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Old 09-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
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1/2 ton 6 cyl

howdy all, I have a 1998 chevy 1/2 ton reg cab long box with a 6 cyl auto trans...I have towed small fith wheels and tag a longs...now I want to try a very light weight pop up truck camper...the tag in my glove box says 1377 lbs payload...good tires with 105s rating...Do you folks think this truck will handle a light weight pop up slide in camper...Feed back please...thanks
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:03 PM   #2
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No.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #3
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Joe thanks for your reply...What makes you say no?
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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I would not put any kind of a camper in a 1/2 ton, just my personal opinion. People do it though and also tow trailer with hondas.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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My very first TC back in the 1970's was an 8 ft hardtop (no bath) that I carried on a half ton. I'll never make that mistake again. That was about as reckless as one can get. Please, for your safety and the safety of others - don't do it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for your replies...and I respect all of your opinions...The newer campers pop up now and that should make a lot of difference in top weight and they are lighter than early on.

Is there anyone out there that has a truck similar to mine with a light weight camper on it...I would like to here from these people also. Thanks
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:17 PM   #7
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[ Moderator edit ]Most truck campers weigh around 3,000 lbs. and many are over 4,000 lbs. in weight but there are also many lightweight campers that weigh around 1,000 lbs. though this is not a good forum for information on these. There are offroad and 4WD oriented forums where you will get useful information from people who actually have experience and know what they are talking about.

I have driven more than 100,000 miles with a hard sided Six Pac camper on 4WD Toyota mini trucks all over the western states with no problems, thought the Toyota trucks are unusually well built and actually designed for offroad use.

The load rating for a truck is calculated based on the truck's setup as it leaves the factory. It is affected by the passenger capacity of the truck as the truck companies subtract 150 lbs. per passenger seat from the load capacity. The next factor is the tires and the load rating on "truck" tires can be anywhere from D rated to H rated and load capacities from 1500 lbs. per tire up to 4800 lbs. per tire.

CAT scales are your friend. For $10 you can weigh your truck and know exactly how much weight is on the front and rear axle. Add the maximum load rating for your two rear tires and subtract the weight for the rear axle from the CAT scale and you have your truck's current payload capacity. If the capacity is too low for your planned camper you can change out the tires for ones with a higher load rating.

If the truck sags with the camper in the bed you can add helper springs or SuperSprings to help the truck's stock springs support the load. At the same time it is a good idea to replace the shocks with heavy duty ones like the Bilstein 4600 or 5100 shocks. The shocks on most trucks on the road are not working properly but too many people wait until they start leaking or fail completely before replacing them.

On my Toyota trucks the shocks needed to be replaced at 60,000 miles as they were not providing adequate dampening. On my GM trucks the shocks lasted less than 30,000 miles and tires are too expensive to have to replace them prematurely with cupping problems from poor shocks.

Plan on weighing your truck after you get the camper in the bed and again after you have it loaded for a trip. Often the camper manufacturers will not include items like a battery or a roof rack in their published weights and a 900 lb. camper can easily become a 1400 lb. load in the bed of the truck.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:48 PM   #8
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for the edit moderator; it was definitely needed.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:57 PM   #9
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I had a lightweight pop-up TC on a 1500 Dodge. The camper had no waste tanks, manual jacks, no AC, no bathroom, no oven, no water heater, etc. Basically, about as stripped down as you can get.
Hauling it on my 1500 Dodge put the rig at 7,000 pounds. This is 600 pounds over the truck's GVWR. This was with no other passengers in the truck.
Basically, I don't see you finding a camper that the truck can safely haul. If you do it will have to have no amenities, you will have to pack extremely light, and take no passengers. If this seems acceptable, fine. For me it wasn't. I know have a hard-side camper on a dually.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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There are two approaches, buy a 1-ton dually and put anything on it or get a lightweight hard sided or a popup and put it on a 1/2 ton SRW truck and go places where you will never see the dually trucks or motorhomes for that matter.

There are several manufacturers of high quality popup campers that can handle even offroad and trail abuse. These have been around for decades so it is easy to find forums where people have actual experience instead of biased opinions.

I found even a spartan camper was still a big improvment over having to pitch a tent and sleep on the ground. It may be considered a hardship for people who want all the comforts of home when they go "camping" but to each his own.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:21 AM   #11
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I have a 1997 dodge ram 2dr 1/2 ton.with a 2001 northstar laredo. I put airbgs on rear and rear swaybar with e rated tires with a 5.9 motor auto. Handle well
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:25 AM   #12
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You can put a truck camper on a 1/2 ton . but i would recamend puting in rear air
bags & rear swaybar. And upgrade your tires . i think its cheaper than buying a bigger truck. Thats depends how big yoir camper is. I can handel up to 1600 lbs dry.
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwinch53 View Post
howdy all, I have a 1998 chevy 1/2 ton reg cab long box with a 6 cyl auto trans...I have towed small fith wheels and tag a longs...now I want to try a very light weight pop up truck camper...the tag in my glove box says 1377 lbs payload...good tires with 105s rating...Do you folks think this truck will handle a light weight pop up slide in camper...Feed back please...thanks
You should be able to find a (pop-up) truck camper that weighs under 1000# if you wanted. No?

FLEET POP-UP (REGULAR 6' BED) - Four Wheel Campers | Low Profile, Light Weight, Pop-up Truck Campers
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:32 PM   #14
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I had a pop-up camper in a Dodge RAM 2500 short bed with camper package. I found that the camper when loaded up to go camping was way over the dry weight. You also need to add passengers, fuel, and any gear inside the truck to the total weight. I can just about guarantee you will be well in excess of the truck's capacity rating, and handling will be very poor. I would not recommend it myself, but have seen it done. If you do go this way, get lightest pop-up you can find (forget any unit with toilet - they are all too heavy).
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