1 2
Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/15/20 12:53 p.m.
feature_image

One of the main reasons we sold our Super Van and switched to this 2001 Ford F-250 pickup was comfort: We camp at the track when we go racing, and the van just didn’t have the necessary creature comforts–or the roof height–that we wanted for a week-long camping trip.

How’s a standard-bed pickup truck going to solve that? Forum user Ian F asked just that question in the comments on our very first truck update:

Little did he know we had an ace up our sleeve. A plan that, assuming we could pull it off, would turn our pickup truck into the most comfortable track-side suite on the block. 

Read the rest of the story

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/15/20 1:03 p.m.

I looked at a few slide-in campers back when I had my Dodge Cummins. Especially since the truck had already been setup for one (brackets welded to the frame between the cab and bed).  Unfortunately, I never found a camper that met my "must fit bicycles inside" requirement.  So I ended back with vans. 

I trust you were able to do a better job of connecting the camper to the truck wiring than the PO of my truck did - which was the "hack the berk out of the trailer wiring harness" method... 

grover
grover Dork
9/15/20 1:41 p.m.

Will you keep it on a majority of the time or take it in and out of the truck? 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom UltimaDork
9/15/20 1:53 p.m.

Is it really that impossible, in 2020, to build a reasonably priced box that keeps the weather outside on a reasonably permanent basis?

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
9/15/20 1:56 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I found most slide in campers built as cheaply as possible in order to be price competitive.  Cheaply made things aren't durable and the cost of replacing well everything  to be much more expensive then just buying new. 
(  and I don't charge myself for labor I perform. ) 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/15/20 2:07 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I assumed that would be the case, too, but a new one with this layout and options was about $25,000. That pays for a lot of my time replacing 2x4s. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/15/20 2:19 p.m.

In reply to grover :

With some practice, I've got the installation/removal process down to about 20 minutes, so it spends most of its time off the truck. 

grover
grover Dork
9/15/20 2:45 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Wow- that's not bad at all! I really would love to have a slide in. When we were in Maine, the slide in campers could stay overnight in some parks when others could not. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/15/20 3:23 p.m.

Yeah, this threads the needle pretty well. In areas where slide-ins aren't allowed it's just a white class C (What gap? I don't see it? What?), and in areas where RVs aren't allowed it's just a truck with a box on the back (Really? You'd sleep in my cargo in my pickup truck? Weird!).

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
9/15/20 3:24 p.m.

This heightens my appreciation for my nice metal car hauler.

pirate
pirate HalfDork
9/15/20 4:34 p.m.

In the 70's had a F-250 and a rather long and heavy Travel Queen camper. Rather unnerving to drive as the bed/camper seem to have a rolling motion different from the cab. Back then they had some shock absorbers or damper that connected to the front overhang of camper to the truck cowl which helped a great deal. We used it a lot as young married couple with just one child at the time. Lots of weekends and vacations. Sometimes bit cramped but miles ahead of the tent we were used to.

tooms351
tooms351 Reader
9/15/20 4:34 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Don't forget to store it on some sketchy harbor freight jack stands. 

Rodan
Rodan Dork
9/16/20 12:54 a.m.

Welcome to the most versatile of 'RV' choices! yes

After a lot of research, we also ended up with truck/camper/enclosed trailer, and it has served us very well.

For trailer towing, take a look at the Torklift Superhitch and Supertruss extensions to maximize your tongue weight capability.

Also, you'll want to get that rig on a truck scale that will give you axle weights to ensure that you're within your truck's ratings (truck, axle and tire), and to give you an idea of what you can carry when the camper is loaded.

Truck campers are HEAVY... ours is ~4500lbs wet and loaded.  It's pretty easy to outrun the ratings on a SRW 3/4 truck...

Here's a particularly useful site (no affiliation):   Truck camper weight calculator

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/16/20 5:17 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

Yeah, this threads the needle pretty well. In areas where slide-ins aren't allowed it's just a white class C (What gap? I don't see it? What?), and in areas where RVs aren't allowed it's just a truck with a box on the back (Really? You'd sleep in my cargo in my pickup truck? Weird!).

Today I learned some places don't alow truck campers.  Any idea what the reasons are?

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/16/20 6:19 a.m.

In reply to logdog (Forum Supporter) :

Probably the same RV parks that have age restrictions as well (RV's older than a certain year not welcome).  

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/16/20 7:25 a.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Today I also learned some parks have an age restriction.  I assume those are mostly the privately owned ones?

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/16/20 7:43 a.m.

In reply to logdog (Forum Supporter) :

I believe so, although sometimes they'll make exceptions. Like for a couple I know who have an uber-customized 60's Flxible Starliner bus conversion. It looks like an old bus (with a really nice paint job), but in reality there is nothing "old" about it. 

Basically, they want to discourage the unruly riff-raff from showing up, although usually the higher fees do that.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/16/20 7:53 a.m.

Definitely interesting and better than the tent I was considering! I had the pre-thought that the rear axle rating on an F250 wouldn't be enough. Time for some maths.

wae
wae UltraDork
9/16/20 7:56 a.m.

I'm also pretty sure that any place that's going to have rules like that in place is also going to be able to tell the difference between a C and a slide-in.  I mean, I like it and I think it looks nice.  And if I ran a campground, you'd be welcome any damn time you wanted.  But unless you've done something to make it look more integrated that you didn't include a picture of, you ain't gonna fool anybody.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/16/20 8:22 a.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to logdog (Forum Supporter) :

Probably the same RV parks that have age restrictions as well (RV's older than a certain year not welcome).  

Didn't realize that, either.  But planning for our rapidly upcoming camping trip shows me that there are a lot of options out there.  

If this is a real positive, then we may look into getting a travel trailer.  And I've seriously considered getting an ancient canned ham style if I can remodel it to be the layout we need.  

wae
wae UltraDork
9/16/20 8:58 a.m.
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to logdog (Forum Supporter) :

Probably the same RV parks that have age restrictions as well (RV's older than a certain year not welcome).  

Didn't realize that, either.  But planning for our rapidly upcoming camping trip shows me that there are a lot of options out there.  

If this is a real positive, then we may look into getting a travel trailer.  And I've seriously considered getting an ancient canned ham style if I can remodel it to be the layout we need.  

Just as a data point, I've heard tale of these snooty RV parks but not once have I had a problem finding a place to park my older class A.  Nobody has ever asked the age of the rig or turned me away.  I've stayed at KOAs, state and national parks, casinos, Daytona, and some privately-owned non-chain places.

My hypothesis is that the places that wouldn't let me in are the ones charging over a hundo per night so I'm self-selecting away from them

Rodan
Rodan Dork
9/16/20 9:23 a.m.

In reply to wae :

We have also stayed at a variety of RV sites public and private and I have never seen one that had a blanket prohibition against certain types of RVs.

The '55 and over' parks are usually geared towards permanent residency or 'snowbirds' who stay for a significant period of time.  We try to stay with parks that are obviously catering to travelers, as I've found that as the number of permanent residences increases, the appeal decreases.  Which is why the 55+ parks exist in the first place.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/16/20 10:15 a.m.
Jesse Ransom said:

Is it really that impossible, in 2020, to build a reasonably priced box that keeps the weather outside on a reasonably permanent basis?

Apparently, yes.  As an avid RVer I'm a bit shocked at the crap I see these days.  Kudos to staffers for ressurecting a good used one.

The newest RV I own is a 1993.  Everything today is manufactured to be light and fluffy.  It looks good, and they charge insane money for them, but they're not what they used to be.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/16/20 3:25 p.m.

Yeah, it's not very common for parks to have restrictions, but they do exist. I've found that they are never enforced to the letter of the rules, usually not looking like a dirtbag and being nice gets you a wink and a site. 

pirate
pirate HalfDork
9/22/20 8:12 p.m.

We have a Class A motorhome which is 32 foot long and have run across some restrictions. The most common is nothing over ten years old. However I have been told that if you submit a picture they may waive the age restriction. Another restriction is Class A only this is mostly at what are known as RV Resorts and may also have a 35 or more foot minimum. These places cater to the luxury diesel pusher crowd usually 40 foot plus long. Most of these places are very expensive to stay at. My opinion and shared by a lot of others is if they don't want me there I don't want to be there. 
 

i have never been to a state or federal park that have any of these restrictions. I can see some of the age restrictions. Most private campgrounds are pretty reasonable even with age restrictions. They  are just trying to protect their business/reputations  and I would bet if you showed up in a nicely kept or older restored rig there would not be an issue. Another restriction we have run into relates to dogs. Some are by weight which widely differs and some are by breed such as no pit bulls, Rottweiler, Chows and several more of what might be considered aggressive breeds. We have a 45lb Goldendoodle who has never met anyone she didn't like and have never had any problems making a reservation after discussing her temperament. Never been to a campground that didn't allow dogs at all. 
 

we rarely just stop along the road. We usually make a reservation a minimum of a couple hours before arriving or well in advance and all this restriction stuff is discussed prior to getting there. 

 

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
hvjanmIo7Hla8BMzKJc6KPHjUoUIwGupv8z84T7bTpxIm0F8Vq3eqF5CnKyCbEXN