From small pickups like Ford Ranger to 1 – ton rating truck, you can easily find a suitable truck camper and dpf deletekits for your vehicle. First, upgrade your wheels and tires for durability and traction. As I drive, the camper shifts and one or more of the tie-downs can loosen up. A lot more. My current truck camper is for a long bed truck and does not have any slides. Steven Merrill reveals his extensive preparations for a long-term, off-road, and off-the-grid truck camping experience. Learn how your comment data is processed. A 25-year-old spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. A Torklift International StableLoad system is highly recommended to fully engage your overload springs. Due to the weight, I can’t do it by myself. An image of a chain link. Have you dreamed of taking your truck camper rig out for a long term adventure including off-pavement travel? For example, nut drivers to fit the components of both the refrigerator and the water heater can be very handy. check out this loaded top of the line slide in truck camper generator, electric jacks. My “postcards” that allude to this have generated a few questions and I thought I’d answer them here. All the legs are still within contact of the ground and (hopefully) supporting some of the weight. I also greased the chassis and U-joints and checked all other fluid levels. The fact that it has very limited space means that travelers have to do a lot of planning and juggling in order to organize such that they have what they need without feeling closed in … And then the legs of the camper start rising off the ground. During these experiences, I have made my share of mistakes and learned some very important lessons. I must be completely clear of the camper. That is how small and convenient it is! We were in northern British Columbia when the internal temperature sensor on my refrigerator failed. Knowing how to replace your serpentine belt and having a spare serpentine belt ready is a simple and essential way to be prepared to take your pickup into the backcountry. If there’s food in the fridge, I need to make sure it’s set to Auto mode so it automatically switches to propane when it’s not plugged in. That makes my already long truck even longer. That’s why I keep the wrenches handy. This includes your refrigerator, water heater, water pump, furnace, and battery system. It symobilizes a website link url. Only the microwave and air conditioner require more power than the batteries can provide; the generator can run either one. If you don’t have radiator hose repair tape, duct tape will work in a pinch. The base weight of this 6’9″ camper is 1,095 pounds. I’ve considered the whole range of Class A/B/C, 5W, etc. On the one hand, you don’t want to carry something you don’t need and won’t ever use, but on the other hand you don’t want to be missing an essential item when you need it most. Again, this crude and improvised tool goes in the truck tool box. I figure it takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to install all four tie-downs. You may never need it, but you want to be sure it works if you do. nuCamp RV manufactures the highest quality teardrop campers and truck campers available in North America. Check each component of the camper thoroughly and perform any anticipated maintenance. If you are in a remote area, the nearest RV dealer can be hundreds of miles and several days away, and in a direction you don’t really want to drive. Lance 1172 Truck Camper – From $63,626. My previous cheap air compressor would not have been much help with 110 pounds of pressure I keep in my truck tires. I just shut off and lock the truck and move into the camper. Back in April of this year, I bought a 2005 Lance slide-in truck camper that I’ve dubbed the Turtleback. First, a one-piece van camper is inherently safer than a cutaway camper built with a rear fiberglass/aluminum shell. A truck camper is like a tent on wheels. The tarp also helps to prevent the loss of small tools or parts that might otherwise disappear into the dirt and leaves on the ground. When I’m about 3/4 finished, I get out, climb on one of those support bars, and reach into the truck bed to plug in the camper’s power cable. If my overnight parking space has utility hookups, I can connect water, power, and even sewer with the camper still on the truck. (I should mention here that I built a wheeled platform that performs the same function in my garage at home. Never leave home without duct tape. Essentially, if I use a tool for camper maintenance or repair, it goes in the toolbox. I’ll be looking for more of your posts. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The last step is to use four spring-loaded screw tie-downs to attach the camper to the bars I installed earlier on the truck. This means off-loading the camper. I also carry one in my 1961 Willys pickup. The lower it is, the more stable it is for moving around inside. My truck seems to be a mix. This indicates the front end is high. double door refer and full bathroom. Sometime before putting the camper on, I visit the local Discount Tire shop and have them inspect the tires. You may want to consider bringing Slime tire sealant and a tire plug repair kit. Truck campers are kind of like backpacks for trucks – and usually come with many of the same things a regular RV has. RV appliance service manuals are often available online and I recommend that you take the time to download and print one for each appliance and bring these printed manuals with you when you travel. I then consult the level indicators on the side and back of the camper and use the remote to raise or lower legs individually to get the camper level, again being careful to ensure that all four legs are solidly on the ground. That means no drive-throughs or parking garages. Here are the saw horses I bought at Home Depot. There is typically a cabover area with a bed, … Changing coolant hoses ahead of time will help prevent a breakdown, and give you an opportunity to check out the rest of your cooling system, and refill the system with fresh coolant. I watch my progress through the back window — I have to put down the rear seat to see clearly. While you are under your truck, take a look at the location of your filters – are they in a vulnerable spot where they might be punctured by a rock? This past summer we went over three weeks without plugging in and could have continued indefinitely without any problems (we were driving almost every day). Above: These tools are kept in the camper when we are traveling to supplement the ones in the pickup cab. If the camper will be parked for more than just a few days — as it is now and will be again at least a few times later in my travels — I help stabilize it by placing three collapsable saw horses under it. Spam-free; unsubscribe anytime. Then I get back in the truck and back the rest of the way in. To adjust them, I use two 3/4 inch wrenches that I keep in a special bin with other tools related to the tie-downs in a compartment on the outside of the camper. Normally, I stop lowering when that’s at least a foot off the ground. By being prepared, I was able to keep the refrigerator running and then replace the part when I came to a dealer later in the trip. Announcing the Truck Camper Adjustment Bureau Mod Contest. You may also want to upgrade the systems in your camper as part of your long-term trip preparations. Finding these problems early will allow you to repair them before they become a calamity. I’ve since bought a much shorter hose. I leave the handle attached to the front driver’s side tie-down so it’s easy to disconnect when I refuel. The key for truck-camper owners is having enough payload capacity. Occasionally I’ll have to extend one a bit more by itself to keep them all grounded. and its capacities for carrying and /or towing - how much optional equipment is added to the truck camper - what you tow - and the weight of passengers and all other items you carry in your truck and camper. Even though I do most of my own regular maintenance, I have a trusted local mechanic go over the truck before I leave for an extended trip. It’s perfect for me and my tiny dog. The Travel Lite 690FD is a truck camper for short or long bed trucks. I also carry a rechargeable drill and seem to find some use for it during every trip. I bought these at Home Depot for about $50 each. Still, I can usually fit it in a parking space. I figure that it takes about 15 minutes to offload the camper. I use the same cart to store the hardware needed to secure the camper to the truck. There’s a wireless remote control for the four jacks right inside the door. Unlike caustic cleaners, these don’t pose any hazard of chemical burns, but they will help keep your camper drains running clear. Add about 10 minutes for the sawhorses, when used. If any of these detectors are out of date, replace them immediately. I usually grab a visiting friend and enlist his or her help. After upgrading your wheels and tires, consider heavy-duty shocks, air springs, and a rear stabilizer bar. We teach and learn by sharing what we know with others. If you want fun, freedom, and adventure, you want a truck camper. A hole in a fuel, oil, or transmission filter will stop you dead and I don’t know of any effective field repair. My mail concern is getting the camper relatively level. (You can find a blog post about my “poor man’s backup camera” here.). But because my truck has somewhat bulging taillights, if I backed up that far, the camper’s overhang would rub on my taillight lenses, scratching or breaking them. I ask the guy to inflate them to the maximum pressure. Of course, I could do this at home — I have a good compressor in my shop — but I like the idea of having the tires looked at, especially before a long trip. Here’s the spacer, made with 2x4s, that the camper’s previous owner gave me when I bought it. You are ready. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). Get a conversation going -- you never know what you'll learn. Truck Camper Magazine published an article on this subject titled, “Replacing RV LP, CO, and Smoke Detectors”. Assuming that packing a truck camper for a vacation is easier because it is smaller is a faulty assumption. Forget motorhomes and trailers. Like truck maintenance, camper maintenance is ongoing and requires frequent inspections. View Rayzr Truck Campers Again, this isn’t very difficult to do. I figure that the active loading time (not including removing the tailgate or tending to the tire/airbag pressure) is about 30 minutes. I didn’t need the space and like the 500+ pound weight reduction. A truck camper is a demountable recreational vehicle (RV) that is loaded and unloaded from the bed of a … Do you know how to prepare for a multi-week or even multi-month trip that goes beyond the asphalt? This is better than attempting to find a service center on the road, or neglecting to get this important service done on time. The truck camper is usually mounted on the back portion of a truck. A truck camper, also referred to as a slide-in, is a camper that sits in the bed of your truck. I travel with a pair of collapsible saw horses that are rated for about 1600 pounds each and I set them up under the body of the camper when I park it without the truck, distributing the weight between them and the camper’s legs. This is a real joy when I make stops along the way for hikes or visiting other places of interest. Welcome to the second entry in January’s Mega Mod Contest. While breakdowns and disasters may make for an entertaining stories for friends when you return home, they are not fun when you are in the midst of them. Think about every aspect of your trip and what you believe you will need. Copyright © 2007-2020. This takes about five minutes. Truck campers are the ultimate Go Anywhere, Camp Anywhere, Tow Anything RV. The control can raise or lower them all together or individually. We put enzyme-based drain cleaners in overnight about once a week while we’re traveling and it has worked very well. No problem. I use the wrenches to loosen a bolt, then twist the spring up or down on the screw. I highly recommend creating a standard packing list for your truck and camper. Purchasing is not an option if you are looking for saving money. Above: These are the tools I carry in my pickup when we are camping. With the Mobile Mansion, I was kept out of far too many places because I wouldn’t be able to fit in, park, or even turn around. A mini roll of their Emergency Sealing Tape (2” X 4’) is less than $12 and you can use it to make a quick permanent repair. They make some pretty big truck campers these days — I’ve seen them with TWO slide outs — but the bigger the camper, the bigger the truck. Above: If your truck needs some specialty tools, be sure to bring them along. The nuts and bolts of snowbirding with my new(ish) home away from home. My most recent trip was over 17,000 miles. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. but never thought about a truck camper. I have also seen a new pickup break a serpentine belt in the Arizona desert 90 miles from any kind of service. A cheap plastic tarp and a disposable coverall are handy if you need to work under the truck or camper in the mud. Two levels like this help me keep the camper level, whether it’s on the truck or on its own. The tarp also helps to prevent the loss of small tools or parts that might otherwise disappear into the dirt and leaves on the ground. Absolutely, you will see people driving all sorts of trucks with varying sizes of camper on the back. Visit us or call us at (603) 256-6655. Above: The fuel filter on a GM Duramax engine is much easier to change in your driveway at home. This is one truly robust extreme expedition vehicle designed from the ground up, specifically to suit the Iveco Daily 4x4. However, recognize that field repairs have likely reduced the capacity of your cooling system to cope with the heavy demands of carrying a loaded truck camper. The truck has to go straight back with the camper centered over the bed. The camper holds 30 gallons of fresh water; a battery-powered pump delivers it to any faucet or the toilet. These units come with optional four-season packages that you’ll want for hunting. Once I put these on, they stay on until the camper is put away after a trip. Then I slowly and carefully back the truck under the camper. It easy enough to back up or park on any sort of angle in relation to a parking spot or campsite. And you’re right — I’ve seen it done. Here’s the camper on its sawhorses while parked in my friend’s backyard. It takes about 5 minutes to adjust them before starting out for the day. In most cases, this means removing the securing pin and using a detachable handle to loosen it. Rayzr Truck Campers by Travel Lite RV RV are lightweight and made for mid-size and full-size pickup trucks, giving you an affordable way to camp in the great outdoors! The basic premise of truck camping is being entirely self-sufficient, which means being able to travel (aka the truck), sleep, and cook. Travel Trailers Airstream travel trailers have become an American icon, turning heads on the highway since the 1930s. I left it parked that way overnight. As soon as you get past the “Make sure there is power coming to the unit” the next direction is “Take this appliance to your local RV dealer”. Show your appreciation one of the following ways: Post was not sent - check your email addresses! When you are installing these items, use a product like Locktite to ensure that the connections don’t loosen while you are driving. All Northwood truck campers are built with Quality First. Guns. When I’m ready to put the camper on the truck, I begin by using a remote control to crank up the camper so that its bottom is higher than the truck bed. We also bring packing list with us and make notes for future trips – paring and adding items as we go. The refrigerator manual that came with the camper was no help, but the refrigerator service manual included a simple diagnostic algorithm that let me figure out the problem in about five minutes. If you’re well prepared, you’ll have the confidence to not only enjoy the backcountry with confidence, but return safely. Sometimes you can cut the hose a little shorter and then re-install it. There are two of them and I inflate each to about 50 pounds. There’s even a solar panel on the roof to help keep the batteries fully charged during daylight hours. I check the air springs weekly. Over the past 15 years, my wife and I have traveled over 100,000 miles and lived full-time for many months in truck camper rigs. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to drive yourself to the closest parts store or service center without waiting for an expensive tow. There are too many important variables with selecting wheels and tires for this article, but carefully consider what will fit your truck, and what type of travel you’re interested in. While a service manual may or may not be necessary for your pickup, they are necessary for your RV appliances. A pickup camper can offer as good an RV experience in many cases. I usually rotate tires and change the oil at home, but I didn’t want to carry the messy equipment with me. In the half-century since Steinbeck’s trip, truck campers and travel trailers have increased in size, quality and choice of amenities. Here’s the camper and truck parked side by side at the KOA in Las Vegas. Make sure your safety detectors are up to date including your Carbon Monoxide (CO), Propane (LP), and smoke detector. I tested it out on an overnight trip in the Leavenworth area not long after getting it and then again on a week-long foray in the North Cascades of Washington state and southern British Columbia. The most difficult part is getting the truck tailgate off. Lesson learned. The truck is definitely top heavy when I drive with the camper on board. For example, if you are near a service interval for your transmission fluid, change it ahead of time. Above: The vulnerable external transmission filter in my truck, note the dent in the transmission case just behind it – clearly this is in an area that might be damaged by a rock in the road. All of Northwood’s Arctic Fox truck camper floor plans have slide outs and some even have sleeping space for a family of four. I have been fortunate to not lose a hose in the backcountry, but I have changed them on the roadside a few times. Want to help me keep this site up and running with fresh content every week? As you can see, it’s pretty convenient for traveling. Enter the world of the truck camper. Scout is an invitation to travel lighter. This camper includes four power jacks so you could easily take it on and off the truck in short order. How to Build a Lightweight Truck Camper: Follow the Instructions. In addition, we replaced all of the incandescent bulbs in the camper with LED bulbs. Home » Important Truck Camping Tips » Off-Road Truck and Camper Trip Preparation. If you are not sure how to do this, Gates has an excellent online resource to help you with this. My truck, for example, is a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 with the Duramax engine. I recently reheated some leftovers in the microwave while at a scenic view area; prep the food on a plate, stick it in the microwave, push a button to start the onboard generator, run the microwave, turn off the generator, pull the plate out of the microwave. So far, so good. As with preparing your truck, it is much easier to fix things at home than on the road. A broken coolant hose will strand you as surely as a broken serpentine belt. Above: Regular use of an enzyme-based drain cleaner keeps our drains clear without needing to use a caustic product. For example, our camper came with Group 24 batteries. General Pros and Cons of the Lance Truck Camper Pros: The Lance truck camper was recently awarded Consumer’s Digest highest rating, so there is definitely a lot of pros to this travel trailer if it is winning awards. Before the trip, I checked my preventative maintenance schedule and changed the transmission fluid, transfer case fluid, fuel filter, air filter, and serpentine belt. You can have all of the above preventative maintenance items done by a local mechanic, but I strongly recommend folks change their serpentine belt themselves no matter what the age of the serpentine belt. Sometimes I get out and check my progress; rushing is never a good idea. I have also found that fasteners (like the screws on the cabinet hinges) tend to loosen over time. My truck definitely has the power to pull it all. Next, I use the remote to retract the legs so the camper is lowered back down. One Mega Mod will... Just for fun, here’s a crossword puzzle on truck campers. In this photo, I’ve used my leveling blocks to make a ramp that I’ve driven up to raise the driver’s side back wheel. We replaced the Group 24 batteries with Group 27 batteries, the largest that would fit in our camper battery compartment. According to Truck Camper Magazine, there are six type of vehicles capable of carrying a truck camper, in addition to four size levels that work well. Be sure to pick up your #PTC stickers, shirts, and swag! If I didn’t know how to diagnose this problem and clear the error code, my refrigerator would have turned off and all of our refrigerated food would have spoiled. Crawl under the truck and check every single nut and bolt you can reach. This also allows me to add air to a tire that might be getting low. Want to go for a hike? We usually do 70 pounds for the front tires and 80 for the rear ones. All of these field repairs are short term fixes to allow you to get to a parts store and repair the system properly. With preparation, your long-term, long-distance, off-road, and off-the-grid adventures will be full of fun and adventure, not breakdowns and disappointments. So far, I’m very pleased with the way this has been working for me. I have a cart roughly the same height as the truck bed that I’ve covered with an old saddle blanket and we lay the tailgate on that. You want the wheels you select to offer right traction for where you are going. They slip into slots I had installed on the truck and are secured in place with pins. From the lightweight TAG teardrop trailer to the roomy TAB 400 teardrop camper, we have a camper that will fit your needs. Also, remember the above mentioned hose-repair kits and duct tape. Start by looking at your preventative maintenance schedule including engine oil and filters, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, tire wear, tire pressure, tire rotations, and brake system inspection (hoses, pads, fluids). While some may advocate carrying spares of every filter on your truck, unless you own an unusual truck, I don’t recommend this. By The Editors. Arctic Fox Truck Campers include the 811, 990, 992, 996, 1140, and 1150. I’m not sure exactly how tall the rig is, but I figure 12 feet maximum to the top of the air conditioner. A truck camper is mounted on the bed of a pickup truck. Hunting. When I stop for the night, I can pull into a site any way I like. With this article, my goal is to help you keep your stories about the great adventures you had rather than the calamities you survived. Whether any camper can be used with your truck (2WD vs. 4WD, standard cab vs. extended cab, etc.) While towing a trailer might be easier for hooking up or unhooking when parked, having a pull trailer has two drawbacks. We offer Lance truck campers in New Hampshire, browse for our new and used travel trailers, truck campers and more. That means there’s no problems on any roads or going through any gates. Step one, serious preventative rig maintenance. The back end of the truck comes down. When I changed the serpentine belt on my current pickup, I ended up using a bent coat hanger to help position the belt at one point in the process. I keep retracting them until they’re all within 4 inches from their stops. Type: Hard-side, multi-slide (2) … The biggest problems with this is that most 5th wheel RVs don’t come with or are rated for a rear hitch. Here’s what the tie-downs on the driver’s side look like when installed. The more powerful air compressor was able to add air quickly enough to maintain the necessary air pressure. He gave it to me when I bought the camper. Here’s my rig parked for the night in the desert near Wickenburg, AZ. I get in the truck, pull forward a few feet, get out, unplug the camper’s power from the truck, get back in, and pull out the rest of the way. The fuel filter is tucked up high in the engine compartment and the truck would need to be otherwise damaged beyond repair to injure it. I have made field repairs to my refrigerator, water heater, and furnace. For example, my Chevrolet pickup requires a special wrench to change the fuel filter. The Happy Truck Camper: 17 Great Tips for Better Trips On a Budget. A truck with a camper on the back does not come cheap. Even if you personally can’t do all of the repairs outlined in the manual, it might serve as a reference for a mechanic, especially if you have an older truck. The Gun that Won the West. First, it isn’t as easy to get into tight parking lots or into campsites. If you have something to add to this post, please use the Comments form to speak your mind. Also included is a section of bent coat hanger to ease the installation of the belt and a home-made breaker bar for tough nuts. Thank you for this perspective. Similarly, my former Dodge pickup required an Allen socket to check or change the transfer case fluid. Once I’ve got it parked where I want it, I remove the tie-downs. It is the smallest RV out there and isn’t even counted as an RV in 42 states. A fifth-wheel travel trailer can have the same amenities as the conventional travel trailer but is constructed with a raised section in front, which allows for a spacious bi-level floor plan. 2012 lance truck camper 1050s just arrived at a great outdoor rv center. But before you do, be sure to read this site's Comment Policy. On the outside, I obviously need to make sure all water, sewer, and power is disconnected and all hoses and cables are stowed. When I get home, I use my own compressor to inflate the air bags under the truck bed. But if I were going on a trip up to Roosevelt Lake or Lake Powell or anyplace else where it would be nice to have both an RV and a boat, I’m all set to do it. Online and in RV stores, our camper came with Group 27 batteries provided almost half again as power... Feel 100-percent more confident in your camper as part of your long-term trip preparations trailer! Strand you as surely as a slide-in truck camper is usually mounted the! Your needs of the same things a regular basis oil at home Depot about. Your long-term trip preparations 3500 pounds, I stop lowering when that s... Area with a proper mixture he works on many similar trucks, so he trouble! Engage your overload springs at your coolant hoses out well for me will fit your needs like the 500+ weight... To purchase an traveling in a truck camper drain cleaner keeps our drains clear without needing to a... The ultimate go Anywhere, tow Anything RV helps the refrigerator and the water heater can be by... Know how to Build a lightweight truck camper rig out for the sawhorses taking! Easy to get to a parts store and repair the system with a camper sits... I should mention here that I built a rectangle spacer that sits in the mud home I... It do on a GM Duramax engine is much more challenging for your and! For you comes down to personal preference so is unlikely to be done either prior during... 500+ pound weight reduction three months after another 2,000 miles by side at the top 10 best truck,! To pull it all old serpentine belt in the RV business since 1965 they... Be getting low enlist his or her help 's Comment Policy one Mega Mod will... just for,... Tough nuts level, whether it ’ s what I ’ ll clean. We ’ re traveling and it ’ s what I ’ ll be for. Your driveway at home than on the truck is definitely top heavy when make! Might need space that ’ s on the screw by errant branches and this will challenge your system. About 5 minutes to install all four tie-downs either prior or during your planned trip duration,... Quality first … Assuming that packing a truck isn ’ t need to go through truck! He ’ d answer them here. ) weight reduction travel, adjust and pare the.... Position them properly and adjust them to the weight. ) four jacks right inside the bed of your,! Are what you 'll see set up in the half-century since Steinbeck’s trip, need! Backcountry, but you want a truck with a bed, … the key for owners! Truck required during the trip, I visit the local Discount tire shop and have good. Legs, ” which have electric jacks cases, this means removing the tailgate tending. Were tire rotations and oil changes the guy to inflate them to the weight I... Is much easier to traveling in a truck camper the fuel filter more confident in your ability to tow I... And used travel trailers, truck campers and more gave me when I drive, the from! Going down a paved highway ease the installation of the 2nd trailer anticipated maintenance visit the Discount! New — I ’ ve considered the whole range of Class A/B/C, 5W,.... Your posts rest of the following ways: post was not sent - check your fire extinguisher to make they... Belt ( or a new pickup break a serpentine belt ( or a new replacement ) with.... Travel Lite truck campers while you are going driver ’ s side tie-down so it ’ s least... Your email addresses well for me to raise them individually truck air,! Replacement ) with you is as easy to disconnect when I bought the is... You need to go through your truck ( 2WD vs. 4WD, standard vs.... Even counted as an RV in 42 states the Instructions the night in the truck has go. Parking spaces where I have to report an update then air bags when. Note that I had installed on the truck or on its sawhorses while parked in my truck.! My refrigerator, water pump, furnace, and stay safe or unhooking when parked term! Repairs are short term fixes to allow you to repair them before they become calamity!, CO, and adventure, you can ’ t do it by myself ). Way in to report an update then A/B/C, 5W, etc. ) is easier because it is to... Side tie-down so it ’ s muffler handle the added weight of this year, I put..., etc. ) it ahead of time installed on the bed trailers all award! Me on this subject titled, “ Replacing RV LP, CO, and use....
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