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Thread: Slide-in truck campers

  1. #1
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    Default Slide-in truck campers

    Looking in to getting a new truck so I can use a slide-in truck camper. Thought of a small bumper pull but woul;dn't be happy without being able to bring my boat along on the trip, Don't really want to buy a 3/4 ton for the amount of annual use the camper would get and not keen on the clunky ride and 12-14mpg. Would like to stick to a 1/2 ton but finding out that there are issues with exceeding payload max for the vehicle. Most slide ins are 1600 to 1800 lbs, so if I want a 4x4 extend cab truck, you're already at payload max. I have a Tundra now. Fantastic truck but its payload cap. is a dismal 1280lbs. New F150 does not come with a camper package to beef GVWR, so you're looking at 1600 lbs max. I dont want the Heavy Duty Payload package that they offer, as the vehicle has a terrible rough ride when you're unloaded and trhe truck is dangerous in winter and on wet roads with the stiff rear end. Based on the ones I have driven from work, they are terrible ride unless you have 1000 lbs in the bed. Haven't been to the GMC dealership yet to see what you can get in a Seirra. Does anyone here use an f150 or GMC/Chev half tone with a slide-in? If so, what brand and model of camper and do you use rear spring air bags?
    Thanks,
    Dave

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  3. #2
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    Always match the truck with the work you want it to do even if it costs you a lot more,initially. You'll make up the extra cost in repairs and down time,alone,in a very short period of time,although,it may not be obvious at the time. If you really don't want the extra expense of a 3/4 or 1 ton,instead of a slide in unit,think about adding a cap and taking camping gear. Use the box of the truck for hauling gear and sleeping in once you're set up. That way,you can still easily pull your boat and camp anywhere without being restricted to camp grounds and parks with the usual hook ups.
    Remember May 1,2020 when they say "We don't want your hunting guns".

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    My chev has a capacity of 1867lbs on the door sticker, that's for a regular cab long box, it hauls a welding skid sometimes for weeks at a time putting it pretty close to capacity. I find the braking to be totally adequate and it doesn't sit lower than level. It also has tow setting to save the transmission. I think a slide in would restrict the amount of gear you could pack for sure. Rear air bags help a lot. I don't have them on this truck but have used them before.

    I think short term hauling won't kill the truck, just watch the weight for your license sticker.

    I use a high rise fiberglass cap as a camper, it does the job.

  5. #4
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    I had a 1989 f150. Short box. Ex cab. Heavy duty leaf springs. Rode terrible unloaded but Great truck. I put a 8’ slide in with fridge stove heater. And pulled a loaded 15’ boat.
    I wouldn’t do it again. The slide in is just too heavy.
    What’s the biggest truck cap?
    Right now I pull my boat with a mini van and sleep it it.

  6. #5
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    Unless you get a soft side camper, you would be pushing your luck with a 1/2 ton. In addition, adding helper springs or air bags does not increase your gvwr.

  7. #6
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    I agree a high topper would be the best bet in my opinion. I had a S10 years ago that I used that way. Carry your gear and a tent to put the gear in when at camp, put a pad and sleeping bag and you are good to go. Make sure there are screens in the side windows. I think you can even get tent extenders that fit on now too.

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    Years ago I bought an 8 foot slide-in Lite model. I picked it up in northern Michigan, with my F150. I had an extra leaf put in the rear springs to help with the load. The truck was just not heavy enough for that camper. I ended up with a F250 Supercrew with an 8 foot box. It was more than enough truck. The mileage wasn’t that much less than the F150. I wouldn’t go with a slide-in, with anything smaller than an F250.
    CCFR, OFAH Member

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    I would look at adding extra leaf springs to the suspension and getting it re rated for weight, my work truck is a 2500 Chevy with 3500 rear suspension from the dealership, my work payed for it and didn't care much about price but they told me I was crazy I could bring it to parts for trucks in ottawa and they would have added whatever I wanted to the back end for 1/5 of the price and get it re rated for more weight. Always an option in my mind get a 2500/F250 or look at the eco diesel from dodge/gm (they came out with a simular model, haven't heard anything bad yet but also haven't looked into it that much)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pair88 View Post
    I would look at adding extra leaf springs to the suspension and getting it re rated for weight, my work truck is a 2500 Chevy with 3500 rear suspension from the dealership, my work payed for it and didn't care much about price but they told me I was crazy I could bring it to parts for trucks in ottawa and they would have added whatever I wanted to the back end for 1/5 of the price and get it re rated for more weight. Always an option in my mind get a 2500/F250 or look at the eco diesel from dodge/gm (they came out with a simular model, haven't heard anything bad yet but also haven't looked into it that much)
    The EcoDiesels are a sweet unit with a ton of pulling power,but,they cost an arm and a leg. It's fairly difficult (for me,anyway) to justify the extra $10K. I like to hunt light and convenient. If I was planning on an extended trip hauling a large slide-in,a 1ton with a large diesel (6.6L) would be the absolute minimum. I can't think of anything worse than being stuck hundreds if not thousands of miles away from home and be at the mercy of small town mechanics from an undersize breakdown.
    Remember May 1,2020 when they say "We don't want your hunting guns".

  11. #10
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    Why not just buy a smaller travel trailer and add a hitch to it so that you can tow tandem? I’ve seen lots of other people do it.

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