Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Unload or keep on truck
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riajane

Hephzibah GA

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Posted: 04/03/19 05:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2004 Lance 1121 on a 2001 F350 long bed crew cab diesel dully.

I am a senior female and will be traveling along and living in my truck camper for 6 weeks with my two dogs. Do I leave it on the truck or take it off. I will also be towing a small car to use while on an assignment. If I take it off, how do I prevent it from rocking. If I leave it on what do I need to do.
Have had very little practice at loading and unloading the camper. I got it used in 2017 and have not used it since I got it.
Any and all advice, information will be helpful.
Thanks in advance.

guidry

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Posted: 04/03/19 05:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

since you’re towing a car you won’t need to off load your camper. But if you plan on keeping it you should practice on and off loading it. Being comfortable with the process will eliminate the need to tow your car so you can use the truck. Another option is to find someone local who can help you. Maybe the previous owner? Good luck

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Vermont

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Posted: 04/03/19 06:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like no need to take it off the truck since you are towing a car. You should practice taking it off and on but that can wait until you have a nice open level spot to practice and are under no need to rush. People have different sensitivity to rocking. When we have our camper off the truck we don't find any objectionable movement. Others may have different sensitivities. I suggest that when you are able to have it off the truck, try it out and see if you are bothered by any movement you might experience.


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joerg68

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Posted: 04/03/19 06:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Loading / unloading a TC alone is not fun for the unexperienced.
I would leave the camper on the truck unless you absolutely need to unload (for example if the truck needs to go to the shop).
Always pick a level area of sufficient size for loading. You need enough maneuvering area to back the truck under the camper as straight as possible. The ground should be firm and level. Maybe you can find someone to do some practice runs with.
If you do unload... Many people lower the jacks as low as they will go. That reduces sway. Others use some form of stand to set the camper floor on. You do not really need to do anything, but with the jacks extended and no additional support, there will be some sway - which also puts unnecessary stress on the jack mounts.
If you are not used to driving with a camper, you need to stay aware of the dimensions of your rig - especially height. It may make sense to put some note inside where you can see it that reminds you of the actual size of your rig.
If you have no experience loading / unloading, it may also help if you write down a checklist of all the things needed to do it right - are the turnbuckles in place and tight, do the lights work, are all windows and roof openings closed, is everything inside safely stowed, are the stairs up/stowed, things like that. It is also helpful to do a walkaround some distance around your rig before you leave in order to check if everything is ready for departure.
Nothing of this is difficult, and it gets easier with every time you do it. But if all of it is new to you, it can stress you out big time. It is not rocket science, you can and will do it!


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noteven

Alberta

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Posted: 04/03/19 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you use your camper off the truck and want to brace the front jacks to prevent movement look at equipment like Torklift Wobblestoppers or Stablecampers or other such brace systems.

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 04/03/19 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IF staying in a developed campground vs primitive site....many CGs do NOT allow dropping Camper

Besides..you have alternate transportation so leave it on the truck


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whizbang

Kenmore, WA

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Posted: 04/03/19 08:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have a tow vehicle. Just leave the camper loaded.


Whizbang
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3 tons

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Posted: 04/03/19 09:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m not familiar with a Lance, but if you decide to unload, this would assume that you’ll have full park hookups)...Without hookups, the unsupported water weight in your tanks could cause damage to your camper - If in doubt, it’s best to check with Lance...

SidecarFlip

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Posted: 04/03/19 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

noteven wrote:

If you use your camper off the truck and want to brace the front jacks to prevent movement look at equipment like Torklift Wobblestoppers or Stablecampers or other such brace systems.


I never have. I always lower the TC down as close to Terra Firma as possible (and still access the dump valves). Never had issue one and don't plan on it either.

If I was the op, with a Toad, I'd leave the camper on the truck and call it good. No reason to take it off in reality.


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Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 04/03/19 09:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

IF staying in a developed campground vs primitive site....many CGs do NOT allow dropping Camper

Besides..you have alternate transportation so leave it on the truck

In last 2 years we've been to over 20 campgrounds and no one had that rule.
See how good you do with loading/unloading.
It is a skill and when 1 will do it in 3 minutes, other might need 30 and still have it crooked.
For us TC is about avoiding toad and I don't hesitate dropping it off even for 2 days. Traveling with dogs that often was necesity, as we left dogs in camper with AC on, when we could go to visit family or dining.





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