Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 48
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Paris Ontario Canada
    Posts
    473

    Questions about truck camper and towing my 520 Ranger

    With all the hotel stays and days I have had to cut my fishing short to come home I have started looking at truck campers.

    I currently have a 2008 crew cab 1500 Silverado with a 5.3 and fish out of a 2000 Ranger 520.

    Is it unrealistic to think I can find a truck camper for this set up or will I have to budget for a 2500 truck?

    Is anyone doing this successfully? Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance guys.


    My boat hull weight is 1750 lbs
    Motor weight is 500 lbs

    Towing capacity is 7500lbs for my truck.

  2.  
  3. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Highlandville, MO
    Posts
    2,020
    #2
    If you can live with a dry camper there are several options for the pop up type.

  4. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    113
    #3
    I have been in truck campers for about 20 years, my reason for getting into them was rock crawling. Since I have been fishing more, it's a dream pulling a boat instead of my rock crawler.

    In all my years of using truck campers, I would say if you want to be safe, the minimum would be a 2500. Trying to make a 1500 work with anything other than a small popup is sketchy.

    Things to consider that make a difference are, breaking ability, sway control, enough horsepower, big enough transmission, load capacity of the wheels and tires.

    I tow with a 3500 dually, with a 2004 Lance, with a slide out. The camper is very heavy, with the rock crawler on the back, you know it's back there..... To say the least.

    With the boat on the back, you don't know it's back there, but that's with a 2016 Dodge Ram 3500 dually.

    Just some thoughts. I love my Lance, and the setup, it allows for so much freedom, and never worry about where to stay, home is always in the bed!

    Good luck!

  5. Electrical/Wiring/Trolling Motors Moderator CatFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    19,773
    #4
    Most truck campers are too heavy for a 2500, much less with a boat behind it.
    Remember, Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.

  6. Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    166
    #5
    I have been in 1 of 3 pop up truck campers now for 15 years. I am going to a hard side this winter. I love them. I hate hotel rooms. Some things to think about and know in both pop ups and hard sides:

    There are different size campers- width and length. More size equals more weight.

    There are different options and lay outs. Again, more equals more.

    The difference between a similar size pop up and hard side with similar options is only a couple of hundred pounds.

    example: my Northstar 850 is an 8 1/2 foot long by 7 foot wide camper. Base weight is 1735.

  7. Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    166
    #6
    I hit enter too soon. My bad. Wait for more.....

  8. Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    166
    #7
    I have been in 1 of 3 pop up truck campers now for 15 years. I am going to a hard side this winter. I love them. I hate hotel rooms. Some things to think about and know in both pop ups and hard sides:

    There are different size campers- width and length. More size equals more weight.

    There are different options and lay outs. Again, more equals more.

    The difference between a similar size pop up and hard side with similar options is only a couple of hundred pounds.

    example: my Northstar 850 is an 8 1/2 foot long by 7 foot wide camper. Base weight is 1735.

    Northstar Adventurer hard side is 8 feet 9 inches long by 7 feet wide. Base weight is 1940.

    I have it loaded. AC, battery, solar panel, microwave, it came with a full bathroom, refrigerator, both with electric jacks. More crap than I should ever need. I haul this on a 1996 Ford F250 crew cab 4x4 with the 7.3 diesel. It is a heavy truck with an 8800# gvwr. My axle ratings though are 10, 684. Go figure. My truck with me and my normal stuff in it weighs in a little over 7000#. So, starting off with an empty camper I am at the GVWR. Add in stuff in the camper and I'm over that but well under the axle ratings. I did add helper springs. I notice a difference with either the boat (97 Ranger 487 with 200 Johnson, 2 Talons, dual axle, and again more crap than I need) or the camper on back, not so much with both though. It rides much better with the weight on it. My tires are 235/75/15 truck tires with 80#. (the rides a tad rough empty).

    There are weight Nazi's who will tell you No-Never go over. Most of us use some common sense. The only difference in my F250 and a F350 is springs. Motor, brakes, ect are the same.

    I have no concerns with this set up. I would go with a similar size hard side for the extra 200# and not worry. You see these all over the road. I have yet to see one blow suspension parts all over the place. The weight ratings are very conservative.

    Now my 1st truck camper was a stripped 8 foot pop up on a Chevy 1500 with a 305 and towed my Ranger 361 with it. The only issue I ever had was ONCE in the Green Mountains of VT on a back road and my brakes over heated going down. Heavier brakes than a half ton are certainly a concern. If I wanted a bigger hard side then I would look for a 3500/F350.

    I love my set up. I don't have to worry about bed bugs, smoking odors, drugs/hookers/ect in parking lots or hall ways. My stuff is where I want it and it is in fact a 2nd home for me.

  9. Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Paris Ontario Canada
    Posts
    473
    #8
    Thanks for the feedback guys, I have stayed in way to many sketchy hotels and the last one in Clewiston was what got me considering this.

  10. Fishing the Big O xpress-way's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Stuart
    Posts
    313
    #9
    Go for it we love are set up 2500 865 Lance and tow a 21' Bullet . with a half ton truck your going to be limited on camper options but there out there palomino backpack adition , North Star ect . See you out there !

  11. Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    batesville, ar
    Posts
    104
    #10
    Do you drop your camper when you camp and launch your boat?
    Quote Originally Posted by kjenckes View Post
    I have been in 1 of 3 pop up truck campers now for 15 years. I am going to a hard side this winter. I love them. I hate hotel rooms. Some things to think about and know in both pop ups and hard sides:

    There are different size campers- width and length. More size equals more weight.

    There are different options and lay outs. Again, more equals more.

    The difference between a similar size pop up and hard side with similar options is only a couple of hundred pounds.

    example: my Northstar 850 is an 8 1/2 foot long by 7 foot wide camper. Base weight is 1735.

    Northstar Adventurer hard side is 8 feet 9 inches long by 7 feet wide. Base weight is 1940.

    I have it loaded. AC, battery, solar panel, microwave, it came with a full bathroom, refrigerator, both with electric jacks. More crap than I should ever need. I haul this on a 1996 Ford F250 crew cab 4x4 with the 7.3 diesel. It is a heavy truck with an 8800# gvwr. My axle ratings though are 10, 684. Go figure. My truck with me and my normal stuff in it weighs in a little over 7000#. So, starting off with an empty camper I am at the GVWR. Add in stuff in the camper and I'm over that but well under the axle ratings. I did add helper springs. I notice a difference with either the boat (97 Ranger 487 with 200 Johnson, 2 Talons, dual axle, and again more crap than I need) or the camper on back, not so much with both though. It rides much better with the weight on it. My tires are 235/75/15 truck tires with 80#. (the rides a tad rough empty).

    There are weight Nazi's who will tell you No-Never go over. Most of us use some common sense. The only difference in my F250 and a F350 is springs. Motor, brakes, ect are the same.

    I have no concerns with this set up. I would go with a similar size hard side for the extra 200# and not worry. You see these all over the road. I have yet to see one blow suspension parts all over the place. The weight ratings are very conservative.

    Now my 1st truck camper was a stripped 8 foot pop up on a Chevy 1500 with a 305 and towed my Ranger 361 with it. The only issue I ever had was ONCE in the Green Mountains of VT on a back road and my brakes over heated going down. Heavier brakes than a half ton are certainly a concern. If I wanted a bigger hard side then I would look for a 3500/F350.

    I love my set up. I don't have to worry about bed bugs, smoking odors, drugs/hookers/ect in parking lots or hall ways. My stuff is where I want it and it is in fact a 2nd home for me.

  12. NOT a Pro Angler sdbrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    4,456
    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by kjenckes View Post
    Now my 1st truck camper was a stripped 8 foot pop up on a Chevy 1500 with a 305 and towed my Ranger 361 with it. The only issue I ever had was ONCE in the Green Mountains of VT on a back road and my brakes over heated going down. Heavier brakes than a half ton are certainly a concern. If I wanted a bigger hard side then I would look for a 3500/F350.
    .
    It's good to hear from someone with experience as I've been considering the same thing for some time. As said, using a half ton truck limits camper choices a lot but some of the 7-8' popups without bathrooms range from 1200 - 1500 pounds. It would put the truck at it's limits but it should work I think. I understand a 250 or 350 is a better option but with limited funds using my existing F150 is more feasible. If anyone else has real life experience (good or bad) with this set up it would be good to hear.

    Also would like to hear how well this set up works when you take the camper off the truck. If I am alone then obviously wouldn't matter, but if the wife and kid were with me I would want to set the camper up at a campground off of the truck so launching the boat wouldn't mean moving the campsite.
    "If People Concentrated on the Really Important Things in Life, There'd be a Shortage of Fishing Poles." - Doug Larson
    "Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God" Jo-Ann Thomack

  13. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Muscle Shoals, Alabama-Wilson Lake
    Posts
    8,166
    #12
    Don't forget that most 1/2 ton trucks have springing like an old Crown Victoria. To really carry any weight, you've got to go with the maximum Weight package and the RV package--well over $2000 in cost. The price is why you see few of tow equipped trucks on dealership lots. They're often special ordered.

    I have a 3/4 ton diesel 4 door pickup equipped for towing a fifth wheel trailer. But my 3/4 ton truck is a bastard truck and it's still limited to about 2,500 lbs. in the pickup box. There's just no substitution for a 1 ton dual rear wheel truck when you're into recreational vehicles.

    I'm not a big fan of in bed campers. For the same price, you can have a travel trailer with slides that give you so much more room. The way to go on an in bed would be to look for a good used unit at a much lower price than new. They don't hold their values well, but are hard to find used around here.

  14. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    113
    #13
    Here is a picture of my setup, this was just before we left for Lake Fork on my honeymoon. The camper is an 1121, it has a slide out on the passenger side that slides out the dinette. The camper setup is heavy it's equipped with:


    2 240 watt solar panels on the roof, four 6 volt RV batteries, it has a portable 50 gal tank that sits on the roof for extended camping trips for fresh water, it a dry bath, and hold 46 gals of fresh water, 25 gals of black water and 30 gals of grey water, it got all the goodies on the inside and then some. I took the generator out and use dual Honda EU2000's for electric, on a front hitch mount on the truck.

    The truck has Pac-spring airbags with an airlift wireless controller, along with an ARB compressor and an external tank to control the bags and fill tires and run air tools. There is a heavy duty 200amp solenoid that has a 2 gauge wired from alternator to camper with a custom wiring setup to charge batteries in the camper when running down the road. I only use the gennys to run the AC is camping or using it during the summer, other than that between the solar and batteries, it never needs a charge. I have a huge sine wave converter that runs everything other than the microwave depending on what else is running on batteries and solar.

    This camper has been across this country at least a dozen time, and I can't tell you how many other nights I have used it. I love my slide in.

    The truck tows it like it's not even there, however this is my new setup, my old setup didn't have an exhaust break and was not a 6.7L. The truck does not even know its back there.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    113
    #14
    Here's another one at Fork, towed from Gilbert, AZ

    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Paris Ontario Canada
    Posts
    473
    #15
    Very nice rig therobzilla

  17. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    113
    #16
    Thanks Bandwagon, it's served me well for many years, don't sleep in shady hotels or on the ground any more..... LOL

  18. Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Paris Ontario Canada
    Posts
    473
    #17
    http://earthroamer.com/xv-hd/

    I follow these guys on Instagram for when I win the lottery.

  19. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Canyon
    Posts
    110
    #18
    I had a 96 pop up truck camper before this. It was lightweight and my 2002 dodge ram 2500 had no problem pulling it. I bought this Lance 850 that is made for 3/4 ton pickups in June. We just love it. It is quite a bit heavier. I added air bags to my truck to help handle the weight. We spent all of July in Montana fly fishing. Spent most of August pulling the boat and bass fishing. We usually drop the camper off the truck and go do whatever. Its a pretty slick set up. I love the electric jacks makes taking it off and on a 10 minute operation. When we were in Montana just camping off road the solar panel kept us charged up never had to worry. When we go to the lake we stay at a campground at the lake. The hard sided camper is so much more quieter. The popup was just like being in a tent you heard every cough or noise in the campground.







    Attached Images Attached Images
    1995 Ranger R72
    1995 Evinrude 115 Intruder
    S/N G03897455
    model# E115GLEOC

  20. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    113
    #19
    Very nice!

  21. Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    166
    #20
    "Also would like to hear how well this set up works when you take the camper off the truck. If I am alone then obviously wouldn't matter, but if the wife and kid were with me I would want to set the camper up at a campground off of the truck so launching the boat wouldn't mean moving the campsite."

    Sorry I haven't answered sooner. If I am going to be someplace more than 1 night, I take it off. It takes me 10" to take off or put on. I prefer to set up and leave set up especially with the pop up as I have to move some things to drop the roof.

    Attached Images Attached Images

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast