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

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    • #23183

      Thanks in advance! We are buying an F250 with a 6 ft 5-inch bed. Does anyone know of a camper that would sleep my wife and me, as well as my two teenage sons? And, we want to have a toilet.

    • #23184

      You didn’t mention whether you’re looking for a hard side or a pop-up type, but since you mentioned for four people I’ll assume you mean a conventional hard side model.

      Some brands that come to mind are Lance, Adventurer, Arctic fox and Wolf Creek (by Arctic fox)…Depending on your trucks capacity, a few can even be had with slide-outs…When comparing, also consider the capacity of the fresh water and gray and black holding tanks…

      A good rule of thumb is to first pick out the camper you like, then choose a truck with sufficient capacity to carry the load (i.e. single rear wheel versus double rear wheel, etc)…

    • #23198
      Mello Mike

      That’s a tough order. If you need a camper that can sleep that many people, don’t buy a 3/4-ton truck, get a one-ton instead. You’ll need the higher payload to get the size of camper that you need. As for the camper, you’ll probably need one with a slide-out, like the Lance 855s or Arctic Fox 811, or a custom build with a tip-out tent on the side from a company like BundutecUSA. Good luck.

    • #23485

      We need more info that only you can provide.
      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.

    • #23549
      Dietrich Kanzler

      Northstar TC800 might fit the bill. Can sleep 2 in the overhead and 2 in the dinette (although snugly). Porta Potti toilet.

    • #23551

      Thanks to all who replied. The best option I’ve come across yet is the Lance 830.

      Click to access 2012-lance-camper-brochure.pdf

    • #23733
      Mello Mike

      Good choice, but at 2,300-pounds dry that’s a lot of camper for a 3/4-ton. If you decide to get that truck make sure it has a 3,300-pound payload. This all but eliminates the possibility of getting a diesel.

    • #24566

      I think you need something like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22%E2%80%94And_He_Built_a_Crooked_House%E2%80%94%22

      (The summary is ok, but the original story is better.)

    • #24715

      When I was a kid, my Dad bought an old Alaskan camper which fit (by brute force, as the bed was not of uniform width) on our 1959 Chevy Apache.
      Anyway, it only had a dinette/bed, didn’t have the overhead. I remember sleeping in a tent a couple times while Mom and Dad had the camper. I also remember them taking the dinette cushions to use in a tent, while we slept on the plywood base in sleeping bags. Had they hung onto that camper it would’ve been great for the two of them, but someone was always outside with a family of 4.
      Not helpful- but a fun truck camper tale nonetheless!
      Buy a nice tent.

    • #25655

      I have a similar issue with sleeping 4, one teenager, one younger child, wife and myself. Also need to occasionally eat together inside at a table. Most truck campers are just not laid out for this kind of family, so I bought an ATC Cougar shell (8 foot on my 6.5 foot Toyota Tundra bed), biggest shell I could find. I built bench seats down below that fold out to make two sleeping platforms that are about 24″ wide. Kids are happy they have their own beds.

      Bench seating for 4 (table not present yet)…
      bench seating config

      Bed configuration for 2 kids downstairs…

      There is some storage under the bench seats/beds.

      Used birch plywood from Home depot and oak or pine for the slides and supports..

    • #25737
      Mello Mike

      Looks great, Roger. Do you have photos of the exterior?

    • #25772

      Bodega Bay CA and points north, shortly after I picked it up..
      Bodega Dunes


      Shake-down trip, took the family out to Chambers Lake in Northern CO overnight last weekend. Everything worked, and more importantly, nothing leaked. Early evening squall came in right after the steaks were done on the camp fire grill, cold wind and light rain, we all took shelter in the camper and were warm and dry. Our 68lb Kevlar canoe fit great, loading and unloading not bad at all. Everyone got a good nights sleep.
      side 2

      Squats a little in back with the weight, will be adding SumoSprings lift/jounce bushings to level out.

    • #26644
      larry lacabe

      When I had a couple teenage boys, I had a motorhome…..my experience is they will not sleep together. I think the suggestion to pull a trailer would work best.

      Boys will go out in the night, I had to laugh when I saw a couple grandparents with a 40′ motorhome and they had a tent on top of the motorhome for the boys to sleep in so hopefully they would know if they were going out and about.

    • #44251
      Taylor Xtreme

      We spent about three months finding the right leather sofa for our camper living room, and I’m sure like everyone else we looked everywhere. As with anyone looking for good furniture, this choice was difficult until I found homeontheswan.com.au . We were a little worried about not being able to sit on the sofa before buying it, but they have a great return policy if it didn’t fit and we felt entitled to go for it. Some of the other sofas we looked at had to wait 1-2 months for delivery. Ours was delivered in 48 hours. We loved everything about the sofa, from comfort and size to the quality of the leather. I highly recommend this brand and will buy from them again.

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