camper help

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i want to be able to load up the entire family and head out into the mountains for ATV/RUV/MX riding weekends. my goal is to get a camper and since we'll be taking 2 ATVs and 4 dirt bikes we need to tow my 18' enclosed
trailer (http://utilityoffroad.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_IDC64 ), which limits us to a slide in type camper. ive been looking at a few different models and brands and the only ones that appear big enough for all of us are the slide in's with overhang over the rear bumper. i dont know much about these setups and how they work in relation to trailer towing. my trailer is 3000 pounds empty. add the ATV/RUV/MX and gear and im looking at somewhere around 6000 pounds with probably 600 pounds of tongue weight. i have the stock class IV hitch on my tow rig (http://inlinediesel.com/trucks/3gen/1/index.html ) and i dont know if it could safely support 600 pounds of tongue weight on a 3 or 4 foot hitch extension. any knowledgeable advice on this would be greatly appreciated. are there any other concerns i should be aware of? any reason why i should be concerned about hauling a 3500 pound camper in the back of the truck while simultaneously towing up to 10,000 pounds? any camper specific recommendations? how about a good camper dealer? thanks,
--
Nathan W. Collier
http://InlineDiesel.com
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Nate,
What your drive-train / suspension "sees" is a combination load, camper and all your supplies for the duration plus the the tongue load. That's all your food, water, clothes, bedding, and any other "necessities" and then add the weight of the slide-in plus the tongue weight of the trailer.
Combined, it's very easy to overload the truck and not realize it. Think back when I moved from CO to UT. I ended up with a load that was 1K lbs over the axle gross rating after I dumped all the stuff I could and some I couldn't. I should have rented a U-haul truck, not a trailer, and towed the D-150
My suggestion: get a good, used motorhome. You would have more room and still be able tow your trailers . . just not to the off-road campsites.
Around here, a lot of off-road vehicles are towed in with ordinary motorhomes ( if you call 50 footers "ordinary"), which get parked near the area of activity, then the ATV, jeeps, whatever, are unloaded.
-- Budd Cochran

enclosed
are
is
somewhere
should
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a motorhome would be incapable of accessing the places we go. if i didnt have a winch on the front of my truck i wouldnt even try getting there that way.
--
Nathan W. Collier
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Then you have a problem, my friend, and it beyond my experience.
That size slide-in will definitely raise the center of gravity of your truck making a bad situation much worse. Not too many years back, according to some locals, a tourist tried to winch his slide-in rig to a spot in the slickrock area and the resulting accident left him in his family in the hospital for a month.
Will that happen to you? I don't know, I'm just asking you to be careful, please
-- Budd Cochran

that
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if you're going into country that rough, you will be tipping the whole thing over (can you say center of gravity) and losing the trailer down the hill when the hitch breaks off. Other than that, you'll probably have a good day.
bill

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people go through that area all the time with setups like im describing. we arent talking about rock crawling trails, just trails too rough to get a motorhome through. 4 wheel drive is mandatory.
--
Nathan W. Collier
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Budd Cochran wrote:

I have a extended cab, long box, 1 ton, ctd with a slide in camper. When the fuel tank, h2o tank are full, groceries, clothes, golf clubs, the case of beer etc and the 2 of us in the cab, we are 200 pounds under the gvw
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Precisely what I was meaning.
According to DC, you shouldn't tow anything with more than 200 pounds tongue weight, or 2000 lbs total.
-- Budd Cochran

and
different
about
trailer
the
appreciated.
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?? with a one ton dually? http://inlinediesel.com/trucks/3gen/1/index.html
--
Nathan W. Collier
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Nathan W. Collier wrote:

single axle.
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doesnt matter. if i couldnt tow more than 2000 pounds with it i would trade it on an F350. :-)
--
Nathan W. Collier
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Heh... with a 12,000lb. GVWR, and a tow rating of 13,500lbs. (combined rating of 21,000lbs.), that shouldn't be a problem. I have no idea where the 200lb. tongue weight/2,000lb. total trailer weight came into the picture.
With your 6,000lb. trailer, a vehicle of 7,500lbs., 600lbs. of people/posessions, and 3,500lbs. of camper, that puts your GVWR right about 12,000lbs (figuring tongue weight of trailer, as well). The trailer puts you at 18,000lbs. GCVWR, which is well within specs. I'm a little worried about your front axle (especially with the added weight of the winch on it)... the front axle's only rated at 5,200lbs., and already has about 4,500lbs. on it with your configuration.
I also have no idea about the hitch extension given the overhanging camper. I'd certainly think about getting a class 5 hitch on there (don't know if they're available for the 3rd gens or not...), because of the added leverage of the trailer. On the upside, that long hitch extension will help take some weight off the front axle :)
There's some discussion of people doing this (camper/trailer/hitch extension) here: http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/16396808.cfm
Getting back to the toy hauler, I don't see why it wouldn't be big enough. If your 18' trailer is enough for all your vehicles, and an 8' camper is big enough for all of you, why wouldn't a 26-28' toy hauler fit both? Is the extra length of the trailer an issue for the terrain it's going to see?
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

2 things here that I am getting confused about. First, I thought that a vehicle's GVWR was the total weight a truck could carry/pull. After all we do, at some point have to safely stop this truck/camper/trailer combo. Secondly, isn't a F350 one of those dinky toy kind of things. We are talking real trucks here.
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an f350 doesnt come with a paper hidden in the center console that says "this vehicle is not recommended for hauling a slide in camper". i dont understand why chryco says that their flagship diesel truck isnt capable (or not recommended anyway) of hauling a slide in camper. i dont think this would have affected my decision to buy my truck. it is by far the most awesome vehicle ive ever owned (at least for towing anyway)......but i do wish this paper wasnt hidden in a spot that nobody checks before buying a vehicle. it was never mentioned by my dealership, and not posted anywhere else that ive found. if the axle is incapable of handling the weight of a slide in camper, put a bigger axle in.
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On Sat, 29 Oct 2005 11:43:25 -0600, "Nathan W. Collier"

nate, is yours a short box? i thought the long box was made for a slide in camper.
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No - it's the total weight that the truck is designed to CARRY - as in weight on the axles. The GCVWR (gross combined vehicle weight rating) is the total weight of truck and trailer. That's why the 1-tons are rated to carry a little over 5,000lbs. in payload, but rated to to up to a little over 15,000lbs. (when properly equipped).

The F-350 is a 1-ton class pickup, comparable to the Ram 3500's. Look, I'm not a big fan of Fords... I don't like the way they design things, and I certainly don't like their engines - but brand-loyalty aside, the SuperDuty's are good trucks, built as well as (if not better than) the Rams. And yes - it does hurt a bit to say that :)
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

Thanks Tom, but I am still a little confused. In my old imperial measure world 5,000 lbs equals 2.5 tons. 1 ton equals 2000 lbs.
Now, I have a 2500 Ram CTD extended cab long box. The truck weighs in on a scale (full fuel tank & driver) at 6600 lbs. The GVWR on the door post says 8800 lbs. I assume I can carry 2200 lbs., ( 1 tonne legally). Where does your 5,000 lb. payload figure come in? I would love to know so I can upgrade my camper without replacing my truck.
With my present camper, fuel, water, beer, golf clubs and wife, we weigh in at 8600 lbs, (forget the comments, the beer weights more than my wife :)). Trailer hitch says I can pull 10,500 lbs, so can I hook up my snowmobile trailer and sleds (2500 lbs) and still be legal?
Another question is going to be tire pressures, door post has max pressures, vehicle manual has other values, tire side wall has different values. Which one rules? Thx LJB
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Uh, Tom, I already apologized for that mistake, but the main point was that a slide in fully loaded reduces you tow capacity.
-- Budd Cochran

about
camper.
leverage
big
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Hey - I wasn't calling you out on anything, Budd.... and now that I actually read through the whole thread, I can see you were talking about the one poster's specific set-up, where he's 200lbs. below his GVWR with his slide-in, in which case, yes, he shouldn't have more than 200lbs. tongue weight. Makes perfect sense.
Nate's got a little more truck to work with, but he's going to be really close to the maximum. I agree with you... it's a dicey set-up. I'd want to be well ahead of a vehicle like that on the road... unless we were going down-hill, in which case I'd want to be well behind :)
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actually
I thought that might have been what happened. <BG>

going
Had a boss that had a big slide-in on an early 70's Ford Half tonner. Rode with him ONCE to do some catfishing and that thing was all over the road. I resolved right there and then to not ever ride in that rig again.
Have you ever become seasick on a flat road????
And I generally don't get motion sick.
Budd
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