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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Lifted 4X4 with TC's

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RokNDmax

Queen Creek, AZ

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Posted: 10/05/06 04:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Greetings, I've been lurking on this forum for some time now as I am considering trading in the TT for a TC. I have a 2005 GMC 2500 Duramax/Allison with a 6" on 35" tires.

What I am looking for (and I have tried searching and have read all the threads that have came up) are personal experiences of people who have put TC's on their lifted trucks, and pictures if you have them (I went through the photo thread and only saw a couple).

The truck sees quite a bit of forest service type of roads and will also be towing my jeep on a trailer. I am looking for recommmendations on a camper that would be suitable for this type of use. I would like to keep my weight and CoG down, but that is hard to do and still have all the amenties.

The Outfitter popup camper seems to cover most of the bases, but gets expensive and heavy when loaded up with options, any other models I should be checking out ?

Thanks

Oh, the truck:

[image]

Rvndave

Medina, Ohio

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Posted: 10/05/06 04:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why not look into a toyhauler your jeep will fit into?


2003 Jayco 308fbs eagle 33' tt, towed by a 2003 Ram 3500 slt, quad cab dually, cummins diesel ho, trailer towing package, with 6 speed manual. Hauls better 1/2, 3 kids, myself, and a 2003 ez go clays car.. I have added so far, neon lights, clearance lights, back up lights, black light, lift kit, mud tires, and everything necessary to make the golf cart street legal. It's now ready to spend the winter in the garage for more mods. More neon, strobe lights, alarm, a pa system, maintance, and whatever else that comes along. This golf cart does wheelies and travels thru 7 inches of mud when need be. Two honda eu2000i gens twinned to supply the electrical power. Latest addition an 04 Honda Goldwing. [url]http://www.hometown.aol.com/rvnagain/myhomepage/profile.html[url]

ogrer

Norwood On

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Posted: 10/05/06 04:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check out the surf fisherman. Most of them are rasied trucks to get over the ruts in the sand. Guys like Camper Addict, and Bluefishgary.
Bob


Bob & Jan

RokNDmax

Queen Creek, AZ

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Posted: 10/05/06 05:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rvndave wrote:

Why not look into a toyhauler your jeep will fit into?


Well, there are several reasons, but it's not something I've totally ruled out. Mainly cost and size/weight. Reports I've heard in regards to using a toy hauler with a jeep haven't been too positive. Factor in the cost and the added bonus of being able to camp in more remote locations when I'm not hauling the jeep, I'm thinking a TC is worth a try.

My travel trailer is worth about $15K, it's about all I can afford to put into an RV right now. Can't touch a toyhauler at that price, may be able to get into a TC with little out of pocket.

Thanks

wildcamper

Colorado

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Posted: 10/05/06 06:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]

I would recommend the hallmark. Got this picture off another site but looks like what your up to. Been really happy with mine.

Nice dmax by the way!


2001 Chevy Z71">
2006 hallmark Guanella">


camper addict

Ocean City and Assateague Island Maryland

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Posted: 10/05/06 07:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Big trucks Oh Yeah. Most of us waterbillys don't go long distance too often, maybe 5-6 times a year. But if your traveling a distance and going down rough roads, a pop-up may not be bad. But I can tell you a big ol' camper on a lifted truck does alot of moving when the roads not flat. Either way git-er-done.


[image]


2006 Ford F-350 CC V10
2005 Host Yellowstone DS
Torklift
Fastguns
Rancho 9000s w/cont
Air lift bags w/cont
Front Rack,Back Deck
Fishin' Rods
Four women
Cooler full of Bud
Sand between my toes

Hoko

Washington state and Elisrass South Africa

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Posted: 10/05/06 07:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is my truck with some detail:
[image]

[image]

2004 CTD 4" suspension upgrade, 37X12.50 BFG AT's on 17X9 MT bead locks the truck has 4:10 axles and a Limited slip rear end.

Here are a few things I've learned doing this. First the 4" lift was as much as the Dealer and Dodge would provide any warranty for, and then only if done professionally by a recognised shop. My truck has been this way since it had 200 miles on the OD and there is now 46K without a problem. As a Wildlife manager I see a lot of gravel and tree farm logging road use, it's not "babied".

When I was shopping for the truck originally, the most comfortable truck by far was the GM with the torsion bar Suspension, However it was also the only weak link in that trucks design for difficult off raod use with an 1800lb diesel engine sitting right over the top of that axle. It was the main reason I went with the CTD. Wanting to have the truck built for the deepish snow and the mountain roads here in Wa. State I knew that 35ish tires were in my future. It's why I bought it with the 4:10's right from the start. The IFS 4X4's tend to have the front tires "toe in" when there is a lot of weight on the back, I've been told that this is a serious issue for the CV joints in that design. This comes to me from a few guys here in the logging industry that really put some tough miles on every truck brand made. These guys use company trucks so they don't care for them the way a guy that just forked over 40K would. They loved the GM ride but every one of them now uses a truck with a solid front axle due to the IFS/torsion bar/ CV joint issues. The down time was adding up with the IFS 4X4 trucks. On the 2wd trucks it's not any problem at all though. Must be something about all that weight directly over a driven axle.

The modifications make the truck an amazing vehicle for my needs, but posed significant issues for the camper. The Camper Idea was new to me in the last year, and I've only been a camper owner just recently. For starters based on what you have told us about your truck:

A 6" lift is freaking tall! I would not consider any other jacks then the Rieco Titan electrics with the remote. Even a light camper when 4 feet off the ground is gonna wobble and look as if it's gonna topple over. My stock jacks that came with the camper were Attwoods and fell well short of lifting the camper high enough to put on or take off the truck. Most jacks are in the 27-29" lift range. The Rieco's go to 36" and have the biggest strongest legs of any that I have ever seen. In my opinion after having the same issues your now contemplating there is no other option for jacks. Since using them on my camper the worry and concerns are all gone.

Airbags are an absolute mandatory issue to stabalize and retain the height you need. The problem may be that a 6" lift will limit the amount they can adjust for you. My airbags with the 4" lift had to be special ordered and then they had to be installed with a special spacer device that was made for 4" lifted trucks, which was the tallest spacer they made for the Dodge. The one possible "good news, bad news" situation you have is that a 6" lift on the GM truck is probably like a 4" lift on the Dodge and a 2" lift on the Ford because the stock height of the trucks is so much different.

My 4" lifted Dodge is just about and inch taller then an unlifted stock ford truck, and a 6" lifted GM is about the same as my 4" lifted Dodge. Stock height between the trucks is significantly different. The Fords are really tall right off the factory floor.

I would not use taller then 35" tires with the camper unless you have the optional Low axles ratios. Taller tires will kill you on steep highway climbs with a heavy load on that truck. Make sure you have the right weight capacity tires. See that they can handle 3500lbs each regardless of the letter rating ("D" or "E") Also Lifted trucks with a diesel cannot use Rancho 9000's which are likely the best shocks made for a camper hauling truck. This comes to me right from the Rancho Tech support line, after I could not find them anyplace for my truck.

My Lance 815 that is 1620 dry and likely over 2000-2100lbs or a bit more when loaded and rerady to go. I tend to be a minimalist with this camper so far. Driving it was very odd the first time off the lot with it on the truck. I was not 100% comfortable. After the airbags a week later life changed where the driving was concerned. The truck now felt much better and cornered with a far better level of stability. It actually scares me now from time to time because I forget it's back there!

My truck, and you should measure this on yours right away. Is 41" from the edge of the tail gate to the surface of the ground. If your truck is that high or taller then that, it will freak you out to load and unload this camper...............I promise you that!

Seeing 2000 lbs 4 feet in the air on those four puny metal tube legs which are standing on 6" wood blocks that just cost you 15-20K and feeling it wobble when you barely touch it was a bit much for me. Especially with the hand crank jacks that came with the camper. Here is the solution I have come up with to manage this within reasonable levels of stress.

First I spent about two weeks researching the strongest jacks I could find. I was not interested in incremental gains, I wanted the stress to be gone and done with, or at least know that there was nothing I was gonna be able to do to solve this. The Reico Titan Jacks were that design. They moved the weight from 1250 per jack to 2500 per jack and incresed the lift range from 27" to 36". The strength of these jacks is massively better then anything else I have seen on any camper yet. My 2000lb camper now has 10,000 lbs of lift making it very stable and very comforting to lift on and off.

Combining this with the electic lift and lower system. This lets me walk around the camper and watch the process with my attention to the job. Rather them making sure there is nothing around me so my attempt at escape when the camper topples over won't impede my quick departure! Once the camper is up I can pull the truck out and then with a single button while standing 10 yards away I can push it and lower the camper straight to the ground from a safe distance and with effortless ease.

The final addition was to build some steel saw horses 5 feet long and 30" tall with a channel to place a 4X4 post on the front one and the 2X4 on the back one. ( you want the front higher when off the truck)Now when I lower the camper I only have to go down about 10" and when I raise it about 10". It's rock solid on the stands and with the legs sharing a little of the load it's nearly topple proof(I pray).

Having only this little bit of lift and lower range is a great advantage with a lifted truck, or maybe with any truck. It's also a whole lot less stress on the jacks and the battery too.

I've not been at this very long but that's what I've learned so far with my camper. I'm now very comfortable with the whole setup, and I would certainly buy the Lance 815 again for this truck if I were to do it over. One thing for certain, I would have had the Electric remote Rieco's installed from the beginning!

jjohnson1179

Girdletree, Maryland

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Joined: 04/27/2006

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Posted: 10/05/06 07:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You got to love them big jacked up trucks with tc's on the back of them. Matt your truck is looking good but i still like my old body style[emoticon] Hey man you dont want no big hard side camper if your going to be doing a hole lot of off-roading stick with the popup GOODLUCK

[image]

* This post was edited 10/05/06 11:03am by jjohnson1179 *


JIMMY JOHNSON
93 Ford F-250 V8 5.8
Sold my tc and got a TT
1987 LANCE 980 11.3

TRUCK CAMPER MAGAZINE

FEET IN THE SAND COLD BEER IN MY HAND


mftenore

seattle wash

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Posted: 10/05/06 10:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Jim! I see your "Lifting counseling Office is open again!" ha ha...good advice as usual; I have 19.5 Toyos on Vision wheels (Les Schwab Tire) on my 2003 Dodge CTD RAM long bed, SWB...with their 16ply side walls and additional little height they give my rig, I do fine on logging roads and most off-road situations. ; I have added Super Air Lift bags w. auto fill in cab,strong Hellweig anti-sway bar in rear, and, combined with these super strong tires, I hope to have continued safety hunting and fishing and touring long distances...hope to go to the Baja from Seattle next year.
Look forward to hearing from you,,hey I just thought of something (this is off thread I know but I have a class coming in)..you ought to check out this neat, helpful diesel Club I belong to (mainly Dodge CumminsTD): called :Northwest Bombers" ..website and ,many activities if you want to participate, e.g., we "bomb" or modify our rigs for greater safety, endurance , and speed! We are members also of National Hot Rod Diesel Assoc...indeed, I'm heading up to Lynden for a Pull contest where the stongest diesels compete.
check it out if u like Northwestbombers.com

Look fwd to hearing from you when u bet back Stateside.

Michael


Dodge Ram 3500 SRW, Cummins dsl.HO,Air lifts, Buckstop Front Bumper 6 driving lights, 19.5 Toyos on Vision wheels,Torklift tiedowns & Derringers; 9.5 S&S cmpr ),2000iHonda; Garmn276GPS Triton alum.trlr.hlng.'05 Polar.500quad, 18'Tiderunner

ncmech

Wake Forest, NC, USA

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Posted: 10/05/06 11:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's my last ride: 2000 F250 X-Cab, 4" lift w/35" tires. Loading was at the very end of the electic jack lift range, and had to be done on level ground as a result. Forest service roads are going to be a nuisance for clearance height for anything other than a popup camper. Need to be aware of branches to avoid damage to ac/fridge vent covers and rubber roofs. Used std. airbags to level the rear, and needed a 4" drop hitch [on an 18" extension] to level trailers. I dont think I'd want to pull over 5k lbs on an extension/drop hitch combo... [img]http://www.my-rides.com/pics/14_6.jpg[/img]

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

* This post was edited 10/05/06 11:28am by ncmech *


2005 F250 CC Lariat 4x4 SB Diesel
2007 KZ 35PX2
Former 2000 Northstar Laredo SC


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