You need some source of 12V for most of the systems.
With a dead converter and no battery, you can't run the furnace, water heater, refrigerator, lights, sink, or shower. No matter how much 110VAC power you have.
As you've discovered, even the smallest of the smallest compact truck campers is going to be too heavy for your truck no matter what numbers you go by, and that's if you like to camp alone, naked, cold, and hungry.
I have been in your shoes, and it kept me out of a truck camper for about 3 years, until I finally decided to buy a bigger truck. There was no way it was going to work without major modifications to my current truck at the time, and then it would all be a compromise.
People have done exactly what you're proposing and have been successful. It's entirely up to you if you want to take on the challenge and work through modifying the truck with a better axle and stiffer springs.
Others have gotten in over their heads. Those are the people you're likely to be buying your first used camper from, because they were so unhappy with how things worked on the first few trips that they unloaded the camper and it's been sitting in the back yard ever since.
Right truck for the load gives you best chance for success, and the best chance to be happy with your first camping experiences, so you keep going.
I apologize for responding without knowing the exact answer to your exact question, but perhaps I can make some recommendations to help you find your answer.
Right off the bat, not many people use cabover struts. Nearly, possibly completely, NONE of the replies you will receive here will be based on actual experience. They will be almost pure conjecture.
Second, you are not going to find anyone in this forum who would be familiar enough with the structure of your camper at an engineering level to give you a educated answer.
Your first level of expertise would be the camper dealer. After that, you need to contact Lance directly for the answer. I suspect that they will give you the same answer as the dealer did: Not recommended. They will probably not expand on that answer or give a specific reason why.
Ultimately, nobody is really going to *KNOW* the answer to your question, not even the engineers who designed your camper. They designed the camper to handle the struts where the brackets are currently mounted. They did not perform any analysis on having the struts mounted anywhere else on the camper because they did not think anyone would want to mount them in a different location, so it was not worth the expense to perform the analysis.
You're basically on your own.
IMHO, is it really worth saving $600 to risk damaging a $40,000+ camper?
I can't imagine that having a motor re-wound would be cheaper than buying a new one. Not many people do that work anymore to begin with, and they charge an exorbitant hourly rate when they do.
Just a couple of weeks ago I got my 10KW tractor-powered generator back from the electric shop. Bad windings. It was going to cost more than a new one to have it re-wound. It's scrap.
In the past the Fords were always the heaviest of the 3 or at least that has been my observation after owning all 3 brands over the years and friends weighing their rigs also. They keep raising the GVWR but they don't tell us that they raise the weight of the truck also. So you think by buying a new truck that you have increased the payload but come to find out it hardly made much difference. This happened to me when the 1999 Super Duty first came out. I bought a new dually because they raised the GVWR but when I weighed it I found out I had almost the same payload as my older truck.
I am really surprised this hasn't been mentioned more often , it's been going on for a long time . Another way to dupe the public .
I've never seen any truck manufacturer ADVERTISE their GVWR. I've always seen raw payload numbers, "up to XXXXlbs, when properly equipped."
There's no magic solution.
Penetrating sprays do not work instantly. If you spray it and the bolt instantly turns or the mount instantly pops out of the socket, it was going to come out anyway. The spray didn't hurt but it also didn't help.
WD-40 is a poor penetrating spray. Use their special-purpose penetrating lube, or PB blaster, or Kroil, or Liquid Wrench, or a mixture of automatic transmission fluid and acetone. Even then it will take at least 24 hours to do any good at all, probably longer.
The quickest solution is "heat and beat." You need an oxy-acetylene torch to provide the heat, or 3-4 propane torches all at once. A single propane torch cannot put out the BTUs to heat the outer sleeve to a high enough temperature. It will get too hot to touch, but not hot enough to expand because the heat dissipates faster than the torch can replenish it.
Electric water heater tstats are pretty universal.
Makes me glad I have an old-school mechanical tstat on my water heater. 2000 was probably one of the last years you could get something like that.
I really like it because I can set the thermostat to its lowest setting and use straight hot water to shower.
There are a couple of practical reasons why a campground owner would choose to exclude TCs:
1. Liability from jack failure/tipover with camper off the truck.
2. Removal/disposal of abandoned units. With a wheeled unit, all you need is a tractor or wheel loader and a chain to drag it away. A TC requires a heavy duty pickup truck, and are a pain to load for someone who doesn't do it regularly.
That's assuming it isn't some rot box whose jacks have collapsed. Now they've got a REAL mess to clean up.
Most campgrounds have some sort of wheel loader or tractor, but in my travels, campground pickup trucks are either old 1/2 tons, or have service bodies on them, and are generally loaded to the gills with maintenance junk. Some campgrounds don't have pickups at all. Their service vehicles are UTVs.
You're just not going to get very far dragging a TC with a wheel loader.
I've been told that these are BS reasons before, but when you realize how big of a cheapskate the typical campground owner is, you'll understand that anything they don't have to spend money on is a bonus.
TC's aren't that common so they figure they're not losing a whole lot of business.
Not sure what you searched on but this subject comes up frequently. Yes there are RV parks that "discriminate" against truck campers.
Not "many" by any stretch of the imagination, though. A few, maybe some, but not "many."
If you come across one, just move on to the next campground. Good or bad, it's private enterprise at its finest. It's how someone wants to run their business, and how its run is none of your business.
Ok, can we go back to the jacks for a second?
Flexing and bending on uneven surfaces is NORMAL, in that it is not indicative of something wrong with the camper or the jacks. Look at how long and spindly they are! The jacks will never be perfectly rigid, and will flex some on an uneven surface.
This is why your jacking surface needs to be fairly flat and level.
Now, if the camper body itself is bulging and flexing, then you've got a problem.
Also, you can "walk" the camper with the jacks, using that flexibility, to reposition it in the bed of the truck without completely unloading it and starting over. If for example the camper is too far to the right, then jack the camper up so it is a few inches higher on the right, then lower it back down on the left side first. The camper will land in the truck 1/2" to 1" over to the left.
Weigh your truck, with individual weights for each axle. Then you will KNOW what it can handle.
You're going to be sorely disappointed in what payload capacity you have left, going by the GVWR number. It's typically around 1300lbs! Seriously. Crew cab diesel 4x4 trucks are HEAVY.
If you want to tow anything appreciable in the way of a 5th wheel you're going to have to make the conscious decision to ignore GVWR and go by the individual axle ratings.
The typical 2005-ish 2500HD Chevy weighs about 2800-3000lbs on the rear axle with an empty bed. GRAWR is 6084lbs. That gives you around 3000-3200lbs of capacity on the rear axle.
5th wheel hitches weigh around 250lbs. That leaves you in the 2750-3000 range, but frankly I wouldn't push it unless you're absolutely confident in your driving and maintenance skills, and the trailer is something you absolutely cannot live without.
When looking at 5th wheels go by the GVWR of the trailer, not its actual weight. Use 25% of the GVWR as the pin weight.
Just off the cuff, a 5th wheel trailer with 10,000-11,000lb GVWR should work just fine.
The 20's are what's killing you.
If going to 4.10's only gets you UP to 1800RPM at 60MPH, then your tires are way way too big around.
My 3.42-geared truck turns 1900RPMs at 65MPH on stock 16" tires.
It will also improve your gas mileage by about 20% because you won't be downshifting at every puff of breeze or every slight uphill.
20-30lbs won't make a cup's worth of difference in fuel consumption over an entire season's worth of travel.
I can see 20lbs here, 30lbs there adds up, on stuff that's NOT bolted down...
There's also the matter of the gaping hole in the outside of your camper for the furnace exhaust that will be open and uncovered. Duct tape?
Why would Ford (or any of the manufactures) state one number vs what other would tell me. From campgrounds to several forums? Then for a year I would drive down the road looking at FW that were obviously too heavy for the truck? Something must be off, and really what do the "weight police" have to gain from stating some of the obvious numbers?
There is a lot more to towing than what can be covered in one 30-second commercial. That's why.
Ford is giving you a "best case" number because there is no way for them to predict what you are going to add to the truck, how many people you are going to haul, how much stuff you are going to load before hitching up the trailer, etc. etc..
In your case you have 3450lbs of payload capacity left on the rear axle and 570lbs of payload capacity left on the front axle.
A properly hitched 5th wheel has no effect on the front axle, so you're concentrating on the rear axle numbers.
A 5th wheel hitch sits directly over the rear axle, so that puts you down to 3200lbs. That's pretty much your limit on paper, which puts you in up to a 16,000lb (20% pin weight) 5th wheel, though a <12,800lb (25% pin weight) rig would be much more likely.
TundraTower, if you haven't killed yourself or your family yet, it measures up, and you're happy with the way it drives, I wouldn't bother with any "factory trained" technician.
Basically, if you had any doubt about your setup, you never should have taken it on the road. The fact that you have (implied) taken it on the road already, and are going to drive it 400 miles to find the nearest "factory trained" technician means that you have confidence in your setup.
Cheapest option is to take the truck to a spring shop. Have them reset the curve in the springs, and add a leaf.
My buddy did that to his little GMC Canyon last year and it made a world of difference. The truck would sag with 100lbs of tongue weight on the hitch.
I drove him to pick it up after they did the job. It looked like a whole new truck. Sat 3" higher in the rear.
IIRC the job was <$200. Lots cheaper than new springs.
I have a bronco 1500. I converted the dinette into a couch.
I HATE the dinette in my Bronco 1500. It's more comfortable to sit on the stovetop than the dinette.
The dinette bench is too narrow and high to sit on comfortably, period.
With the tabletop in bed position it is too wide to sit at, period.
There aren't enough pillows in the world to make it comfortable, period.
My idea has been to convert the dinette into a futon, but I am having problems finding a decent 68"-72" futon mattress that doesn't cost more than my camper is worth!
Thanks for the feedback. 30 lbs I can probably handle, but I take it you need the 2000 for ac. Ideal would be built in propane, but I don't know if that is possible in a pop up. I was leaning to a hardside, but the nature of my property is such that I likely could not get it off the truck (little truly flat terrain), hence now leaning popup.
Why do you think a popup is easier to unload than a hard side?
Am I missing something?
It may be that he can't unload, PERIOD, and must keep the camper on the truck most of the time.
You can always MAKE a flat spot on your property. A man and an hour and a skidsteer is all it takes. If it's bad enough you might need a retaining wall and some fill hauled in, but it's worth it.
Really, the fuel savings from a popup are minimal. It's not worth the hassle of popping up and down (which can be hard on the back) and the loss of storage space. Right now the 9' door on my barn is the ONLY reason I still have this popup. Nothing else will fit, except a newer version of the exact same thing.