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 > Your search for posts made by 'billtex' found 160 matches.

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RE: Need Suspension Mods

it sounds like you must have over load springs, that work as the truck body drops the springs come into contact with the overload spring perches on the frame. Your not loaded enough to make them come into play full time so they BANG every time the springs hit them As you crank up the air bags they you are raising the back so they never hit again. This. Ditch the airbags and add lower Stableloads . You’ll be all set.
billtex 09/15/20 07:02pm Truck Campers
RE: Gas mileage last trip.

Specta-that is pretty good mpg. My current ten speed gasser with only 2k miles on it, is within 0.5 mpg of our previous diesel. I expect the new truck will get better with more miles. We are very pleased with the new gas truck. The new ten speeds are a game changer for gassers.
billtex 09/10/20 05:43am Truck Campers
RE: Front Frame Mount Tie Downs Not Working!

OP-do you have a SB camper on a LB? I don’t see where you posted camper/truck model (other than 2500)? How tight are your tie downs? I’ve been around here quite a while, seen all kinds of mishaps/failures. Never saw this before... Bill
billtex 09/02/20 03:17pm Truck Campers
RE: Truck Camper Northern Lite 811

Welcome to the TC world. NL is a good choice. You will enjoy the freedom of traveling with a TC!
billtex 09/01/20 05:20am Truck Campers
RE: Chalet TS116 Experiance

Looking for people who have owned a Chalet TS116 camper. Would like to hear about your likes and dislikes. Also any issues you might have ran into during your ownership. I know Chalet is still in production but they no longer make truck campers. So I am a little worried about buying a camper that the company no longer is making them. I realize that most items can be replaced but am just being cautious. I want a side entry camper because I will be towing most of the time I use the camper so ease of getting in and out would be nice. So since I want a side entry PLUS minimum of one slide my options are very limited. Hey Wildman, I just joined up here because of your question(s), and hope I can offer some advice as a TS116 owner that's just over the "hills" from you (near Tacoma). I bought my "new" 2012 in mid-2014 as a dealer demo. Our family loves the camper, though it's not without (mostly minor) issues. Likes: TONS of storage Dry bath Huge living space (you forget you're in the back of a truck) Seems to cut through the wind remarkably well, going down the road (I previously had a Fleetwood Caribou that would get buffeted and blown all over the place). Of course, I put it on an air-bagged 3500 dually. I only recently started towing behind it, and a 36" extension is sufficient. Use a weight-distributing hitch and you won't even know a trailer is behind you. Massive fresh/gray/black water capacity for a camper. Two people can boondock for a week with no issues. Decent balance/weight distribution for such a large camper. Dislikes: Shoddy finish work (IMHO). Glue overspray everywhere, cabinetry construction sub-par (don't put anything remotely heavy in drawers without reinforcing/gluing the bottoms). Styrofoam beads (from the composite roof) still appearing inside after every journey. Overhead wardrobe is not well though out... can't open doors with a made-up bed. I pulled mine out, did a little re-working to the top corners of it, and re-installed raising them about 4". More useful, now. (some of the following is not a problem with Chalet, but due to 3rd party components): Lousy tank monitoring system. Don't rely on it AT ALL. Jacks (as mentioned before) can give you fits, but usually due to water ingress (inspect and replace emergency plugs on top of gearboxes as needed, and/or find water-resistant covers for top of jacks). Heki 1 or 2 hatch in overhead... JUNK. latches break if you look at them hard. Mine blew open in a wind storm and broke the dome. Replaced it with a Heki 4 (electrically operated), and it's been trouble-free ever since. It's TALL sitting on a stock-height dually. I think it's around 13'6" to the top of the AC cover. Watch out for low bridges and branches! A couple other thoughts: Mine is starting to show signs of (mild) de-lamination of the exterior, appearing as big bubbles. Chalet claimed that storing on the jacks was perfectly acceptable, but I'd advise sitting it on a stand(s). I'm seeing a little buckling at one corner (nothing major), but it doesn't appear to be progressing. The compact slide mechanisms Chalet employed haven't caused me any trouble, and I've never had an issue with a slide sticking. "Racking" of the frame has never been an issue for me. Ample battery space (I have 4 Trojan batteries in the compartment, along with my solar charging setup, and there's room for at least 3 more batteries. HOWEVER... I'd be hesitant to put any more in it as I would fear the battery weight, along with a full tank of fresh water, might rip the bottom off the camper. (I won't take the camper off the truck if there's water in the tank... you can see the bottom droop.) As I mentioned, I have a solar setup on mine. The "pre-wire" is garbage, and will need to be scrapped if you want to have a working solar charging system (check out handybobsolar.wordpress.com/ on how to build a functioning system). All things considered, I'd buy one all over again. We enjoy the heck out of it, and it gets a lot of curious looks and questions in a campground. It definitely doesn't seem like much of a compromise vs. a trailer, and it'll get into places you can't take a trailer. :) I know the OP asked about Chalet’s, and my intention is not to bash Chalet (never owned one). My intention is to offer another perspective. Our Eagle Cap is the same vintage (2013) has similar capacities, etc We purchased new and have camped extensively. I can honestly say we have had none of these issues. We use the camper off the truck with full tanks, on the truck, summer, winter, etc, etc Yesterday I replaced a vent lid that had become brittle with age. That is the first and only repair we have done. I try not to have brand bias and do my research with an open mind. I suggest the OP look at other brands as well and not get tunnel vision. The issues described above would e enough to change my mind. Good luck, Bill
billtex 08/31/20 05:48am Truck Campers
RE: Cooper tire failure at 65mph - now what?

Not sure it would have helped in this case as this appears to be a catastrophic failure. But I can say having a TPMS is a God send for us truck campers. The ability to monitor psi as you are going down the road can really help predict if something is amiss with your tires. Not sure if your truck has this, but you can add aftermarket. I have much greater peace of mind with TPMS in the new truck. We had similar failure and it scared the p**p out of me. No fun when hauling a TC. I did add an aftermarket system to the old truck and it worked fine as well. Bill
billtex 08/19/20 06:13am Truck Campers
RE: Cooper tire failure at 65mph - now what?

Front at 80 psi, rears at 70. What kind of weight on front tires that they require 80psi? And in 2nd picture roughly 2/3 way down...IS that a NAIL/Screw Head sticking out of the tread Right. I am curious also as to why the high psi up front? Typically the front is un-weighted or very lightly loaded with a TC while the rear axle (of course) has the bulk of the load. What did you find at the scales? I know you have a bit of a unicorn for a camper, curious as to scale weights. Thx, Bill
billtex 08/18/20 06:48pm Truck Campers
RE: Campsite Squatters

Unless they are violating the time requirement, I don’t see the issue. Agreed. Happens all the time. We have left the camper on site for several days and gone off backpacking in the mountains. Can’t worry about everything.
billtex 08/18/20 02:24pm Truck Campers
RE: Cooper tire failure at 65mph - now what?

Hmmm. Glad no one was injured. I had similar failure on last truck w/Nitto’s. They did honor warranty (actually Tire Rack did...) and I replaced with the KO2’’s. The KO2’s had the greatest load index I could find for 16” wheels. You might check for your size. I was pleased with the KO2’s.
billtex 08/18/20 02:20pm Truck Campers
RE: How does this work?

I can't say I have ever seen a TC "unload" at any campground. Maybe if you were going to stay for a week or more. TCs (that I know of) don't have a black water tank and some (most ? all?) have external gray water so about the only thing you have to disconnect is power and pack up any loose items before running on a side trip. ? Our Eagle Cap carries 50 gal fresh and 35/35 waste tanks. Almost as big as our AirStream (55 gals fresh). We can stay off grid for a week no problem. And that is showering daily. We seldom off load as we like to have our “stuff” with us (lunch, bathroom, pot o’ coffee). It’s really no problem either way, but usually just keep the TC loaded.
billtex 08/14/20 11:14am Truck Campers
RE: Lance 830 with Ram 3500 Mega Cab

That dodge mega cab eats up a lot of wheel base, that’s why the short bed. Pretty sure all the MC say ”not for TC’s”-check the glove box. You will NOT be happy with COG behind axle. Have you seen the Ford crew cab? Just as big and come with a real bed. Just sayin’... Safe travels, Bill
billtex 08/12/20 07:33pm Truck Campers
RE: Timbrens vs Stableloads

As a newbie truck camper (first truck and first camper) this whole issue of suspension moss has me totally confused, although this thread is definitely helpful. We’ve just completed our first major trip with our rig - 2019 Ram 3500 dually + Northern Lite 10 2 (4500 lbs wet) - with no mods thus far to the suspension. Overall the ride has been quite good except for some front to back rocking when passing over bigger bumps. Feels quite stable side to side. With the camper on the truck the bed goes down but only to the point where the camper is pretty much level since the bed has slope when unloaded. Is this too much sag? Would one of the suggested mods help the front to back rocking? The truck will be driven unloaded at least half the time. If this should be asked in a separate post I apologize! Jeff-with that truck and camper you probably don’t need any suspension enhancements. If your headlights are not pointing to the sky and you have not dropped more than 2” or so, I wouldn’t worry about it. Keep in mind; your rear needs to sag a few inches just to get back to level. (This is truck dependent- could be 2” could be 4”...) I am losing about 4” with my Eagle Cap (heavier than your camper and a SRW truck) so my goal is to gain about 2” to return to “level”. There will be a certain amount of “sway” when you throw several thousand pounds of high COG cargo in your bed. You will get used to this. It’s not going away. Any mods you do will compromise your ride either unladen, laden, or both (depending on what your do). IMO best case is don’t do any mods if you don’t need to. You have a (very nice) middle weight camper on a DRW truck probably well within payload. I would probably leave it as is. Safe travels, Bill
billtex 08/03/20 08:03am Truck Campers
RE: Shimming camper to minimize side to side movement

Man, you Guys over think everything. Put the camper in the bed, tie it down and go.
billtex 07/31/20 12:38pm Truck Campers
RE: Timbrens vs Stableloads

I do not understand the issue for drilling or for that matter why anyone would chose Stableloads instead of Timbrens. The Timbrens install very easily without any drilling or issues. The issue for drilling is drilling through spring steel-not easy (Ford bottom OL does not have a through hole) to mount the SL’s. Timbrens are different than the SL’s. Timbrens add additional support at the axle-they are somewhat of a “hard stop”. (They are slightly progressive). Many users report a slap when Timbrens engage the axle going over bumps. This is concerning to me in an unladen condition. The SL’s should not result in a hard stop as they work with the OE suspension-not in ADDITION to the OE suspension. And by design are completely disengaged when unladen. I am not saying one is better. It depends on your needs. We need to level the truck (our boat is too big to tow now) so we do minimal towing. I do not need to add to my suspension-just enhance it-if this makes sense. Bill
billtex 07/30/20 11:17am Truck Campers
RE: Timbrens vs Stableloads

I have both, if I was to chose which one was the most beneficial it would be the lower Stable Loads. They reduce sway and help level out my truck. I later added the Timbrens for additional support while towing. Can you talk more about the difference with just the lower SL and then after adding the Timbrens? Thanks. Certainly. Instead of throwing a bunch of parts at my truck when I first picked up my camper, I tried things one at a time. I ran completely stock at first, noticed I wasn't sitting level and had top heavy sway. So I added lower Stable Loads which was supper easy with pre-drilled factory overload springs. They really helped level the truck out and drastically reduced the top heavy sway feeling. I almost always was pulling my 16' trailer with ATV's and then later on a much heavier SxS UTV. I decided to try adding Timbrens after increasing my trailer load. Timbrens weren't required/needed, but did help trailer bounce when driving on Alaska's frost heaved roads. I really feel that the lower Stable Loads were all I needed for better ride and control. That’s what I was hoping to hear. Thanks for the details. I will be going with lower SL’s. We don’t tow as much or as heavy as we used to so I am really just looking to handle the camper better than OE suspension. Thx again, Bill You're welcome, hopefully your springs are predrilled to save you a bunch of work. You'll appreciate the difference Stable Loads make. Nope. For some reason Ford doesn’t have the holes any longer...
billtex 07/29/20 08:04pm Truck Campers
RE: Timbrens vs Stableloads

I have both, if I was to chose which one was the most beneficial it would be the lower Stable Loads. They reduce sway and help level out my truck. I later added the Timbrens for additional support while towing. Can you talk more about the difference with just the lower SL and then after adding the Timbrens? Thanks. Certainly. Instead of throwing a bunch of parts at my truck when I first picked up my camper, I tried things one at a time. I ran completely stock at first, noticed I wasn't sitting level and had top heavy sway. So I added lower Stable Loads which was supper easy with pre-drilled factory overload springs. They really helped level the truck out and drastically reduced the top heavy sway feeling. I almost always was pulling my 16' trailer with ATV's and then later on a much heavier SxS UTV. I decided to try adding Timbrens after increasing my trailer load. Timbrens weren't required/needed, but did help trailer bounce when driving on Alaska's frost heaved roads. I really feel that the lower Stable Loads were all I needed for better ride and control. That’s what I was hoping to hear. Thanks for the details. I will be going with lower SL’s. We don’t tow as much or as heavy as we used to so I am really just looking to handle the camper better than OE suspension. Thx again, Bill
billtex 07/29/20 11:06am Truck Campers
RE: Timbrens vs Stableloads

I have both, if I was to chose which one was the most beneficial it would be the lower Stable Loads. They reduce sway and help level out my truck. I later added the Timbrens for additional support while towing. Can you talk more about the difference with just the lower SL and then after adding the Timbrens? Thanks.
billtex 07/27/20 09:58am Truck Campers
RE: Timbrens vs Stableloads

I have had two trucks. The first was a 2010 Ram 2500. I added Rancho shocks and airbags. The airbags were a serious disappointment. They added lots of sway even at low psi. They leaked and after a couple of years one bag developed a tear and had to be replaced. I had to put the Rancho shocks on a high settings to reduce sway which then made the ride harsh. I gave up with the airbags, added Supersprings and was able to reduce the settings on the shocks. Supersprings also cured the sway issue. My second truck is a 2018 Ram 3500. It handled the load marginally well except I could not drive at night without blinding oncoming drivers. I added Timbrens for a quick, low cost solution. The ride is still a bit mushy, but OK. If I decide on a further upgrade, I would not bother with the shocks, but I would consider Supersprings. They should help stiffen the suspension and reduce the rear sag even more. Supersprings fix the primary issue and considering what you get and the effect, they are very low cost. You can also save even more by installing them yourself. If not installation cost should be low. They merely bolt on with shackles. They can also be adjusted and they are progressive so they have relatively little effect on driving without the camper. I suppose you could achieve the same by having a spring shop add an extra leaf spring. The expense would be more and you would have to rely on the spring shop to select a suitable additional spring. Thx. We had bags and supersprings on our previous (3/4 ton) truck. I won’t use bags again either. The SS are great for a 3/4 ton. I don’t need them for the 1 ton. I can’t say if it was the bags or the SS on the last truck, but it rode like a cement mixer when unladen. Even with 2-3 psi in the bags. The ride was awful. The SS definitely helped with the load. I am hoping to retain the stock (plush) unladen ride this time around!
billtex 07/27/20 09:55am Truck Campers
RE: Airbags not working with overloads

And now to close the loop... I put 500 miles on the truck camper over the weekend and was very happy with how it ran. Still experimenting with the pressures but it seemed like 65-85 was the best for highway and then I was dropping down to 45 for city driving. I had no bottoming out, even on 81 in PA which is good enough for me. There may be some shock upgrades in the future but for now I will drive it as-is and put some more miles on the setup. Every rig is different. Experimenting will help you find the settings just right for you. I will say-that is very high psi. But if it works-it works! Safe travels.
billtex 07/27/20 09:50am Truck Campers
RE: Timbrens vs Stableloads

Thanks all, I am trying to keep suspension mods to the new SRW F350 much more straight forward than the last truck. I am hoping to pick the one mod that gets us there, Cal-you are too funny! Airbags will not be on the list this time... Safe travels, Bill
billtex 07/26/20 07:13pm Truck Campers
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