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 > Mounting a truck camper on a chassis truck.

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Montaha

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Posted: 06/20/20 10:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd like to mount my truck camper on an F550 chassis truck. Have any of you already done such a thing? I was looking at possibly using a utility truck bed. I found one, but it is 9' long instead of 8', and I'm pretty sure that would mess with the COG and truck loading specs. I see there are a number of custom builders out there, but the cost is very very high for my budget, so I'd like to see if something prefabed was already available. Thanks in advance for any ideas and suggestions!!

Tiger4x4RV

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Posted: 06/20/20 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take a look at some of these Truck Camper Magazine articles:

articles about extreme rigs

flatbed articles

chassis mount articles

None of them seem to be exactly what you describe, but they may provide ideas of possible sources.

My RV is a 2006 Tiger CX, a small chassis-mount built on a stock Chevy 2500 HD 4x4 chassis. Not a TC, a true C with pass-thru between cab and camper. This CX model is no longer made. Newer ones are larger. Tiger Vehicles

You might also find clues to this sort of rig at Earthroamer


2006 Tiger CX 4x4, 8.1 L gas V-8, Allison 6-speed


Kayteg1

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Posted: 06/20/20 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The chassis I know not only have frame that is not perfectly flat, but is narrower, when TC need support under the edges.
Meaning you need to add at least frame under camper floor perimeter.
I think quick fix might be 1 1/8" floor plywood, but that will sag over the time.





jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 06/20/20 12:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

The chassis I know not only have frame that is not perfectly flat, but is narrower, when TC need support under the edges..


The chassis probably are, but the flatbeds and utility beds aren’t.


'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.


NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 06/20/20 12:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On a chassis cab truck, the relationship of the rear axle to the end of the truck frame is about the same as it is on a pickup. The distance between the rear axle and back of the cab is what changes as the chassis cab wheelbase changes.

In other words, as long as the utility bed you put on your F550 doesn’t have a huge rear overhang relationship to the frame rails, the COG of the camper is going to be in about the same place over the rear axle.

Ford’s website shows a standard 47.2” distance from the rear axle to the end of the frame rails. I would assume that’s measured from the center point of the axle. All of the pickup trucks show a standard 52” rear overhang, but that would include the bumper. I just measured my F450 pickup rear overhang, and it’s closer to 50”.

You’ll need something in front of the camper to keep it from sliding forward, but that should be a no-brainer. Toolbox, fuel tank, spare tire, etc.

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2001 Lance 1121 on a 2016 F450


Kayteg1

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Posted: 06/20/20 12:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

On a chassis cab truck, the relationship of the rear axle to the end of the truck frame is about the same as it is on a pickup. The distance between the rear axle and back of the cab is what changes as the chassis cab wheelbase changes. ....

Not per my experience with F350 C&C. I eventually put standard bed on it, but even I mounted it rear wheels close to touching wheel wells, I still ended with 5" gap between bed and cabin.
Than chassis frame was sticking past the bed in the rear, so I had to cut slots in the bed for it and weld bumper directly on top of the frame.
Bear in mind C&C have fuel tanks behind rear axle.
Funny project when you have time to kill, but I would not do it again.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 06/20/20 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That still sounds like there was a length difference between the rear axle and the back of the cab. Do you recall what the wheelbase and model year that was?

I also remember on some of the older chassis cabs the frame rails being longer behind the rear axle, and it was usually handled by cutting off the extra length when a pickup bed was added.

The numbers I stated were from Ford’s website, and for the current model year. If you didn’t include the extra length the bumper adds on the pickups, they would be nearly identical.

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KD4UPL

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Posted: 06/20/20 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most pick-ups have a Cab to Axle (CA) of about 56" to maybe 58". Cab and Chassis trucks have standard CA of 60", 84", and then on up. The one you likely want for a truck camper is the 60" CA. This means that you will need a 9' body to put on the truck. Most TC are flat on the bottom. Some do drop down past the rear of a standard truck bed. My Fleetwood 11X was flat for 8' 5" then dropped down. I had an 8' 8" flatbed; I put 2 pressure treated 2x4s at the front of the bed with some rubber on them to act as a stop and keep the camper just right on the flat bed.
If you're going for a really big camper, 11' or 12', and it's flat on the bottom you may want to look into getting an 84" CA which will take an 11' flat bed. I suspect it would ride really nice with the axle set back further. However, you may have problems with the camper drain valves.
You can't use a typical stock utility body as very few campers will fit in one without modifications. A flatbed is the way to go. You can bolt on above and below bed storage boxes to fit your situation. I had 4 fold up rings installed in the flatbed on my truck. I used these to attach the tie-downs too. It worked great for 7 years over thousands of miles and multiple states.
Classy Chassis makes a custom aluminum truck camper bed; last time I priced one they were about $15,000. You can get an aluminum flatbed for maybe $6,000. If you have enough payload capacity (and with a class 5 truck you should) you can use a steel flatbed which are usually less expensive. After you get the camper on there you can put any storage boxes where they will fit.
The nice think about a C&C truck is the rear axle is usually only 93" wide so you can use a 93" wide bed. This will allow more jack clearance on the camper than a 96" wide pick-up dually bed.

mt-ed

Montaha

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Posted: 06/20/20 09:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks so very much to you all! I had been looking at a Knapheide, low profile, utility bed, 60CA. It comes in at 9' length. The camper is an Eagle Cap 1160, and it is long and extends past the bed and hangs down. The low profile sides are 20", which is just 1" higher than my regular truck bed side rails. What I was worried about was if the camper was moved back the extra foot, it would be moving the COG back as much, and that might just be too far back? I'm really liking your suggestions of a flat bed, onto which storage boxes could be attached! Cheaper by a LONG shot!

Kayteg1

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Posted: 06/20/20 10:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

That still sounds like there was a length difference between the rear axle and the back of the cab. Do you recall what the wheelbase and model year that was? ........

No, I don't remember wheelbase. Truck was 2006 model.
The pickup originally had 10' utility bed. The UB due to high floor and high sides made my set over 13' high and that was not acceptable.
So here is the picture of the set with Dodge bed on it. I placed the camper about 18" behind front of the bed due the rear bumper modifications.
The much stiffer C&C suspension hold the 6500 lb of camper weight with COG at least a foot behind the axle just fine.
Bear in mind, I welded bumper on the same level with floor, so it was supporting camper floor.
Can write a book about the questions I was ask ... like "how do you call Ford with Dodge bed? Fordog? "

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