Towing and camping with a mid-size pickup truck

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llama

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Hey all. I've been towing my Hiker Trailer "square drop" with a Subaru Outback XT for a couple years and it's worked OK. But for a variety of reasons, I'm strongly considering a new vehicle and a mid-sized pick up is high on my list. I've never had a pickup and can see some pontetial pros and cons to camping with a tiny trailer using pickup.

So for those who tow a teardrop or other very small camp trailer (i.e., too small to contain all the necessities) with a pick up, I'm wondering what you see as pros and cons to a pick up in this situation versus an SUV. How do you protect gear in the bed? Tonneau cover? Cap? Do you keep some gear/items in the cab (food? clothes?).

Thanks.
 
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My ford ranger came with a tonneau cover, ok but I wanted more storage space so I built sidewalls that raised the cover to the height of the cab. It looks like a cap but I can still roll back the cover and stand up rather than crawl in on my knees. It’s a 4 door cab as well so lots of lockable storage.

I tow the truck behind my motorhome but the truck can easily tow a small trailer instead
 
I've been an SUV guy my whole life. When I retired I bought a 2019 RAM as I had bought 5 acres and a truck seemed like the right idea. In many ways it was but...

In hindsight I wish I had bought a 2019 Expedition, Durango SRT or Lincoln Navigator. Same or better towing capacity and the bonus of a ton of indoor space.

I'm still considering to trade in the truck for an SUV.
 
I towed a popup, with the rest of the camping stuff in storage totes. It's a tad easier to pack and unpack without a cap on the truck. Totes are weatherproof either way. Vittles were kept in the camper's cooler with a drink cooler outside. I'm a 'pickup guy', I use it for stuff other than camping that an SUV wouldn't work.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
Based on my experience towing both our 24 ft long TT and my 8 ft long utility trailer with my pickup, the utility trailer can be a bit squirrely when backing into to spots. My TT is much easier to maneuver when backing into a spot.
The cap on my pickup leaves lots of room for storage of light weight bulky items, while the heavier items can be handled by the TT, based on its large cargo weight capacity. I keep the tongue weight below the limit by moving cargo between the TT and TV.

Safe travels and all the best.
 
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I haul a 13' travel trailer. I was using a Dodge Caravan and upgraded to the F150 last fall. Only made 2 short trips with the truck last fall, but it is a huge difference in towing. As pictured the truck has a hard topper. I added a bed slide so I do not need to crawl into the truck bed to retrieve items that are in the front. Yesterday I added a 48"x20" shelf that is attached to the bed slide so have more storage for stuff.
 
The suspension on any SUV is designed for soccer moms not pulling trailers. I've pulled trailers with both and a pickup will always be more stable.
 
We started out towing our last travel trailer (20' long) with an SUV but after a year or two changed to towing with a 2500 truck. I had a bed cover but after a while replaced it with a shell and that was far better. And the truck towing was much better.
 
I've been an SUV guy my whole life. When I retired I bought a 2019 RAM as I had bought 5 acres and a truck seemed like the right idea. In many ways it was but...

In hindsight I wish I had bought a 2019 Expedition, Durango SRT or Lincoln Navigator. Same or better towing capacity and the bonus of a ton of indoor space.

I'm still considering to trade in the truck for an SUV.
This is my thinking. There are more good options for pickups (esp. if I want off road performance), but for camping and traveling, I like the indoor space of an SUV.
 
I haul a 13' travel trailer. I was using a Dodge Caravan and upgraded to the F150 last fall. Only made 2 short trips with the truck last fall, but it is a huge difference in towing. As pictured the truck has a hard topper. I added a bed slide so I do not need to crawl into the truck bed to retrieve items that are in the front. Yesterday I added a 48"x20" shelf that is attached to the bed slide so have more storage for stuff.
That seems like a good option - cap with a slide out or drawer system, but costly!
 
The suspension on any SUV is designed for soccer moms not pulling trailers. I've pulled trailers with both and a pickup will always be more stable.
That's true, but I'm towing a teardrop that weighs maybe 1700 pounds when loaded.

I'm mostly thinking about gear management pros and cons, storage in the bed vs storage inside an SUV.
 
I'm mostly thinking about gear management pros and cons, storage in the bed vs storage inside an SUV.
For storage it partly depends on what you plan to store there. The SUV would be out of the weather and you can lock it up easily. But the truck will carry more and it will be a more stable to vehicle.
 
I have only camped with a pickup truck so can't say how it would be with an SUV or other vehicle. With Tonneau covers and a lot of trucks coming with locking tailgates now I think they work great for camping. There are locks you can buy for your tailgate if it does not lock. Add in a lot of them come with crew or extended cabs there is room for passengers as well. I am not a fan of the mid-size trucks mostly because usually the cost difference and gas mileage difference is not that significant so it justifies for me to have one instead of a full-size truck.
 
That seems like a good option - cap with a slide out or drawer system, but costly!
You can get the slides and/or drawer systems used. I think (cant remember exactly)my bed slide out with 2000# cap was $250 used.
 
I towed a 21' Microlite Travel Trailer with a Nissan Frontier from Georgia to Maine and from Georgia to California and never had a problem. I had a hard tonneau cover for extra storage.
 

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