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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Long Bed vs Bigger Overhang - off - roading

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 10/25/21 06:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cortttt wrote:

I have no experience at all with truck campers - am about to get one. I go "off-road" a lot by which I mean Forest Service/BLM roads. I've been looking at Northern Lite 8'11" and 9'6" models. The 8'11" requires a short bed and has a big overhang on the back while the 9'6" requires a long bed.

Trying to figure out which would be better "off-road"? An overhang that might scrape or a longer wheelbase with a shorter breakover angle and a larger turning radius?

I also wonder if having a long bed would have any effect on tippiness off road?


How "off road" are you wanting to go is the real question. Approach and departure angle of your rig will be of more importance than weight of your rig, the greater the angle the more off the beaten path one can take. If you choose a standard dually you'll find many of the dirt road will be too narrow for that type of truck.

In the Truck Camper Trip Report you'll many of us have go off the beaten path and pushed our rigs to the limits. Take a look at reports by jefe4x4, Whazzo and myself {c.traveler2}. These reports will give you a better insight on some of the rigs used and how "off road" you really want to go.
I do have many videos with other member of this forum you can check out.

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Bedlam

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Posted: 10/25/21 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would look for a 9' camper on a long bed and remove the jacks so they do not snag.


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Cortttt

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Posted: 10/25/21 09:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks C.Traveller - you brought up the question on my mind...how far can I go. I'm currently in a 1-ton van with a limited slip that I've pushed pretty far. Been stuck many times and usually am able to get myself out.


The TC, though, is much taller and heavier and in some ways (4-wheel drive) more capable. I think I would have had to think about doing that hill in that second picture with the van - and am glad to hear it's possible with the correctly designed truck/truck camper.

I look forward to checking out your reports and what you've done with your rigs.

jimh406

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Posted: 10/25/21 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want to go the farthest, look to a Four Wheel Camper popup with the smallest truck that can carry one and front/rear lockers. Don’t forget the winch and chains for all four tires, and buddy to help.

However, for the most part, other than washboards, the BLM/Forest Service roads aren’t hard except due to weather, and height/width issues. In that case, it doesn’t matter a lot what you are driving. It’s going to be bad and time consuming. Better to plan ahead and not get in those situations.

I suggest go drive the roads empty that you are planning to drive with a TC.


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kohldad

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Posted: 10/26/21 05:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The question is if you will have more problems dragging the rear or getting high centered. That depends on the type of trais you are doing. I have the long bed and think the 18" longer wheel base is with the compromise. I have always had more close calls with dragging the rear of my 8' 6" camper than being high centered.

* This post was edited 10/26/21 05:51am by kohldad *


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Cortttt

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Posted: 10/26/21 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Jim,

I'm afraid the 4Wheel - clearly a superb poptop - is out as my partner wants hard top, wet bath and amenities. It'll be a 3-4,000 lb hardtop. Glad to know most BLM and Forest Service roads will be OK. That's what I suspected

Cortttt

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Posted: 10/26/21 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Kohldad, I'll be checking the wheelbases of the different trucks. I current have an extended GMC Savana van with a long wheelbase. It's a bear to turn around on some roads but we usually find a way. Usually by the time clearance is an issue the road is getting rougher than I want anyway.

cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 10/26/21 08:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cortttt wrote:

Thanks Jim,

I'm afraid the 4Wheel - clearly a superb poptop - is out as my partner wants hard top, wet bath and amenities. It'll be a 3-4,000 lb hardtop. Glad to know most BLM and Forest Service roads will be OK. That's what I suspected



The full size TC almost always puts you in the dually zone, especially if you contemplate towing a boat or utility trailer as well as carry the camper.

Converting a dual rear wheel axle to a "super single" axle while possible is pretty expensive.

The conflict btwn full amenities and mobility is strong. Personally I have a hard time giving up the mobility especially since the campgrounds are full.

Grit dog

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Posted: 10/26/21 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like kohldad said, there will be compromises in your scenario too.
If you prioritize off-road-ability, then a shortbed supercab with a popup TC is probably the most capable combo.'
If you prioritize the size/comfort/capacities of a bigger heavier hard side camper, then you'll give up a little in wheelbase/stability/departure angle and off-road-ability.

Bottom line is "most" TCs aren't really designed or meant for serious off road and "most" folks aren't doing trails like the above pictures.
Appearances can be deceiving. Pics above, that camper is lighter and the owner likely had sufficient suspension mods to help considerably with stability/body roll. I've done plenty of off roading and I can say confidently I would not have taken our old Arctic Foxes on our mega cab srw truck on anything like that, intentionally. That trail pictures above is also not dually friendly.

Some serious first world decisions here, lol! Fun nonetheless!


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Cortttt

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Posted: 10/26/21 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks cpt.

Hopefully not towing anything. If it was anything it would be a wee small trailer.

99% of the time we're boondocking on dispersed sites. I would hope we can make that size camper world on those kinds of trails. If not I would have to think of something else.

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