Thanks for the tip on the Four Wheel hard side camper. Something like that is an option. There is also an all aluminum camper from Travel Lite I think that drops down to 15-1600 lbs with a wet bath. It looks a little industrial in the photos but I will need to see one.
I checked out the Travel Lites. Those look nice. I did notice though that the only ones I saw with a wet bath would stick out 22" from the bed of a short bed truck.
Hmmm - I didn't know they did a hardside option - looks similar in size to my Shadow Cruiser - no bathroom in that - but lighter from what you say.
I think it's relatively recent, like 2010-2011. Which is lighter, the Four Wheel or the Shadow Cruiser?
The weight plate on my Shadow cruiser said 1400lbs dry I think, but I tried to clean it and all the writing has disappeared now, so I can't say for sure. But of course it is a traditional timber construction with aluminum skin rather than all aluminum constructino, hence the weight.
'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
'98 Jeep TJ 4.0
'09 Fiat Panda 1.2
'10 Citroen DS3 1.6 turbo
I do not know if you have considered a possible change in your daily driving habits after you retire. For me, my miles driving was reduced by over 1,000 miles per week. I used my truck for work.
I realize each of us have different needs/wants, but my life style changed considerably. I no longer use my truck for work. I daily drive my Suzuki Samurai. It is one of my favorite toys, and very affordable. My wife never put many miles on her car. After I retired, she puts so little, the battery has gone dead. I guess I could save about $250 a year insurance if I sold her car, but if that cost is so great I cannot go camping with my truck/TC, I will probably just stay home. Actually, go out to dinner 4 or 5 times a year less, and she can keep her car.
My main point here is that I am willing to bet your millage will be much less when you are retired.
Dragonfly, my Lance 815 was originally on a 1984 1/2 ton chevie(with air bags) for less than a year. Lance 815 weights about 1750lbs dry.
Having semi trucks blowing by us and pushing us all over from them passing by was bad enough, but after a couple of blast of Mother nature's winds hitting us side ways and getting air under the tires was for us the last straw. We bought a F250 and never looked back as to say, side winds haven't been a problem since and I can pass the semi's up without being push over by the air that they are pushing.
Take in consideration of having more than enough truck under that camper,saving a couple of bucks on gas over several years doesn't to me make up for a little peace of mind on the road or off the road.
I carefully researched 3/4 ton trucks and matching campers ... no problem. Now, I am trying to see if I can match a truck camper with a half ton....
No weight police lecture here, but I will throw out a different subject to consider.
1/2 ton trucks are cars which can also haul stuff. 3/4 & 1-ton trucks are trucks which can also carry people. A 1/2 ton's forte is its ability to provide a car-like experience while still hauling the occasional load. A 3/4 / 1-ton's forte is hauling stuff while carrying people.
Let me be a little more specific. My dad has a '97 Silverado 1500, extended cab, 4x4, short bed, with a 5.7 motor. I have a '97 Silverado 2500, extended cab, 4x4, long bed, with a 5.7 motor. The 1500 has a smaller transmission and a tiny differential. My 2500 has the bigger transmission and a more robust differential. The 1500 has 6 lugs per wheel, the 2500 has 8. The 1500 has smaller brake rotors than the 2500. And so on...
At the end of day, both trucks could probably handle the same load weight wise. The 1500 will have a tougher time than the 2500, but it will get the job done. In the long run, however, pushing the 1500 to haul the larger load will result in failed components sooner.
My point... You may get this setup to work for the F-150, but I will bet you have major mechanical issues sooner than if you purchase a more heavy-load capable 3/4 or 1-ton.
Just something else to consider...
Eric & Lisa - Oregon
'97 Silverado K2500, New HT383 motor!, Airbags, anti-sway bar
'03 Lance model 1030, generator, solar,
The "Livin' Lite" are the industrial all aluminum TC's they spoke of. Look at the "Travel Lite" and also "Wolf Creek" for TC's that fit 1/2 tons. I have a Tacoma Extra Cab Pre-runner with a "Travel Lite" 690 FD on it. No bath it it......HEY it is just a 1999 2.7 Ltr 4 banger Tacoma with bags, on-board compressor and a Helwig Sway Bar. Just went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. 340 miles each way, allot Interstate Hwy and some 2 lanes each way median separated with a 65 MPH speed limit. Most of the way down did 65 to 68 in some spots. Tires never got hot, were barely warm if you want to call just over the temp outside warm, 68 to 72 degrees. Camper felt good on the truck. Just put new Calipers disks and pads on the front and replaced the shoes on the rear and turned the drums. Always slowed down in the space I needed to with plenty to spare.
On the way back, 25 to 40 MPH side winds and just set the cruise @ 60 MPH and was fine. The Diesel Rigs passing me. Their trailers were leaned over quite a bit. I was fine in my truck and TC.
So yes it can be done. Just check the cost of air bags or helper springs. I think you'll find the suspension parts you have to buy will be much less, by 9 thousand or so of the 11,000 dollar difference of buying a 3/4 ton.
The amount of time my truck has the camper on it, maybe a month, 30 days of the year at most, I need the small truck just to drive. Just don't expect to pull a trailer or boat with the 1/2 ton setup. You are then very much pushing your luck.
Hope this helps
"Confidence is the feeling you have before
you fully understand the situation"
1999 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner
TorkLift Tie Downs
2010 Travel Lite 690FD
1996 ZX11 Ninja
2008 Yamaha Zuma 50 Scooter
2010 "Blue" Bulldog, "Luna"
I am transitioning from a small motor home to a truck camper. I know the "Big Guys" are going to tromp me but here is the deal.
One of the reasons I sold the motor home, with a V10, E450 is gas and maintenance cost. I am trying to simplify and cut costs as I approach retirement. Thus one vehicle (a truck) with a slide in, -vs- a motor home AND a car.
I carefully researched 3/4 ton trucks and matching campers ... no problem. Now, I am trying to see if I can match a truck camper with a half ton. 80% of the time the truck is my daily driver. Over 100,000 miles the difference in gas cost between 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks is over $11,000, more as gas prices rise. I would really like to make this work.
On a new F-150 you can now get 2,080 lbs of payload in a short bed, super cab, 4WD. (More if you go 2WD and regular cab.) I have found a number of suitable campers with a dry weight of 1,600 to 1,700 lbs. Adding liquids, gear, camper options etc will most likely put me 100 to 200 lbs overweight. Airbags, Timbrens or the like will stabilize the truck but I know, won't add payload.
Before I get beat up by the big truck guys, IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO HAS PUT A SLIDE IN ON A HALF TON TRUCK AND HOW HAS IT WORKED?
Yes, I would like to have a 3/4 ton but, on a very limited income I may not be able to afford to drive it. I could also drop the 4WD but driving unloaded would get stuck in the snow, drop the extended cab but would have the dogs in my lap, drop the wet bath but would stink to high heaven.
Can anyone help me. I promise to pack lightly, drive easy and lose weight myself.
From 2004 until 2010 we carried a hallmark camper (Milner) with a short bed 2000,Silverado 1500.
I had good shocks, airbags, and 16 inch "E" rated tires. Full complement of water, gas and all the other camping needs.
We pulled this all over Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming. About half of that time pulling a bass boat.
It rode like a dream, and with a rare exceptional high mountain pass, always had enough power.(Even then it did well, just shifted more than I wanted)
The Forum weight police will give you all kind of" "O" my God" stories.
For most of them it's the" I own it syndrome" And enough knowledge to be dangerous.
K0LFM Call Sign Northern Lite 8-11 Q Classic SE
Pro-Craft 180 Bass boat 2003 GMC Sierra 2500, SuperSprings, Torklifts & Fastguns, Ride-Rites w/dual Control, Helwig rear sway bar, "E" rated 16" 10 ply Michelins, Heavy Duty Pads & Rotors