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mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 02/03/22 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The camper comes on and off same as if it were in a regular truck box. Actually easier because you don't have the wheel wells to deal with. All you need are the dually extensions for the front jacks.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

markowwes

Vegreville, Ab. Canada

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Posted: 02/03/22 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It all comes down to how much money do you want to spend. I went the “Service Body” route and would never look back. Had the body built to fit the camper so there are no big gaps anywhere. All kinds of storage for whatever you want to take with you and no problems with how to tie things down. The 550 is definitely a rough ride when the camper is not on, so I went to the full Kelderman 4 link air suspension with the kit for bags on the front axle. Maintains constant ride height all the time, they also include a monster torsion bar for the rear that works great. I went with an aluminum body with 3” cross beams on 12” centers to keep everything lower than usual. Your camper sits over top of the truck frame rails so you don’t need a heavy deck frame.

n0arp

FT

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Posted: 02/03/22 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

markowwes wrote:

Your camper sits over top of the truck frame rails so you don’t need a heavy deck frame.


You would be surprised how much a 5500 frame flexes. If you do any off-roading, I suggest a heavy deck frame. I cracked a TC frame off-road (in a normal pickup box, with Torklift frame ties). Had to pull the bottom of the camper and build a steel subframe for that corner.

After that, I pulled off the truck bed and replaced it with a heavy steel deck, that had much less flex in it. When I got my 5500, I checked the flex on it and was amazed at how much I could get it to twist with bare frame rails. I run a heavy steel bed on it, and it still twists to the point of visible deflection when I lift a tire.

If you stick to paved roads and freshly graded dirt, it probably isn't an issue to rely only on the frame rails to provide a rigid surface... YMMV. I would be skeptical to, but it all depends on how you use them.

Also, not sure how the Ford F550 and Ram 5500 compare in this regard. I believe both use similar C-channel, so should be pretty close, but could be a non-issue on Ford for some reason.

* This post was edited 02/04/22 08:33am by n0arp *

Cliff_Michele

Seattle, WA

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Posted: 02/06/22 07:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone. I have several inquiries out to bed manufacturers. anybody have a brand they like? One of my desires is to be able to carry a larger propane tank or tanks becaue we love our propane fire pit when camping plus would run the generator to run the air conditioning. Need to know weights before I decide which one to get as well as which series truck to get. Next question. How do you secure the camper if you drop it off for a couple dys of exploring with the truck off road? In the forest I could chain to a tree but what if I am in the desert? Thanks all!


"If you think you can when you can't, you just might!"

No RV yet but getting closer! We are too old for this tent stuff!

Cliff and Michele (Humans)
Toby and Bailey (Bichons)

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 02/06/22 11:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Secure it?
As long as you don’t unload it in Seattle, it will be there when you get back!


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

Reality Check

North Bend

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Posted: 02/07/22 07:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cliff_Michele wrote:

Thanks everyone. I have several inquiries out to bed manufacturers. anybody have a brand they like? One of my desires is to be able to carry a larger propane tank or tanks becaue we love our propane fire pit when camping plus would run the generator to run the air conditioning. Need to know weights before I decide which one to get as well as which series truck to get. Next question. How do you secure the camper if you drop it off for a couple dys of exploring with the truck off road? In the forest I could chain to a tree but what if I am in the desert? Thanks all!


There isn't any 'securing' a camper. Just drop it and go.

We carry extra propane tanks in a support trailer. They take up a lot of room..and it you're set on a 350/3500, you'll max out the weight really really fast.

Last trip out where I weighed, we were 19,100 for the truck, 27,700 with the trailer. Gone for a little over two months.


'16 F550 CC, 4x4 with Link Ultraride air suspension, '18 AF 1150. Just so we can play with our snowmobiles, dirt bikes and fishing boat. And new 20' tag along...kayaks, bikes, mc's and extra water and food!!

n0arp

FT

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Posted: 02/07/22 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cliff_Michele wrote:

Thanks everyone. I have several inquiries out to bed manufacturers. anybody have a brand they like? One of my desires is to be able to carry a larger propane tank or tanks becaue we love our propane fire pit when camping plus would run the generator to run the air conditioning. Need to know weights before I decide which one to get as well as which series truck to get. Next question. How do you secure the camper if you drop it off for a couple dys of exploring with the truck off road? In the forest I could chain to a tree but what if I am in the desert? Thanks all!


I've had Temco and Bedrock beds, and worked on modifying some CM beds for other people. After seeing CM, I passed them up for the Bedrock on my latest truck - I think they're the best of the three. Kind of a newer company, I think, but they're the sister company to Ranch Hand (I also run their bumpers, etc) and make a really good product.

You don't secure the camper, just drop it to the ground or as low as you can, and lock the door that has the jack control switch. If someone is knowledgable about truck campers and a bit dedicated, they could steal it, but I think the belongings inside would be far more likely to be taken than the camper itself. Regardless, we've never had issues with theft, a couple years of time (full-time) boondocking on public lands. Knock on wood...

Regarding the propane tank, our camper has 2x30# cylinders. We also have a large solar array and an Onan 2500LP generator in it - that generator is an absolute last resort. The newer campers are beginning to use a new Onan inverter model, which is a lot better, but still runs on propane which is part of the issue I have with it. I suggest carrying a small inverter generator - such as the Honda EU2200i - with extended runkit. We have a pair of Honda EU2200is that connect back to a 6gal marine fuel tank, and sip fuel compared to the the onboard Onan. Gasoline is much easier to come by as far more places carry it. You could most likely get by with one, as that's all carried with the TC for quite a while, and only added a second to be able to max out the chargers in our fifth wheel (we'll run our AC off battery, and top up the batteries with the generators if solar won't keep up).

For your propane fire pit, just tap the line on your rig with a quick connect and utilize what is already onboard.

Cliff_Michele

Seattle, WA

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Posted: 02/07/22 04:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Secure it?
As long as you don’t unload it in Seattle, it will be there when you get back!


Oh, man, if that ain't the truth! Seattle has gone to hell.

bighatnohorse

Gig Harbor - Cave Creek

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Posted: 02/08/22 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

5500 and flat tow. That will probably suit your needs in the long run.

Cliff_Michele

Seattle, WA

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Posted: 02/19/22 04:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did it! Ordered a 2022 Northern Lite 10-2LEDB for delivery in July. We decided to go with a RAM 5500 and a camper body, probably from Douglass Truck Body in California, if the price is reasobable. The next question is a 60" or 84" CA. The 60", of course, is easier turning when on dirt roads or even reasobale two tracks iin BLM or NF land, but the 84" gives us a large 2" wide cabinet athwartships behind the cab for storage, even two ebikes. For several month long trips to Alaska, the storage would be handy. Is it worth the sacrifice off road exploring? I realize weighing 18 or 19K I must behave myself. Which reminds me. A winch....

Comments? Thanks!

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