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 > Smaller or more minimalist truck camper

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JoeChiOhki

Sauvie Island, OR

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Posted: 08/15/22 10:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

livemusic wrote:

I have a 2008 Nissan Titan truck and it's got 230k miles, so, I won't be using it, I am due for a new truck. Probably would buy a 3/4 ton minimum, maybe even 1-ton but also 4wd. Unsure of bed length. If I had just a shell, would probably get a 6.5 ft bed, minimum, as I am 6'2" tall. An 8 ft would be even better but the entire truck would be longer, and it seems kind of clunky to maneuver around.


I may be a tad behind on this subject, so folks of the forum please correct me, but I don't think Nissan makes anything larger than 1/4 Ton - 1/2 Ton range vehicles, at least not in the North American market and I believe they're a 5'5" bed?

With your current vehicle a small tow behind trailer would probably better fit what you're after, as what you can haul in your bed is going to be fairly limited.


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mkirsch

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Posted: 08/16/22 06:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JoeChiOhki wrote:

livemusic wrote:

I have a 2008 Nissan Titan truck and it's got 230k miles, so, I won't be using it, I am due for a new truck. Probably would buy a 3/4 ton minimum, maybe even 1-ton but also 4wd. Unsure of bed length. If I had just a shell, would probably get a 6.5 ft bed, minimum, as I am 6'2" tall. An 8 ft would be even better but the entire truck would be longer, and it seems kind of clunky to maneuver around.


I may be a tad behind on this subject, so folks of the forum please correct me, but I don't think Nissan makes anything larger than 1/4 Ton - 1/2 Ton range vehicles, at least not in the North American market and I believe they're a 5'5" bed?

With your current vehicle a small tow behind trailer would probably better fit what you're after, as what you can haul in your bed is going to be fairly limited.


What the OP has now is irrelevant. It is clearly stated, "I won't be using it," and "Probably would buy a 3/4 ton."


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

livemusic

Louisiana

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Posted: 08/22/22 03:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It appears that there is a term for what I described as one of the RV ways I have been considering -- "a camper shell with a mattress underneath" and this is known as a "truckbed camper." So, since I have an aversion to heat, I must travel north or else have an a/c. Can anyone describe my options for this? Further clarifying that at this time, I am sticking with these options... truck camper, truckbed camper or popup tow-behind camper. (Of course, I could get a Class A, B or C or travel trailer and have a/c but, for now, I keep learning toward smaller, less upkeep versus an A, B or C or travel trailer.)

Like, if I were to learn toward a truckbed camper, how could I have a/c? Could you rig up some type of roof a/c or put in a small window unit and have a generator?

If this is just too problematic, I will just have to choose my RV type and stay north! Which I really plan to do anyway, because a key reason I am even going through this is to escape the brutal heat of Louisiana summers; I have had it!

Of course, I still have "the lady wants a bathroom" problem. And shower. Which brings me back to truck camper or something else. But... there are outdoor showers and portable toilets. Still researching all of this, TIA!

cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 08/22/22 04:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The camper solution is impossible to find. You want simple and uncomplicated and the "lady" wants complications and amenities.

Here's the solutions, stick w camping spots that supply the amenities, bring them along, or find a new "lady." Each has its own downsides.

I can't find a new "lady" at this stage and have tried to provide the amenities but it's complicated and as soon as it get's below 25F I get nervous. And it's very limiting.

I want to be w fewer people so I need to go when no one else wants to be in places which means snow and cold so onboard water(showers/toilets) is an issue. In the summer we choose places w pit toilets and rivers, and lakes to swim in and deal w more people. (thank fully way less crowded this summer.)

I now have a class B w diesel heat, solar, A/C, 2nd alternator w DC to DC converter, and 450 amps Li batts which can reportedly can run the A/C overnight. So far we've just needed the A/C to cool the van on the day of travel for an hour before bed. We haven't used the shower or toilet yet.

Why I'm now in a B vs a TC.

Diesel heat

Ample Li batts

2nd alternator w DC to DC converter - alleviates the need for a generator and can be used where no generators are allowed

Lower bed height

could not buy a suitable truck or an 8' Four wheel camper TC(neither were readily available)

limited storage area

A pop up trailer is going to provide a lot more room than a TC or a B. It's nice to park it and have the truck to move around unencumbered.

A shell model TC(perhaps w the addition of an enclosed trailer) is also a good solution for long trips where you want all the toys like bikes, propane firepit, fishing tackle, canoe, extra coolers, or what ever. Just rig the TC or pop-up w diesel heat, big Li battery bank, solar, and truck w 2nd alt and DC to DC converter.

Water, shower, stoves, 120v/12v electric coolers/freezers, porta-potty and shelters can be added as needed on each trip.

Photomike

Southern Alberta or where the camper is parked!

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Posted: 08/22/22 06:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I understand what you're looking for but like others have said trying to customize anything would cost you more than just buying a unit with more features.

I do know that Northern lite made a lighter camper unit design specifically for what you're looking for using a cassette toilet but you will still get more then what you want.

You may be further ahead to find an older camper with a good shell and gut it and only put in what you want if you're concerned about the weight.

Myself when I was looking I considered all the units that were available and ended up going with an older Northern lite which was lighter than a pop-up camper.


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cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 08/23/22 06:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 8' FWC shell model is $18K, the 8' FWC Grandby side dinette is $28K so it's $10K cheaper(plus tax, if applicable.) The 6.5' Hawk has the same $10k difference in prices btwn models. Idaho requires a title and therefore state sales tax, where the shell model does not require the title. ymmv

Any accessories added are going to cost the same on either the shell or fully built out model. You'll need solar, batteries, and controller.


Throw in your camp stove, water supply, porta potty, diesel heater, 12v cooler, and you're good to go. The interior is empty so you can bring lots of stuff and it's only limited by what can fit through the door.


Grandby shell build

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 08/23/22 06:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The way it sounds, I don't think the lady will appreciate showering with nothing between her and the outside world but a thin piece of fabric. I also don't think the lady will appreciate doing her business into a glorified bucket, again with nothing between her and the outside world but a thin piece of fabric.

As far as the A/C you can do whatever you want. Put a rooftop unit on a "camper shell." Figure out a way to hang a window unit. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity.

Your needs are just too contradictory right now. Beyond any sort of compromise. You need to figure out what you REALLY want.

livemusic

Louisiana

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Posted: 08/23/22 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cptqueeg wrote:

The 8' FWC shell model is $18K, the 8' FWC Grandby side dinette is $28K so it's $10K cheaper(plus tax, if applicable.) The 6.5' Hawk has the same $10k difference in prices btwn models. Idaho requires a title and therefore state sales tax, where the shell model does not require the title. ymmv

Any accessories added are going to cost the same on either the shell or fully built out model. You'll need solar, batteries, and controller.


Throw in your camp stove, water supply, porta potty, diesel heater, 12v cooler, and you're good to go. The interior is empty so you can bring lots of stuff and it's only limited by what can fit through the door.


Grandby shell build


Regarding your link, I appreciate having that to review, as it shows so many options you, typically, need to consider getting, if not all, and provides the price.

Thanks to all responses, I may have to just buy bigger and more complicated. Sure is a lot to analyze, lol. I wish I could just find a used truck and truck camper ready to go and drive away! I not only have to choose a truck, but then an RV, sheesh!

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/23/22 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

livemusic wrote:

cptqueeg wrote:

The 8' FWC shell model is $18K, the 8' FWC Grandby side dinette is $28K so it's $10K cheaper(plus tax, if applicable.) The 6.5' Hawk has the same $10k difference in prices btwn models. Idaho requires a title and therefore state sales tax, where the shell model does not require the title. ymmv

Any accessories added are going to cost the same on either the shell or fully built out model. You'll need solar, batteries, and controller.


Throw in your camp stove, water supply, porta potty, diesel heater, 12v cooler, and you're good to go. The interior is empty so you can bring lots of stuff and it's only limited by what can fit through the door.


Grandby shell build


Regarding your link, I appreciate having that to review, as it shows so many options you, typically, need to consider getting, if not all, and provides the price.

Thanks to all responses, I may have to just buy bigger and more complicated. Sure is a lot to analyze, lol. I wish I could just find a used truck and truck camper ready to go and drive away! I not only have to choose a truck, but then an RV, sheesh!


I'm going to characterize your budget as relatively limited, based on your couple posts.
Buying something like the FW shell model either completely bare, or ala carte (the prices on some of the "options" assume the buyer basically can't even use a screwdriver or go to the hardware store...) is a horrible financial decision. Unless I'm wrong about the budget part.
For the cost of just a new shell, or less, you can buy the whole camper, same thing (used of course). The resale in the future on the shell will be 0 for the vast majority of pop up TC buyers and very limited for the few that may want to build it out.


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WinMinnie02

NJ

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Posted: 08/23/22 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have the $, new 1 ton truck extended cab diesel 4wd dually 8 foot bed. Go big or go home.

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