If you put it on a trailer and tow it it would be compatible but that kind of defeats the purpose of a TC. An 11 foot TC is 1-ton full size long bed pick up territory. Your Dakota would not carry it and you would not like it if you could even get it to fit in the bed. Sorry, you need a bigger truck for this camper. There are some small TC that may work but not this one or consider a small travel trailer if you are stuck with the truck. Good luck.
I don't have a 996 but since it weighs the same as the 1150 I'll let you know what I've done. You will be adding over 5000 lbs to your truck when you load up your 996 for a camping trip. I hope that's not a shock to you as it is to some after they read the Northwood brochure, but it is the way it is, trust me. This weight includes you and your personal gear, water, food, camping supplies and all the other accessories added to the truck and camper. So add more weight into your calculation if more people or pets are going. You are right, this is most definitely dually territory now, over 2.5 tons on a SRW truck is just asking for problems no matter how many mods you add. Factor in your desire to tow and a dually is the only way to go. I'm happy to see you don't need convincing when it comes to this issue.
This is my recommendation based on my own experience. . . . Buy the truck and install a super hitch and the torklift frame mount tie-down system. These campers are too heavy to be attached to the rear bumper and sheet metal of the front of the bed. Yes they are pricey but it is money well spent. Having the superhitch will make towing much safer with your TC overhang and extension, especially if you ever need to tow heavier in the future. Also buy your tie-down clamps, I recommend fast guns for their simplicity of quickly putting on and taking off the camper. Then go buy the camper, put it on and drive it.
As for suspension mods, you may discover, like I did, that you don't need much. All I have needed on my 2005 dually is a set of stable loads for the overload springs. This is the only suspension mod I would recommend buying first, or you could make your own like myself and several others have done on here. I have $10 total in to all my suspension mods and the truck handles the weight fine. After you drive it around you can decide if you really need a sway bar, air-bags, fancy shocks etc. This way you don't buy them before knowing if you really need them and you can spend that money on something better like fuel for going camping.
If you question the accuracy of the sticker or whether you'd be overweight or not I'd recomend taking the truck to the scales BEFORE you purchase it. My truck has about the same cargo rating but 1800 lb less GVW so I'd definitely want to scale it to see what is going on. Why would a truck with nearly a ton more GVW have the same cargo capacity as mine? Is the truck really that heavy eating up the difference or is something else going on? Subtract the truck's weight from GVW and that's what you have left for your camper, other gear and other people etc. Also, I've never seen a vehicle with a full tank of fuel on a test drive so take that in to consideration as well!
By weighing before you buy you'll know what you have as far as weight capacity before you spend a bunch of money for the wrong truck. If it's not what you need you can move on to the next truck without wasting any money. If you absolutely have to be under GVW then at least you'll know where you stand weight wise with the truck before dropping lots of $$$. You can decide on whether you need a bigger truck, a smaller camper or perhaps you'll find you will be fine hauling an AF 1150.
I bought the wrong truck first and ended up wasting money getting into a more capable truck so I understand the decision you are having to make. Honestly you won't have any problem carrying the 1150 or 1140 on the truck you mentioned but depending on how heavy the truck is initially you may come close to the 14,000 lb GVW with an 1150. Many people (I for one) carry that camper on an even lesser truck, I wish I had the money for a new 14,000 GVW truck but my truck handles the weight really well.
My GVW is 12,200 lbs and I am over that all the time. I am under my axle weights by several hundred pounds though. All I have done for suspension mods are a set of home-made stable-loads and it handles great for me. I take it into some pretty rough country as well so I know Arctic Fox is very well constucted to handle what I do to it but along with that strong durable construction comes the extra weight.
Regardless of what all the brochures, pamphlets, websites, salesmen etc that you are studying are claiming for weights I can tell you the 1150 will weigh well over 5000 lbs when you load it up with full tanks, all your gear and take it camping. How much over 5000 lbs depends on how much gear you take as well as how many other people and all their extra gear and supplies you take with you. You could travel with empty tanks if you can get water at your destination and save 500 lbs to possibly stay under 5000 lbs while traveling but getting water where you are going may not always be an option so it's better to figure your weights full.
Northwood's advertising can be tricky if you don't read the fine print. I don't believe they are being deceptive but rather competitive in a very competitive niche market where weight means everything. You do however need to understand what you are getting, as well as what options you want to add and then add all the extra weights to the base dry weight to get a somewhat close approximation of total weight. This is where it can be confusing at first.
I do agree that they could word their Fox Value Pack brochure description better by saying it is a "mandatory bundle of high value features not included in the dry weight calculation" rather than a saying "a mandatory option bundle" where, when the average consumer reads "mandatory option", it makes it sound like an oxymoron.
Anyway the correct WET weight of a current 1150 is 4519 lbs before you add any popular options and any personal camping gear/supplies.
1150 Dry weight 3358
Fox Value Pack 595
61 gal fresh water 506
Total wet weight 4519
Now you can take that 4519 wet weight and add to it the weights of any other popular options you may like to have such as a battery (or 2), air conditioning, built in push button electric start LP generator, solar, dually jack brackets, TV, bunk, Fox landing bumper etc. You can see you're quickly approaching 2.5 tons before even adding any food to the fridge and cupboards or any personal items at all.
My truck (2005 Ram Quad-cab, dually, diesel 4x4) weighs about 8100 with me in it. I generally go over the scales at 13,200 -13,300 by my self which makes the camper and all it's gear with full tanks weigh about 5100 - 5200. The highest weight I've recorded was 14,050 with everything full, 2 adults, 2 kids, supplies for a week, Honda 2000 generator, 5 gal gasoline, 3 bicycles, and all my gold panning equipment. With just 2 adults and normal camping gear I'd figure 5500 lbs with my TC. Mine has AC, built in LP generator, 2 batteries, and dually brackets as options for your comparison. So you can see at times you could be approaching 3 tons extra weight on your truck, and what if you decide to tow?
Well I hope this helps with your decision. Arctic Fox is an excellent camper, I know you'd be happy with one. I would have no hesitation telling someone they'd be fine with the 2013 F350 you mention for hauling it either with stable-loads likely being the only needed modification. That said, I know some people absolutely have to be under GVW (rather than just being under both axle ratings like me) so it's best to find out how much the truck weighs first so you can do the math because as you've seen I have been over 14,000 with mine and I'd bet my old 6 cyl short cab truck weighs less than that shiny new V-8 crew cab you're looking at, then again maybe not? Good luck with your shopping.
I say go for it. I had considered doing the same in mine but first I need to sell and remove my generator. My generator weighs over 110 lbs so weight shouldn't matter if Lance built the TC structure to support the usual 2500W LP generator and if the box you build is heavy duty enough to support the new batteries.
The pre-wiring should be set up with 120 volt wires for the output of the generator and also a positive and negative wire for the starter which is part of the 12 volt system if it's like my Arctic Fox. The heavy gauge wires you see are most likely the wires to run the electric starter on the generator so it should be plenty to move the electrons from your new batteries to wherever you need them.
DO NOT connect your new batteries into the 120 volt wiring going to the transfer switch/ circuit breaker panel. Make sure to use only the 12 volt wiring meant for the generator starter and then connect them to your existing 12 volt battery system appropriately.
We are going to have a smooth roof with not even a single hole in it.
I like your smooth roof idea. That should keep things simple and cut down on maintenence. I wish my roof didn't have as much stuff, it's a lot to maintain with all the potential leak points. I do like having my sunroof and fantastic fan though but I could do fine without the AC, roof rack, TV antenna etc.
I see you are going to mount an AC in the wall, is that how you will vent your grey water tank as well, through the wall? What about some type of exhaust fan for showering, cooking, breathing, or using the toilet? You'll need some way to remove condensation and odor, especially if used during the winter for snowmobiling. I'm interested in seeing how you place your tank vent & exhaust fans when you get to that point. I suppose a Fantastic fan would still work high up on the wall.
Maybe I missed it but did you post a floorplan lay-out of how the interior is going to look somewhere? I'd like to see how you plan to place everything with the full width walls as opposed to a regular TC that has to take into account the pickups wheel wells and bed rails.
Sounds good, at least you have the weight distribution concerns in your thought process. My father and I built a large wildland fire engine with an 800 gallon tank many years ago. When we got the tank placed at the front of the bed it it caused the front axle to be quite over weight. We ended up moving it back about 18" to take the weight off the front. It made a nice storage pocket in front of the tank but created all sorts of problems with the pump now overhanging the rear of the bed. With a lot of work we got everything to fit in a lot smaller space with no overhang but it wasn't the way we had originally planned it to look. Stay flexible in your planning, that will help when when you encounter problems. Where there's a will there's a way so I'm sure you'll come up with your way to make it work.
Neat concept. I'm hitting "subscribe" so I can watch this thread and follow your progress.Just keep adding to this thread so its easy to track. Randu
I've had thought's of building a TC someday too. It will be interesting watching your progress.
I've looked at your drawings and was hoping you could comment on camper placement and weight distribution of the final placement of your TC and garage space on the truck. I see you have over 10,000 lbs of GVW left to work with but if you don't balance that over the rear axle I wonder if you will severely over load the front axle. I wonder if that Isuzu motor is taking up most of your front axles weight capacity much like my diesel engine takes up almost all my trucks front axle weight capacity. So basically I was just curious if the TC was going up against the cab because most of the weight will be forward of the rear axle or will it be mounted more rearward? Thanks and good luck with your awesome project!
Thanks for all the great advice everyone. I do believe the problem was now in a loose connection at the screw terminal on the back of the female plug as many of you have pointed out.
My reasoning for this is that in the third picture I posted you can see the metal terminal with the screw and bracket for holding the hot wire in the background. Thinking back to my disassembly it just fell out and off the wire. I didn't have to unscrew it to release the wire.
This tells me it was loose and not even connected so like wnjj and mkirsch pointed out it increased resistance and got hot. The fact that the smaller household plug in didn't melt nor did it blow the house side fuse means that I wasn't drawing too many amps as I previously thought. This also makes sense because I've ran those exact same electrical loads for nearly 3 years now with out a problem. I think the wire just came loose finally over time from all the plugging in and out I do because I don't sit idle for too long. Just another piece of equipment I'll have to inspect over time so I don't have a problem in the future.
And sleepy you are correct about my house needing an upgrade. I am hoping to be able to afford to do that this summer. It's the old fuse with knob and tube wiring probably similar to your old house. I am planning a complete upgrade from the pole and throughout the entire house as soon as money allows. I had to have surgery last month so I have to take care of those bills first then I can get on my home electrical upgrade. In the mean time I have to cross my fingers it holds out but I always have my TC to stay in if the lights go out. The neighbors will just have to be ok with me running my Honda 2000 or letting me run a cord to their house.
So this morning I removed the camper side of the plug in and disassembled it and inspected it for damage. It was all ok except for the char and melted plastic on the hot spade. I just sanded on that for a while now it's nice and shiny. I picked up a new female plug for $40 and wired it back on. It's been plugged in for a few hours now and I've been checking for hot wires. So far everything is cool and working the way it should be.
Hopefully I can chock it up to a one time issue like wnjj said. Might not be a bad idea for everyone to check theirs periodically. It is an item that gets pulled and twisted quite often by some folks but it's not something you really think about until it doesn't work or has a meltdown.
Thanks again everyone for the great advice!
I tried to unplug the shore power plug from the side of my TC today and I couldn't. It was stuck. I thought maybe it was frozen but daytime temps were above freezing although the plug was on the north side. I thought maybe I wasn't twisting it counter-clockwise enough but it wouldn't twist either, even with a big wrench. I wiggled, jiggled, pulled, pushed it up and down and side to side and it wouldn't come out. After about 15 minutes of messing with it and cussing at it it finally popped out with a loud snapping sound.
This is the female end of the shore power cord. The two lower slots should look the same. On further inspection of the cord it had severly melted to the outlet socket on the side of the TC. That's why I couldn't get it apart.
The male receptacle on the TC looked fine other than a lot of charring to the corresponding metal leg.
Disassembling the female end of my power cord the plug looked like this.
The melted leg is the black wire (hot wire). The neutral and ground were fine and not melted. My limited knowledge of electrical tells me too many amps went through here to get this hot. I had running inside the camper a 1500W heater on low, the hot water heater on electric and the power converter/battery charger. The fridge has been on propane all winter.
I have been running with this same set-up for nearly 3 years now without any problems. The only thing that changed is I bought a house and am now plugged into my garage rather than my employers RV lot. I have to adapt my shore power cord down to a standard houshold plug since I haven't wired in a 30 amp RV service yet. I also use a 100" 12 guage extension cord to be able to reach the garage but there were several times I used the same extension cord and adapter at my employers RV lot when I couldn't get a 30 amp space and had to plug into a 20 amp outlet.
Any way from the damage it got hot and melted the plug together. Thankfully it didn't catch on fire and burn my truck and camper to the ground while I was gone. Everything inside the TC was working fine giving me no indication of a problem. No circuit breakers tripped inside the camper. My house is older so it as a 30 amp fuse protecting the garage circuit but it was fine.
All the connections from the garage outlet to the TC look fine with no signs of melting except for the big plug in to the TC shown above that melted. I only noticed the problem when I tried to unplug it to move the truck so it was still making a connection through all the melted plastic. I am going to pick up a new cord tomorrow and also take out the male connector from the TC to inspect it a little better for damage. I'll probably switch the water heater to propane but I need to run the electric heater like I have been for the past 3 winters. I'll burn through too much propane to keep it warm otherwise.
Any input as to possible causes would be appreciated so it doesn't happen again. Thanks.
Moderator, I used Photobuckets editing software to reduce the size of my images but they still look bigger than 640 to me? Sorry if they are.
It's not a problem and a full tank is less likely to freeze than a nearly empty one. However, I only carry water when I'm unsure of it's availability when I arrive at the destination. Why would I want to pack nearly 500 extra lbs of water if I can get it when I get there. Keeping the heat on low is to keep the small amount of water in the pipes and tanks from freezing so I don't have to winterize for the road trip.
It looks as though you plan to be traveling over several days and want to use water as you go. In that case I'd take a full tank not knowing where the the next fill-up may be during the winter. I am going to assume your camper has a heated/enclosed basement to keep the tanks and pipes warm? If so go for it, I do it all the time, if not you should winterize it. Eyecom has some good ideas on where to find water if you chose to save weight. Good-luck!
I do what you do, pull the shades, leave the radio on, light on. I also try and frequent places that not a lot of other people go. Nothing is 100% protection so the best thing you can do is make sure your insurance is paid up. It's just stuff and it can be replaced. For the stuff you'd lose on your laptop make sure you have a current back-up in another location.
Is it a 4 season model? If so I would just heat it maybe making sure the furnace kicked on occasionally to send heat to the tanks if its one of those great big toy haulers. Fill the fresh tank it will be much harder to freeze if full. Mid to upper 20's isn't going to be too hard to keep from freezing especially if it warms above freezing during the day. Night through early morning is the only time you'll need it running anyway. Can you put the electric heaters on a timer? I know antifreeze is cheap but what's your time worth? If its 4 season I'd imagine that just heating the interior will create enough of a heat envelope to keep from freezing up at those mild lows. If its not a 4 season with exposed plumbing I'd take the above suggestions and winterize.
I don't winterize my RV here in Idaho, it's just too much hassle and easier to run a space heater to keep it above freezing when I'm not using it. Only difference between my yard and yours is it has been below freezing for almost a month here, even for a daytime high. A couple nights ago we got a new record low of -18 F and it has been mostly single digit highs for the last few weeks. No problems with running my electric heater and having my furnace ready for back up.
I'm surprised the front axle goes over weight on your set-up. Does the generator and box really weigh that much? I've never been over 5000 on my front axle and we have the same truck. Maybe your 865 loads your front axle up where my 1150 doesn't. It would be interesting to see what your weight is without the camper but I can guess it should be about 4800 like mine is.
Aren't the scales fun? It's always fun to see what others weigh on here. You're still 400 pounds under my rig's total weight but I'd be a bit concerned about the front end being over-weight as Dodge front end's aren't their strong point. I don't think it's the axles, tubes or gears but rather the ball-joints, tie-rods, trac-bar bushings etc. Keep an eye on them.
Read through the whole page on this thread and hopefully you'll get a good idea of the answer to your question. I am sure what you are wanting to do is well within the capabilities of any DRW and large camper. Have fun!
You mention adjusting the fuel air mixture screw would that be the same screw for high altitude adjustment? We do go way up sometime I might just play with that a little.
robert@honda is correct that the altitude adjustment is a jet change not a screw adjustment. As you go up in elevation air density decreases and your carb runs too rich, you have to place a smaller main jet to decrease the amount of fuel to get the correct fuel ratio with the less dense air at higher altitude. I have found my Honda 2000 to run fine up to 9200' which is as high as I've camped here in Idaho so far with no need for a jet change on mine yet.
Yes you do lose horsepower at elevation at a rate of about 3% per 1000' elevation gain but any engine will, carbureted or EFI. It's because the air density being compressed in the cylinder is less so there is less energy in the explosion making the pistons go around. That's why we have turbo's and superchargers, they pack more air charge into the combustion chamber than normally possible with a regularly aspirated engine giving more power which is especially helpful at altitude. Think of all the diesel engines produced today, they are all turbo-diesels, some even have twin turbo's. Remember back in the day before turbo-diesels how gutless they were, no-one wanted one and especially in the mountains.
The pilot air screw adjusts the fuel air mixture at idle speed, it's on the side of the carburetor and yes it has a tamper proof cap that has a little wing trapped between two posts so it only turns about 1/3 of a revolution.Often this is enough to get what you need because it doesn't take much to affect the mixture. The problem is too many people in the past had no idea what that screw does and they were just adjusting it way rich so the EPA mandated the caps which is a good idea actually because they don't need to be turned much. On some occasions though it needs to be adjusted further than the cap allows. In this case just grind off the wing so you can turn it where it needs to be set for best performance. Always remember 1 turn out from lightly seated as a starting point to adjust from.
Sure it may be a violation of EPA regs to do this but how many EPA officials have you seen roaming campgrounds disassembling people's generators and inspecting them when they sound like they are running correctly? If tampering bothers you just adjust it to the limit and live with it there it should still start and run if all the other stuff I listed is in good order regardless if you pull start or use the electric starter.
Just a few suggestions to try if the problem persists:
Colder air is more dense thus requiring more fuel to create the perfect fuel/air mixture for adequate combustion. The choke is the primary control of this by lessening the amount of air entering the combustion chamber and richening up the fuel mixture. This is a simple device without any adjustment but a quick visual inspection may be needed to be sure it is closing properly.
Next is the fuel/air mixture screw, in colder months it helps to adjust this to a slightly richer setting but remember to return it in the summer or you'll be running too rich.
Unfortunately these are just normal issues of dealing with carburetors, the manual settings sometimes don't allow for as wide of temperature variations as we operate them in and slight seasonal adjustments may be necessary for optimal performance. The problem has a solution, it's called electronic fuel injection, thats why modern cars start and run so well without even thinking about it but to add this system to our small engines would be expensive and require a good battery and charging system to maintain. I'm glad they have carburetors but they can be a bit of a hassle to keep tuned if used throughot the year.
Another thing to try is to remove the float bowl of the carburetor without spilling any fuel out of it and inspect it for water. You'll either see clumps of water bubbles at the bottom or ice. It's the ice that plugs the tiny fuel passages and won't allow fuel to flow out of the carburetor and into the engine. The water molecules will have a lower freeze point being they have some fuel molecules mixed in (fuel freezes at a lower temp) so it kind of acts like antifreeze to a point which is why it still runs below 32 but at some point it will freeze like at 15 that you had.
Fresh gas and seafoam is no guarantee for not having water in the fuel. Water will condense on gas tank or gas can walls and then get into the carb. You can even get water in your gas from the fuel station if they are not careful with the way they handle it. If you see water you need to completely drain the fuel tank blow out all the lines, warm and clean the carburetor and fuel tank until all the water is evaporated then add fresh water free fuel. Be careful that the gas can you pour from doesn't have water in it from sitting around. A can that isn't completely full leaves room for moist air to lose it's water content on the inner walls by condensation when it gets cold. This water enters the fuel and these small engines with their small carburetors and tiny fuel passeges can't handle even the smallest amount of water where it may go completely unnoticed if you were to run it through a car.
Lastly do a compression check, a motor with low compression will have a harder time starting as the temperature drops. Maybe the valve lash is too tight not allowing the valves to fully seat and need adjusted to restore higher compression. Or perhaps other engine damage has occured to drop the compression like scratched rings or cylinder or piston.
Pop in a fresh plug and you should be good to go if all the other stuff checks out. Good luck!
I had a 19B many years ago made by Northwood (Arctic Fox, Nash). Very tough unit for going down rough roads and boy did I test it out living in eastern Oregon. It has a dinette and couch that both convert to beds. The nice thing about these is that you can find a 4-season model which will make it easier to stay warm during the colder times of the year you plan on camping in.
You probably won't do much off-roading with any trailer but getting into primitive campsites was never a problem for me with the axles the way they were. I moved from a trailer to a truck camper because towing sometimes limited where I could go. My truck camper actually has more room than that travel trailer did. But if you are looking for a tough durable unit that will keep you warm you can't go wrong with a Nash or Arctic Fox. They also made a 17C model as well but I can't remember exactly how the floor plan looked.
Merry Xmas to all...and to those that gave me real numbers...I thank you. BUT...Ive written off a TC and associated PU. Id have to buy a 450 or 550 to get carrying capacities and I refuse to over load my personal vehicle....so pickup's and TC's are OUT for my future.
Travel trailers can be bought small so I'll lean in that direction
Just curious what TC you were considering? Triple slide something or other with all the options? If so then yep, you're right. If not many of the newer 1-tons have very high payload capacities depending on how you option the truck.
Oh well, the TC lifestyle isn't for everyone, thanks for stopping by. Happy camping!
One might garner sufficient data by merely ASKING...and allowing individuals to state what sort of rig they are running ( truckwise) and how much payload they are dragging around!!!!!
If 6 or so with GM 3500's...dual axles...say they are carrying 3500 lbs....and same amount of F350 owners say they are carrying about in the neighborhood of say 3500-3800 lbs....then Id think Im safe at say 3400 lbs.
A question such as mine doesnt have to be answered to the "Nth" degree...but if people stipulate.."I dont know what the mas is but Im carrying XXXXX pounds with mine"... Then we have an answer
Now that the OP has cleared up his intent I'll play. He doesn't seem to want to know what the MAX a properly setup truck can carry in the bed any longer like he originally asked. Sometimes the original question, while the intent is clear to the poster, doesn't come across as clear to everyone else reading it so a clarification is sometimes needed.
Thanks to Steve_in_29's post on page 2 the OP was forced to clarify his original intent. Now it seems he just wants us to brag about how much weight OUR OWN truck hauls so he can come to some kind of average I suppose. What good that will do for anyone remains to be seen but it's just a question and then the OP & others can interpret the data in anyway they see fit. For myself and perhaps the rest of us it's always interesting to see what others are hauling around.
I know there have probably been plenty of threads on how much weight people carry but we are always changing rigs and adding new members so it might be fun to do it again. Kind of like the how tall is your truck with camper thread.
Plus it might bring up some fun SRW vs DRW, 3/4 ton vs 1-ton, gas vs diesel, crew-cab vs super-cab vs regular cab, 2x4 vs 4x4, automatic vs manual transmission, hard side vs pop-up, slide vs non-slide, happijack vs torklift, dry bath vs wet bath, N-S vs E-W cab-over bed, cassette vs standard toilet, Honda vs Yamaha vs Onan generator, rv park vs dry camping vs boon docking conversation, discussion or dare I say arguing? :B Things have been a little slow here anyway with winter and the holidays so lets have some fun, I'll start.
In my 2005 Ram 3500 DRW I generally carry 5200-5400 lbs with my AF 1150 but I have gotten close to 6000 lbs with it once by having 4 people, and all their gear for a week plus bicycles. I don't know of any fifth wheel or other RV's that will put nearly 3-tons in the back of a truck. I consider this to be MAX for my truck although it handles it with no problems.
Merry Christmas everyone!