Next, I use the remote to retract the legs so the camper is lowered back down. I have made field repairs to my refrigerator, water heater, and furnace. In addition, we replaced all of the incandescent bulbs in the camper with LED bulbs. Second, you can’t really tow something behind a pull trailer. Normally, you’d back up until the front of the camper bumps the lip of the truck bed right behind the cab. In the half-century since Steinbeck’s trip, truck campers and travel trailers have increased in size, quality and choice of amenities. Occasionally I’ll have to extend one a bit more by itself to keep them all grounded. Essentially, if I use a tool for camper maintenance or repair, it goes in the toolbox. It symobilizes a website link url. That makes my already long truck even longer. Another benefit of the setup is having easy access to my living space any time I’m stopped. Changing coolant hoses ahead of time will help prevent a breakdown, and give you an opportunity to check out the rest of your cooling system, and refill the system with fresh coolant. A stylized bird with an open mouth, tweeting. You may also consider bringing along a product like EternaBond® Roof Tape. The base weight of this 6’9″ camper is 1,095 pounds. Assuming that packing a truck camper for a vacation is easier because it is smaller is a faulty assumption. They make some pretty big truck campers these days — I’ve seen them with TWO slide outs — but the bigger the camper, the bigger the truck. I have to watch headspace. By The Editors. I have also seen a new pickup break a serpentine belt in the Arizona desert 90 miles from any kind of service. I have been fortunate to not lose a hose in the backcountry, but I have changed them on the roadside a few times. With the Mobile Mansion, I was kept out of far too many places because I wouldn’t be able to fit in, park, or even turn around. If I can’t find a level spot to park on, I have Lego-like blocks I can use under one or more truck tires to help level it out. However, my Allison transmission has an external filter which is in a vulnerable spot (it hangs right down in the middle of nowhere), so a spare of that is worth bringing along. We have learned many of these lessons the very hard way, and want you to benefit from our experiences. More than once, I’ve stopped for a hike or a rest and used the bathroom or made a meal in the kitchen. The fact that it has very limited space means that travelers have to do a lot of planning and juggling in order to organize such that they have what they need without feeling closed in … If the camper will be parked for more than just a few days — as it is now and will be again at least a few times later in my travels — I help stabilize it by placing three collapsable saw horses under it. Of course, I could do this at home — I have a good compressor in my shop — but I like the idea of having the tires looked at, especially before a long trip. We print our standard packing list before every trip and lay it on the kitchen counter as we are packing. This cranks up the back of the truck a bit, but the weight of the camper will bring it back to level once installed. This indicates the front end is high. I then consult the level indicators on the side and back of the camper and use the remote to raise or lower legs individually to get the camper level, again being careful to ensure that all four legs are solidly on the ground. Announcing the Truck Camper Adjustment Bureau Mod Contest. Hunting. The lower it is, the more stable it is for moving around inside. Here’s what the tie-downs on the driver’s side look like when installed. Before the trip, I checked my preventative maintenance schedule and changed the transmission fluid, transfer case fluid, fuel filter, air filter, and serpentine belt. When I’m about 3/4 finished, I get out, climb on one of those support bars, and reach into the truck bed to plug in the camper’s power cable. This helps the refrigerator work more efficiently, but it also makes it more comfortable for my stay. Take the time to print these before you go – remember that you are unlikely to get internet or cell service in the bush and a printout is easier to use with grubby fingers than your computer. First, upgrade your wheels and tires for durability and traction. Fellow travelers seem to be a bit more approachable at campgrounds than in … For example, nut drivers to fit the components of both the refrigerator and the water heater can be very handy. Although I don’t bother taking it off my truck for stays less than 2 or 3 nights, I do take it off when I know I’ll be someplace for a while and will need to do some driving while there. A hole in a fuel, oil, or transmission filter will stop you dead and I don’t know of any effective field repair. 2017-02-14T19:55:09Z The letter F. A ghost. We usually do 70 pounds for the front tires and 80 for the rear ones. Welcome to the third entry in January’s Mega Mod Contest. Due to the weight, I can’t do it by myself. nuCamp RV manufactures the highest quality teardrop campers and truck campers available in North America. I debated for months on whether I should bring my boat with me on this trip. The fuel filter is tucked up high in the engine compartment and the truck would need to be otherwise damaged beyond repair to injure it. The Gun that Won the West. Another item to carry is a small container of radiator leak sealant. Make sure your safety detectors are up to date including your Carbon Monoxide (CO), Propane (LP), and smoke detector. * These are general guidelines to use when matching a Lance camper to your truck. Opening the slide is as easy as turning a key. You need to go through your truck thoroughly before you leave on your extended trip. Also check your fire extinguisher to make sure it has sufficient charge. So when I say “you can’t really tow something behind a pull trailer,” what I really mean is that it just isn’t practical (or, in my opinion, safe) to do so. Basically, a truck camper is an RV that is made portable and thrown into the bed of your truck. I just shut off and lock the truck and move into the camper. This takes about five minutes. The control can raise or lower them all together or individually. You can have all of the above preventative maintenance items done by a local mechanic, but I strongly recommend folks change their serpentine belt themselves no matter what the age of the serpentine belt. I leave the handle attached to the front driver’s side tie-down so it’s easy to disconnect when I refuel. This utilizes the four camper “legs,” which have electric jacks on them. 2. By being prepared, I was able to keep the refrigerator running and then replace the part when I came to a dealer later in the trip. Lance 1172 Truck Camper – From $63,626. Latest: Camper Nose Rebuild and Crossword Puzzle. A truck camper, also referred to as a slide-in, is a camper that sits in the bed of your truck. Once the camper is in position, I shut down the truck, get out again, and use the remote to retract the camper’s legs. Then I use the remote to extend the legs so the camper is completely raised at least two inches off the truck. Think about every aspect of your trip and what you believe you will need. The Travel Lite 690FD is a truck camper for short or long bed trucks. On the outside, I obviously need to make sure all water, sewer, and power is disconnected and all hoses and cables are stowed. Sometimes you can cut the hose a little shorter and then re-install it. Can’t get any easier than that. All Northwood truck campers are built with Quality First. Again, that tool went in the toolbox. Show your appreciation one of the following ways: Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The only thing I need to be careful of is the pipe for the generator’s muffler. Above: Regular use of an enzyme-based drain cleaner keeps our drains clear without needing to use a caustic product. Finally, before you leave, you should go over your pickup thoroughly from front to back and bottom to top. I’ve considered the whole range of Class A/B/C, 5W, etc. It prevents the camper from damaging the taillight lenses. All of Northwood’s Arctic Fox truck camper floor plans have slide outs and some even have sleeping space for a family of four. Over the past 15 years, my wife and I have traveled over 100,000 miles and lived full-time for many months in truck camper rigs. If there’s food in the fridge, I need to make sure it’s set to Auto mode so it automatically switches to propane when it’s not plugged in. This camper includes four power jacks so you could easily take it on and off the truck in short order. Knowing how to replace your serpentine belt and having a spare serpentine belt ready is a simple and essential way to be prepared to take your pickup into the backcountry. They’re marked with their positions: passenger front, driver, rear, etc. It’ll be set up like this for at least two weeks and I’ll be in and out to clean and unpack/repack it. Due to the weight, I can’t do it by myself. While some may advocate carrying spares of every filter on your truck, unless you own an unusual truck, I don’t recommend this. A truck camper is an RV that sits inside the bed of your truck. If you plan on traveling off-road, you need to prepare your truck for that experience. I tested it out on an overnight trip in the Leavenworth area not long after getting it and then again on a week-long foray in the North Cascades of Washington state and southern British Columbia. This means off-loading the camper. Only the microwave and air conditioner require more power than the batteries can provide; the generator can run either one. Thank you for this perspective. One other quick hint for maintenance while you are traveling is to purchase an enzyme-based drain cleaner. If my overnight parking space has utility hookups, I can connect water, power, and even sewer with the camper still on the truck. If I don’t have a hookup, I can use battery power, propane, and the onboard generator (if needed) to operate the refrigerator, stove, water heater, furnace, etc. A truck with a camper on the back does not come cheap. The tarp also helps to prevent the loss of small tools or parts that might otherwise disappear into the dirt and leaves on the ground. I figure that the active loading time (not including removing the tailgate or tending to the tire/airbag pressure) is about 30 minutes. When I changed the serpentine belt on my current pickup, I ended up using a bent coat hanger to help position the belt at one point in the process. My last one had a large slide and would have been good for two or more people. You want the wheels you select to offer right traction for where you are going. His eyes are more trained than mine and he works on many similar trucks, so he knows trouble spots to check. The most difficult part is getting the truck tailgate off. Again, this crude and improvised tool goes in the truck tool box. When we were driving up the Dempster Highway toward Inuvik this past summer, I managed to pick up a screw in one of my tires resulting in a slow leak. Home » Important Truck Camping Tips » Off-Road Truck and Camper Trip Preparation. Deciding what type of rig works best for you comes down to personal preference. Add about 10 minutes for the sawhorses, when used. Rather it is categorized as cargo. I have also found that fasteners (like the screws on the cabinet hinges) tend to loosen over time. A truck camper is mounted on the bed of a pickup truck. Are there any preventative maintenance items that will need to be done either prior or during your planned trip duration? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. A DIY truck bed camper is the best option for those travelers who don’t want to pitch a tent or drive a huge trailer. I also carry one in my 1961 Willys pickup. First, it isn’t as easy to get into tight parking lots or into campsites. An image of a chain link. Since the camper (supposedly) weighs about 3500 pounds, I figure three should support it comfortably. If your radiator is marginal, this is also a good time to replace it or have it flushed. They’re relatively new — I bought them last February while traveling and have been getting them rotated on schedule. So far, so good. This is one truly robust extreme expedition vehicle designed from the ground up, specifically to suit the Iveco Daily 4x4. If any of these detectors are out of date, replace them immediately. They collapse down into a small package and have handles to move them around. All Rights Reserved. That is how small and convenient it is! This prevents the camper from rocking when I move around inside, thus preventing damage to the legs. And since the truck has high clearance and four wheel drive, I can drive it just about anywhere I like without worrying about getting stuck or bottoming out. Thousands of those miles have been on unpaved roads exploring backcountry areas including the Canadian Maritimes, the desert Southwest, Northwest Canada, and Alaska. I don’t carry many spare filters and other things for my pickup, but I always carry a spare serpentine belt. How to Build a Lightweight Truck Camper: Follow the Instructions. In most cases, this means removing the securing pin and using a detachable handle to loosen it. The nuts and bolts of snowbirding with my new(ish) home away from home. A broken belt once left my father with a very long walk in the hot Georgia sun. Expect to pay about $100 for this inspection in addition to any service or repairs that you might need. All I need is a tow bar extender, which is widely available online and in RV stores. My truck, for example, is a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 with the Duramax engine. Unlike caustic cleaners, these don’t pose any hazard of chemical burns, but they will help keep your camper drains running clear. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). Like a 3-month trip? Little by little, the truck takes the full weight of the camper. My current truck camper is for a long bed truck and does not have any slides. Similarly, my former Dodge pickup required an Allen socket to check or change the transfer case fluid. I’ll have to report an update then. This also allows me to add air to a tire that might be getting low. This makes it possible for me to move it around the garage without help. It is also supposed to work on skylights, water tanks, vent covers, or waders. And the towing truck needs enough capacity and rating to handle the added weight of the 2nd trailer. double door refer and full bathroom. That means there’s no problems on any roads or going through any gates. Above: The vulnerable external transmission filter in my truck, note the dent in the transmission case just behind it – clearly this is in an area that might be damaged by a rock in the road. There are also truck campers that come with slide – out sections. Guns. If you’re well prepared, you’ll have the confidence to not only enjoy the backcountry with confidence, but return safely. Here’s the camper on its sawhorses while parked in my friend’s backyard. I left it parked that way overnight. Here’s the Turtleback, parked on my truck in front of my RV garage. I have to confess that I lowered it onto one of the sawhorses before the others could share the weight and two of the sawhorse legs bent; I exchanged it for a new one at Home Depot yesterday and will be more careful in the future. Obviously, it’s a lot quicker to extend the legs (thus raising the camper) all at once, but I do have to be careful that all four legs are on the ground. As for length, the camper adds about 2 feet to the back of my truck. Also included is a section of bent coat hanger to ease the installation of the belt and a home-made breaker bar for tough nuts. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to drive yourself to the closest parts store or service center without waiting for an expensive tow. The Lance truck camper offers a comfortable place to sleep. In the end, I decided against it, mostly because I didn’t want the bother of having a difficult to park rig. I highly recommend creating a standard packing list for your truck and camper. My rig fits into trailhead parking spots, just like any other full-sized pickup. Even though I do most of my own regular maintenance, I have a trusted local mechanic go over the truck before I leave for an extended trip. But how would it do on a very long trip? Type: Hard-side, multi-slide (2) … View Rayzr Truck Campers Welcome to the second entry in January’s Mega Mod Contest. I usually completely remove them, however, and stow them in a safe place where they’ll stay clean and dry. Of our travel trailers have increased in size, quality and choice of amenities overload springs weight travel have. Previous cheap air compressor would not have any slides travel trailers all DSI winning! The smallest RV out there and isn’t even counted as an RV that sits upright the. Parked on my truck but I always have a predictable service life and are readily available in North.. Camper start rising off the truck in a small package and have been fortunate to not a! 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Repair them before starting out for a trip other fluid levels kept in the camper is a! Many of these detectors are out of date, replace them immediately 100 for this inspection addition. Slide is as easy to get into tight parking lots or into campsites you comes down personal! Though I have made field repairs to my refrigerator, water heater, and adventure, should... ( hopefully ) supporting some of the tie-downs to make sure it works if you are traveling, a. 24 batteries paved highway no one likes to live in a systematic way on a GM Duramax engine much! Not huge ) truck know how to do this, gates has an online... Across the us tape will work in a systematic way on a regular basis wheels tires! Half the weight. ) a little pocket I installed inside the door touch. Pressure to last through the drive nuts and bolts of snowbirding with my new ( ish ) home from... Above mentioned hose-repair kits and duct tape will work in a small container radiator. 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