- August 12, 2021 at 04:42 #52296JamieParticipant
Hello! I’m a new member here and would welcome any advice.
I’m in the market for a truck for the Scout Kenai that I have pre-ordered. I’m taking advantage of the long wait for the Kenai (expected April-June ’22) to delve into truck research and try to buy the right truck from the start. I’m an experienced camper/backpacker but have never owned a truck camper or truck before.
This truck will be transporting myself and my young son (I’m a single mom), so my main concern is payload, reliability, and safety. After doing a lot of reading, I’ve decided to go with a one ton truck to minimize any payload concerns. So I’m considering either a F-350 or Ram 3500. I will be getting an 8ft long bed to be able to close the tailgate and a gas engine, since diesel would be 10k more. I will also need a gooseneck prep package to get a 7pin connector in the bed for the camper.
Ok, the question: since I will be building a new truck, are there other specific options or aftermarket modifications that are recommended? This truck will be a dedicated adventure mobile and the Kenai will be living permanently on the truck bed. I will be using the Kenai year round and I live in the northeast. I am also considering having a Year of Adventure and living in it full time.
So while I won’t be doing any hardcore off-roading, I will be encountering plenty of dirt roads, mud, snow, and ice. I want to feel as secure as possible doing winter driving and just in general while carting something around with such a high center of gravity.
Someone had recommended the Ram’s electronic leveling air suspension system, though I have questions about the longterm reliability of airbags and also if they are needed with a one ton. I’ve also been looking into the Timbren SES as a more durable option. Again, if I go with a 3500, not sure if it’s needed.
I like the 7.3 engine of the Ford, but the interior of the Ram better. I’ve also just learned that only Ford has a pedestrian detection system, which I’ve read is an important safety feature. But Ram HD seems to win all the awards. Any thoughts for a confused buyer?
Thanks so much!
- August 12, 2021 at 15:34 #52317Phil PattersonParticipant
From reading the Kenai’s spec’s I’d say most any half ton might well carry it (??), but I’m with you on the 1 ton…Why??
Because, after owning our very first camper (purchased new), we we’re shortly after able to verify that as an activity truck camping was definitely for US but after gaining a bit of hands-on experience, far better to determine the things that we felt were lacking and a few issues that were most important to us (understandable, different per individual). Within 4yrs this led us to our larger long-term camper, but one that would also require a more capable truck – Ugg! (from a 3/4ton SRW to a 1ton dually)…
We’ve had this 2009 camper now for 12yrs (from new) with probably 175k mi on it, and prepping to head to the Smokey Mts…It’s been a fantastic camper!
Over a time, water, generator storage and interior space had become much higher priorities…
I must say however that the Kenai looks very impressive 🙂
- October 21, 2021 at 18:00 #53748
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