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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > OK COME TEAR ME APART

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Dragonfly

Ohio

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Posted: 02/23/12 08:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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.


DRAGONFLY - 2014, 19' Airstream Flying Cloud, towed by a Ford F-150, 4WD, extended cab, long bed, with Ecoboost engine, max payload & tow pkg, and 8200 lbs GVWR


Mafman

Qc

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not an expert, but my 1/2 ton specifically states NOT to put a camper on it. Regardless of max ratings, which always look great on paper, I would suggest going for a bigger truck to allow for a bit of leeway when packing extra stuff and, more importantly, a more comfortable, safe and secure ride.

Our promises to lose weight (in all forms!) cannot always be kept, and that's when the extra capacity really shines.

Just my two cents, but if I were to re-do, I would go for a 2500 next time, regardless of the cost factor. I'm already considering an investment in some SuperSprings to deal with my rig's hefty tongue weight and the sway that becomes unpleasant on a long drive.

Bottom line is why cheap out and hate it when you can spend a bit more now and get your money's worth?


2013 Avenger 28BHS
2009 Puma 19FS
2012 GMC 2500 6.0L- 3:73
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kerry4951

East Central Pennsylvania

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did the same thing. We sold our 38' diesel motorhome about 2 years ago. I got tired of the maintenance and insurance costs, and decided to go to something involving less yearly costs. The last trip out resulted in a break down requiring a new re-cored radiator along with an $8000 repair bill. After selling we went with a new TC and havent looked back. We are now seeing things and going places that we could not do before. We have since adjusted to the limited storage but once you get adjusted you will be fine. Hopefully you will be able to match up a nice TC to your pick up. You will be limited to what you can use safely on the truck, but Im sure something will work for you. Good luck


2009 Silverado 3500 dually D/A, Supersprings, Stable Loads, Bilsteins, Hellwig Sway Bar.
2010 Arctic Fox 1140 DB, 220 watts solar, custom 4 in 1 "U" shaped dinette/couch, baseboard and Cat 3 heat, 2nd dinette TV, cabover headboard storage, 65 TC mods

GratefulOne

Cape Lookout

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another option might be the Palomino 1251SB "pop up" TC with a dry weight of 1450#. This would at least give you a bit more wiggle room (not much) but it would load up mighty quick with water and supplies plus people. I don't want to steer you wrong- perhaps another 1/2 ton owner will step forward with their setup.

My Lance 825 lite loads up my 3/4 ton Ford pretty good and I have to watch how I load it as well. Even with the biggest rigs- you still have to know their limits. Good luck to you and be safe out there.

Less Stuff

WA. USA

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Love my overloaded 2500 Chevy TC.
But don't overlook a small travel trailer.
It will give the room you want while being better suited to a half ton truck. May cost less as well.
I agree half ton trucks are better suited to daily use.

* This post was edited 02/23/12 09:30am by an administrator/moderator *


DG
Former user name: "Lots of Stuff"
2014 Jeep Patriot
Future folding trailer or ?

Beedub007

Rocklin

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GratefulOne wrote:

Another option might be the Palomino 1251SB "pop up" TC with a dry weight of 1450#. This would at least give you a bit more wiggle room (not much) but it would load up mighty quick with water and supplies plus people. I don't want to steer you wrong- perhaps another 1/2 ton owner will step forward with their setup.



For that matter, a Four Wheel Hawk pop up model with outdoor shower and porta potty would weigh less than 1000. I do believe they offer a hard top as an option on any of their campers as well, at no increase in cost, just a tad over 1000 lbs dry. I'd personally prefer a hard side, but we're pretty limited with our half tons.

* This post was last edited 02/23/12 10:32am by Beedub007 *   View edit history

Oasisbob

Portland Oregon 97266

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are smart to do your research. I think the travel trailer idea would serve you better in a half ton truck. We both know fuel prices are going up and your numbers prove this to be a concern. Choose wisely grass hopper. Best of luck.


Oasis Bob
Wonderful wife & 4 Really Fun kids
2008 KIA Sedona 3.8L 24 valve V-6
2001 Bantam Trail Lite B-19

HAPPY TRAILS

HoodCanalNorth

Brinnon,Wa.

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at my profile. If you have questions PM me


TCing since 1970. 1997 Ford F150 SC 4x4. 2004 Lance 815. E range tires,Rancho 9000 shocks,Timbren overloads.

Super_Dave

Sacramento, CA

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Posted: 02/23/12 09:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Limited to pop ups as far as TC's or VERY small and light campers in a 1/2 ton truck. A travel trailer would likely afford you the ability to consider one with a slide out and still pull with a 1/2 ton truck.


Truck: 2006 Dodge 3500 Dually
Camper: 2007 Eagle Cap 850
Boat: 2003 Jetcraft 2125 - Yamaha 150 HP & 8 HP Kicker


Trail-Mate

Frederick, MD

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Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 02/23/12 09:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What mileage are you expecting from the F150? 20 mpg. I get that with my 97 F250 HD diesel. Driven daily. I think any of the older Diesels would get you good mileage. Search and you will find a nice older truck. When you factor in the cost of a new truck in your number . A good older one will cost between 5 and 10K ( based on the 2 I bought in the last 2 years) Lots left over for maintenance and gas or fuel.


1997 Ford F250 Extended Cab, 7.3 Diesel, 8 foot bed.
Reese 16K Hitch
(Moved into Shed) Hensley Arrow
Jordan Brake Controller, Hensley TruControl Gold Shelved.
Open Range 5th Wheel, Roamer RF392 BHS


Happy Camping !!


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