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Old 06-09-2021, 05:56 PM   #1
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Why a TC over a small Class C?

Just as the title states, why did you end up with a truck camper over a small class C? I see so many class C's on the road and in campgrounds but relatively few truck campers around. Is it because they're all out in the boonies camping off of the four-wheel drive trails? Seriously though, my wife says, "why don't we just get a class C", but I don't want to deal with another engine, chassis, drivetrain, insurance, etc that's just sitting in an RV lot over the entire winter time.

I'm thinking I'll spend a little over a hundred grand for a brand new truck and camper setup next spring when we should be able to actually get something from the factory (fingers crossed).
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Old 06-09-2021, 06:20 PM   #2
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Pretty much the main reason is what you posted about not wanting a vehicle that is single purpose. If you are looking for excuses to give your wife, I'll give it a shot:
1. When the market on used RV's crashes you will still have a pickup truck that retains it's value fairly well.
2. Depending or your home, it may be easier to store.
3. You can upgrade easier, (only buying the camper).
4. If you need to have maintenance done on the truck it will be easier for the shop to work on.
5. If you use the truck for other things, the mechanical parts won't sit as long or have as many problems.
6. It should be safer to ride in the cab of a pickup than a class C that someone stapled pieces of wood together in Elkhart for the rear structure.
7. It will probably be easier to maneuver and park in cities or small camp sites.
8. Safer in snow if you get 4wd.
9. You get to choose the truck you want which will probably be nicer than whatever they mounted a class C frame onto.
10. I think they look cooler.
11. You can leave your camper in your campsite and cruise with a lighter load.
12. You will most likely have a greater tow capacity.

And that's all I have... for now
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:33 PM   #3
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All of the reasons posted above. Very valid points.

However, we are the oddballs. I would NOT buy any of today's new pickups for the simple reason (IMHO) they are no longer useful trucks, but have become extended 4-door luxury SUV's with a tailgate party box on the back, sized to carry a propane grill, a party-size cooler, a keg of beer, and lawn chairs. Or to hold a fifth-wheel trailer hitch to justify the extreme size and horsepower of the SUV design.

Any TC designed to fit these short-box SUV vehicles is disproportionate, extending far to the rear and reaching far forward with a skinny cabover structure to do one thing: to extend the severely displaced center of gravity of the camper relative to the main load.

That said, our older standard cab, diesel-powered, 8-foot bed pickup is unusually easy to park with a 9.5-foot cabover camper. We can slip into most any standard grocery store parking lot or up to any filling station pump; we can ride the WA state ferries and stay within car-fare size and fare limits; and we can park and set up camp in older state parks with very restricted campsite sizes.


One item I'll strongly suggest: a StableLift camper mount system. It costs more than (pricey!) corner jacks, but the safety and convenience frees up the pickup to a mere 2- or 3-minute finger-tip load/unload process. And while the camper is on the stand, and the pickup is available for use, family can use the camper on its stand in perfect safety and stability. It cannot and will not teeter or collapse. Loaded, it anchors itself on the truck: no need for tie-downs, cables, or tighteners. Load and go. As easy as that.


(It's amazing how much maintenance and repair one can do to an older pickup with an 8-foot bed, using part of the $70K needed to buy a shiny new bobtail SUV with a party box.)
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:41 AM   #4
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My camper comes off the truck at every stop, thus I have a truck to go exploring in and a fixed camper back at the campground as my home base.

With a Class-C I would have to dingy my Jeep for that same amount of freedom and flexibility, or disconnect everything anytime I needed transportation.

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Old 06-11-2021, 12:01 PM   #5
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I showed my DW these comments and she's on board for the TC! She said she "needs" a slide-out but I don't think I want a dually so will have to have more conversations about that. On my short list are Adventurer 901SB, Cirrus 820, and Scout Kanai with rooftop tent for the kiddos. I guess Lance would be an option too because they have a bunk over the dinette as well.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThirdSpaceCO View Post
I showed my DW these comments and she's on board for the TC! She said she "needs" a slide-out but I don't think I want a dually so will have to have more conversations about that. On my short list are Adventurer 901SB, Cirrus 820, and Scout Kanai with rooftop tent for the kiddos. I guess Lance would be an option too because they have a bunk over the dinette as well.
The bigger truck campers are beautiful, however big campers need Ďbigí trucks to haul them properly. A Ďbigí truck is a pig to tour around in, tough to find parking for since they have such a large footprint, and near useless off-road and on the trails.

I love the flexibility of my shortbed Ram 3500 4x4 & little non-slide Northstar Arrow-U camper but living space small. Real small.
Small, medium, or large, think it through before making your purchase, they all have their advantages & disadvantages.

Keep us posted as you move thru the decision process.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:29 PM   #7
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I have a 2021 Arctic Fox 811 with a slide out. Itís heavy but is very well made and comfortable. I have it on my 2020 Ford F-350.
I used a local (very experienced and knowledgeable) spring shop to replace the single leaf factory overload spring with a custom 4 leaf overload spring pack. Now it rides nice and level with much less sway.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:42 PM   #8
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My F350 is a short bed and is fairly easy to manage as a daily driver and itís 4X4, so itís pretty good for exploring after the camper is unloaded.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:59 PM   #9
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My F350 is a short bed and is fairly easy to manage as a daily driver and itís 4X4, so itís pretty good for exploring after the camper is unloaded.
Yeah, I'm looking to custom order a Chevy 3500 HD SRW in the spring once the production numbers are back up. 4x4 of course here in Colorado. It will be my daily driver as well so thinking standard bed. Should have a payload over 4,000.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Electrojake View Post

I love the flexibility of my shortbed Ram 3500 4x4 & little non-slide Northstar Arrow-U camper but living space small. Real small.




Keep us posted as you move thru the decision process.
We're mostly weekend warriors here in Colorado so looking for mobility plus quick setup and take-down at camp. Last weekend I needed some cash for a dump station and struggled finding an ATM that I could pull into with the 30 ft. travel trailer. Got me thinking about the TC. For the really long stays we'd most like just rent a 5th wheel for the week.

To your quote: check out the Adventurer 901SB. It has a powered drop-down bunk and a galley with tons of counter space.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThirdSpaceCO View Post
I showed my DW these comments and she's on board for the TC! She said she "needs" a slide-out but I don't think I want a dually so will have to have more conversations about that. On my short list are Adventurer 901SB, Cirrus 820, and Scout Kanai with rooftop tent for the kiddos. I guess Lance would be an option too because they have a bunk over the dinette as well.
Not sure what your budget is but the Outfitter Juno 8.5 will fit a short bed truck, has a fold out tent and slide out bunk over the dinette. I think I saw you were in Colorado which is where they are made too. They also have a wet bath and can be optioned with AC.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:32 PM   #12
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Not sure what your budget is but the Outfitter Juno 8.5 will fit a short bed truck, has a fold out tent and slide out bunk over the dinette. I think I saw you were in Colorado which is where they are made too. They also have a wet bath and can be optioned with AC.
I looked at those but the interior looks dated to me. Compared to new Lance, Adventurer, and Cirrus models they just can't compete in the aesthetics dept. (which my DW cares about).

Update: Scout Kenai is out...no A/C option. It gets over 100 degrees here in CO.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sheriffbubba View Post
I have a 2021 Arctic Fox 811 with a slide out. Itís heavy but is very well made and comfortable. I have it on my 2020 Ford F-350.
I used a local (very experienced and knowledgeable) spring shop to replace the single leaf factory overload spring with a custom 4 leaf overload spring pack. Now it rides nice and level with much less sway.
The right springs! Perfect & proper fix for a heavy camper.

I need to do the same thing to my lumbering Ram 3500. If I had proper leaf springs installed I could throw away my airbags, booster leafs, oversized sway bar and all the other expensive & heavy suspension bandaids Iím currently using.

Sounds like you have a great rig Sherffbubba.
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ThirdSpaceCO View Post
I looked at those but the interior looks dated to me. Compared to new Lance, Adventurer, and Cirrus models they just can't compete in the aesthetics dept. (which my DW cares about).

Update: Scout Kenai is out...no A/C option. It gets over 100 degrees here in CO.
True. I think they look better in person but dated compared to the models you listed.
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