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#1 OFFLINE   Optimistic Paranoid

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 04:05 PM

Greetings, All.  First post from a new guy.

 

I have a 2012 Ford F250 4x4 Crew Cab with 8 foot bed.  It's pretty bare bones, no camper options or such like.  My rear leafs consist of 3 leaves, or maybe 2 leaves and 1 overload, not sure about that bottom leaf.  No rear anti-sway bar.

 

I want to buy an Alaskan Camper.  It will take me another year to save up enough for a new Alaskan.  In the mean time, I'm keeping my eyes open for a good, suitable USED Alaskan, but frankly, good used Alaskans are rarer than honest politicians.

 

Alaskan say s that the dry weight on a 10 foot unit is 1705 lbs. and the wet weight is 1961 lbs.  And yes, I know that by the time I add on all my junk, clothes, bedding, food, etc. it's going to weigh a bunch more than that.

 

I seek advice on upgrading my suspension.  I've been looking at Timbrens, SuperSprings, and SumoSprings.  (I'm retired, and have no need, nor plans, to remove the camper from the truck, so I've ruled out air bags.)  I'm also considering new springs from Deaver.  Deaver says my stock factory spring rate is 2700 lbs.   They have two replacement number available.  #43-1717 has a 3700 lb rate for $762, and #43-681HD has a 4400 lb rate for $792.

 

So which would you recommend, and why?  Plan A is the stock factory springs with aftermarket help.  Plan B is new springs from Deaver.

 

If Plan A, WHICH aftermarket parts?  I see that SuperSprings has 5 different part numbers for my truck, ranging from 1500 lbs to 3300 lbs additional support.  Or Timbrens?  Or SumoSprings?

 

If Plan B, which part number do I need?

 

Oh, and I'm planning for new shocks.  I'm thinking Bilsteins 5100s.  Comments?

 

And I've replaced my front bumper with a heavier Buckstop winch bumper and winch, so I'm thinking Timbrens up front. Comments?

 

Thanks.


Regards

John

DON'T FEED THE VULTURES!

My Body is a Temple! Ancient, Crumbling, Probably Cursed . . .

I Don't Like To Make Advanced Plans.  It Causes the Word "PREMEDITATED" to Get Thrown Around in Court!


#2 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 04:43 PM

I think you read that weight wrong. There’s no 10’ wood frame camper weighing that little. The dry weight on my NS Laredo is 2400 lbs. Loaded with accessories and gear it’s close to 3,000 lbs, maxing out my GMC 2500. Good luck, those Alaskans are highly rated by their owners.
I have been a tent camper since my Boy Scout days long, long, ago. Now I need to get up off of the cold ground to get a good nights rest, a truck camper seems to be the best choice. I am here to learn as much as I can.

#3 OFFLINE   Optimistic Paranoid

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 12:46 AM

See for yourself, Stan.

 

http://alaskancamper...atures-pricing/


Regards

John

DON'T FEED THE VULTURES!

My Body is a Temple! Ancient, Crumbling, Probably Cursed . . .

I Don't Like To Make Advanced Plans.  It Causes the Word "PREMEDITATED" to Get Thrown Around in Court!


#4 OFFLINE   Chief 2

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 03:49 AM

I would start with a rear sway bar like a Big Wig and a good set of shocks and see how it handles after that. I had Timbrens on a Dodge I had many years ago and I wasn't impressed. I would also make certain you have the best rated tires you an get.



#5 OFFLINE   RichConley

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 05:46 AM

I would start with a rear sway bar like a Big Wig and a good set of shocks and see how it handles after that. I had Timbrens on a Dodge I had many years ago and I wasn't impressed. I would also make certain you have the best rated tires you an get.

Good advice, right there^and I second it.

 

Double check the tires for their load capacity - you might find them near their limit with the camper.

You'll want to upgrade the factory shocks (they're too spongy) - I prefer the adjustable shocks because I take the camper off quite often.

Put the Big Wig sway bar on your list.

Upper Stable Loads by Torklift should be considered.  (I can't recommend the lower ones - they didn't do anything for my rig.)

Triple check the tire load ratings.

 

If you think that additional spring power is needed; the SuperSprings are something that you can install yourself.

Don't forget the tie-downs in the budget.



#6 OFFLINE   TDWebster

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 03:20 PM

Hmmmmm, I think I would stop by a spring shop, talk with them about a new progressive spring pack with appropriate overloads, consider a helwig "Big Wig" rear anti roll bar, and Stableloads. Stableloads transfer the camper weight to the overloads when you load the camper. 

 

At least stop by there and see what they have to say. Definitely e-rated tires, or better yet, upgrade to 19.5's

 

You may want to do some research into the bed also. If its aluminum, make sure its up to the task of supporting the camper, and don't forget tie downs---Torklifts all the way



#7 OFFLINE   Norske

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Posted 16 June 2018 - 05:21 AM

www.TruckCamperMagazine.com has a linked tool for estimating loaded weight of truck campers.  My wife and I add at least 750# of groceries, bedding and clothing to our Lance 1050 for most trips.  The weight on the TC label claims 3125#, but we're usually closer to 4000#.   I don't think empty or dry weight includes any water or propane.  

 

As for Stableloads, Lance Owners forums contains a posting about using plastic splitting wedges to make your own.


Edited by Norske, 16 June 2018 - 05:23 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   Bedlam

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Posted 16 June 2018 - 08:56 PM

The plastic wedges work fine if you keep the he camper on the truck. If you drive the truck empty, you will want the quick release feature of the Torklift product. I tested my F250 with blocks of pressure treated wood screwed to the lower leaf spring before buying the StableLoads.

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#9 OFFLINE   atchafalaya_man

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 04:54 AM

You have to quit reading dry weight figures if you really want the truth.

 

Below is a picture story of how my 2900 pound dry weight camper ends up heavier.  You have to read the fine print. 

First picture is my 2004 Lance 1130's brochure.    Inside the brochure, it leads one to believe the camper weighs 2900 pounds 'dry'.  Most think this means, up on your truck, but without liquids. 

 

Second picture is where I was further misled by the fuzzy math on the back door of the camper.  Yes, 46 gallons of water at 8 pounds per gallon (40 gallon fresh tank [320#] and a 6 gallon water heater [48#]) plus 56 pounds of propane brings that up to 3324 pounds.  

 

Something is already wrong.   320+48+56=424 pounds.  BUT, they slipped in 'a 6 cubic foot refrigerator' into the weight calculation.  So, it must weigh 'NOTHING'.  Maybe it's somewhere else....but we'll see.

 

OH LOOK, another sticker inside the camper's clothes closet.

 

Third Picture; The first paragraph says the same as the back sticker.  But the second says the camper NOW weighs 3707# (383 pounds more than the camper and the water and the propane and the mysteriously featherweight refrigerator) 'with factory installed optional equipment' that weighs more than 20 pounds.   

 

That 383 pounds goes quickly when I use the picture below to do some comparison. MATH TIME.   Just those I see in my camper add up to over 500 pounds, so the 383 is probably not correct, but we'll believe it anyway.

 

And more pictures you can read to realize that 2900 pounds isn't going to happen.   It goes on to say all the 'under 20 pound items might add up to another 150 pounds.  OK...3707 plus the 150 (my camper was loaded with every option) comes to  3857 pounds.

 

But wait, it goes on to say this doesn't include items installed by the dealer!   We don't know what they installed, other than 75 pounds of batteries perhaps?   

 

So, my 2900 pound camper went to 3324 with water and propane, and, then 3707 with factory items, and 150 with unaccounted for 'light things', and that brought me to 3857 pounds.  Below are a few more things I can think of that 'I added', like traveling with a few gallons of grey and black water and steps and tie downs and such, not counting the battery.    This is all before I load the first pair of socks or can of beans.   Here is a summary spreadsheet that shows how I am carrying a 2900 pound camper that weighs well over 4000 pounds.   

8%2520actual%2520weights.JPG

 

Just figuring if my truck is up to the task, my dually's 'combined weight of occupants and cargo' per the manufacturer is 4695 pounds.  Besides occupants, that leaves no more than about 200 pounds of food, drinks, clothes, computers, and toys such as the bicycles, etc. before going over the GVWR.   And, I have a dually and not a SRW truck.   Read the fine print.   

Attached Files



#10 OFFLINE   Budster

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 03:11 PM

You have to quit reading dry weight figures if you really want the truth.

Very nice write up. It just goes to show you who not to believe.

 

Did you ever weigh it after all your 'stuff' was loaded?

 

Is it time for a 550?

 

Can you imagine how much a Host really weighs?

 

Thanks for posting this eye opener for both newbies and oldies!


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#11 OFFLINE   atchafalaya_man

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 04:08 PM

Budster, this effort was prompted by a friend who owns a Lance 855S, short camper, that he carries on a new 1 ton GMC short-bed, single rear wheel truck.   He DID weigh his and was shocked.  SURELY his 1 ton would be up to the task!!!  Before beans and socks, he was 400 pounds over weight, even for his tire ratings, besides his truck's rating. 

 

For me, the answer is no, I have never weighed the camper, yet.   I really didn't want to know, but now that the math is so revealing, I might as well weigh it next time we leave for at trip.   I won't be overweight, but, it will be interesting to see.



#12 OFFLINE   mtnkwby

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 08:23 PM

I can tell you that my 1990 S&S 11sc shows a dry weight of 3,050lbs...it weights 4,000lbs ready to camp.


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#13 OFFLINE   Electrojake

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 08:08 PM


Greetings, All.  First post from a new guy.

I have a 2012 Ford F250 4x4 Crew Cab with 8 foot bed.  It's pretty bare bones, no camper options or such like.  My rear leafs consist of 3 leaves, or maybe 2 leaves and 1 overload, not sure about that bottom leaf.  No rear anti-sway bar.

I want to buy an Alaskan Camper.

I'm 100% with atchafalaya_man on the advertised dry weight issue...

 

The listed dry weight of my Northstar is 2480 pounds.

When its on the back of my SRW 3500 RAM I hit the CAT scale at 12,280.

 

BTW, I'm registered at 12,300 so that gives me 20 stinking pounds of payload before I'm runnin' outlaw. :mad0235:

Seeing as how my truck alone weighs 8400, some simple math puts my 2480 pound camper at 3880 pounds!

 

My pajamas and a few pots & pans cant possibly weigh that much but alas, the scales dont lie.

 

Typically, on a SRW vehicle the tires are the weakest link.

All the steel suspension goods in the world cant get you past the anemic 'LT' tire load ratings. Plus if you're already over your GVWR, adding more steel to the truck will only make you even heavier!

 

A good starting point. . .

What does the TREAD Act sticker on you truck say your permissible payload is???

<see example below>

 

6a00d83451b3c669e201a73dc8c543970d-pi.jp

 

Now on the plus side...

Truck camper people have been grossly overloading their trucks for decades and it never seems to be a problem, so I say buy the Alaskan (which is indeed a rather light unit) slap it on the back of your Ford long-bed and move the project forward. :fing32:

 

Keep us posted,

-Ej-


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#14 OFFLINE   zcookiemonstar

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 11:57 PM

I am also new on this site but not to truck campers. I suggest you don't do anything to your truck until you are actually ready to buy your camper. You never know what will change between now and then and it may end up being a waste of money. What if you change your mind and decide to buy a travel trailer or a new truck? If possible wait until you buy the camper and see what you need.   



#15 OFFLINE   Optimistic Paranoid

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:48 AM

I am also new on this site but not to truck campers. I suggest you don't do anything to your truck until you are actually ready to buy your camper. You never know what will change between now and then and it may end up being a waste of money. What if you change your mind and decide to buy a travel trailer or a new truck? If possible wait until you buy the camper and see what you need.   

That's basically excellent advice.  But . . .

 

Alaskan's are a little different than most campers.  There are no dealers where you go in and pick one up, or even have a new one shipped into.  Instead, you order one built just the way you want it, they build it, and then you drive to the factory in WA and they install it on your truck.  I live in upstate NY, so I'm going to have to drive across the country to get it, and then drive back across the country with it installed.  I suppose, if I discover the stock suspension is horrible with the weight on back, I could stop somewhere and let some stranger, who knows he will never see me again, mess with my truck.  But frankly, I have a nephew who makes his living as a professional mechanic and who is ASE certified who does all the work on my truck.  So I would certainly prefer to have him make the necessary changes BEFORE I head west.

 

But, yes, I don't intend to do any of this before I definitely buy the Alaskan.  It takes about 8 weeks between the time you order it and it's ready for pickup, so the plan is to have him make the necessary changes during that period.  For sure I'm going to need new shocks by that point.  And I'm pretty sure the back end is going to be sagging, since the rear springs are apparently the LIGHTEST factory springs Ford has for F250s . . .

 

To answer some of the earlier posts, the truck has 17 inch B G Goodrich E range tires rated for 3195 lbs each at 80 psi, which appears to be the max available unless I were to go to 19.5s.  I would think they would be perfectly adequate for what is one of the lighter truck campers out there.

 

Thanks for the responses.


Regards

John

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My Body is a Temple! Ancient, Crumbling, Probably Cursed . . .

I Don't Like To Make Advanced Plans.  It Causes the Word "PREMEDITATED" to Get Thrown Around in Court!


#16 OFFLINE   pscansetzer

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 04:05 AM

All great advice and some topics to really consider - one topic I didn't see was brakes.  After it is all said and done.  The front brakes normally take a beating.  I would upgrade to some heavy duty rotors and discs.  Tire ratings, axle ratings, GVWR can all give you some good data points to go on, but if you can't stop the beast ...well enough said on that.  Get that Alaskan - put on the truck and then you will see what you need no doubt.   Have fun with it.  They are blast to putz around with, make mods to, clean, repair and love to sit in when even at the house! 

 

How do you eat an elephant? - One bit at a time....

 

Greetings, All.  First post from a new guy.

 

I have a 2012 Ford F250 4x4 Crew Cab with 8 foot bed.  It's pretty bare bones, no camper options or such like.  My rear leafs consist of 3 leaves, or maybe 2 leaves and 1 overload, not sure about that bottom leaf.  No rear anti-sway bar.

 

I want to buy an Alaskan Camper.  It will take me another year to save up enough for a new Alaskan.  In the mean time, I'm keeping my eyes open for a good, suitable USED Alaskan, but frankly, good used Alaskans are rarer than honest politicians.

 

Alaskan say s that the dry weight on a 10 foot unit is 1705 lbs. and the wet weight is 1961 lbs.  And yes, I know that by the time I add on all my junk, clothes, bedding, food, etc. it's going to weigh a bunch more than that.

 

I seek advice on upgrading my suspension.  I've been looking at Timbrens, SuperSprings, and SumoSprings.  (I'm retired, and have no need, nor plans, to remove the camper from the truck, so I've ruled out air bags.)  I'm also considering new springs from Deaver.  Deaver says my stock factory spring rate is 2700 lbs.   They have two replacement number available.  #43-1717 has a 3700 lb rate for $762, and #43-681HD has a 4400 lb rate for $792.

 

So which would you recommend, and why?  Plan A is the stock factory springs with aftermarket help.  Plan B is new springs from Deaver.

 

If Plan A, WHICH aftermarket parts?  I see that SuperSprings has 5 different part numbers for my truck, ranging from 1500 lbs to 3300 lbs additional support.  Or Timbrens?  Or SumoSprings?

 

If Plan B, which part number do I need?

 

Oh, and I'm planning for new shocks.  I'm thinking Bilsteins 5100s.  Comments?

 

And I've replaced my front bumper with a heavier Buckstop winch bumper and winch, so I'm thinking Timbrens up front. Comments?

 

Thanks.


Jim & Tam Setzer

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#17 OFFLINE   Wanky

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 06:45 PM

Most of us are probably guilty of buying a first camper that was too much for the truck we had.

 

In my case, back in 2006, I was about 900 lbs over GVW according to a certified weigh scale.  We were driving a GM 2500 in those days, and the only upgrade I went with was better tires and Supersprings in the back.

 

Back then, I found that the camper manufacturer I was dealing with gave me some good advice on the capabilities of the model of truck I was driving compared to the camper I wanted.  All of the folks on this site are giving good advice.  But the camper manufacturer does this kind of thing for a living, and especially the brand you are talking about should be able to give you some ideas as well.  For starters, they might be able to give you a more accurate weight of the version you are thinking of once you add all the accessories.

 

Welcome to the group.






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