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Old 12-03-2020, 12:00 PM   #1
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Truck with factory fifth wheel prep ok for truck camper?

Hi all,

This may be an incredibly stupid question, but I don't want to make a big mistake purchasing a truck that won't be (readily) suitable for a truck camper. I've sold my motorhome and am downsizing to a truck camper for more agility in my travels.

At this point, I'm seriously considering buying a 2014 RAM 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually with 6.7L turbo Diesel engine. I don't have a truck camper yet, but have done a ton of research and this truck's payload and towing capacity will be more than sufficient for any of the ones I am considering.

That said, this particular truck came factory prepped for fifth wheel/gooseneck towing. Is there anything about that prep that would be problematic for mounting a truck camper? As in, is there anything that would get in the way of all the other prep I will need to do for the truck camper?

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:15 PM   #2
laj
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Truck with factory fifth wheel prep ok for truck camper?

My short answer is no. Get a horse stall mat, they come 1piece 4x8. That will keep your camper from sliding around in the bed. It will also cover up the 5wheel hitch mounting points.

Part of the prep kit is it should have the 7 pin socket already on the inside of the bed. Most camper haulers put this socket in the lft. Frt corner of the bed, you can get a 7-wire extension to run to the back rt. corner.

The only tie-down system i like is torque-lift. Well made, with life time warranty. These mount underneath to the frame with no holes needing to be drilled. Also use their fast-gun system.

The prep kit wonít interfere with any of this. jmho
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:18 PM   #3
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The prep package should still give you a flat bed surface without the hitch installed, plus they come with a 7 wire connector in the rear of the bed you can utilize for the camper. I always laid a 4x8 sheet of 5/8 plywood down in the bed first on all our campers. Not sure why lol...
One thing to keep in mind with the duallys are the camper Jack extensions you'll need for fender clearance. Multiple options are available...
The fifth wheel prep package is a good idea in case you need to upsize someday.

Edit, laj beat me to it...the horse stall mat is a great idea.
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:11 PM   #4
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Thank you, laj and Alpine 36, for your quick and helpful replies.

I was hoping to hear that. It does have a spray-on bedliner and I've heard those are extra slippery so the horse mat seems ideal. Not to mention the 7-pin already there.

Good to hear that Torklift tie-downs don't require drilling holes. Based on early research, I've had those in mind, but didn't know the detail of how they attach so that's more good news.
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:31 PM   #5
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No problem whatsoever. My 2019 3500 has the 5th wheel prep package and it works fine. I bought a 3/8" bed mat from Etrailer.

Rick
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Old 12-06-2020, 01:49 PM   #6
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Spray-in liners I've had are not slippery and with the horse stall mat will befine.
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:43 AM   #7
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The horse mat will solve most problems. you can get them in 2 thicknesses, and either one piece or two.
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Old 12-08-2020, 09:27 PM   #8
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A diesel truck has 1,000lbs less payload than a gas powered truck. For the 5th wheel prep package will have plastic covers for the unused mounting points that stick up about 1/4", or just enough to catch on something you are sliding into your bed.

If you didn't buy the truck yet I would skip any with the 5th wheel prep.

I like the idea of the very tough 8' x 4' rubber piece 5th wheel prep or not.
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Old 12-08-2020, 09:37 PM   #9
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As far as a mat goes I have one for my F150 that is made of rubber and I love it. It was about $100 10 years ago, I forget the manufacturer but is it a common manufacturer that ends in "..dee" Something like Speedee or Zippee or something like that.
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Old 12-11-2020, 11:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
A diesel truck has 1,000lbs less payload than a gas powered truck. For the 5th wheel prep package will have plastic covers for the unused mounting points that stick up about 1/4", or just enough to catch on something you are sliding into your bed.

If you didn't buy the truck yet I would skip any with the 5th wheel prep.

I like the idea of the very tough 8' x 4' rubber piece 5th wheel prep or not.
Although a diesel engine does place 700-800 lbs. more weight on the front axle than a gas engine, this extra weight has little to no effect on the rear axle load capacity (vs. the same make/model truck with a gas engine). If you're hauling a truck camper you're **only** concerned with rear axle load capacity. Rear axle load capacity is defined as RAWR minus the rear axle weight with the truck empty. Yes, you may have more payload with a gas engine (due to extra load capacity on the front axle); unfortunately, this extra payload on the front axle is of **zero** use when hauling a truck camper.

As for the OEM 5th wheel/gooseneck prep pkg, we have one on our '16 Ram 3500. The plastic cover inserts on our truck are located below the flat "panels/slots" on the bottom of our bed. We've never caught anything on these plastic cover inserts. We've slid a lot of doors, 4x8 sheets of plywood, etc. into the bed area and never touched or scraped 'em. However, if someone is concerned about it, all 5 of these plastic cover inserts can be easily popped out.

Lastly, we haul a '19 NL 8-11 truck camper in our truck. The OEM 5th wheel/gooseneck prep pkg has **zero** effect on how we load/use/unload our camper. FWIW, the Ram OEM 5th wheel/gooseneck prep pkg includes a 7-pin connector in the left, rear of the bed (in addition to the 7-pin connector by the rear license plate). Depending on where the 7-pin connector is located on your truck camper, this extra 7-pin could come in real handy.
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:42 PM   #11
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Watch out on the weight of some of those truck campers. I've got a 2017 F450 and my payload is only 4750 lbs. Some of the bigger truck campers like the biggest Lance, Adventurer, and Host, have wet weights well over my payload capacity, especially if you start check all the options boxes like genset, solar, etc.
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Old 12-11-2020, 09:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
For the 5th wheel prep package will have plastic covers for the unused mounting points that stick up about 1/4", or just enough to catch on something you are sliding into your bed.

If you didn't buy the truck yet I would skip any with the 5th wheel prep.

I like the idea of the very tough 8' x 4' rubber piece 5th wheel prep or not.
Not on my 2019 Ram 3500. They are flush with the ribs in the floor of the bed and don't cause any issues. Put the covers in and use a rubber mat and you will never know the 5th wheel mounts are even there. If you should ever decide to go with a 5th wheel you're all set. It will also appeal to more people if you should decide to sell.
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Old 12-20-2020, 01:26 PM   #13
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Thank you all for your responses! I did buy the truck. I'm looking at campers in the mid-range of weights with no more than one slide so I should be fine on payload. Next up, installation of tie-downs, and assessment for other stabilization accessories.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:05 AM   #14
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Thank you all for your responses! I did buy the truck. I'm looking at campers in the mid-range of weights with no more than one slide so I should be fine on payload. Next up, installation of tie-downs, and assessment for other stabilization accessories.
Congrats on the truck purchase, you're half way there. Here's my setup.

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