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Old 04-20-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
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Basic info on truck campers

I have a grandson who is working construction in Florida and the company he is with does jobs all over the U.S. I mentioned to him that he might want to look into a truck camper instead of renting motel rooms when he works on out-of-town jobs. He is single and doesn't need anything very large, just the basics. The problem is, I know NOTHING about truck campers!

Do all truck campers require a 3/4 ton or larger truck?

What length bed is required?

Does the truck have to have special overload springs?

I don't know enough to know what other questions to ask!

Any advice will be appreciated!
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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3/4 ton minimum.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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Heavy campers with two slide outs, such as Lance 992: 1 ton dually truck.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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Having worked in the field and living out of a suitcase, i can tell you a hotel room is much much better. Especially when you pick up a local date. You can also do your laundry, swim, and relax. With a truck camper, you'll spend almost as much on generator fuel to as a cheap motel room and RV parks are only slightly cheaper than a cheap motel room. You can usually negotiate rates at both for extended stays.

The only way i can see a truck camper being better is if he's constantly on the move(on the road like a traveling delivery service). Or if his construction company isn't paying for the motel room, but they usually do. So for him a motel is free. Also sometimes in areas there are no hotel rooms available anywhere in town, i've been in this situation where we had to put 6 guys to a room one time, usually we all get our own room.

As for truck campers, they make some that will work on only the newest half ton trucks which have heavy payload ratings. Check your ratings, but a CAMPLITE and Lance 825 will work on new half tons.

For his type of situation if his construction company wasn't paying for his motel/hotel room. Than i would buy a cheap travel trailer and lug that from jobsite to jobsite. You'll have about as much room as a motel room, it's a lot more comfortable and they are usually cheaper. He can also throw a generator with a large 20 gallon fuel tank into the bed of his pickup.

Figure cost of about $10-30 per night at an RV park, an average of $40-$55 per night at a motel room negotiated.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
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Also consider that, if he's using the truck to commute to and from the jobsites, he'll be lugging his house on the back. That means unhooking every morning and hooking back up every evening if he's using full hookups in an RV park. (Many RV parks won't let him unload the TC and leave it on jacks.)

If it were me, I'd go for the TT or small 5th wheel where I could park it, leave it set up and have it waiting for me with the A/C (or heat) running when I get off work, and I would have the truck free to use without the TC in the bed for commuting, etc.

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Old 05-02-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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Believe me: You don't want to unload and load a camper like a Lance 992 every time you arrive or leave a campsite......

For construction workers I suggest a Northern Lite camper.
That's what I would use.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Believe me: You don't want to unload and load a camper like a Lance 992 every time you arrive or leave a campsite.
Funny you should mention that because that's exactly what I plan to do with mine. When I check into a campground, I'll unload the camper and then be able to launch and pick up my boat every day without having to break camp twice a day. I'm guessing its going to be about a 5 to 10 minute job both ways once I get the hang of it. In fact, that's one of the reasons I went from a 30 foot Class C to a TC. It was a very large pain in the rear to break camp and reset every day while fishing. The other reason to switch was the fact that I can use the TC in just about any Federal or State part out there and not have to worry about being too long to get into a space.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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It's going to take more than 10 minutes!

Let me know how you make out. :-)
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
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It's not a bad idea. I would rather sleep in my own bed than someone else's. Once a week or so get a motel room . But for $55?
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:16 AM   #10
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It's going to take more than 10 minutes!

Let me know how you make out. :-)
Yep, Paoli, you're correct; it does take more than 10 minutes. I haven't actually timed it but would guess the unloading (unhook tie downs, raise camper, move truck out, lower camper, & extend slides) takes 15 to 20. Loading it back up (retract slides, raise camper, move truck in, lower camper, hook up tie downs) takes about 5 to 10 minutes longer. If I'm there for 3 nights or more, the camper comes off.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:26 AM   #11
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We had a short bed extended cab 3/4 ton truck and I hated driving it with the camper on. If I were to ever go back to a TC I would do no less than a 1T dually.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:12 PM   #12
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For pretty much any side in camper of any size, I'd want a 1 ton dually. For his use, a TT or small 5er would probably work best.

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Old 07-07-2013, 06:55 PM   #13
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A good travel trailer can be bought for $2000 and later resold for $1500 for a net cost of $500 plus the nightly fee at an RV park of $30 or so. Many places have weekly and monthly rates at a steep discount. A 20' trailer will provide twice the usable space of a 20' slide-in camper and can be towed with almost anything, even a medium sized SUV.

A trailer will also have a dry bath with its own shower though the RV park shower will probably be good enough. Add a cheap microwave and TV set (most parks provide cable as part of the deal) and he will be set. $900 a month is less than the cost of a hotel room.

Cheapest would be to rent a room in a house in the area and have the use of the bathroom and the kitchen.

Campers are cramped for extended use and not terribly secure and require a truck with modifications to handle the weight of most which are 3000 lbs. dry weight. Storage costs when camper is not is use is no cheaper than the storage costs for a 20-25 foot travel trailer at a public storage location.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:58 PM   #14
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they make slide ins that can be hauled on a half ton, but they are tiny and fairly uninsulated..a decent lite non slide camper will need 3/4 and heavy non slide or multi slide will need a 1 ton or larger truck.. problem with a trailer is one more set of four tires.. another plate maybe yearly depending on the state regs.. just as secure as slide in so no difference there..
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