What it’s Like Overlanding Baja in a Truck Camper

Overlanding Baja in a Truck Camper is an account of the author’s first overlanding trip to Mexico. He shares his feelings about the experience, what he learned, and how he felt traveling on the open road.

The overland truck campers are a type of camper that can be towed behind a pickup truck. This is the best way to travel in Mexico, as it’s cheaper than renting a car and you can still drive around.

You may have seen him on the big screen in War of the Worlds, starring Tom Cruise, or on television in Shameless. Justin Chatwin, on the other hand, prefers camping and dirt riding over the glitter and glamour of Los Angeles in his spare time.

Chatwin slept in a pickup truck camper shell for a while before realizing he needed something a bit more comfy for his backroads excursions.

“I was looking for a refrigerator. I’d had enough of receiving ice every other day or two. “I wanted water and a more comfortable bed,” Chatwin said. “I was browsing through Instagram one day when I came across Bound for Nowhere’s truck camper by Four Wheel Campers, and it looked so amazing, I became obsessed.”

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He couldn’t stop browsing at truck campers on the internet and on the road, so he decided to purchase The Raven, a Four Wheel camper.

“I have a Toyota Tundra that was already equipped with suspension, wheels, and a light bar, and I wanted something that I could simply throw on my truck,” Chatwin said.

Overlanding in a Truck Camper in Baja

Chatwin and his fiancée took their first vacation in his new truck camper to Baja, California. The two spent six months visiting the Baja peninsula’s bays, beaches, mountains, cities, and missions.

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Chatwin remarked, “I’ve been traveling to Mexico for years.” “11 years ago, I rode my Harley to La Ventana. I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico, and it’s completely won my heart as one of my favorite places.”

To locate the most isolated campgrounds, the pair utilized the iOverlander boondocking app and sailing guidebook. 

Chatwin said, “I had maybe 12 locations on the map that I’d never gone to, like very isolated beaches and tiny peninsulas.” “I traveled to places where I intended to sail but instead drove there in my vehicle. Some others stayed for a few weeks, but we typically just stayed for 5-6 days.”

They often slept on private land, spending $2-$10 each night to park in beautiful locations. Fresh fish, fresh shrimp, and even kayak rentals would be offered by locals. 

“The natives are quite knowledgeable about what gringos want and why they are there. They aren’t selling silver bracelets anymore; instead, they are approaching us with an understanding of what we are there to experience,” Chatwin said.

His Favorite Overlanding Locations in Baja

Chatwin has observed a significant change in his years of touring Baja. There are now people where there was previously total seclusion.

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“We used to take our bikes out to Bay of Conception and stay at El Coyote since we were the only ones there.” It’s now very crowded – there was a traffic congestion down there,” Chatwin said. “I was disappointed. But I was also encouraged by the fact that people were getting out there and doing new things. And tourism benefits both the Mexican economy and the Mexican people, which is a good thing.”

He won’t identify a single beautiful beach that was 90 minutes away from the main highway and accessible only by a dusty dirt road. It necessitated the use of 4WD and the crossing of a farmer’s private property. 

The pair went paddleboarding, visited a nearby farm to buy fresh goat cheese and veggies, and rested in the peace and quiet. “Only two vans and a couple Four Wheel campers were there,” Chatwin stated.

He claims that due to applications like iOverlander, where you can see photos and read evaluations of the route before choosing a campground, everything has gotten lot simpler. 

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“Let’s walk down this road and see where it leads to let’s get on this app and see what’s accessible in this region,” says the adventurer. It opens up a lot more possibilities for first-time overlanders, and it gives them the confidence to go down that path. Many of the locations we visited had a lot of people out exploring, which was inspiring,” Chatwin added.

If you wish to go overlanding in Baja, he suggests based yourself in Loreto. 

Chatwin remarked, “It’s a fantastic center for a lot of interesting places.” “Plus, you can get on a plane and be in Los Angeles in about an hour and a half.”

Why Justin isn’t cut out for full-time overlanding

Chatwin decided that living full time in a truck camper wasn’t for him while on his epic pop up truck camper trip in Baja. He yearned for greater belonging, security, and meaning in his life. He said, “If I don’t have someplace to put my compass, I simply wind myself spinning in circles, thinking ‘what’s the purpose of all this traveling?’”

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Rather of taking his truck camper to mainland Mexico, he chose to purchase a home in La Ventana, a popular winter destination for kitesurfing and other wind sports. However, during the summer, La Ventana is too hot, so he’s renting a home in White Salmon, Washington, for the hottest months and the northern kiting season.

In November, the pair will travel to Baja, dividing their time between their house in La Ventana and truck camping. Chatwin is considering driving to Chiapas or Guatemala. 

It’s wonderful to be a part of the Four Wheel truck campers group, he added.

“On our way there, we’ll simply run into other Four Wheel campers, and they’ll offer me ideas on how to install other pieces of equipment or various camper hacks,” Chatwin said. “They’ll also inform me where the finest camping spots are. It’s a fascinating subculture, and it’s prompted me to reactivate my Facebook account in order to interact with these campers.”

The advantages of a four-wheel-drive truck camper

While some people prefer living in a van, Chatwin believes that a truck camper is the ideal off-road setup for his camping style.

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Here are a few of the reasons he loves his Raven truck camper:

It can go over tougher terrain than a vehicle.

In approximately an hour, he can tow the camper away and utilize the truck for other adventures or as a regular vehicle.

The camper is a pop-up camper, so it’s low to the ground and doesn’t create any wind resistance.

Chatwin has the ability to stack a lot of stuff on top of the camper. On his Raven camper, Four Wheel Campers added additional heavy-duty struts so he could add a Yakima cargo box on top, which stores kitesurfing gear and wetsuits. He can even attach a kiteboard to it and transport an e-bike in the rear of the truck.

He also enjoys the subculture of individuals who own Four Wheel Truck campers, as previously stated. “Those that live on the road are the most skilled, knowledgeable technicians and survivalists. “There’s a subculture community out there that helps each other,” he said.

Chatwin will next work on a film in New Orleans before returning to the Pacific Northwest for the summer, when he will kite in the Hood River region and go camping in his Raven camper.

Life is unquestionably an adventure, and Chatwin is seizing it by the horns. 

Other tales about truck camping include:

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Kristin Hanes is a journalist who started The Wayward Home as a resource for those interested in alternative lifestyles. She now lives on a yacht and in a Chevy Astro van, and has written pieces for Good Housekeeping, Business Insider, Marie Claire, and SF Gate on alternative living. Here’s where you can learn more about Kristin.

Overlanding is an adventure that can take you to some amazing places. If you want to experience the outdoors in a different way, consider overlanding. Reference: 4×4 overland truck camper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you stealth camp in a truck camper?

It is possible to stealth camp in a truck camper, but it would be very difficult and dangerous.

How long can you Boondock in a truck camper?

It depends on the size of your truck and how youre setting up your camper. Some people can spend a few days, while others might only be able to stay for a few hours.

What is the lightest long bed truck camper?

The lightest long bed truck camper is the Diamondback Overland.

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