As you all know, I’m a fan of older campers. I always thought that “Caveman” was a curious choice for a pickup camper. I guess it was targeted to bachelors? Can’t imagine it being very woman-friendly, but what do I know?
It might take a taller than average man cave to store this one in.
We had a 8 foot Dreamer when I was a kid. Brand new 1967 Ford F250 Camper Special. 352 4 speed. First trip was mom and dad plus 4 kids (16,13,12 & 5). Minnesota to Yellowstone via The Black Hills. Two weeks. Most memorable moment? We were stopped in traffic in Yellowstone, my little 5 year old brother was in the back with me and my sister. He decided he wanted to ride up front in the truck. He opened the door and was about to step out onto the tailgate when he noticed the black bear leaning against the tailgate! I don’t recall much from these trips, These trips happened every August, I did 4 of these trips, 1967-1970. All out west, I didn’t realize it at the time but this cemented my love of road trips, especially out west in the mountains. My older bother was only on the first trip. I imagine it was a bit of a hassle camping with all these kids, ice box, not a fridge. Three meals a day for 5 or 6 people. No bathroom. My dad would eventually move to a 5th wheel trailer in the early ’70’s, he was a truck driver so this was a natural for him. He did manage to get to all 49 states, had to settle for driving to California and then catching a plane to Hawaii. Took the ferry both ways to Alaska. The 67 F250 and camper are still in the family.
Caveman Campers were made in Grants Pass, Oregon. The mascot of the local high school, and by extension the entire small town is a caveman.
Old GMC still trucking about. Reminds of the popemobile in this colour with the tall camper.
Looks like the base model, somewhere between 85-87. What’s the odds it has the 250 or 292 strait 6 with 3 on the tree?
Happy Canada Day/4th of July weekend to many of you out there!
Yep. The grille (if original/correct) would make it a 1985-87. I’m going to guess 4.3V6 or 305 if it’s got US 49 state emissions, probably with TH400, or maybe SM465 4-speed. The 3-speed column shift was available through 1987, but I have only encountered a few so equipped.
In these years, the 292 was only available with higher GVW trucks… pretty much anything that came with 8 lug wheels. The 250 and TH 350 were put out to pasture after 1984, so the TH400 became the base automatic, and the base engine was now a 4bbl 4.3. The 4bbl 305 was pretty much the only gasoline V8 available in “1/2 tons” (save for California) in 1985-86, with the “vee” engines picking up TBI fuel injection for 1987, and the 350 becoming somewhat more broadly available again.
I think these are commonly referred to as a ‘slide-in’, with one of the earliest (and most famous) being the one used by John Steinbeck when he wrote one of his few non-fictions works, ‘Travels with Charley’.
Stenbeck’s truck was a 1960 GMC 3/4 ton with the somewhat unusual big V6 truck engine GMC had for a short time. As an early model, the camper didn’t even have the now ubiquitous compartment over the cab.
Slide-in was the terminology used a lot at the time. Our camper was a Dreamer brand. It did not have the usual 4 camper jacks, one on each corner. It came with two jacks, one for each side that had to be placed at the center of gravity/balance of the camper. It used ratcheting cable winches to lift the camper of the ground and high enough to back the pickup box under the camper. There was less then an inch clearance between the wheel wells in the box and the camper body. You needed a level spot, minimal wind and really good spotters to get the truck lined up and slid under the camper. The last little bit of jiggling was getting the four 1/2″ bolts dropped thru the floor of the camper and thru the holes in the floor of the pickup box lined up to secure the camper to the truck.
The camper was installed in the spring and didn’t come off until the fall hunting season was closed. I attached a picture of the jacks we used, that setup always made me nervous.
I have a ’94 Four Wheel camper on the 2000 Chevy pickup. I do use those jacks to put it on and take it off a couple of times a year. It came with hydraulic corner jacks that now need rebuilding and make the rig subject to damage going off road.
Is this the exact same camper that the Wonders’ original agent drove in “That Thing You Do”?