Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Guidance Needed
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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 04/19/20 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your truck is unsuitable for just about any camper you can purchase. It has very low payload and a short bed. The fact that you will also have tongue weight from towing a boat makes the payload situation even worse.
I had this same problem. I owned a short bed 1500 Dodge and I got what I thought was a lightweight pop-up camper. It had no bathroom, gray water tank, or water heater. It was just me in the truck with minimal gear. I even took the spare tire off the truck to save weight. Even then, I was still over the GVWR of the truck by 700 pounds with no trailer hitched up. I was under the axle ratings but just barely. I added air bags, aftermarket shocks, and load range E tires. I used the camper that way for about 1 year before I bought a 3500 to haul it on while pulling the boat.
You can search and search for a super lightweight camper. You can then modify your truck with E tires, air bags, anti-sway bar, etc. You will still have to watch every pound you put in the rig.
Save some time, money, and aggravation and upgrade your truck to a 3500. There's no reason to get a 2500, you need payload capacity.
My last camper was an 11' camper and I carried it on a 3500 dually. It had no basement and no slides. I was still 1,600 pounds over the truck's GVWR before hitching the boat. TCs are HEAVY and most trucks have very little payload.

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 04/19/20 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your truck is unsuitable for just about any camper you can purchase. It has very low payload and a short bed. The fact that you will also have tongue weight from towing a boat makes the payload situation even worse.
I had this same problem. I owned a short bed 1500 Dodge and I got what I thought was a lightweight pop-up camper. It had no bathroom, gray water tank, or water heater. It was just me in the truck with minimal gear. I even took the spare tire off the truck to save weight. Even then, I was still over the GVWR of the truck by 700 pounds with no trailer hitched up. I was under the axle ratings but just barely. I added air bags, aftermarket shocks, and load range E tires. I used the camper that way for about 1 year before I bought a 3500 to haul it on while pulling the boat.
You can search and search for a super lightweight camper. You can then modify your truck with E tires, air bags, anti-sway bar, etc. You will still have to watch every pound you put in the rig.
Save some time, money, and aggravation and upgrade your truck to a 3500. There's no reason to get a 2500, you need payload capacity.
My last camper was an 11' camper and I carried it on a 3500 dually. It had no basement and no slides. I was still 1,600 pounds over the truck's GVWR before hitching the boat. TCs are HEAVY and most trucks have very little payload.

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 04/19/20 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What boat do you have?
I used to own Cabin Cruiser, that slept 4 and it was all we needed for weekends at the lakes. With 5000 lb on the trailer, I towed it with SUV
Our friend did own light boat, who with like 2000 lb had small cabin where 2 +2 could sleep. He carried porta-potty on it.





Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 04/19/20 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Responses that you’ll be over your rated payload with much more than a topper are correct. However with tires and suspension help, small pop ups and Capri type campers are just fine.
Depends how much you want to spend. TCs are Expensive for their size. Pop ups even a bit more if in good condition.
Good luck searching!


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Atimm693

Missouri

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Posted: 04/19/20 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great advice, thanks. Definitely came to the right place. The truck already has 10 plies on it. Gravel roads here are hell on tires.

Kayteg1 wrote:

What boat do you have?
I used to own Cabin Cruiser, that slept 4 and it was all we needed for weekends at the lakes. With 5000 lb on the trailer, I towed it with SUV
Our friend did own light boat, who with like 2000 lb had small cabin where 2 +2 could sleep. He carried porta-potty on it.


17ft Tracker Deep V.

I have considered that, but generally boats with living quarters are not that great to fish out of.

burningman

Seattle, WA USA

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Posted: 04/19/20 11:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I started same as you, with a half ton that I put bigger springs and tires on, a camper and a 17’ boat.
I managed to have a lot of fun with it. I also managed to break the rear axle lol... and the thing wasn’t fun to drive. It always felt like it had too much on its back.
I hate to jump on the “you’ve got the wrong truck” bandwagon... but you’ve got the wrong truck.
3/4 or one tons handle SO much better with a load.

A really basic small camper with nothing in it will be light enough but there aren’t many like that.
They exist, Four Wheel Campers are one of the main go-to rigs. But they’re not really that light.


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Atimm693

Missouri

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Posted: 04/19/20 04:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The camper shell is starting to grow on me.

I could probably just throw down a rubber mat that is easy to clean.

I'm sure there are some storage solutions that could keep all my gear together and make it easier to transition from work to play mode.

Some sound deadening/insulation on the camper shell and truck bed interior would make it a little more liveable.

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 04/19/20 04:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you got with a shell and plan to sleep on the floor, consider a bed rug.

https://realtruck.com/p/bedrug-full-bedl........c0Gy7BmZN4taeLHj_C-G1P1z2ohoC7n0QAvD_BwE
It makes the floor flat and insulates the sides.


'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.


GeoBoy

Bennington

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Posted: 04/19/20 05:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would look for a used Four Wheeler TC, there perfect for a 150/1500 truck.

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 04/19/20 06:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did befriend a retired guy who was spending time at the lake in his camper shell. He was happy till rain come over and the shell allowed water inside. Than he was happy when we allow him to spend evening inside our heated camper.
To each of his own.

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