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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Camper for 1/2 ton truck?

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spacedoutbob

SF Bay Area

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Posted: 03/21/12 01:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had the experience of a axle snapping off at the flange from overloading a 1/2 ton pickup with a camper that weighed about 2500 lbs. (Luckily I didn't get into an accident) That is why I use at least a 3/4 ton truck for my camper. I have seen other trucks overloaded worse than I had done, but I decided I didn't want to take any more chances. You can, however look for a old 8 1/2' self contained camper that would not be too heavy to put on your truck. Some of them were in the 1500 lb. range. Good luck.

Bob in Oakland, Calif.

* This post was edited 03/21/12 02:36pm by spacedoutbob *


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WyoTraveler

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Posted: 03/21/12 03:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never had an axle break but I have put camper shells and campers on 1/2 ton trucks. My experience is that the truck just doesn't hold up. When my last 1/2 ton truck had 30,000 miles with a camper on it the truck was beat. I took the camper off, sold the camper. I drove the truck another year but it basically fell apart. bad trans etc.


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enine

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Posted: 03/21/12 03:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Todays modern 1500 trucks are capable of carrying more than 1/2 ton.
I picked up and older popup camper for $600 and it does just fine.

Padlin

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Posted: 03/21/12 07:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Phoenix Campers will build to your specs.


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ronanddi

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Posted: 03/21/12 08:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the responses, I will look up some of the websites mentioned, but it appears I need to do what I didn't want to: buy a bigger truck.

Come to think of it, I loaded a 900 lb golf car on the back of my pickup and did not like it one bit (due to the sway). I know there are no mods that will increase the payload, but how effective are air bags or ? in reducing the sway?

Thanks again





big whitey

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Posted: 03/21/12 06:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enine wrote:

Todays modern 1500 trucks are capable of carrying more than 1/2 ton.
I picked up and older popup camper for $600 and it does just fine.


i had a modern 1500 truck and a starcraft popup which severely overloaded the truck.added a leaf to shore up the suspension BUT it did nothing to improve SCARYYYYYYYYYY braking. 1/2 ton will only work for your 1700 payload if the dry weight of the TC is 1,000 lbs or less.

mkirsch

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Posted: 03/22/12 10:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"You could make the 1/2 ton work with a small camper"

True, but your choices are EXTREMEMLY limited and VERY regional.

When I was looking for a 1/2 ton camper, I found several models that were <1200lbs, but they were all on the far side of the country.

There are plenty of truck campers to be found in the Northeast USA, but nearly all of them are really designed to go on 3/4 ton or larger trucks despite what the advertising claims. Occasionally, I'd see a small camper pop up for sale, but it would be gone by the time I called.

That's when I started truck shopping.

With the camper on the 1/2 ton and trailer in tow, I was still running the risk that I wouldn't be able to stand driving the thing. It was a big risk too because of the 4.8L engine and 3.42 gears. All that could be addressed, but none of the mods would ensure that I'd like the end result.


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-Yes, I haul a popup with a dually. No, I don't think I need a dually to haul a popup.

billtex

RI

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Posted: 03/22/12 06:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ronanddi wrote:

Thanks for the responses, I will look up some of the websites mentioned, but it appears I need to do what I didn't want to: buy a bigger truck.

Come to think of it, I loaded a 900 lb golf car on the back of my pickup and did not like it one bit (due to the sway). I know there are no mods that will increase the payload, but how effective are air bags or ? in reducing the sway?

Thanks again

Air bags do firm up the ride, and give you the ability to adjust side2side.
As noted, they will not increase payload.
If you stick with the 1/2 ton, you will need airbags for just about any TC you put in it.
I air ours up to just before they start lifting off the over loads (40 psi driver side/20 psi passenger side) and the ride and handling are very comfortable/stable.
Some Folks over pressurize the bags and then it can get tippy...it takes some time to dial it in. But that is the advantage of bags; they are adjustable.
If you really are going to buy a new truck (you could make the 1/2 ton work with a small camper...) then go right for the 1 ton.
There is nothing to be gained...or saved...by going 3/4 ton.

Bill


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ejfranz

Maple Ridge, BC, Canada

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Posted: 03/22/12 09:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look into stable loads by Tork Lift. The video looks interesting. I don't have them, I went with Timbrens.


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recycler

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Posted: 03/22/12 10:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

spacedoutbob wrote:

I had the experience of a axle snapping off at the flange from overloading a 1/2 ton pickup with a camper that weighed about 2500 lbs. (Luckily I didn't get into an accident) That is why I use at least a 3/4 ton truck for my camper. I have seen other trucks overloaded worse than I had done, but I decided I didn't want to take any more chances. You can, however look for a old 8 1/2' self contained camper that would not be too heavy to put on your truck. Some of them were in the 1500 lb. range. Good luck.

Bob in Oakland, Calif.


only problem is a lot of 3/4 ton trucks use same style rear end as half ton some light duty 1 ton also have one in the drive 9,200 gvw flange axle so, but overloading these is never good idea and i have heard one of the big three is planning on going to semi floater for dually 1 tons

nope i was wrong the truck in my yard is only 8,600 gvw

* This post was edited 03/22/12 06:51pm by recycler *

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