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  #1  
Old 12-13-2004, 07:25 PM
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need p.u. truck

I need the forums help....

I drive a '97 e 420, my wife drives a '02 v.w. bug. A friend wants to give me a slide in camper for a p.u. truck, and we just got a black lab dog, well neither one will fit in or cars well the lab maybe but, Would like everyones advice on what type of truck to get? Does not have to be new..We like to go camping but don't know if it's worth the extra money for 4x4.

Thanks in advance

MR LUCKY
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2004, 07:57 PM
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How about the cab/chassis Sprinter in a pick-up version? Perhaps even a crewcab would be nice.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2004, 08:20 PM
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I would hesitate to reccommend a Dodge Ram with a Hemi. I love the truck, but the gas milege is a bit of a fright. 9 MPG whether you are empty or loaded, hot or cold, up hills or down, this thing LOVES gas. Bought it for the business exactly a year ago and it has 3700 miles on it. It sits a lot.
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2004, 08:23 PM
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Sounds like the first question should be "what kind(s) of truck will the camper shell fit?" Because it isn't a "one size fits all" situation.

Thanks,
Richard
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2004, 08:24 PM
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My short term memory must be okay, since I recall a used pickup truck discussion from a few weeks back.

Now, if I can just remember who Teddy is and why I shouldn't believe his lies . . .
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2004, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
My short term memory must be okay, since I recall a used pickup truck discussion from a few weeks back.

Now, if I can just remember who Teddy is and why I shouldn't believe his lies . . .
Teddy is Michael Savages' dog, and I don't know if I would believe him either.
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2004, 12:12 AM
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Still have it But it too gets about 9-10mpg, regardless of how you drive it.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2004, 08:23 AM
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I camp alot w/family & just bought a 4 door F-150 with the 4.6L engine. I love the truck, and so does my wife (she drives it more then I). The 4.6 is strong enough, and doesn't burn as much fuel as the 5.4.

If you do buy Ford, I would recommend staying away from the limited slip rear axle; I frequent a Ford truck chat group and lots of people are having trouble with their limited slip axles (so many so, that ford cannot build replacements fast enough...if I believe what I read on that board). Just my $0.02.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2004, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolebludger
Sounds like the first question should be "what kind(s) of truck will the camper shell fit?" Because it isn't a "one size fits all" situation.
What he said. You said it's a slide-in camper...most of these are big enough that you shouldn't be putting one on a 1/2 ton truck. In fact, depending on the size of it, I'd seriously consider a dualie...the extra width will help greatly with stability.

As to manufacturer...it's a matter of personal preference. If you're buying new, my first recommendation would be Dodge...if you're willing to own a diesel, I would HIGHLY recommend going that route. Fuel mileage will be better than with a g@$$er, and you'll have an easier time pulling the camper. The Cummins that Dodge has has good power and the reliability hasn't been beaten yet. I'd go so far as to say that you can't really go wrong with any year for Dodge.

The 6.0l Powerstroke that Ford's using has yet to be truly proven, and I have a very strong anti-GM bias. If you went for an older truck (like before mid '03) and don't want a Dodge, Ford's 7.3l Powerstroke is a good engine.

I could go further, but it'd be best to know the size and empty weight of the slide-in before I go too far overboard.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2004, 09:55 PM
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slide in camper

Wow, this site is great....The slide in unit is a older unit someone is giving me I beleive its made by couchman? I'll try and find out how big it is and get back to everyone..Thanks again for all the great ideas..

MR LUCKY
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2004, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC
One of the equipment upgrades in going from 1/2 ton to a heavier duty model is a set of brakes that can handle the weight. Always nice to be able to stop.
Paul is ABSOLUTEY correct on this one. I was going to wait on the "Brakes/Weight" lecture until more info on the camper was attained, but I'll go into it now.

Is there a rating plate on the camper that gives the "empty" weight? If not, you might see if your friend would be willing to put the camper back in his truck, get the whole rig weighed, then remove the camper and weigh the truck without it. This'll give you a base weight for the camper, and can give you an idea on how much truck you NEED.

IMHO, on something like this, the larger of a truck you have, the better, but it's best to know what to look for. There should be a rating plate (or a sticker) on the truck somewhere, usually on the driver's side doorjamb, that will tell you what the legal maximum allowed weight on the truck can be. Note that this weight is not so much based on engine power as it is based on spring and, more importantly, brake capacity. If your vehicle goes over this weight and you get into an accident due to anything related to an inability to brake or anything to that effect, you can be in a heap of legal trouble. Take a look here for a somewhat extreme example of what I'm talking about.

Okay, here endeth my lecture on why you shouldn't skimp on the truck you buy to haul this camper around in. Now, to figure out which truck to get. On the rating plate, there should be three numbers available. These numbers are:
GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
GAWR Front: Gross Axle Weight Rating, for the front axle
GAWR Rear: Gross Axle Weight Rating, for the rear axle
The GVWR is, simply put, the maximum weight that the entire truck is allowed to weigh. This weight includes passengers, the camper, any tools you carry, a full tank of fuel, engine, transmission, truck body, the whole 9 yards. This does not, however, include a trailer (except for the tongue weight).
The GAWR is the maximum weight allowed on the respective axle.

It is possible to exceed one number without exceeding another. For instance, my F-250's GVWR is 8600 lbs, the Front GAWR is 4410 lbs, and the Rear GAWR is 5873 lbs. If I loaded my truck so that there was 5800 lbs on the rear axle and 3000 lbs on the front axle, neither GAWR is exceeded. BUT...it puts me 200 lbs over my GVWR, and I'm therefore illegal. Likewise, if I loaded my truck so that there was 2000 lbs on the front axle (which, on my nose-heavy truck, is almost no weight beyond an empty truck) and 6200 lbs on the rear axle, I'm below my GVWR, but my Rear GAWR is exceeded considerably, and I'm just as illegal.

I don't know if it's possible to determine the GAWR's from just knowing the truck's GVWR and the weight of the camper, so you're probably best off getting some base numbers from your friend's truck, use that as a basic guideline on what truck to get, then once you get your own truck, get it weighed with the camper and you can go from there on arranging things, knowing how much you can safely carry (luggage, toys), etc.

This all said, unless the camper's a monster and/or you're also planning on hauling a trailer (a second camper trailer, a boat, an ATV trailer, etc), you're PROBABLY safe with any 1 ton dualie out there. If the camper's huge and you also want to haul a trailer, I'd think long and hard about a small medium-duty truck, such as an F-450. If the camper's on the small side and you're not planning on hauling anything else, a 3/4 ton may or may not be safe...again, it'll be easier to tell once you have the camper's weight.

Sorry for the long-windedness here, but there are a lot of RV'ers out there who are dangerously overloaded and don't even know it. For instance, a sizeable portion of 5th wheel haulers should really have F-450's instead of -350's. I wanted to at least make sure you were aware of the issues.

As for brand preferences...that's a whole different ballgame. Most weight capacities are similar enough that it won't make or break a single brand from being a choice. A 4x4 would be to your advantage from a resale value standpoint...although there's a bit of a weight carrying capacity sacrifice due to the extra weight associated with the front drivetrain, and depending on where you're camping, it may be something you'll never use (conversely, it might be something you use every time ). As mentioned, I'd recommend a diesel engine, from a reliability, longevity, and economy standpoint (conservative driving could probably get you 14 to 15 mpg with the camper, whereas a g@$ engine would be lucky to get into double digits). Also, from a longevity standpoint, I'd recommend a manual transmission if you're willing/able to drive one.

Again, from a brand standpoint, my first recommendation would be Dodge, with a 7.3l-powered Ford as a close second. The Cummins engine has longevity in its favor, although the 7.3l drives a bit more like a car (V-8 powerband as opposed to that of a straight-6). The 6.0l is even more car-like, but early engines are plagued with problems, and it's still up in the air as to whether or not Ford has really fixed anything. I would avoid GM like the plague, although that's due to a strong aversion to aluminum-head engines and IFS 4x4 front ends.

Just my $.02...I hope this helps some
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2004, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Warden
I was going to wait on the "Brakes/Weight" lecture until more info on the camper was attained, but I'll go into it now.
Great info, and nicely explained.

As an owner of a '99 Ram 1500, I'd like to also encourage getting a _heavy-duty_ model. This 1500 has decent brakes since I keep my distance, but they fade really quickly. This is with nothing but drywall in the bed. Putting a camper on it would be nuts; it'd probably never stop.
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2004, 03:20 PM
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So...did you wind up coming to a decision?
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2005, 03:38 AM
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Thumbs up Buy my truck

Buy my truck
It is a 2001 Chevy Silverado with the sport bed
I have changed the oil with Mobil 1 since I got it

Within the last year I have had a personal boycott against high gas prices causing me to have only put approximately 4000 miles on it in the past 12 months
I donít recall how many the total miles are but its around 45K

Everything mechanical and electrical is in perfect condition.

The cosmetics of the car are poor.
An electrical gate closed on one side leaving a deep scratch down the passenger side and it dented the bed so bad I removed it and never got around to putting a new one on.

To give you an idea of the repair costs the dealer wanted 2300 to fix it
Since I have a 1000 dollar deductible and a non-dealer would charge around half it kind of put me in limbo.

I was going to put the car on eBay sometime in spring but I would love to get it out of my driveway now.

The only car I found that had the same options and features sold on eBay for 10K, but it had 70K miles on it

Iím thinking $7250.00 is a fare price
This way if you want to make the repairs you can still come out on top even if you choose the dealer, or you can get a great deal on a car that has been excessively maintenance with very low miles.
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