BradW, Thanks. I farm, but have gotten along fine with 3/4 thus far, but I figured since we will be exchanging down the road I might entertain a 1 ton. the only thing besides some pulling, is plowing snow, I have a Boss 9.2' V-plow about 1,200lbs. some manufactures don't recommend adding a plow to a diesel because of excess weight and wearing out front ball joints faster. Any thoughts on this????
My truck is similar to your current, except F350 and gas. My camper scales out wet at 2600lbs. I do not have air bags, but I have stable-loads, helwig sway bar, and Rancho RS-9000's along with 19.5" load range G tires. My truck also does double duty as a plow truck, with a Western 8' plow. It would not be fun to plow with the duals.... I already have traction issues with the CCSB SRW.
For your case, you may want to stick with SRW, due to the lighter TC and the plow, but I would also recommend the mods that I have made. We just drove over 1000 miles of Alaska roads including the Denali highway which is over 100 miles of gravel single track road over the Alaskan range from Paxson to Cantwell right outside Denali Mational Park. A beautiful but rough ride, and very very muddy.
Good luck on your choice, I have had a dually F350, and really loved it, but for our current truck uses, the current truck does a much better job for our uses, since the TC is only on maybe 25%of the time.
You will need to make the ultimate decision, Good Luck!
Garry K (waiting to get on the ferry back to Kodiak, AK.
Wife + 4 kids
Retired Military Family.... Alway's on the move....
2002 F350 CCSB 5.4 6spd 4x4 in AK
1966 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
I am pretty much a newbie but I think if you really do get a (for real) lightweight camper, an SRW can be okay, depending on details.
We got a SRW shortbed for a lightweight camper (Northstar TC800 which we haven't weighed yet--less than an Arrow I'm sure). The truck is stock and handles the camper well. 2012 F350 CC w/ camper package--it doesn't have a great payload but it's enough for a little camper.
We just wanted something easy to drive (and park in the 'burbs) that could carry a very basic camper. Works well for us but we aren't asking it to work very hard.
Below 4,000 lbs. wet a SRW is more than adequate. Over 4,000 lbs. you will need the extra payload capacity of a DRW truck. That translates into a dry weight of 3,000 lbs. as the tipping point. Regardless of whether you get a SRW or a DRW you will need to upgrade the shocks, possibly add a rear anti-sway bar, and possibly air bags (if one side of the camper is a lot heavier than the other).
With regard to performance it is helpful to appreciate that different trucks and different model years have very different load handling characteristics. There are Ford options for camper specific springs and shocks that are not available from Chevy and these make a difference. With the 2011 Chevy trucks the frame is fully boxed (unlike Ford and Dodge) and it is torsionally 400% stiffer as a result.
A longer camper will be more likely to have space for two batteries and two propane tanks and more roof space for attaching solar panels, more likely to have room for storing a generator, larger holding tanks, and a larger fridge, and better access for installing electronics and charge controllers and inverters in the future.
Weight for an Arctic Fox is going to be 1000 lbs. more than for a comparable Lance Camper and 2000 lbs. heavier than a Wolf Creek camper (same parent company as Arctic Fox) so "brand" does matter in this regard. All the Lance campers under 11' 6" in length have a dry weight that is under 3,000 lbs. and this includes the 1050S with its slide out section and a dry bath. With Lance the sticker weight on the camper is inclusive of having a full water tank and full LPG tanks.
We bought a new 2011 Chevy 2500HD diesel extended cab truck with SRW and 4WD last year and it handles a 3300 lb. camper wet load like it was not even there and that was with the stock shocks and springs. I added SuperSprings for increased payload and upgraded the tires and added Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks at a total cost of $1150 to have a larger safety margin but these were not critical upgrades for the truck and done more for peace of mind.
The DRW is only an option on the 1-ton trucks and with Chevy that meant only a regular or crew cab was available. With DRW the truck would have excess payload capacity which buys me nothing and the truck would have had to be special ordered and I would have paid $10,000 more, and I would have a truck that I could not park at my house or in any parking lot without taking 3-4 parking spaces.
I have driven DRW trucks pulling horse trailers and they were fine on the open highway and at the ranch but nobody wanted to drive them into town on errands. 80% of the time I want the truck available for use as a general purpose utility vehicle and for this a DRW setup would be a very big drawback.
If you want a dedicated camper truck and have lots of space around your house to park it out of the way and don't mind the much more limited mobility overall, and you want a super heavy camper like a large Arctic Fox, then get a DRW truck and as you are likely to find yourself special ordering it from a very happy dealer you might as well get a Ford and order the many various options and upgrades that they offer for trucks for camper use. In this regard Ford definitely does it better and their 2010 and newer diesel trucks don't have anywhere near the reliability problems of ones from earlier years.
We are new to T/C and are look at both a newly used camper, and maybe a truck. Currently we have a 2004 F-250 crewcab, shortbox,& I believe it has the camper package.
I hope to be trading the truck sometime in the next year. So never having a DRW pickup, should I consider one.
For those of you who have had both, does the dually give you alot more stability? I know your next question how much weight. looking at campers in that 8-9'length HS probably 1800-1900lbs. Like the Northstar Arrow 8.5 but not sure yet. The Arrow's dry weight is 1890lbs.
I see alot of people adding airbags, over loadspring, and etc. Does all these extra addon's help? I assume they help with ride, levelness, stability??? All advice is appreciated.
Thanks the newbie, Doug
If your truely going to only end up with a 8-9' camper that is on the light side, get a 350/3500 SRW in the highest rating you can do. You can get a 4,000 load rating if you plan carefully.
That said if you start looking at mostly 9.5, or 10' campers with a slideout then you might as well just get a dually.
Some people cannot have a dually because they must park in the garage at home due to the neighborhood covenants or parking at work or something. Some people just don't want to drive a dually ever so that is fine if you plan accordingly. Other's just cann't drive I've daily driven duallies for 7 or 8 years now and won't go back
2011 Dodge Ram 3500 4*4 Black dually Laramie 4.10 gears
2011 Arctic Fox 1150 Drybath
2009 Polaris RZR w/fun parts
2011 Polaris Sportsman 550 XP EPS w/stuff
2006 Polaris Sportsman 500 w/stuff
1977 K5 Blazer 1 ton modified
2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid (her car)