Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Advice on truck and camper purchase
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 > Advice on truck and camper purchase

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cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 09/06/19 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Burr Trail or Mogollon Rim trails are very tame. My suggestion is to decide what you really want - off-road capability or more room/comfort. A compromise is not going to be great for either. If off-road is your goal, a popup camper (there are some very nice ones) on a shorter wheel base would be better. (of course, a much smaller camper on a smaller truck would be even better for off-road).
I'm 6-3, 190 and had many extensive (and comfortable) off-road trips in my pop-up.
Take a look at my and Whazoo's setup and trips for one good way to do it.


Cal


work2much

Jackson Ca

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Posted: 09/06/19 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it was just me I would definitely be looking for a pop up with a small lift and 35" tires. Maybe an Alaskan on a Ram 3500 4x4. Something like the power wagon but with real payload capacity.

No matter what hard side you get you will limit yourself with height if that matters where you want to get off road and even where height isn't an issue the lower center of gravity on a pop up will make travel easier.

With the wife and 2 dogs we went with a large camper but tow a jeep to explore.


2017 Ram 3500 Laramie CTD DRW Crew 4x4 Aisin 4:10 Air ride.
2018 Host Mammoth. 1080 Watts solar. 600 AH usable LFP battery. Magnum 2800 Watt inverter.
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deserteagle56

Nevada

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Posted: 09/06/19 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have to take into consideration whether the off-highway trails you take are tree lined. I've found that to be the biggest limitation of a tall cabover camper. The shells of those campers are not very stout - tree limbs can dent them or tear them apart. Mounted on a tall 4x4, a cabover camper can reach 12-13 feet in height so if trees are in your future consider a pop-up. Not to mention the pucker factor on an off-camber section of road with a tall camper...its what made me go dually.


1996 Bigfoot 2500 9.5 on a 2004 Dodge/Cummins dually


ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 09/06/19 09:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would disagree on the dually for off-roading. Besides the extra rear tire there is little difference in 2500 and 3500s, it is really just the extra leaf in the rear, AND yes, the leafs are superior to coils for TCs. Duallys are not considered the best option for off-roading by off-roaders, but that all depends on what you plan to do. You could get a dually and modify it to be a 4 wheel truck and have the best of both worlds, many off-roaders do this (basically a wide stance SRW setup).
One tons come in SRW configurations too.
Duallys will sway less than a SRW, but that does not disqualify a SRW for still being easy to drive.

Consider a two-piece fiberglass TC, there are 3 brands that I know of. Two are obtainable, and the third which I have, hard to find. Fiberglass construction will shake, rattle and roll less, so less likely to tear apart.
The weakness will always be the tie-down system (on both camper and truck end). A big hit can bend your truck frame or tear the mounts out of the camper.

I would look seriously into an Alaskan camper. You do not have an indoor shower unless you are able to modify the bathroom - take out cass toilet and mod up a shower pan, BUT it does fold down which is good for off-roading. Less height, less sway, and will fit under tree branches and rock over-hangs. There are used ones out there for around $8k. If there were ones for sale at the time i might have gone this route.

Looks like you have money to spend, so probably can afford the gas expense difference in folding vs full height camper mpg.

Biggies for off-road are the full size has a high center of gravity, and full size are typically heavier (800 lbs at least), and of corse height clearance.

I agree on the regular cab, keeping wheel base short will help for ground clearance, but TCs are not known for storage space, and I make great use of the extra space my extra cab offers. I would personally not want a regular cab.

I know if you wanted to do serious off-roading you'd be in a Jeep or FJ Cruiser with a tent top (dumb) or off-road trailer, so I assume you mean to do off-road light.

Getting down un-maintained dirt roads is just slow going with a big TC on back compared to unloaded. You will need to air down tires, so will need a way to air back up yourself.

For full size TC there is no perfect set-up for off road.

Lastly, my best advice is to get a flatbed 2500 truck and get a flatbed TC on it. These are so much more robust and off-road worthy, and you do not lose the space of the bed rails. I have never seen a used flatbed TC for sale, so you might have to go new (sounds like your plan)

Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 09/06/19 09:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jmtandem wrote:

Get a one ton truck. Dually will handle the truck camper better. Been there done that.


YEP! and if you must off road,, pull the toy.


2000 Newmar mountain aire 4081 DP, ISC/350 Allison 6 speed, Wrangler JL toad.

work2much

Jackson Ca

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Posted: 09/06/19 09:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:



Lastly, my best advice is to get a flatbed 2500 truck and get a flatbed TC on it. These are so much more robust and off-road worthy, and you do not lose the space of the bed rails. I have never seen a used flatbed TC for sale, so you might have to go new (sounds like your plan)


Something like this could be a ton of fun. Opt. 54 gallons fresh, 30 pounds propane, room for plenty of solar. This could make a very nice overland camper while still being reasonably comfortable.

https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/news........-flatbed-side-entry-camper/?singlepage=1

jmtandem

western nevada

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Posted: 09/06/19 08:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I owned an Alaskan pop up camper. Not cheap in quality or price but it was the only camper of the three I owned that I felt could go off road, handled well on the truck on pavement at highway speeds, and since they are actually a hard side pop up did not have to mess with fabric getting wet in the rain, etc. And it held it's value very well. If you like the ambiance of the inside of a sailboat, the Alaskan has that feel.

Lastly, the 6.4 Hemi in the Ram is quite an engine. You will not be disappointed in it. Just remember gas mileage is not a strong suit in any of the big three gas engines.


'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.

Spikeman

Kingman AZ.

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Posted: 09/07/19 11:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the advice of course now I am undecided again (for the last two years) Some more info the off road package with all the goodies is only available on the 2500 Series a lot of it is Power Wagon grade. My plan to off set the inboard location and sway and rocking of the large coil springs is to use outboard rear progressive Sumo Super Springs a two pc. model rated 2600lbs with progressive loading replaces bumper stop.Anyone use these or have an option of them? The Bilstien shocks are well rated with progressive staging The height issue non basement Model 750 is 98” tall other hardside campers are 110” to 118” still too tall? Weight wet would be about 2750lbs. Getting a really good deal on both need to decide by 9/9. My opinion of popups more noise more heat more cold more trouble less privacy than a hardside. Agree or disagree? Would buy one if necessary. My mention of Burr Trail and Mogollon Rim was tongue in cheek I have seen rental cars on both.

Spikeman

Kingman AZ.

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Posted: 09/08/19 12:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do popups still have canvas like sides that need to dried out before lowering?

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 09/08/19 06:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It depends on the type. Alaskans are hard sided popups. Look at the websites for the popup you are interested in or give them a call.

As far as height is concerned, that’s up to you. If you mean that you will go down roads that a typical rental car will go down, that’s hardly off-roading.

If you don’t know, you are looking at the most expensive per sq ft RV. If you buy new, it’s likely to be the one you lose the most money on if you choose wrong.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


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