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Thread: Truck camper

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    Default Truck camper

    So my wife and I have been talking about getting some sort of RV or camper for self supported travel.

    Our (her) one requirement is that we be able to tow our (her) horse trailer.

    After looking at available options and discussing what we want and need, we've decided on a truck camper for various reasons.

    Anyone here have one??

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Don't have one but I have the feeling it might not be such a good idea. Those campers are pretty much permanent solutions and if my memory is correct lack space and comfort that you would get from a normal RV or trailer camper (like a bathroom). In the end that don't really make them not much better than a tent. They are also really heavy and thus require a big truck. I guess it depends if you already have the truck or not but I'd tend to think that a roof tent on a dual cab truck would nowadays make more sense which allows you to keep the functionnality of a truck bed for storage and you would not necessary need a huge heavy duty truck. And outside of travels you get a functionnal truck for other duties.

    I think there are also middle way alternative like pop up truck bed toppers.

    Whatever you chose in the end that is a nice project.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 12-10-2020 at 05:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Contact Mike at SC Trailers in Kannapolis NC he can make you a unit that incorporates both. He built ours which is pictured on the other thread. Living space + horse trailer might be a solution.
    Tim Campen

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    @SeanEasley Just got a truck camper.

    You are going to need a dually to manage the total bed weight + tongue (on the ball) weight.

    If it was me and I'd just robbed a bank I'd buy one of those horse show trucks that have living quarters and stalls...assuming that where Mrs. NorTx goes the horses follow and marital bliss ensured.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    There are also tow able trailers that combine living quarters and horse hauling in one. A friend is a Hard Core Barrel Racer and that what she has. Takes a pretty good truck to pull it and you may want to look at a 5th wheel trailer. If you use a bumper hitch make sure to get a weight distribution anti sway hitch. Good advice for anyone with a pull behind actually.
    Frank Beshears

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    So...



    ...not a workable solution?
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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    So...



    ...not a workable solution?
    Do non-amish e-assisted versions exist to help the horse up the hills ?
    Last edited by sk_tle; 12-11-2020 at 06:39 AM.
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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Thicc boi like that might be slow, but doesn't need help up anything!
    This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the bike.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    We had one when I was a kid. We made a couple of 10-12 day trips in it and while it didn't have a ton of room it was more than workable for a family of four. As alluded to, there was no bathroom but one closet was big enough to fit a porta-potty.

    The vehicle was a '73 F250 short bed crew cab with a 390 - Dad had to special order it since no one sold crew cabs back then. The camper extended past the end of the bed a bit but it wasn't a problem. He did have to make a special hitch so that we could tow the horse trailer when the camper was in the bed.

    Removing it from the bed was about a 20 minute job with manual jacks.
    Eat one live toad first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you all day.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Thanks for all the input. Definitely food for thought as I go down this path.

    The nicer campers that I've been looking at have "wet bathrooms" with cassette or composting toilets and showers. Not large bathrooms, but I don't tend to spend lots of time in that room anyway. They also have fridges and in some cases freezers, 2 or 3 burner stoves, microwaves and TVs and queen sized beds. Really nicer than I expected.

    I understand that these units are small with limited space, but it will only ever be me and my wife traveling with it. And when traveling and camping, how much time do you typically spend in the camper anyway as opposed to being outside?

    I currently have a low mileage 1/2 ton F150 that I use for towing the horse trailer, hauling hay etc. With that as a trade I think I could get a respectable deal on a new 1 ton F350 or Chevy/GMC/Dodge 3500. The campers I've been looking at are on the lighter side and would be "haulable" with a 1 ton truck. The horse trailer we have is an aluminum construction 2 horse, and the horses are miniatures, each weighing 220 pounds, so the tongue weight is lower than most horse trailer applications. In my research so far most 1 ton trucks could handle pulling our trailer and hauling the lighter campers that I'm interested in.

    I've seen videos that demonstrate mounting a truck camper in <15 minutes so I don't think taking it on and off is a big deal.

    A horse trailer with living quarters towed by a dually is for sure the luxe way to go. But my barn is too small to store a trailer that size, the cash outlay is prohibitive and I would like to stay small and easy to handle. "Boondocking" and camping off the beaten path are for sure in the plans with this rig.

    In no way a "done deal." I'm reviewing all options.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Now we need pictures of those lap ponies.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Quote Originally Posted by NorTX-Dave View Post
    So my wife and I have been talking about getting some sort of RV or camper for self supported travel.

    Our (her) one requirement is that we be able to tow our (her) horse trailer.

    After looking at available options and discussing what we want and need, we've decided on a truck camper for various reasons.

    Anyone here have one??
    Hey Dave,

    Toots is right, I got one earlier this year. It is a used Hallmark Guanella, so it's in the 'light weight' category and dry weight is under 1300 lbs. I also purchased the truck that the previous owner used which is a half-ton but he put airbags on it which will help keep stress off some of the suspension components. No bathrooom, just a cassette toiled (that I've yet to use) and outdoor shower. For what I'm doing with it that's fine for me, but so far its only been myself and other bike degenerates using it. Not the wife and kids. Honestly I wouldn't want to deal with black/gray water tanks anyhow so it's perfect for me. Pretty much a weekender for boondocking, but most of them have shore power and water connections so you can still go to a state park/campground with a shower and toilets if you need that.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Thanks Sean!

    Good advice from someone that actually has and uses one.

    I "thought" I "needed" a shower, but maybe not so much anymore. You make a good point about dealing with various water tanks, not my bag either.

    We're going to a dealer in the coming weeks to check some out and generally do a little recon-ing to get the lay of the land, see what's available etc.

    I've seen in previous posts that you're military? I'm retired Army....and I see you in the Bishop thread....soon to be me as well!

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    I personally would not buy a truck camper mostly because a truck already has a high center of gravity making them unable to handle as well as cars, but now you're going to increase that center of gravity a lot more making the truck unpredictable in handling; with that higher profile your MPG will suffer vs a trailer. I guarantee you that after you had a truck camper for a couple of years you wish you never bought the stupid thing. Plus travel trailers about the same square footage as a camper top is a lot less expensive, this means you could afford to buy a larger trailer. It's also a lot easier to connect and disconnect a trailer; you have limited storage space.

    Of course there are advantages to a truck camper, there is no registration fee since it is part of the truck, takes up less space, easier to park, less intimating to drive until you have an emergency.

    Anyway instead of me banging the keyboard like a raped ape just read this instead then figure out which suits your needs better: https://camperreport.com/travel-trai...-cons-to-know/

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    I personally would not buy a truck camper mostly because a truck already has a high center of gravity making them unable to handle as well as cars, but now you're going to increase that center of gravity a lot more making the truck unpredictable in handling; with that higher profile your MPG will suffer vs a trailer. I guarantee you that after you had a truck camper for a couple of years you wish you never bought the stupid thing. Plus travel trailers about the same square footage as a camper top is a lot less expensive, this means you could afford to buy a larger trailer. It's also a lot easier to connect and disconnect a trailer; you have limited storage space.

    Of course there are advantages to a truck camper, there is no registration fee since it is part of the truck, takes up less space, easier to park, less intimating to drive until you have an emergency.

    Anyway instead of me banging the keyboard like a raped ape just read this instead then figure out which suits your needs better: https://camperreport.com/travel-trai...-cons-to-know/
    Pros and cons considered and is this what we ended up with. I think it meets all our requirements perfectly. And I don't regret buying "the stupid thing" yet!

    The biggest requirement that totally precluded a towed camper is that we want to haul a horse trailer while simultaneously hauling a camper, like I mentioned in the original post. Cannot do that with a trailer!

    The tail gate closes with the camper in place. So no need for an ungainly hitch extender when we tow the horse trailer.

    P1020466 (2).jpg

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    Default Re: Truck camper

















    My niece and her boyfriend have been working on this medical marijuana van conversion for the past 9 months and they stopped over yesterday to say hello before their Grand Départ, as they are heading on a 60 day trip. He’s rigged 3 solar panels on the roof, a mini kitchen and loo…let’s see if she uses it. It’s nice to be 27 and free, as they both quit “real jobs” and will be working part time/remotely.
    rw saunders
    hey, how lucky can one man get.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    My pal Jeff and his wife used the same van (or a slightly older model of the same) to meander across country from Portland OR to Woodstock NY with most of their worldly belongings and 3 cats. Upon the van was converted into a logging vehicle, though the conversion was pretty simple as the travel-build was created with the idea of removing it. It is actually a pretty tough vehicle.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post

    My niece and her boyfriend have been working on this medical marijuana van conversion for the past 9 months and they stopped over yesterday to say hello before their Grand Départ, as they are heading on a 60 day trip. He’s rigged 3 solar panels on the roof, a mini kitchen and loo…let’s see if she uses it. It’s nice to be 27 and free, as they both quit “real jobs” and will be working part time/remotely.
    I hope they're gonna put those knives somewhere else while they drive that rig...hate to get into an accident with those stuck onto a magnetic strip.

    Otherwise looks fantastic!

    SPP
    My name is Peter Miller.

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    Default Re: Truck camper

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
    I hope they're gonna put those knives somewhere else while they drive that rig...hate to get into an accident with those stuck onto a magnetic strip.

    Otherwise looks fantastic!

    SPP
    I told them that they could reach behind the driver’s seat and grab a weapon if needed…
    rw saunders
    hey, how lucky can one man get.

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