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Advice needed from the pro's! Slide in recommendations

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Old 02-26-2018, 02:59 PM
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Advice needed from the pro's! Slide in recommendations

Howdy - I've enjoyed looking through the photos thread at all the beautiful trucks with truck campers! Figured you all would have some great advice for a truck camper newb like myself.

I have an '18 F350 SRW (6.5' bed) with the 6.7 - door sticker says I've got about 3,200 payload capacity. I'm looking to get a slide in camper since I'll use this rig for hunting, fishing, snowboarding and camping all over Colorado. I have a wife, two little kids and a 100lb dog. Sometimes I'll be solo with just the dog and sometimes I'll have the entire crew with me. I like the idea of a pop-up for maneuverability etc but concerned about the size when I have everyone with me. I'm also limited on payload since even with the 11,500 package on my 350 I only have 3,200 to play with.

Any advice on what you all would recommend for me? Is a slide in really an option or should I look for a travel trailer with an off road package?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:52 PM
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The best one-stop information site I've seen is at www.truckcampermagazine.com. They have a Buyers Guide page that lists the specs of nearly all the campers out there. As well, lots of advice on choosing a camper. We moved from a small trailer to a slide-in camper (Northern Lite 9.6) - there's definitely pro's and con's each way. A slide-in will be tight with your family, but it's definitely do-able.
 
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:47 PM
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Sounds like two different campers.
One light weight pop-up for you and the dog.
Then the big one for the fam. I recommend an Arctic Fox 811 (short bed). 50 gallons of water, bathroom and shower, fridge, stove, genny, etc. I've run my AF811 (long bed) for 5 years and two trucks and love it. More importantly, the wife and kid like it. (similar load to you - wife, 12yr old and 2x80 lb dogs).
Your truck will need airbags and would benefit from a hellwig big wig sway bar. Your legal weight numbers will be close, but your truck will be just fine. I hauled mine with an '03 F350 SRW for four years, no issues. (Haul it now with a '17 F450, and love it)
 
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:54 PM
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Lance makes 3 (I think) different models for short beds. Wasn't paying too close of attention to them at the RV show a couple of weeks ago as we have the 8' bed.


IMHO, depending on the part of the country you are in and the availability, I would definitely go with the Artic Fox or Lance. We've always had a 'used' camper and the one thing I've now learned is that if you are going to go used, make sure it is a brand that is still in business. With some of the 'very nice' used campers we've had, it hasn't taken long to surmise why the company was no longer in business.


We had 3 kids and two or 3 dogs for the most part. Still have 3 dogs and 2 cats that travel with us. When the kids were small and teenagers (2 boys and a tomboy girl) they insisted on sleeping in their pup tents. When it was nasty out, they slept in the camper and it could get crowded.....by hey! It's a family experience!
 
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:01 PM
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Welcome to FTE from a fellow CO F-350 owner!

I don't think a slide-in is a good use case for you. From your 3200 lb capacity you have to deduct the weight of all passengers (all 5 of them) plus the gear you're going to bring along. That number is what the wet weight of the slide-in cannot exceed. That may not leave much weight for a "nice" camper. Plus, 5 occupants in a slide-in camper sounds like a crowded situation to me. My grandparents had a slide-in camper and with just 3 people it was awkward at times.

Pushing an F-350 to the cargo capacity limit may result in a less than pleasant drive. My brother had a heavy slide-in on his truck and he said it was no fun. He eventually got rid of it and went with a fifth wheel instead. If you didn't get the camper package then you'll want to add a rear sway bar and possibly air bags. Neither changes your cargo capacity, but they will help keep the truck from feeling like it's going to tip over.

I went with a bumper pull trailer. I go off the beaten path, especially during hunting season. I was told that fifth wheels can be a problem on uneven "roads".
 
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:31 PM
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First, thanks to all of you for the replies! I've read great info on the Arctic Fox slide-ins but unfortunately I'd be overweight with the family, dog, gear etc.....I don't want to put anyone at risk by exceeding my truck's capacity. Also looked into a Four Wheel Camper which works on payload but probably wouldn't work on capacity. I still may consider that option and bring along a tent for me and the dog or the kids on warm nights but that wouldn't work during snowboard season.

Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post
Welcome to FTE from a fellow CO F-350 owner!

I don't think a slide-in is a good use case for you. From your 3200 lb capacity you have to deduct the weight of all passengers (all 5 of them) plus the gear you're going to bring along. That number is what the wet weight of the slide-in cannot exceed. That may not leave much weight for a "nice" camper. Plus, 5 occupants in a slide-in camper sounds like a crowded situation to me. My grandparents had a slide-in camper and with just 3 people it was awkward at times.

Pushing an F-350 to the cargo capacity limit may result in a less than pleasant drive. My brother had a heavy slide-in on his truck and he said it was no fun. He eventually got rid of it and went with a fifth wheel instead. If you didn't get the camper package then you'll want to add a rear sway bar and possibly air bags. Neither changes your cargo capacity, but they will help keep the truck from feeling like it's going to tip over.

I went with a bumper pull trailer. I go off the beaten path, especially during hunting season. I was told that fifth wheels can be a problem on uneven "roads".
Good to see other Coloradans on here! What bumper pull trailer did you go with if you don't mind me asking?
 
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ZuluFoxtrot View Post
First, thanks to all of you for the replies! I've read great info on the Arctic Fox slide-ins but unfortunately I'd be overweight with the family, dog, gear etc.....I don't want to put anyone at risk by exceeding my truck's capacity. Also looked into a Four Wheel Camper which works on payload but probably wouldn't work on capacity. I still may consider that option and bring along a tent for me and the dog or the kids on warm nights but that wouldn't work during snowboard season.



Good to see other Coloradans on here! What bumper pull trailer did you go with if you don't mind me asking?
Arctic Fox is NICE! Looks good and has good quality.

Your F-350 should have a trailer capacity (GVWR) of 18,000 lbs.

I have a 2006 Fleetwood Gearbox 220FB. It's a toy hauler with a GVWR of 11K. It's not a four season trailer but it works for hunting season well enough.

Is your hitch 2.5" or 3"? I think the long beds get the 3". It changed and I can't keep track of which is which.
 
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:39 PM
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There is no doubt that a pull behind travel trailer type RV will provide so many more options and comforts than a slide in camper.
As long as there is no chance you will want to pull a boat, a horse trailer, cargo trailer or any other type of trailer. In our case, we are locked into the boat and horse trailers.
 
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post
Arctic Fox is NICE! Looks good and has good quality.

Your F-350 should have a trailer capacity (GVWR) of 18,000 lbs.

I have a 2006 Fleetwood Gearbox 220FB. It's a toy hauler with a GVWR of 11K. It's not a four season trailer but it works for hunting season well enough.

Is your hitch 2.5" or 3"? I think the long beds get the 3". It changed and I can't keep track of which is which.
Mine has the 3" hitch with the 2.5" sleeve reducer included.

If I got a bumper pull I'd want to use it hunting - so small enough to get places off the beaten path but big enough for the crew. Tough choices!
 
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Old 02-28-2018, 03:47 PM
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The challenge you will face in getting a hard side camper "if" you want to stay within your payload number is the 3200 lbs you have for payload. I had a 2016 F250 with the 6.2 and it only had a payload of 2496 lbs. The camper we have, a Northern Lite 8.11 QC SE is between 3500-3700 lbs fully wet. So, my wife and I made a tough decision solely based on safety for us to upgrade to the truck in my signature.
I would add that that NL truck campers are some of the lightest weight in their class. One camper that I looked at which might be close to matching your payload is the Northstar Liberty.
Unfortunately, most all of us have the truck first and then want to put a camper on it when ideally you would pick the camper you want and then match the right truck to the camper. That is not realistic for most people so when asked I always say go with at least a one ton with the most payload you can get.
My truck is a daily driver and I did not want a dually for that so I did not go that direction but the guys who have them for truck campers love them and I can see why.
 
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:47 PM
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You might consider a Northern Lite Camper. Great quality and lighter weight than most.
 
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:44 PM
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There are plenty of truck campers that will meet your needs, You could also use suspension upgrades to stabilize your truck while carrying the TC. Go to www.truckcampermagazine.com and read about all camper that will fit your truck
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:33 PM
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From a fellow F-350 owner I can reccomend Hallmark pop up campers. They are similar to Four Wheel campers but are much nicer and you can customize it easily.
i would reccomend the Ute or Everest like I have.
here is the link:
Hallmark Ute Hallmark RV

if you look at rhe pictures on the page listed youll see they offer a bunk bed arrangement (a bed over the dinette) that would allow you to sleep 4 people.

here's a picture of mine....
 
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:09 PM
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I had a 2012 F350 CC 4WD 6.7 SRW and I was hauling an Artic Fox 990 Single Slide. I went to 19.5's tire/wheel combo, front and rear sway bars, stable loads and air bags. The tire wheel combo and sway bars made a huge difference. I really didn't like the way the truck stopped so I sold it and will be picking up a 2018 F450 tomorrow. Can't wait to see how it handles the 990. I love having a TC!
 
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by HarleyDooin View Post
I had a 2012 F350 CC 4WD 6.7 SRW and I was hauling an Artic Fox 990 Single Slide. I went to 19.5's tire/wheel combo, front and rear sway bars, stable loads and air bags. The tire wheel combo and sway bars made a huge difference. I really didn't like the way the truck stopped so I sold it and will be picking up a 2018 F450 tomorrow. Can't wait to see how it handles the 990. I love having a TC!
That'll be a sweet setup! I similarly went from a 350SRW hauling an AF811 to a '17 450. Holy cow what a great change! Only a couple things needed for the swap. Dually brackets on the front jacks. Airbags (5000 ultimate)(I took two trips before I installed the airbags. Handled just fine without them, but handles better with them). Torqlift tiedowns. Rubber bed mat. One sheet of plywood screwed onto the bottom of the camper to raise it 3/4" (my AF is a '13 model, and was pretty tight to the truck. I hear the newer models are built a tad taller).
Have fun!
 
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