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 > Question: too much camper - too little truck

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kenkorona

Maine

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Posted: 07/03/21 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi folks:
Totally new to campers and truck campers. I replaced my 2007 Tundra with a F350 SRW Shortbed 7.3gas. The camper I bought is an Eagle Cap 811 made by Adventurer.

I live in Maine and bought the camper in Phoenix. Drove there to pick it up and continue for 30 days of camping out west.

It was 7000 miles and 30 days of white knuckle ride. So I'm wondering if anyone else has this combination and if so what their experience is. Should I put on other mods to the suspension to improve the ride and if so what will give the most improvement.

The ride issues are 1) hitting a small dip in the road it bounces so much I'm concerned the camper will become airborne, 2) the tipping left and right especially when cornering feels like I'm going to end up on my side, and 3) the rear is very sagged from the weight so steering is not as responsive as I'd like and my headlights are tilted up so much all the oncoming traffic thinks my Highbeams are on. Having never driven this kind of thing before I'm wondering whether I'm just being wimpy about it all and I just need to get used to it.

My wife can sense the stress in me while I'm driving and she's already suggesting we need to get a smaller camper. Of course I'm wondering whether we need to get a bigger truck. But I'm really hoping that getting some mods to the truck suspension will make the ride tolerable. I'm OK with spending $ for the improvements but want to avoid doing so if it won't make enough improvement.

Any advice?
Ken

phillyg

SWFL

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Posted: 07/03/21 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That TC is supposedly designed for short bed trucks, so it should be okay, but still, a TC on a SRW truck is asking a lot. You might first want to get the truck weighed with and without the camper on it to make sure your weights are within limits. The easiest fix is adding air springs and the best shocks. I'm not sure, but perhaps lateral improvements can be made with sway bar(s).


--2005 Ford F350 Lariat Crewcab 6.0, 4x4, 3.73 rear
--2016 Montana 3711FL, 40'
--2014 Wildcat 327CK, 38' SOLD

Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 07/03/21 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 811 is 3380 pounds dry. Add a thousand…water, propane, batteries, stuff…you are toting 4400 easy.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


deserteagle56

Nevada

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Posted: 07/03/21 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kenkorona wrote:

Hi folks:
It was 7000 miles and 30 days of white knuckle ride. So I'm wondering if anyone else has this combination and if so what their experience is. Should I put on other mods to the suspension to improve the ride and if so what will give the most improvement.
Any advice?
Ken


I'm sure a lot of other people will chime in here with help. But I had the same experience, only with a long bed truck. Talk about excitement, wait till you experience a blowout on a rear tire with all that weight way up high!

My solution - I bit the bullet and went to a dually pickup. TOTALLY different experience. So much more stable, even with strong crosswinds and freeway speeds. I'm back to being relaxed while driving.


1996 Bigfoot 2500 9.5 on a 2004 Dodge/Cummins dually


Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/03/21 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Only took 2 posts to get to “you need a dually”. Lol.
OP if you haven’t done anything to counteract that size camper on a srw truck, as capable as that truck is, it’s going to handle poorly. Both in suspension compression and body roll. Although it’s not that horrible. You’re just not used to it.
Install a heavy rear sway bar and upper and/or lower stable loads, if the rear suspension sag is acceptable where it’s at now. If it’s sagging too much, it’s a combo of stable loads and/or airbags.
Stable loads don’t increase suspension capacity, they engage the overload springs sooner which “might” be all you need. Bags will increase the suspension capacity but be bouncier if you’re not into the overloads some after you air up.

Since you have little experience with hauling heavy loads or suspensions it appears, the concept of what does what and how, is a long winded explanation.
Advice is find someone qualified to explain it to you in person.
Also know that it will never handle like an empty truck. You will still get some body roll and more rebound.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

notsobigjoe

southeast

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Posted: 07/03/21 10:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

deserteagle56 wrote:

kenkorona wrote:

Hi folks:
It was 7000 miles and 30 days of white knuckle ride. So I'm wondering if anyone else has this combination and if so what their experience is. Should I put on other mods to the suspension to improve the ride and if so what will give the most improvement.
Any advice?
Ken


I'm sure a lot of other people will chime in here with help. But I had the same experience, only with a long bed truck. Talk about excitement, wait till you experience a blowout on a rear tire with all that weight way up high!

My solution - I bit the bullet and went to a dually pickup. TOTALLY different experience. So much more stable, even with strong crosswinds and freeway speeds. I'm back to being relaxed while driving.


Dually all the way! Mine has a Belltech anti sway bar front and rear, Timbren GMRCK35MA Suspension Enhancement System, Gabriel 43163 Rear Load Carrier an it is rock solid. About $1000 and I installed them. Took me a long time to figure it out but my 1181 loaded is 5000lbs on a Chevy 1996 c3500. My only risk are the cheap Walmart tires but there next... Saving up for some heavy duty Michelins.

[image]

I have taken this rig everywhere there is to go on the east coast.

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 07/03/21 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First how old are you shocks? Are they the factory originals? Factory shocks are basically **** when new and worse than that in a few years. If you don't have fairly new heavy duty shocks like Bilstein, KYB MonoMax, or Ranch then put some on quick.
What tires are you running? Factory size load range E I hope. The larger the tires the higher the center of gravity and the more sidewall there is to flex. Also, how much air pressure are you running. You likely need to be at max pressure for those tires with that load which should be 80 psi. If you weight the truck, get axle weights, and then consult a tire load inflation chart it may say that 80 psi is too much but I doubt it.
If the truck is lifted or has oversize tires that is likely contributing to your problem.
How do you drive? It's a big heavy truck, not a car. Travel the speed limit or slightly below. Take the yellow speed signs at corners seriously. Take turns and corners slowly. If your trying to drive it like an empty Tundra that's part of your problem as well.

JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 07/03/21 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Eagle Cap is a heavy camper for its length. Depending on accessories, the wet weight, before you add any personal items, could easily be over 4000#. Personal items will almost certainly add another 1000# minimum.

First step is to weigh the rig. As mentioned, you might need to upgrade shocks, but don't count on using HD shocks to fix and overloaded truck. You will need to stiffen the suspension. I have a Ram so I cannot tell you the best fixes for a Ford. Timbrens were all I needed but my rig is much lighter. I would suggest looking at SuperSprings. The cost is not too bad and they will make a huge difference.

Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 07/03/21 11:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alot of the sway is from tire sidewall flex due to a heavy camper on a SRW. I finally went to 19.5 commercial tires on Vision Heavy Hauler wheels and that did the trick. Eventually I got my wife to admit that the Dually I originally wanted was the way to go so now we run a F350 dually


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


Supercharged111

Colorado Springs, CO

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Posted: 07/03/21 12:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

notsobigjoe wrote:

deserteagle56 wrote:

kenkorona wrote:

Hi folks:
It was 7000 miles and 30 days of white knuckle ride. So I'm wondering if anyone else has this combination and if so what their experience is. Should I put on other mods to the suspension to improve the ride and if so what will give the most improvement.
Any advice?
Ken


I'm sure a lot of other people will chime in here with help. But I had the same experience, only with a long bed truck. Talk about excitement, wait till you experience a blowout on a rear tire with all that weight way up high!

My solution - I bit the bullet and went to a dually pickup. TOTALLY different experience. So much more stable, even with strong crosswinds and freeway speeds. I'm back to being relaxed while driving.


Dually all the way! Mine has a Belltech anti sway bar front and rear, Timbren GMRCK35MA Suspension Enhancement System, Gabriel 43163 Rear Load Carrier an it is rock solid. About $1000 and I installed them. Took me a long time to figure it out but my 1181 loaded is 5000lbs on a Chevy 1996 c3500. My only risk are the cheap Walmart tires but there next... Saving up for some heavy duty Michelins.

[image]

I have taken this rig everywhere there is to go on the east coast.


Good to see another GMT400 still hauling a big old camper! I'm jealous as that front Belltech bar is 2wd only.

OP does your leaf pack have the upper overload spring(s)? I know on some older 350 trucks that was optional.


2007 Lance 1131
1997 GMC K3500 crew cab supercharged dually

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