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 > Your search for posts made by 'AH_AK' found 11 matches.

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RE: DRW vs SRW safety, tire blowout

I am with you Mark. I don’t think the blowout probability on my SRW with commercial 19.5’s is high enough to worry about. For brakes, I find my stock 1T brakes to be good as long as I don’t forget to downshift in the mountains and not ride the brakes. If I change my mind, I will buy a big brake kit. Some of the handling characteristics are subjective. A truck that a more experienced driver would be fine in, a less experienced driver might be white knuckling. I drew out a free-body diagram for the rear axle and the rear track width and tire stiffness COULD affect rotational (body roll) stiffness, but with the addition of an anti-sway bar, you have three “springs” acting in parallel, so the question becomes, is the added stiffness of moving the tire “spring” point outboard negligible compared to the other springs. That depends on the stiffness of the other springs. I am not surprised that some people report an “outrigger effect” while others (especially those moving from heavily modded srw) do not. Depends on your specific rig/tire. Throw the dynamic aspect in there and now shocks are in play. At the end of the day, if you find you are white knuckling and thinking “oh sh*t” as the camper rocks laterally, probably time to “stiffen your springs” and or get better shocks to dampen the rocking more effectively. If cost isn’t a big factor, a 1T stock DRW seems to be a great plug-and-play option. I completely understand why so many people opt for this. If you aren’t comfortable modding your srw, then the stock drw is an even better choice.
AH_AK 03/02/23 02:08pm Truck Campers
RE: DRW vs SRW safety, tire blowout

If I bought a truck for a camper I would go with a DRW just to be safe. Problem that I have is that a DRW would not go down many of the trails / roads that I like to drive on. That was the reason I got rid of my little class C. Was just to wide. This thread has jumped all over, but the original question had to do with safety. Are DRW safer in terms of maintaining stability in a blowout situation? The answer…probably. The thing is that if the probability of a blowout is low (with quality tires) to begin with and then the DRW advantage in terms of avoiding a subsequent loss-of-control accident is relatively small, then do you care enough to upgrade your truck on these grounds? I was simply trying to get a better feel for how often accidents (loss-of-control) result from a blowout on a truck with a camper and to see if there were more SRW accidents than DRW accidents. Right now, not enough data to say. If fact, no firsthand data of an accident and only one secondhand account. The lack of data tells a story. Maybe all the SRW folks that had accidents died in the resulting rollover, but it is starting to feel like the actual risk associated with a SRW blowout-induced accident is pretty darn low. In my case, probably low enough that I won’t consider the safety advantage in my decision to upgrade to DRW or stay with my built out SRW. There are other, non safety-related aspects that I will still consider though. Of course, to each their own.
AH_AK 02/28/23 04:26pm Truck Campers
RE: DRW vs SRW safety, tire blowout

There is always friction between road and tire. One of the reason cars cannot stop on ice is there is no friction between tire and ice. Sure the brake pads stop the wheel but on ice the wheel does not stop the vehicle. Eliminate the ice and the vehicle is able to stop. Forgetting for the moment that it is the friction between pads+rotor that ought to be slowing/stopping rather then the tires themselves here's what I had exception with: "My dually also has more braking power, it certainly stops my trailer much faster the my SRW trucks. Again this is determined from the drivers seat not from the text book." I'm simply pointing out that for 1T trucks the SRW and DRW have the same pads and rotors IE: SAME BREAKS. Any implied or imagined extra stopping "power" is NOT from the breaks. - Mark0. Calipers and master cylinder.
AH_AK 02/28/23 02:00pm Truck Campers
RE: Modified flatbed for C&C

I’m curious due to flat bed width how one would be able to unload the camper, and then wondering is there no factory installed rear hitch?? How much would the added height difference be of a 4500 (without a bed) over a 3500 4x4, and the acronym ‘CA’ - I assume this must mean ‘cab to rear axle center’ ? 3 tons Depends on the flatbed, but to my knowledge most are as wide as the wheels. The rear track on cab and chassis is the same as DRW 1T pickups, so you need the swing out brackets for the front jacks, just as you would with the 1T dually. Height is another issue. 4500/5500 flatbeds sit a few inches higher than the beds of 1T pickup. I want to say the frames are roughly the same height, but the pickup beds have less of an offset from frame top to bed than the flatbeds. I honestly don’t know how much higher. Depends on the flatbed I think. Adding blocks under the jacks to get the extra height (if jacks are near maxed) is not a big deal. 4500/5500 are made to carry the payloads of these larger campers, but as another commenter pointed out, the ride may be less than stellar compared to the relatively soft 1T pickups.
AH_AK 02/18/23 12:18am Truck Campers
RE: Modified flatbed for C&C

Ya, no inherent issues slicing and dicing a flatbed for your needs. Also not a huge deal to have a cog a little aft of the rear axle on such a big truck….except they already ride horribly and adding weight to the FA helps that. A 4500-5500 never rides good unless there’s a snowplow hanging off the front! I thought you already had the truck. I’d think it much easier and more advantages than drawbacks to having a folding “deck” on the back of the flatbed. You’d still have to get a camper all the way onto the bed. Or at least no vertical overhang in the rear. But a folding deck has some advantages. Can build it relatively lightweight. Can remove it easily for other truck duties. It’s up and out of the way while traveling and most importantly not getting covered with mud driving around the great state of AK. Also you could build it fairly long for a huge deck if you wanted. Although length = weight. Downside is having to drop it down to access the camper every time unless you can get maybe 2’ of flatbed overhang past the camper. Thanks for the info on the 4500/5500 ride. I kind of suspected the ride quality would be the primary tradeoff in stepping up to the larger trucks. The fold out landing would definitely be sweet, but would require a bit more thought and design work. Definitely doable if you have the extra GVWR to play with. I have a modified 1T SRW right now, so I have to weigh any truck swap with the cost differential and hassle. I am 1000 lb over my GVWR so I am hesitant to add more weight. I have been on the prowl for a DRW 1T or f-450, but the market right now is nuts. Zero deals to be had. C&C’s with flatbeds are all over the place and reasonably priced.
AH_AK 02/18/23 12:06am Truck Campers
RE: Modified flatbed for C&C

Has anyone here modded out a 13 ft flatbed to allow a TC to sit all the way up against the cab? One would need to relocate the fuel fill line and reduce the width of the last 5 ft of the 13 ft bed to allow clearance for the rear jacks and the dump nozzle. Of course the frame and suspension set the minimum width, but it looks very doable. The added benefit for me would be that I would also gain a 2.5 ft landing outside my Bigfoot 10.5e and open up a host of new stair configurations. Of course, the lockable storage box opportunities are fantastic too. C&C 4500+ are relatively common and comparatively cheap in my area. Just curious what problems I may encounter with such an undertaking. To answer your question, no. This is kind of like the question about reinforcing the truck's frame from a couple weeks ago. By and large the folks who own truck campers want simple and convenient. We like to buy the truck ready to go. If we have to add anything we like things that bolt on. Cutting the truck apart to make the camper fit is just not something that is commonly, or ever, done. IF you feel that you have the skills to pay the bills, by all means, knock yourself out. I think the TC community does tend to want to be plug-and-play. Not everyone though. There are some people here that have heavily modified their campers/trucks. I suppose that one of the reasons C&C trucks are so much cheaper is that they require mods for a lot of "normal" truck applications and most people don't want to deal with it. Cutting/welding to a modern truck frame is definitely a bad idea due to the grades of steel that they use. That work is best left to the pros. I am talking about moding out the flat beds, which, to my knowledge, are mostly made from mild steel structural elements that shouldn't require pre- or post-weld heat treatment. Fabrication work on these materials is considerably easier. If it is mild steel and the mod is lightly structural, most competent amateur welders can do the work. This is one of the reasons that I wouldn't build a flatbed from scratch. Start with a well-engineered, well-constructed (used/cheap) platform and lightly modify it.
AH_AK 02/13/23 03:31pm Truck Campers
RE: Modified flatbed for C&C

I doubt these are very common with a frame long enough for a 13' flatbed. That length frame, if you find it, only comes with a regular cab truck. What is mistly available is a 60" or 84" CA frame alowing for a 9' or 11' flatbed respectively. An 11'bed automatically solves yoyr rear jack problem as they will be past the end of the bed. Now you just need to deal with the drain pipe. When I was considering doing this there were a few campers that were flat on the bittom all the back but I firget whuch ones. If you did use a regular cab truck and 13' bed yoy might actually overload the front axle by getting the camper COG too far forward. These are very good points. I am thinking of the 84" CA frame with the aft-axle frame extensions. 12' would actually work fine. You are correct that the majority of the trucks I see are 60" CA and would be limited to 9 ft. I have seen several fleet vehicles with the longer flat beds and it seems like there is very little demand for these from the public (which is good from the gettin-it-cheap perspective). My calculation says ~12% distributed to the front axle for my COG at 24" in front of the real axle on a 204" WB, so front axle should be fine. TBH I have only driven trucks with the COG on or just in front of the rear axle, so I don't know how the shift forward would effect the handling. All I know is weight behind the rear axle is no bueno. Perhaps not as big a deal for the 4500+ truck...hate to be wrong though. The more I think on this, the more a bolt-on rear platform extension on a 9' bed seems advantageous. That frame would only be sized to handle it's own weight + cargo and dropped down an inch or so below the bottom of the camper, because to my knowledge, the overhang part of the camper is not meant to carry load. I wonder where the COG would end up if I added such an extension and then just placed the camper with the dump nozzle just aft of the end of the bed. It is my understanding that the CA on 60" C&C is 4" longer than a standard long bed pickup. Right now, my COG is like 1-2" in front of the rear axle, which would mean that without modifying the 9' bed to add a slot for the dump, my COG would end up behind the rear axle...then tack on my aft platform mass...mehhh. Maybe I am too focused on COG location and being slightly behind the rear axle on these big trucks would be fine.
AH_AK 02/13/23 03:17pm Truck Campers
RE: Modified flatbed for C&C

I thought about this option, but I would still need to either relocate the dump nozzle, or cut out a hole for it in the bed and then be okay with a very tall lift (these flatbeds sit high already). I could be wrong, but I think the jack extenders would need to be custom built. Personally, I am not super confident that the rear jack mounts (specifically the backing wood) could safely carry the moment that would be created by offsetting the jacks. This is definitely a viable option though. What got me thinking was that I parked next to a flatbed and decided to stick my head under there and see what the layout of the structural members was. It was surprisingly simple and sparse. Assuming the beams are mild steel, the mod would be fairly straightforward for a fab shop or fab hobbyist. The only downside is that the flatbed is not going to be useful for much else after the mod.
AH_AK 02/12/23 01:04pm Truck Campers
Modified flatbed for C&C

Has anyone here modded out a 13 ft flatbed to allow a TC to sit all the way up against the cab? One would need to relocate the fuel fill line and reduce the width of the last 5 ft of the 13 ft bed to allow clearance for the rear jacks and the dump nozzle. Of course the frame and suspension set the minimum width, but it looks very doable. The added benefit for me would be that I would also gain a 2.5 ft landing outside my Bigfoot 10.5e and open up a host of new stair configurations. Of course, the lockable storage box opportunities are fantastic too. C&C 4500+ are relatively common and comparatively cheap in my area. Just curious what problems I may encounter with such an undertaking.
AH_AK 02/12/23 12:10pm Truck Campers
RE: DRW vs SRW safety, tire blowout

Mine is a bit older (2012) but has 2 extra leaf springs, ranchos, a bigwig bar, and bags. To be fair (1) the bits that were uncomfortable were on the alcan and other rougher backroads and (2) I am pretty green with no prior experience towing or hauling heavy. For all I know you might hop in my rig and say “what are you talking about, this feels fine”. All the “nice” roads in WA, OR, and CA felt just fine. I did notice those commercial 19.5 tires broke in during the trip and stopped following seems and ruts so aggressively…which was nice. My SRW 2020 Chevy 3500 4X4 does not sway much at all, even with a Host Cascade. 19.5 tires and wheels, Stable Loads on the main springs and overloads, airbags, and a Roadmaster 1 1/4" rear swaybar. It all works together. The huge swaybar also benefits me when driving the truck empty, keeping both rear tires planted and eliminating the annoying stock axle hop which occurred almost every I pulled out from a corner, or went up a corner around a curve. Not the first time around the block. Before we went to a class A for several years, I had a Dodge 1-ton Cummins with similar suspension carrying an Arctic Fox 990 (still in my sig pictures!). But this aftermarket suspension package does add up! For most people I'd say just get the dually.
AH_AK 07/21/22 05:05pm Truck Campers
RE: DRW vs SRW safety, tire blowout

The weakest part of a tire is the sidewall…Since you already have uber robust 19.5’s, I’m afraid I’m missing your concern??…I suppose staying home is always an alternative option?? 3 tons I am not worried about a blowout with those tires. The issue this post was attempting to address was the blowout safety aspect that is often cited by DRW drivers as an argument for DRW over SRW. While logical, my feeling was that this argument for DRW blowout safety superiority is not supported by the accident data. Most of the replies here support that conclusion. IMO, the advantage of DRW is lateral stability on uneven roads and cross winds. I just returned from a 7500 mile trip with a 12,000 lb SRW (11,000 GVWR, i.e. overloaded). Crosswinds and uneven roads were inconvenient. Not unsafe, but definitely slowed me down and made driving a lot less fun. I can't definitively say that a DRW would have been a more pleasant experience, but it seemed to me that the DRW truck campers were doing better than I was. I am curious to get the camper on a DRW to see if it is just my lack of experience, or, if the wider rear track helps substantially. Based on anecdotal reports from other drivers that went from SRW to DRW, I suspect the difference would be substantial.
AH_AK 07/21/22 01:37pm Truck Campers
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