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Author Topic: beginner truck camper/buyer  (Read 3058 times)

chris mayer

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beginner truck camper/buyer
« on: July 19, 2015, 12:32:26 PM »
 Hello to all, my wife and I are looking to buy a camper for my  [  Chevy Silverado Quad cab long BED 2500 HD.]  I live in the northern California region and looking for any advice on good campers. I have heard that Lance, Bigfoot, and Arctic are some of the top ones, but I'm not sure if I should buy a new are used. If I buy used what am I looking for don't know much about them, thanks for any support I can get out there and this is my first time to the site. Thank you !!

marcortez

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Re: beginner truck camper/buyer
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 12:35:33 PM »
Hello to all, my wife and I are looking to buy a camper for my  [  Chevy Silverado Quad cab long BED 2500 HD.]  I live in the northern California region and looking for any advice on good campers. I have heard that Lance, Bigfoot, and Arctic are some of the top ones, but I'm not sure if I should buy a new are used. If I buy used what am I looking for don't know much about them, thanks for any support I can get out there and this is my first time to the site. Thank you !!

New vs used is all about the money. If you have the resources to buy new, then by all means do it.

Buying used is a crap shoot day in and day out. Sometimes you get a gem and sometimes you get slammed with problems.

Look at the base of the camper (the part that rests in the truck bed)....wood in good shape or dinged up.
Frame material.....wood or welded aluminum. Looks and feels solid.
Cabinetry drawers and doors work smoothly and hold solid. Entry door closes firm and tight vs sloppy and unsecure. Screen material in good shape. All keys work in their respective slots.
All appliances in good working order......electrical system fully functional. House batteries newer or old corroded piles of junk.
Flooring in good shape and clean. Step around the floor firmly and see if there are any soft spots.
Fabric clean and not worn excessively. All cushions included
Tie down attachments solid and included.
Exterior paint shiny and glossy vs faded and oxidized.
Look inside the exterior refrigerator access panel.....full of cobwebs and dead bugs?....look for clean and non corroded electric terminals.
Propane tanks clean and the connection hose in good shape.

Prior to forking over your money.....fire up the stove, verify the water pump is working, heater working, toilet operates normally, air con (if equipped) puts out cold air, refrigerator working and smells ok.
In exterior compartments should be a water hose and a AC shore power connector and a black water connection hose and fitting.

Plug in the AC shore power cable and verify that the lights and other electrical components do indeed work and verify that when on DC power only, these same components work also on DC power.

Most of these things can be an indicator of how well the camper was maintained over it's life.

It's always a good idea to look at some used units and formulate an idea of what is a clean, serviceable unit and what is not.
It's not unlike buying a used car.....it is dependent on you to determine if the car was well maintained or not.
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 CC 4x4 CTD
2017 Jayco Flight SLX Baja 245RLW

Rene T

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Re: beginner truck camper/buyer
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2015, 01:08:48 PM »
I totally agree with what to look for if buying used. I wouldn't probably buy anything older than 10 years old.  In my opinion, I would never buy new. Depreciates too much once you take it off the lot.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

SeilerBird

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  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: beginner truck camper/buyer
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2015, 01:12:46 PM »
My opinion is to buy used if you actually want to go camping. Buy new if you want to spend the first six months camping at the dealership.
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YaddaYadda

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Re: beginner truck camper/buyer
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2015, 08:29:22 PM »
We had a 2000 Arctic Fox 1150 for four years and it was a dandy.  Well made.  You might look around for a used A.Fox and bring a mobile RV mechanic with you if you zero in on one and want to buy.

baphenatem

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  • "Now where did I leave that wrench?"
Re: beginner truck camper/buyer
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2015, 08:33:17 PM »
If you are planning on staying with your 2500 series truck you need to be aware that you will be fairly limited in the size and weight of the camper. It's not unusual to see the larger campers, especially ones with slides and basements, push about 4000 pounds (or more) when loaded. www.truckcampermagazine has a lot of informative articles in their archive and a lot of links to various truck camper manufacturers. Part of your decision is whether or not you want a four-season camper, or if you can get by with a three-season unit. Also, what amenities are "must haves" on your list? Smaller, no frills, but still quality units are available to serve those who don't mind a more rugged camping experience.
Tom - Warren, Michigan
MI Licensed Electrician, UL Certified PV Installer, ISA Level 2 Certified Instrumentation and Controls Technician. Welder, fabricator, organic gardener and schlepper.

Scrinch

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Re: beginner truck camper/buyer
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 03:58:51 PM »
Limited experience myself, but good solid advice above..  I bought a 1998 10.5 Shadow Cruiser in perfect shape for $3000 6 years ago.  It has a great layout, weighs in at about 1900 lbs.  The way I figure you can replace and repair anything that goes wrong for the difference in price from buying new or nearly new.  I could still get about $1500 if I sold it...(which I am not) but that comes to $1500/6 or $250 per year to use it.   
1983 Scotty
2005 Desert Fox 19 toy Hauler
1998 Shadow Cruiser Slide in
1995 Dodge Cummins
2003 Dutchman Express 21

Rene T

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Re: beginner truck camper/buyer
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 05:34:06 PM »
The OP hasn't been back since the original post. I wonder what they ended up doing.

The only thing I would add is to check the roof real good for cracks in the caulking and soft spots. Also check the underside of the bed where it extends over the cab of the truck. If there is a front window in the camper, they have a tendency to leak and it will show up on the bottom side. Look at the bottom from side to side, There shouldn't be any bowing or settling of the bottom siding.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

COCJ

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Re: beginner truck camper/buyer
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2015, 10:43:53 AM »
I have bought two used Lance campers and have had no problems. I have a friend that has a Bigfoot and he has had structural problems and roof problems. In my opinion, Bigfoots are way overpriced.

If the camper has a slide out, make sure that it works OK and that the awning over it is in good shape.
2015 F350 Super Duty Lariat Crew Cab Dually, 2006 11.5' Lance camper. Polaris ATVS.

 

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