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Old 10-11-2006, 12:00 PM   #1
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I currently have a large travel trailer, however I am considering replacing it with a truck camper.

I have a 06 3500 Crew Cab dooley with the duramax and allison. From what I have been seeing I am really quite limited on the truck campers I can choose from with out over loading the truck.

I have been looking at Lance, Bigfoot and Okonagen. However it seems all their 11 foot units will overload a 1 ton truck. Some of their 10 foot units will also do that.

This is where my concern lies. Everyday I see these 11 foot units with slides on 1 ton trucks. Many on trucks that are not even a doolly.

With me and the wife in the truck I have 4025 pounds of payload left. That is with a full tank of fuel subtracting the scaled weight from 11400, the GVWR.

Am I correct in figuring 3000 to 3200 pounds is about the max dry weight for a camper?

About how much weight do you add in clothing, food and such? I know in my TT many times I have had over 1000 pounds of stuff.

I Should I look at even a lighter camper if I plan to tow my boat, it has a 400 pound tongue weight? My combination wieght is not a concern as it is 23500 pounds.

I was very surprized to find out how heavy these units are. Especilly after seeing so many on 1 tons pulling large boats or horse trailers. They have to be 1000 to 2000 pounds over the GVW.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:00 PM   #2
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I currently have a large travel trailer, however I am considering replacing it with a truck camper.

I have a 06 3500 Crew Cab dooley with the duramax and allison. From what I have been seeing I am really quite limited on the truck campers I can choose from with out over loading the truck.

I have been looking at Lance, Bigfoot and Okonagen. However it seems all their 11 foot units will overload a 1 ton truck. Some of their 10 foot units will also do that.

This is where my concern lies. Everyday I see these 11 foot units with slides on 1 ton trucks. Many on trucks that are not even a doolly.

With me and the wife in the truck I have 4025 pounds of payload left. That is with a full tank of fuel subtracting the scaled weight from 11400, the GVWR.

Am I correct in figuring 3000 to 3200 pounds is about the max dry weight for a camper?

About how much weight do you add in clothing, food and such? I know in my TT many times I have had over 1000 pounds of stuff.

I Should I look at even a lighter camper if I plan to tow my boat, it has a 400 pound tongue weight? My combination wieght is not a concern as it is 23500 pounds.

I was very surprized to find out how heavy these units are. Especilly after seeing so many on 1 tons pulling large boats or horse trailers. They have to be 1000 to 2000 pounds over the GVW.
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:06 PM   #3
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A vast majority of Truck Camper operators are running over GVWR, but are running under CVWR, GAWRs, and their tire ratings. I myself run an 11' camper on a 3/4 Ton Truck. My truck's GVWR is 8500lbs, fully loaded up for a trip, I tip the scales at closer to 9000lbs.

I also tow my 4x8 Cargo trailer behind me on trips that are involving more than myself and the misses to be.
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Old 10-12-2006, 01:23 AM   #4
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I think your observation is very accurate; most trucks with campers on them are overloaded. I cringe when I see a huge camper on a single rear wheel pickup because it's highly likely that they are not only exceeding the truck manufacturers ratings, they are probably exceeding the ratings on the rear tires. This bad situation is often made worse with underinflated tires. The tires are really the biggest limiting factor, IMO.

I have a dually with about 4000 lbs payload capacity and I go over that regularly with my camper. For reference, my Alpenlite camper has a brochure dry weight of 2900 lbs. It was delivered with a data plate that states it has a 3277 lbs wet weight (full water and propane). I never weighed it new, so I'll never know how accurate their numbers are. I do know that my trucks empty weight is 7200 and I normally run at 11,500 GVW with the camper loaded even though the trucks rating is 11,200. I did see 11,700 once and probably have gone over that before. It's amazing how much all the stuff weighs that you put in the camper.

Personally, I'm not at all concerned about being overweight per Ford's limits on my truck. I've researched all the pertinent state laws here in Washington. Basically, as a non-commercial person I can do what I want. The law limits me to not exceeding 10,000 lbs on an axle unless I have dual wheels and I don't even have to register the truck for the total anticipated weight (1.5x the empty weight is all that's required).

If I was commercial, then I'd have to register for my anticipated weight but they don't care in the least what Ford sets as weight limits. As long as I'm registered for my scale weight, I'm good to go.

I'm well under my rear axle and tire ratings and the truck doesn't look like it's straining at all with my camper loaded, so I feel very comfortable with my setup. I did add Firestone Ride-rite airbags to the truck to help level it and I added Rancho RS9000 shocks to help control sway. I suspect that if my bumper was almost dragging on the ground, then it might attract police attention but I can't imagine a dually carrying a camper will ever get a second glance from a cop. And if a officer ever questions my setup, I'll pull the printouts of the relevant state laws out of my glovebox to prove my case. Being an old Boy Scout I like to be prepared, but I just can't see ever having a problem.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:20 PM   #5
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We used to haul an Arctic Fox 1150 on a 2002 3500 HD dually with the D/A. We were about 500 lbs overweight and had no problems. Rancho 9000 and air bags. We did no towing.
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:45 PM   #6
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You can upgrade a few things so you can carry a camper and exceed the GVWR. The one thing which I was concerned with was the brakes. You can do a lot of other things but you can not upgrade the braking for the additional weight. For that reason we chose a F450 to carry our camper and it does have larger braking.
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:01 PM   #7
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You can see in the sig what my rig is, I have a gvwr of 11,200 and have been as heavy as 13,400 and could not tell the differance in the way the truck handled at all. Do I want to run at 13,400 all the time, no I am sure it is hard on the truck. But I had been running the truck light for a week before the heavy weight, drove it that way for 3 days and then back to light again and I really could tell no differance in the way the truck drove, accelarated, stopped, turned, mountain roads or interstate. You have to decide just how much camper you want and what you are willing to drive at. I am quite happy with the rig even when towing the Jeep it is handles fine.
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:40 AM   #8
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Ok, to recap:

suspension options:
- airbags or timbrens
- additional springs
- sway bar
- shocks, not all trucks will take Rancho adjustibles.

As said: brakes

& I would say a biggie e-range tires.

I got 5, so that my spare is e-range.

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Old 10-14-2006, 06:34 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Harald:
I think your observation is very accurate; most trucks with campers on them are overloaded. The tires are really the biggest limiting factor, IMO.

I have a dually with about 4000 lbs payload capacity and I go over that regularly with my camper. For reference, my Alpenlite camper has a brochure dry weight of 2900 lbs. It was delivered with a data plate that states it has a 3277 lbs wet weight (full water and propane). I never weighed it new, so I'll never know how accurate their numbers are. I do know that my trucks empty weight is 7200 and I normally run at 11,500 GVW with the camper loaded even though the trucks rating is 11,200. I did see 11,700 once and probably have gone over that before. It's amazing how much all the stuff weighs that you put in the camper.

I'm well under my rear axle and tire ratings and the truck doesn't look like it's straining at all with my camper loaded, so I feel very comfortable with my setup. . </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I did not consider an Apenlite until I saw yours. Went to their web site, they have some nice looking units. They look to be made as well as a Lance, Big foot or Host. About 400 miles to closest dealer. I will have to go look at one. They apear to be a little lighter than some of the others I listed for similar size.

Everyone thanks for the replies, keep them coming.

I do have e range tires on my truck and a e spare. When I get home next week I will have to check the rear axle rating. I belive it is 11,000 pounds for the eaton. I will check the rating of the tires to.

I know the payload of the truck as I have put it on a scale with a full tank.

So how bad is it if I stay under the axle rating, and the tire ratings? It looks like they add up to a few thousand pounds more than the GVWR. I figure most the campers I am looking at would put me about 1000 over the GVWR with the boat hooked up. I would still be way under the GCWR.
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Old 10-14-2006, 07:48 PM   #10
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With a one ton DRW, yer not going to really notice a difference. I hardly notice a difference on my 3/4 ton SRW other than it takes longer to get moving than it would if it was empty.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:48 PM   #11
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I have the same problem as dave. i have a 2006 2500 crew cab silverado duramax diesel with a 6 foot box and am only rated to 1400lbs for a camper witch i have found is almost impossible to stay under. i also plan to tow a boat which weighs about 1200lbs. Does anyone have any suggestions
Ryan
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:03 AM   #12
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Welcome 11Ryan11!
I'm curious where you got your camper weight rating? Does Chevy supply a camper loading sheet with new trucks? I know that the Ford version is a little misleading in that they assume that there's a 150 lb person sitting in each seating position to come up with their rating. If you are only carrying 2 people in your 6 person capacity cab, then you can legally add 600 lbs to your rating(4 x 150).

Of course your boat will add some hitch weight to the truck, so you need to subtract that weight from you rating. The best way to figure out how much camper you can get is to hitch up the boat, load the wife & kids & gear and head to a scale. Get the truck weight (don't weigh boat trailer axle) and subtract from your GVWR to get allowable camper weight per Chevy.

My suggestion is to not be too concerned if you go over Chevy's recommendation a little. As a general rule, as long as your bumper is not dragging on the ground you won't have any problems with the police. Police care about your registered weight (not Chevy's limits) and then usually only if you are a commercial vehicle.

You could consider getting a nice pop up camper that'll work for you. Try to keep weight to a minimum by traveling with little water in the tanks and don't bring along the cast iron cookwear. Your biggest worry should making sure you don't overload your rear tires because that's where all your weight is going.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:20 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dave:
I currently have a large travel trailer, however I am considering replacing it with a truck camper.

I have a 06 3500 Crew Cab dooley with the duramax and allison. From what I have been seeing I am really quite limited on the truck campers I can choose from with out over loading the truck.

I have been looking at Lance, Bigfoot and Okonagen. However it seems all their 11 foot units will overload a 1 ton truck. Some of their 10 foot units will also do that.

This is where my concern lies. Everyday I see these 11 foot units with slides on 1 ton trucks. Many on trucks that are not even a doolly.

With me and the wife in the truck I have 4025 pounds of payload left. That is with a full tank of fuel subtracting the scaled weight from 11400, the GVWR.

Am I correct in figuring 3000 to 3200 pounds is about the max dry weight for a camper?

About how much weight do you add in clothing, food and such? I know in my TT many times I have had over 1000 pounds of stuff.

I Should I look at even a lighter camper if I plan to tow my boat, it has a 400 pound tongue weight? My combination wieght is not a concern as it is 23500 pounds.

I was very surprized to find out how heavy these units are. Especilly after seeing so many on 1 tons pulling large boats or horse trailers. They have to be 1000 to 2000 pounds over the GVW. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Hi Dave,
join the crowd. My camper dry weight is 2645 lbs. It's not only how much stuff you put in it. It is a bit strange how the manufacturer arrives to a dry weight. You can keep the weight down by having less options. I guess you could do without extra batteries, A/C,awnings, fill up fresh water, and fridge after arrival, use hydraulic jacks, no tv, or dvd player, no satellite dish,..... NOT!!!!!!
I guess the other option is to get a truck that can handle it. Well you're in luck, you got one. My truck is 1000 lbs over the GVWR with all the stuff ready to go. I pull a Thule enclosed utility trailer behind. I changed the OEM hitch to the Reese Titan receiver and use the Reese 48" long extension. I do use a weight distributing hitch (Reese) I got some pictures for the hookup in the photo section. As far as the tires are cincerned they are good 10800 lbs, I mean the rear axle. I think GM is a lot stronger than they claim it is. I have no ride rite air bags and I'm not sure if they are any help. I used to have a set on my 99 K2500. I do have the camper on my truck most of the time and I noticed the truck sits a little lower than my buddy's truck with the same camper same truck with the exception that his is an extended cab. Having observed all this the truck is still nice and level even with the trailer in tow.
good luck
Larry
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:01 AM   #14
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Dave

If the dealer you are favoring is 400 miles away, could be a bad idea UNLESS you get something in writing from the owner or general manager of the camper saying you can go to this facility or that facility, near your house for warranty work.
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