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Old 08-06-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
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Which truck will be best for camper?

I am looking to get a truck and a camper. This has been a dream of mine for a few years now and I am finally able to make it happen. I have been looking into toyota tacoma, f150, and Chevy Silverado. I am still not sure which is best, diesle or gas, automatic or manual. I want to hual a camper and be able to get almost anywhere. I am planning on being an active camper, so long miles and possible rough terrain. Basically I want to have a truck that can be reliable and able to tackle most scenarios. I don't think I need a super heavy duty truck, but instead of talking to truck enthusiasts id rather talk to the community that is doing what I want my truck to be able to do. This is also my first truck that I'll be purchasing. Thanks! -Jackie rae
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:49 PM   #2
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Pick out the type and size camper you think you could be happy with, and then find the truck that is capable of hauling the weight and size of that camper. Don't forget the weight of all the things that you will want to bring along with you. Toyota Tacoma is not in the same class as the half ton Chevy and Ford. I wouldn't be surprised if the least you would need to carry a decent sized camper would be a 3/4 ton truck.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:50 PM   #3
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If you are wanting a real TC, a 1/2 ton is not going to cut the mustard. You will need at least a HD 3/4 truck, most of us have 1 tons. Just my experienced opinion
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:58 PM   #4
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Unless you want to limit your ability to upgrade to a larger TC, I would strongly recommend at least a 3/4 ton truck. Most hard side TC when loaded will bust 3000lbs. I have an F250 and don't feel like it's enough truck. I would recommend you read all the posts about GVWR, suspension upgrades and tire load requirement. They have been invaluable in helping me to determine if my truck will safely handle the Northern Lite TC I just ordered. Good luck! 👍
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:00 PM   #5
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When you shop use gross vehicle weights not dry weights. Gives you a better idea of what you need in the way of trucks. The taco and 150 won't give you allot of payload in the bed.
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:14 PM   #6
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If you are wanting a real TC, a 1/2 ton is not going to cut the mustard. You will need at least a HD 3/4 truck, most of us have 1 tons. Just my experienced opinion
All good advice, pick out the trailer first, and then based on your comment about wanting to be able to go anywhere, you need to restrict your truck shopping to a 4 wheel drive truck. Even slick grass on the flat can require 4 wheel drive sometimes to start a trailer moving that has sunk in a few inches into the ground. Personally, I agree that you are looking at at least a 3/4 ton truck. Some other things to consider, 5th wheel or travel trailer. For that, first you need to decide if you will need to be using the truck bed for storage, or if you will be installing a bed topper. If either of those answers are yes, than you need to look at travel trailers. Next if you are looking at a larger trailer, say larger than 28 or 30 feet, I would highly recommend the purchase of either a Hensley Arrow or a Pro Pride hitch. They will pretty much eliminate sway and will level the load on a properly loaded trailer. Lots of threads on both the hitches and the 5th wheel/travel trailer choices.

One note: 5th wheels are better for maneuvering in tight spaces if you know what you are doing, and they offer a LOT more versatility in floorplans than do travel trailers, but they also tend to be more expensive, and you lose you pickup bed as noted earlier. All personal choices. Good luck in your search!
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:24 AM   #7
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Even slick grass on the flat can require 4 wheel drive sometimes to start a trailer moving that has sunk in a few inches into the ground.
Psstttt,*whisper* Camper not trailer.....
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Old 08-08-2015, 06:17 AM   #8
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Psstttt,*whisper* Camper not trailer.....
Oops, Okay, you got me on that, good thing you told me quietly, or people might have heard!
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice! ! Any advice on diesle vs. Gas? I will be checking out campers too , although I was hoping to get a used one, and trying not to be too picky on that. Should I reevaluate, and get specific?
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:39 PM   #10
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Oops, Okay, you got me on that, good thing you told me quietly, or people might have heard!
yes, I try not to em bare ass anyone. I do that to myself enough !!
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:52 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the advice! ! Any advice on diesle vs. Gas? I will be checking out campers too , although I was hoping to get a used one, and trying not to be too picky on that. Should I reevaluate, and get specific?

I have had both gas and diesel and if you plan on traveling a lot and in mountains or long hills I would pick a diesel hands down. My choice is Ram or Dodge one ton. I've had extremely good luck with them. For occasional travel and or hills buy gas. Much cheaper cash outlay and less costly when you do repair them. 4x4 with a tall diff (3:73) in diesel and low gear diff (4:11) in gas. Limited slip in both. If you buy used I wouldn't go any alder than 2005. My two cents worth.


Thanks,

Alan

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Old 08-09-2015, 10:45 PM   #12
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A lot of good advice here. I'd certainly agree with Allen concerning the gas/diesel question. I prefer a 3/4 ton diesel with a manual transmission and 4wd with slightly higher (3.54) diff. ratio. Both campers we've had from 1979 to present were 11.5 feet. The trucks were a '69 F-250 4wd Ford I converted to diesel in '80 and the '89 Dodge Cummins W250 we bought along with our second camper in '03. We are still using that combo with nearly 300k miles on it.


Our rigs were used primarily for travel between OR and WV with many side trips to see other things as well as the annual trip to EAA Oshkosh, WI and bow elk hunting in the Fall. After using the first camper about 13 years we decided the next one would have the largest water and holding tanks available and a generator to operate the AC and microwave as well as charge the battery when camping in remote areas.


I've learned that one of the biggest obstacles when off the beaten path is trees hanging over where you would like to go, be careful with that. Also, on rough terrain leave the tie downs somewhat loose because the truck bed will twist and if the tie downs are tight it will also cause the camper to twist along with it with is not desirable.


Best of luck with your choices.


Steve
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:11 PM   #13
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Any camper beside a pop up nothing less than a 1 TON I learned that the hard way.
Most Hard wall campers of a good size will when you have all your stuff in it water tanks full will come in a 3500lbs and up ONE TON
I have one of the lightest made 10-2 Nothern Lite Loaded it is 3800 LBS
Do not believe sales men or camper stickers Most new people to TC camping get about a 1000 lb weight surprise when all in and done TRUST me on this
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:32 PM   #14
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I agree on the 1 ton.
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