This is an old (2004) photo. The extension uses 2"x2" 3/16" wall tubing in instead of chains, for the side forces. Way overbuilt, and adds unnecessary weight to the truck. I have chains to replace the tubing, but keep using it for other projects. I have the tubing on the truck now, but again I will replace the tubing with chain.
Thanks, Wayne. I understand now what you're saying about the tubing for the side forces. Looks pretty sturdy. :)
I have been flat towing my Samurai for thousands of miles, since 2004. I have the OEM hitch on my truck, and about a 4-1/2 foot home made 2"x 3/16" wall extension. I use 5/16" chains or tubing from each side of the extension to the Hitch. Considering there is zero tongue weight,nothing heavier is required.
Do you have any closeup pics of your towing setup that you can share?
I can see the need for stabilizing chains for long hitch extensions greater than 40" but why would you need them for something much shorter? My extension is 18" long and I've run into zero problems without them.
She does not like the idea of picking up the scissor steps to take them off, finding a place to store them and then picking them up to put them back on every time she wants in the camper while traveling. She also thinks that they heavy, dirty and can pinch your fingers.
I know what you mean, but we never remove our Glowsteps. We travel with them in the up and contracted position. I know Torklift doesn't recommend it but we haven't had any issues for the two years we've owned ours. If you click on my blog link and look at the title pic you'll see how we travel. This probably won't work for your side entry, though.
Great choice going with Northstar. Great folks and terrific quality. We are seriously looking at a Northstar Arrow 8.5 U.
As for the scissor steps, I know you said your wife doesn't like them, but do you know Torklift makes a removable handrail called the Glowguide for them?
thanks for the replies everyone. One other question.....is silicon the best sealant to use around the outside of the vent on the roof to keep water out? I'm talking about as a final step, in addition to the universal installation kit I have with the sticky gasket.
Not only no, but hell no. :) Don't ever use silicon. I recommend that you use Dicor lap sealant. You can buy it at any RV parts store like Camping World. I've installed four fan-tastic vents over the years and maintained even more and have found that works best.
bka0721, (haven't heard anyone use BKA "Better Known As" in a while.)
Can you carry 4 bales of hay plus firewood inside your Lance? Campers are great but they aren't "one size fits all" RV's.
Benefits of truck campers not problems with truck campers. That's how I read the title.Actually, yes I can carry Hay Bales and firewood. But busting cattle and bucking hale bales as a kid I would never put hay in a LQ (Living Quarters is what we called the bunk in front of a horse trailer). I would just load them onto the roof of my Lance Camper, like other Horsemen do with their campers.
I never see problems, just solutions.
Bryan (bka0721) has one of the best TC setups I've ever seen. Redundancy for all of his systems including water, propane, solar, and battery. I may have even missed one or two. :)
Mike as was mentioned "no insurance" in most cases. However my insurance company does not cover the camper in the case of damage to the camper unless I have the camper insured separately.Really? Who is your insurance company?It would be Allstate! Do a search on my previous posting reference this issue. Search "truck camper insurance".
I have State Farm. They cover it for FREE, yes, FREE. And I've already had to use it and can prove they stand behind it.
I know every state is different, but in WA, State Farm covers your TC as part of the Truck's comp coverage. Long story short, I had a storm related loss on the TC, wasn't even on the truck, and got ~$9,000 settlement.
And for me, I love my TC because I can:
--Camp anywhere the 4 wheel drive can get me (reasonably), and fit anywhere the truck can fit.
--haul and EASILY launch a boat. Drop the camper at the campsite, and the truck now tows the boat to the launch. Try that with a motorhome, what a PITA!
--Immediate access to a vehicle to run into town with without having to "break camp". Just drop the TC and go.
--Take my Jeep
And the most important:
--Lots of storage for whiskey!!! :B
All very good points, Boatycall! The versatility of the TC can't be beat.
And, yes, everyone. That's the interior of Boatycall's camper that I used for the Great Bug-Out Vehicle write-up.
Verstility is the key.
I flat tow my Jeep Cherokee so that solves the problem of having a vehicle to drive around. It also affords much more room to carry things.
I can fill the back with firewood or whatever, bikes go on the roof rack and a m/c on a hitch rack if I want to take that.
It also makes a nice apartment for the dogs when I don't want them in the camper.
If I'm on the go, I may leave the Jeep at home and then I'm really mobile. Could still take the m/c along.
The truck is another advantage. What 22' RV has 4x4 and 400 HP/800 FT/LBs!!!
All great points, especially the last one. There aren't many 4x4 RVs out there. The only one's I can think of are the Tiger Class C and the Sportsmobile Class B. Both cost well in excess of $100k
Hi Mello Mike,
Here are some thoughts about advantages.
Because of their size, they are quick to heat up in winter time to useable temperatures. A single platinum cat (such as sleepy's) will provide all the heat needed while sipping propane and battery power.
They have fewer lights to operate and yet have room for more than one battery
Dumping is faster as the waste tanks tend to be higher up than on other RV's
Great point on the time to heat up. The same goes for running the AC. Doesn't take much time to get where you want the temp in a TC.
O.K. Mike, I'll go with your ping.
You can be smug in the knowledge that you have paid the highest price per square foot real estate in the RV biz.
That fact did not deter me from having a 'just-right' rig for off-road and remote country exploration.
Last night I watched a program called, "Extreme RV". There were mongo big 3-axle trailers, humongous MoHo's for just short of $1,000,000 and a look at the construction and building of the legend-in-their-own-mind Earth roamer. I did learn a lot, including a good look at the 3 point system connecting the box to the frame. They go against the prevailing euro concept of having the single point at the front and the pair at the rear by having just the opposite. The pivoting single connection is at the rear of the frame. Also, the box is a fiberglass/balsa/fiberglass light composite body with good R value and very tough. It has 1.3KW of solar panels on the roof which makes it top heavy and those panels will catch any branch that strays by. Still, they did their homework and made it work from the ground up, not an add-on like a regualr TC.
Only $403,000 dollars, U.S.
Great thoughts, Jefe. My understanding on why TC's are so expensive per sq inch is due to the fact that only one person at a time can work on them. I also saw that episode on the Earthroamers. Pretty neat rigs but I would never pay that much for one. I guess some folks have money to burn.
Frankly, I don't see the need to justify my choice of a TC, to myself or to anyone else.
C'mon mkirsch, don't be such a pottypoopa.:B
Yeah! :) This thread is mainly for the newbies and for those thinking about buying a TC.
There are only two reasons I would (probably) not buy a TC:
1. As a solo female camper, I like to be able to get away from an uncomfortable situation without having the leave the vehicle.
2. The steps are rather steep and my dog's legs are rather short.
Otherwise, I think truck campers are the BEST! :)
Thanks, Pat. I agree that the TCs are the best, but you've got a pretty impressive rig yourself. The Born Free is a pretty sweet setup.
I have always enjoyed your posts and blog
I have the dreaded pop top,but it works for me
The pop top is about 8.5 feet tall and I like being able to go thru the drive through at in and out,which is 9 ft.Plus I am able to store it in the garage
during the summer.Although I served in the USMC,my son is a career Navy man and has only 3 years before retired.He is a CPO on a GM Cruiser in the middle east
Semper Fi and Happy Trails.I guess you are old enough to remember Roy and Dale
Thanks! And thank you for your service. I know the Marines and Navy don't always get along, but I have always admired the Marines and what they have done for our country.
You missed one..
In my town, the camper is not considered the same thing as a trailer/motorhome, which has wheels.. so I can park the camper on gravel/grass, not concrete.
Yes, that's right, in SF Bay area, if you park your trailer/motorhome on anything other than concrete, you can get a ticket/order to move it.
Concrete is expensive here.. along with the manpower to pour/form it up, esp. when you have to pave from the curb back to where you are keeping the trailer/motorhome.
That's very interesting, but cool, for the TC folks!
Mike as was mentioned "no insurance" in most cases. However my insurance company does not cover the camper in the case of damage to the camper unless I have the camper insured separately.
Really? Who is your insurance company?
I thought I'd start up this thread for the benefit of newbies and those who are thinking about purchasing a truck camper. So what are the benefits of owing a truck camper? I was able to come up with eleven:
1. Unmatched Versatility (can tow and be unloaded at campsite)
2. No Registration or Insurance Fees (in most cases)
3. Superb Maneuverability
4. Easy to Drive
5. Outstanding Boondocking Capability
6. Cheaper to Maintain
7. Better Fuel Economy
8. Easy to Store
9. Great Bug-Out Vehicle
10. Upgrade Independence
11. Excellent Depreciation Value
A full article on this topic can be found at the link below:
Eleven Benefits of Truck Camper Ownership
Can you think of any others?