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bobman

Truck Campers

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bobman

I'm probably going to buy a big used 4x4 pickup truck and have been looking at these truck campers.

My usage would be pheasant hunting just cruising dirt roads going from spot to spot and camping overnight on some side dirt road or cut corn field.

Also an occasional elk hunt

Would one hold up in that service?  There aren't any low hanging limbs in the areas I hunt so thats not a issue.

What I was wondering is would the movement of the bed  going down dirt roads harm one structurally or does the truck bed handle that?

Any of you guys ever own one, I only hunt about 3 or four one week long trips a year for birds so I would have to be in it for nine days max each trip.

Probably just me and 3-4 dogs, maybe a kid I know would be with me for one of the weeks if he can get off school.

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Hunshatt

I think they are a great idea. I picked up a fiberglass"lite" version, for I guess I'd call it glorified tent camping(ac and no leaks)

I'd buy the newest, used one I could afford/find. And take a moister meter along. The ones with aluminum skins are built like rv's with alot of plywood construction. Leaks= yur screwed.

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M V McDonald

May parents had a truck camper when I was a kid that was a lot of fun, and they're probably much improved since then.  We had many successful trips with it including several vacations "out west" and one to Alaska.  Many fond memories for me in that camper.  We always helped with the loading and unloading, which is pretty easy, and had it on several different trucks - each one a 3/4 ton truck with heavy dury suspensions and we never had a problem.  If the camper is mounted and turn-buckled correctly they don't move and the truck suspension handles any weight shifts, rough roads or pot holes.  Our camper was a big one - slept 6, but that by no means equates to 6 adults!  Tight quarters but you get used to it -  helps if you were a Navy man.  And, you become an expert at packing, utilizing every bit of storage space.  Some maintenance is required, seasonal and otherwise, esp. if it is equipped with a head - personally, I wouldn't have one without a toilet...what would be the point?  The last thing I would say is to take mouse precautions during storage periods.  Mice love these things and can cause big problems.  Set traps, poison, moth balls, dryer sheets, etc. to keep them out or kill them.

I'm envious of our 3 - 4 bird trips a year...you must be retired.

Good Luck,

Mike

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bobman

Mike/ Tim thanks

Mike I wish I was retired.

I'm a salesman and with what happend to my 401K I'll die making sales calls. However I have a lot of potential customers ( meat packing plants) from Kansas to North Dakota so I'm schemeing a way to do both :) .

I've worked for the same guy since 78 so I get 3 weeks vacation anyway

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Brad Adrian

I see a couple of drawbacks to the P/U camper. It will limit where you can take the truck.

Also, everytime you move the truck, everything will have to be put away.

With a small trailer, you only have to do that at the beginning and end of the trip. I know there are systems that allow you to drop a camper at the campsite, but if you are going to go through all that trouble, you might as well have the trailer.

The one advantage might be fuel mileage, not sure about that.

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frugal pointer

I thought you were getting a Quigley next?

What changed your mind?

I sent Hunshatt a link to one local (south of Boston) for 14K, I guess he spent that coin on wood.  There are still 2 on the Boston craigslist.  FP

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Hunshatt

this mine....still not fitted out. a couple of grand

DSC_4947.jpg

DSC_4908.jpg

DSC_5215.jpg

you can see how mine is set up(or will be) for weekend, glorified tent camping

I found this one(which would have been perfect, if I had an 8' bed instead of the 7) for 1200.00

DSC_5273.jpg

DSC_5275.jpg

DSC_5274.jpg

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ANF grousin
Does it come with a built in likker cabinet?

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Greg Hartman

Truck campers are one of the few RV types I’ve never owned, so I can’t speak to them.  I must say that they seem like a really good idea if it’s just a guy and his dogs.  Even being used to the big MH, I think my dogs and I would be very comfortable in a modern truck camper – of course, the game changes when The Boss comes along.

Benefits would seem to be relatively low cost; the only kind of RV with any sort of off-road capability; and driving the unit like a MH as opposed to towing.  Also, if you were going to be in one place for long enough to make the effort worthwhile, you could dismount the thing from the truck.

Downsides would seem to be that those things often overload a truck chassis and make it handle like a slow, top heavy panzer, so you’d need a seriously heavy-duty truck.  Such trucks are expensive to buy and run, plus a royal PITA as regular transportation.

That last reason is one of the reasons I prefer the MH – I can tow a little, off-road capable Jeep and leave the camper sit when I’m hunting.

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Dan Voss
What I was wondering is would the movement of the bed  going down dirt roads harm one structurally or does the truck bed handle that?

Any of you guys ever own one, I only hunt about 3 or four one week long trips a year for birds so I would have to be in it for nine days max each trip.

Probably just me and 3-4 dogs, maybe a kid I know would be with me for one of the weeks if he can get off school.

3-4 dogs is gonna be kinda cramped.

Make sure you spend the $$ and get the mounts that attached to the frame, rather than the box. Going down the blacktop is one thing, pitchin' and rollin down a minimum maintenance road is another.

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bobman

I have horses and pull horse trailers, I also often transport 1300 lb pumps I sell. So my truck is going to be either an extended cab or crew cab, 8 foot box, one ton dually truck, wether I buy the truck camper or not.

I dont pay for my gas (unless I get less than 5 MPG at current prices) so thats not a issue but I want a diesel.

I want to be able to go from spot to spot wander around and hunt and not have to back track to a campground. Thats where I THINK the truck camper is an advantage for me. Plus if I can do that it will make me able to mix work with hunting.

Especially since I'm going to get the truck anyway, the only difference is I'll probably go with a heavier duty for this than I would if I just needed to pull my horses. I could do that with a small block V 8 and a 3/4 ton 2 wd truck without any problem.

Another selling point to she who must be obeyed is they she and my daughter could use it when they take the horses places.

I dont ride the horses much anymore just feed them and pay for it :p

I really dont need anything fancy for me just a warm place to sleep and eat in, out in the boondocks without having to be in a campground is what I want.

I hate sleeping in hotels with my dogs, if they are out in the parking lot they bark at strangers and if they are in the room they still bark either way its a pain in the butt.

My wife is a lot pickier than I would be...she tells me I'm digusting because I can lay down on the carpeted  floor infront of the fireplace and fall asleep with the dogs in all that "yucky nasty olddog hair".

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PWZ
My wife and I upgraded to a pickup slide-in last year after a couple years in a lousy pop-up. It's been perfect for the two of us and the 2-3 dogs we usually have on the road with us. Granted, we tend to roll relatively econo, so it's an older-to ancient used model sans shower in the back of a 2500HD chevy, but well-tied down, we've had no issues on a good number of backwoods maine logging road. Sure, you have to watch the overhead, but if it's that tight, I'd probably be running the dog anyway. as to set-up and traveling, I've found it to be far easier than the pop-up and right on par with the travel trailer. everything in the galley has it's place in the cabinets, drop the table and strap the dog kennels on top of table/bed, pull the burners off the stove, lock the fridge and you're on the road. Where I really like it is the ability to pull in anywhere when on the road, walk around the back and go to bed. no leveling, no slideout, no campsite required. rollout in the morning.

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Sheepeagle

I have a newer Lance on a Ford F250 diesel. It's the smallest Lance, and the truck is unmodified (except for the brackets)--no spring, shock upgrades, etc.

Mileage with it on is about the same as pulling a trailer. It's very convenient when pulling a smaller livestock trailer. It does drive differently, (and not for the better) as noted by others.

I use it mostly for 2-3 nights at a time with one dog hunting with friends who bring pull trailers. A small dog bed fits inside, and we coexist well, except that night trips outside entail a couple of jumps down and climbs back up. Tired hunters and sore dogs appreciate some sort of step. (I welded one for the hitch receiver)

Storage for things like dog kennels gets a little problematic, though not impossible. Depending on the rig, you'll want to know how much gear you intend to haul. This impacts stability, mileage, speed, and driveability on those back roads.

If you have an size issues--get in the loo for real. It may advertise showers and such, but only you can see if you'll actually fit. And in some you won't.

Some of the things that make extended camping less camping--generators, more water, etc. aren't impossible, but definitely take some ingenuity to fit, both size and access wise, and weight wise.

If you don't do some maintenance, you will have problems, and they can take a lot of the fun out of the trip.

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Crayborn
this mine....still not fitted out. a couple of grand

DSC_4947.jpg

DSC_4908.jpg

DSC_5215.jpg

you can see how mine is set up(or will be) for weekend, glorified tent camping

I found this one(which would have been perfect, if I had an 8' bed instead of the 7) for 1200.00

DSC_5273.jpg

DSC_5275.jpg

DSC_5274.jpg

when you going to finish it out?

Chuck

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Country Nate

Bobman,

I have used these for years, and have been out west at least 10 times in them.  

The Good:

1.  You are not towing a trailer.  Easier to handle, especially when pulling into parking lots.  Also, you might be able to go on roads that you could never acess with a trailer, especially w/4wd.  It would have been very hard to get a trailer where we were here in the Colorado mountains.

terminationletter013.jpg

That old tin can was ducked taped, strapped down, and rotted where the chains connect from the truck and where the bed exteneded over the cab.  The toilet also leaked.  I caught hell from the wifey for even pulling this thing out of the driveway, then we proceded to drive it to Colorado, dam kids.  :D .

2. Don't have to keep up with additional license registrations of a trailer.

3.  Since your not towing the camper, you can hook on an additional trailer for 4 wheelers, kennels, storage space, boats, ect...

The Bad:

1. Space.  You will have much less space in one of these vs. a trailer or big mo home.  Take a look at some of the pictures of Greg Hartman's rigs and then look at these. Heck, the bathroom in his is bigger than my whole camper....

Pic_1.jpg

Most people who RV wouldn't even consider one of these because of the limited space.  You and four dogs would be a little much.  My wife usually accompanies me on my trips.  Her and I and one dog is plenty.  You, a buddy, and two dogs could be done, but that would be pushing it.  (keep in mind you could always tow a little trailer behind for kennels etc.)

2.  A little top heavy.  You will want to slow down and be careful around turns.  A little common sense and no problems.  

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