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 > Looking at buying a new truck for a camper, first time

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Folsom, CA

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Posted: 01/11/18 12:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am looking at buying a new truck and would like to have something that can tow my boat that weighs roughly 5500lbs all loaded up and have a cab over camper at the same time. I was out looking at leftover 2017 Ford F250 and F350. I don't have a cab over camper in mind but ideally I like the single slide models when I have been looking. I am debating between the F250 or the F350. The F350 can handle around 3950lbs payload from what I can see. The F250 is 3450lbs. I think the F250 would be better for my daily driver. My understanding is the only difference is spring rates between the 2 trucks, but I think I'll need Timbrens anyway. I have never driven a truck with a camper and was hoping someone could help me in the right direction. I am concerned the F350 will be too harsh as a daily driver over the F250. Any opinions on the new super duty?

2000 Kit Espree 26'
rear bunks/front queen

2005 Dodge Ram 1500
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Hemi, 3.92 gears, airram intake, superchips, gibson exhaust



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Posted: 01/11/18 04:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go BIG or go home the saying goes. Buy the 350 and don’t look back and don’t regret that you should have bought s bigger truck.

Dartmouth, MA
2006 Dodge 2500 4X4 Diesel
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Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 01/11/18 05:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't forget the weight of a new hitch and the extension you will need, due to the TC over hang (beyond the bumper) and the weight of the trailer. That weight needs to be added to the weight of the TC!


Compass PA

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Posted: 01/11/18 06:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

you are saying you like the single slide models, but check the weight, they are over 4000 lbs.

Truck Camper Magazine is a good place to start. click on buyers guide be sure to check out the weights shown.

2016 Arctic Fox 990
2015 Ram 3500 Cummins DRW 4wd Aisin 8' bed.



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Posted: 01/11/18 06:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Truck camper, towing 5000 you are going to want a dually. For one you will probably be over the tire load ratings of a SRW on the rear axle. I had a F350 SRW and towed my horse trailer behind my TC and I had to upgrade to 19.5 commercial truck tires and wheels to not be over the tire rating. I now have a F350 DRW and the handling is so much better that there is now way I would ever go back to a SRW.

2011 F350 6.7L Diesel 4x4 CrewCab longbed Dually, 08 Lance 1055, Torqlift Talons, Fast Guns, upper and lower Stable Loads, Super Hitch, 48" Super Truss, Airlift loadlifter 5000 extreme airbags


Gig Harbor - Cave Creek

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Posted: 01/11/18 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Slide in truck campers are deceptively heavy. A single slide Arctic Fox camper will push over 4000 pounds easily (and that with no water, food, etc).

Fortunately for you, you have not purchased the truck yet. You still have time to explore camper weights and run the numbers. Check back with this forum with any questions.

The single slide camper (with all our food, water, refreshments, etc.) in my signature max's out the trucks payload capacity at 14,000 pounds.

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Posted: 01/11/18 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you already owned a SRW, there ways to boost how much payload it can carry. However, I would not buy one knowing it needs immediate upgrades. My Arctic Fox 811 was 4000 lbs with gear and water on board and that is not even taking in account for hitch weight and the extnsion you may need to run under the camper. You would be better off starting with a DRW truck if you plan to tow behind your truck camper.

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El Dorado, CA


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Posted: 01/11/18 09:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For what you described your intended use will be, I suggest you give deep thought to a Dually. Buzzcut1 has many miles with a big TC and towing with the SRW 3500. His mods were typical for the load.

For over 12 years I hauled my 4200 lb non slide 11.5 ft TC, no basement, on my SRW Dodge 2500 2WD. Using 4 foot extension, I flat towed my Samurai. It required lots of mods and 19.5s before the truck handled well.

A trailer instead of flat tow would have been too much. A TC with a slide would have been too much. A TC with a basement would have also compromised stability.

For more creature comfort, last year I bought a '04 Dodge 4WD Quad Cab 3500. I added a sway bar only, and as pleased as I am with the way my SRW carried my TC, hands down the DRW is without question much better. This is with stock tires. If you are a door sticker fan, my weight is about 500 lbs under the sticker. My '04 is my new toy, and as such I have added airbags and a Curt hitch I would only use if I ever decide to pull a trailer with a 3 or 4 foot extension. I do have a 19' 5th wheel.

Using a dually as a daily driver is a personal thing. For 5 years, I drove my SRW with the 11.5 ft x 8 ft wide TC (same width as dually) as my daily driver. Most of my driving was in the bay area. I certainly did not drive it the way I drive my Samurai, but I never had a problem even in shopping centers. For your intended use, I would definitely go with a Dually. If you don't, it will not take you long to realize you should have. If you are concerned the ride would be too harsh, don't be. My '04 Dodge 4x4 Dually is as smooth as any vehicle I have ever owned, and my bet other makes are just as smooth. You need to do a test drive.

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Posted: 01/11/18 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good advice from everyone so far. I have a SRW F350 and have no issues with the way it rides. It is a truck so don't expect a Cadillac soft and squishy ride but I don't find it objectionable. You may find it otherwise so the test ride is the best way to go.

I have a Northstar Igloo 9.5 with no slides. Here are my weights fully loaded: Cat scale weight with camper, full fuel, water, 2 dogs, Helen on 20170201 at Fackler, AL 12,420 pounds.
Rawr 6936
Fawr 5484

I am just under 1,000 pounds over my GVWR but under my front and rear axle WR (just barely). My tires are rated for 3,750 pounds each so I am also under my tire ratings.

I have been very comfortable with my setup - over 15,000 miles last year over all kinds of roads and terrain without a hiccup. Again, others might be uncomfortable being over their GVWR at all. There are all kinds of options to make your choice in trucks and campers "work" but only you can judge what you are comfortable with.

There is a common saying here - you can never have too much truck. Keep that in mind as you explore your options. I wouldn't go any heavier than where I am - others far exceed where I am. Keep us posted on how you end up.

2013 Ford F350 6.7 CCLB Ruby Red SRW, sway bar, Bilsteins, etc
2007 Cyclone toyhauler, 18,000 GVWR
Northstar Igloo 9.5
US Army retired

Rather B Fishin

West Valley, OR

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Posted: 01/11/18 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You're in dually territory. As others have said, a camper with a slide is over 4000lbs...closer to 5K wet. We also have a boat that comes in at 5500lbs as well so I understand what you're going through.

As far as the new SD's go, they are nice rigs. I love mine and the ride is fine. 100x better than the truck it replaced. I went from a 2000 F350 CCLB dually to an F350 CCLB SRW with 4200lbs of payload. We briefly thought about a new slide in but decided against it and kept the popup FWC for the times we have boat with us and went with a trailer for the rest of the time.

Having a dually as a daily driver isn't that big of a deal but it can be a pain. I daily drove mine, then had a commuter rig, and now back to daily driving my f350.

2017 F350, CCLB, XLT, 6.2L, 4.30's
2005 Four Wheel Camper - Grandby
2015 Wildcat Maxx, TT, 27RLS

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