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Fishbreath

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Posted: 11/05/21 08:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wondering Why......

I had a 2013 GMC 3500 SRW Long Bed which I used to carry a 2015 Northstar Popup camper. When using the camper, I would always remove the tailgate before installing the camper. The camper has a PVC tube running across the back for the sewage hose that hangs a little lower than the camper and there are hot/cold water drains on the right rear that also hang a little lower than the camper bottom. I believe these were the reasons that i was told to remove the tailgate. These stick out a few inches from the truck bed and are above the tailgate.
Yesterday, I was offered more for my 2019 truck than I paid for it three years ago ($6K). I purchased a 2022 GMC 3500 gas SRW. It came with the Pro Grade tailgate. This is not something that I needed or wanted, but it was part of the package.
As I advance in age, removing/installing the tailgate is becoming more difficult as it is unwieldy and heavy. There are also wires attached to the tailgate that operate the lock and camera.
So here is the big question. If I remove the hose carrier (I never use it) and recess the hot/cold line drains, is there any reason that I can't leave the tailgate on the truck while using the camper?
I believe that I could attach the Brophy steps to the Pro Grade tailgate with little fanfare, creating a little landing outside of the camper.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas.
Thanks.
Bill

KD4UPL

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Posted: 11/06/21 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The "face" or sheet metal of the tailgate that is facing the road all the time will probably take a sever beating from gravel, dirt, and road debris.
Assuming this is a long bed truck I think it would be fine. Some people try to use a short bed truck to haul a long bed camper and think the tailgate will hold up the back end of the camper. That puts a thousand or more pounds on the tail gate which it likely isn't designed for. It doesn't sound like you're trying to do that.

All these stupid gadgets have ruined trucks for those of us who actually need them to earn a living. They keep driving up the prices and complicating things with all the cameras, sensors, etc. And, they keep making them so high off the ground it's hard to reach your tools.

Fishbreath

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Posted: 11/07/21 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KD4UPL:

Thanks for the reply. I thought more people would chime in regarding the tailgate issue. I had not thought of the "rock chips" as a potential problem. I guess I will have to get that clear film that is popular on the front of cars plastered onto the tailgate to protect it.
It's funny you mentioned the heights of the newer trucks. This 2022 has to be 2-3 inches taller than my 2019 3500. Makes no sense.

Bill

mkirsch

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Posted: 11/08/21 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have often warned people that is the main drawback with leaving the tailgate on. You could run one of those goofy mustache things across your rear bumper to catch any rocks thrown up by the wheels until they fall off and you give up on the idea.

Yes, the trucks are taller because everyone just goes and puts at least a 2" lift kit on them as soon as they get them home, right? The jacked up truck look is "in" right now.

Also if you want a truck that doesn't have the bells and whistles you can get one. Just find a dealer that does fleet sales. They usually have a line of plain-jane trucks on the lot. Who cares if it's white? That's the most popular color right now. Besides you can always get it vinyl wrapped in any color you want.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

Grit dog

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Posted: 11/08/21 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KD4UPL wrote:

The "face" or sheet metal of the tailgate that is facing the road all the time will probably take a sever beating from gravel, dirt, and road debris.
Assuming this is a long bed truck I think it would be fine. Some people try to use a short bed truck to haul a long bed camper and think the tailgate will hold up the back end of the camper. That puts a thousand or more pounds on the tail gate which it likely isn't designed for. It doesn't sound like you're trying to do that.

All these stupid gadgets have ruined trucks for those of us who actually need them to earn a living. They keep driving up the prices and complicating things with all the cameras, sensors, etc. And, they keep making them so high off the ground it's hard to reach your tools.


Mud flaps cure rock chips and the OP isn't putting a long bed camper on a short bed truck.
Especially considering the OP was thorough enough to post that he has the same bed length on the new truck, as the old one which he hauled the same camper with )presumably without issue, or his question would likely be different.

That said, I do agree that most of the multiple functionalities of tailgates is not an improvement by any means for those that use their pickup trucks like trucks.
It started with electric locks and Ford tailgate steps and has now morphed into, integrated cameras, electronic button latches, "soft" open features like an upgraded toilet seat, power up functions and at least 2 different variations of multi function, being Ram's barn doors and GM's swiss army knife models.
Can't wait to see how Ford and Toyota top this!

3 different personal trucks in the last 4 years and each has had an issue with a tailgate "feature" that didn't used to be even a consideration.

Just yesterday, the electronic lock function had a glitch on our 2016. It may have moisture in the plug or ??? Started working again after I unlocked it once with the key and then performed the highly technical, "push the remote button many times until it starts working again" routine! LOL

2016 Chevy with an "easy down" feature. That worked for about 50k miles then just broke.

2020 Chevy has electronic release latch. After cramming the bed full of concrete blankets once, I had to lean into it to get the tailgate closed. Following that, the electronic operated latches still work, but the tailgate doesn't pop open and come down like it used to, it just releases and you have to pull it down.

None of these trucks are "work" trucks. Yes I use them to do work, but they lead good lives. They're not out in the field workin every day.

* This post was last edited 11/08/21 12:25pm by Grit dog *   View edit history


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Grit dog

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Posted: 11/08/21 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fishbreath wrote:

KD4UPL:

Thanks for the reply. I thought more people would chime in regarding the tailgate issue. I had not thought of the "rock chips" as a potential problem. I guess I will have to get that clear film that is popular on the front of cars plastered onto the tailgate to protect it.
It's funny you mentioned the heights of the newer trucks. This 2022 has to be 2-3 inches taller than my 2019 3500. Makes no sense.

Bill


Bill, there's some mis-info being thrown, as absolutes, around here I'd like to clarify.

First, rock chips can or will be a problem, but the rocks are easily defeated by rear mud flaps. Which will also keep the rear fenders from getting chipped up just the same. Put lotsa miles between here and Alaska and around Alaska, 100s of miles of dirt and gravel roads, maybe thousands, no rock chips on the tailgate with it in the down position under our truck camper.
Tailgate damage from camper weight? I cannot speak to the new multifunction GM tailgates although their level of complexity leads me to think they will not handle heavy use like a solid tailgate.
But, speaking for 1 piece tailgates, it is highly likely you could leave it on the truck even with the camper sitting on it. With the following considerations.
- Tailgate surface is at or below the plane of the truck bed. If it's raised at all from the truck bed surface then the tailgate will be supporting weight that should be taken up by the truck bed = not good.
- Camper is not designed to be fully supported by the truck bed (IE 8' camper in 8' bed and not designed to support itself with any overhang out the back of the bed.) Highly unlikely in most scenarios, as most campers DO overhang some amount and are designed as such. If it is not self supporting, then it's remotely possible, but not probable, that it could exert too much weight on the tailgate.
Our old short bed Dodge hauled a 4000lb, almost 9' long TC for about 20k miles? Had a couple small dents and wear marks where the camper sat on it. Dents were matching the bottom of the truck bed, where the camper itself dented the truck bed as well.
Guy that bought the truck and camper together last year has basically been cross country a couple times with it with the camper since. He has had no issues in this regard either.
- In 30+ years of using and abusing (landscaping and construction) 100s or 1000s of tailgates, I have yet to see one just "break." And I'm talking tailgates that are so bowed, bent and banged up that the sheetmetal may be cracking and they look like they are smiling!

If you are able to analyze how your camper "fits" with the tailgate in place and not just going about it blindly, you can absolutely leave the tailgate on and not damage it.

Grit dog

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Posted: 11/08/21 12:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fishbreath wrote:

KD4UPL:

Thanks for the reply. I thought more people would chime in regarding the tailgate issue. I had not thought of the "rock chips" as a potential problem. I guess I will have to get that clear film that is popular on the front of cars plastered onto the tailgate to protect it.
It's funny you mentioned the heights of the newer trucks. This 2022 has to be 2-3 inches taller than my 2019 3500. Makes no sense.

Bill


Mud flaps will be easier to install. Although I love the Clear Bra stuff. It absolutely works as advertised, but if you're hammering it continuously with rocks, it will show that wear.

Worst case, find ya a takeoff GM standard tailgate, if you decide the multifunction one doesn't work for you. They should be plentiful. Same tailgate back to the 2019 redesign of the 1/2 tons.
May require dealer or aftermarket software to revise programming or features to a more "primitive" level?

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Posted: 11/08/21 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What does a vinyl wrap go for now days?


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Fishbreath

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Posted: 11/09/21 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the replies!

With regards to weight on the tailgate with the camper loaded, the Northstar popup has an 8 foot footprint and does not hang over past the floor of the truck bed.

I had no desire for the ProGrade tailgate when I ordered the truck, but, it came standard with the trim package that I ordered. I have also learned on-line, that the ProGrade tailgate will smash into a trailer ball if one is installed in the receiver. There are a lot of unhappy people on the net that have pushed the button to lower the gate and have had it hit the hitch ball, leaving a dent in the tailgate. Two companies have already designed work-arounds to prevent this. One is an electronic switch that senses you have a hitch ball installed and stops the tailgate from lowering. The other is a specially-bent hitch/ball combo that drops the ball lower and also tucks it in a little. GM failed to field test this new tailgate while towing. Just a little frustrating.

I'll update this situation once I get the tie downs installed and do a trial fit.

Thanks!

Grit dog

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Posted: 11/09/21 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you don't want the swiss army tailgate, it's not prohibitive for what you're doing now. Leave it on, get some help to remove it if it's too heavy, keep your eye out for a takeoff "normal" tailgate to purchase, and sell your tailgate to the highest bidder.
People will be breaking and smashing them (no different than other trucks) and likely a full replacement OE tailgate will be around $5k maybe more, all in, from a body shop.
You could get the tailgate you want, lose the one you don't and come out with money in your pocket, pretty easily.

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