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Old 11-13-2012, 09:14 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by CAJW View Post
We too are in the planning stages for a TC setup. Still working on the specs for the truck/camper, but want a 4X4 CC, LB, SRW and a TC w/ slide. Really want one that sleeps 5-6 and a dry bath. Your set up sounds ideal, but wanted to know what you've done for suspension improvements, airbags, shocks, swaybar? Is yours a DRW or SRW
Thanks, lots to consider before plunking down some serious bucks!
? (Forgot some punctuation ) Also, gas or diesel?
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:14 AM   #30
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Sounds to me like you need one of these...

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:00 AM   #31
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As one who has owned five truck campers and has hauled them with single wheel trucks and dual wheel trucks, the dual wheel option is the most important item to consider. I also worked for a large RV dealership and setup, tests drove, and delivered hundreds of truck campers over a 7 year span. The weight of most TC's will load most trucks to the maximum load, and overload a single set of tires. Single wheels on a truck hauling a camper is asking for a disaster. One blown tire at highway speeds, and you will have a major crash. Dual wheels changes the handling of the vehicle significantly, adding stability, safety, and even better braking due to better traction afforded by having double the rubber on the road. Dually trucks are also outfitted with heavier suspension parts than their single wheel counterparts which will require less modifications to properly haul the camper.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:25 AM   #32
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As one who has owned five truck campers and has hauled them with single wheel trucks and dual wheel trucks, the dual wheel option is the most important item to consider. I also worked for a large RV dealership and setup, tests drove, and delivered hundreds of truck campers over a 7 year span. The weight of most TC's will load most trucks to the maximum load, and overload a single set of tires. Single wheels on a truck hauling a camper is asking for a disaster. One blown tire at highway speeds, and you will have a major crash. Dual wheels changes the handling of the vehicle significantly, adding stability, safety, and even better braking due to better traction afforded by having double the rubber on the road. Dually trucks are also outfitted with heavier suspension parts than their single wheel counterparts which will require less modifications to properly haul the camper.
Good info to know and just the kind of feedback needed to make an informed decision. Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:02 AM   #33
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As one who has owned five truck campers and has hauled them with single wheel trucks and dual wheel trucks, the dual wheel option is the most important item to consider. I also worked for a large RV dealership and setup, tests drove, and delivered hundreds of truck campers over a 7 year span. The weight of most TC's will load most trucks to the maximum load, and overload a single set of tires. Single wheels on a truck hauling a camper is asking for a disaster. One blown tire at highway speeds, and you will have a major crash. Dual wheels changes the handling of the vehicle significantly, adding stability, safety, and even better braking due to better traction afforded by having double the rubber on the road. Dually trucks are also outfitted with heavier suspension parts than their single wheel counterparts which will require less modifications to properly haul the camper.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:59 AM   #34
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For traveling on the roads in the national forests I would not consider a wide DRW truck or a super long truck as with a crew cab and long bed. A SRW long bed and extended or super cab is as big as I would go.

That still makes it easy to carry a large and moderately heavy camper like the Lance 992 which has large holding tanks, two batteries, two LPG tanks and weighs roughly 3000 lbs. dry and fully loaded will be under 4500 lbs which a 1-ton SRW can easily handle, though not with the stock tires and shocks.

With a gas engine I would want the 4.10 rear end. Diesel provides about 20% more range on a tankful of gas which is helpful when out in the boondocks and provides great engine braking on downgrades with a heavy load in the bed.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #35
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Hello Everyone.
This thread is a bit old so I thought I would update it a bit.
Your truck has what is known as a "Maximum Towing" rating and another rating know as "Payload" rating. I will talk about "Payload" for now.

Payload is the amount of weight one can legally put "on the bed" of a pick/up truck. What is great in the Pick/up truck devalopment is that the big 3 manufactures are raising the bar quite a bit in the last few years.

11&1/2 to 12 ft Truck Campers in the last 5 to 6 years have changed dramatically in floor plans but sadly getting heavier and heavier. With 1-2 or 3 slides/outs,floors above the bed/rails(6 steps to get in) you would not know you are in a Truck Camper these days. Also the width of a truck Camper has gone from around 92 inches to 96 inches with Eagle Cap and Chalet topping of at 100" in width. To legally (staying below your GVW) and carry these heavy units, you would need to purchase a 2006 or newer 1Ton(F350 or 3500) or an 1&1/2 ton(F450 or 4500) truck. Up to then a Ford F350 duelly had a GVW of 11500 pounds with Dodge and Chevy at 11200 pounds.

Ford was the first to raise their F350 duelly to a 13000 GVW rating and am not sure when GM and Dodge raised theirs.

Ford again raised the bar for model year 2012 with a GVW rating of 14000 pounds for their F350 duelly. I believe Chevy/GMC are still at 13000GVW and not sure about Dodge. Can you believe in 10 short years Ford has gone from a 11500 GVW to a 14000 GVW rating. That is great for us Truck Campers.

GVW means the combine weight of your Truck and its "Payload" - IE the Truck Camper and all the stuff one puts in like food/water/clothing/tools/

If there is a down side to Truck Camping these days, is that is is getting to expensive for the average person to purchase a Truck and T/C. You can figure 55K for a F350 Duelly diesel and 45K for the biggest baddest T/Cs out there. Combined you are laying out 100k and that my friends will buy you a lot of Class A or B or C Motor homes.

Mike Tassinari AKA - Mikeee
P/S - I run 5/6 T/C Jamboree's a year here in New England altho we try to do one of our Jamboree in PA. 2012 saw 94 rigs show up at our Gettysburg Campground Jamboree. You can read about us on my Website of www.truckcamping.net. Please not that we are doing a full blown re-do of our Website but parts of it are still working.
Mikeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:34 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by mythplaced View Post
Current owner of a 40' DP (see signature picture)

We are looking to go into places we just can't get into in the MOHO, and I don't want to pull a trailer. I got a trailer for motorcycles and ATV's.

Looking for lots of water and waste storage,
lots of battery space and generator space

I am willing to get whatever size truck I need with 4X4 to get to those dispersed camping sites in the NFS.

I LOVE the EarthRoamers, but they are a bit pricey

What do I need to look for and know before I begin shopping?

Thanks in advance for the help
I would suggest going to
Overland Expo - Overland Expo 2013

There you will find the rig you are looking for. Or, perhaps just become more confused with the sensory overload of eye candy....
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #37
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Hello Everyone.

I would suggest you head over to Truck Camper Magazine and go to their "newbie" corner" then read all about matching a T/C and truck. They publish a free E Magazine and its free. All you need to do is sign up to get their twice a week publucations.

Truck Campers have many,many floor plans and designs and have evolved radically over the last 10 years or so.

Most People think of a T/C that slides between the P/U Truck wheel wells and the largest units had their holding tanks hanging over the rear beyond the Truck Bed..

Around 2005 or so - T/C manufactures raised the floor so that the floor was now above the wheel wells thus giving you more floor space to walk around. This also allowed them to fit the hold tanks(black & Gray) much close to the front of the of your Truck Bed

Around 2010 or so - T/C manufactures raise the floor again. Eagle Cap and Chalet largest T/C floor plans are now above the bed/rail of your P/U truck and went with a 100" width. Lance/Artic-Fox and other T/C have not go with an over the bed/rail floor plan yet, but I would assume its only a matter of time.

I suggest this to anyone who Email's Me about down sizing to a T/C - Start going to shows and Truck Camping Rallys. Find a T/C that works for you. I try to incorporate "Open Houses" at least 2 a year at my Jamboree's so that people can actually see the various floor plans in real time.

Pick the T/C that works for you - THEN match the truck.

Here is some of the larger things you need to decide
1 - Entrance
Rear entrance vers a side entrance.
If you plan to tow anything getting into a side entrance T/C is better
to climb in and out of.
2 - Slide/outs
There are still many T/C "Purist" out there that want nothing to do
with a slide out in a T/C. They now come with up to 3 slide/outs and
some even have an island in the middle.
I personnally like the side entrance configuration with 2 slides. 1 slide
goes out the rear and has a couch you can sit on. The other slide
will have the dinet and refrigerator in it.
3 - Bathrooms
Wet bath vers a Dry bath.
Dry bath will have a shower stall - wet bath ,,well you take a shower
and the entire bathroom gets wet.

There are many many options as well.

Good luck and please keep us informed.

Mike Tassinari
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:14 PM   #38
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We are in the position of finding the correct truck camper for our application, not the other way around. We have a perfectly good truck that is paid for, and are getting near to retirement, so a new truck is not an option. Unless our current truck gets stolen, wrecked, or otherwise damaged beyond repair, it will be the last HD pickup that we ever purchase. I do have plans to purchase one new F-150 Supercrew 4x4 before retirement as a DD, but do not plan to purchase another HD truck, ever...

Our truck, which we purchased new in 2002, is an F-350 crewcab, dually, 4x4 with a 7.3 Powerstroke, 6 speed stick, and 4:10 gears. It is 11500 GVW, but have no doubt this is a stout rig to be sure. 5K in building materials in the 8 foot bed does not set it on the overloads. The vehicle is a garage baby, not a DD, and has 46K miles on it. The fact that it is paid for, and has been from day one, has low mileage, and has been used mostly for towing toys, means that there is still a lot of life left in the truck. The 7.3 Powerstoke is the best light duty diesel pickup engine that has been built to date. There are other good engines out there, but none that compare to the durability of the 7.3. That modified IH tractor engine set the gold standard for diesel powered pickups.

We mostly tow toys with this truck, a 22 foot sport boat, our race car trailer with show cars. So based on the truck that we have available, we will only consider a truck camper with limited weight, and limited overhang. We have no interest in slideouts, but have a lot of interest in a quality built unit. We can care less if the camper will withstand 100F below zero for 6 months without freezing, as we only boat or go to car shows in mild weather. We live in the south, and our winters last about 4 months. The TC will spend the winter months winterized and snuggly tucked into our garage next to the boat, truck, and race car trailer.

So with that in mind, an 8 and 1/2 foot unit ( 9 foot max) is what we are looking for. Four point electric jacks are a must, because the camper will be off loaded more than it will be on the truck. We want an extended bunk for the large comfortable overhead bed. Storage is not an issue, as we are weekenders, and are not going to live in the thing. A generator option will be nice, but not a deal breaker. The campgrounds we stay at have power, and our race car trailer has an Onan 6500 propane powered gen set. I would like a full one piece fiberglass shower stall to minimize leaks, however the shower will probably only be used in times when perminant bathroom facilities are not available. At car shows we stay in 5 star hotels. The TC will mostly be a daytime, tailgate thing. The toliet will be nice for those midnight bathroom runs. At the lake we will stay in the camper, but mostly just to sleep at night. Rather than match a truck to the desired camper, we will have to match the camper to the existing truck, and the tow load the the truck is already towing. Everyone's situation is different.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:33 PM   #39
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The GVWR from the factory is based, not surprisingly on how the truck left the factory and the axle, springs, rims, and tires provided by the manufacturer. You can increase or decrease that value based on changes made to the truck after you get it. GCWR is the total combined load towing and hauling and that rating cannot for all practical purposes be changed as it takes into account the engine, transmission and drivetrain, frame, suspension components, brakes, rims, tires, axles and wheel bearings.

The Ram 2013 1-ton has a higher tow rating than the 2012 and this is primarily due to increases in horsepower but also a much stronger frame on this truck. The 2013 3/4 ton Ram trucks have the same frame as the 2012 1-ton and 3/4 ton trucks.

GM did much the same with the GMT-900 platform where the stiffness of the fully boxed frame made it 400% torsionally stronger, beefier main bearings and improved oil delivery system, heavier duty torsion rods and front end members, larger brakes, stronger Allison transmission, as well as a horsepower and torque gains for the engines.

But with Ram and GM heavy duty trucks the rear AAM axles and wheel bearings are loaded rated for 10,900 lbs. and subtracting the weigh of the truck and axle at the rear that leaves more than 7,000 lbs. of loading (in bed or with tongue weight of a trailer). The weak links are the springs, rims, and tires. Go to any dealership and compare trucks and you will find wide variations in payload capacity and more often than not the only difference are the rims and the tires.

Most 17-18 inch tires are load rated for 3750 lbs. or less and so that makes for a practical limitation of 7500 lbs. less the weight of the truck at the rear for a net of roughly 4000 lbs. for most trucks. The cheapest and easiest way for the manufacturers to get around this limitation is to add two more rims and tires at the rear of the truck.

DRW will provide for more stable ride as the track of the truck at the rear has been increased by 18 inches or more. This does have several drawbacks including more stress on the truck frame as there is more leveraged weight being applied from the outboard wheels.

For a large camper the weights start at 2500 lbs. empty and for ones with a dry bath the empty weight is going to be 3500 lbs. and that is before anything is added like a generator, solar panels, additional batteries. gear, people, "toys", etc.

Figure on a total load for a camper with a dry bath setup of 5,000 lbs. and if you plan to tow a trailer add another 500 lbs. for the WD hitch and the tongue weight. At this weight a DRW truck for all practical purposes is a necessity. It is possible to use 19.5 Rickmann rims and H load range tires and be close but you will have no safety margin going forward.

Everyone has their favorites but in a DRW truck I would want the stronger frames with the GM/Chevy or Ram 1-ton trucks and a diesel engine. A V-8 gas engine and 4.10 gearing can get you by OK but it will take longer to accellerate to freeway speeds, much longer to pass slower moving vehicles and trucks on the road, and you will not have the incredible exhaust brake engine braking of a diesel engine. It is a luxury item but so is a dry bath camper.

As for price it really depends upon how hard you look and how much of a horse trader you are. We bought a new 2011 Duramax diesel fully loaded with every option and convenience package except for heated leather seats and the power rear windor, but with tow mirrors, fog lamps, bed liner, GM chrome side steps, and GM aluminum tool box, and tailgate camera, and our out the door price for the truck was under $41,700.

My neighbor bought a 2012 gas powered truck with the leather seats a couple months before and he paid more than I did for mine with the diesel and Allison transmission and the side steps, bed liner, and tow mirrors. But he special ordered his from the dealer and needless to say paid a premium price for the convenience.

With campers there is a big savings in buying one that is 3-4 years old. A Lance 845 in 2001 sold for $12k, by 2008 it was selling for $17k, and when it was discontinued in 2011 it sold for $24K as does its replacement the 855. Needless to say a used 2008 selling for $12k is worth considering instead of a new 855.

Smart shopping can easily save you $20k and that is money to put toward fuel and food and campground fees or even modifications to the truck. No stock truck is ready from the factory for hauling a high COG camper around the countryside. Add in the cost of tie-downs, shocks, anti-sway bar, side mirrors, and other items depending upon what the factory and the dealer put on the truck.

There are also many other RV forums that provide 50x the useful information on truck campers. This is basically a forum for motorhome and trailer owners.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:32 AM   #40
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Since we tow heavy trailers with our dually, and want to haul a truck camper, we are considering is using a trailertoad. The trailertoad is a two wheeled device that connects to the hitch on the tow vehicle and supports the tongue weight of the trailer. That way the truck hauls the weight of the camper, but only tows the weight of the trailer reducing the stress on the tires, rims, springs, axle, frame and so forth. The Trailertoad was developed for those pulling stacker car trailers behind rear engine pusher style motorhomes. The motorhome is able to tow much more weight then it can haul on the hitch. The trailer toad can be ordered with electric brakes, so it actually increases braking capicity. It uses 10 ply 15 inch trailer tires so it is capable of hauling a lot of weight. It also swivels so that it does not drag when turning. The toad is capable of movement up and down so that it does not lift the truck when going over uneven ground. It can be locked in the straight position for backing. There is a video on the website which shows a dually with a large camper towing a trailer behind. I believe that this thing will work nicely on the interstate, but probably is not suited for off road driving.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:45 PM   #41
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Your truck's rear axle and wheel bearings is rated at least to 8900 lbs. and subracting the dead weight on the rear of the truck when it is empty you should have a potential payload of nearly 6000 lbs. The limitations become the springs, frame, rims, and tires, and 3 of the 4 can be upgraded.

If you download the Lance brochures you will find that "dry" weights change in part with length but more with the addition of one or more slides, and additional storage space, larger fridge, dual batteries and LPG tanks, and other items. The dry weight will not include a 100# AC or 40# roof rack or 40# for 4-season windows, or the batteries. Safe to add 1000 lbs. to the published weights by the manufacturer to get something close to what the camper load will be when you head out for a trip.

There are many campers that will put you under 4,000 lbs. fully loaded. If you can keep the tongue weight to 500 lbs. or less you should not have a problem. More weight than that and I would want to find a professional shop to provide advice and make any necessary modifications. This is one place where air bags can help with adjusting the level of the truck as you will have 3 different settings if the truck is empty, truck with camper, truck with camper and trailer in tow.

With regard to Lance campers (and I would look at Wolf Creek as well) the 10' "dry weights" of the 950 (2595), 950S (2785), 1050 (2790), and 1050S (2980), should work with your planned setup.

With a front hitch and a rack you can also put 8-10 cu. ft. and 300 lbs. at the front of the truck and shift weight to the other axle from the one in the rear. Not sure about your truck but with my GM shortbed only 100 lbs. of my camper's 3700 lb. weight is carried by front suspension. My truck is rated for adding the weight of a snow plow at the front so it can easily handle a rack with 300 lbs. of something.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:52 PM   #42
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I saw a Earth Roamer here in Russellville day before yesterday...one bad ass rig!! If you have the bucks go for it!!
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