I'm looking at options for my next camper (I've scrapped the rebuild of the old Juno truck camper, due to excessive rot issues), as well as upgrading my truck.
I was originally looking at 1 ton diesel duallys to carry a truck camper, plus my '64 Scout rock crawler on a trailer behind the truck. The Scout is NOT freeway friendly (large lift/tires, flexy suspension, deep gearing, etc), and the trails I run carry large risk of major breakage, thus putting it on a trailer, so a small TT behind the Scout is NOT an option.
My current issue is finding a 4x4 dually in my price range - they're extremely tough to find, where as SRW 1 ton 4x4s are all over. So I've been looking at other options for the camper, such as getting a longer gooseneck trailer, and putting both the camper and Scout on it, which should put the pin weight within the limits of a SRW truck.
My other thought is picking up a toy hauler, but I don't really want one of the 30+ foot monsters if I can avoid it. It's only myself and the GF camping, and the truck camper was plenty of space for the two of us. I also go camping in some tight areas, so manuverability might be an issue.
Does anyone make a TH that would have a garage large enough for my truck, with a minimal living space up front? With say maybe 20 feet max behind the overhead hitch section? Or is this a situation where I'm more realistially looking at a converted car hauler trailer?
1965 Ford F250 Camper Special 352/4spd - tow vehicle
1974 Juno Real-Lite - truck camper, currently undergoing rebuild
Unless you choose a small, light weight camper, the hitch weight of a gooseneck trailer with the camper mounted all the way forward isn't going to be much less than the weight of loading the camper in the bed of the truck. Either way, camper on truck with trailer behind, or camper on gooseneck trailer, I see a dually truck in your future, unless you stick to smaller lighter weight campers.
There are plenty of good used dually trucks available, just have to keep looking. I live in San Diego and had to drive all the way to Boise Idaho to get my diesel dually. It was very well worth it though, only $8500 for a 4wd diesel dually with only 64K original miles and in overall very good condition. Deals are out there, just have to keep searching and be willing to go the distance.
As far as the toyhauler trailer you're describing, you need to look at gooseneck auto racing trailers with living quarters up front, to get the kind of payload capacity and garage space you need. Common RV-chassis based toy hauler trailers just don't have enough payload capacity to haul a 4000 lb vehicle. There again, you'll still likely need the dually truck to haul the heavy hitch weight of a gooseneck living quarters race trailer.
The more I think about it, the more I REALLY like the idea of something like the UHaul conversion..but the biggest thing holding me back is that I like the idea of having a pickup to use when not camping/wheeling, and to a lesser degree - not having a monster box truck parked next to the house. I can see..uhh..."disagreements" with the local code inspectors with having a "commercial" vehicle parked at the house long term. Ended up having to go to court a few times to get citations tossed out from having one of my old Scouts parked in the driveway because the old guy kept tagging it as "abandoned", despite current tags on it, and driving it daily (granted...it did look like something that had been sitting for a few decades, lol). A neighbor of mine used to have major issues for parking his Class 8 OTR rig in front of the house on the weekend....
I went through the same search and ended up with two choices:
1. Aluminum framed goose neck with living quarters
2. Truck camper with enclosed trailer
Although the goose necks from Intech, Millennium and Feather Lite would have worked for us (about 10,000 lbs wet and 16,000 lb gross), we would need to go to a 38' or longer rig to get sufficient garage space. We also camp with fewer or smaller toys and did not want to always haul our large garage with us. We ended up with a truck camper that has a slide since there are only two of us and a 20' enclosed trailer. I already have a smaller flat bed trailer and hitch cargo basket when we have less to carry, so we now have much more options on where and how we travel.
I would say cargo trailer (ie: race trailer) with a truck or find a different truck camper and the flatbed trailer. We did the truck camper combo for years with tractors and first a pop-up truck camper then a Lance. We upgraded because it got a little small for 2 adults and 3 kids.
camping buddies - my husband,
12 yr boy,13 yr girl,15 yr girl
American Eskimos - Ginger and Sugar
01 International 4700
99 Dodge 2500 Quad Long Bed,Cummins,Rhino Liner
06 WW SLC 3505
48 Ford 8N was a rustbucket
52 Ford 8N w/ Sherman 54B HydroHoe