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  • Truck Campers

    Anyone have experience with truck campers that fit in the back of pickups? Brands, features, sizes, etc?

    I'm thinking this would be a good addition to a big pickup and enclosed trailer combination. I like that each component would be modular and could be used independently for other activities. Lots of brands to choose from and a decent couple year used one runs around $10k.

    I like the idea of a pop up kind with a queen size bed over the cab, a sink, stove, fridge, A/C, and good size seating area around a table. The major feature I'm on the fence about is the mini bathroom with shower but that might be good for a female guest. I've got a 6'4" bed Ram 2500 with a payload rating of 2300 so weight distribution might be a problem as they weigh somewhere around 1500 lbs. I also don't want one that hangs too far off the back so I don't have get any special trailer hitch.

    Probably wouldn't purchase one till next year at the earliest, I'm just fishing for information.

    Click image for larger version

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    slide out side campers are huge inside but they are pretty heavy and expensive too
    Click image for larger version

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    -Anthony
    1991 Miata - Trogdor SuperMiata
    2011 Ram 2500 - all the torque

  • #2
    I like the idea of the pop-up versions better. That one pictured on the bottom looks like it would tip your truck over like the brontosaurus ribs on Fred Flintstone's car.

    If you tried to get a shower, it might be so tiny you wouldn't want to use it, then you have all that weight and size for a head compartment that's more trouble than it's worth. A port potty would be good, then just hang a portable camp shower on the outside.

    The good thing about truck campers is they come off when you're not using them, they don't need to be registered and they don't need oil changes or tires. Four Seasons makes a bunch of different models. For pop-ups, those are what I see most often.
    www.TrackHQ.com

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    • #3
      They seem pretty good. I have a buddy who has a camper similar to the one in your first photo. A little more up-market perhaps. It's on a 2500 series truck and he tows an enclosed trailer with a spec boxter in it. He's happy with it and it seems all to work quite well.

      The bathroom has a shower and he can actually use it. He's about 6'4", too. It has no generator which is surprisingly less irritating than I'd expect. He'll buy a little portable generator some time.

      My little mohome kinda has a shower, but it's a pain to use. I generally use the shower at the track, or sponge myself off in the sink and smell bad. I think a shower would be worthwhile.

      Most things run off the propane and the batteries are recharged by the vehicle alternator. It takes about 10 minutes to raise the camper and drive the truck away from it.

      It's sooo nice not having to futz around with motels...

      Comment


      • #4
        My advise is to do anything you can to not sleep in a BW hotel ever again.

        Don't forget to consider the loaded trailers tongue weight and its impact to your gross vehicle weight and payload capacity so your don't exceed your GVWR. A loaded trailer can easily add 600-1000 lbs to the tow vehicle potentially leaving you with around 1300 lbs of capacity to play with. That may not be enough once you add the camper and you load it with gear.

        If you can make the numbers work wrt weight this sounds like a viable option for sure.
        Last edited by markn; 09-11-2014, 10:08 PM.
        AiM Data and Video systems, Suspension Setup, Race car builds, support, and rentals. At your beck and call.

        Mark Nichols
        Iron Canyon Motorsports
        http://www.ironcanyonmotorsports.com

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        • #5
          I did not know these things existed until this thread. Some models have a bathroom, kitchen, queen bed, fridge, storage cabinet, AC/heater, dining table, audio, a generator, solar panels, canopies. They are a marvel of engineering! Sure, everything is super small, but I'm 5'3", what do I care?
          2001 MR2-Eleven
          Experience Points: 21
          Youtube Channel.

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          • #6
            if this is for track use only. I wouldn't worry too much about shower. as most track have shower facility. only one in California that don't is WSIR and Chuckawalla.
            as for bathroom. it is more hassle than you think. I would just use track bathroom.

            but if you do a lot of boondock (aka dry camping, or basically no hookup of any kind) and no onsite bathroom, you would be better off even with a tiny toilet and shower. you don't need to use it when you go to track. but it comes super handy when you do go off living on the grid.
            Last edited by bellwilliam; 09-11-2014, 03:18 PM.
            S1 Supermiata - 220whp
            13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
            17 GT350R
            03 Miata Club Sport
            96 NSX
            06 EVO MR
            15 Mini Cooper S
            Beck 550 Spyder

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            • #7
              btw. many campground do NOT allow you to leave camper onsite. So you can't drive off in your truck doing things.
              S1 Supermiata - 220whp
              13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
              17 GT350R
              03 Miata Club Sport
              96 NSX
              06 EVO MR
              15 Mini Cooper S
              Beck 550 Spyder

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=bellwilliam;122340]if this is for track use only. I wouldn't worry too much about shower. as most track have shower facility. only one in California that don't is WSIR and Chuckawalla.
                as for bathroom. it is more hassle than you think. I would just use track bathroom.

                Chuckwalla has a couple of nice showers now :-)

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                • #9
                  No shower at Laguna, although they have them some up at the campground. Two showers at Thunderhill, filled with people taking half-hour showers if you time it wrong (wtf, people???). One shower at Sonoma (AFAIK??), hopefully the hot water is fixed now. The way to dodge the crowds is to shower early, say 5PM.

                  The main reason I didn't go with cab-over-pickup was concerns about the need to extend the pickup's towing hitch, which would cause the trailer's leverage over the tow vehicle to be even greater. But people seem to survive, so perhaps that was excessively worrisome. And perhaps it's possible to fit the trailer underneath the camper shell and not extend the hitch at all.

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                  • #10
                    I stopped by a Palomino dealer this afternoon and I was pretty impressed with them. They only had one to look at because most of their inventory was at a Sacramento RV show for the weekend. Plenty of room for 2 people but this one didn't have a bathroom. It seemed like Palomino is one of those companies that listens to their customers and makes their products easy to use. I'm going to stop by a Northstar dealer tomorrow that hopefully has a few more options to look around in.

                    I'm a little concerned about the weight limits now. A little bit of googling leads me to believe most of the people with big truck campers drive around overloaded. Without a trailer, one of these lightweight pop-up campers is absolutely no problem.
                    2300 payload limit - 1600 lb camper - 700 trailer tounge weight = 0 lbs left over for people and extra
                    What happens if I'm 500 to 800 lbs over?
                    -Anthony
                    1991 Miata - Trogdor SuperMiata
                    2011 Ram 2500 - all the torque

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                    • #11
                      Are you sure about the 2300lb capacity? It seems low for a 2500 series.

                      HowStuffWorks "Dodge Payload" - nothing under 3000.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by flink View Post
                        No shower at Laguna, although they have them some up at the campground.
                        just used the campground shower last weekend. really good shower with super hot water....
                        since Chuckawalla just built some shower. only Cali track w/o shower is WSIR
                        S1 Supermiata - 220whp
                        13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
                        17 GT350R
                        03 Miata Club Sport
                        96 NSX
                        06 EVO MR
                        15 Mini Cooper S
                        Beck 550 Spyder

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by flink View Post
                          Are you sure about the 2300lb capacity? It seems low for a 2500 series.

                          HowStuffWorks "Dodge Payload" - nothing under 3000.
                          http://www.media.chrysler.com/dcxms/...00HD_Specs.pdf

                          2500 Crew Cab 4WD Short Bed SLT

                          Originally posted by bellwilliam View Post
                          just used the campground shower last weekend. really good shower with super hot water....
                          since Chuckawalla just built some shower. only Cali track w/o shower is WSIR
                          Ive showered at WSIR. There's one in the upstairs timing building bathroom. Just have to know the right person.
                          -Anthony
                          1991 Miata - Trogdor SuperMiata
                          2011 Ram 2500 - all the torque

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Maybe not as plush, have you looked at Truck/SUV tents? A lot less expensive.

                            https://www.google.com/search?q=Truc...w=1746&bih=861
                            Yer pal,
                            Force

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Force McCocken View Post
                              Maybe not as plush, have you looked at Truck/SUV tents? A lot less expensive.

                              https://www.google.com/search?q=Truc...w=1746&bih=861
                              Again, only problem with a bed tent is set up time and you can not just drive off if you need to make a parts run.

                              On my old truck I had a box camper. It was just enough but not to much. It was only 2' taller the the cab but did not extend over the cab. It was just a box. In it was an Ice box type reefer. Closet and overhead cabinets. A table / bed big enough for my 6'2"s. And the seats folded up for storage. Had the Sun shower and a Grill out side.

                              It housed two of us for 4 years running National events across the country.

                              I think it was make by Six-Pac. Not even sure if they are still in bissness
                              That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

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