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Old 03-30-2012, 03:33 AM   #16
5th-Elefant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. J View Post
how does the truck handle? even if it pulls the weight, what happens in a crosswind?
If you're sensible it handles fine, with the air assisters. Without it's pretty scary - it gets into a tank-slapper of sorts very easily, but fore-aft rather than side-to-side. Harsh enough that you can't talk (it knocks the wind out of you).

Surprisingly cross winds just aren't an issue at all.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:32 AM   #17
James Adams
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Originally Posted by scootertrash View Post
Maybe airbags are not necessary?[/IMG]
The big benefit of the air spring helpers is that they're adjustable. Otherwise, the unloaded ride is punishing.

Make sure your rear shocks are also up to the task of controlling all that weight.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:36 PM   #18
woofer2609
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Small Campers are fantastic!

What a great thread about a great topic!

Definitely go with air bags if you can, I bought some Bridgestone ones, but make sure to buy enough sharp drill bits, or a bit sharpener if the kit you buy needs to go through the frame, the frame rails will dull a bit after 2 holes. The bags are really handy with even a canopy on and a few pounds in the back. 15lbs air pressure in the bags keeps oncoming traffic from thinking you are high beaming them. I have hauled a yard of pea gravel in my 5 spd. manual trans. Mazda b2300, and with the bags full, the truck is slow, but completely drivable.


Regarding tie downs, having your camper fly off is just plain irresponsible, and could take out a fellow inmate. The tie downs that fit into the stake holes on the bed rail are not really adequate if you leave pavement IMHO, b/c they are only as strong as the stamped bed steel, and the camper rocks a lot on really rough roads due to high C.O.G. The front of the camper needs to be attached to the frame somehow. I over built these tie-down straps from 1/4 steel, and mounted them with grade 8 bolts and nylock nuts. After building them I realized that I had to err, "move" the gas tank to drill holes to properly mount the tie down attachments. I have seen some that attach to the cab mounting points, and are probably easier to mount.

The rear tie downs are through my bumper, as there is very little force on these. I put eye bolts through the plate bumper, which is much thicker than I thought.

I LOVE this camper. It is 6.5 feet long, and allows me to use a bumper dumper to mount my XT225 on. I like the lightweight approach to comfort! The camper has a sink that drains to the outside (no gray water) and can have a hose attached to it to drain into a sewer. Usually I'm camping way out in the middle of nowhere, so do not really care. The unit is as wide as it is long, and it can sleep 2 in comfort, as long as you're under 5'11". 1 in real comfort. Ultimately, I would love to move up to a cabover, and a unit with a 3 way fridge rather than an Icebox, but it works great for now. The heater is fantastic, and the two burner stove is fine.


The truck and camper, like the XT225, is most comfortable under 95km/h. Past this point the truck is struggling, and fuel economy just drops right off. ( I average about 10 liters per hundred km's, or 25 usmpg) I have taken this truck places I wouldn't without the camper. the airbags give clearance, and the weight helps the un-traction assisted open diff. stick (that being said, before driving down/ through/ over anything too hairy, I always pre-walk and ask the wife if she's OK going down somewhere so i don't have to live with "I told you so!") she's usually game. This lightweight arrangement allows for towing a lightweight boat as well. We are *just* within GVWR, as the camper without jacks is app. 675 lbs with the jacks removed.



The campers are a lot of fun, require maintenance, but allow you to sleep at any rest area or Wal Mart in security when on the road, and somewhere to stay when it rains. I've had tons of fun modifying mine. It is now wired for 120 volt plug in, or runs off the truck battery converted via a 150 watt 12v convertor. I have led's for lights, and a solar charging system for the roof. I modified all the cabinets so they contain all their contents over rough roads as well.

Sorry for the rambling, but just love hooking up with some of my other buddies who have bought and fixed up old campers. My next project is to create a resevoir for the hand pump to bring water into the sink. There is just nothing like having a nice wine and pasta dinner in the middle of nowhere.



Now if you really want to go small, I saw this in a parking lot the other day...


woofer2609 screwed with this post 05-16-2012 at 01:44 PM Reason: clarification
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:05 PM   #19
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I don't know how those suckers are generally attached but I saw one (a pop up at that) blown out of a truck on I-25 up near Ft. Collins a few weeks ago.
Dime a dozen on I-25 south of Wheatland, WY.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:10 PM   #20
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Wouldn't airbags interfere with axle articulation? I assume they're attached to the axle as well as the frame.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:00 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Nailhead View Post
Wouldn't airbags interfere with axle articulation? I assume they're attached to the axle as well as the frame.
Great question, I don't think so, but I am far from an expert on these things. The ride and travel through the suspension feels similar to the truck unloaded.
They're attached to the leaf spring with ubolts. There is room for some lateral flex, being rubber and air. The axle can still hit the rubber stoppers, so I would assume that in effect you are not so much limiting articulation, but changing the spring rate back to what it would be under "normal" load conditions.I would think that the air bags would "beef up" the leafs, but travel would remain progressive, if indeed it was before. Someone much more knowledgable care to chime in here, especially whether or not the air bags are linear through their travel? That's pretty much the extent of my learning. I just know they work really well.


Anyway, anybody else got some pics of their rigs? Let's see 'em!
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:28 PM   #22
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Awesome post woofer! What brand of camper is that? I'm guessing your truck is a 4 cyl? I think I mentioned that my Tacoma has a 2.4l 4cyl 5 spd. I had an add a leaf installed , raising the rear 2". I understand it increased the load capacity approx 3-500 lb.
That is pretty much the setup I would to do.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:07 PM   #23
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by woofer2609 View Post
What a great thread about a great topic!

Definitely go with air bags if you can, I bought some Bridgestone ones, but make sure to buy enough sharp drill bits, or a bit sharpener if the kit you buy needs to go through the frame, the frame rails will dull a bit after 2 holes.
The frames on almost all trucks are heat treated - they generally put the holes/etc. in them before they heat treat them.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:22 PM   #25
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Thanks scootertrash! My camper is a KenKraft brand, made in Vernon BC. For some reason, campers are popular and inexpensive here in BC. Other brands made here are Okanagan, Bigfoot, and a few others. It might be that you do not need to register or license them, or that you can turn around with a camper much easier than a camper trailer on forest service roads which are pretty common here. I looked at Palomino brand campers as well, but liked the aspect of modifying the older camper I bought, and my wife thinks that it's almost "vintage". I have a base 2004 2.3 liter 5 spd. manual transmission Mazda. No problem whatsoever with the camper. The aspect I like about the newer pop tops is the lower wind resistance, but the added issue of moving parts.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by woofer2609 View Post
Great question, I don't think so, but I am far from an expert on these things. The ride and travel through the suspension feels similar to the truck unloaded.
They're attached to the leaf spring with ubolts. There is room for some lateral flex, being rubber and air. The axle can still hit the rubber stoppers, so I would assume that in effect you are not so much limiting articulation, but changing the spring rate back to what it would be under "normal" load conditions.
I'm not thinking of compression; I'm thinking of extension, and my worry is on a gnarly enough trail that bag could be torn right off the axle.

I looked into them for my Power Wagon a few years back, and that's why I didn't buy them. It may be just a suspicion on my part, but it would be expensive to confirm it.

Besides, I would think if they're too strong to come away from the axle, then they're limiting articulation.

Life's a compromise, I guess.

Just ask a GS owner...


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Old 05-17-2012, 01:30 AM   #27
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:05 AM   #28
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I'm not thinking of compression; I'm thinking of extension, and my worry is on a gnarly enough trail that bag could be torn right off the axle.

I looked into them for my Power Wagon a few years back, and that's why I didn't buy them. It may be just a suspicion on my part, but it would be expensive to confirm it.

Besides, I would think if they're too strong to come away from the axle, then they're limiting articulation.

Life's a compromise, I guess.

Just ask a GS owner...


Lemme see, you're postulating that the leaf spring can flex AWAY from the vehicle enough that the airbag (which is RUBBER, by the way) can exert enough force to rip the mount off of the axle? Or prevent full articulation? Without the RUBBER airbag tearing?






Sorry, I couldn't help myself there. Yes, I realize it's they're not really rubber, and that they are reinforced and all that. But I still found this incredibly hilarious.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:04 AM   #29
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Lemme see, you're postulating that the leaf spring can flex AWAY from the vehicle enough that the airbag (which is RUBBER, by the way) can exert enough force to rip the mount off of the axle? Or prevent full articulation? Without the RUBBER airbag tearing?






Sorry, I couldn't help myself there. Yes, I realize it's they're not really rubber, and that they are reinforced and all that. But I still found this incredibly hilarious.
Your sense of humor is, um...unconventional.

I use these things at work as springs on drying shakers (see avatar). They're not all that robust when abused, so that's what I had in mind when I said what I did ( see "...torn right off the axle."). It's the rubber part I was talking about, see?

Thanks for the enlightening post.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:30 AM   #30
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I'm not thinking of compression; I'm thinking of extension, and my worry is on a gnarly enough trail that bag could be torn right off the axle.....



Carli suspension sells long travel air bags for just that reason.
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