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TRUCK CAMPER OR SMALL FIFTH WHEEL


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#41 OFFLINE   WILDCAT

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 04:13 PM

One important point to consider that always haunts a TC owner. I know it was always nagging at me was the weight/over weight issue, bigtime. If you are gonna get a TC of any size or quality it's gonna be heavy and probably to heavy for any given SRW (single rear wheeled) vehicle. Now you're gonna require a DRW (dual rear wheeled) if you wanna be within your GVWR limit and even then some duallys are overweight. in the off season when the TC is not in use that's a lot of truck sittin' in the driveway doin' squat!! I know when we switched to our 5'er we were well within our GVWR and GCVWR limits = a lot less wear and tear on the vehicle as well as piece of mind!! As far as handier gettin' in and outta spots to view the scenery I haven't had a problem in this area yet. IMHO, if you're nervous drivin' a 5'er then stear clear of them. As for travelling on I-highways only this is a crock. I have yet to find a road I can't take my 5'er on. It's just you have to drive a little slower on some then on others. As far as campsite restrictions I take mine into all State, National and Municipal campgrounds as well as the freebees such as casinos & of course, Walmart. Nice thing I've found about Walmart is I've unhooked my 5'er there to go tour places I decided not to take it. Walmart was more then happy to accomodate me 'cause they know my Mrs is gonna be droppin' some cash there later. IMHO, the pros far outway the cons with a 5'er and more so then with a TC!!!......................Steve... :fing32:


Well Sirwilliam!, what can anyone say.. excellent points..actually just common sense.. In My Humble Opinion and again most folks pull trailers behind their TC. And they now make swivel wheel trailers that can be pulled behind 5er.. We are talking 25/26ft 5er..piece of cake!

#42 OFFLINE   sirwilliam

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:05 PM

Another good POINT! Most folks are taking a trailer behind the TC for all there stuff..so pretty much back to a small 5ER type experience without the benefits?



IMHO, having to pull any type of trailer to haul your kit around is completeley contadicting the arguement that the TC is more versatile then a 5'er. Most are using these trailers to lighten the load on the truck itself which I suspect is the real story behind them. It must be real fun tryin' to back one of these trailers into a tight spot with that big barn door of a TC right smack dab in your field of view!!...............Steve...

#43 OFFLINE   turtletalk

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:12 PM

About your list....We all have those things on your list in our TC's. We've adapted though. For instance, we carry a nice Wok that rides in the oven of the TC. It's our frying pan, it's our stew pan, it's our soup pot, We boil water in it for coffee sometimes, cook spaghetti in it...It's our TOASTER in the morning (drop-in a slice of bread and flip it with a spatula...Toasted)...and we have a couple of little sauce pans that fit in each other for storage. For BOWLS...I have about 10 of them in varying sizes, but they are all thin, stainless-steel ones that fit together like a stack of paper plates. You see the drill.

When it comes to needing a recliner, a pool, and room to stretch out and chill after a few days on the road, we rent a motel room for the night, and back the camper up in the parking lot, trying to get it close to our motel room's door. We wash clothes in their laundry room, and eat in the restaurant at the hotel or nearby, and watch their big TV's for the night. But, we don't really need to do that very often. The TC is right outside with everything in it.

However, you will discover that most RV places (Especially the State Parks) now have VERY NICE and CLEAN bathroom and showers for the use by guests. I for one, have developed the habit of going to the bath house in the morning while the wife is doing her hair, or taking over the camper for herself. While she's wrapping up things inside, I'm usually out messing with the truck or something, in prep for the day. That's kind of our routine.

When it comes to how far you travel each day, you are going to be surprised. Get TWO HUNDRED MILES in your head as an average figure. We find that although one can put in 400-500 miles in a day in a CAR, we seldom plan on more than accomplishing 200 miles between here and the next place we're going to sleep.

Why don't you plan on driving in your vehicle to the nearest Ralley you can find..and walk around and kick the tires of the TC'ers there. At the same time, yyou can visit others in the park in their travel trailers. EVERYONE will be anxious to show you their place, and give you THEIR advice. Then you can digest all that before making the wrong decision for yourself.



#44 OFFLINE   turtletalk

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:12 PM

Always enjoy your comments.

#45 OFFLINE   WILDCAT

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 05:31 AM

IMHO, having to pull any type of trailer to haul your kit around is completeley contadicting the arguement that the TC is more versatile then a 5'er. Most are using these trailers to lighten the load on the truck itself which I suspect is the real story behind them. It must be real fun tryin' to back one of these trailers into a tight spot with that big barn door of a TC right smack dab in your field of view!!...............Steve...


LOL!

#46 OFFLINE   stuwu4s

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 06:17 AM

has anyone looked at the disclaimer for the Swivelwheel58??
no 5er less than 30ft - less than 10,000 pds.
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#47 OFFLINE   farmer

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:34 AM

Everyone has good points on all the opinions.
It all depends on the individual person or couples and families how much they can tolerate, problem wise.
And everyone has there own ideas on how they travel, pull a big mother ship, base station to a destination then explore.
Or drive something smaller and stop at anything interesting to look at then carry on, back tracking burns fuel.
On a smaller vehicle not really planning the trip is easier to do.
The only opinion that I have a concern about is Sir William saying that he has gone into all state, provincial and municipal camp grounds,
I wonder if he just drove through for a look, because if the campground is nearly full during peak season all that is left are the smaller sites for smaller vehicles.
The state park at Deception Pass, WA has only a few pull through s and a few larger sites the rest are quite small and I noticed this also at a lot of the older parks, years ago they were designed for small campers and tents.
But if you are retired you can go mid week or off season and get a bigger site.
As for hauling a trailer, for years I have been holding off, but as the toy list grows, who knows.
The idea vehicle would be the size of a sprinter van and with the snap of your fingers expands to 3 times the size, but would have to be able to carry 2 bikes, a motorcycle,small jeep and a boat all without using a trailer.

#48 OFFLINE   WILDCAT

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 04:44 AM

Everyone has good points on all the opinions.
It all depends on the individual person or couples and families how much they can tolerate, problem wise.
And everyone has there own ideas on how they travel, pull a big mother ship, base station to a destination then explore.
Or drive something smaller and stop at anything interesting to look at then carry on, back tracking burns fuel.
On a smaller vehicle not really planning the trip is easier to do.
The only opinion that I have a concern about is Sir William saying that he has gone into all state, provincial and municipal camp grounds,
I wonder if he just drove through for a look, because if the campground is nearly full during peak season all that is left are the smaller sites for smaller vehicles.
The state park at Deception Pass, WA has only a few pull through s and a few larger sites the rest are quite small and I noticed this also at a lot of the older parks, years ago they were designed for small campers and tents.
But if you are retired you can go mid week or off season and get a bigger site.
As for hauling a trailer, for years I have been holding off, but as the toy list grows, who knows.
The idea vehicle would be the size of a sprinter van and with the snap of your fingers expands to 3 times the size, but would have to be able to carry 2 bikes, a motorcycle,small jeep and a boat all without using a trailer.



Thanks for your comments. Just wondering about the "concern thought" (cause that is mine also). The 5er I am considering is 25FT long in total. TC I would consider is only 7FT shorter. Worse case scenario I can back it in in & unhook in say 10-15 mins max - sometimes 5 mins depending on the site. Am I missing something?

#49 OFFLINE   WILDCAT

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 04:57 AM

has anyone looked at the disclaimer for the Swivelwheel58??
no 5er less than 30ft - less than 10,000 pds.


Well, I just did! And thank you.. Based on what I read.. I think...as of this response.. I would deep six the swivel wheel idea!

#50 OFFLINE   Wellsdesigned

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:51 AM

"In My Humble Opinion and again most folks pull trailers behind their TC."

Not me!!! For me, a trailer is not an option. That is why I went TC in the first place. I started out with a nice trailer that dedicated bunk beds for the kids and more room and all of that. Thing is, we were letting the trailer dictate our vacations (where can we park it, will I be able to get around those curves, is that campsite big enough, can I turn around if I go down there, and on and on). So we went for a TC because we wanted the destination dictate our vacation experiences.

Even though many posting members here seem to have trailers, most TC's I see on the road including mine do not have them. The one exception are boat people, and with the exception of a few states and driver's licensing laws, you won't be towing them both.

Could I go 6 o 8 weeks on the road in the TC? As a couple only, yes. With two kids, doubtful. But for now with our 2 week excursions, the TC is the only way to go.
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#51 OFFLINE   WILDCAT

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 01:59 PM

Just curious.. I've considered the Eagle Cap 850. I have a F-250 Super Duty Diesel. Payload 2468lbs. The 850 weighs 2685 Dry. I thought it was to much TC for my truck. I believe the Ford payload is more the the GM 3/4 ton? How are you finding it..any issues?

#52 OFFLINE   WILDCAT

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 01:59 PM

"In My Humble Opinion and again most folks pull trailers behind their TC."

Not me!!! For me, a trailer is not an option. That is why I went TC in the first place. I started out with a nice trailer that dedicated bunk beds for the kids and more room and all of that. Thing is, we were letting the trailer dictate our vacations (where can we park it, will I be able to get around those curves, is that campsite big enough, can I turn around if I go down there, and on and on). So we went for a TC because we wanted the destination dictate our vacation experiences.

Even though many posting members here seem to have trailers, most TC's I see on the road including mine do not have them. The one exception are boat people, and with the exception of a few states and driver's licensing laws, you won't be towing them both.

Could I go 6 o 8 weeks on the road in the TC? As a couple only, yes. With two kids, doubtful. But for now with our 2 week excursions, the TC is the only way to go.


Just curious.. I've considered the Eagle Cap 850. I have a F-250 Super Duty Diesel. Payload 2468lbs. The 850 weighs 2685 Dry. I thought it was to much TC for my truck. I believe the Ford payload is more the the GM 3/4 ton? How are you finding it..any issues?

#53 OFFLINE   Wellsdesigned

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 02:55 PM

Just curious.. I've considered the Eagle Cap 850. I have a F-250 Super Duty Diesel. Payload 2468lbs. The 850 weighs 2685 Dry. I thought it was to much TC for my truck. I believe the Ford payload is more the the GM 3/4 ton? How are you finding it..any issues?


I've addressed my truck's weaknesses (tires, rims, shocks and springs) and I have traveled thousands of miles without an issue. My most recent trip was 3700 miles of daily driving on all terrains at elevations ranging from -200 feet to +11,000 feet in sun, rain and wind. My biggest hazard was the other drivers on the road.

Your truck has the Diesel weight working against it for a Single Rear Wheel set up. If I recall correctly, a diesel engine adds 700 to 1000 lbs to the GVW which takes away from a slim marting or SRW trucks. GVWR on my truck is 9200 and loaded my truck weighs 11,000 +/- so if I added the 700 to 1000 lbs on top of that, I probably wouldn't feel modifications could make up the difference.
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#54 OFFLINE   farmer

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 05:18 PM

Thanks for your comments. Just wondering about the "concern thought" (cause that is mine also). The 5er I am considering is 25FT long in total. TC I would consider is only 7FT shorter. Worse case scenario I can back it in in & unhook in say 10-15 mins max - sometimes 5 mins depending on the site. Am I missing something?


I remember about 2 years ago reading a article about large class A RVs only fitting into 1/3 of all the existing campgrounds, be it state, municipal,provincial or private.
If this is the case and based on size of RV, a large camper may only fit into 95% of camp sites and the smaller units and popups will fit in 100% of what is available.
The size of 5er you are looking at may fit 75% of campsites.
Depending on how much boon docking you do or overnites at Wally type parking lots, size may not matter.
I think all truck camper people do not want to pull a trailer and depending on the trip choose not to.
But pretty hard not to if the destination is quading or boating, even horse back riding.
As mentioned earlier the camper is perfect for 2 and maybe a small child, ideal conditions would be good weather to spend as much time outside and use the camper more for transportation and sleeping not as a portable living room.
Depending on your sporting needs and your recliner tv needs ( and don't forget the wife )you may have to go trailer or larger.
Maybe deciding on an RV type would be like dating you don't necessarily want to marry the first one you like now.
Ask lots of questions to others then to your self, we can tell you our reasons, you are the only one that knows what you want, just remember wants and needs change ( like buying a Harley or a boat, or Porsche )

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#55 OFFLINE   turbo

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 07:42 PM

there are the cost differences too, TC's will most likely be much less money upfront and down the road

#56 OFFLINE   Wellsdesigned

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:38 AM

I can list one other positive of a Truck Camper in States like California where they are not a registered vehicle. No yearly tags or taxes. All other RV's including pop up trailers require a yearly vehicle fee, but a TC is considered cargo. Along with the reasons mentioned before for getting a TC, the fact that we dropped having a yearly fee on our former trailer was icing on the cake.
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#57 OFFLINE   WILDCAT

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:46 AM

I remember about 2 years ago reading a article about large class A RVs only fitting into 1/3 of all the existing campgrounds, be it state, municipal,provincial or private.
If this is the case and based on size of RV, a large camper may only fit into 95% of camp sites and the smaller units and popups will fit in 100% of what is available.
The size of 5er you are looking at may fit 75% of campsites.
Depending on how much boon docking you do or overnites at Wally type parking lots, size may not matter.
I think all truck camper people do not want to pull a trailer and depending on the trip choose not to.
But pretty hard not to if the destination is quading or boating, even horse back riding.
As mentioned earlier the camper is perfect for 2 and maybe a small child, ideal conditions would be good weather to spend as much time outside and use the camper more for transportation and sleeping not as a portable living room.
Depending on your sporting needs and your recliner tv needs ( and don't forget the wife )you may have to go trailer or larger.
Maybe deciding on an RV type would be like dating you don't necessarily want to marry the first one you like now.
Ask lots of questions to others then to your self, we can tell you our reasons, you are the only one that knows what you want, just remember wants and needs change ( like buying a Harley or a boat, or Porsche )

Thanks!


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#58 OFFLINE   Clattertruck

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 08:54 AM

Truck campers are not for everyone.

Lifestyle preferences should be weighed when selecting an RV. Some folks see vacation time as being in another place from home for a time without giving up many home amenities. An RV for them is more of a second home. Size and luxury are determining factors. They may like to go to a lake for a few weeks in comfort and enjoy the surroundings. Obviously a 5er, large TT or a Class A is a good choice. Mobility is not high in their list of requirements.

Mobility and versatility come in shades of gray. Lots of people travel widely in larger rigs, but are limited to camping sites that will handle big rigs. The smaller the RV the deeper one can go into back country roads and old Forest Service campgrounds. Some people like to be around lots of other people, but the person who wants to be off alone in the boondocks will find small rigs easier to manage.

One has to weigh comfort against how adventuress you want to be. Taking sleeping on the ground out of the equation, the pop-up truck camper on a 4x4 truck is the most agile. Next in line considering comfort vs. versatility are various hardside truck campers. A small Class “C” is fairly good. Short TTs are not bad.

Truck campers are best occupied by people who can tolerate being closed up in tight quarters during bad weather. If you are claustrophobic a TC may not work. However, if you are touched with demophobia (fear of crowds), a TC is wonderful.

Motives for camping come into play. I am a landscape person who find finds the scenery of North America my soothing elixir. Photographing special places and views is my reward. My wife of 55 years likes cityscapes more than I do, but she also is an admirer of scenery. We are not claustrophobic, and we get along best when traveling.

The advantages of a Truck camper to us are:
Traveling without reservations because there seem to always be a small spot for a TC.

Ease of set up is excellent. Level if necessary and put out the steps.

Good for overnight stays, moving each morning with little prep needed.

The TC is easier to pull off the road for a photo op, lunch, or a potty stop.

Parking in situations that a trailer or MH cannot maneuver; primitive campsites. Older campgrounds have small sites that a TC can get into.

A TC can go deeper into rough country. Turning around on a narrow road is less of a problem.

Four wheel drive for those times when there is a weather or road problem. Class "C" rigs normally don't have FWD

Can tow a 4X4, boat, or horse trailer without the rig becoming very long.

Truck can be an everyday-driver and work-truck with camper dismounted.

Ron
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#59 OFFLINE   SabBumNim

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:24 AM

I agree with your thinking, Ron. Everyone must consider "their" personal preferences when considering a camper.

One thing I have enjoyed about my Truck Camper, is many times I travel to shows, fairs and events and find a convient parking space right in the downtown area of the city I am visiting. My truck & camper will take up just a normal parking space. I will "dry camp" there for the weekend. No one knows I'm in my camper enjoying the aminities of the frig running on propain, enjoying a shower, cooking a meal, or getting a good night's rest. All in the comport of my TT, right in the downtown of a major city.

I certanily would not be able to do that in a towed camper, or Class A or C.

Everyone needs to measure their own lifestyle...what is right for me, may be a bummer for someone else.

I guess the saying..."Whatever floats your boat."
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#60 OFFLINE   Wellsdesigned

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:04 AM

I suppose that if you are on the fence about it, perhaps you should go with the 5th wheel as your trial balloon. If you try it for a while and decide a truck camper would have been a better option, then you will probably have an easier time selling or trading in the trailer.

Truck campers are for a smaller market sort of RV user so if you started out trying it and hated it, you could be stuck for a while trying to sell it, especially if you finance your purchase and stay upside down on the debt for years.

For me, I started out with a trailer first because a Dodge Dakota could not carry the camper I would want. Then when the trailer was too much for the Dakota, I upgraded the truck to something that would take a camper some day. Then once I had the truck, it didn't take long to get the camper itch, so we traded in the trailer. I'm sure that if I wanted to trade in my excellent condition but old in years camper today, I wouldn't get much for it (of course, I've already gotten the purchase price out of it many times over in family memories).
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