I'm sure there are plenty of campers that you could put on the back of a Ranger and still be within the load limit. Helper springs or heavy duty springs could help a lot too. I put HDF250 springs on my 97F150 to carry my '78 Bethany Pick-Upper (900lbs dry) just to even it out and be safer towing a trailer too, glad I did, glad I didn't have to buy a different truck.
I'm new to this site, my son and I are about to inherit a fairly clean, but dented 1998 Ford Ranger 4wd with a Vulcan 3.0. Its got head gasket issues. It was my father's and his father's before that. My grandpa bought it new. My son is five and loves Off Road Magazines. We're going to rebuild the engine it has in it and we're going to use sites like this as we teach ourselves to be backyard mechanics.
I figure its applicable to this thread because we love custom truck campers, and we dream of removing the bed, cutting out the back of the cab and jsut building a custom, lifted, 4wd 2 person camper out of the truck. lol We'll see, of course we'll have to start with trying to learn how to rebuild that motor.
A ranger and a light pop up camper could be a lot fun, stay light, don't ever let anybody tell you "it can't be done". If you don't try you never know, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
There are a lot of cool camper ideas, pictures and build threads on another forum called ExpeditionPortal, people over there build and review all kinds of custom and factory campers of every vintage, for answers to many of these questions and even how to threads its another good location.
A Ranger with a slide-in camper, no matter how light or well-anchored, will be a slow, top-heavy turtle. Invest in gin poles and winch if you do this...there aren't always enough warm bodies around to right an overturned vehicle.
Even if you add springs to carry the weight...........You cannot make the brakes bigger, or the capacity of the rear axle.
STOPPING, not going, is the problem.........I won't even go into the suspension/handling problems.
Rangers are unsafe with slide-in campers.
93 F-250HD SC 460 E4OD
96 Explorer Limited 4.0 V-6 OHV
93 Ranger Splash 2.3 5spd
84 Ranger 4x4 2.8 V-6 5spd
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Ranger's rated to carry 1260lbs, one of these guys say he has a six pack camper that weighs 600lbs. What's the issue here? New springs does kind of get into suspension issues. What's wrong with upgrading your springs to help you carry a load close to your maximum rating a little more evenly?
There is always a thousand people giving a thousand reasons to people about why they shouldn't do things because it makes them feel superior themselves. Anyone putting a tiny camper on the back of a basically stock ranger is obviously working within a budget for one reason or another and just trying to accomplish a way to have a little fun while doing it.
I've never flipped a vehicle, so I don't know how many guys it takes to right one.
I'm not saying it can't be done, but the points made about suspension and especially brakes, and top heavy and turtlish are true...been there done that. The big downside with slide-ins that you learn real fast is overloading with gear...forgot my what-ch-ma-callit...there it is, throw it in the back and close the door. Been there, done that. You can do anything you want with your rig, but use your head so you don't endanger yourself or others while using it. Safety first...there is no reset button in life.
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