I have not tried my suggestion to cut out the bottom of the drop in liner leaving enough to curl under the rubber bed mat, holding it down. When I do I will take photos and report whether it worked or, I yanked the whole thing out.
As for my light camper quest, I posted in the original thread that I was called out of the country for three weeks and returned to a very big consulting contract in southern Florida where I am now. I have a cap on the truck with a fold out bed inside right now. However, when the dust settles I still plan on matching a light hardside to my "heavy duty" F-150. I will keep you posted.
I have not done this yet but I was considering cutting out the center of my bedliner, leaving just enough to curl under the heavy rubber mat. Thus, most if not all of the bottom of the camper would be on the mat over bare bed. But, when I removed the camper, the bed walls would be protected by the liner and the floor protected by the mat. The mat would also weigh down the sides of the liner against the wind (although I would probably put a cap on the truck when the camper is off so that wouldn't be an issue).
Again, I haven't done it yet, but, if it doesn't work I would just get rid of the liner. Since they have little or no value anyway if you try to sell them, there would be no loss.
My apologies for disappearing after the purchase of my Ford f150 heavy duty, with plans to add a truck camper.
I was called out of the country on business for about three weeks and, upon my return, my consulting company got a big contract in southern Florida where I have been for two additional weeks setting things up.
I still intend to add the drop in camper as soon as the dust settles from these recent events. For now, I put a cap on the truck and a bed in back. I will send some photos soon.
I brought the truck to Florida. On flat highway I got 19 to 21 mpg with the cap on and loaded with living supplies for a six month stay. City driving down here is coming in at 15-18 mpg, although where I am the urban environment is not all that dense with a medium amount of stop and go.
The truck rides great considering the heavy duty additions. A regular configuration for F150 or Chevy 1500 is a little smoother but, I have no complaints about the ride.
My VW Thing is fixed up and running well. With the income from the new job and the sale of the Thing, I hope to have the cash to go truck camper shopping soon. I will keep you all posted.
WHAT I HAVE TO GIVE UP TO FIT MY 163" WHEELBASE INTO THE GARAGE
Yes, I measured before buying the truck (even though it doesn't matter since we will be moving soon). As predicted I had 1.5 inches to spare. The problem is, to close the garage door, I have to remove my hitch ball. Geez, I think that I will park the truck in the barn.
If I park in the garage, it will have to be front bumper touching the wall.
Although, putting up a bumper strip might take away my 1.5 inch "cushion."
The garage door will shut behind the truck.
But ... something will have to go.
I picked up my F-150 ecoboost V-6, 4x4 last Friday May11th in WI. It is a Lariat with a 6 1/2 foot box. I installed firestone airbags and torklift tiedowns and fastguns. Drove to TX last Monday to pickup a used 2009 Northstar Freedom that I purchased over the internet from Camping World in New Braunfels. The TC has a microwave and air conditioner
It is great to hear that you mated an F150 with a hardside truck camper. Congratulations. Keep us updated as you proceed. The campers I am looking at for my HD F150 are a little bit lighter than yours so, I am encouraged.
I thought about getting the crew cab so that I could get a short bed. With the super cab, you must take the long bed and the longest wheelbase which limits some of your light camper choices.
I just tried to put the long bed, extended cab in the garage. The only way it fits is with the front bumper touching the wall and the trailer ball off. That gives me one inch of clearance on both ends.
Your 13 plus mpg with camper on is great to know. I am getting great mileage with camper off ( I average 19.3 empty and, even got 22 mpg on a brief, flat, open freeway run). I hope I can at least match your mpg with camper on.
I am a little confused by one of your requirements; if you are soon to retire, and you still have the Wife's car, why are you so concerned about a daily driver?
Although I am semi retiring, I also do consulting as often a I can generate the work. I work with parks, museums and other non profits. Having a strong interest in nature and, doing a lot of photography, including some exhibiting and publishing, makes for a lot of day trips. Bunches of other interests, friends and, firewood, mulch and other work around our 12 acres puts me on the road often. My wife still works part time also. using the car. I can see clearly now what folks mean by being busier in retirement than when they were working.
If money isn't a big issue, then I would look at this one.
They are sweet-looking units, but not cheap (if you are wanting used/cheap). If you are cool with buying new and spending some money, then this might be a good option.
Yes, the all aluminum Camp Lite is on the list. They look a little cold and industrial. But, they are now offering a wood grained finish to cabinets etc. The cabinets are still aluminum but I am curious as to whether the wood grain finish would warm the unit up a bit.
How about tires??? What load range do you have?? I have E's on a 2500 ... they are the weakest link.
Pop up at Wal-Mart??? Not me
The payload package included 10 ply E rated tires. Actually the tire placard lists a greater weight capacity than the truck placard, just short of 3,000 lbs.
And yes, a hard side is required for Wal-Mart and other similar overnights.
Dragon, I'm not so sure you'll be consoled if it fails, as you will get a lot of ITYS' (I-told-you-so) from folks :).
I'm going to be more curious what your end economy will really be if you do end up with a properly fitting full height hard-sider, because no matter how light you make it all, the wind resistance is what really kills the fuel economy and all truck camper's suffer from the same brick-wall effect (though some of the old super light pop ups like the palomino bronco not so much), my fear is that even after all the song and dance and pinch and scrapping, you're still going to wind up in the same 7-10 mpg fuel economy that most of us far bigger rigs get.
I currently get the 21 mpg highway, with no camper, as advertised. It drops to 18-20 on rolling, winding back roads with small town slow downs.
I don't do a lot of real city driving but my brief city experiences, according to the on board computer reported 16-17 mpg.
I double check the computer on overall mileage the old fashioned way of gas in vs mileage out.
Fully loaded as a wind catching brick, I have heard some reports of 14-16 mpg on similar F 150s with an over the cab hardside camper. That is my hope.
But, I have already saved a lot because the real savings comes when the camper is off the truck, which will be 75% of the time or more, as my daily driver.
Over 100,000 miles of driving with just the truck and a cap, at 19-21 mpg, my gas savings over a similarly equipped half ton is over ten thousand dollars. That is a vehicle cost that few people stop to consider. Since I run my vehicles to at least 200,000 miles it is almost like getting a free camper with the truck.
I have been there with an E-450, V-10 and hesitated going somewhere because of the gas costs at 8-11 mpg. And, I don's miss the extra and more expensive maintenance and parts one bit, not to mention the purchase price.
AGAIN, a 3/4 ton would make things a whole lot easier. If you need one or you just want one, that is fine. But, for me and how I use the vehicle, this works and will even work if I do drop actually drop below the 14-16 mpg goal loaded.
Maybe you could share what you are planning on doing, with this Truck Camper and F150. That might shed a little bit of insight in how we can best advise you.
On the original thread about selecting the truck I explained my intent. I should repeat some of that for this new thread. We had a pop up truck camper for 5 years and a 23 foot motor home for 12 years after that.
With the constraints of retirement income looming I got rid of one car and the E450 V-10 camper and will consolidate into a truck and slide in. (Plus my wife's car). The truck will be a daily driver 75% of the time so economy is important, thus the "heavy duty" F150.
We don't camp as much as we travel and just need a place to sleep ... Forest Service campgrounds, Wal-Mart and, misc boondocking. There will be many short trips and some long ones. I suppose on extended trips a motel now and then will give us a chance to unwind from the presumably somewhat cramped confines of a small truck camper.
I have researched a half dozen or so light, hard side campers, most with showers and baths ranging in weight from 1200 to 1700 lbs. If I can land somewhere in the middle of that range (1500 lbs or so) I figure with packing light, I can handle it with my 2,280 lbs of payload. We travel light and simply with few toys anyway.
Many folks on the various threads I follow and participate in, are interested to see if this can be done efficiently, economically and safely. Although I would love to have a larger truck and camper (especially coming off of a 23 ft motor home), economy and simplicity is important to many of us.
I guess that I am the Guinea Pig who will be applauded if this works, consoled if it doesn't.
I will post my truck camper candidates soon as the time to buy it approaches. I was just made aware of a new brand, Panther TC.
This post was to update those who are following this, to solicit any interpretation of my weight figures that I may have missed, and any other suggestions or things helpful towards trying to bring together economy, simplicity and comfort in a truck camper. I will keep you posted.
Thanks for the link to the Panther truck campers. I thought I found them all but hadn't seen that brand. 1580 lbs for a long bed, hardside with shower and bath is amazing. I will certainly have to check them out.