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Old 04-08-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
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Smile Pros and Cons of owning a truck camper..

Hello everyone:
I gave up Rving a good three years ago.......I can't stay away from it all.My question concerns about owning a truck camper.
I have a Ford 250,V10 and I'd like to put a camper on it,
need advice big time,I'd consider buying a used camper(Truck has 120Ks)
I used to pull a 25.4 fifth wheel.Before I jump in or consider a used unit I'd love to hear from experience owners,concerning what to watch for.Many thanks in advance,araucano.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:35 PM   #2
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At the top of the page in the blue area is a tab for RV forums. In the drop down is a forum for truck camper discussions. You may get ideas from those posts.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:34 AM   #3
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Pros:
Depending on state no tags, inspection, or personal property tax
Maneuverable like a motor home, separable like a trailer
4wd (if truck is)
Can tow a boat or something else behind

Cons:
HEAVY! if looking at a sizable unit an F-250 might not carry it. The largest truck campers will overload duallys.
One of the most expensive types of RVs on a dollars / square foot basis
Can be high up and hard to climb up into the door and the bed
Not nearly as much storage as other RV types

I mainly have a TC because I wanted to tow my boat. Motorhomes are too expensive and I already had a dually truck for work so it made sense. With my growing family now the TC is too small so I will probably be going to a TT and taking 2 vehicles or 2 trips to the lake. I hate to sell the TC because I really like it but the room just isn't there for a family of 5.
By the way, my '05 Chevy dually was about 1,600 pounds over GVWR with my non-basement, non-slide 11' camper and my family and gear.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:46 AM   #4
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WE have a 5th wheel and a TC. The 5th wheel has more room but we use the TC much more because we can go just about anywhere with it. We have a hard side, no slide TC and at first thought we'd feel cramped but have been pleasantly surprised with the space and layout. A new TC can be an expensive proposition on a square foot cost basis but its real cost will depend on how much you use it vs. dragging a 5th wheel or tag along.

You will need to look hard at weight with a F250 but you can beef up the suspension. The V10 has reputation for being bullet proof and will certainly not struggle to haul a TC. Lot's of good forums on TC's so join a few and feel free to ask questions. Lots of folks will chime in with their opinions - then you can sift through the opinions and take or leave what you want.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:55 AM   #5
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We have had diesel powered SRW 4X4 trucks hauling 11.5 campers from the late '70s until a couple of years ago when my wife decided we needed an MH. We went all over the US and AK with them as well as spending up to a month while hunting. Her reasons were valid so we now have a 26' Flair. If it had been up to me we would still have a TC.

IMO, a TC is one of the most versatile and economical RVs available, but for me It would be more difficult to just list pros and cons than to compare it to another RV in that manner. Pros and cons will also depend a lot on the intended use for the camper.

We bought our last TC in '93, a '92 11.5' Caribou with 40 gal fresh water and enough holding capacity to store that. I added an additional dump valve below the other two so I could transfer grey water to the black tank when it was full. It had a built in generator, AC, microwave, water heater, furnace, stove, oven, shower, etc. I also added a catalytic heater for use while hunting to avoid using the furnace which runs the battery down fairly quickly.

This camper was selected after an evaluation of the previous one and noting improvements we would like.

I'm not that familiar with newer campers, but if I were going to buy another one it would be similar to the Caribou. I also selected the Caribou because it was stick built (wood frame) and I could work on that. I also replaced the rubber roof that leaked with aluminum early on and it was trouble free all the years we had it.

Best of luck with your decision.

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Old 04-16-2017, 07:43 AM   #6
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What year is your F250....and does it have a Torque-Matic (or whatever) trans that will downshift automatically when going down hill ?

The weight of your camper could cause the brakes to overheat....even if you stab brake on a long downhill run.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:07 PM   #7
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You will be overloaded with anything more than an 8 ft pop up TC, but many of us are. I love my bigfoot, but I have the smallest one made and am still a little over gvwr. Stableloads and active suspension keep things under control, and I have twice as much power as any class b c or a in existence.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:27 AM   #8
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We hauled our last TC, the 11.5 Caribou, with a '89 Dodge W250 Cummins with 3.54 diff and 5 speed manual for 23 years and 200+k miles, much of it while towing, without incident. I did modify it some for the heavier load. The total weight of the camper and truck was 11k. I don't know anything about the rear coil spring trucks, but it doesn't sound like they improved them any as far as hauling is concerned.

Just my 2c.

Steve
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
What year is your F250....and does it have a Torque-Matic (or whatever) trans that will downshift automatically when going down hill ?

The weight of your camper could cause the brakes to overheat....even if you stab brake on a long downhill run.
My 2005 F250 was often loaded 11,500-12,500 lbs GVW. The PSD and Torqueshift did fine keeping the speed in check going up or down. When loaded at 12,500 lbs, I also had a 6000-8000 lb trailer in tow which had its own brakes. I rarely had to use the service brakes on grades even when over 19,000 lbs GCW and could rely on the exhaust braking through the VGT (variable geometry turbo).
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:59 PM   #10
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Pros .... (compared to pull-behinds)

Can go almost anywhere and fit in almost any site.
Considered a truck accessory with my insurance company and super inexpensive.
No wheel, tire, bearing or frame maintenance (additional to tow vehicle).
No tag fees.
Much less expensive on toll roads and ferries.
Capable of parking in almost any conventional parking space.
Able to pull to the side of the road easily for that spectacular waterfall photo.
No 55 mph restrictions in some states like California.
No spring bars and WD hitches to deal with.
Better fuel economy.
Maneuverability.
Better resale value.
Easier to heat and cool (less cubic feet).
Quicker setting up and tearing down at site (potentially).
When you go off to explore for the day, you have all your stuff with you including food.

Cons ....

Less storage space.
Typically, small tank storage.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:29 AM   #11
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Old post.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:50 PM   #12
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You may get better mileage with a pop up truck camper, but a hard side model will put up a considerable amount of wind resistance and hurt your mileage more than than towing a lower profile trailer of greater weight.
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:50 AM   #13
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You may get better mileage with a pop up truck camper, but a hard side model will put up a considerable amount of wind resistance and hurt your mileage more than than towing a lower profile trailer of greater weight.
Of course towing a lower profile trailer will have less aero drag. I was using my personal experience towing a conventional Fun Finder 24 foot single slide travel trailer at 6000 lbs getting 12.8 mpg and comparing it to our Adventurer 80RB getting 13.9 mpg. Depending on the cab size of the truck (std.,quad, crew, king) the front of the cab-over sits at different positions relative to the flow of air coming across the hood, up the windshield and either striking the cab-over immediately or flowing in a continuous arc over the cab-over. With the pull behind, all of the air going over the truck strikes most of the frontal area of the pull-behind so I think there are times when there is more aero drag with the trailer.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:23 AM   #14
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My F250 would get the same mileage carrying my Arctic Fox truck camper as it would get towing my Weekend Warrior toy hauler. Only in heavy mountain driving did I see reduced mileage with the toy hauler over the truck camper. Head and side winds had the same affect on both RV's.
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