I looked at this model at a local dealer last summer and really liked the layout as well. As you mentioned the slide was a problem for me too. I don't know if it was the same problem as yours but it was two-fold for me.
First on the inside, the slide floor was a toe-stubber in front of the fridge and stove. I did not like how it stuck out into the main floor space with the metal edge. They should have ended it closer to flush with the appliances so you didn't kick into it or twist your ankle on it. Standing close to the stove you had to choose what level you stood on. With the transition zone being best for me my foot was half on half off the slide floor. Very awkward feeling.
Second, on the one I looked at, I could see daylight coming in all across the bottom of the slide. I looked at it from the outside and sure enough there was at least a 1/2" unsealed gap between the main floor and the slide floor. Yes it was fully deployed. A gap that big means heat loss or gain depending on time of year. I like camping during the winter so I could see snow drifts piling up on the kitchen floor on a windy day.
I really did like the floor plan but the build quality in the slide out turned me off on that model and probably any Denali product with a slide after seeing that. I wonder what the OP saw on their slide?
As far as surge guard I'd go Progressive Industries interior. Wire it up and forget about it, no worries about it walking off when your not looking.
It is possible to get too cold. Remember that RV refrigerators are absorption units. The ammonia is heated in the boiler at the bottom of the unit, turns into a gas, rises up through the coils absorbing heat as it turns back into a liquid and then falls via gravity back to the boiler starting the cycle again. Too cold and the gas may liquefy too soon and block the tubing stopping the cooling. I suspect that it would have to be pretty cold but it is possible.
I full timed in mine through Idaho winters. I never had a problem with my Norcold fridge until the outside temps got to 0F or below. It can become too cold to cool. It sounds weird but google into how the absorption fridge works and it makes sense.
As others have said blocking off some (not all) of the venting and possibly add a heat source such as a lamp to the back side (outside compartment) of the fridge to keep the system working efficiently is the fix for very cold weather. Just be careful it is still vented and that your heat source doesn't pose a fire risk or a warm fridge will be the least of your problems!
I added reflectix to the inside of the panel and then blocked off some of the vents with pipe insulation. I didn't have to add a heat source such as a light bulb with this method. Just remember to start removing insulation as outside temps increase.
I took my TC to Oregon last week for some business and then my son and I headed out camping. We drove through the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and had the pleasure of seeing many mule deer, some ducks, and a pheasant. We camped at Page Springs campground at the base of Steens Mountain. The weather was great and the scenery and wildlife viewing was amazing. Here are some of the pictures we took, Enjoy!
I think pheasants are harder to shoot with a camera than a gun. I took several quick burst shots of this guy and only a couple turned out good.
I didn't get too many TC pics but I better drop a few in here so my post doesn't get moved.
Page Springs campground.
The deer just wander right through camp.
Registration in Idaho, with it you get an RV sticker valid to the end of the current year, not a plate. The price is based on current market value of TC. Titles are required for all TC purchases after Jan, 2009.
I understand what you are saying about crashing with the TC. There is potential for a lot more expensive damage to be done than with the truck alone. I think about this every time I head out in the winter.
I know you understand all the physics of driving during the winter, like a TC will increase your traction for accelerating away from a stop or going up a hill but the trade-off is increased stopping distance and the tendency to continue in a straight line through a corner and off into a ditch.
I much prefer driving my DRW truck in the winter with the camper loaded but like Desertboy wrote, I slow way down, increase following distance and drive in a much more defensive mode than other times of the year.
Back in the 90's I had a friend with a TC who would leave it on all year. We took his truck to go snowmobiling one day and drove up a long steep grade in about 8" of fresh snow to get to the sno-park on top of the pass. While we were turning around in the sno-park we got too close to the shoulder and got stuck. I got out to survey the situation and noticed only his rear wheels were turning. We had driven all the way up the mountain in 2 wheel drive because his TC provided so much traction to the rear wheels we didn't even think to put it in 4x4 until we got stuck in the parking lot.
Yes the thought of crashing is scary and the damage can be very expensive however I don't let that stop me from enjoying life. Winter last's for way too long out here in Idaho that I won't sit on the couch for 4-5 months and miss out on all the fun to be had with my TC during that time. Accidents and crashes are an inevitable part of life and the likelihood does increase with adverse weather conditions. All I can recommend is to make sure your insurance is paid up and go enjoy all that winter has to offer.
Last weekend Karla and I decided to head out as the weather was suppose to be great for fall camping. Sunny with highs in the upper 50's and lows in the 20's for the mountains. Winter is coming fast so we have to seize every one of these opportunities when they present themselves. It was most likely our last opportunity to ride our motorcycles into the high country of the Idaho mountains as we ran into snow in several canyons and on tops of the mountain passes.
We camped along Sawmill creek on the west slopes of the Lemhi Mountain range.
Our first journey on the bikes was to climb up Warm Creek canyon to get to the crest of the Lemhi Mountains and meet up with the trails that come up from the eastern slopes that I had been on last month.
About half way up the canyon we ran into snow left over from the storms we had earlier in the month. Fortunately enough ATV's had been over the trail during the recent elk hunting seasons that there was enough traction from the up-turned rocks for us to get through the sections of snow in the canyon.
We made it to the divide to look over the east side but the snow prevented us from continuing any further as the road was filled with deep untracked snow at this point. We were at 9800' elevation when the snow stopped us. You can see the road switch-backing up the hill above the bikes in the next picture.
This is the road we had intended to ride down on the east slope of the Lemhi's. It drops down into Spring Mountain Canyon above the Hahn townsite, an old mining community.
Unfortunately there was more snow in the road than we were comfortable traversing on our dirt bikes going down hill. Riding a dirtbike in the snow is hard work and the risk of getting hurt from crashing that far up in the mountains wasn't worth pushing through it. We headed back down the way we came instead of being able to make the loop ride we had intended.
Later in the day we attempted another trail over the top going up Squaw Creek Canyon but we were once again stopped about a quarter mile short of the pass summit due to snow. There is an old dozer near the summit that has had many parts removed off the motor so it won't be going anywhere.
We're looking northwest from the bulldozer in this next picture, Yellow Peak is on the right above the Big Timber Creek Valley where my dad and I were riding last month. These pictures don't do it justice for how huge this country is but when you get on top you can see how it all interconnects and there are trails that connect all of it. Hopefully I'll be able to ride them all before my riding days are done.
Once again we were denied in our attempt to drop over to the east side of the mountain so back down the west side we headed. We tried a few more canyons to the north that evening but kept running into snow and ice. We did find some fun new trails to explore next year when the snow melts off sometime in late June or early July so it was a good trip.
The next day we headed across the large mountain valley between the Lemhi Mountains and the Lost River Range. We planned on riding into the upper Pahsimeroi River valley below Mt Borah, the highest peak in Idaho at 12,662', in the Lost River Range.
Crossing through the desert valley with the snowy high mountain peaks rising from both sides of the valley was beautiful.
We tried to get to a camp spot along the river but the departure angle of the tow hitch extension prevented us from dropping down the last hill. We could have unloaded the bikes and trailer and removed the extension and made it down there by pushing the empty trailer down the hill but it wasn't all that important to us to be next to the river as we were there to ride, and not really to fish this time.
We just decided to park out in the valley above the river canyon with great views of the mountains instead of being down in the river bottom with trees and canyons blocking our view. We chose to camp out in the lower desert country rather than driving up into the canyons so we could enjoy the vast mountain and desert scenery.
From our base camp in the valley we rode our motorbikes up into the mountain canyons to the Merriam Lake trailhead and the east fork of the Pahsimeroi River Canyon. This was the same area I drove my Arctic Fox into last summer in this Merriam Lake trip report. Merriam trip report clicky
This was the same area that lifted my front truck tire off the ground and nearly tipped my truck and camper over in the ruts. It is so rough and rocky that it took several hours for me to drive into it last year. On the motorcycles it took about a half hour to make it the same distance to the Merriam Lake trail head and we even stopped several times to take pictures and look for elk.
I really love the motorcycles for getting back into the beautiful rough country which saves time because you can go so much faster and also saves much wear and tear on the truck and camper not having to beat them up on those rough roads.
We had to get another picture of the sign where the road drops over the edge and gets bad. I did take my AF past this point last year but it was very rough!
At the trail head to Merriam Lake several creeks flow together and they had some neat ice formations.
The last day we tried to get to Carlson Lake. I had never been here before but once again the best we could do was get to the top of the ridge and look down into it. The trail dropped off the north side of the ridge and was too steep and snow filled to go down it. It would be a steep technical rocky descent on a good summer day with out the snow but this day all we could do was look at it from above.
This is the view looking west from above Carlson Lake.
We drove out over Doublesprings Pass and headed home down highway 93 through Mackay and Arco. This was the last shot of the weekend looking up the northwest side of Mt Borah. The night before we were camped in the valley on the back side of it.
Although the snow stopped us from making our intended loop rides out of the awesome high mountain trials, we still had a blast. It's raining in town and snowing in the mountains today as I write this so I'm sure our mountain motorcycling days are done for this year. I guess snowmobiles are next on the list of toys so we can still play in the mountains in the winter. I know the camper is up for the task of getting us out there and keeping us warm at night.
I think I finally understand the intent of your postings as trying to discredit the fact that heat caused the damage to my skylight. I know I would probably be a bit skeptical myself if I hadn't held it in my hands and felt the warped inner plexi-glass but alas I can't share that with you as it probably has a new home in a landfill somewhere in British Columbia now. I'm sorry but there is nothing else that could have warped the inner layer of plexi-glass other than heat. Heat did not crack the skylight though, it merely warped it in an upward direction. The force of the lever arm pulling down on the newly warped plexiglass in the closed position is what caused the crack. However it would never have cracked if it were not for the overheating and subsequent warping of the inner layer of plexiglass from having the shade pulled shut in direct sunlight.
First of all the plexiglass isn't clear like you are thinking so it doesn't act like normal house windows. It's smoke color so yes, it does absorb energy in the form of heat as light photons pass through it and some are absorbed. Next heat transfers from areas of high heat energy to areas of low heat energy trying to achieve equilibrium in a system. The cooler air molecules absorb heat from the plexiglass, the plastic frame of the skylight and the closed shade. Because this has become a enclosed system when I draw the shade shut the air currents can't carry off that heated air and replace it with cooler air so it becomes even hotter and hotter due to it being trapped in the closed system with intense heat being applied with no where to go. That's why if you stick your hand in the area above the closed shade it is much hotter than the area below the shade or outside the camper. I don't have to have a thermometer to tell me that. Therefore the the air trapped between the two layers of skylight is also becoming hot due to the same effect of heat transfer and trapping. Once these two air masses become saturated with heat to the point they can no longer absorb enough heat energy from the inner plexiglass to keep it below it's melting point the damage will commence.
I use to park with the nose of the camper facing due south in my back yard. The downward slope of the camper roof aligns the skylight even more perfectly with the direct sunlight. The hottest temperature this summer in my back yard was 98 degrees so there was plenty of heat energy being provided even though I am in Idaho. 98 degrees shouldn't be enough to cause damage and it's not by itself. However, by showing that the temperature inside the closed skylight system far exceeds the ambient air temperature I can say without a doubt that excessive heat is what warped the inner plexiglass layer which lead to the cracking because it wasn't strong enough to withstand the heat without warping. If Dometic would have used better quality plastic in their design we wouldn't be having this conversation.
So why aren't there more problems reported like mine you ask? The most likely reason is because the design of my skylight is fairly new. Yes it's a Heki, but it is different in many ways than most of the Heki's out there in use today. Perhaps as more Heki's like mine are put into service there will be more problems. Needless to say that is the point of my thread though, to share my issues with others so they can prevent the same problem from happening to them. If this would have happened to me next summer or at some other future time after my warranty had ran out it would have cost me a lot of money. I can do a lot of camping trips for the price of a $400 skylight lid.
I know you don't believe that Idaho summer heat can cause that type of damage and I couldn't believe it either at first but the fact is it did, it's not a hypothesis. If others do as I did and leave the shade shut in direct sunlight they will have the same warping due to heat. Hopefully I have prevented others from suffering the same damage or even better maybe NL will get after Dometic for some better quality plastic so we can enjoy our shade for the purpose of having one and that is to reflect the heat out of our campers without expensive damage being done.
We could go on and on discussing the physics of heat, energy transfer, thermodynamics, phase changes of matter, melting points of plastics, and how the summer sun easily destroyed an inferior product used on my camper but your right it's pointless so I'm going camping instead :)
I'm a little confused at the point you are trying to make? Are you implying that the skylight warped at a lower temperature than the temperature the thermometer read? Sure that's possible I guess. Does it really matter? The point is damage was done from heat provided by the hot summer sun. If the thermometer got that hot from the direct sun then didn't the plexiglass get just as hot in the same direct sun regardless of air temp?
I do understand objects become hotter in direct sunlight. That's really not the issue here though. The issue is that the heated object (the inner plexi-glass layer) wasn't allowed to cool or transfer heat off itself fast enough to avoid being damaged because I kept the shade closed which trapped the heat inside. The outer layer had the cooler outside air to transfer it's heat to so it didn't warp. The shade had the cooler inside of the camper to transfer it's heat to so it didn't get damaged either. Only the inner layer of plexiglass warped because it had a superheated air mass between it and the outer plexiglass layer and also between it and the shade that didn't transfer the heat away efficiently enough to keep the inner layer of plexi-glass from becoming too hot and warping.
Saying the only thing that got hot was the thermometer and not the air around it is just not true. Check into how solar ovens work, Dometic designed one, disguised it as a skylight for RV's and called it Heki. True, the direct radiant energy of the sun provided the heat energy to do the damage but the heated air between the shade and the inner layer of plexi as well as the heated air between the inner and outer layer of plexi-glass contributed to the damage. That air got so hot that it could no longer transfer enough heat energy off the inner layer of plexi-glass to keep it cool enough to prevent warping.
The air between the two layers of plexiglass will always get hot from being in direct contact with the plastic with no where to go and no where to transfer heat to other than back to the hot layers of plastic that heated this air in the first place. By keeping the shade open the air below the inner plexi-glass won't become as hot as if the shade were closed.Therefore this cooler air is able to absorb more heat energy from the inner plexiglass hopefully keeping it from becoming hot enough to be damaged. Because I kept the shade closed the air below the inner plexi became hot as well. As hot as the thermometer reading? Who knows? Who cares? It doesn't matter. It just became hot enough that it could no longer cool the inner layer of plexi-glass fast enough to prevent damage.
Yes, I could have made a little umbrella and shaded my thermometer probe if it mattered what the air temperature was in comparison to direct sunlight temperature was but it really doesn't. What ever the temperature of the thermometer or temperature of the trapped air happened to be is pointless other than knowing it was it was hot enough to assist with the damage. The important thing to know is that a Heki, in direct sunlight, with the shade pulled, becomes like a solar oven and traps enough heat energy to cause damage to the skylight which wasn't designed with good enough quality plastic to withstand it.
The truck looks pretty good for 240,000 miles. You put all those on it ?
No I've only owned it for about 2.5 years.
I hope you're not picking nits about a measly 150lbs...
No, it was more a tongue-in-cheek statement as my last camper was overweight by more than 10 times this amount and I didn't even own motorcycles then. I am happy to be 150 lbs over GVW but I was hoping to join the 1% crowd of TC's that are actually under GVW. Guess I still have to keep checking the rear view for the weight police :)
Only thing I might consider is shifting some of that weight towards the rear. You're getting close to the front axle rating, which is a suspension thing on that truck, not a tire thing. Overloading the steer axle can cause expensive problems.
Even with the truck empty the front axle is close to it's weight rating. The front weighs about 4700 unloaded so there isn't much room to add to that anyway. Most of the weight of my set-up is added to the rear axle (all but 150 lbs anyway). I already have my camper moved towards the rear about 5-6" anyway otherwise it would hit the taillights on the truck.
I've already replaced several components that were worn on the front but I don't think it is the TC fault. More so that Dodge didn't make a strong enough front end to stand up to the empty weight of the truck nearly maxing out the weight rating of the front axle to start with.
Good write up! Well done!
Perhaps of interest, maybe related, but in a recent Truck Camper Magazine interview, Northern Lite said they were changing the skylight for 2014 models.
Slightly smaller, thermal pane with a pleated shade. Said they did have problems with the handle on the larger model. Perhaps your case is another reason they are changing.
Whatever the case, good to hear your problem has been settled to your satisfaction.
I have the 2014 model NL with the new skylight you're talking about. I really like the operation of it with the new handle in the track system. They just need to make it out of better plastic so it will withstand the heat and it would be a great product. Until then it only gets a semi-satisfactory mark from me.
Great time was had by all! Nice outing. BTW, the loads are what you need to take...if you increased your tire capacity you would be better off...go to 19.5 wheels and tires! Really makes a differance.
Tire capacities are fine, it's a DRW, I hardly even notice the camper is back there. I could go for a new set of shocks though, with almost 240,000 miles I have no idea how old the ones are that are on it. I ran the same tires with my AF camper and I was running almost 14,000 lbs a few times. It's well under tire capacity all around (nearly 6000 lb front & 12,000 lb rear tire capacity). I'd rather spend the money on more toys :B
This last week I went to visit my kids in Oregon. My daughter had a couple of home volleyball games and I thought it would be fun to bring the TC, boats and motorcycles and go do some camping, fishing and riding over the weekend after the games.
I stopped at the scales on my way out of town to see how much my new NL camper weighed compared to my previous TC the AF 1150.
Weights loaded with me, full water, full diesel fuel tank, 10 gal propane, food and camping supplies for the weekend. Plus 2 motorcycles (one on the trailer and one in the back seat of the truck, Honda generator (in back seat of truck) and 12 ft raft (60 lbs on camper floor)
Ft axle 5000
Rr axle 7350
Trailer axle weight is 850 with my Honda 250L
I use to weigh in the mid 13,000 lb range with just my Arctic Fox and no trailer or motorcycles so it’s significantly less with the new NL. If I leave the bikes at home I’ll be well under my 12,200 lb GVW but what fun would that be? I’m happy to be within 150 lbs instead of 1200 lbs or more above GVW like I was with the AF.
Here are some pictures of our camping fun.
My son helping to unload their bike at a OHV area just outside of town.
We made it to Delintment Lake set-up camp and went fishing. We were one of three camps at the whole lake. It was free as they stopped collecting fees because the collection box was locked closed. Not sure if that was due to the government shutdown or just past the camping season. Oh well it saved me $20 what ever it was.
They were cleaning up the dead trees in the campground so the kids wore their hardhats while setting up the boats.
The weather was nice but a bit windy. My next toy will be a small electric motor for my raft so I can spend some time fishing rather than rowing all the time to keep from ending up on the shore.
My daughter caught the most fish, excuse me, all the fish. This one gave her a bit of trouble getting the hook out and she freaked out when she felt the teeth and thought it tried to bite her. Otherwise she did great catching and releasing all the fish she caught.
The kids had a great time riding their motorcycle. Now I need to get one more for my daughter so they don't have to trade off riding while the other rides with me. I wasn’t sure how well she’d like dirt biking but I think she enjoys it more than my son and perhaps even my girlfriend. That’s awesome except for this is going to be an expensive sport as they grow and I have to replace them every few years until they are adults. Oh well I can’t put a price on the fun and enjoyment I have with my kids.
Last month I had my first warranty experience with my new camper. I waited to see how it played out before posting about it so I could provide all the information. Then I just got busy so now I am getting around to writing it up. I did some searching and found a few posts related to my issue but I wanted to write about it again in case others haven’t heard of this issue because I sure had not until it happened to me.
The issue was related to my Dometic Midi Heki skylight in the front cab-over area above the bed. For most of the summer I kept the shade pulled shut on the skylight to keep it from getting to hot inside the camper and I also like to sleep in so it helps keep it dark inside the camper.
On a trip in early September I opened up the shade on the skylight to look at the stars at night. When I woke up in the morning I was looking up through the skylight and saw what looked like a crack. I sat up and on closer inspection sure enough it was cracked. I tried to imagine how and where it got damaged because I hardly ever touched the thing since it was new. Upon further inspection I determined that only the inner layer of plastic had fractured. The outer shell was completely intact which ruled out a rock or bird strike while traveling. Plus the damage was at the rear of the skylight and not the front.
As I was running my hand across the inner layer of plastic I noticed it was no longer flat and that it had a warped feel to it in an upward direction. I came to the conclusion that while parked in my back yard with the hatch facing directly into the sun it had became hot enough to warp the plastic.
How did it do this? Well after looking at the top of the shade I noticed it has an aluminized coating on it.
When parked in the sun with the shade closed and hatch shut this little area between the shade and the hatch glass becomes like a small oven in the upper 90-degree heat we had this summer. (I bet I could have cooked a loaf of bread in there.) As the plastic warped upwards and the hinge lever pulled downward at some point the stress was too much and it broke the hatch. The locking lever bar only pushes/pulls on the inside layer of plastic by the way.
I thought this was crazy, I live in Idaho. It doesn’t get that hot here. Surely I would have heard about this from someone down south in Arizona or southern Utah who definitely keep their skylight shade closed in the heat of the summer. I don’t have AC and my camper just sits in my yard all closed up when not being used so I suppose it could get hot during that time.
I wanted some actual numbers so I could show my dealer as well as Northern Lite what was going on so I did a test to see what the temperature was. By September we were past our high 90 temperatures but I set a remote thermometer probe on top of the skylight and watched what would happen.
The first picture shows an outside temperature of 68 degrees with a temperature of 110 inside the skylight. This was on a fairly overcast day up in the mountains on the day I discovered the crack.
Later that week, at home in my back yard, I was able to test it with some outside temperatures in the mid 80’s.
The first picture shows an outside temp of 77 and it was already 128 inside the skylight. (disregard the in and out notations of the thermometer, the wireless probe is intended to be placed outside while the display unit is inside. The higher temp is inside the skylight and the lower temp is from outside in the shade sitting on my dually fender)
I let it sit for a few hours into the afternoon and recorded these readings.
The HH.H reading meant that the temperature inside the skylight exceeded the measuring capability of my thermometer but I am sure it was well above 160 degrees.
During the summer heat with the outside temperature nearing 100 degrees I could imagine the temperature inside the skylight with the aluminized shade pulled shut could get well above 200 degrees. It’s too bad that Dometic didn’t account for this and use a higher heat resistant plastic in their design. Surely they don’t expect people to leave the shade open in the heat of the summer sun, that defeats the whole purpose of having a shade! Maybe if they get enough warranty returns they’ll change the plastic.
As far as Bish’s RV where I bought the camper and Northern Lite’s end of the issue they were both great and I had no hassles from them with getting the part replaced. I really couldn’t pin down an exact replacement cost if I had to pay out of pocket but I think it was around $300-$400 for that plastic lid.
I was able to remove the part myself and take it to the dealer and trade them so I didn’t have to drive my camper all the way to town. Here are a few shots of the damage with it off the camper.
Unfortunately the first replacement they sent me was damaged in shipping so I had to wait another week for a second one. The next one was wrapped in so much foam and carpet that I could have redone my living room if I needed to.
Good job to Northern Lite for standing behind their product, as I was worried I might have had to eat that one for not reading the owners manual or paperwork about the skylight. I did go back and read through it but it said nothing about hot weather use or precautions. Hopefully NL send’s this back to Dometic and makes them eat the cost and also gets after them about using inferior plastic for this application.
The good thing in all of this was that the outer shell of the skylight stayed completely intact so I was able to use and store the camper without having to worry about water leaks while I waited for the replacement.
Now I just have to be careful in the future and remember to leave the shade open during summer storage so it doesn’t retain as much heat. If any of you have the same skylight keep this in mind.
I would think the expense and hassle of putting a skylight in a carport roof would be much more than just buying another solar panel for less than $75 and mounting that to the roof of the carport and running a wire down to the camper. A hole in the carport roof would only let light hit your camper at certain times unless it's a huge hole, where a panel on the roof would get more hours per day of sunlight. Just use a connector that will unplug itself without damage if you drive away and forget to unplug it.
Regardless of whether or not the Lance is 4 season or not I'd highly recommend the AF 1150 for cold weather use in Idaho. My 1150 served me well for 3 winters at temps down to -20F at times with out any freeze ups to my water or sewer systems.
What model of Ten 2000 do you have? I see 3 different floorplans on todays models. If your dinette is in front of the bathroom on the drivers side like mine is you should be able to access it by taking the rear dinette apart. I have two drawers under my rear dinette seat, when I remove the top one I can see back into the space under the bathroom sink. It would be a stretch but do able. I'm going to change mine some day as the original has too short of a spout to get my hands under. About the only thing it's good for is brushing my teeth, I have to wash my hands in the kitchen sink.
The current Ten 2000CD model looks like mine. The RD model appears similar only reversed on the passenger side and the RR should have some kind of access from under the kitchen counter. Start taking things apart until you find a way back into it. Good luck.
Go camper shopping and find a model you like / can afford, then find a truck that will haul it.
Great advise, I did it back wards and ended up costing myself a lot of money. The camper you are likely to end up with should dictate the truck you need, how long of bed and whether or not you need dual rear wheels to haul it.
Since you are planning on towing I would recommend the 8' bed. The overhang of the camper will be far less for the same floor length camper and you may not even have to have a hitch extension depending on the camper you get.
Having at least an extended cab truck is very handy for hauling extra's. I really like my Quad-cab Dodge. It's not as long as a full crew-cab but you can still seat adults in the back if you need to.