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Thanks everyone for the ideas.
After doing some reading, my inclination at this point is to pick up the camper with my stock setup, take it easy, and proceed from there.
Although this is going on a 1/2 ton, the camper is light. It’s primary purpose is to serve as a base for backcountry camping (i.e. sleep in it the night before and the night returning), so it’s a fairly minimal setup without heavy stuff like water, roof mount units, a bunch of gear we can’t carry on our backs, etc.
BTW, one thing you guys might find funny is I didn’t know until fairly recently that campers were heated. I’ve slept snug as a bug in a rug in below zero temps in my dug in double walled tent feeling sorry for the poor souls stuck in freezing boxes exposed to the wind. I still probably wouldn’t know except a nice guy in a TC invited me and my GF out of the -5°F to share some whiskey a few years ago when he saw us moving through a parking lot.

MAYBE this could be a BETTER option for you:


I know a guy that has one and they LOVE IT and you sound like the reason why they went with this over the camper, they are big into hiking etc…

US Army Retired
2019 F 350 CC-LB King Ranch
Hill Country of Texas