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How big is too big for off road?

Big campers off road

30 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   laine

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

The Lance 1172 looks really great for myself and 2 German Shepherds. Couch deleted for portable table area and no dinette, just bean bag and dog lounging space.  I understand it would need to go on a F550 or similar chassis cab but only yesterday I learned what an upfitter was.  Dry camping and back roads would be my choice and I will be full timing on retirement. If I wanted to get further out, I could tow a Jeep Wrangler. My question is, at what point is the camper/truck too tall, wide, cumbersome for forest service roads and remote camping. How much can be compensated with the proper flatbed build; overhang, CG all the other things I'm not even aware of yet? Thanks so much for any advice, I know where I want to go but not how to get there, so I start here!



#2 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

Please for give me I ask of you first. For off road use in my view the 1172 could be too much weight for off road use at what is it 3700 lbs. 20-21 ft in length a 4 ft off the rear, 12-13 ft tall, if mounted on a flat bed that could push it to what 13-14 ft tall. A 350 DRW is the min to be thought of but for off road as long as it is easy going be fine but hard off road no way. 450-550 still think the weight would still be a issue, have too think of the shock to the supension of the weight the tilt angle you may run into. Think those Alasken Truck Campers might be more up your alley. They are 10 to 11 ft tall lowered and 12-13 ft tall raised at the most the top's are hard side even on the rise section and the roof is rounded I belive for fit for back country use as to the weight cant say dont know for sure a 3/4 or 1 ton should work with 4x4. I know that I may be flamed but you are wanting for advise and what we may think. there are pop up campers that give you a lower porfile but I fear that they would be unsafe where bears are around and that brings you back to the alasken. I'm in the process of getting a Lance 1191 its 2" longer and 300 lbs heaver than the 1172 Im putting it on a Dodge DRW single cab and no 4x4. The way I see it if I cant get there with my set up I dont need to go there. http://www.alaskancamper.com/ or for pic http://www.alaskancamper.com/10FD.html look and think what you need and have?


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#3 OFFLINE   Dean

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:20 AM

I had Bigfoot 3000 series with a full slide on it.  There is no way that it could be an off road camper.  Too heavy and way to high on my Dodge 4wd dually.  I assume the Lance is about the same size.

 

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#4 OFFLINE   atchafalaya_man

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:58 AM

Yacht versus the canoe.  :)  



#5 OFFLINE   flakjacket

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

I take my 1181 off road, you just have to go slow. My wifes favorite campsite is 3.2 miles on a rut, washboard and rock filled dirt road enclosed on both sides by trees and bushes, with a couple of inclined hairpin turns. You know the type I'm talking about. Your not only looking at the road for hazards but looking high for low trees. Takes me aboout 40 minutes to travel the 3.2 miles and when we get there I'm ready for a drink on the rocks. That being said, I'm not saying it's absolutely OK, just saying that I take my 1181 off road.

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#6 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

there a small deferance in areas Calif vs Alaska not all areas are close to roads people towns and like in the terrain as alaska best to travle light and low for they have mountains on mountains not like the rockes. it is more a wilderness. Far worse than when I lived in Washington as a kid and my Uncle worked and lived in Fairbanks. Calif has some good off road areas yet i still belive light and low the best approch in off road camping 10-20 or more miles off road.


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#7 OFFLINE   regal292

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

  This is about as far out in the woods I've been with mine. Forest service road in near Prescott Az . About 2 miles in then down a side road . definately need 4x4.



#8 OFFLINE   Rusty Bridges

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

Tough one. I have seen many forest service roads in the east and the west that one could take a large TC on. I would suggest scouting first before starting, wouldn't want to get into a spot I couldn't get out of. There are many that are graded, graveled and maintained with adequate overhead clearance. You still should go slow and be aware of your height, but it is possible to get pretty deep into wilderness areas. Without a doubt an Alaskan would be ideal for off road travel, but an Alaskan is a camper, and a Lance 1171 is an RV. I'm not sure I would want to fulltime in an Alaskan - I have grown accustomed to my comforts.

Edited by Rusty Bridges, 31 January 2013 - 09:01 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   farmer

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:45 PM

What's too big?
Short Answer my truck.
Thats why I sometimes tow a Jeep.

My truck is also too big on road, like driving in a city, so I still tow a Jeep.

Just got back from a local RV show.
If you want big, a fiver is your example and class A

At least a Class A can tow a small car for the city.
If you unhitch a fiver you still have a big vehicle to try and park in the city.

If I was serious about off road, my vehicle, using standard domestic vehicles, and standard domestic campers would be.
One ton single wheel pickup, with the smallest camper that still has a shower and pottie, and has to have hard sides even if a popup.

And if I was really serious and money was no object, Turtle Expedition Vehicle

#10 OFFLINE   RichConley

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:28 AM

Its too big when the rear jacks won't clear a road wash out, a road embankment or river bed.

It just depends. . .



#11 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:33 AM

or when you are on your side wondering did i pass my CG?


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2012 Ram 3500HD DRW. RideRite 5000 Air Bags. Hellwig sway Bar rear. Curt hitch 17000/2550. Engine: 6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic 68RFE. 2017 Adventure Alp 116DS 5153+ lb. Reg Cab. Torklift Frame mounts. Ranch Hand Front Bumber, Duel hitch and 4' extension . C.B channel 19 most times. Towing a 16 ft storage trailer with a jon boat inside.

 

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#12 OFFLINE   Dean

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:20 AM

Another thing to consider is the sway with a tall camper, it can raise the dickens with your suspension.  


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#13 OFFLINE   Rusty Bridges

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

 

Its too big when the rear jacks won't clear a road wash out, a road embankment or river bed.
It just depends. . .

 There you go! You can take one farther than you think, it halps to have experence, good judgment, and enough know how to get yourself out of a jam. The larger the camper the more limited the places you can go, but there are thousands of miles good forest service roads that will take you away from civilization that can be easily negoiated by a high profile vehicle.

#14 OFFLINE   wirenut

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:31 PM

It all depends on your defenition of off-road. An 1172 rock crawling, I don't think so. Gravel forest road, sure. I have an 11' 4,000 pound camper on a dually. I weigh in at 13,140 ready to camp. I've driven mine on some rocky roads with break-water humps. It did fine but I did have to watch carefully for overhead branches. I've driven on tons of winding one lane gravel roads thru the mountians. I've never tried it in a situation that absolutely required 4 x 4.

You mention putting this on an F-550. That's not a small truck by any stretch. I would guess that if the truck will handle the terrain the camper is along for the ride. Overhead branches being the other concern.

You should check out the Dodge 5500 chassis. I think it has a better turning radius than the Ford which would be very helpfull offroad. And it would come with the proven Cummins instead of Ford's endless line of problematic diesels.



#15 OFFLINE   wirenut

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:33 PM

It all depends on your defenition of off-road. An 1172 rock crawling, I don't think so. Gravel forest road, sure. I have an 11' 4,000 pound camper on a dually. I weigh in at 13,140 ready to camp. I've driven mine on some rocky roads with break-water humps. It did fine but I did have to watch carefully for overhead branches. I've driven on tons of winding one lane gravel roads thru the mountians. I've never tried it in a situation that absolutely required 4 x 4.

You mention putting this on an F-5



#16 OFFLINE   flakjacket

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:31 PM

We've been in situations where 4wd is necessary and I have taken our Lance 1181, and as long as you are taking it slow and being observant to the surroundings i.e. overhead tree's; blind spots relating to on-coming vehicles; ruts etc...it can be done.  For instance going to one such spot that is 3.2 miles off the paved road, can take us up to 45 minutes, versus 15 minutes in truck w/o camper. 


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#17 OFFLINE   hodag

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:02 AM

F350 srw, crew, 8' bed on a jeep trail is too big. I should not have done it.

 

 

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#18 OFFLINE   atchafalaya_man

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:07 PM

F350 srw, crew, 8' bed on a jeep trail is too big. I should not have done it.

 

 

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Did you come BACK that way too?  I think I'd have been walking behind you after climbing out the driver's window to get out of the truck.  HOLY SMOKE!



#19 OFFLINE   countrycampers3

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

F350 srw, crew, 8' bed on a jeep trail is too big. I should not have done it.

 

 

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Hodag,  boy you got more balls than I do.  I'm sure your wife was all calm sitting on the passanger seat. :happy0045:


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#20 OFFLINE   countrycampers3

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

I would think like one of the guys above said if your truck can handle the terrain the camper is just along for the ride.  That in point, there are alot of variables.  so many I can't think of them all at this hour. 

I would think in my opinion that a f-350 SRW (single rear wheel) with a light weight Hardwall camper (bears) keep out, with at least a toilet.  A light weight camper will be better for your susspension.  Also a lower profile hardwall camper.  are you going to be in rock, sand, dirt, what will the base of the terrain be.  A dually tends to float and traction isn't great.  Make sure whatever you buy has a locking rear end.   LOCKING REAR END!!! Meaning both rear wheels will spin.  Just because you have 4wheel drive doesn't mean all 4 wheels will spin.  YOu might only have a two wheel drive.  With a load in the rear 4wheel drive has to work smart expecially if you have the left front and right rear up on a rock and the other two are down in the dirt.

Another thought I don't know how a diesel handles in sand, but there is alot of weight up front, and I think they might get stuck easily????

I live in Iowa, black dirt.  I just bought a 2008 F-350 dually Diesel, for our Northstar 8.5 Arrow.  I haven't been in much dirt with it yet because the ground has been froze for the most part, but I farm so I have been in dirt alot and when I was plowing an early snow this year and the ground was not frozen, well I pushed the snow a little to far into the the subsoild field and down I went, sunk instantly stuck.  I've done that before with a gas F250 and was able to back out.  I believe the extra diesel weight casued me to get stuck.  So you might want a Gas motor.  Now gas mileage.  another story.  Buy the way.  As far as I can tell with fords new 6.7liter diesel they've got a goodone from those I've talked to.  Farm trucks running gravel and some hwy. are getting 17-19 and better on all hwy. even interstate, plus ford has a better payload over the others. Fact look it up.  Turning radius ???? 

YOU've got your homework to check on. 

Farmer from Canada has a good idea, pull a jeep and off road with it. :fing32: That is what God created Jeeps for.

Flat beds add about 6" in height but man alot of extra storage.  Northstar campers from Iowa custom added storage compartments onto a normal slide in camper.  Only cost $400.  go to my profile and check out my gallery of pictures of it sitting on my flatbed.

Good Luck.

 

Later,

Doug B)


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