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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > 5'ver to Truck Camper.....

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John & Christine

Milford

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Posted: 04/19/06 10:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am looking for a little help here.

Currently we have a 32' fith wheel that we like so much. The problem is though my husband wants a truck camper. He likes the idea of the "go anywhere" type of RV'ing. Also our 5'ver takes up our whole driveway and he wants to lessen that. I like our current camper. I love the space and storage. Plus on those rainy days its easy to entertain our son. To add to our situation I am pregnant so we were wondering how that would be in a truck camper.

We have been looking at a few Lance models and have found ourselves in sticker shock. We would like a higher end unit but have difficulty justifying spending $30k when we already have a nice unit.

My questions are:

1)Can a family of 4 fit well in a truck camper?

2)How is the storage in a truck camper?

3)What are some of the makes/models we should look at?

4)any advice is very much appreciated!

Christine

My Blue Heaven

Missouri

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Posted: 04/19/06 10:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You didn't mention your tow vehicle (TV), which will determine how big a truck camper (TC) you could get. I've had a large fiver (36', double slide) and currently have a travel trailer (TT) and TC. I don't miss hauling around the fiver, but then again, the kids are older now and don't want to go any more.

Some might disagree, but IMHO four people, even two adults and two young kids, in a TC is crowded. Storage is quite limited.

Suggestion: Keep your fiver for the time being and if your TV can handle it, buy an old, inexpensive TC and see how it works for your family. Limit your losses until you figure out what's best. Your worst scenario would be to take a bath on selling or trading the fiver and buy an expensive TC, only to find it doesn't work for you. My .02. Good luck.


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John & Christine

Milford

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Posted: 04/19/06 10:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

avionguy wrote:

You didn't mention your tow vehicle (TV), which will determine how big a truck camper (TC) you could get.
Ooops,our truck is a GMC Diesel Dually, and thanks for your quick reply.

FF1063

NY

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Posted: 04/19/06 11:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

*

* This post was edited 05/16/06 04:59am by FF1063 *


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Testudo

Germantown, MD

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Posted: 04/19/06 11:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your truck sounds top of line from your brief description so you will have a lot of choices in truck campers with the possibility of slide-out room. A lot of people think that since a truck camper has less room, that they will need less truck but you can tow a lot more trailer than what you can haul in the same truck.

I think most people would agree that more than four people tends to get cramped with a truck camper so it looks like you would be okay there. On the other hand, sounds like you really like your trailer. Please forgive me for suggesting this but maybe your husband is looking for a 'get away' car -- get away from mommy and the two kids, maybe?

Over all, you are looking at maybe half the space you have now? (Best case!) You can be creative with storage like adding roof racks for cargo boxes and shifting items into the extended cab of the truck when you aren't moving. Trailers tend to have truck campers beat for storage, however, with their basements and whatnot.

If you have the more maneuverable truck camper, you might go camping more often. Weekend trips are more attractive when you don't have to haul a 'train' behind you. It could be that your husband really just feels overwhelmed with the maintenance, storage, and towing of the trailer. Camping last Summer, the sorriest situation I would run into was people I met staying in camping cabins because it was too much trouble for them to take their 5th wheel out of the driveway for ten days.

My conviction used to be that hauling trailers was safer than a truck camper (as many trucks with slide-ins are greatly overloaded) but recent investigations on my part actually showed trailer towing to be the more dangerous activity. It seems the trailers tend to go over (after catching a broadside of wind or something) and the truck usually goes with it. Truck camping turned out to be pretty safe with the two or three dozen casualties a year perhaps owing to half-ton trucks or bad luck.


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Moomba2002

Sebastopol, CA

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Posted: 04/19/06 11:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With a family of 4 I would look into the Host Yukon with the rear fold out bed. Has plenty of space and the kids have their own space to hang out in. Host Campers They also have some of the largest tank capacities. I looked at them very carefully when they were at a RV Show here.


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kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 04/19/06 11:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I grew up truck camping, my first camper was a TT and moved up to my 5ver two years ago. So I've been through all these options with first hand experience. Right now, I'm looking at a truck camper because I need to haul my Rock Crawler on a trailer and I'm getting a little tired of using a tent when I go wheelin.

Quote:

If you have the more maneuverable truck camper, you might go camping more often. Weekend trips are more attractive when you don't have to haul a 'train' behind you.


Don't think this arguement wins, at least not for me. Since I use my truck as a daily driver I have to keep it empty (though can leave the hitch in the bed). I can hook up to my 5ver and be on the road quicker with my 5ver than a truck camper but not by much. I also can maneuver a trailer with ease and don't think twice about driving it. The place the truck camper wins out are the places you can go.

Quote:

It seems the trailers tend to go over (after catching a broadside of wind or something)


I'll also question this as being true. I would think that any wind capable of flipping a trailer will also flip the truck camper. After all, the center of gravity on most trailers will be lower than that of a truck camper. Probably a more realistic reason there are fewer accidents are there are fewer truck campers. In the east, there are very few (1/30th or less) compared to trailers.


We used to use an 11.5' truck camper and that was with 5 of us. Being the youngest, my parents would take the extra cushion from the dinette and put it on the floor for my bed. As long as my parents remembered I was there when they went to the bathroom at night, I didn't have any problems. They only forgot once or twice, but didn't cause yna smelborp long term harm. So it can be done.

Since you have the dually, you will be wide open on selection. However, expect to lose at least half your storage depending on the 5ver you are moving from. If you have lots of empty storage space available now in your 5ver, than you may not have a problem down sizing. If you wish you had more storage than what you can find, then I don't think you would be a good candidate.

If you just go out for weekends, then it's easier to make do with less. Longer trips require more stuff and more storage. My main reason for buying my current 5ver was an 8-week cross country trip. Something I wouldn't want to do with two teenage daughters in a TC.

TC camping is completely different style than 5ver. Some folks like it, some don't. My family doesn't so I'll keep the 5ver even if I do get a TC. Each has its advantages and only you can decide which is right.

If you do winter camping, make sure you look at the larger BigFoot's as they seem to have the necessary insulation for comfortable camping.


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btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Posted: 04/19/06 12:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moomba2002 wrote:

With a family of 4 I would look into the Host Yukon with the rear fold out bed. Has plenty of space and the kids have their own space to hang out in. Host Campers They also have some of the largest tank capacities. I looked at them very carefully when they were at a RV Show here.


This was my immediate thought as well. If I had kids and still wanted to go the TC route, this would be the model at the top of my list. There are some drawbacks to softsides of course, but it gives you a lot more flexibility. I assume if the kids weren't with you for some reason you can leave the foldout in too.

Make sure you are both happy with the decision though...perhaps the suggestion of a trial might be a good one; old basic TC's are nowhere near as friendly as the newer ones so it's hard to really test! Do you have any friends with TC's to go camp with? Maybe go to one of the rally's like Camano Island?


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Jolsen

Torrington CT 06790

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Posted: 04/19/06 12:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I also went from 32 ft 5 wheel to a TC.but have no kid,s at home the 5wheel stay,s on a site that we own anduse as a home durning the summer,any traveling we do is with the TC as my wife loves it and call it our Dream Catcher as it is so easy to set up and drive in traffic good luck with your choice


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Beddows

Abbotsford, Canada

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Posted: 04/19/06 02:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unless the kids are toddlers, leave them out of the equation, You can always put them in seperate tent or get a brand that offers a rear add on room. You can accomodate small kids in a dinette bed, but chances are you will want more privacy than that. Kids lose interst in cmaping fairly quickly, so you need to look at a solution that is good for you, not your kids. You can always sell them to a passing circus. A Truck camper is a compromise, in many ways. It affords a heck of a lot more flexibility on where you can go, but it's at the cost of room. They are a heck of a lot more comfortable these days, than they were a couple of decades ago. Loungers, built in TV's, slides etc. They are expensive as you have to fit all the stuff in larger RV into a smaller space. They also have to be more structurally sound, as most people purchase a TC because they want to get off the main byways. As btgraphix said, a rally is a good place to talk to others, the June TC show in the midwest is another good place.

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