Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum Short-box (6'5'') Camper that sleeps a mom & dad AND 2 teenagers? Reply To: Short-box (6'5'') Camper that sleeps a mom & dad AND 2 teenagers?


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1. How old are you? If between 40 and 55, you want a rig that will get you through the next couple decades, through your life’s changes and not have to be refitted. Even if after a few years you decide to cease and diciest with the TC, it will still have a high resale value. Other age related issue are your knees and joints and ability to climb the outside stairs and the biggie,…. the steps up to the queen size, NS bed. This is not so apparent when you are young but down the road the creeky factor can emerge. So choose well.
2. How adventurous? If you are planning on getting way off the beaten path with said truck camper, the priorities change. You want the lightest, least tall, and narrowest of body styles that has enough tank capacity to last at least a week, completely off grid. If staying on graded dirt roads you don’t even need 4WD, just a good limited slip or locker on the rear axle. If you are getting a 2WD short bed truck, The Lance 650 could be in contention. A couple with slide outs mentioned above could be the ticket, but the truck carrying capacity ante goes up exponentially with slides.
3. With 2 teen boys, hopefully, but who knows now-o-days, they will be out of the nest within the next 5-8 years, depending, so a stopgap place for them to sleep while out on a TC adventure would be a used off-road style tent trailer pulled by that 3-series 4WD truck, or even a tent. Teenage boys love tent camping. Didn’t we all? Plus, you will have some minutes of privacy in the box.
4. Choose a TC that is a good fit for you and has what you need and not more. Are you planning on 4-season travel? Do get the Artic Pack or 4-season insulation with 2x pane windows. Do you do most of your truck camping in summertime? Then you probably want air conditioning, which adds a lot of weight up high and tethers you to AC power. You don’t need air conditioning if you only camp in Fall/Winter/Spring. Sooner or later many TC people install solar panels. There are so many up sides and so few down sides to solar. Granted, solar won’t run your air conditioning. It won’t run your microwave, but it keeps the lights on and batteries up to a degree that power consumption fails to be an issue. If you want it all and the largest TC around that sleeps 4 adults, you must have a truck platform that can handle that 5000-6000 pound payload. That means a dual rear wheel 3, 4, or 5 series truck. This is a tough paradigm shift for most neophytes in the TC biz.
Here’s the problem: people new to the TC paradigm think that a half ton pickup that will pull almost anything will suffice when sliding over to the world of the truck camper. Not so, propane breath. You are carrying almost all of that load on the rear axle of the truck, so keep your eye on the actual weight of any camper you purchase and compare the truck’s stated load capacity, tire load rating, wheel load rating, and axle load rating to the actual load you will be carrying. For some, this has been a silent safety deal breaker. It’s all do able. Do your due diligence with the search, specs, and availability (cast your net very wide) of both the camper and truck, in that order and you should be happy for many years to come.

2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.