Notices

Truck Camper questions

Old 05-01-2020, 09:09 AM
  #1  
Admirals ClubCaptains Club Member Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lighthouse Point
Posts: 5,473
Received 1,095 Likes on 713 Posts
Default Truck Camper questions

Is the camper fully contained? That is aside from fastening to truck are there other connections you need to make?
If I wanted to keep it say in a storage place how the heck do you get it on/off the truck?
How much do you need to do to the truck to make it camper ready? New shocks? Other suspension things, brakes?
I am contemplating getting one as a hurricane escape vehicle and for occasional recreational use.
Was thinking about a sprinter like the airstream one but for only occasional use it seems a truck might be better.
Old 05-01-2020, 09:22 AM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: st augustine fl
Posts: 7,795
Likes: 0
Received 769 Likes on 417 Posts
Default

Fully self contained, some have electrical connection for lights, most are really heavy, expensive, and tiny square footage, legs fold down to support it to remove from truck, advantage is that you can still tow a boat etc....took hard look at them, decided to build camper from utility trailer for 1/4 the cost...
Old 05-01-2020, 09:29 AM
  #3  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Posts: 601
Received 480 Likes on 247 Posts
Default

What size truck to you have? they have light weight brands (Travelite, Palomino, etc.) and heavy brands (Lance, Artic Fox, etc.). You need 3/4 ton and up for the heavies, or add air shocks/suspension. I have a 3/4 ton Duramax diesel and a 2500 lb Lance. It handles well with no mods to the truck other than adding StableLoad suspension helpers. Just bolts onto your existing springs to help engange the helper sooner. Truck campers have 4 jack stands, one on each corner. Either manual or electric. I have manual and use a cordless drill attachment to raise/lower the jacks. Simply jack up, drive under, jack down on truck and vice versa. I can load in about 30 min. including tying it down. The camper plugs into the truck wiring harness which you'd use for a trailer. Or you can add one at the front of the bed like I did. Keeps battery charged while on truck. To fasten to the truck, you need GOOD tie downs. I recommend Torklift.

https://www.torklift.com/

You can get the StableLoad, tie downs and any other gadgets you need cheaper here:

https://tweetys.com/

Old 05-01-2020, 09:42 AM
  #4  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Charleston, SC, USA!
Posts: 2,285
Received 91 Likes on 68 Posts
Default

I'm on my second Lance, short bed, no slides. They're small, totally self contained with generator for large loads. If you're not running large loads (A/C, microwave), and have good solar and batteries, they can last a long time. Everything's a trade-off. I went from 3/4T to 1T for the current camper so the truck is a major consideration and expense. If you go TC, and start off with a LB dually, there will be more camper options.
Old 05-01-2020, 11:48 AM
  #5  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RI
Posts: 1,552
Received 707 Likes on 376 Posts
Default

Love our TC-makes travel so easy. Great idea to use as a hurricane escape pod. Ours has a slide and is quite roomy/comfortable. We have an Airstream also-I prefer the TC! My buddy has a Sprinter-which is also nice, but if you already have a truck...


Old 05-01-2020, 01:40 PM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: st augustine fl
Posts: 7,795
Likes: 0
Received 769 Likes on 417 Posts
Default

Looks tippy
Old 05-01-2020, 01:48 PM
  #7  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: buzzards bay,ma.
Posts: 3,913
Received 486 Likes on 266 Posts
Default



It’s not for everyone but it is for us. This is our second Northstar. The versatility cannot be beat.
Old 05-01-2020, 02:19 PM
  #8  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 26
Received 133 Likes on 51 Posts
Default

I used to have a palomino pop-up TC on a '99 F150, way overloaded...It only had 3 jacks so not real stable without lowering all the way down to sit on jack stands. It took about an hour with a drill to load or unload in the truck. If camping for several days no big deal, weekend trip kinda sucked.
It was much better than a tent and made it so I could hitch the boat up but if you don't take it off the truck you have to break camp every time to load/unload the boat or go somewhere. I'll likely get another someday but it will have power jacks and the proper truck underneath it.
Old 05-01-2020, 02:24 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NJ & MV
Posts: 4,038
Likes: 0
Received 2,019 Likes on 1,095 Posts
Default


Another idea in line with the Sprinter idea...and far more stealthy..
Old 05-01-2020, 02:56 PM
  #10  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Elizabeth City NC
Posts: 9,827
Received 407 Likes on 265 Posts
Default








I have the lance 1191. It is heavy but I have a dulley with air bags. Thats all I needed. Tow a 32 foot race trailer behind it now one in the picture was a 30 foot but that camper was a 10 foot. had a 24 inch extention. With the 1191 I have to used a dolley but still pull the 24 foot ocean boat and the 32 foot trailer.
keeping them at storage not so good a idea. I jack the legs up pull out from under it then let it down on two saw horses and take most of the weight off the legs. Has be steady as a rock behind my house doing that.

Truck camper is the way to go. your limited in space but if its just you and mama what the hell more do you need. I took the dinnette out added a electric lounge chair, surround sound and a 19 inch TV. I have the 12V TV on that came with the camper on the boat now. LOL I'll see if I can find some photos of the lounge. lol
Old 05-01-2020, 03:14 PM
  #11  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,604
Received 154 Likes on 93 Posts
Default

You don’t necessarily need a 3/4 or a 1 T to haul a camper. I’ve had them on Toyota Tacomas, First Gen Tundras, Second Gen Tundras and now on a XD Titan. I graduated from aluminum camper 101— I won’t go near them. What I do is...... I watch Craigslist like a hawk for one Of these two camper brands:

Northern Lite or BIgFoot.

Anything else makes me run for the exit. Roger on the Torklift tie-downs. Roger on the air bags. Both recommendations are good advice. Generator? Never used one, never needed one. If one shows up on a rig while I’m camping I’ll go find another place to camp, though I understand why peeps use them when they get the 10 foot + campers that gobble lots of juice.

The camper in the above pics weighs 1,800 lbs—-plenty of room inside... toilet, shower, refrigerator, can sleep 4 if you’re not heavy on bringing toys.

The fiberglass makes it 100% watertight and insulates for winter camping.

The only problem with those two brands—-when they come up used there’s 10 peeps standing in line with their wallets in hand






Last edited by marketic; 05-01-2020 at 03:20 PM.
Old 05-02-2020, 04:47 AM
  #12  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Elizabeth City NC
Posts: 9,827
Received 407 Likes on 265 Posts
Default



Here ya go... Thats inside the lance 1191. I got creative got rid of the dinette made my own room. Mounted a bigger TV on the closet door added a total surround sound to it. More than enough room for two in there. Again, truck campers can go anywhere, park anywhere I have yet to pay one place to stay over night. At Hatteras I use to pay the marina for using the loading ramp the night before they would allow me to stay in the over flow parking lot. GF love camping we will be using some camp places she has been to before but she knows its her dime. I'm a trucker, I can find a place to park..................free. LOL

Last edited by liveaboard74; 05-02-2020 at 05:01 AM.
Old 05-02-2020, 04:57 AM
  #13  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Elizabeth City NC
Posts: 9,827
Received 407 Likes on 265 Posts
Default





With the long lance on there I have to use a 48" extention hitch. To long to hook up anything over 600 pounds tongue weight so I run a trailer toad. AKA dolley. hitch will handle 12000 pulling just can't have any weight pushing down. Dolly solves that issue.
That way I can pull the boat, motorcycle trailer and race trailer with the big lance on it. Anything is possable if you want to make things work and a truck camper is the most versatile way to go.

Last edited by liveaboard74; 05-02-2020 at 05:03 AM.
Old 05-02-2020, 05:16 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Near Wheeling W.V.
Posts: 944
Received 574 Likes on 295 Posts
Default

I also enjoyed utilizing a truck camper for a few years. For my needs though I actually used it in two different fashions. If I were just leaving home and going on a drivabout without any point destination I simply load it into the truck bed and go. If I were going to a point destination where I'd be setting up and staying for a while, I'd load the camper into a utility trailer and pull it to the destination. Then the truck was free to utilize for errands as needed while at the destination. The one other nice thing was the fact that the utility trailer also allowed me to pack along some firewood nice evening fires.
Old 05-02-2020, 07:10 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ojai, Ca
Posts: 3,606
Likes: 0
Received 451 Likes on 284 Posts
Default

If you want a truck to put a camper on, make sure it's a 3500 long bed, many more camper choices and the extra 1.5' of truck bed does not get in the way
Old 05-02-2020, 01:57 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,437
Received 307 Likes on 244 Posts
Default

We RVers often run into people online that are who we like to call The Weight Police.

They are completely versed on the door stickers on pickup trucks that have the different weights listed. And they make sure anyone that is towing any load doesn't exceed the maximum factory published weights for the amounts put in the pickup bed, on the bumper hitch on the kingpin if it's a fifth wheel and the total maximum amount towed.

I hope you guys with all these mega loads don't run into The Weight Police.

All I know is that 3/4 ton trucks are bastard vehicles in that they seldom are rated for more than 2500 lbs. in the bed. And they are not rated to tow a full size fifth wheel trailer orr toy hauler fifth wheel because they far exceed the capabilities of a 3/4 ton. That's when you get into dually territory.

I had to stick with a mid size fifth wheel trailer weighing 11K lbs. dry with a 2K lbs. kingpin weight. My truck can only tow 13,200, and that's more than most newer 3/4 ton trucks. With my "stuff" in the trailer, I'm completely max'd out.my F250 crew cab diesel truck.

The penalty for exceeding weight capabilities comes when there is an accident. Insurance companies are known to refuse to pay. And often people that are injured are litigious.
Old 05-02-2020, 04:42 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N E Florida
Posts: 1,634
Likes: 0
Received 282 Likes on 170 Posts
Default

I bought a Pop Up in 2008 and wasn't happy with it so I sold it.
Dry weight was 1000 lbs but the wind resistance was horrible!
My 5.3 pulls my boat or my 16' trailer with 6000 lbs on it great, but with the TC it was downshifting on flat interstate overpasses.
I have owned over a dozen Class A's and C's so I guess I am spoiled.

With top down

Top Up
Old 05-02-2020, 09:33 PM
  #18  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,604
Received 154 Likes on 93 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
We RVers often run into people online that are who we like to call The Weight Police.

They are completely versed on the door stickers on pickup trucks that have the different weights listed. And they make sure anyone that is towing any load doesn't exceed the maximum factory published weights for the amounts put in the pickup bed, on the bumper hitch on the kingpin if it's a fifth wheel and the total maximum amount towed.

I hope you guys with all these mega loads don't run into The Weight Police.

All I know is that 3/4 ton trucks are bastard vehicles in that they seldom are rated for more than 2500 lbs. in the bed. And they are not rated to tow a full size fifth wheel trailer orr toy hauler fifth wheel because they far exceed the capabilities of a 3/4 ton. That's when you get into dually territory.

I had to stick with a mid size fifth wheel trailer weighing 11K lbs. dry with a 2K lbs. kingpin weight. My truck can only tow 13,200, and that's more than most newer 3/4 ton trucks. With my "stuff" in the trailer, I'm completely max'd out.my F250 crew cab diesel truck.

The penalty for exceeding weight capabilities comes when there is an accident. Insurance companies are known to refuse to pay. And often people that are injured are litigious.
That right there is why I sold my Tundra.

Yes, I ran into the “weight police” on RV forums when I mentioned I had 2,000 lbs of camper on a truck rated for 1,700 at best. But what made me sell it and step up for a truck with a true 2,000 lbs payload was the thought of a civil lawsuit if I got in an accident
Old 05-03-2020, 04:23 AM
  #19  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Elizabeth City NC
Posts: 9,827
Received 407 Likes on 265 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by 805gregg View Post
If you want a truck to put a camper on, make sure it's a 3500 long bed, many more camper choices and the extra 1.5' of truck bed does not get in the way
And get a dulley. Tons of folks with the 4 wheel trucks with campers on the rear but once you see how much of a different world it opens up everyone wants to go bigger.
Bamaman mentioned weight and weight police. Once you get the tags on your set up that covers your weight no one will bother you but two things are reality and need to be addressed.
One is if you get in a wreck.
Two is insurance.

Both of those above will kick your ass if they happen. If your over loaded get in a wreck the other party is going to get a lawyer on the spot .If your over the legal limit your in one hell of a lot of trouble. Insurance will not cover you if they find out your heavy. No matter if you have paid or not. They have that option to ease out of it if you were doing something illegal. Those are two reality issues you need to think about. I'm over weigh but have 6 tires. If I blow a tire at 70 mph i'm not going to wreck. Also dulleys are way more stable with weight on them.

Second flat tire. You lost a rear on a 4 wheel truck your going to sweat. LOL I have to pick the camper up off the bed to get the spair tire out. YEP, its a PITA but you have one more tire you can limp along to a place you get get it fixed. Had that happen to me on a sunday. Went fishing in VA came back had a flat, maked it 6 miles to about the only place I could find that was still open. Don't think AAA or your virizon on road repair is going to do all that with a camper on the ass. LOL SEcond if you do have a flat with a camper that is hanging off the rear, usually 9 foot or longer with a single tire rear i'm not sure how your going to get the camper off the bed with it tilted down sideways. That will be a adventure.
They come out change the flat, not change the physics of the truck. LOL

Love my toys, I run the camper off the generator in the front of the truck . Makes life easier to me and quite as a mouse inside the camper.

Just remember those two things above with truck camper. Am I heavy O hell ya but I don't have to worry about ending up , upside down in a ditch if a tire blows in the rear. You have very little weight differenc on the front when adding a camper. I"m 14000 pounds just the truck and camper. All that weigh I only added 480 pounds to the front tires. Still they are the coolest way to travel. You carry your home on your back, and there is no where I can't go where your limited pulling a tag trailer or camper. All about choices and if you are thinking about a slide in go ahead and get the dulley. Once you drive one and see how stable they are you won't want anything else anyway. Lot of ways to make a duelly ride like a 4 tire truck to. mine does. .

Last edited by liveaboard74; 05-03-2020 at 04:29 AM.
Old 05-03-2020, 04:35 AM
  #20  
Admirals ClubCaptains Club Member Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lighthouse Point
Posts: 5,473
Received 1,095 Likes on 713 Posts
Default

Lot of useful information. But if I have to buy a new 3500 duelly and a camper if I can talk my wife into it I am leaning to Sprinter. I hear Tiffen is a good one.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.