Friday, December 8, 2023


OMG! This RV is for camping? Really?

That RV you see right above, guess what it is — motorhome, trailer, fifth wheel?

Nope. None of those. It’s a truck camper! Do you believe it?

This is the 2023 Denali 3S made by Rugged Mountain RV. It has an 80-gallon fresh tank, a 77-gallon gray tank, a 35-gallon black tank, and a 6-gallon water heater. It has three slide-outs, heated floors, solar panels up the wazoo and a king-size bed. Now that’s roughing it, partner!

Let me be honest. This rig is nicer than 90% if the houses and apartments I lived in until I got financially solvent a couple of decades ago. Come on, really? A truck camper? It even has a fireplace in the kitchen’s island. How unbelievably cool is that? Or stupid, depending on your perspective.

Is this “camping”?

Let’s pause and consider the word “camping.” When you camp, isn’t there some degree of “roughing it” involved? I don’t know about you, but if I were traveling in this, I don’t think I could say with a straight face that I was “roughing it.”

This entire camper from front to back is less than 13 feet long. It’s a marvel of engineering if you define “marvel of engineering” as creating a recreational vehicle that tosses in every conceivable human creature comfort onto the back of a pickup truck!

The bad news, though, is there is no dishwasher, washer-dryer, built-in trash compactor, wine cooler or garbage disposal. Watch for those in later models.

Luxury living on the back of a pickup truck

Okay. I am being a smart ass. Maybe just an old fart! I think, yes, this RV is real pretty, and, frankly, I could live in it just fine. But, for weekend camping — getting out in the wilds of America, beneath the pines with the squirrels and black bears — this is like using a AK-47 to hunt for quail.

You can pick up a basic model for about $74,900, or add on a bunch of stuff like in this model and take it home for $125,000.

You can learn more about this luxury RV at Truck Camper Magazine, which is where I discovered it.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Gregory Illes (@guest_227803)
8 months ago

Wood frame. Sheesh.
5500# empty, probably 7500# full, plus passengers another 700#. Wondering what the GVW is on those F550-class trucks, 14,000 maybe? And the truck weighs 7000? The arithmetic is looking bad. I could be wrong…

Left Coast Geek (@guest_227825)
8 months ago
Reply to  Gregory Illes

F450 has a 14500 or so GVWR, F550 is 19500 or so.

James (@guest_228052)
8 months ago

Let’s be real though… anyone buying this is running a serious risk of ending up like the ram 3500 dually that circulated the internet. Cool idea but I don’t think this camper is ready for practical applications.

Gary W. (@guest_227719)
8 months ago

More like a small class C.

Tom E (@guest_227679)
8 months ago

OR OMG – for that price it’s wood framed; not welded aluminum framed. So you buy the flat bottom truck camper for $125,000 plus another $75,000 for the F550/5500 truck, comes to $200,000. OR you purchase a (very well built, welded aluminum frame) well equipped B-plus or small Class C, even a small Class A with slides and lots & lots of elbow room and head room(and no climbing way up into the over-cab bed), and pocket the rest? If you absolutely need AWD, those are now available in conventional Class B/C units. Too much for too little.

Roger V (@guest_227721)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom E

That 550/5500 truck will go places those Class B, C and A owners could only dream about. It’s obviously not intended for sleepy campgrounds.

Duane (@guest_227792)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom E

But, for mobility, you would still have to buy a toad for your state optional units. No way am I going sightseeing in my RV after I set up camp. And, you won’t get any of your options into back-country like the 4wd F-550 dually can. Different equipment for different goals. It is not just about the money, although with toad, you would be spending about the same amount.

Cancelproof (@guest_227796)
8 months ago
Reply to  Duane

Absolutely correct. I love the unit for its tank size and it’s luxury with utility but once I’m set up in camp, I’m not putting away chachkis and moving. A toad would be required and now your in it almost 300 stacks. No question though, it’s got a place and a purpose in a crowded field of competition.

bull (@guest_227663)
8 months ago

Let’s see how long it takes before the frame breaks in half on that overloaded POS!

Lawrence Talbot (@guest_227690)
8 months ago
Reply to  bull

Bull: If you had taken the time to read the linked article you would have seen that it is a unit for a 550/5500 series flatbed (which is what the picture shows). So, no, it is neither overloaded nor a “POS”. The article also explains the reasoning behind using wood framing over aluminum.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_227659)
8 months ago

Wow! I wish my 30′ TT had these tank capacities. Does this ‘camper’ require an F-550 dually to haul it around?
So I followed the link to the “camper magazine” and read the entire article. Yup, you DO need an F-550 “flatbed” truck, which means not a standard pickup bed. It’s all very impressive but, still not for me. I think it’s too big and cumbersome for my taste. However, they ARE doing some impressive stuff.

Neal Davis (@guest_227647)
8 months ago

Perhaps not “camping,” but is a way to “travel.” Our RV is a class A with many residential amenities (washer and dryer, heated floors, and residential refrigerator, but no fireplace). We do not “camp,” rather we “travel” regardless of the setting in which we are parked.

Steve (@guest_227640)
8 months ago

Are a large proportion of the rigs, especially the big ones and the high-end ones, we’re using really “camping?” I don’t think so.

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