The Camper that Started it All


Click the Image for Full-Size

They say all great things are inspired by something that was even greater than themselves. The same is true for my concept of Truck Topper Campers, it too was inspired by something greater that existed before my time. Back in the year 1965 there existed a company by the name of Downey Steel. Amongst their many products they created one unique item that caught my eye the moment I saw it. This product was the "Downey Pullman Camper."

Click the Image for Full-Size I am thankful that Frank_EP on the RV.Net truck camper forum posted his pictures of this rig and that he allowed me to repost them here on my website. His "Antique Camper" was a great inspiration to me when I built my own version of it in the "Pullman Camper Project" section of the site.

Frank's combo was a 1965 GMC 3/4 Ton V6 with the 1965 Downey Pullman Deluxe Slide Roof on the back.

Click the Image for Full-Size Some of the features that I liked in the Pullman Click the Image for Full-Size was the cabinets by the rear end of the camper, allowing access to them while outside of the truck. In the original Pullman, it also had a cooler on the driver's side by the tailgate, making access to your chilled food fairly easy. Besides the rear cabinets you also have overhead cabinets running along both sides of the camper, giving you even more space for your belongings, while leaving room for the folding bed that made into a bench seat.

Click the Image for Full-Size One of the major things that made the Pullman facinating was the slide roof on it. This extra roof would slide out over the back of the truck and allowed for a canvas wall to be added, giving you a nice enclosed area for an outdoor shower.

Click the Image for Full-Size This combined with the big swinging backdoor/cabinet, you had a full campsite ready to go in just a few minutes after arrival, making preparation for meals or doing personal hygiene fairly quick and easy. One thing I get a kick out of is in the right picture, the hand cranked can-opener that swings out of the inside of the door cabinet.

Its amazing to look back at how things were built back in the 1960s and on, as there was a lot of smart inovation out there if you knew where to look. Thank goodness for the Pullman, what an inspiration it is!