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Author Topic: Why buy a truck camper  (Read 26917 times)

Jammer

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Why buy a truck camper
« on: February 17, 2010, 01:51:49 PM »
Well we have a thread every month on why to buy a MH instead of a 5er or a 5er instead of a TT or a Ford instead of a Chevy.  So why not have a thread espousing the manifold benefits of the truck camper.  I'll start.

1.  All-road and off-road capability.  A truck camper on a 4x4 is impossible to beat if you are camping where ground clearance and traction are a big deal.

2.  Practicality in the city.  Like the increasingly rare class B, smaller truck campers that don't extend beyond the width and length of the truck carrying them can be maneuvered and parked almost anywhere.

3.  Stealth.  If you are visiting your inlaws and parked in the driveway you're much less likely to attract attention of the RV haters in the city gov't than you would with, say, a Prevost.

4.  Ability to launch a boat.  If you like to fish this is really the only way to pull a comfortably sized boat with you and launch it.  Class Bs don't have the traction and the As and Cs are, generally, too clumsy

5.  No registration or insurance.  In most cases though some people might choose to insure the camper itself.

6.  Many of the benefits of a TT.  You can upgrade the TV, have the TV repaired while living in the camper, change tires yourself, use the TV to haul drywall for the basement project, etc.
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Tom

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 02:05:28 PM »
Good topic.

For me, the ability to visit remote mountain lakes and streams, with or without a boat, would be a real reason to buy a truck camper. If I could have got my other half to agree, I'd have bought one years ago.

Quote from: Jammer
Ability to launch a boat.  If you like to fish this is really the only way to pull a comfortably sized boat with you and launch it.  Class Bs don't have the traction and the As and Cs are, generally, too clumsy

Not quite. We towed a 20 foot boat behind a 29 foot class A for many years. Went all over California and launched/retrieved at countless boat ramps.
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brens

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 02:25:47 PM »
Tom, Do you feel that it was any harder launching with the motor home then with a truck?We have a Jeep that I want to sell because I feel nervous about launching with our motor home, My husband wants to keep his jeep. Thanks
Curt & Brenda
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Jammer

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 02:27:18 PM »
Good topic.

For me, the ability to visit remote mountain lakes and streams, with or without a boat, would be a real reason to buy a truck camper. If I could have got my other half to agree, I'd have bought one years ago.

Not quite. We towed a 20 foot boat behind a 29 foot class A for many years. Went all over California and launched/retrieved at countless boat ramps.

They pave the boat ramps there, don't they?
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Tom

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 03:12:10 PM »
Quote from: brens
Do you feel that it was any harder launching with the motor home then with a truck?

I found it much easier to launch with the motorhome than with our short wheelbase Bronco. The long overhang behind the rear wheels of the motorhome made it really easy to control the trailer. I'd launch the boat on ramps that some folks thought were impossible; I've even had an audience from a nearby campground watching and clapping.

When we got home, I'd unhook the boat trailer from the motorhome and hook it up to the Bronco to pop it in the side yard. To see me trying to get in the side yard with the Bronco, you'd think I'd never reversed a trailer before.
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Tom

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 03:13:28 PM »
Quote from: Jammer
They pave the boat ramps there, don't they?

Some, but not all. If someone was really concerned about burying the rear wheels in mud, I'd suggest mounting a front hitch on the motorhome, although I never felt the need to do that.
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Carl L

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 03:19:44 PM »
They pave the boat ramps there, don't they?

Not only can they get muddy, but ramps on tidal waters and at reserviors recently drawn down can get slimy.  I have seen tow vehicles spinning sideways on wet slime.
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Pierat

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 06:40:00 PM »
I would think the truck camper's endurance is pretty limited by small tank sizes, if nothing else. Also, some of the designs look top-heavy or have too much weight behind the truck's rear axle, or both. I haven't owned one, though.
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PancakeBill

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 07:26:00 PM »
Speaking from experience...  I have had 4 disserent truck campers, 2 different trucks.  Launced boats, pulled enclosed trailers, boondocked, hooked up at full hookups.  From a pretty basic one to a dry bath with gen, sat and HDTV, plus mega solar power.

Really a neat way of RV-ing, but mainly for short term.  Longest time we spent in ours was 2 weeks.  Could have easily gone longer, but I wouldn't want to spnd a summer in Yellowstone in one.  Too confining. 

As to tanks, yeah, for boondocking, you need to do things a little different.  strict budget on water etc.  However, we were usually within an area we could dump and replenish. 

If I had unlimited time, money and space and only 2 choices in RV's One would be a TC.  Also a great choice for an AK trip.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2010, 08:21:25 PM »
I would think the truck camper's endurance is pretty limited by small tank sizes, if nothing else. Also, some of the designs look top-heavy or have too much weight behind the truck's rear axle, or both. I haven't owned one, though.

When I had a pickup with a camper on it I put 2 aux fuel tanks on it. With the stock tank plus the aux tanks I had a total of 90 gallons.

Google "auxiliary pickup fuel tank" and you'll get lots of options. I think I got mine from Transfer Flow.
Don & Peg
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Currently located here.
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PancakeBill

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 07:36:02 AM »
AK, I am pretty sure the post was regarding to the 3 water tanks.  I had a 30 gal fresh,I think a 15 B and 20 G on mine.  My truck had 38 gal fuel.  Besides adding all the aux fuel tanks just subtracts from weight capacity.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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Marsha/CA

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 11:44:09 AM »
We had a TC for over 10 years and I loved the thing.  We went everywhere with it and pulled horse trailers into some beautiful spots to camp.  I loved the freedom of it; but didn't like having to break camp if we were in a "full hookup" situation and needed to go into town.  Yes the tanks were small; but workable.  I think ours had a 30 gallon fresh water, 20 gallon grey and 15 black.  Of course when you camp out in the boonies, you use the campground facilities; or the trees and/or big bushes.   ::)

I also spent a great deal of time researching things regarding TCs such as: center of balance, weight, tank capacity sizes, dual or single axle truck and overhang lengths.   The only thing I really didn't like was putting it on and off the truck with the hydraulic jacks, that was a bit nerve wracking.

We gave the TC to our kids and each time I climb into it; I get a bit nostalgic.   It's a 93 and everything still works.  The only thing we had to do was replace a water pump.  It was a Caribou made by Fleetwood.

Marsha~
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tfconlon

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 12:04:46 PM »
And another reason to own one is because they are just so cool!!
Tom C
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Pierat

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 02:25:36 PM »
Cool I can sure believe. Goes lots of places other RVs might have trouble.
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WileyClarkson

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2010, 07:32:43 AM »
We bought our first camper, a 12.5ft cab over fully equipped TC that had already been to Alaska from Texas three times before we got it, in 1983.  With three daughters under 6 years old, it was great!   I mounted it to a 1978 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 3/4+ ton w/camper mounting package and proceeded to take it camping spots in Colorado that trailers have trouble going!  The kids could ride in the back seat or climb directly into the camper through the rear window when nature called while not having to pull over. I would love to have a similar rig again but my wife is not into TC's anymore.  She thinks she needs the room of a hybrid trailer with a slide out and digital entertainment system :)  Got to admit that it is a very comfortable compromise and the gas mileage is about the same! 
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1GypsyRose

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2010, 03:17:58 PM »
Why a Truck Camper?  It's just the 2 of us (hubby and I) and we love boating and camping, but the TENT thing was getting way OLD!  So, I can still camp (with a/c and most of the comforts of home) . . . I can go most anywhere I want to . . . I can take the boat . . . and I can either leave the camper on the truck or take it off and use the p/u for exploring (without tearing down camp).

Happy and safe camping!
John & Debbie
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seilerbird

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2010, 03:37:03 PM »
I was going to buy a truck camper until I realized I am not a sardine.

PancakeBill

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2010, 07:02:34 PM »
Tom
For you it would actually be a pretty good rig, just you and Tarzan.  Plus with it off truck you have a get around vehicle.  Last two we had both had slideouts, pretty roomy, about the same as a 22' class C.

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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seilerbird

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2010, 07:50:36 PM »
Tom
For you it would actually be a pretty good rig, just you and Tarzan.  Plus with it off truck you have a get around vehicle.  Last two we had both had slideouts, pretty roomy, about the same as a 22' class C.
No way could I live in a truck camper. This 27 footer is even a bit too small for me. I would like about two or three more feet in the bedroom so I could put in a queen sized bed. I spent too much time living in a van to ever be comfortable in a truck. I get around just fine in my motorhome. I got around just fine when I was getting around in a 39 footer. And I positively hate slide outs. When I finally do trade up it will be to something like a 90s class A about 30 feet long. It sure would be nice if one of the pieces of optional equipment were blonde.

34footer

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2010, 07:15:59 AM »
And I positively hate slide outs. When I finally do trade up it will be to something like a 90s class A about 30 feet long. It sure would be nice if one of the pieces of optional equipment were blonde.
What are your biggest issues with slides?
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Jammer

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2010, 11:11:28 AM »
Well it looks like Tom and I found something to agree on.

I don't like slides, for a number of reasons:

1) They lead to an impossibly cramped interior in those situations where it is inappropriate, impossible, or inconvenient to deploy the slide.  These include brief rest or meal stops while traveling, loading or unloading supplies at the beginning or end of a trip, overnight stops in non-campground locations of various kinds, and older campsites at state and national parks where clearance is a problem.

2) Visual appearance of the outside of the RV while camping is a big deal to me, and slides are ugly.

3) Comparing two RVs with the same floor space -- a longer one without slides and a shorter one with slides -- the one with slides will generally be heavier, with attendant consequences for axles, tires, hitch, fuel economy, ability to pass slow moving Ford escorts, and (for a tt or 5er) tow vehicle selection.

4) I like windows and skylights.  Again comparing two RVs with the same floor space the one with slides has fewer opportunities for windows and skylights.

5) Slides increase the encamp and decamp times.

6) Slides occasionally fail to retract leading to an inability to decamp.  While rare, this is a major inconvenience when it occurs.

7) Slides are a fruitful source of water leaks.

8) Slides pose problems in high winds: air and water leakage, and increased susceptibility to overturning (unless auxiliary jacks are placed under the slide).

9) Slides raise the CG and can lead to lateral imbalance, both of which reduce drivability.

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GregScott

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2010, 08:53:30 PM »
I know this is an old topic, but one use for a truck camper, is to use it in "stealth camping" mode.
There are lots of places where it is difficult to find a legit camping spot, but you can park maybe half the night, get in the back of your truck camper, and nobody cares. An example is trailheads.
As a photographer, I like to be right on the spot before the sun rises.
So in national parks, the truck camper gives some "flexibility", in this regard.
I use a pop-up camper. So nobody thinks I'm inside if I don't pop the roof. I can get some Zs while waiting for sunrise.
See my photos at http://www.gregscott.com

Retiredfromthefunnyfarm

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2011, 10:29:23 AM »
I go to a Lot of antique engine shows. Many times the display areas, Camping and trailer parking is just in a Field with No improved roads. And you know what happens to Fields when it rains :(

A few years ago at the Baraboo Show we got 6 inches of rain on Sat night. Only way Class A's were moving was with 2 tractors ahead of them... I went out and got a trailer for a friend and then mine... No problem...

I'm usually by myself so room is not a problem. I have Queen Bed, shower if I need it, Now AC if I need it, and room to plug in the puter and TV if I so desire and it's so easy to get around in crowded areas with a short vehicle. The Cummins and 5 speed 4X4 usually gets from 15 to 17 MPG with just the camper or 12 to 13 with the trailer attached. I got a different camper last spring but you get the idea...

roger31

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2013, 07:45:43 PM »
I would take the versatility of a truck camper over extra space anyday. I've never owned one but its def on my list.  I currently own a short wheel base dodge ram 1500. For this light duty truck options are somewhat limited but after extensive research ive got it narrowed down to the palamino 1251SB which yields a price tag of $9000 which seems reasonable when i look at the fact that I'll have a compact rv that i can simply pull up in my apartment complex with and not have to pay for storage.  It's a pop up camper that has a low profile when not in use. I really like that.  It comes with toilet shower furnace hot water heater fridge stove and queen size serta bed over the cab. Air conditioning would be extra . Sometimes don't u just wanna fall off the grid for a day or two? Have u ever lost heat dead in the middle of winter and had to sleep in a freezing house?  Having one of these genius thought up campers would be your simple peace of mind knowing you have some type of temporary or emergency dwelling.  One other thing thats unlikely but possible.  In the rare event somebody with one of these suddenly became homeless for whatever reason....he'd still have a roof over his head along with all the basic needs to get by til things smoothed out. That sounds alot better than sleeping in some alley way. I've done my research and this camper setup would claim about 4mpg if left on the truck which it will be. I don't drive this truck daily my civic gets me to work throughout the week so i dont mind the extra weight being pulled around when i do drive it.  Let me know what y'all think id love to hear some feedback

PancakeBill

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2013, 10:24:32 PM »
Look at the Palomino brand very carefully.  Check construction, look at other brands and compare.  If it fits you and you are happy with the construction and strength go for it.  I have had 4 different TC's and had looked at Palomino a couple times, I always ended up with something else.  Good luck! 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
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roger31

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2013, 08:01:39 PM »
Thank you for your response.  I think its neat that you've had four campers.  I can't wait to get my first one.  From a financial standpoint palamino seems to be a great starter unit but for the long haul if i had to get one camper and one only it would be a hard side with the insulated four seasons package which would run over $20k brand new.  Maybe by the time i purchase one my credit will be good enough to finance a more longer lasting design.  Which brand do you favor the most out of the four you've had?

PancakeBill

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2013, 08:53:42 AM »
First off, get a good look at the used market.  The economy has not been kind to the TC industrry.  Lance came out OK, and these are good units, but among the 4 (Sunline, Coachmen, Arctic Fox and AlpineLite), my favorite for many reasons was the AplineLite.  It was the last one we had and what we traded for our motorhome.  Mine was a 2002, had a slide, solar, genset, sat TV etc.  But the layout was the best with a 'dry' bath, IOW, the shower was seperate from the toilet and sink. 

Used you can find in the range of a new Palomino. 

One of the weaknesses in tc's is wooden frame, they don't last as long as the aluminum framed units.  My 1st three were all woodframe, and on all 3 I had some issues.  The Arctic Fox a year newer than mine went to aluminum framed.  I would go back to one of these, but again, best was the AlpineLite. 

SHop them out, where are you located? 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
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FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
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wylie

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2013, 10:15:27 AM »
We thought we were going to get a crank down trail manor light,then we were sure a fifth wheel,we changed our minds quite a bit. Then we met a couple in there 80,s  . They invited us into there lance truck camper. They said they have owned fifth wheels ,class a ,and everything inbetween. They came back to a truck camper and it was there favorite. They had camp hosted all over the country. They were the friendliest couple,after that we went to hershey show and  checked out lance campers. We ended up buying a lance 1191 with tent fold down in the back. Also purchased  a 2011  f-350 . In the two years we have owned it ,weve gone camping all over and love it. The plan was eventually to get a boat. Just got a used 19ft montauk a couple months ago.Plan is to haul it behind truck camper and fish many lakes and bays and some offshore. For me dropping the truck camper is quick and easy to free up truck . A fifth wheel would have cost less,but for now chose this setup.

roger31

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2013, 08:21:31 PM »
Thank you for your responses.  Its really nice to be on here getting feedback from people who have experience with this type of thing. I live in memphis tn by the way. I have family right off the tn river and that is the general area I'll be using my camper the most once i get one.  Ive seen aluminum framed campers on the market but never gave it much thought due to the price but whatever i end up with i want to last so im gonna look into those a little more.

tc tom

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2013, 10:07:01 PM »
I think one needs to figure out how they want to camp. My wife and I have gone from backpacking, tents, pop ups, travel trailer and a class c. What we determined was we just want to spend time in nature simply. We wanted something more than a tent but simple. No tanks, no roof air, no pumps you get the idea. We wanted a hard walled tent that we did not have to set up and take down and nothing I couldn't get fixed at the hardware store or Home Depot. We ended up with a stripped out TC with two very comfortable beds, a little sink and a vented gas heater as simple as a propane stove. Our water is gravity fed from a tank on the roof and our shower is a solar shower. Our longest time out has been two and a half months in campgrounds and the woods.
The way we camp is not for everyone, most peoples comment, but it has been the best times we have had camping. Just to give you a look from the far side of the continuum. I'm sure you have fun how ever you chose to camp in what ever you chose to camp in.

Happy Camping , Tom

nuevomex

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2013, 05:54:53 PM »
OK, we have a Class A diesel, 38 feet, 11 inches, 8' plus mirrors wide, with two slide-outs and it's very comfortable and would be possible to live in full time.   We are currently in Mexico for 3 months and loving it . However, I want to add a truck camper to the fleet.  DW is mildly supportive.  I have a 2009,  one-ton Dodge Diesel (3500 heavy duty) with an 8' bed and have read about Arctic Fox, Big Foot, Lance, Adventurer, et. al.  Used ones seem like a good buy.  What would y'all recommend I consider?  I will add air springs for support and probably a few other external amenities as well.  I would like both solar and a generator and am open to other suggestions as to size, brand, and accoutrements.
Thanks and feel free to send email as I don't check this a lot. Happy Trails to you!
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PancakeBill

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2013, 03:45:48 PM »
In the used market also look at AlpenLite.  In the 4 brands I have owned, that was my favorite.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

ironrat

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2013, 12:40:36 AM »
I think one really needs to know what type of places one will be camped at. If choosing a TC cause you have the truck to run around in is cool but at lot of camp grounds at least ones I have been at do not allow you to take the camper off!
Manuel & Denise
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PancakeBill

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2013, 08:31:58 AM »
Ironrat, very true, there are some, but after camping in a TC for many years, I found it was not worth dropping the TC unless you need the pickup bed.  I had set up my first TC with saw horses, planks etc so we could take it off and use the truck, but found it wasn't necessary.  If you were to want to spend some time at a place, it might be worth it, but I found having it with me, at the beach, at a park etc, it was nice having my stuff.  Going shopping, groceries can be put away.

With 4 different campers and about 12 years, I can count on my fingers the number of times we removed it for a trip.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Robert Ryan

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2013, 10:08:17 PM »
In Australia we have a lot of Unconventional TC's that are optimized to wade through creeks, semi submerged and  not be bothered by the fine talc like red dust that is everywhere in the Outback
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDHch7bJp8c&sns=em
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 10:11:37 PM by Robert Ryan »

elkhornsun

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2013, 11:36:18 PM »
I would think the truck camper's endurance is pretty limited by small tank sizes, if nothing else. Also, some of the designs look top-heavy or have too much weight behind the truck's rear axle, or both. I haven't owned one, though.

I spent years camping with a truck and carrying only a coleman stove, a gallon of white gas, and a 5 gallon water container. Went anywhere and spent weeks in the back country on forest service roads and out in the desert. Now with a large cabover camper we have 25 gallons of fresh water, 40 lbs of propane, forced air furnace, propane cooktop, and propane powered fridge. We have enough water for a week and enough propane for a couple months. Our 200 Watts of solar charge the batteries the next day by 10 AM back to 100%. Quite luxurious and still able to go 90% of the places I took the mini-truck with its camper shell. More than 3/4 of the places we have gone in the past year have had campsites where any RV longer than 25 feet would not have fit and anything with a trailer or toad would have been crazy to try.

The half of the year when we are not traveling the camper comes off beside the house and a fiberglass cap goes on the bed. Then I have a perfect vehicle for picking up stuff at the building supply store or the local nursery or to transport our bicycles locked safely in the back for day rides or to take our little Porta-bote to the bay for fishing.

The Porta-bote is turning into a great choice as we carry it on a rack along the side of the camper and it takes 15 minutes to set it up and attach the outboard or the trolling motor and be out on a lake. We do not need a boat ramp and can beach launch. It will do 10 knots with a 6HP motor that weighs only 57 lbs. so it is not difficult to remove and store in the cab of the truck. We have a boat and no need for a trailer.

A motorhome or trailer would need to be stored at a public storage facility and loaded there as we have no room at our house and the logistics would make traveling a pain. The friends we know who have motorhomes and 5th wheel trailers all keep them at such places and would not dream of heading out for a 4-5 day trip while we can head out for a couple days without a second thought. That flexibility is largely what drove our decision to get a truck and a camper. 

Our trip in June will take us along the eastern sierras in California and more than half the trip we will be staying in "primative" dispersed campsites where we usually find ourselves having the place to ourselves. Our daily cost for campsites on our trips averages under $15 and we are by no means "roughing it".

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2013, 08:16:25 AM »
All of the above.  If I had the capacity to tow one behind my motorhome I would, so we pull our VW Westy behind.  We sort of full time and having the MH hooked up, we can still run away to USFS and BLM places we couldn't take the MH.  When it was just the TC back in RI, I woould commute with it loaded.  Great place to have lunch and a relaxing rest.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

addisonl

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2013, 10:26:52 AM »
I keep thinking about truck campers on and off. I have a regular smaller size motorhome which is great for wife and daughter trips. I would still like a truck camper for my own little short trips into more offroad places by myself. But I have a Toyota Tacoma, 4WD, extras for offroad, etc. But a smaller truck really limits my options. Best of all worlds is a smaller 4WD truck like this but I wish more companies made stuff for it.

17 Oaks

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2013, 11:25:04 AM »
We have a 45' motorcoach and pulled a 28 ft enclosed trailer (my garage with a Jeep TJ in it).  Bought it when we retired and went full time.  What a mistake.  Where can you go?  Just about no place, Interstate is your home, anywhere else you better be driving a mile ahead or find your in box canyon.  I am good driver and could drive the big rig trailer and all and got into the outback more than most would imagine.  But my hopes and dreams of parking at trail heads and unloading my Jeep to go deep just did not materialize...and yes I should have know this to begin with...Soon we got tired of beginning to look for a camp spot at 4 in the afternoon hoping to find one before dark, that and the never ending hassle, maintenance and challenges became more of a stress-work than a retirement.  Not to even mention the lack of a piece of terra firma under my feet I owned.  After 1 year it was so long.

We knew we wanted something else:  5th, pull behind, something and TC was not even in the running.  Who wants to live and play in the bed of a truck?  After several years of looking and reflecting upon what we had done and where we wanted to go we finally looked at a TC.  WOW, there is THIS much room and storage?  Amazing says wife.  Walk in shower, heat, AC, you name it, as well equipped as our MH and everything we have been looking at.

The more we looked and researched the better the TC looked.  Several years ago we bought a Arctic Fox 1150, 4 season camper and loaded it onto a F 350 crew cab, long bed, dually...that has been going on 4 years again and we are as happy with it today as the day we bought it.  We (me and wife) and our 4 dogs, 3 weigh less than 14 lbs and one weighs 80 lbs and they love it as much as we do.  We lived in it for 3 months when we moved from Az to Texas (while we were having work done on the place we were buying).

As or towing, again been there done that and with a 350x series truck you can tow more than most other rigs out there.  We often bring a trailer (holds stock for our business) and on several occasions I have the TC and have pulled 8000+ lbs behind that.  As for launching a boat.  I see no issue with that, BUT you would need to take into consideration the steepness and condition of the launch ramp.  My truck has 4x4 and would consider that mandatory if you want to launch with the camper on the truck.  Some boat ramps are VERY steep and require 4x4 even unloaded especially if you are going to unknown locations.  Here in Texas we have seen a couple of years of drought and lake levels in some places are way down and below the concrete line of the ramp.  This gets folks in trouble quickly if they are not prepared for it or have the vehicle for it.  Drive down some ramps with 4000 lbs of TC plus a boat and the ramp is slick with water and often slime/moss and you may need a winch to pull you out.  I am winched and have had to pull some folks back up the ramp.

For all the reasons listed the TC is the answer in our book

Don
US Army Retired
F350 CC, LB, Dually
Arctic Fox 1150 TC

John Beard

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2013, 11:39:51 AM »
After I bought my Fleetwood Bounder 33U I was thinking of selling my F550 and Lance 1120 Camper. I have decided to keep the camper for many of the reasons already noted. I like to get out on my own on occasion, and the TC allows me the freedom to do just that. After a year with the Bounder I am thinking of going back to the TC, cut my losses and sell the motor home. I enjoy driving the F550 turbo charged diesel and camper combo, I don't so much enjoy driving the V10 MH.
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
Northwest Las Vegas, NV

Greg H.

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2013, 07:10:46 AM »
On a recent camping trip to a popular state park in Virginia, we pulled to our campsite in our truck camper and backed right in.  Two minutes later, we were fully setup and ready for a weekend of hiking.  Our friends with the large fifth wheel had arrived a half an hour before us and were still trying to back their camper into what I would consider a generous-sized camp spot.  After another 15 minutes they got it in, but not after tying up traffic on that camping loop for the entire time.

With our truck camper, we don't need a pull through, in fact I've even parallel parked my beast in front of a restaurant  on a busy street!

Another benefit is stealthiness, we can boondock practically anywhere.

With 4WD, I can get to places you'd never go in a regular camper.

I go camping because I enjoy the outdoors.  Having a small camper provides the luxuries I like to make camping comfortable, but not overly comfortable that it keeps me in from the outdoors.
Can't retire fast enough...

Ford F350 Dually V10 gas guzzler
Lance 500 Legend truck camper

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2013, 08:49:40 AM »
Greg, I would say your friends need a lot more practice.  Most 5ers can pretty much just stick it right in, and into places I looked at and marveled.  However, I agree with you about the TC, we had them and loved them, and if there was a way we could have kept our truck and camper when we bought the motorhome we would have, but too heavy to tow, and wife not interested in driving behind.  So, now we have best of both, a motorhome to travel in, and we can set a base camp, plus our toad is a VW Westy we can get into places even smaller than you can go to. 

Al that being said, I still wouldn't mind getting another P/U and slide in. 

Our last one was the ultimate for us, an Alpenlite with a dry bath and gen!  Plus two big solar panels, on a 350 4wd diesel. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

John Beard

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Re: Why buy a truck camper
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2013, 09:05:23 AM »
I will never get rid of my 2003 Ford F550 4x4 (68,000 miles) and 2003 Lance 1120 Cab-over Camper. I can set up anywhere in this rig. I've taken 13% grades up and down towing my 1974 Jeep CJ5 without any troubles and/or nervousness whatsoever. I've been miles out into the outback boon docking for a 2 weeks at a time...tank levels dictate my time in the bush. I keep both the camper and truck inside my shop so they will last a good long time. I might trade my Class A for a Class C here in the near future, but I'll keep my truck and camper for the duration.
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
Northwest Las Vegas, NV

 

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