Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: When do you upgrade
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 > When do you upgrade

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silverbullet555

Boise

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Posted: 06/28/21 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bought our truck camper last year. Used it a few times in the summer, several times in the fall. Just got back from a week in it, 4 days with all 4 of us and 3 days with me and the boys.

For 3 of us, it fits well as long as we spend most of the time outside. It's cramped if we are inside and the first 4 days with 4 of us resulted in more indoor time.

I do think a tow camper is in our future at some point, but with that, I can't tow the boat and won't want to take it into the woods for hunting. So, a truck camper is still something I see a need for.

Things I wish I had.
A/C
Bed situated north/south instead of east/west.
Indoor shower.

Things I don't want
Much more weight
A large outlay of cash
Loss of durability or a ton more potential issues.

So, when do you upgrade vs when do you just deal with it? Obviously, prices are stupid high right now so it's not really a good time to do the upgrade unless I stumble on a sick deal which could happen.


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toedtoes

California

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Posted: 06/28/21 04:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After you do lots of homework and know it's the right change/addition.

How often do you have hookups while camping for AC and an indoor shower?

Is a north/south bed still OK if it has a partial wall on the fourth side?

"Not much more weight" - in comparison to what? With a TC, all the weight is part of the truck's payload. With a TT, the bulk of the weight will be in the truck's towing capacity. Also, with a trailer, it will have to be significantly longer to account for the lack of the cabover bed and have more floor space.

Not a large outlay of cash - how much is too much?

Loss of durability - the bigger the TT and the lighter the TT, the less durability you will have.

Potential issues - you are talking about having two campers instead of one. By default that means at minimum twice the work you have now.

Have you considered alternatives - like using tents for the boys when all four of you go camping. Adding a screen room to your gear can give you a protected space outside of the camper.

How long will the boys be camping with you? If they are hitting their teens, they may focus on other things like friends. Again, letting them use tents, etc, could open up a lot of space for you inside the camper.


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silverbullet555

Boise

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Posted: 06/28/21 04:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

After you do lots of homework and know it's the right change/addition.

How often do you have hookups while camping for AC and an indoor shower?

Is a north/south bed still OK if it has a partial wall on the fourth side?

"Not much more weight" - in comparison to what? With a TC, all the weight is part of the truck's payload. With a TT, the bulk of the weight will be in the truck's towing capacity. Also, with a trailer, it will have to be significantly longer to account for the lack of the cabover bed and have more floor space.

Not a large outlay of cash - how much is too much?

Loss of durability - the bigger the TT and the lighter the TT, the less durability you will have.

Potential issues - you are talking about having two campers instead of one. By default that means at minimum twice the work you have now.

Have you considered alternatives - like using tents for the boys when all four of you go camping. Adding a screen room to your gear can give you a protected space outside of the camper.

How long will the boys be camping with you? If they are hitting their teens, they may focus on other things like friends. Again, letting them use tents, etc, could open up a lot of space for you inside the camper.


Timing is everything in the used market, especially now.

Current camper is a 1995 Northland Grizzly 860. I'd have to go look at the tag for weight, but don't want to go much heavier. It's why I avoid slideouts.

Would like to get something in the early 2000's. Currently a 2007 Lance 815 for sale for $7500 which seems low for this summer. I would have to pay for that and sell the old one which shouldn't be too hard. Max cash outlay in this case would be $5K after the sale of the old camper.

I wouldn't mind using tents, but wife isn't going to be as open to it. On our next excursion, I might sleep in a tent to make it more comfortable. Our boys are 5 and 13.5 so there is still some time.

Having a wall on the north south bed isn't a big deal as long as we can get in without climbing over each other. That is the challenge with the east/west bed. And no one likes to sleep up under the cabinets at the nose end of the camper.

We often have hookups when the wife is with us because she likes the comfort. Reality is that we will eventually get a trailer, but that won't be going into the mountains with me for hunting season and I can't tow the boat with a tow camper whereas I can with a truck camper.

wanderingaimlessly

Buggs Island lake

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Posted: 06/28/21 04:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your on a pretty sure "growth curve".
The TC needs to grow to keep the missus happy, the truck needs to grow to house the troops, and how do you take the boat?
First thought, can a someone else tow the boat?
Second thought, can you change the boat to something you can handle?
A larger truck MAY allow a larger camper and a boat to be towed, but it wont be free.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 06/28/21 05:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No magic answer, bud. You just do what you can afford, need and want. In that order.


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Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 06/28/21 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think single RV to be used for comfortable locum for 3 and with boat towing comparing to single person hunting trip is too far apart.
Either you have heavily compromise, or get 2 RVs.





Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 06/28/21 06:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good, careful scouting and careful driving of an appropriately sized TT can make many hunting sites available.


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cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 06/28/21 06:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A small trailer to tow behind the TC would do it. That would give you the flexibility to choose btwn comfort(AC, indoor shower, NS bed) for 4 w the trailer or boating. Kids stay in TC(unless roasting hot at night), parents in the trailer.

A big spacious tent could offer more comfort at a reasonable price, although it doesn't tick all the boxes.

silverbullet555

Boise

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Posted: 06/28/21 08:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I didn't do a very good job explaining the question. The two decisions are not necessarily connected, or more appropriately, were not connected prior to a little trip we took to look at that Lance 815.

I was pondering upgrading the current truck camper full well knowing we will probably have to buy a trailer some day. Currently, my wife works weekends so there are many trips that are just me and the boys so a truck camper would work well. I figured when she gets tired of that, a tow behind would be in order and towing the boat would be a no go or we would have to take separate trucks.

Then, we looked at the Lance 815 and my wife was talking like it would be big enough. I felt it was smaller than our current one with the notable exception being the orientation of the bed which for the time being would allow all 4 of us to sleep in it. I don't mind trying something out if I can turn it down the road for what I have in it.


There's so many dynamics at play in this decision it isn't even funny.

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 06/28/21 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’ve upgraded my truck once in the 15 years I’ve had my Host. I went from a SRW F350 SC when I used it as a daily driver to the F450 CC once I no longer needed to use it as a daily driver. The TC is still doing fine, but I had probably too big of a TC for a F350 SRW. I had to be very careful about even how much water I carried.

The same TC is great for a F450 even towing a TT behind the TC. I no longer have to worry about how much I’m bringing with me either.

TCs give you a lot of flexibility.


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