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Old 07-02-2013, 01:34 PM   #1
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Camper weights by Truck type

Is there a single source to look up the recommended maximum truck camper weight for each type of truck? I know its possible to calculate it by cyphering the G ratings but that is all way beyond me. We are considering the purchase of truck and camper but have not decided on a specific package. Thanks
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
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As a general rule......buy a dually, gas engine HD 350 or 3500. Long or short bed according to the camper you want. Camper weights from the mfr are hard to figure out. Options add extra weight.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
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Generaly, if your going to be looking for a slide-in camper type your looking at 3,000# Dry weight. The rule i have learned is add 1000# more for camper options/food and gear, to the truck camper. Each of the big three truck manufactures have Weight tables. Ford has the best in what you are looking for.
www.Ford.Com/Towing Guide. Choose the pdf file for the truck you are looking for.
Your best way to go would be a F-350, 3500(Chevy, Dodge, GM) dulley, your Choice
of course. Remember weight for your truck will be calculated with a 150# per person in the truck, light . So you will need to go to a scale with a full load of gas and people riding in the turck and gear. To get what the true weight in the truck to find the truck payload you have left. Ford will explaine that in the towing guide.
I am researching to buy myself. Good luck. Hope this helped a little,
Scott
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:08 AM   #4
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I am a little late to the show here - sorry - but how can it be recommended to "go get a F350 or 3500 truck" ? Not everyone can afford that.

We have a 2003, F250, 7.3L diesel, crew cab, short bed and we are looking at a Lance 865. Not ALL truck campers are 3000 lbs to start with. This particular one is l825 lbs so when loaded and including all options, I am hoping we are maybe 2800 lbs.

I am happy with my truck, paid for, runs great and I am sure we'll find something to fit it without being overloaded. We already have air bags
and plan to put a new front and rear sway bar. This should do it ..........

Jo
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jody & Jeff View Post
I am a little late to the show here - sorry - but how can it be recommended to "go get a F350 or 3500 truck" ? Not everyone can afford that.

We have a 2003, F250, 7.3L diesel, crew cab, short bed and we are looking at a Lance 865. Not ALL truck campers are 3000 lbs to start with. This particular one is l825 lbs so when loaded and including all options, I am hoping we are maybe 2800 lbs.

I am happy with my truck, paid for, runs great and I am sure we'll find something to fit it without being overloaded. We already have air bags
and plan to put a new front and rear sway bar. This should do it ..........

Jo
Jo & Jeff,
You are correct, in that a F250 works for you and the price. I hear and see a lot of people do have F250 or 2500 trucks out there.
I was told by a old friend and Full-Timer, to buy more truck than needed.
If you wanted to move up in the future and buy a new camper down the line. You don't have to get a new truck. Just have to make sure the new Camper fits in the old truck.
I am looking to buy my first Truck Camper, used to try it out first. Either a AF 850 Wolf Creek or a 9.6 Northern Lite. Then I can move up if I chose to.
So i will be looking for a late in the calender year model 3500 Dodge Ram that is on sale with rebates. Still trying to decide on SRW or DRW, leaning SRW, depending on how i will be using it for camping and fishing. Best of luck and happy camping,
Scott
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:31 PM   #6
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Jo & Jeff,. Still trying to decide on SRW or DRW, leaning SRW, depending on how i will be using it for camping and fishing. Best of luck and happy camping,
Scott
Just get a 3500 SRW with a camper package or at least 3500 with the factory overload springs, you can pretty much put any camper on there except the larger 11' models, look at Lance one of the best out there. I just put a 2004 1071 on my 2003 3500 4x4 quad cab SRW, LB and it handles it fine, I just weighed it today #11,800 GVW, the door sticker is pure BS.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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Buying a truck capable of hauling the load really isn't a matter of what you can afford. It's a matter of physics. If all I can afford is a 1500 that doesn't mean it's okay to use it to haul a triple slide camper.
I want you to have the best TC experience possible so I want to caution you about the weight. The 865 dry weight likely doesn't include options. In this model options that I bet yours has include: oven, microwave, air conditioner, electric jacks, etc.
You'll also need to add 20 pounds for propane, 240 pounds for water if you fill the tank, maybe some more for liquid in the waste tanks, 50 pounds or so for a battery, plus all your food, clothes, dishes, etc.
My camper states that is weighs 3,165 pounds but it actually weighs 3,475 empty. When loaded for camping but with very little water, it weighs about 4,200. If I filled the tank I'd be closer to 4,400.
With all that said, most people, including me, run over the GVWR. I stick to axle and tire weights like commercial trucks do. I was a truck driver for a while so I know that works.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:47 AM   #8
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Buying a truck capable of hauling the load really isn't a matter of what you can afford. It's a matter of physics. If all I can afford is a 1500 that doesn't mean it's okay to use it to haul a triple slide camper.
I want you to have the best TC experience possible so I want to caution you about the weight. The 865 dry weight likely doesn't include options. In this model options that I bet yours has include: oven, microwave, air conditioner, electric jacks, etc.
You'll also need to add 20 pounds for propane, 240 pounds for water if you fill the tank, maybe some more for liquid in the waste tanks, 50 pounds or so for a battery, plus all your food, clothes, dishes, etc.
My camper states that is weighs 3,165 pounds but it actually weighs 3,475 empty. When loaded for camping but with very little water, it weighs about 4,200. If I filled the tank I'd be closer to 4,400.
With all that said, most people, including me, run over the GVWR. I stick to axle and tire weights like commercial trucks do. I was a truck driver for a while so I know that works.
Sounds just like numbers I found out with my TC Good info above.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:29 PM   #9
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Take a look at Truck Camper Magazine | Truck Campers Go Anywhere
They have lots of info on matching a truck and camper.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:17 PM   #10
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The load limit is primarily that of the rear tires. A 2500 truck may have a 10,900 lb. rated rear axle and wheel bearings but it is the two 3200 lb. rated tires that set the payload capacity for the truck by the manufacturer. A 3500 will have more leaf springs but you can add those yourself as well but it also has the option of DRW or 4 tires at the rear which is the easiest way to increase the payload for a pickup truck.

The OP is doing the right thing and considering both the camper and the truck together. There are hard sided campers that have a dry weight of anywhere from 1200 to 4400 lbs. Popups are lighter larger because they do not have a full bath/shower, have a smaller fridge, less storage, smaller holding tanks, etc. and so weigh less whether empty or loaded for a trip.

There are also excellent bargains to be found where people are selling a truck with the camper all set to go. I have seen 10 year old full size trucks and campers selling for from $5000 to $22,000. With this deal you get the tie-downs, turnbuckles, camper to truck wiring, shock and tire upgrades, and ready to load up and hit the road.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:44 PM   #11
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Most of the TC manufacturer's in their brochure will show what TC will fit what vehicle. The truck manufacturer's towing guide or their brochures will give you and idea what the truck is capable of handling.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:02 AM   #12
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One thing more to consider. When you go buy the 450, 550 or real big dually you will have a GVW that will put you in big rig status. Depending on your state regs.
insurance, registration, inspections, and if a diesel DOT fees will add to your fun. You may not even have enough license to drive. Sometimes the difference can be as simple as between a F250/350 and 1,000 lbs more GVW.
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:48 PM   #13
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The main limitation is the tires at the rear axle. Two E rated tires with a load capacity of 3200 lbs. or 6400 lbs. for the pair minus a 3,000 lb. truck weight leaves a 3400 payload capacity. Dual rear wheels increases the capacity by about 80% with the two additional tires. DRW is cheap for the manufacturer but results in a very wide truck and not something most would want to drive around when not using the camper. Alternatives are a lighter camper or going to 19.5 rims and tires. A tow package will provide everything you need for heavy hauling. The 1-ton trucks' payload rating for different manufactures trucks can vary by as much as 3,000 lbs. - go figure. Some 3/4 ton trucks ship from the factory with a higher payload rating than some 1-ton trucks from the same manufacturer. It is not a black and white situation by any means. A diesel engine, which is not needed, can reduce the factory specified payload by 800 lbs. and the cab configuration has a big impact as well. A regular cab truck will always have the highest rating as the manufacturer subtracts 150 lbs. for every passenger seat in a vehicle. There are two basic dividing lines for camper segments. One is the group of campers built for short bed trucks. A second is the campers built for long bed trucks and having a wet bath. The third and largest and heaviest bunch of campers are the ones with a dry bath. The long bed models will have an extra 18 inches of length and that translates into more storage space. I would go to camper dealers and more important to campgrounds and check out the various models. Pay attention to the kitchen and storage and the bathroom. Oddly many bathrooms are best suited to little people with their design. Sleeping accommodations are also usually better with a camper built for a long bed truck. The main bed will be the same but the dinette area will be larger and long enough for adults to use. From my own experience I know I would also not buy a camper that was not able to hold at a minimum 2 Group 27 size batteries. If I was buying a new camper I would have included a solar panel and charge controller along with the 4-season package with the dual pane windows and extra insulation (though the insulation in all campers is pretty pathetic) and does not begin to compare to what is available with a trailer. For the truck if there is an option for adding an additional tank I would get it. With a camper load you can plan on the MPG being reduced by at least 25% and along with it the range per tankful of gas. And if you get the gas engine opt for the 4.10 gears. It will have little or no impact on fuel economy but will affect how fast you can accelerate and safely merge with traffic when entering a highway and how easily the truck can make it up a steep grade with the camper load in the bed. Holding tanks sizes also vary widely and if not at a park with full hookups the capacity of the tanks can affect how long you can be independent and in the boondocks. This also affects the loaded weight of the camper. A 30 gallon fresh water tank when full will add 240 lbs. to the load carried by the rear wheels of the truck.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:45 AM   #14
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ELKHORNSUN,

Great advice, especially regarding fuel tank capacity. I'm a very part time camper user but a seasoned RVer (bought my first rig in 1982!) I fall into the short bed camper user group. The small 26 gallon fuel tank on gas powered 2007 GMC 2500 HD is an issue. I'm spoiled by the 600 mile fuel range in diesel pusher motor home, so having to stop for fuel every 200 miles or so in my truck is a pain. As for the fuel mileage, I experience a 5 mpg reduction in my fuel mileage when I'm driving with my camper. (I get a consistent 15.5 mpg on the highway without the camper and 10 -10.5 mpg with the camper.) That's with the 6.0 liter and a 4.10 rear end.

As for your suggested options for the camper, I'd add power jacks to the list. Wish I had them on my Lance 825....
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