There are two types of lifts, spacer lift and suspension lift. In any case, a spacer lift is total garbage, but they are quicker and much cheaper than doing an actual suspension lift, so people do them. I wouldn't put even a pop up TC on a 350 that has a spacer lift.
Even with a suspension lift and all the proper modifications, especially one over a couple of inches, I have to agree that your COG would be skewed very high, and there would be stability issues with any TC, but any hard side would be particularly questionable.
Looks cool, drives like a concrete mixer. Thanks, but no.
I am not a serious offroader. When I mean boondocking, I mean old logging roads or forest service roads that go way far back. I don't do rock crawling and my truck is my baby. I mainly want a hard side because I would feel safer in Alaska and just all around.
If you are worried about bears in AK than maybe best not to go into the woods at all
All joking aside if I put a popup on my stock height F350 4X4 it would be right at 7' to the area that the fabric starts at. Now you are talking about another 4 to 6" for lift so the fabric in your side would be right at 7'6" or so. Now I know they have big bears in AK and I use to live in NW Montana (born and raised there) where we had big bears also but I'm here to tell you if that big of bear wants into your camper I don't care if it is a fabric side or hard side he is coming in. Most black/brown bears are not going to be able to reach that height. They well just tear your back door off. The main thing is keeping a clean camp and camper. Don't store food inside that has high smell value to it as a bear well smell it miles away and be coming to visit.
As a kid growing up in MT (this was just a short ways from Glacier Park) I use to camping in a tent all of the time and never worried about it. I grew up on a ranch and every since I can remember us kids would go out and play in the woods. This was in grizzly country and none of us kids ever got hurt by any bear. Now when there were spottings of bears in the area then we had to stay a little closer to the house (but not much )
My opinion is if you want to lift your truck and bigger tire I would strongly suggest a popup.
2011 F350 KR 4X4 CC LB SRW
2012 Northern Lite 10 2 CDSE
2008 Custom Weld 17' Boat
2010 Can-Am 650XT Outlander Max
2012 Harley Tri Glide
Thanks for all of the info. My wife and I found a great deal on a 2009 northern lite 8'5 q lite. The truck handles it like it's not even there. I have made my decision to put a 4 inch lift on with 35" tires. It is a 2011 f350 fx4 4x4, so it is made to go off road. Thank you for all the information from everyone and I will proudly be changing my name to northernford and hope no one has that name or one close to it.
There is another, albeit with more effort and expense, way to get more altitude and make a TC more expedition-worthy. For many trucks with no lift, it requires body work to get the fender openings large enough to handle larger tires with NO rubbing and lots of extra fender well clearance for mud, snow or chains.
Many of the famous 'hardcore' off-road TC people (like the Turtle Expedition) use this approach. They use much larger tires, like 37, 39, or 42 inch tall tires on combat rims. You must change the RG&P to a higher numerical ratio like 4.56, 4.88 or 5.38 to keep the power in the right range for the highway. Why would you want to go through so much trouble? To keep your over all height and CG manageable (i.e.: lower) but still improve your approach angle, breakover angle, and departure angle for the gnarly, overgrown trails.
I think you made a wise decision with the Northern Lite if you indeed are going to get on some two track. The overall height and width are less than a full size camper. Still not as good as a soft-side TC, but everything is a tradeoff.
I use a 3" front spring lift and double over loads on the rear:
Thanks for every ones help,
I do have a 2011 ford f350 shortbed 4x4 and now lifted 4 inches. I got the quick disconnect stable loads, and airbags with 35" tires. That thing is a dream! You also get lots of looks too! My wife and I just got back the evening from a 3 day trip in the new camper. It hauled everything great except the camera. Totally forgot that so no pictures. But we will be taking lots more trips.
We went up from Seattle to concrete and found some old logging roads. There wasnt very much sway at all. The truck and camper did amazing and happy to report there isn't much snow left up there! I will be installing solar panels for summer use.
If you look at my profile I have a 6" lift with 35's on my F250. Had to have custom brackets made to get it tall enough on the jacks to back under. It is a pop up but seems ok back there for now. Haven't had it on a rough road yet but will soon.
In my opinion, you would be better off leaving your truck's spring height as-stock and just going with slightly larger tires that will fit the stock height truck.
Most late model 4wd pickups can easily fit 33" tires with stock suspension and some can fit up to 35" tires with stock suspension height. 35 inches is plenty of tire size for most general off road use. 33" is still plenty acceptable for most general off road use too.
My main point is that I want to lift the truck to get bigger tires. One of my friends has an 8 inch lift of his and looks great, but he has a pop up camper. What would I need to do to the truck to make it handle the camper if I were to lift it 4 or 6 inches?
I had an F250 longbed w/6" lift on 35's, with an older Real-Lite side door entry 11.5 foot. It really was light for it's size, but still pretty top heavy. I frequently went on forest service roads with it, and on a couple of occasions, went off road into the sticks. Too much sway, even with a rear sway bar. The tires would really compress if I got off-camber.
Having done it, I would say you'd be fine with a pop up or very small conventional. I would also say go with extra overload springs rather than airbags, and of course a sway bar, to help with sway control.