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Old 05-19-2014, 05:48 AM   #1
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Tailgate...On or Off

I am purchasing a North Star 850SC and hauling it on my 2011 F250 PSD crew cab short box. Camper by MFG specs can go on short or long truck. There are no skirts. Salesman says ok to leave the gate down with no harm. I have heard others recommend not having tailgate on truck. It is a manstep camera model so it is a heavy costly unit. I'm looking for some more opinions on this matter.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:42 AM   #2
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Not having a tailgate can get you in tribble (Traffic tickets) if there is anything at all in the bed of the truck.

Also, studies have been done on MPG with and without a tail gate and with the tailgate in the OPEN position.. The results were surprising (Tailgate closed = best MPG as it turns out)

They make a special tail gate with a "V" shaped cut out for the 5th wheel. this would be my sugestion. Satisfy John law, and lets the pin clear the tail gate when hooking up.

Some folks open and close the tail gate as they hookup/unhook as well.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:53 AM   #3
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If you leave the tailgate down while traveling you won't be able to turn as the tailgate will hit the trailer...it won't hit while you are hooking up, so hook up and close the gate.

I probably don't understand the question...

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Old 05-19-2014, 07:56 AM   #4
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hotrod32,
If there is nothing that is going to hit on the TC, then I would just put the tailgate down. If the TC is made for a long or short bed, then nothing should be on the bottom side so it sets flat on the bed.
If you are still questioning whether to leave it on or not, check with the Ford regional Rep and ask him/her.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:22 AM   #5
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Myth Busters did a show on the tailgate issue, and proved that the aerodynamic cushion formed in the bed with the tailgate closed provided smoother airflow, less drag, and therefore better mpg. That was running on it's own. Towing a trailer may have less impact because the air now has to push it's way past the trailer after it spills off of roof and over the bed.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:27 AM   #6
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How can you keep the tailgate from being stolen if it is down and not locked. You'd be surprised how many camera tailgates are stolen. I met one guy who lost 3 on the same truck.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:37 AM   #7
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Thanks but most of you are missing what was being asked. This is a 8.5 foot truck camper sitting in the bed of a 6.75 truck bed. If the camper is resting on the tailgate it could take some real effort to steal the tailgate. Since the camper will be on the truck the mpg of the tailgate down is not an issue. I want to know about any problems or benefits with tailgate on or off?
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:45 AM   #8
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Ok now I see
Can the camper floor take the point load where the truck bed ends and the overhang begins without the tailgate absorbing some load further aft??
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:47 AM   #9
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Oh, sorry, to me it seemed like you were talking about a 5th wheel setup. From what I have seen at the campgrounds, those who actually setup a stand to perch the camper section on, leave the tailgate on. As far as the ones who never take the camper off, I am no help.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:51 AM   #10
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It would appear that the responders so far donít understand that the NS 850SC is a TRUCK CAMPER, NOT a trailer. From looking at the pictures of the 850SC on the NS website, it looks like there is nothing underneath the bottom rear if the camper that would prevent you from leaving the tailgate on the truck with the camper loaded. If it were me, Iíd leave the tailgate on the truck just as the salesman suggested. I would, however, make absolutely sure that the tailgate in the down position is absolutely level with the bed of the truck. If it is canted up even a little, it will be putting a lot of weight on the very back edge of the tailgate that may exceed what the tailgate supports (cable/steel arms) are rated to hold. If level there will be minimal weight and if canted down at all there will be no extra weight on the tailgate from the camper.


If you pull any thing behind the truck with the camper loaded, you may want to consider a hitch extension.

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Old 05-19-2014, 10:48 AM   #11
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Wow. Read the question guys.
I would leave the tailgate off if for no other reason than weight savings. With any TC, especially one on a 250 4x4 diesel, you'll need to loose every extra pound you can.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:08 PM   #12
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Good point KD. Weight should always be a consideration when it comes to truck campers. But with a 2011 F-250 truck payload of either 3250 (4X4) or 3660 (2X4) and a dry weight of 1735 for NS 850SC, I wouldnít think the weight of the tailgate would be a major consideration. But thatís just me.


Letís not forget that the 850 SC is a pop-up and I would think the standard rule of adding 1,000 pounds to the dry weight might be just a tad overkill.


But again, good point for hotrod to consider.
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