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Old 07-23-2002, 01:43 PM
pilot10 pilot10 is offline
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

I have an 01 f150 supercab, short bed, 4x4, 5.4l, 3.55ls with a tow package. Is there anyway to safely put a 1,300lb(dry weight) pop-up camper on this truck. When I bought the truck I had no intentions of putting a camper on it. A shell yes but no camper. However an opportunity has presented itself and before it disappears I wanted to find out if it's feasible and what it entails.


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Old 07-23-2002, 06:26 PM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

I'm not sure what the payload capacity of a 01 F-150 supercab is, but my feeling is that a 1,300lbs may be close to overloading it. Add passengers, camping gear and everything else, and your wet weight will overload your truck. Also, some insurance carriers and/or states require the truck to be certified by the manufacture to carry a camper. I know the Super Duty trucks have a camper package as an option. This puts heaver springs on the front and a certification from Ford to carry a camper. Also have to consider center of gravity issues and axel weight ratings. I would think that if your just moving the camper down the street for a friend or something like that your truck may be able to do that. But if you plan on using it for camping trip and such, I would feel more comfortable using a 3/4 ton truck, if it were me.
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:53 PM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

Dan has some pretty good advice there. I would only suggest that you check in your owner's manual for information about slide in campers. Also, there may be camper weight and CG info pasted inside the glove box.

Subtract your truck's unladen weight from the GVWR posted inside the doorsill to find out how much you can carry. Then add the weight of your family, camping gear, water, propane, etc... to the dry weight of the camper. Add that total and the unladen weight of the truck to see if you will still be under the GVWR.

Your engine and axle ratio should carry the load easily, it's more of a matter of not exceeding the weight rating of your axles, springs and brakes.
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:49 AM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

Thanks for the replies. I guess I should have stated my question more clearly. I know the camper weight would exceed the trucks capacity and that a 3/4 ton would be preferable-maybe even a 1 ton. But...

Can the 150 capacity be upgraded to 3/4 ton without an unreasonable amount of money or time? Is it "just" springs(leafs & coil) and shocks or are we talking sway bars, hubs, brakes, etc?

The truck is my daily driver during the week and my getting out and about toy on weekends. I could forsee using this camper 8-12 weekends a year(mostly in winter). So I wouldn't keep the camper on all the time. But when I would use it I would almost always be going to the mountains(200 miles each way, sea level to 9,000ft summit) via a winding mountain road and I don't want to be a highway statistic- just doesn't look like much fun. I had considered the F250 when I bought the truck but the wife reasoned me out of it. She had a number of good reasons(including "your not spending another dime after this truck until it's paid for!") However 10 months later an opportunity to buy a good used camper presents itself and she now says "As long as the toilet is clean and works". Aaarrrghhh- remember change is good I tell myself.

Thanks
Tim
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Old 07-24-2002, 03:47 PM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

>Thanks for the replies. I guess I should have stated my
>question more clearly. I know the camper weight would
>exceed the trucks capacity and that a 3/4 ton would be
>preferable-maybe even a 1 ton. But...
>
>Can the 150 capacity be upgraded to 3/4 ton without an
>unreasonable amount of money or time? Is it "just"
>springs(leafs & coil) and shocks or are we talking sway
>bars, hubs, brakes, etc?
>


No, your F-150 can't be upgraded to be a 3/4 ton pick up. The limiting factor is the frame of the truck itself. The frame is considered a light duty frame. A 3/4 ton pick up has a stronger frame. Sorry, the only way to update the frame is to buy a 3/4 ton truck. Springs and shocks will make your 1/2 ton truck ride smoother, sway bars will make it handle better, hub and brakes will make it roll and stop better. Transmission and oil coolers will allow the engine and transmission run cooler and live longer, but you’re still putting all that stuff on a light duty frame. Once you exceed the capacity of the frame, you’re talking about a very dangerous situation and all the mods in the world will not help.
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:24 PM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

Thanks. That was the info I was looking for. Although opposite of the answer I wanted. So Scratch that idea.

Just curious. Is the frame on a late model (97+)light duty F250 stronger than a F150?

Thanks for your time
Tim
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Old 07-24-2002, 05:44 PM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

>Thanks. That was the info I was looking for. Although
>opposite of the answer I wanted. So Scratch that idea.
>
>Just curious. Is the frame on a late model (97+)light duty
>F250 stronger than a F150?
>
>Thanks for your time
>Tim

If your talking about those F-250s that look like the F-150, but are not the Super Duty F-250, I would think so, but not by much.

IMHO if your going to get a 3/4 ton truck, then a Super Duty is the way to go. If you plan on putting on a cab over camper and want the diesel engine, then a F-350 is the way to go because the diesel add 500lbs to the weight of the truck, taking away 500lbs from the total payload capacity. Basically the diesel engine turns a 3/4 ton pick up into a 1/2 ton pick up from a payload point of view. And cab over campers are all about payload.
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Old 07-24-2002, 07:13 PM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 24-Jul-02 AT 09:14 PM (EST)]I have some good news and some bad news. Yes you can put this camper on your F150. It sounds like maybe a Sun-Lite or a Jayco or even a Palimino. The Pop-up Camper is designed for the 1/2 ton truck. I have a Sun-Lite Eagle SB (Short bed) myself. I have carried it on a Dodge Dakota, Later a Dodge 1/2 ton Ram and now I have it on an F250. Yes, the F-250 carries it better than the Dakota but I can't tell much difference between the F250 and the 1/2 ton Ram. I think the earlier advise givers were thinking of the behemoth 3000lb plus campers you see on the road. They would be too much for even my F250. That is the good news. The bad news, their well intended advise may have caused you to miss out on a good deal. If not I believe you would be very happy with the pop-up and should concider the purchase. We camp much like you do, we live at sea level and love the montains and the Pop-up certainly saves fuel. I have owned two Sun-Lite Pop-ups, the first was a Hawk and we carried it on a Toyota extended cab. I did add add-a-leafs to that truck but it was to raise the entire truck, It was a 4x4. You did not say what length the camper is in relation to box length. 6 foot or 8 foot. Either will work for you the 8 footer will mean leaving the tailgate down. Put all heavy item as far forward or in cab.
By the way I am selling my 98 Eagle sb. we have gotten to the time in life that allows us to stay on the road longer and are looking at 5th wheels. Before you make any hard decisions take a look down the road, will you be able to camp in this camper for longer than a weekend, will you be able to camp for more than a weekend. Look hard, it may be better to get a trailer or 5th wheel. I don't like the pop-up trailers you pull out each end, they take 30 minutes to set up I don't concider that as camping. Engineering duties are best done at home in the drive way not the campgrounds. email if I can help,Breirrabb(No Email Addresses In Posts!)
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Old 07-25-2002, 06:35 AM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

My vote is for the prior advice that your vehicle would be over the
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for the truck with a 1300 pound camper and a full load of fuel/passengers, etc..
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Old 07-25-2002, 10:51 AM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 25-Jul-02 AT 11:55 AM (EST)]Okay Here are the facts straight from the dealer. I am assuming he knew what he was talking about.
Your truck is rated to carry 1610 lbs (GCWR). You have a GVWR of 6250 lbs. If your camper (to be) weighs 1300 lbs that leaves you with 310 lbs for camping supplies and passengers. While this sounds tight keep in mind that 1300 lbs is concidering things like a full load of water, usually 20 gallons (20 gallons =140 lbs). I have only carried water in my tank 1 time and did not use but a gallon,I have only been in one camp ground that did not have water hook up at the site and we like to primative camp, fill your tank at the gate they will have potable water for health reasons. Also is it an Ice box or a refridgerator. Ice box is 20lbs for ice. If you add the 140 to the 310 you can now carry 450 and maybe 470 when the Ice box is concidered.
In my own experience, I have never had a failure while carrying our 1265 lb camper and my wife likes to bring along the kitchen sink when we camp. I weigh 170 she is 95 and my daughter and yellow lab weigh 110 combined. (big Lab)My last two truck have been 4x4's. No one in this forum is going to tell you to go beyond the GVWR they know not to, It is your decision, the people in this forum are well intended but they can't decide for you. Good luck and Happy camping.
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Old 07-25-2002, 12:04 PM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

>Your truck is rated to carry 1610 lbs (GCWR). You have a
>GVWR of 6250 lbs. If your camper (to be) weighs 1300 lbs
>that leaves you with 310 lbs for camping supplies and
>passengers. While this sounds tight keep in mind that 1300
>lbs is concidering things like a full load of water, usually
>20 gallons (20 gallons =140 lbs).

Are you sure about that? Most weight figures I've seen for campers are "DRY WEIGHT". Dry Weights are based on standard model features and do not include options, equipment packages, water or gear.

GVWR = the weight of the truck with all options (extended cab, 4x4, and 5.4L engine are all options and add weight to the base model), passengers and payload (fuel and fluids are also payload). In other words, the max weight those 4 wheels and two axel can safely carry (not to mention what the brakes can stop). The only way to be sure is to weight the truck on a scale with full gas tanks. Add the weight of passengers, gear, cats, dogs and what ever you plan on carrying. Take that whole number and subtract it from the GVWR number, that will be your payload. I'll use my truck as an example. 1993 F-150 5.0L E40D 4x2 with 3.55 gear, long bed with an extended cab. GVWR = 6,250lbs. Scale weight of the truck with full tanks, bed liner and shell weights 5,320lbs. That's the weight without any passengers or driver. That gives me 930lbs. for passengers and cargo. If I remove the shell and bed liner that will give me 1,330lbs. So yes, I could put the camper on my truck, but as soon as I hop in the cab, the whole thing will be over loaded. Add Wife, Kid, water and gear and I'm a rolling death trap. I see 1/2 ton trucks overloaded all the time, and yes they seen to be working just fine. But I've also saw an over loaded 1/2 ton truck fail. Overloaded on hilly roads, the brakes didn't last long, couldn't slow down for a turn and that's all she wrote. You see something like that and then you really start paying attention to those little numbers stamped on the side of the door. Another factor to consider is some, if not all, insurance carriers can deny you coverage if you are involved in an accident with an over loaded vehicle. It's alway better to error on the side of safty.

Dan







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Old 07-25-2002, 01:37 PM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

I really appreciate all the feedback. However the "deal" turned out to be garbage- "literally". I was told it was in decent shape but it's not even close.

Also I've done some more checking and there are many pop-up campers designed for 1/2 tons. So if I go that route I certainly will get something within the weight ratings.

By the way this camper would be used in the winter and if I used a trailer or 5th wheel I wouldn't be able to get thru chain control and make it to the ski resort to get snowed in. Which is part of the whole point of being able to live in the truck for a couple of days.


Tim
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Old 07-27-2002, 07:15 AM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 27-Jul-02 AT 08:40 AM (EST)]Dan,
Yes, I am sure, as mentioned earlier I own a camper much like the one the inquiry is based upon. The Label on my camper reads (loosely): This camper weighs 1265 lbs when containing the following, 20 gallons of water (140 lbs)
20 lbs of propane (onboard)
35 lbs of Ice (35lbs)

That brings the actual weight of the camper down to 1090 lbs. If he leaves his tail gate at home as I mentioned earlier, I will have to guess that is another 100lbs at least. It takes my wife and I both to remove it from our truck (okay, I am a wimp).
I would have to assume most people are smart enough to start down a steep decline with OD off, down shift on the very steep points and not let the truck gather too much forward motion, keep the speed down. And when necessary give the brakes a rest stop.
Your example sounds horrific and I know just by your description it was a horrible event but, there had to be more involved than a few pounds over the GVW. A 1/2 ton truck can pull car, flat towed, no brakes up to at least 2000 lbs without a second thought.
I think the best thing to do is to go to his dealership and have an experienced service person examine his trucks door sticker, concider the trucks Total Accessory Reserve Capacity along with the truck GVWR and GCWR and get an informed answer.

Lloyd 1997 F250 powerstroke 4x4 Crew Cab Shortbed Chip, K&N, Downpipe 3.55 gears, automatic,17 city 21 highway
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Old 07-29-2002, 10:24 AM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

>Dan,
>Yes, I am sure, as mentioned earlier I own a camper much
>like the one the inquiry is based upon. The Label on my
>camper reads (loosely): This camper weighs 1265 lbs when
>containing the following, 20 gallons of water
> (140 lbs)
>20 lbs of propane (onboard)
>35 lbs of Ice (35lbs)

The only way to be sure is the put it on a scale and weight. The weights on the label may or may not be accurate.

>
>That brings the actual weight of the camper down to 1090
>lbs. If he leaves his tail gate at home as I mentioned
>earlier, I will have to guess that is another 100lbs at
>least. It takes my wife and I both to remove it from our
>truck (okay, I am a wimp).
>I would have to assume most people are smart enough to start
>down a steep decline with OD off, down shift on the very
>steep points and not let the truck gather too much forward
>motion, keep the speed down. And when necessary give the
>brakes a rest stop.

You would think, but a lot of people don't really know how to drive, let alone drive a vehicle with a heavy load. Cars don't have much of a problem with over loading because they don't have the space to put stuff, in most cases, compaired to a truck. But when you drive a truck, not only do you drive the thing, you have to know how to load it. I see it all the time. Someone with a truck so loaded that the rear bumper is dragging on the road, in the fast lane going 80 mph. When I see something like that, I put a lot of distance between myself and that accident waiting to happen.

> Your example sounds horrific and I know just by your
>description it was a horrible event but, there had to be
>more involved than a few pounds over the GVW.

Yes, it was more then a few pounds over, it was more like a 1,000lbs at least and in hilly conditions. I'm betting this guy went by the dry weight and didn’t take into account all his gear, cargo and passengers. If he was driving in a flat are, he would have gotten away with it. But in the hills, he didn't.

>A 1/2 ton
>truck can pull car, flat towed, no brakes up to at least
>2000 lbs without a second thought.

Be careful, towing a load and carrying a load are two very different things. The truck I saw was a 1/2 ton truck with a cab over camper that was too heavy of a payload for the vehicle. A 1/2 ton can carry a little over 6,000lbs GVWR, while it's GCWR is around 11,500lbs (when properly equipped). If he had taken that cab over camper and put it on a trailer for example, then the whole thing would have fit into the GCWR of a 1/2 ton (and even that would be pushing), but it was too much for just the GVWR of the truck.

>I think the best thing to do is to go to his dealership and
>have an experienced service person examine his trucks door
>sticker, consider the trucks Total Accessory Reserve
>Capacity along with the truck GVWR and GCWR and get an
>informed answer.

I would disagree. If you asked 10 different dealers, you would get 10 different answers. Before you can do anything, you have to know how much your rig weights. Go to a public scale and get the real weight of your rig. That is the starting point. From there it just a matter of math and understanding what GVWR vs. GCWR. Cab over campers throw in a few more variables such as center of gravity and axle weights. Towing throws in things like tongue weight (which is counted as payload)and differential ratios.
>
>Lloyd 1997 F250 powerstroke 4x4 Crew Cab Shortbed Chip, K&N,
>Downpipe 3.55 gears, automatic,17 city 21 highway



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Old 07-29-2002, 10:42 AM
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Cabover pop-up camper on a f150

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 29-Jul-02 AT 11:51 AM (EST)]I give up. You win, Okay. The Guy has already said the deal went sour and you have never said if you owned a pop-up camper or any kind of camper.
I do not believe even 800lbs over the GVWR would be that great a hazard, 1500, 2000 yes. These factory rating are put in place more for the legal protection and to reduce warrenty claims against the mfr. Taking your examples to an extreme does not reinforce your case, it simmply make you correct in the extreme case which no one can possible disagree with you on.

Does the phrase Obsessive Complusive mean any thing to you? Feel to respond, I don't think you will be able to stop yourself any way.
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