Truck Campers

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by scootertrash, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

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    "My leg's tired, let's live here."
    I didn't want to taint Jurgens thread so I'm starting a new one. Because of the Light Trailer thread, I stumbled on Camp Lite truck campers (TC's) http://www.livinlite.com/truck-campers.php

    I have a 4cyl 2.4l Tacoma with a small lift, including an add a leaf in the rear spring packs. A lightweight TC is definitely appealing as I'm working in the oilfield and would prefer to use my existing, paid off truck and divert the truck allowance to a camper of some sort.

    I have my eye on the Living Lite 5.7:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Any input from experienced truck camper users is highly appreciated.

    My truck:

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Mr. J

    Mr. J Banned

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    nice looking rig
    #2
  3. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    +1, check RV net forum as well. Lots of truck campers over there.
    #3
  4. Trail Ryder

    Trail Ryder Your Hero

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    Based on my Brother-In-Laws experience with truck campers, I would highly suggest rear suspension air bags for your truck.

    Why not a tow behind pop-up? It will have A LOT more room and is much easier to connect and disconnect.
    #4
  5. Tork

    Tork Pinsetter

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    #5
  6. 5th-Elefant

    5th-Elefant Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    Mine. I've got air suspension assisters. Make a huge difference.
    #6
  7. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

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  8. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

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    Check out Four Wheel Offroad Campers or All Terrain Campers. They are nice and light and very well made. Aluminum frame. Low center of gravity good for rough roads.
    #8
  9. pookiebear

    pookiebear Long timer

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    get your transmission checked first if it is the automatic.
    Did you notice your mpg get better or worse with the larger tire? ( I have a 2001 2.4 that I have had since new)
    #9
  10. frewhl

    frewhl daily rider

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    Looks like a great rig, especially if you had to pay a toll or ferry fare based on # of axels.
    #10
  11. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

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    I went from 205/75/15's to 235/75/15's, I see a small hit in the mileage on my Scanguage. Fortunately my truck is a 5speed, so I can keep it in the best gear. The 205's looked pretty bad after the lift went in, I would have preferred 225's to keep things closer to stock, but apparently the 235 is far more common and thus more affordable.

    This pic shows the flares I just installed, but more importantly, the amount of lift in the rear I got with the add a leaf boost.
    Maybe airbags are not necessary?

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Mr. J

    Mr. J Banned

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    how does the truck handle? even if it pulls the weight, what happens in a crosswind?
    #12
  13. jtb

    jtb Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    They fit in a shipping container for easy internation transfers!
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    [​IMG]

    Kitchen
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    Dining/bed
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    Go anywhere...
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    [​IMG]

    I envy them and their world (and AUS) travels to date. I've already told the wife when the kids are gone...

    GOANNA TRACKS INTERNATIONAL TRAVELS

    And a you tube video I found for it as well...
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EUWw_OPNFd0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #13
  14. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder 速 Flat Biller 速

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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.
    #14
  15. seriousracer

    seriousracer be a man dodge tree bark

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    i am not f***ng stupid,but i used too. niles mi.
    gotta be tied down especially the pop up ones. the front edge is so small that hey will act like a a wing cutting thru the air. and once the air gets under it...the front edge becomes a sail..
    the bigger ones with more weight will stay down..

    don't ask me how i know.. and once i figured it out It scared the crap out of me.
    #15
  16. 5th-Elefant

    5th-Elefant Long timer

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    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.
    #16
  17. James Adams

    James Adams ɹǝsn uʍop ǝpᴉsdn Administrator

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    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.
    #17
  18. woofer2609

    woofer2609 Been here awhile

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    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
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    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!":ddog) 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.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]


    Now if you really want to go small, I saw this in a parking lot the other day...
    [​IMG]
    :D
    #18
  19. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    Dime a dozen on I-25 south of Wheatland, WY.
    #19
  20. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    Wouldn't airbags interfere with axle articulation? I assume they're attached to the axle as well as the frame.
    #20