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Old 03-13-2001, 03:06 AM   #1
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Location: New Orleans, LA area
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We're considering a 820 Lance with electic jacks.
How practical, difficult is it to unload the camper from the truck at a busy campground in order to free up your truck for touring?
I know its not recommended, but has anyone ridden in a camper on the road? Is it impossibly bumpy?

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Old 03-13-2001, 03:06 AM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: New Orleans, LA area
Posts: 5
We're considering a 820 Lance with electic jacks.
How practical, difficult is it to unload the camper from the truck at a busy campground in order to free up your truck for touring?
I know its not recommended, but has anyone ridden in a camper on the road? Is it impossibly bumpy?

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Old 03-13-2001, 03:42 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Beverly, MA, USA
Posts: 37
Hello Carolyn. welcome to iRV2.com. I'm sure you'll get lots of answere's to your questions here and most of the folks here have many years of experience with slide-in's, I've only had a slide-in for three years but here's what I do. If I'm just staying at a campground overnight I'll leave the camper on the truck. If I'm staying for a weekend and I need the truck for other reasons I'll unload it. If I'm staying at at a site for weeks I'll definately unload the camper. I have heard of but never run into a campground that won't allow slide-in's to be unloaded. When I asked my dealer about using the slide-in off the truck they said "no problem". some folks use additional support under the camper when it is unloaded to improve stability and that's probably a good idea. On my old truck (1997) loading and unloading time was normally in the 15 minute range unless I was having a bad day or it was in pouring rain. My new truck is MUCH narrower and I expect the loading time to increase due to the lack of space to load. I always lower my camper as cloase to the ground as possible when unloaded, the jacks are much more stable in that position. If you use systems like air suspension and adjustable shocks you'll probably want to adjust them from their loaded settings to an exceptable unloaded setting, having a small air compressor with you will help with that job. Again welcome to iRV2.com and enjoy your camper. Ken Hatch

2001 F350, 4x4, SC, DRW, PSD
1997 F350, 4x4, RC, SRW, PSD
1997 Blazer 202DC bass boat, (Mercury225hp ProMax)
1999 Lance 1020.
I only wish I had more time to use this stuff!
2004 F350, 4x4, SC, DRW, 6.0 liter PSD

1997 Blazer 202DC bass boat, (Mercury225hp ProMax)
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Old 03-14-2001, 02:09 AM   #4
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Location: New Orleans, LA area
Posts: 5
Thanks Ken
Before finding this forum, we changed our minds about buying a truck camper because of a comment in a popular RV book. It stated that unloading a camper at a campground was something you didn't want to do, but it was something that we wanted to do. Since we don't know any slide in owners, this forum is invaluable to us.

No slide is yet, but soon we hope.
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Old 03-14-2001, 02:45 AM   #5
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Location: New Bern, NC
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Carolyn, welcome to the forum. We used to live in across the river from you in Gretna. I have only had my camper a week and so have only it a few times on my truck. It takes me (alone) about 20 minutes to load it and while that seems like a long time it is because the electric jacks move kinda slow. I was pretty worried after reading some of the comments here but am real surprised about how easy it actually is. The trick is to have the truck lined up straight to the camper before you back under the camper so as long as the camping site you have chosen is level and otherwise suitable it should be just like in your driveway. BigFoot recommends bracing the floor because the bottom of the camper is not stressed for this type of use and should be supported. Everyone does it and I have not heard about anyone damaging their campers doing this. Hope this helps.


2000 F350 Lariat LE CC SWB DWD Auto 4:10 w Bigfoot 2500 8.11
2000 F350 Lariat LE CC ShortBox Dually Auto WD chip Bilsteins
Bigfoot 2500 8.11 and yellow lab
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Old 03-14-2001, 05:06 AM   #6
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Location: Aitkin MN
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As you can see I have an 820 and unload it in campgrounds more often than not. Depending on the complexity of your tiedowns, it takes about 10 minutes to unload and about 20 to onload. You just need to unhook them and unplug your power, raise the jacks and drive away. Your initial installation at home will take more time to adjust tire pressures, set shocks and airbags if so equipped, remove license plates if necessary etc. It's easy!!

I have my 820 sitting on it's electric jacks outside my house all winter long, and it is getting long this year, and have not needed any additional support. Lance emphasizes this themselves, they are designed and built to be used on the jacks. Of course you lower it down for stability and ease of access, and the front end turns into a good out of the weather storage area. I really enjoy the flexibility of a truck camper, and the new electric jacks really make it simple. If you plan to do a lot of boondocking or dry camping, a good solar system would really help keep your batteries up.

2000 F-350 V-10 AT 4WD CC SWB Dually, 2000 Lance 820, Firestone Ride-Rites, Torklift Tiedowns, Rancho 9000's, Tow a 16FT Alumacraft Lunker.
2000 F-350 V-10 AT 4WD CC SWB Dually, 2000 Lance 820, Firestone Ride-Rites, Torklift Tiedowns, Rancho 9000's, Tow a 1675 Lund Explorer SS.
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Old 03-14-2001, 09:12 AM   #7
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We never unloaded our camper on trips because we were never long enough (>2-3 days) at one place to make it worth it. The only problem/issue we see is the platform (to sit the camper on), carrying it ....; others have addressed this.

Eventually we will unload for extended stays. I am thinking about have some lightweight composite "blocks" (similar in dimenstions to concrete blocks--but feather light) made to stand the camper on; also included would be a sawhorse type brace for fitting underneath the cabover/bedroom. Thus with these in place plus the jacks slightly firm on the ground the camper should be quite stable for living in "off" the truck.

Again, however, we find it more convenient to leave on the camper. Basically these truck/camper rigs are like a smallish class c motorhomes. We have the Bigfoot 3000 which is a farily large, heavy camper. Your 820 is lighter, smaller, ... thus you just might wish to camp/travel in it for a while--you may find it easier to leave camper on the truck.

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Old 03-14-2001, 01:13 PM   #8
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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I have a 1030 Lance and always unload it if I am staying more than about 3 days(Usually unload it more frequently becuase the wife doesn't like me driving to boat ramp at 5 am with her in camper )
The process usually takes about 15 min to unload and about 30 min to load and tie down. I would recommend additional supports to put under the camper as it does need a little more stability when off the truck

Just my $.02 worth

1999 F-350 4x4 SC 6spd PSD Titan Class V hitch Firestone Ride Rite Air Springs
1999 Lance 1030
tow 21'Seaflite or Jeep on flatbed
2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD crewcab, Duramax

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Old 03-14-2001, 03:36 PM   #9
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Martinez, CA. USA
Posts: 46
I, like all the rest,offload if staying more than a couple of days. With the camper in the lowest possible position, it becomes quite stable. I read in my "owners manual" (Bigfoot) that extra support is only required when storing for long term.
A question I have for the group.
Have you ever seen RV Dealers place supports of any kind under their slide-in units at an RV Show?
I personnally have not, therefore it makes me feel that extra support is not likely needed. Though it probably would not hurt for stability reasons.
Just a thought.

'93 F-250 4x4 SC,Banks Sidewinder,Monster Exhaust, Banks TCM, Y2K Bigfoot 2500 9.6 Camper
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Old 03-15-2001, 02:27 AM   #10
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Just remember that you cannot level the camper (except a small amount) once it is off the truck because the feet of the jacks can't slide across the ground. If you back into a sloping site you have to level the truck first then remove the camper. Also have to level the truck before you put the camper back on if the site is really unlevel.
2003 F450

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Old 03-15-2001, 03:25 PM   #11
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Location: Mount Pleasant, TX
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Just like Iver, we don't ever unload our camper after we leave home. My wife loves to have her potty and fridge with us at all times--I don't mind it either. Iver is right. The truck/camper is just like a small Class C Motorhome and it's easy to get around in traffic. We have gone downtowm in many cities and even parked downtown with no problems. The camper is very easy to unload with the electric jacks, but we like to have it with all our comforts of home with us at all times too.

There have been a lot of times, when touring an area, we see a beautiful spot to stop for lunch and the fridge, range, and microwave is there for all the fixin's. That is one of the reasons we take the camper on a lot more trips than the 5er--the camper is so handy and convenient.


97 Hitchhiker II 31RLBG, 31', Rear Living, 2 Slide-outs, Lance 990 Camper w/TorqueLift tiedowns, Rancho 9000, Air Lift 5000, 2000 Dodge 3500, 6 SPD., Q-Cab, PacBrake, Reese 20K Hitch, Retired 6+ years, "Half" Timers
'03 Lance 1121
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Old 03-15-2001, 06:11 PM   #12
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Location: Madison, WI
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hello Carolyn-

i was debating a slide in or not, also-untill I found this sight. Scroll down a little and read the responses to my post as to whether or not "Slide-ins are worth it??"

The responses convinced me to keep heading in the slide-in direction. I am currently looking for a truck with my eye on slide-ins-though i am looking at light pop-up models for starters. I own a class C motor home which is too large for what i want to do and i think the slide-in is a better choice than a Class B (van) motor home with regards to versatality- specifically because you CAN take it off. So good luck and keep checking back-i haven't read any bogus advice here, so far.


95 Texson slide-in-8ft pop-up; 97 F150 Lariat SC 4x4
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Old 03-16-2001, 11:00 AM   #13
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Seattle area, WA
Posts: 63
Whether to unload depends on the time frame and situation. If I'm staying at the parking lot in Whistler, BC while skiing I won't unload no matter how long I'm there. When I'm gone hunting for the week or a long weekend, I'll drop it at the campground or in the forest. I usually drop at campgrounds on weekends because the wife doesn't like storing all the "stuff" every time we leave camp. I figure that because I'm lowering the electric jacks anyway for stability, it's not much more work to go ahead and drop it. With practice, you'll have the camper dropped in no time.

My camper is stored year 'round on the jacks with no other support. With the jacks down as far as they'll go, the camper is very stable. I can walk all over the roof and even jump up and down on the cabover section with no problem. Okay, I'm exagerating - I don't actually jump up and down on the roof, but it is very stable.

I've never ridden in the camper while traveling because I'm usually driving. The wife and kid have slept back there and I don't recall any complaints about the ride. I would imagine it's at least a little bouncy with some swaying.


2000 F350 CC DRW Lariat V10 with Alpenlite Pendelton 11'10" camper held on by Torklift frame mounted tie-downs.


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Old 03-17-2001, 01:40 PM   #14
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The ride inside is no different than any other coach. The rules and regulations differ through out the country as to riding in a camper. If you are going to do this on a regular basis extra safety should be taken as to how the unit is mounted on the slave vehicle and communication should be provided for two way conversation with the occupents and the driver.
Happy Trails

You must have FALLEN OFF the TURNIP TRUCK!
Heck no I was DRIVING.
Class:A, 45',Super Duty diesel toad,H-D load.
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