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Slide In Bed Camper, thoughts?

 
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:36 AM
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Slide In Bed Camper, thoughts?

My ideal camper is a horse trailer with living quarters. I can use it for the horses and the toys. But they are out of my price range right now.

So I think the best alternative is a slide in bed camper. This way I can still use a bumper pull horse trailer or other trailer for toys.

Some of the campers hang out of the bed of the truck so I would need an extension on my tow hitch. That does not sound so good to me, lot more room for the trailer to sway back and forth. But I have never used one so I don't really know.

Does anyone have one of these? What are your thoughts on this? Tough to drive with? Top heavy? Too wide for a SRW?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:01 AM
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Hey Joe,

I was looking at a similar problem with my off road toy. I decided to get a slide in camper. I am very happy with my decision.





I also was worried about using a hitch extender. They are suppose to work, but.... I just did not want to spend the money and find that it was less than ideal.

So, I waited until I found a slide in camper that did not extend past the end of the truck bed. This way my trailer is using the factory hitch. This means more than a few trade offs in the camper. But isn't that what life is all about? Trade offs?



I like my set up. I can tow at 65 to 70 on the highway with no problem. You need to plan for much slower acceleration when starting from a stop.

And for one or two people, even a small slide in camper works well. I would not want to live full time in it, but for a long weekend it works well.

I still plan to add air bags and heaver shocks to my truck.

Good luck!


Timothy
 
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:11 AM
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Thanks Timothy! I like your set up a lot and that 6 wheeler looks like a lot of fun!

I wish I had a dually, then I would have the same set up as you.

How is the shower and toilet in there, is there one? The ones that hang off the back have that on the part that hangs down I believe.

Thanks again for the info, I think i will wait till I find one that does not extend off the back too.
 
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:55 AM
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I would REALLY be careful with rear axle weight rating in that scenario...

and get a GREAT hensley or propride hitch to load balance and stop sway..
 
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:00 AM
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My rear axle weight rating is about 6000 lbs

I will look into one of those load balance hitches.
 
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DemonRace6 View Post
Thanks Timothy! I like your set up a lot and that 6 wheeler looks like a lot of fun!

I wish I had a dually, then I would have the same set up as you.

How is the shower and toilet in there, is there one? The ones that hang off the back have that on the part that hangs down I believe.

Thanks again for the info, I think i will wait till I find one that does not extend off the back too.
Joe,

Yes, it is a cool toy. My camper has a wet bath. The toilet is in the shower. In my camper both the toilet and shower drain into the black water tank. (One of those pesky trade offs.)

I use a weight distribution hitch on my trailer. I think it helps. I like the dually too. It helps.

Timothy
 
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:01 PM
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I just found this one: CAMPER

He said $5500 OBO for just the camper. How does that sound? It is much more than I was originally hoping to pay for a used camper, but finding one that does not hang past the bed with a full bath is not as easy as I thought.
 
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:41 PM
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This is what I had on my 78 F250 Ranger 4X4 with the 400 engine. We pull a boat or a horse trailer so we either "tent" or have a camper. Right now we are tenting it as the rig in the picture died a terrible death thanks to forces beyond our control. Pickup was replaced, but we never replaced the camper.



With the camper, I needed a 36" extention bar. I figured I would have to put sway bars on but it turned out to not be needed. It towed great and I never had any problems. I did weld some loops on the bumper and the extention so that I could hook up turn buckles that would take any sag or movement out of the extention. I had towed this rig for a couple of years before doing that.

One of the things I found with the camper, especially a used one, was dry rot where you can't see it or easily find it. Areas around the roof seams and vents and where the jacks mount to the side of the camper.

The dry rot on the 2X2's that the jacks were mounted to is what eventually did mine in and I had a catostrophic failure one day when loading it. I had kept the jack mounts sealed and inspected them regularly but without pulling the skin of the camper, I didn't realize that the wood behind was slowly rotting away. The fellow at the RV repair shop said that this problem was nothing unusual for campers in our part of the country, especially when used in the winter when they can sweat between the interior finish and the outside skin.

If I ever get another camper, which my wife is now wanting, it won't be near as big. Kids are grown and gone now so we would only need it for the two of us.

Being a west coaster, and where you are at, comparing prices on campers and what they are worth may be like comparing apples to oranges. One real similar to the one you posted is sitting on a lot in town about 20 miles from us. They want $12,500 for it. I think they are crazy, and apparently everyone else so far has too as it has been sitting there with the price tag on it for about 7 months now.

The price on the one you posted seems about par with what I have been seeing our part of the country though for similar used campers being sold by private parties.
 
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:55 PM
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Hey Jim, thanks for the input.

So you had now problem with the extension, but are going smaller just because you do not need that much space anymore? In my case it is just my wife and myself, no kids yet, so I also belive that the smaller one will work just fine, but my main reason was that the hitch extension scares me.

Do you know what you (and I) can do diffently this time around to make sure the jacks do not rot out of the camper?
 
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:47 PM
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Newer campers have a better system for sealing up the jacks, but I don't have any experience with them. A friend has a Lance with sealed fiberglass around all of the jack mount points and he has the auto level hydyollic/electric jacks on a 20' control chord. He is also a fair weather camper who only takes it out of the barn in the best of summer weather. I used mine all year round in all sorts of weather. In fact we got our first camper after we were caught out in a major pacific storm while elk hunting. The two boys made a mud slide on a hill and would have put the otters to shame. We had a difficult time getting them cleaned up, dried out and warmed up in the tent. And, of course, they were ready to go and do it all over again.

If we hadn't just spent all winter rebuilding my sisters camper for the same problem, I might have rebuilt this one, but it was quite a chore and I wasn't ready or willing to turn right around and do another one. Quite frankly, what I saw for construction behind that metal skin, both scared and amazed me.

We never had a problem with the long bar and I've seen quite a few of them in our neck of the woods. I think a critical part is getting everything centered perfectly and mounted properly, and sway bars if needed. The boat we have now, I would question putting on a long bar. It seems to have a little more tendancy to sway than the old boat or the horse trailer.

And, no, we just don't need anything that big. Elk and deer hunting in winter weather isn't a problem anymore either. Since we moved back home, my hunting camp is my living room.

The jacks scare me far more than towing. In addition, that monster was right around 3000lbs loaded for 2 weeks in the mountains. Just no need for that size and weight anymore. As they got older, all 3 kids insisted on sleeping in tents anyway, except in bad weather.

Other than the obvious pulling or shaking the jacks to see if they are solid, and checking the tightness of the lag bolts, I'm not sure of how to check them anymore without pulling the skin back and doing a visual. With the newer more modern campers and construction materials, along with seemless bodies that may be way less of a problem. Definately something I'm going to check into should my wife end up winning the battle and we get another camper. Probably the best source of info for that would be to stop by a local RV repair shop and talk to the mech - oops, guess they call them "technicians" now.
 
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:04 PM
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Your kids sound great, and in need of the shower in the camper, haha.

If it was not for my wifes horses in the trailer we will be pulling most of the time, I would get the bigger camper, but your info helps me think the smaller camper is actualy better for our NEEDS. WANTS is another story.

But then again, there are many more older campers on CraisList for sale that hang out the back with the shower in that part, so hitch extender needed. They are much cheaper too, $700 for one of them.
 
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:45 PM
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Yeah, once they got moved out of the house they were pretty good kids.

Today, its the grandkids. With the now "adult" kids, should we be camping and they start getting a little "ripe", they "accidently" fall overboard. By they time they get fished out, the shower and bath problem is solved.

The grandkids are still pretty young yet for anything but fair weather camping. That's when mom and dad's title of parents come into play. As grandparents, our responsibility is spoil, get them dirty as h#$ and then send them back to the parents!

Bathroom or shower in a camper would be the least of my concerns. Especially with kids. We carried a big plastic tub with us. The camper in my pic didn't have a shower. Just a toilet. Ours was one step down from the top of the line that did have a shower. Shopping an estate sale, we got what was there. Water tank just wasn't that big, except for a weekend. Our biggest concern, was to provide a warm dry place for the kids to get thawed out and dried out. What was nice, is that our sewer cleanout was right next to where the camper lived at home so draining the sewage tanks was no problem.

I've lived in the wilds enough that a camp fire (or stove top) sponge bath, a dip in the creek, river or lake hiding behind a tree or using a pit john just doesn't bother me. My wife has gotten a little more modern. She came home a couple of years ago with one of those solar shower things and the small tent type shower stall to go around it. Of course, I think that thing is a bigger pain in the @#s than what it's worth.
 
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:28 PM
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I am pretty happy with mine so far. Not top heavy but it is noticeable on a SRW truck. Drives fine. Tows fine.





Camps awesome!

 
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:09 AM
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Jim unfortunately my wife needs the shower and toilet in the camper for her to consider it, spoiled i know.

Parts Jimmy, does that model have a toilet and shower? Do you need a hitch extender?
 
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DemonRace6 View Post
Jim unfortunately my wife needs the shower and toilet in the camper for her to consider it, spoiled i know.

Parts Jimmy, does that model have a toilet and shower? Do you need a hitch extender?
It has a combined shower/john. I don't use a hitch extender unless I have my bike rack added on. It's not necessary.



Here is my camper's specs: Northstar Campers :: - Online Catalog -
 

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