great for two people. I don’t think it would work for larger families as the holding tank being 4.7gal is a little on the small side. Jennifer and I can usually make it more than a week without having to empty the cassette. The job of emptying the black water becomes an easy stroll to the closest bathroom where we open the spout and pour the contents into the toilet.  I recommend holding your breath during this part. On a whole it is very easy to maintain and if emptied and cleaned about once a week the device keeps the smell enclosed in the cassette. Very convenient design.
    • This unit requires a new hole to be cut in the camper sidewall. Don’t forget the exterior door (sold separately). Not sure why Thetford doesn’t package both together.
    • Our unit the C220 isn’t on Amazon. The link to the right is a similar unit but doesn’t have the swiveling bowl. If you aren’t as hard-pressed to have a right-angled toilet in your install as we were then you might consider this one as it is cheaper. You will still need an access door as it doesn’t ship with one either.
  • MaxXair Fan

    • I can’t speak highly enough of this fan. Air conditioner units are too heavy for our pop-up so our fans are essential to making it a full-time truck camper. The ability to push the air out of the camper while cooking is great too. I also really like that it can be reversed to pull air into the living space. This is really nice on a hot day. We keep this fan running almost as much as the fridge.
    • Camper Door Deadbolt

      • The door lock is a nice piece of mind. It is pricey, but when on the trail it is nice to have something beefier than the little RV lock that comes on most campers.
Kitchen Upgrades
  • Dometic Fridge/Freezer

    • Our fridge/freezer combo unit is amazing. Second, only to our solar system, this one upgrade makes our full-time truck camper life possible. The 3-way fridge that came installed in the Palomino Bronco would have never worked on a solar system. It pulled way too much power. I’m going to be doing a more in-depth post on this fridge soon. I highly recommend this unit to anyone thinking about doing something similar or if you want a fridge/freezer for the weekend getaways. They make smaller units, but this is the smallest with a freezer section
  • Command Hooks
    • We have utilized command hooks and strips all over our full-time truck camper. Mini hooks hold in the cargo net for the pots and pans (mentioned below). Large hooks hold the pots and pans themselves. Medium hook holds our lighter and cooking handle grip. We use command strips on the bottom of our kitchen tins. Command hooks are great if you don’t want to put a lot of holes in your rig or if you are just wanting to see how something works in a spot as they can be easily removed.
Bedroom Upgrades
  • Net Nightstand

    • These things are great! They basically have velcro on each side that can attach to a piece of carpet. They are designed to be placed on the back of car seats. I glued and stapled a few strips of velcro to the ceiling over the bed and the pouch will hold Jennifer’s phone and Kindle, along with a few other items.  These come in a 2 pack. I’m still trying to figure out the best spot to put the second one.
  • Cargo Net for the Pots and Pans

    • This is designed for holding down stuff in the bed of a truck or the trunk of an SUV. When we decided to keep our pots and pans under the counter we needed a solution to hold them in place when traveling down bumpy roads. This net has been the perfect solution. I used some mini-command hooks along the edges to hold it in place. I have had to screw the ones in the corners down, but on the whole, the setup works really well and could be removed easily if needed.
  • Queen Bed 6″ Gel-infused Memory Foam Mattress

    • We replaced the old box spring mattress in the camper with this amazing gel-infused memory foam mattress. The Palomino pop-up only allows for about a 6″ mattress. This one is slightly heavier than our old box spring, but not as heavy as I thought it would be. The gel-infusion keeps it cooler than the older memory foam mattresses. It is a stiffer mattress, but I like it that way.

Wrap Up

These are only a few of the products we used to make our full-time truck camper, YOLOM a home. We will be doing more in-depth reviews on some of these DIY projects in the future. If you have any questions or need some advice, leave us a comment below and we will do our best to answer those.

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