A reader recently emailed me this photograph and to say I was shocked when I first saw it would be an understatement. This photo provides all of the evidence that you need that RV dealerships don’t always have your best interests at heart. The truck in this photo is a 2016 Ram 2500. While the regular cab long-bed configuration nets more payload than the other Ram 2500 configurations, it’s still not enough to haul this behemoth. According to the Ram website, the payload rating for a 2500 with a Cummins 6.7L turbo diesel is only 3,160 pounds. The camper sitting in the bed of this pickup truck is a 2016 Lance 1172, Lance’s flagship model. The wet weight for this dual slide-out, side entry truck camper is 4,300 pounds. Add another 1,000 pounds for a fully loaded truck camper and you get a figure of 5,300 pounds. That’s a whopping 2,300 pounds over the truck’s payload rating and GVWR! To put that into perspective we’re talking over one ton of weight! Yikes!
This illustrates exactly what NOT to do when buying a truck camper. Not only is this camper too heavy for this truck, but it’s also too big (I shudder to think how this combo will handle on corners, during a blowout, or when making high-speed turns). Putting a camper this large and heavy on a three-quarter-ton truck simply isn’t safe. Who’s to blame for this gross mismatch? Obviously, the dealership was wrong to sell this camper to this buyer, they’re supposed to be the experts, but the buyer must also share in the blame. Ignorance isn’t always a valid excuse, especially when your safety–and ours–is involved. Apparently, the buyer neither solicited any advice on the truck camper forums nor did he visit any truck camper websites, like this one, to get educated. Matching the right truck camper with the right pickup truck is basic Truck Camper 101. Yes, it’s true that most truck camper combo’s are overweight. A couple hundred pounds over your truck’s GVWR is no big deal, but in this case we’re talking over 2,000 pounds.
Now if the buyer had his heart set on this particular camper, then good on him, the 1172 is a fine camper and is Lance’s best-selling model. But a big and heavy camper like this must have the right truck to safely haul it, which in this case should’ve been a one-ton dually with a 6,000 pound payload. Not only would a dually provide the owner with the requisite payload needed to haul this fine camper, but it would also provide the stability needed during all kinds of handling situations including emergency braking and heavy winds. Of course, downgrading to a smaller camper would be another option for this buyer. There are plenty of fine non slide-out, long-bed truck campers that would be a perfect match for this truck, the Adventurer 80RB and the Northstar Laredo come immediately to mind. Let’s hope for his sake–and ours–that the owner realizes his mistake soon and makes some kind of change.