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RVing message boards => Truck campers => Topic started by: MMW on October 15, 2016, 12:05:02 PM

Title: Diesels and TCs
Post by: MMW on October 15, 2016, 12:05:02 PM
I'm noodling around with a TCs recently:  I like 'em!  I made the mistake of wandering through a couple of Lances a few weeks ago and they've been on the brain somewhat.  I think they'd fit what I like to do pretty well.  I fully accept that people run these things over GVWR but am hesitant to run over the axle ratings.

That said, I'm having a helluva time making the weights work for the bigger campers and crew cab diesel trucks (Ford, specifically.  I bleed blue:  don't hate me for the way the Good Lord made me).  The rear axle is fine but I blow the front axle out of the water even in a C&C models depending on how much of the TC and bed weight I shift to the front in my spreadsheet (  The rear axle is OK but I tend to blow out the front axle pretty fast when I use base curb weights from the body builder's layout book (

Maybe my assumptions are wrong, I dunno. 

SO, question for you guys who have weighed your TC rigs:  how much weight do you see added to your front axle?

Title: Re: Diesels and TCs
Post by: skyhammer on October 15, 2016, 04:46:44 PM
I have one of the largest campers made and it is on a F-350 DRW Crew Cab,4X4.
I can't see how you would ever be over weight on the front axle.
My front axle is rated to 5940lbs. The most weight I have ever had on my front axle is 4750lbs. That is with a front hitch cargo carrier that carries a 2000 watt generator, 5 gallons of gas and a 6 gallon water jug.
Typically a camper unloads the front axle. Most people have to worry about going over weight on the rear axle.
A regular cab or a super cab will put more weight on the front axle as the camper is positioned more forward, but there is no way you could overload the front axle.My camper is not made for a regular cab or a super cab, as my overhead is huge and would extend all the way to the front of the hood, severely restricting my vision.With the CC, I can't see my overhead when driving.
I actually added the front hitch and cargo carrier to put more weight on the front axle as the to aid in steering.
With my jet boat in tow, my total weight is about 18,500lbs. My rear axle weight typically runs between 9000-9500lbs. The Dana 80 axle is rated to 11,00lbs. Ford rates the Dana 80 at 9000lbs to keep within GVWR.This is the same axle that the C&C models use with a GVWR that is 2500lbs more than the non C&C DRW truck.
By the way, my camper is a triple slide, 11.5 Host Everest. Lance doesn't make a comparable model. 
Title: Re: Diesels and TCs
Post by: MMW on October 16, 2016, 12:59:29 PM
That's really helpful, thanks!

This is why I asked-- I was assuming the front axle would get a lot more of the weight than evidently it does in the real world.

The current object of my desire are the Adventurer 116DS and the Eagle Cap 1160...both of those are heavy, bed rail height TCs that are really, really pushing a 350 or 450.  A lot of compelling models out in TCs right now:  I had always assumed they were small, dark and cramped but a quick run through a couple of the new Lances changed my mind.  The Hosts do look nice...
Title: Re: Diesels and TCs
Post by: skyhammer on October 16, 2016, 04:09:27 PM
The Adventurer is going to considerably lighter than the Eagle Cap. Any newer DRW will easily handle the Adventurer.
The Eagle cap is 10" wider, more heavily insulated, much larger tanks, including larger propane tanks and lots of smaller things that add weight.
One of things I like about the Host is that no two campers of the same model are alike.Host has no problem building your camper to your specs.
I bought mine direct from the factory and watched it being built, making changes along the way. I added and deleted many things that I thought I would or would not need.
For example, I had the rear slide couch deleted and replaced it with two relcliners.I also had the U shaped seating replaced in the dinette with 2 recliners and had an oval shaped longer table installed that recessed into the floor when not needed. I also had the sliding tray removed from the basement as it took up to much room. Also had many electrical upgrades, such a six 350 Lumen porch lights installed around the exterior of the camper, 1500 watt inverter installed with dedicated receptacles for the inverter installed throughout the camper, plus more receptacles installed for regular 120 volt, many 12 volt receptacles and USB ports. 
Title: Re: Diesels and TCs
Post by: MMW on October 17, 2016, 10:40:12 AM
That Adventurer is 5000 or so wet...

Let's rough it out:

Camper 5000# wet
Stuff 500#
Option weight 500# (The numbers in the book are base so you have to figure all the goodies add up:  this jives with a 2017 KR 450 I peeked in at the Fair a few weeks ago)
Pax 660# -- 230 me, 130 Mrs. MMW, and 300 for the boys (who still enjoy the novelty of a tent)
Accumulated crap in the truck: 100#

Total:  6760.

Given the base axle weights of the 350 and 450 (3390 and 2938, respectively)...that's within a couple of hundred pounds of the 9900 pounds RAWR.  With some suspension upgrades It'd probably be fine.  Doesn't leave much room to drag toys along, however.

The EC 1160 is 800 pounds heavier wet.  :o

Either more truck or less camper...

The Hosts are great...for another 15 or 20 grand.  They're lighter too (I think).   Not that I wouldn't love to have one ;)
Title: Re: Diesels and TCs
Post by: skyhammer on October 19, 2016, 04:22:37 PM
Generally a F-450 has a lower payload than an F-350.
Depending upon the year model, the F-450 has a Dana 110 axle, which is heavier and has 19.5" tires which are heavier and reduce payload.
2011-13 F-450 used a Dana Axle, same as the F-350 and had 17" tires, also the same as the F-350.
2014-17 F-450 went back to the Dana 110 and 19.5" tires.
The newer F-450 will tow more, but generally has a lower payload than the F-350, especially in the higher trim models.