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Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-19-2008, 8:07 PM Reply   
any of you guys ever put a camper in the bed of your truck?
what are the downsides.....besides gas mileage

and advice as to brand or features

I'm looking for a used!
Old     (tyboarder03)      Join Date: Nov 2003       03-19-2008, 8:10 PM Reply   
Way nicer with a dually... corner slowly... great rear weight for driving in snow conditions though haha.
Old     (tyboarder03)      Join Date: Nov 2003       03-19-2008, 8:11 PM Reply   
oh and Lance has always made great campers we have one thats 12 years old and looks amazing in and out still. generator onboard is a must IMO... sleeps four adults comfortably.
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-19-2008, 8:22 PM Reply   
don't have the dually
and I have a short-bed

Lance shows that they make some to fit the short-bed

you ever tow your VLX while the camper is in the truck?
Old     (gwnkids)      Join Date: Nov 2003       03-19-2008, 8:58 PM Reply   
Cliff - We started off with a lance 780 a 12 footer i think on a F250 w/ a 460 single rear wheel. We towed that boat every where with 2 adults and 4 kids. It was cramped but who cared we were at the lake.
The down side was no storage I even had a large pod on the roof and still had to use the wheel well storage areas which were a pain when I unloaded the camper at the camp site just to pack it all back in after loading up to go home.
With a short bed I would look at a 5th wheel and double tow. Its the best move I have ever made.
And the cost was not that different and we got storage, bunks and a slideout.
Old     (tyboarder03)      Join Date: Nov 2003       03-19-2008, 10:18 PM Reply   
Cliff-Yes with the towing, its a diesel so thats no biggy, but it is a pain with the side mirrors even fully extended out. but not too bad.
Oh and no dually anymore either... In fact the camper is kinda stuck in place right now because when we last used it the truck was stock ride height. With the 8 inch lift we can't get it out haha. So for now gotta use a buddies truck to get it out, then it'll be time to find it a new spot.

(Message edited by tyboarder03 on March 19, 2008)
Old     (badknees)      Join Date: Aug 2005       03-19-2008, 11:51 PM Reply   
Down side for me was always loading and unloading. Otherwise one of the best ways to go and tow a boat. My last was a arctic fox. Really liked it but sold it to for lack of use, other priorities right now. Most manufactures make short bed campers so should be able to find one. Make sure you get airbags for the truck, it helps tons.
Old     (tyboarder03)      Join Date: Nov 2003       03-19-2008, 11:52 PM Reply   
^^^ Good call on the bags
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-20-2008, 7:15 AM Reply   
thanks guys
Bryan, double towing would be to long.....Texas laws
restrict the length

I have researched the Lance line....pretty sweet

about airbags

I've seen the setup with the inside the cab controls
about $1000
did you guys go with that option, or is there a much cheaper way to go?
Old     (gwnkids)      Join Date: Nov 2003       03-20-2008, 7:50 AM Reply   
Some are only 20' long and with the use of a slider 4 feet of that goes in the bed of the truck
Just a thought.
Old     (big_wave)      Join Date: Jul 2007       03-20-2008, 8:13 AM Reply   
We had an Alpenlite on a F250 w/ 460 gasser for about 5 years. Worked great for wife and I + 2 kids.
Air bags and good shocks (Bilenstiens sp?) are a must. I installed the airbags myself and never saw a need for controlling them from inside the cab. I spent $200-$300 on them.
We used it to tow the boat and camp with no issues in 5 years.
Old     (millerda31)      Join Date: Dec 2004       03-20-2008, 9:42 AM Reply   
I have a Lance Max 981 camper with a slide out. I tow my MB B52V23 behind it with no problems. The truck is a Ford 7.3 diesel.

I did upgrade my wheels and tires to 19.5" F load range for their extra weight capacity. I also installed air bags and Rancho adjustable shocks.

$1000 for airbags with in cab controls is way too much. Check for pricing here and then shop around. I paid right at $500 for my air bags and cab controls installed.

My setup is heavy but I believe I have taken the appropriate measures and it does fine.

No pictures of the complete setup yet but you can see my camper and boat in my profile picture.

Good luck!
Old     (mastercraft1995)      Join Date: Nov 2002       03-20-2008, 9:43 AM Reply   
I have a 99, PSD, F350 Long Bed, CC, 1994 Lance 880, and a 2004 Malibu VLX.

Things that you will need to get before you even think about putting on your truck. Torklift tie downs, I would also get the springs for the torklifts, truck bed wired for the camper, Super hitch made by torqlift, extension (stinger), Airbags, Ranch Shocks, E rated tires with a 3450 lbs rating.

I use a Honda eu2000i for power when I need it. Some things to look at for a camper are, self contained, size of the tanks (black, gray and fresh) 2 propane bottles, electric jacks.

Are you going to use it in the winter?

We use ours in the winter for skiing and the summer for boating. you just have to keep it slow on the corners and on the interstate.

Lance, Arctic Fox, Big Foot, Northern Lite, Alpenlite lots of good campers on the market. Watch Craigslist you should be able to find a nice one about 10 years old for about 5 grand.
Old     (gwnkids)      Join Date: Nov 2003       03-20-2008, 10:00 AM Reply   
On the older ones that are wood framed and aluminum skinned look for electrolysis (bumps in the aluminum) mostly under the windows, and at the cab over leading edge for water intrusion. Our weather stripping (what covers the screws)shrunk and allowed water to get to the wood making it swell up and push the aluminum apart. a $2,000 fix so thats when we sold it but it was 8 years old then.
Old     (bruce)      Join Date: Feb 2002       03-20-2008, 10:43 AM Reply   
You need enough camper for the family so pick out the camper first. Then get a truck that will do the job. We had a short bed 8'6" Lance and pulled our SAN and it did fine, but we outgrew the camper quickly. We bought it used for $6,000, camped 3 years in it, and was able to resell for $6,000. Chances are a dually would best suit all your needs.

Check out
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-20-2008, 10:52 AM Reply   
great advice
I love this site!

coinless, I hear ya
my 2006 F250 King Ranch is paid for!
don't really want another car payment
besides, the wife gets the next new/slightly used vehicle
Old     (mastercraft1995)      Join Date: Nov 2002       03-20-2008, 11:12 AM Reply   
Lots of smart people on this web site.
Old     (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       03-20-2008, 12:34 PM Reply   
We also did the camper thing for some time. Worked great. We also had a short bed pick up. Make sure you get a large ply tire to carry the weight if you have gone after market. Definitely get airbags and they are easy to install. Get camper tie downs and a wiring harness in your bed. Get a super hitch for towing the boat. Look at spending $1000 in getting your truck ready.
You will be stoked on it, but it will put the bug in you to get a motorhome cause the space is so limited (especially in the short beds) and gets to be a pain to load and unload all the time. You will not regret the purchase. Just get a good deal and they hold their value amazingly if you get a good deal.
Good luck and you will love taking the boat camping or just taking the camper to crash at a party or anything....


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