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RV/truck camper
Old 08-25-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
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RV/truck camper

Hi Group,
Have any of you used or owned a slid in truck camper?
If so do you like them?
Does the truck handle all right loaded up?
I own a 5th wheel & a pop up now.
I have owned a travel trailer regular bumper hitch before but never the slid in type.
Just been thinking about the advantages & disadvantages of the slid in types lately.
I already own a dually pickup truck (diesel) that should handle anything made, I think.
Any experience or thoughts appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Steve
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:04 AM   #2
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Steve, all I know is the one described by John Steinbeck in his lovely Travels with Charley. It sounded spartan, but then again, that was a long time ago. Compared to our 28 foot M/H, they are pretty small.
Hope some with legit experience chime in, but you might enjoy reading the book if you haven't already. He called the camper/truck Rocinante.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
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Just been thinking about the advantages
What advantages have you found?

I can think of:
Offroading in an area without low tree branches
Don't have to un-hich like a trailer
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:36 AM   #4
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Advantages:
Lot shorter rig going down the highway, compared to a 30 foot 5th wheel hooked to a long 4 door heavy duty pickup truck.
Ease of getting in sites at camp grounds.
As I've gotten older kind of nerve racking pulling the big rig, backing in the different sites at the camp grounds. Not all sites are friendly places to back into.
You can unload the camper if staying in a place long enough to merit, and do your site seeing and running around in your truck.
I think it would work out very good in rest areas too.
Probably less noticeable in boon docking too. Might even park in a neighbor hood or side road (as I've read some do) and blend in pretty good. I've never tried that type thing but who knows. I've never been retired and had the time to travel enough to try it.
I think I would get better fuel mileage but not sure.
All that popped in my mind for now, maybe more later.
Steve

Add Disadvantage or two to talk me out of this thinking process:
My campers are paid for and depreciated all they probably will.
I would probably get more comfortable the more I hauled my unit. A lot of it is a mind thing, stress before hitting the road. Also the unknown situation I'm headed for at a campground I've never been to. Think of a semi driver hitting the road the first couple times. I get that a little even with a smaller camper.
I've got more space in my 5th wheel for sure.
Fifth wheelers probably handle better than any trailer on the road. No sway to speak of and no modification need after the hitch is installed.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:36 AM   #5
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You might find these folks' experience interesting: UnderAgedRVers

Beautiful photography, too.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:01 AM   #6
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My BIL and SIL have one and they love it and live in it every winter in Baja for a few months. It does take a beefy truck to handle the weight, but it sounds like you have that.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:06 AM   #7
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You might find these folks' experience interesting: UnderAgedRVers

Beautiful photography, too.
It appears that Steve and Rachel have been trimmed to Rachel, and instead of RV travelers and Aspen hipsters, Rachel has a new gig running a yoga studio in Cincinnati, OH.

This End Up!
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:17 AM   #8
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It appears that Steve and Rachel have been trimmed to Rachel, and instead of RV travelers and Aspen hipsters, Rachel has a new gig running a yoga studio in Cincinnati, OH.

This End Up!
Eeek, that's what happens when your whole life is out there for people to read. Guess the return to normal life wasn't all that.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:23 AM   #9
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It appears that Steve and Rachel have been trimmed to Rachel, and instead of RV travelers and Aspen hipsters, Rachel has a new gig running a yoga studio in Cincinnati, OH.

This End Up!
If I remember right the guys name was Dan. But I haven't read the whole link yet.
Don't throw that evil omen at a guy named Steve.
Don't need that at this point in life. Although haha seems to manage OK.
Steve
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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I recommend a look at this site for some description of real quality bathroom time, compliments of third world living. I wouldn't be surprised if that is what drove her back to USA. Although I did read this morning that Cincinnati is fourth among US cities in incidence of bedbug infestation. The Big Apple of course being #1!

Itching sucks, (or sucking itches, as might actually be the situation) but there are worse things.

Ha
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:47 AM   #11
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It appears that Steve and Rachel have been trimmed to Rachel, and instead of RV travelers and Aspen hipsters, Rachel has a new gig running a yoga studio in Cincinnati, OH.

This End Up!
"made me realize just how stinkin’ dirty India truly is."
Romanticism meet reality
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:40 PM   #12
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I used to want a truck camper with a passion. I imagined me and the family camping out, towing a boat (something that is hard if not illegal to do with a trailer), all self contained. Then we bought a small used one figuring if we like the sparten small version we would love a bigger one.

In short we hated it. The cab over bed was Ok, but the dinning table bed was way to short even for older kids. You could barely move around and storage was at a serious premium. We considered if it was the size and have looked at "big" ones. Even the big ones are small by RV standards. Everything is cramped, small, and tight. Can you open the bathroom door while the dinette is set up as a bed? Ugh.

Then we looked at the truck you need to carry a big one. I have a 3/4 ton Dodge Cummins and it won't take a big one. You really need a 1-ton to be safe and then you need to modify it. Heavy duty springs, air bags, etc. I have even heard guy having to beef up the box becuase the weight of the camper starts tearing sheetmetal aroudn the body mounts. It just became easier to buy a modest travel trailer. We can't tow a boat, but we can bring bikes, float tubes, whatever in the bed. It's got three times the room at a third of the price.

Do your research. The truck and camper combo could be upwards of $100,000. Don't pay attention to the dealers. They will tell you your 3/4 ton truck with a 2200 lb payload can carry a 4000 lb camper. It can, but it shouldn't. Add in the cost and the lack of space and storage and complexity (tie downs, jacks, etc) and no thanks! I'd rather have a MH with a Jeep for a toad.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:57 PM   #13
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"made me realize just how stinkin’ dirty India truly is."
Romanticism meet reality
Oh yeah, an upscale street family who has the privilege of sleeping in a shop's doorway. An giving birth in the secure hollow of the said doorway on a collapsed cardboard box.

Not everyone is born a Brahmin.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:44 PM   #14
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Any experience or thoughts appreciated.
Steve
Steve,

I've been on two fishing trips with a friend who has a truck bed mounted camper on a 4 wheel drive Ford F250. We pulled a boat, which was the whole point of going.

His particular camper was somewhat spartan, but way, way, way, way better than a tent. He slept in the cab-over bed and I used the dinette with an added air mattress. The kitchen and potty were minimal, but again, two guys on a fishing trip don't need much.

The F250 handled this little camper well and with the four wheel drive we handled boat ramps and semi-off road situations without a second thought. That seemed to be an advantage over a class B conversion van.

If my primary use for the RV was to take DW touring the country exclusively on the blacktop, I'd go with a Class B. For fishing/hunting/back country trips the slide-in on a heavy duty 4X4 would be my choice.

Of course, the obvious advantage of a slide-in is that it slides out! My buddy uses his F250 in his business when it's not hauling him fishing.......

EDIT: DW and I go to northern Minnesota twice a year to fish. When we're up there, we see all sorts of RV's pulling boats including small 5th wheels (and that looks scary to me). The slide-ins really look like they'd be best at handling boat ramps and rough, narrow road conditions assuming an appropriately heavy duty truck.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:10 PM   #15
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A neighbor had a nice camper on top of a diesel truck. We were invited to take a look. I don't remember the brand or the model, but it was NICE! It had a slide-out. I had to admit that the interior was nicer than my class C. For example, his countertop was Corian, while mine is chintzy Formica.

It even had a little 2KW generator, which ran off the same propane tank used for the range and water heater. I believe the generator was sufficient to run the AC, but the propane tank was a removable one of the same size as the common BBQ type. How long would that tank last, I don't know.

This couple was a more outdoor type than we are, and that worked very well for them. For a single guy, heck, you can even call it home. :-)
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:46 PM   #16
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For a single guy, heck, you can even call it home. :-)
That's a pretty low bar. My friend lived for almost 2 years in a Volvo 240 wagon. Camping stove, Glock, toilet kit and he was ready to go. He is the best organized guy I have ever known. He even had a regular office job.

He could have lived with me, but I lived too far out of the city at the time.

Ha
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:09 PM   #17
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Hey, you are talking to a sissy who has slept in a tent only 2 nights in his life. And it was not by choice. Perhaps one of these days, I will tell about those nights, but not now.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:38 PM   #18
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Perhaps one of these days, I will tell about those nights, but not now.
Please do!

As far as truck campers some people I know complain about the high center of gravity, with the camper feeling unstable in windy conditions.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:48 PM   #19
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Hey, you are talking to a sissy who has slept in a tent only 2 nights in his life. And it was not by choice. Perhaps one of these days, I will tell about those nights, but not now.
Hmmmmmm....

Arizona... couple of nights in a tent...not by choice...

Wikipedia:
Quote:
Joseph M. "Joe" Arpaio is the elected Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Arpaio promotes himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff."

Arpaio set up a "Tent City" as an extension of the Maricopa County Jail.
Nah. Probably just a coincidence...
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:49 PM   #20
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I am really enjoying and paying attention to your input and thoughts.
Not something I will jump into without thinking it out with all the help I can get.
That's exactly why I posted the questions.

I do own a 1 ton dually truck ( paid for with 49000 miles on it-basically still new in a diesel) so keep in mind I have that covered.

The pull a boat option is a big plus that I did not have on the positive list, need to add it, I forgot about that.

All input appreciated, keep it coming.
If I were to make the move I would go for a big nice everything included model.
That's the only way I could do it considering I already own a fairly big 5th wheel. The family would probably shoot me if I down sized to much.
Steve
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