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Old 01-02-2011, 10:27 AM   #1
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How much weight is realistic?

I am thinking of buying my first truck camper and need advice on what is a realistic dry weight for the camper. My pickup is a 2002 F250 7.3 powerstroke. It is stock except for the airbag shocks I added. All my experience so far is with 5th wheels and pull campers. (According to the dealers my pickup will handle anything they want to sell me.) All suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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A 2002 F250 has a GVWR of 8800# and the truck will weigh in about 7300# +/- depending on options and passenger load. So that leaves you with about 1500# carrying capacity before you exceed the manufacturers rating. The air bags do nothing as for increasing the trucks carrying capacity.

Also, you are not concerned with the dry weight of the camper. You need to look at a weight with it wet and loaded. The brochure dry weight will not include any item listed as an option....such as A/C (200#), microwave (35#), batteries (40#), television, awning, tie down brackets...and so on.

The problem with an F250, is that it can pull a lot, but due to the FVWr, it cannot haul a lot of weight in the back. There is one camp of RVers that contend that the F250 and the SRW F350 are the same, excluding some suspension blocks. What they are missing is that the sticker on the door jamb has a lower GVWR than does the F350.

Generally for hauling any reasonable sized slide-in truck camper, you really need to go up to an F350 Dually.

With the F250, be very careful of the weights for the camper and DO NOT believe the dealer.

Ken
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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I agree with Ken and will add this. If you haven't hauled a slide-in on a Dually, you can't appreciate the difference in handling. I have hauled our slide-in on a 3/4T as well as our Dually. No rocken & rollen like the 3/4 T. Our slide-in has a 2100 lb wet weight and I have overloaded our Dually with it. Once I got a good deal on some 1" lumber 12' long. I cut the ends off so they would fit under the camper and loaded 3 layers in the PU bed. I put the ends beside it. I was 1K over the PU's GVWR.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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Your dealer is full of it, but if he is so sure about it handeling the load, just have them put it in writing and and then go for it. You will soon learn that all pickups need some extras for carrying a camper.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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Any truck can/will carry up to its rated axle capacities realistically or legally. Some folks don't like to carry weight by the trucks rated axle capacities however the rest of the world operates on axle capacities for carrying weight.

Ford gives your F250 truck around 6000-6084 RAWR/tire capacities. The F250 may have a rear unladin axle weight of around 2800 lbs which leaves 3200 lbs for a max axle payload. Actual weights will vary with the amount of gear over the rear axles.
Figuring a trucks payload is simple once you have your unladin front and rear axle weights.
The hard part of your question is what is a realistic dry weight for the camper ?? Many folks may load a TC with 1000-1500 lbs of "stuff". Other folks may load only a couple of hundred pounds of stuff. I would recommend you weigh your trucks front and rear axles sparately and from that weight you can figure your trucks max wet weight. Many TC folks uprate to 19.5" wheels and tires for carrying those big TCs.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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Upgrading your wheels does nothing for the actual load carrying capacity of the truck. That is determined by your axle rating.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:20 PM   #7
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Dang Ken... i hope someone with a 3/4 ton truck don't take 4 300lb guys and a good tent and lawn chair's camping acording to you thay will be overloaded.

Dar
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:15 AM   #8
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Towing horse trailers taught me a whole new way of driving. Having live animals aboard and moving around is not the same as towing a boat. You can feel a couple of tons of horse moving about no matter how stout the truck (ours is an F350 CC/SRW). I learned to drive slow, watch out for other drivers, and keep my attention completely focused on the job at hand. No chit-chat, no phones, no radios. I probably annoy the drivers stuck behind me...but my horses are grateful to arrive alive.

BTW, we just bought a Coachman Sport TC on Saturday to use horse camping this summer. This is a switch from two vehicles - one with a popup camper and the other with the horse trailer. We're looking forward to the "new" system.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:21 AM   #9
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Dang Ken... i hope someone with a 3/4 ton truck don't take 4 300lb guys and a good tent and lawn chair's camping acording to you thay will be overloaded.

Dar
Nope, not according to Ken. According to the manufacturer who put the vehicle GVWR tag on the driver's door jamb.

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Old 02-14-2011, 08:47 AM   #10
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Nope, not according to Ken. According to the manufacturer who put the vehicle GVWR tag on the driver's door jamb.

Rusty
If the driver is also 300lbs, the tent and chairs would put it over. By anyones account, it would be a tight fit in the cab with 5 big guys like that.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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And that is the problem with a 3/4 ton truck....it cannot haul as much as a 1 ton truck.

Some say to go up to the axle limits on the rear. Problem is what is the limiting component in the WHOLE truck. It may not be the rear axle. The car manufacturers pay a lot of engineers a lot of money to design a truck that will operate safely within the published limits. They put a sticker on the drivers door jamb which shows the GAWR and the GVWR. You are not to choose one or the other. You are not to supposed to exceed either rating.

So you can ignore the manufacturers rating and go by what a non-engineer tells you he does. Also I have noted, the biggest fuss about the 3/4 ton ratings comes from 3/4 ton owners.

Ken
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:27 PM   #12
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I used to have slide in camper on a 3/4 ton single rear wheel truck. I eventually sold the truck and put the slide in on a 1 ton crew cab dually. The differance was like night and day.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:04 PM   #13
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The only difference in my W250 and a W350 is two more tires and 4 inch wider rear end, springs, frame, rearend D70, all the same.

I will say those extra tires make quite a difference.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:34 AM   #14
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I have carried an Arctic Fox 990 truck camper loaded with AC, Generator, Solar, full water, etc. probably approaching 5000lbs. of weight in the back of my 2006 Dodge 2500 quad cab diesel. Did it for two years no problem.

Now, with that said, how heavy a camper do you want is my first question?

Second question, how much are you willing to spend to carry a heavy camper safely?

It may be more cost effective to sell your truck and buy a dually, but not necessarily, depends on what you want.

It is easy to add overload springs to your Ford, and you can buy 17" tires with 3950lbs. of load rating, or you can upgrade to Rickson or Vision 19.5" wheels/tires for even higher load rating and you may need to do so.

For my Dodge and Arctic Fox, I needed custom overload spring packs and Vision 19.5" wheels with G load rated commercial tires, along with an expensive Torklift Superhitch to pull my boat, all for a grand total of about $3500-$4000 to make my truck handle the camper. If I had it to do over, I would have bought a dually for only a couple grand more than I paid for my 2500.

Gman
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