The Power to Sleep, Stay Warm and Make Coffee … All in a Pickup Truck Camper ShellDeutsch's Truck
“I have what I like to think of as a “hunting honey hole” that’s been a secret of mine for years. Each hunting season I drive my Chevy pickup out to this spot and hunt the surrounding lands, never seeing another hunter. This past season I was determined to make life in the back of my pickup truck for two nights more comfortable. For me, this meant having a power inverter to run a few electronics.”
For the first seven or eight years of hunting this spot, I only went out for the day and drove back home. Then, about two years ago now, I started staying one night in the back of my truck, packing blankets and a sleeping bag to try and stay warm. Two years ago I stayed for multiple nights for the first time ever. I was able to come home with enough chukar to stock the freezer, which made my wife happy because these little birds are delicious in the crockpot. So, this past season I was committed to staying multiple nights, but I was unwilling to put up with sleeping in the cold, uncomfortable nights in the truck bed and really roughing it.
When I started shopping for some “comfort” items to make the trip more enjoyable, I started first with an airbed that fit my truck bed. Then, I went for an electric heater. I thought I was set … then I considered how nice it would be to wake up to hot coffee to take on my hunt. With those three items—an airbed, a space heater and a coffee pot—I was set. I looked at battery-operated options, but they fell short—especially in the areas of heaters and coffee pots. When I considered electric options, I first ruled out the idea of my power source being a gas generator. Not only would it be a pain to lug in, but the noise and smell would tell ever chukar in the area that I was here to hunt them and put them in a crock pot. I thought a power inverter to convert battery power to AC power was going to be outrageous; boy was I pleasantly surprised.
I bought a modified sine wave power inverter and a deep cycle battery for under $300, which was a great investment because they both had warranties that guaranteed I’d get a long life from them. I could have gotten by without buying a battery specific for my electronic needs and just used my truck’s battery, but I didn’t like the possibility of falling asleep with the heater on and draining the battery. Plus, the salesperson I talked to warned me against draining my car battery time and time again, as I would significantly reduce its lifespan. Therefore, I just felt better having a battery dedicated to my power needs and leave my car battery to only making sure my truck started when it was time to leave.
This setup was so great I even stayed a third night this past season. I was comfortable in my truck bed for the first time; I had heat, and I woke up knowing I had the ability to make hot coffee. I was set. The chukar count may have been a low one this year, but I had a much more enjoyable experience out in the nature this time around. I think next season I’m bringing a hot plate so I can wake up to coffee and bacon!