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Old 05-15-2017, 06:48 AM   #1
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Rambox

Hi all...Looking for some info that maybe someone here has dealt with. I have a 2013 Ram 2500 Tradesman that has the Rambox bed. 6' 4" long and no wheel wells. My wife and I are looking at selling the 5th wheel and going with a TC. Has anyone here put a TC on this type of bed? And if so, what did you get and any mods to make it fit? It seems like there is a very close tolerance in the sides of the bed rails and the bottom of the side overhang (is that what you call it?) on the TC. Also I've noticed that a lot of the TC's have the propane lines sticking out underneath the side overhang (again??) of the TC. That is where I think the problem is going to be. Has anyone rerouted these lines? And if so, what did you do with them? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tkmj View Post
Hi all… Looking for some info that maybe someone here has dealt with. I have a 2013 Ram 2500 Tradesman that has the Rambox bed. 6' 4" long and no wheel wells.
Has anyone here put a TC on this type of bed? And if so, what did you get and any mods to make it fit?

It seems like there is a very close tolerance in the sides of the bed rails and the bottom of the side overhang…
Also I've noticed that a lot of the TC's have the propane lines sticking out underneath the side overhang of the TC. That is where I think the problem is going to be.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Since truck campers come in all shapes & sizes I’m sure you’ll find a good match. The internet is loaded with TC manufacturers. I’d suggest finding a base model that suits your weight class and then call the factory and ask about your specific needs.

As for the RamBox problem. . .
The reason a RamBox doesnt work is because TC manufacturers typically use every scrap of space available including the end-wings of the camper’s basement.

Have a look at the pics I posted below to better see where the conflict with a RamBox pickup would be.







On the positive side I’d say that there are some smaller TC units that either dont have the tail-wings or could certainly be custom built by the manufacturer to eliminate them.

For an often overlooked source of light economical custom campers see Capri Campers…
Here is the link: Capri Camper | World's Best Truck Camper

A few years ago I set out to replace my aging 2007 F-250 with a new truck specifically designed to haul a small truck-camper unit. I set out to buy the truck to fit the camper (not the other way around) but regardless, I have a ton of (kinda’ boring) info on that experience if your interested.
I’m already long here so for now the above info should get you started.

Happy hunting!
-Ej-
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:56 AM   #3
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Except for the lightest campers, most have something of a basement that goes up to the wheel wells and then the inside camper floor starts. The floor is typically around 6' wide which not work with the Rambox which limits you to about 4' in width.

If you are willing to work with that limitation and choose a camper with no basement, you will also need to carefully look at how far the rear camper wings extend into the bed so it will clear the tailgate opening. Once you load the camper, you will not have access to your Rambox, so anything you have stored will be locked down until you lift the camper. You will not find a camper with a slide out that does not have a basement, so expect the camper to be small regardless of whether it is a pop up or hard side model.

Electrojake did a good job illustrating what I wrote in the pictures. Those will be the problem areas even on units without a basement.
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info Electrojake and Bedlam - I looked at the Retreat Capri Camper and it is pretty neat, but the wife insists on a North/South bed. Doesn't want to be trapped between me and the wall.
I have never owned a TC before, a couple of popups and the current 5th wheel toyhauler, and forgive me if I might seem a little uneducated on things, but is there the possibility of building a lightweight frame to sit in the truck bed to lift the TC up for the clearance room? Maybe something along the lines of aluminum square tubing for the lightweight factor? Not worried about the Rambox toolboxes on the sides. I plan on towing a 12~14 ft single axle enclosed trailer with the Harley in it. There would be my room for storage stuff. I would definitely go with sway bars and air shocks for the help with the handling. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:49 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, there are big compromises in truck camper choices and size due to your bed width and length restrictions. You need the camper to clear your cab and bed rail height, but you really do not want to raise your center of gravity higher than you need or increase your overall height.

If you are pulling an enclosed trailer, storage is not a problem and you could even have man cave in the front of the trailer if the camper gets too small for two.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:12 PM   #6
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Hmmmm....might have to rethink this one. The man cave sounds good. Wouldn't want to be in the way if the wife has to cook dinner inside because of rain or something. Maybe I need to revisit the classifieds and change my ad. 5th wheel KZ Toyhauler AND Ram 2500 with 16k Reese Sliding hitch. Package deal!!! Then look for a different setup...........
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:51 PM   #7
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Hmmmm....might have to rethink this one. The man cave sounds good. Wouldn't want to be in the way if the wife has to cook dinner inside because of rain or something. Maybe I need to revisit the classifieds and change my ad. 5th wheel KZ Toyhauler AND Ram 2500 with 16k Reese Sliding hitch. Package deal!!! Then look for a different setup...........
This Adventurer 80RB (North-South bed) looks like a very smooth sided slide-in. She's 1700 pounds dry.

Might be worth a look!
Here’s a link ---> Adventurer Truck Camper Models & Floor Plans | A Premium RV Manufacturer Since 1969

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Old 05-16-2017, 10:12 AM   #8
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I wasn't going to get involved here because most of my TC buying experience is from the '70's and '93 when we bought the one we sold a couple of years ago, but........

It sounds to me like the man cave idea would move you back toward where you are with the toy hauler. I was just wondering why you wanted to exchange it for a TC?

IMHO, the toy hauler will have more living space, especially if you keep the current truck and find a camper to fit it. I guess it depends a lot on how you use it, but TC's were our only campers from the late '70's until a few years ago when we bought a 26' Flair MH. Our campers were both 11.5' and I will say they get pretty small after being in them for a month or two.

That being said, they were perfect for us and we used them in excess of 300k miles and nearly 40 years all over the US and AK. We pulled all kinds of trailers behind them including a bike trailer. For the last 15 years we towed a Samurai and then a Tracker which were set up so I could carry a Honda CT90 on each end, one for me and one for the wife. In addition to highway traveling we also used them on logging roads in OR and a few other places for hunting, fishing, and just exploring. The short length and 4WD made them very well suited for that.

We bought our first truck before getting a camper with absolutely no TC experience. Back then what I bought was called a "stepside", but I'm thinking similar to yours except the bed was 8.5' long. After buying a camper and considering the truck bed storage space we would be losing I exchanged the "stepside" bed for a "fleetside". It required a few modifications, but I had the necessary tools and everything worked out well. Our last camper was too low in the truck bed so I found a rubber mat about an inch thick to raise it a bit and to also keep it from sliding in the bed.

Best of luck with your choice.

Steve
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:51 AM   #9
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In my case, I went from a toy hauler to a truck camper. My toy hauler had about 16' of garage length and I was having to stack two vehicles with their noses overlapped to fit. I really needed 18' or more of garage, but did not want to get a monster toy hauler and did not want an open floor plan model that shared garage and living space. By going with an enclosed trailer and truck camper, I was able to keep overall length about the same as towing my smaller toy hauler (nose to tail 45-50').

People have asked why I didn't just tow a trailer with a motor home. All the shorter models that have any capacity are based on the E450 cut-away van. Most of these are limited to 7500 lbs maximum tow weight which would limit what I bring with me and put the motor home at the limits of its capacity. Being able to tow with diesel pickup while carrying a truck camper gives me 12,000 lbs of towing capacity even if I run a 4' double-trussed extension off the receiver. There are larger motor homes with greater tow capacity, but I don't want the larger cabin that comes with this increased capacity. I prefer to have a 4wd tow vehicle due to boon docking via logging roads and occasionally crossing snow covered mountain passes - There are upgrades available for E450's, but clearance can still be an issue due to many low hanging RV components.

Having an individual tow vehicle, living space and garage offers a lot of versatility on what you take with you. I can just take the truck in for service or just use the trailer to haul something or just go away without toys with nothing in tow. Also each single piece of this combination can be upgraded while keeping the rest.

What I wrote above is not to convince anyone that they should follow my choices, but it explains why the choices I made work best for my use. If this spurs more discussion and questions, I see that as a positive response.
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:10 AM   #10
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I wasn't going to get involved here because most of my TC buying experience is from the '70's and '93 when we bought the one we sold a couple of years ago, but........
Going from a Fiver to a TC is indeed a drastic transition but it may have its merits...

The DW and I purposely went small on our TC. We set a $100,000 spending limit this time around and needed the most 'bang-for-the-buck'. After months of looking at every possible RV type we could fit within our budget, a "small" truck camper seemed fit the bill best.

Not sure what the OP has on his mind but in my case the criteria for our new RV was this. . .

1.) Unlike most RV types, our short-bed truck can be also used as a second daily-driver when not hauling the TC around.

2.) The RV we chose (regardless of type) had to be small enough to park in a typical hotel parking lot space, (this may sound nuts but we stay at Hampton Inn's frequently when traveling with the TC).
Heh... blame the dear wife, I could find good sleep in a garbage dumpster.

3.) To be honest, putting a TC in any 2500 is going to be a task GVWR wise, so IMHO the RamBox issue is the least of the OP's problems. If the truck has rear coil springs (as some 2500 Dodges do) he's even going to have more challenges to deal with.

Payload gets consumed quickly!
On paper my little Northstar ArrowU & Ram 3500 look perfect, but when I roll onto the CAT scale I sorta cringe.

But no problem: It's all part of the adventure.
A 2500 Ram can certainly be properly fitted with a nice TC with a bit of creativity and some research!
-Ej-
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:35 PM   #11
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I'm with both these guys. Their reasoning, for the most part, has also been mine over the years. We never stayed in motels while we had a camper, but it was my wife who decided we should have a MH. It's best to keep them happy.

Steve
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:23 AM   #12
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I really appreciate all the info that is being put out....Being a newbie to a TC is a whole different ballgame.
The reason for the change is the Toyhauler is way to big for me to park it at my house - (live in a small lakeside neighborhood - couldn't even make the turns into the streets if I wanted to!). So the cost of storage is one issue. The TC could sit in my yard no problem.
Another reason is Missouri has a Personal Property Tax. The yearly rate on the Toyhauler is pretty steep. No personal Property Tax on a TC. It doesn't have to be registered in MO.
Another reason is it is just my wife and myself. I work overseas on offshore drilling rigs, and when I am on my time off we are everywhere together, so the limited space is not an issue. As long as we have the Harley with us in the mountains somewhere we are happy. All we do in the camper is sleep anyway.
The biggest factor is the $$$$ savings on taxes and the room for storage. It is not very long till retirement time and I would like to trim expenses some. Not looking to full time in a TC, but we do have the "Wanderlust" in our blood.
I have been thinking about the pads for the bed of the truck to lift the TC a little. Just have to find the right TC and do some measuring. As Bedlam said I do not want to raise the vertical CoG any more than necessary (being on a semi-submersible drilling rig, I know too well what that does for you).
But I do appreciate the helpful info and when I find the right setup I will make sure to post and let you know the results. Maybe someone else is having this exact issue and knowledge is everything to us challenged people!!!
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:51 AM   #13
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Ha, I think we're all challenged in one way or another, at least I know I am.

I think you've given the issue considerable thought and IMHO, have good reasons for making the change.

After having our first camper 15 years and 100k+ miles all over the US for a month each year and at least a week in the woods bow hunting for elk, we had a good idea of what we wanted in a replacement RV. After considering everything else available we decided on a Dodge Cummins W250 4WD and a camper with the largest fresh and holding capacities available, AC, and a built in gen to run it. We selected a '92 11.5' Caribou. We used that outfit for another 200k+ miles and 23 years the same way we used the previous TC.

While working I had 5 weeks of vacation time, most of which was spent on the road or in the woods After retirement, mine in '94 and my wife about 3 years later, our time on the road increased to around 2 months each year and a month in the woods bow hunting for elk and riding around on the CT90's.

For us the TC was a perfect rig for the way we used it, I hope it will be for you too.

Steve
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:48 AM   #14
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I looked for years for a camper like you need. I had a utility body on my truck so the distance between the inside bed walls was only about 50". There are campers that will work but, you can't have a basement, you can't have a slide, and you can't have a full bath. Find a camper with none of those things and likely it will fit on your truck with no modification.
However, that's not the kind of camper I wanted so I swapped the bed for a different one.
Raising your camper is likely a bad idea. The center of gravity on a camper is rather high anyway. It will sway around a bit when you go over bumps and make turns. There's no way I'd aggravate that by elevating the camper. If you had a small light weight pop-up then maybe. But, if you had that you wouldn't need to lift it because it would fit.
I think your best course of action is to either trade the truck on one with a regular bed or swap the bed.
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