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Old 03-08-2017, 11:27 AM   #1
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Retiring, buying new Ford and camper, any suggestions before I buy?

I am looking at ordering a 2017 Ford F350 crewcab King Ranch Dually diesel . I will also be purchasing a new camper as well. I have been a ford person for years and have towed a fifth wheel, but retiring and would like to go to a camper and down size. I am very new to the idea of a camper, so any help from you out there that have a newer ford dually and carry a camper would be much helpful.
Before I order the ford truck, what would you recommend as far as options to carry a slide camper. Gear ratio, size tires or any other important factor I should take into consideration.
I am thinking of the 2017 Lance 995 or the 2017 Artic fox 990. If you have any other campers that are a must to take into consideration would be very helpful as well.
I only have one chance to buy both and just want to make a thourough look at all my options and appreciate any advise from a camper enthusiasts as yourselves.
Thanks
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:53 PM   #2
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Congrats on your retirement and happy travels.

p.s. I was gonna tell ya to consider buying used and save money....... then I remembered you're a Ford guy. You better buy new than you might get to keep it for a year or two......
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:57 PM   #3
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The 2017 has a choice of 3:55 or 4:10 gears. Mine has 3:73 and I would not want a higher gear ratio,especially if you plan to tow. Regardless of the choice of gears, opt for the limited slip.
Camper package, this gets you the heavier front springs, there are other options available to get the heavier springs, but the camper package is cheapest.
Get the tire/wheel option you like, they are all the same size. With a DRW you won't have to worry about overloading the tires.
Get the bed mat, you will need it to keep the camper from moving around.
Supplemental heat will give you instant heat at start up.
There are other things you will need/want, but that will have to wait until you get the truck.
Take a look at Host campers, both double and triple slide models. Host will build the camper to your specs.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:48 AM   #4
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Order the truck with the camper package and the dual alternators. After you get the truck:

1. Get a dedicated higher gauge charge line running through a constant duty solenoid that can be connected to your camper of choice later. This will allow you to recharge your batteries while traveling between destinations without needing to run a generator or plugging in to a pedestal.
2. As posted, get a thin rubber bed mat so your camper does not slide. Whether you get a spray liner on the bed is up to you, but avoid the plastic drop in liners for carrying a camper.
3. Look at the Torklift frame mounted camper tie downs. They require no drilling or welding and have a lifetime guaranty.
4. if you plan to tow more 3000 lbs behind your truck/camper combination, start with the Torklift SuperHitch and get the appropriate length double truss. These are the safest products to tow anything heavy with a receiver extension and typically rated for 12,000 lbs.
5. You can get an in-bed connector for your camper or use the one off your rear receiver. I use a Y-cable off my receiver connector which allows me to use the same connection for both the camper and trailer.
6. If you do not tow, the gasoline engine will do just fine hauling the camper around and you will probably never recover the mileage savings of a diesel although it will be easier sell when you are ready to let go of this truck. If you plan to tow behind the camper, get the diesel engine and you will not regret the decision.
7. If you decide to look at bigger campers like the Eagle Cap or Host, get a F450 or larger. Even though the pickup F450 payload looks smaller on paper than the F350, it has much heftier running gear that will handle these big campers better.

I was very happy with my previous Arctic Fox 811 and only sold it to go bigger. Arctic Fox does not make a triple slide, so I chose a Host. The 990 is about a foot longer than my previous camper - Make sure you have enough storage and comfortable seating for your use.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:21 AM   #5
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Here is a link to a recent thread discussing dual alternators; http://www.irv2.com/forums/f33/dual-...ies-329146.htm . It indicated to me that the extra power provided by dual alternators was more for the electrical consumption of the truck than the camper. The alternators on all our trucks and the MH are about 100 amps and worked fine for us. Newer TCs may be different??

We have had two campers/trucks since the late '70s and traveled in excess of 300k miles with them all over the US, including AK. IMHO, they are about the most versatile RV available, but that depends to a large degree on how they will be used. We used ours for long trips in the summer, and shorter trips for hunting, fishing, and just exploring during the rest of the year. Both trucks were single rear wheel 4 wheel drive. If I were going to buy another it would be the same.

Our first truck was a gasoline powered F250 and after getting 9-10 mpg with it I converted it to diesel and got 15-16, even while cruising interstates at around 70 mph. The second truck, in '93, was a '89 Dodge Cummins W250 diesel with 5 speed manual (5th was OD) and 3.54 diff. It got the same mileage as the first and gearing was about perfect allowing 70 at about 2k rpm. We towed a Samurai and later a Tracker for the last 15 years which reduced mileage by about 2 mpg. I increased fuel capacity on both trucks to about 60 gallons. Whatever diff gearing is selected, it should allow the engine to run at the most efficient rpm when at cruising speed.

Both our campers were SC and 11.5'. After having the first TC for about 15 years we were both nearing retirement and discussed what type of RV life we would like after retirement. We decided on more of the same with another TC. Drawing from our experiences with the first camper a built in generator and AC became necessities. We also looked for the largest fresh and holding tanks available. If we were to buy another camper those would be the priorities with it also.

After a 7k mile trip two years ago my wife said, if we are going to continue to take long trips we need something that rides better, and has better access to conveniences while on the road. We always had a "boot" between the truck and camper that allowed access, but I guess at 70 she was tired of crawling through there. Last year our trip was made with a 26' Flair towing the Tracker at 7-8 mpg. Short diesel MHs are hard to find and a longer one wouldn't fit our needs, but I'm still looking. If it were solely up to me I would still have the TC, but it isn't.

All our trucks and campers were bought used at considerable savings. The second was one year old and was bought from a "rotund" couple who bought it originally to take to Quartzsite, AZ to spend the winter. I think they were planning to sort of "full time" in it and after a month or two decided they didn't like that. I don't believe we would have either. Campers become pretty small after a few months.

After the first few trips I bought a rubber mat to keep the camper from sliding. Also, I too would recommend truck mounted tie downs.

I built the towing extension we used for all the towing we did including car hauling trailers, bike trailers, a 24' enclosed trailer, a 23' cabin boat, and the Samurai/Tracker. It was sort of the reversed front of a trailer with three attach points to the truck and the center one sloped down slightly to the center hitch as a sort of "prop". The two outside attach points went into receivers I built that attached to the outside of both frame rails. It wasn't that difficult to build, it just took a while.

Best of luck with your purchases.

Steve
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:23 PM   #6
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Looks like dual alternators are now standard on 2017 Ford diesels. When I went to the Super Duty build site, the only option was how large the alternators are.
The new diesels (especially the higher trim levels) have the ability to consume are huge amount of DC power.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:38 AM   #7
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I am in the same boat. I personally believe that rv's degrade quickly from day one, so we bought new.

Camper first. We settled on an Arctic Fox 990. I would have been open to a 996, but the production run timing decided that for us. I added dry cell batteries and 100w solar, plus a few extra options. All special ordered.

Truck. We love forest camping and boondocking, so we ended up ordering a 2017 F450 instead of an F350. The primary factor was the maneuverability of the wide track front axle. We ended up with a King Ranch ultimate, added camper pkg, bed mat, and a few other options.

I have not taken delivery of either, so no clue if there are issues with the setup.
Dealer put torklift fastguns and air bags in the deal.

We are happy, and I am looking for a decade of service from this combo. Goodluck!
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:36 AM   #8
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One of the best options I've ever had in a pickup is the factory 5th wheel prep. You will have the option of the Reese or the B&W hitch to fit the OEM pucks. I'm a B&W fan myself. Being able to remove the hitch in about 2 min w/o any tools is priceless. You will have the full use of your pickup bed when your not towing. It also has a socket for a drop in gooseneck hitch. I used mine a lot.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:22 PM   #9
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I don't know what camera system the Ford King Ranch comes with, but we just got a 2017 Ford F250 XL and ordered the CHMSL camera, the one on the top of the cab that provides a view of the truck bed and is supposed to help with hooking up 5th wheel trailer. It is very helpful in backing up to the camper, especially since the regular rear view camera comes off when you remove the tailgate. The camera shows a center line that you can line up with a center mark on the camper. You still need to make sure the truck is straight with the camper though.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyhammer View Post
The 2017 has a choice of 3:55 or 4:10 gears. Mine has 3:73 and I would not want a higher gear ratio,especially if you plan to tow. Regardless of the choice of gears, opt for the limited slip.
Camper package, this gets you the heavier front springs, there are other options available to get the heavier springs, but the camper package is cheapest.
Get the tire/wheel option you like, they are all the same size. With a DRW you won't have to worry about overloading the tires.
Get the bed mat, you will need it to keep the camper from moving around.
Supplemental heat will give you instant heat at start up.
There are other things you will need/want, but that will have to wait until you get the truck.
Take a look at Host campers, both double and triple slide models. Host will build the camper to your specs.
Not sure where you got the info on 4.10 rear axle. Not available. You say never go higher than 3.73. I thought the highest available on the dually was 3.55. I may be wrong. Just for info. The F450 comes only with. 4.30. They do this because they know the 450's will be towing and that is the best option. Around town and towing mileage are better with higher ratios. Sustained freeway speeds unloaded will be lower. This is from research by Ford, Ram and Chevy engineers.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:46 AM   #11
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I really like the concept of
"Find the camper first then order the truck to match", if you have to buy new

We didn't do that, we knew roughly what we wanted and the set up just dropped into our lap.

Personally I would rather let someone else take the depreciation on the new purchase and I'd take the savings and use it on more adventures.

But then there's more work that needs to be done, on both the truck and camper
(We ended getting a well cared for 16 year old truck and camper for a fraction of the cost of either a truck or a camper) but that's a lot of money for trips.

As for what you need, I don't know...
For us, we boondock/dry camp most of the time, so decent sized tanks, and solar power (and since we were looking at older stuff, LED light conversions) were on the list, we also wanted decent sized room to upsize the batteries when it comes time,
We mostly camp when it's sunny so we want to take advantage of the solar panel and store as much power as we can.

We didn't get a DRW because we head off the beaten path, and didn't want to risk a rock between the tires and we got a diesel,
I would rather have a gasser, for the maintenance cost savings, (15 quart oil changes at every 5,000 miles erases all fuel cost/MPG savings) our truck was cheap enough that it has off-set the running costs but it's still expensive to maintain.
We tow sometimes but it's just a lightweight motorcycle trailer with at most three small bikes on it. so under 1500 lbs total

If I were to buy new, for the life we currently lead at about 8,000 rig miles a year, a gasser would have been a better choice. especially with SRW since payload is so much lower.

We got a bigfoot TC and love it, a highly functional and mostly decently made rig,
We didn't want slide out, didn't want AC, and don't have a microwave

We camp to get away from it, not bring it with us and while I'd love to have AC for those times when it's really hot, I don't want to have to haul the gen-set and add that much more weight to the rig

The Truck is a 2000 Ford F350 SRW LB 4X4 Manual 7.3 turbo diesel XLT
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hawkspring1 View Post
I am in the same boat. I personally believe that rv's degrade quickly from day one, so we bought new.
Buying new or used is a personal choice, but I would say from my experience that degradation is directly related to maintenance.

Both our campers were bought used. The the first was several years old the second only one year old when we bought them. We had the first one 15 years and the second 23 years. I maintained both and would not have hesitated to keep either much longer than we did.

The first was sold in order to get one with AC and built in gen. The second was sold to get a MH because that is what my wife wanted. I was perfectly happy with the TC.

These things will require maintenance over time whether bought new or used, sometimes significant maintenance. Nothing stays new forever.

Just my 2c.

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Old 03-17-2017, 03:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 09 harley View Post
Not sure where you got the info on 4.10 rear axle. Not available. You say never go higher than 3.73. I thought the highest available on the dually was 3.55. I may be wrong. Just for info. The F450 comes only with. 4.30. They do this because they know the 450's will be towing and that is the best option. Around town and towing mileage are better with higher ratios. Sustained freeway speeds unloaded will be lower. This is from research by Ford, Ram and Chevy engineers.
No doubt about it , you are wrong.
Quote from the Super duty built site.
"4.10 Limited Slip Axle Ratio is available with F-350 DRW models with 6.7L 4V OHV Power Stroke® V8 Turbo Diesel B20 engine, TorqShift® Six-Speed Automatic transmission with SelectShift®, and 17" wheels. Available with either 4x2 or 4x4." The 2017 brochure says the same thing.
The only other option is.
3.55 Limited Slip Axle Ratio is available with F-350 DRW models with 6.7L 4V OHV Power Stroke® V8 Turbo Diesel B20 engine, TorqShift® Six-Speed Automatic transmission with SelectShift®, and 17" wheels. Available with either 4x2 or 4x4 or the open axle 3:55"
When I bought my 2011, the only option was 3:73. I also didn't say "never" go higher than 3:73, I said that " I" wouldn't go higher. Even though the 3:55 is offered and the 2017 has a little more power, I would go with the lower gear 4:10 over the higher geared 3:55, especially for a DRW.
You are right about the 450, unless you go cab and chassis.All the C&C models offer 4 different gear ratios from 3:73-4:88.C&C models need lower gears as you lose 110hp and 175 lbs of torque with the modified 6.7.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:54 PM   #14
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Are you going to bring a dog or grandchildren ? It gets crowded real fast. Are you going to buy the camper at a dealer near you ? That is helpful...... Are you agreeable to visit the factory should dealer be unable to fix a serious problem ? Get a signed letter from factory to indicate any of their dealers will attempt to fix a problem..... and also, not put you on a long wait list....because you did not buy from them.

We had an 2000 AFox 1150 for about 4 years and liked it a lot....and then we went for a Class A.
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