Ok, obviously I'm not explaining things well enough here....I don't care about the legal aspect. Just forget about it..I don't know how to explain it any clearer. Or not..but I'm not coming back to check this thread again.
Picked up a '73 Amerigo slide in camper over the weekend, and found out my trailer is just over 102" wide across the fenders...which meant getting the camper on the trailer was a bit...interesting (my current tow rig is a 1/2 ton shortbed, and this camper was about 50 miles away from home...I didn't think it would be a wise idea to attempt to put it in the bed of the truck to get it home).
The trailer is a 20 foot long flat deck trailer, with just under 80" between the fenders, with 6 lug square beam axles (well, kinda square...looks kind of like a really thick I beam. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it IS a proper trailer beam axle..looks like every other beam trailer axle I've seen, with the curve in the axle). It also has the old school Warner brakes on it, with the rather large center hub, but common 6 lug bolt pattern. I bought this trailer as a home built, and it was built any way but correct when I got it. I completely stripped it down to nothing but the main channel side beams, and front channel cross beam, then rebuilt it like a modern 10K trailer would be, using the same axles. I built the fenders so that the outside edge of the fender was the exact width as the outside edge of the tires. So the outside to outside tire measurement is the same as the outside to outside fender measurement - 102".
I've recently learned that the maximum legal limit is 8 feet, or 96 inches, leaving me approximately 6" wider than legal. I'm running the typical cheap steel white spoke trailer rims on it, which makes me wonder if I'm supposed to be running a high offset wheel on these axles, like a modern 4WD or FWD style wheel? I certainly have the clearance between the frame and inside tire edge now to add a few more inches of backspacing to the wheels, and that would get me under the legal width limit.
I'm not so much concerned about getting stopped by the police and having a tape measure whipped out, but rather wondering if I'll do long term damage to the axles and/or bearings of the hub by running the incorrect wheels?
Literally just brought home my "new" camper today, and it's already falling apart :S
It's a 1973 Amerigo truck camper (I know there's a truck camper forum, but this one was "vintage", so I thought this might fit better here), and the glass on the entry door...well, fell out today.
It appears that it was merely glued in with a hard, yet pliable, caulking on both sides of the glass. Is this the way things were done back then, or was this a prior owner quick fix?
Should I just clean out all the old adhesive, and reapply caulking in there to hold it? I was thinking of using something like silicone adhesive in there too.
Hi urbex - swapping in a diesel - your gearing will be out of whack due to the lower governed rpmof the diesel...
In the olden days gasoline trucks would normally be governed around 3500 rpm.
Depending what your truck's rpm is at what speed you want to cruise at now, you could be looking at a big gearing difference in order to cruise a small diesel around 2000 rpm...
Depending on how many miles a year you intend to travel you might want to apply Red Green's Principle of Leave'er...
The current motor in it comes with factory net power ratings of 130HP/236lb-ft...roughly the same power that my 1991 Chevy S10 V6 had...it's not that I want to hang with the modern F350 at 80mph, but I also don't want to be slowing down to a crawl at the mere sight of a hill either...
If I make the assumption of a 6.33 high range gear, that puts me at 2834rpm at 65mph with the current OD gear of .82. If I were to switch to a transmission with a .65 OD gear, that moves my RPMs down to 2247 at 65mph.
Then, with a more powerful motor, I could likely switch out the rear end for one with higher gearing, say something around a 5.5 gear..that moves me to 1952rpm at 65mph (still utilizing the trans with the .65 OD)
Of course, this is all hypothetical at the moment, as I've yet to drive this truck at all other than on and off the trailer. Nor have I taken a tape measure to the engine bay to even see what I might be able to squeeze in there. That said, the current 4.3L I6 seems like a tiny little Honda motor in there, so I suspect that it wouldn't be a big deal to get something like an 8L diesel in there if I so chose.
Too cool! I love old iron too, keep us up to date as it progresses! I'd love to see an old 12 valve Cummins in it, 5 speed and hopefully it has a two speed rear end, way cool!
Already has a 5 speed trans, and a 2 speed rear. I don't know what the current ratio is, but I'm pretty sure it's in 5.x/7.x range. While the large tires help to balance that out a bit, from what I understand, these old trucks gear out before they power out on the top end. So even going to a modern engine with much more power won't gain me much on the freeway ability end of things, unless I want to spin a big gas motor at 5K RPM all day long. I was thinking maybe I could shove something like one of the 13 speed Roadrangers in there at some point in the future. Looking at the gear ratio tables of the Eaton transmissions, I see some of the 13 speeds get into the area of around .65 OD ratios which would certainly help on the freeway cruising side of things.
The fantasy part of me really wants to drop a Detroit 2 stroke into the frame, as I think the sound of those motors working is pure ear candy...but then I've seen YouTube videos of guys driving those trucks, and I suspect I'd kick myself pretty quick after doing it.
More realistically, I think I'd be looking at something like the DT466, or maybe one of the bigger Cat motors. I know everyone and their brother loves the 7.3 and the Cummins 6BT, but I'm thinking I'd better off with a motor that was intended for a medium to heavy duty application even if I'm not moving that much weight right now. Part of the reason for going big with this truck, so to speak, was to future proof myself a bit in the event I do decide to go stupid big weight wise.
On the other hand, I really don't know much about the diesels, and part of me is really thinking of staying with a gas motor just out of familiarity with them despite knowing the fuel mileage will be in the toilet doing so.
how you going to load it? swing out brackets on all 4 corners, or a fork lift to load the camper.
Honestly...wasn't something I really thought about all that much. One of my neighbors has a forklift, though I haven't approached him for help yet. Ideally, I'd like to find a way to do it myself, just so I'm not dependent on someone else in case the need arises to remove/install again in the future.
The current camper was originally set up for a pair of tripod jacks to lift it at the center of gravity. I also built a 3rd tripod jack to help balance it out as it made me very uncomfortable to only be on a pair. Turned out it didn't matter much, as it was just as unstable on 3, lol. With one jack on the center on one side, it almost didn't matter where I put the jack on the other side..still went up pretty flat. Adding the 3rd really didn't stabilize it at all, other than to help prevent it from going over if it was pushed too hard.
I'm thinking raise it on a pair of jacks again, back up the truck enough to get the bed under the front part of the base, and lower it down onto a piece of pipe. Add a 4th jack if necessary, put a pair under the rear corners, lift up, and remove the center jacks. Back the truck again, place second pipe under base, and roll the camper all the way in adding/moving pipes as required to get it to the front of the flatbed (this is another reason I'm planning on just replacing the existed flatbed deck...pipes likely won't roll over the existing wood all that well).
While I think this would be OK with the current feather weight Six-Pac (heck, when I picked it up, I didn't place the jacks well, and only got it about halfway in the bed. We pushed it into place the rest of the way...and when I say "we", I mean myself, and the 60-something woman I bought it from). I'm not sure this would be a wise plan if I end up buying a much larger/heavier model camper in the future...but I suppose that would be a "I'll cross that bridge when I get there" kind of thing.
With the current camper setup, I'll be approx. 3 feet shy of the legal height limit. I frequently drive trucks for work that measure at 13'4", so I am familiar with what comes with driving an exceptionally tall vehicle. For the places I typically go, I virtually never run into underpasses, and the few I might hit are pretty easy to get around. And honestly, I can't even remember the last time I ran into a gas station that didn't have a super high roof over the pumps.
Given that large chunks of some of the planks have already given way (which is what the galvanized sheets are covering, along with the large hole in front of the black plastic container to the right), I was more concerned about more of them falling out and dropping the camper.
Cost isn't really a concern here...even dropping a bunch of 2x6s from Home Depot is only about $100 worth of wood. I'm guessing it wouldn't be much more if I got pressure treated from an actual lumber yard.
I also briefly considered extending the bed a few feet so that I could load the 4x4 up behind the camper, and ditch the trailer altogether, but what to do for ramps was always the stopping point for me. Or more specifically, how to stow the ramps on the truck afterwards as they would need to be make considerably longer than standard trailer ramps to accommodate the height of the bed.
Excessive? Yes, very much so...I know this. But I also plan on pulling a trailer behind this with one of the 4x4s on it, and I have a thing for vintage iron. It will be getting repowered with a modern drivetrain, and yes, I know many will consider a modern truck to be subjectively "better". Up until last fall, I was daily driving a '62 truck despite having an '05 Ram sitting in the driveway. Yes, I probably have plenty of screws loose upstairs :D I know this truck will be slow, it will ride like it doesn't have any kind of suspension, shifting will get old, gas mileage will be horrible, etc etc etc. Plenty of people told me the same thing about the '62, and the Suzuki Samurai that I've been driving to work the past few weeks too. I like being different :P
Right now, I'll have 6-8 inches of clearance between the cab of the truck and the camper, and a total height of roughly 10.5 feet, with a 70-something Six-Pac camper. It's pretty small, and stripped down inside. Barely even sank the suspension on my 1/2 ton truck. A while back I had found a 70-something Amerigo camper that looked like it would right at place on top of the International. Unfortunately, by the time I remembered to call the seller, it had been sold. I'm hoping to find another at some point in the future, or maybe something like an Avion.
I have a 18K GVRW truck with a 12 foot long Western flatbed on it, with a trashed wood deck. My plan is to drop my current short bed Six-Pac camper on it for a while, then replace it with a larger model at some point in the future. I intend to mount them in a permanent, or semi-permanent fashion. This truck will be dedicated to camper hauling, as I have a couple other trucks that can be used for "normal" truck duties, and thus I won't need to remove the camper from it except for cases of repairs or camper replacement.
I also plan to add some accessories that will be connected to the camper, but not in/on it. Such as a generator, extra batteries, larger external water tanks, etc.
Given this, would I be better off replacing the deck of the existing flatbed and putting the camper on it, or ditching the existing flatbed altogether and building a secondary frame work off the truck's frame to hold the camper and other items?
Really what I'm after here is whether there's considerations for mounting a camper that wasn't meant to be on a flatbed truck as far as flatbed and/or frame flex, or is this would even be an issue at all? I've never dealt with a truck this big before, or doing anything with a camper other than sliding it into a pickup.
Registration isn't my concern. Never weighed it the first time for registration, or had it inspected...I just told them 8K pounds, and they gave me tags. Heck, the truck wasn't even driveable when I bought it. My understanding is the weight fee isn't based on actual weight of the vehicle, but rather weight of the vehicle PLUS cargo.
My concern is getting stopped by a cop with portable scales, weigh stations, or getting stopped for NOT stopping at a weigh station, which it sounds like will apply to me now as the truck is registered as a commercial vehicle. Or what happens when I go out of state with it.
I guess I should probably be asking this kind of stuff on a forum geared towards the toter-home guys or the ones using MDT tow rigs, as it's probably more applicable to those guys than the general A/B/C class RVers.
It is more to register an rv, than is is to pay the commercial truck fee.
Talk to the mvd, and they will be able to give you exact numbers.
Why don't you just keep it registered at the 8k? MVD in Az does not require inspections after your 1st registration.
In my experience, talking to the MVD about swaps and major conversions is like talking quantum physics to a 5 year old, lol. I went through major pains when I was converting ATVs into street legal vehicles years back, and it felt like I had to explain every last law bit to the MVD people. I'm just envisioning "we can't give you numbers on registering as an RV, as your vehicle is NOT an RV..."
Of course, if registering as an RV costs more than commercial tags, then it all becomes moot anyways :P
As for keeping it at 8K - I expect to weigh in at considerably more than 8K once it's fully loaded up. My heavy 4x4 is 5K+ by itself, and I'm sure this truck weighs more than 3K. Going by rough guesstimates, I'm expecting to be in the area of 10K-12K total weight. Which if I get caught at that weight, I'd be looking at a fine of around $300-$1000. That's pretty darn steep.
I'm really beginning to understand why there are so many grossly over loaded 3/4 ton pickups out there now....
I recently picked up a 2.5 ton flatbed truck that I planned on using as a hauler/tow rig for my 4x4 toys and camper. I've been going back and forth on whether I toss my slide in truck camper on the bed of this, and continue to pull my 4x4 on a trailer, or put the 4x4 on the flatbed portion and buy a camper trailer instead.
Then I went to put tags on this thing, and found it's considered a commercial vehicle as it has a GVWR over 10K pounds (it's factory rated at 18K pounds), which I have to pay a gross weight fee on. At the full 18K pounds, it's an additional $144/year. Even though I have no business, and will be doing zero commercial work with this truck, Arizona considers it commericial just based on the GVWR. Right now I have it registered at 8K, so it's only $7.50/year, as it's not yet ready to be driven and I wanted it legal once I get enough repairs completed to be road ready.
Given the height of the truck, I'm thinking that attempting to make ramps sturdy enough to handle driving a 5K pound truck up them, while being easy to store on the truck isn't exactly going to be all that feasible. Thus, making the case that permanently mounting a camper body on the back, and legally converting it to an RV may be a better option. Especially seeing as how it won't exactly be an easy task to get a camper on and off this bed either, regardless of whether I go the slide in route, or remove the axles off a camper trailer and put that up there.
I know that $150/year is really a small amount, especially compared to what some of these guys are paying on new DPs, but it still will add up over time...
A couple concerns..
I don't know how you are about looks, but I've seen a few homemade ones that I wouldn't be driving in public.. if ya's know what I mean.
That truck.. what kind of suspension does it have? Is it an old work truck that's going to beat you to death?
Couldn't care less about looks. No, really, I couldn't :P I haven't been in a campground in over 20 years, and I fully intend to keep it that way whether or not they want to allow my 1959 truck and camper in :D I live out in the sticks for a reason, and going to an "improved campground" feels like a step backwards to me, like I'm parking my camper in the middle of an apartment complex to me, lol. That's not to knock anyone that does enjoy the campground experience, heck my mother is one of them. She enjoys the social aspect, and I want to get the heck away from everyone :lol:
The truck? Yeah, it's a 1959 2.5 ton truck on leaf springs. Of course it's going to ride rough. Eventually I'm going to convert to air suspension on it, but until that time comes, it's going to ride like a brick. I grew up in 60's and 70's trucks..it's nothing new to me.
Which does bring up the concern of whether it will shake the camper apart, but I figure I've got enough weight capacity to overbuild a bit here and there to compensate, and I'll also keep the smaller slide in for the Dodge 1/2 ton for when I won't be taking any other toys with me. I'm thinking with the additional tongue weight of the trailer, plus a full load of water and other stuff, it should be heavy enough that the stiff suspension shouldn't be too horrible.
That's WAY more than I'd want, lol. What I was really thinking was something a lot like the old SixPac I have now, with just a few more inches in width in floor space, room for bigger water tanks, and a proper queen sized bed instead of the 3/4 that it's built for now.
That's one of the biggest issues I've run into in looking at new campers as well. Just like with new cars/trucks, no one really makes a stripped down "base model" any more, because virtually everyone wants air conditioning, power mirrors/windows/locks, and the fancy stereo anyways. So I have to special order the stripped down truck, which ends up costing as much as the optioned out truck because I don't get the special deals that get applied to the 100 extra trucks sitting on the lot already.
Which in the case of the campers, about the only time I see the basic stuff, its in the form of something like a specialized "expedition" camper, which costs a small fortune because it's "specialized", lol.
But I understand the why of it, economies of scale and all that.
No slides. What I'd really want would be pretty basic, with the exception of considerably larger than normal water/holding tanks. Especially if I go out in the middle of the summer in the desert, I could go through a considerable amount of water in a few days between drinking and bathing. That said, I wouldn't necessarily need to integrate the larger tanks into the camper itself. I'm almost thinking of making a second box with additional tanks, or hanging them under the flat bed, where I could add them when I know I'll be going on an extended trip without having to always carry them around. Kind of like the big diesel bed mounted tanks the construction guys use, where I could just use a transfer pump to fill up/drain the camper tanks as needed.
I don't need or want all the fancy gadgets such as the TVs, satellite, computer, etc gear, but I would be incorporating support for my amatuer radio hobby - solar, extra batteries, antenna wiring, etc. Being able to integrate that into the camper rather than modifying an existing camper would provide quite a bit of benefit to me.
I've recently acquired a 2.5 ton flatbed truck that I originally was going to utilize for the TC plus being able to trailer my stupid heavy 4x4s around that would far over weigh my 1/2 ton truck. Then I began to think about putting the 4x4 on the flatbed, and picking up a TT while keeping the TC for the 1/2 ton.
Now I'm pondering again, this time about building a flatbed style camper to semi-permanently install on the truck, and putting the 4x4s on a trailer behind it.
This being something I'll scratch build out, rather than buy a complete camper. I've been pricing out flatbed campers, and they sure aren't cheap by any definition! Not that this is purely a financially driven decision, as I've browsed around the new camper lots and it seemed like every camper I stepped into, I only thought about how much I'd want to change to make it right for me.
I've rehabbed several campers, and have had several down to the bare frame work, so I feel that I have a pretty decent idea of what goes into building one. I'm also aware that this isn't going to be a $1,000 project any way you slice it, though I'm pretty sure I can build out something pretty nice using all brand new materials and equipment for far less than the $25K a place like Four Wheel Campers wants for theirs.
But financials aside, I think the bigger/better question to ask would be - to those that have scratch built these campers...would you do it again, or buy a complete camper instead? I'm hesitant to spend any real money on a used camper, as after having bought a couple that looked solid on the outside, didn't have any funky smells inside, etc that ended up having major issues hidden away...once I realized how much time and money went into fixing those problems, it seemed like I really wasn't that far off from just starting fresh and building my own camper out....
It currently has an icebox in it, but I planned on changing that out for an actual fridge. In the meantime, I have an Engel portable I plan to use with it. After having experienced the joys of a fridge while camping, I don't see myself ever going back to having to make a side trip just to buy ice.
We had one almost exactly like that when we were station in Alaska, but ours was for an 8 ft bed. the over cab bed tilted up so you could get into the dinette,
Hmmm...that's not a bad idea. I've been wondering what to do with the bed section, as it's sized for a 3/4 mattress. I was pondering building an extension, but with it overhanging the dinette area would be a problem. My next thought was to switch the mattress direction from crossways across the cab to long ways, with the foot end up front, and the head end overhanging the right side of the dinette but I haven't yet measured to see if that would even work...mainly because I was trying to figure out how to handle blocking off that side of the dinette when the other side would be blocked temporarily by my portable fridge sitting there (it's a 60qt...not exactly easy to move when loaded up).