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Old 03-28-2011, 09:21 AM   #1
Haggar
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Default Truck camper question

I've never had a truck camper, and am *maybe* thinking of one, a little down the road.

One question I have:

How much difference is the wind resistance between a pop up style like this:



And a newer hardside with an angled cabover like this:




Basically, I'm considering building one for my truck. I don't want/need a big truck camper. Something for 1 or most 2 people. Twin bed up, twin bed down, little to no built in stuff. Something for me by myself, maybe with the wife, or with Patrick and/or Nathan.

Also, I have a 5.5ft bed, and no one makes one quite that short and it needs to be super light since I have a 1/2 ton. I can put on better shocks, helpers, sway bar, etc, for helping with load/wind sway, but I don't want it heavy. 700lbs or so.

I could buy a nice four wheel camper, but they cost $7000 for a shell with nothing in it.

It'd be easier, and IMO, nicer to have a hardside, and probably no difference in weight (although weight would be higher up).

Spending too much time looking at the builds on expedition portal
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
Basically, I'm considering building one for my truck. I don't want/need a big truck camper. Something for 1 or most 2 people. Twin bed up, twin bed down, little to no built in stuff. Something for me by myself, maybe with the wife, or with Patrick and/or Nathan.

Also, I have a 5.5ft bed, and no one makes one quite that short and it needs to be super light since I have a 1/2 ton. I can put on better shocks, helpers, sway bar, etc, for helping with load/wind sway, but I don't want it heavy. 700lbs or so.
I not sure on the wind resistence, I've only run the pop top style.

if you are going to have a bed over the cab, why not plan for it to be big enough for 2, you and the wife, and the lower bed for 2 kids, like you said, could end up being Patrick and Nathen could even be narrow bunk style for them, one low and one at the same height as the cab over bed, then the opposite side of teh beds could be storage. havign a place inside to keep all teh campign stuff would make loading up for each trip that much quicker.

that's one big thing I miss from my camper.

as for length and weight, with some helper bags on the rear , I coudl see you goign to 1500 without a problem, and length, let it go to 7' and hang otu the back a little

I had an 8' in my 6.5 bed with no issues, and the bigger ones are even designed at 11' for 8' beds, so there's 3' over hang. Going that much then requires a hitch extention, but it works.

if you're really going to keep it for 1 or 2 people, maybe use an 8' topper for the upper half and roof, then build a lower section to it, so it's still air tight and can be removed like a slide in unit... remove the rear hatch and build it with a singe door, I've even seen toppers that replace the tailgate with a one piece section from floor to topper with a door in it.
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Last edited by swampjeep : 03-28-2011 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:45 AM   #3
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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The big reason to keep the length short would be because the bed is even further back on the crew cabs with the super short bed, so people talk about issues with the weight too far back.

Just in the info gathering stages.

I could easily make the upper bed slide out over part of the seating area to fit two people. Thats how the four wheel campers do it. On their narrow models for Tacomas and Rangers and such, they have a queen bed that runs longwise, not side to side.

I just don't want something to creep and creep and get too big.

I look at it this way: I'm not going to have 5 people in there. So if we go somewhere with the whole family, that'll be a tent. Thats likely silver lake, maybe one other trip at most per year.

Most trips, having 3 kids, its not practical or realistic to have more than myself or 1 person with me. Maybe both Nathan and Patrick.

Looking mostly at the next 4-5 years, not beyond. So the kids won't be big, Jamie's only 5'-2".

I think a twin up, twin down, with the option to make the top a full size or a queen if I felt like it. A queen is 5" longer than a twin, though.

No fridge, probably no sink, no big stove, etc. A fold down counter with a gas camp stove or electric hot plate and griddle would work fine. Id' have to look into furnace units if I'd even want to bother.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:17 AM   #5
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Interesting thought about the topper. My old 8ft one with raised roof could have been a start. I'd want to chop it and widen it a foot and build a sloped nose.

That fiberglass is surprisingly heavy, though.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:20 PM   #6
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We are on out 3rd pick up camper.
All have been hard sided non pop up type.
I never really gave milage a big thought. As to if it would be better if we had a pop up type or not.
My main thing with them was to keep Linda happy when she went on runs with me. And if that is what it took then that is what we were getting.
So Long story short. With the old camper and old trailer we were getting around 11 mpg.
But the last 2 campers were /are heavy...............
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Go big or at least have a cold one waiting for them when they bust their junk and have to fix it or load it on the trailer.


Don't worry there's still two tires on the ground.


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Old 03-28-2011, 12:23 PM   #7
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I would check with the boss and see what she wants out of the camper.
That can and will make all the difference in what you build or get.
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Go big or at least have a cold one waiting for them when they bust their junk and have to fix it or load it on the trailer.


Don't worry there's still two tires on the ground.


"Life's goal is not to reach the grave safely in a well preserved body. But to slide in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy Shit, what a ride."
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
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speaking of Ex Po camper builds... I like this one

http://expeditionportal.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=53577

edit: I just read his last few changes and I no longer like it, that camper will have that poor sami crying, and possibly laying on it's side in a hard right hand turn LOL.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:31 PM   #9
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Hey John, when you get a truck, it'd be like old times..

http://flint.craigslist.org/for/2289584002.html
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
Hey John, when you get a truck, it'd be like old times..

http://flint.craigslist.org/for/2289584002.html
no, this is more what I had in mind, the wife even approved, but I need a truck first...
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