That can actually take all of the camper’s weight.). Can’t get any easier than that. General Pros and Cons of the Lance Truck Camper Pros: The Lance truck camper was recently awarded Consumer’s Digest highest rating, so there is definitely a lot of pros to this travel trailer if it is winning awards. No problem. and its capacities for carrying and /or towing - how much optional equipment is added to the truck camper - what you tow - and the weight of passengers and all other items you carry in your truck and camper. As with preparing your truck, it is much easier to fix things at home than on the road. This is better than attempting to find a service center on the road, or neglecting to get this important service done on time. I’m not sure exactly how tall the rig is, but I figure 12 feet maximum to the top of the air conditioner. 5 Cures for an Inaccurate Rifle. You may also consider bringing along a product like EternaBond® Roof Tape. An envelope. I usually grab a visiting friend and enlist his or her help. Fits all smaller trucks with a max. I recently reheated some leftovers in the microwave while at a scenic view area; prep the food on a plate, stick it in the microwave, push a button to start the onboard generator, run the microwave, turn off the generator, pull the plate out of the microwave. View Rayzr Truck Campers Enter the world of the truck camper. In addition to the toolbox in my pickup, I have a small toolbox in the camper with specific tools that may be needed for camper repairs. The Travel Lite 690FD is a truck camper for short or long bed trucks. Here’s the camper on its sawhorses while parked in my friend’s backyard. It easy enough to back up or park on any sort of angle in relation to a parking spot or campsite. The refrigerator manual that came with the camper was no help, but the refrigerator service manual included a simple diagnostic algorithm that let me figure out the problem in about five minutes. 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. Want to help me keep this site up and running with fresh content every week? Once the camper is in position, I shut down the truck, get out again, and use the remote to retract the camper’s legs. I wanted something more convenient to travel with and I got it. There is an old saying that goes, “When you go on a trip; you either have great times or great stories”. 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. Radiator hoses seem to break most often near the junction with the radiator or engine. My most recent trip was over 17,000 miles. I’ll have to report an update then. I figure that the active loading time (not including removing the tailgate or tending to the tire/airbag pressure) is about 30 minutes. In this photo, I’ve used my leveling blocks to make a ramp that I’ve driven up to raise the driver’s side back wheel. Truck campers are kind of like backpacks for trucks – and usually come with many of the same things a regular RV has. Although it has a slide that must be closed in transit, I can still get into the camper to use any of its features while the slide is in. Even worse, when I have checked about service when traveling, the usual answer seems to be, “We are booked up until next week.”  Therefore, you will want to be able to diagnose and fix common problems yourself whenever possible. This proven system removes any undue stress from the vehicle and camper and allows full off-road axle articulation. Truck campers are the ultimate Go Anywhere, Camp Anywhere, Tow Anything RV. I’ve since bought a much shorter hose. Then I slowly and carefully back the truck under the camper. I ask the guy to inflate them to the maximum pressure. Never leave home without duct tape. My previous cheap air compressor would not have been much help with 110 pounds of pressure I keep in my truck tires. We were about 100 miles from Fort McPherson and there were no other settlements or services on that stretch of road, not even homes or cabins. This prevents it from rocking and putting stress on the legs when I move around inside. The most difficult part is getting the truck tailgate off. The bent piece of coat hanger is useful to clear hair from the shower drain. If you are in a remote area, the nearest RV dealer can be hundreds of miles and several days away, and in a direction you don’t really want to drive. (I should mention here that I built a wheeled platform that performs the same function in my garage at home. Get new posts by email. 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. They slip into slots I had installed on the truck and are secured in place with pins. I also greased the chassis and U-joints and checked all other fluid levels. First, upgrade your wheels and tires for durability and traction. Are any of the hoses swollen or soft to the touch? double door refer and full bathroom. But before you do, be sure to read this site's Comment Policy. A hole in a fuel, oil, or transmission filter will stop you dead and I don’t know of any effective field repair. The more powerful air compressor was able to add air quickly enough to maintain the necessary air pressure. A broken coolant hose will strand you as surely as a broken serpentine belt. Lance Truck Campers Lance has been in the RV business since 1965 and they really know their truck campers. There’s a wireless remote control for the four jacks right inside the door. This put our power storage/consumption systems in a better balance. Sometime before putting the camper on, I visit the local Discount Tire shop and have them inspect the tires. All the legs are still within contact of the ground and (hopefully) supporting some of the weight. Water will get you by until you refill the system with a proper mixture. Here are the saw horses I bought at Home Depot. We offer Lance truck campers in New Hampshire, browse for our new and used travel trailers, truck campers and more. For example, my Chevrolet pickup requires a special wrench to change the fuel filter. 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. Step one, serious preventative rig maintenance. My “postcards” that allude to this have generated a few questions and I thought I’d answer them here. You want the wheels you select to offer right traction for where you are going. You may also want to consider bringing a Haynes or Chilton service manual with you. Here’s the Turtleback, parked on my truck in front of my RV garage. The Group 27 batteries provided almost half again as much power storage. Forget motorhomes and trailers. If you’re well prepared, you’ll have the confidence to not only enjoy the backcountry with confidence, but return safely. I also carry a rechargeable drill and seem to find some use for it during every trip. You may never need it, but you want to be sure it works if you do. 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. For example, nut drivers to fit the components of both the refrigerator and the water heater can be very handy. Like a 3-month trip? We teach and learn by sharing what we know with others. It is the smallest RV out there and isn’t even counted as an RV in 42 states. I’ve been thinking of taking m family of 3 on an extended USA road trip (12-18 months) and trying to figure out which type of RV suits us best. One Mega Mod will... Just for fun, here’s a crossword puzzle on truck campers. You are ready. There are two of them and I inflate each to about 50 pounds. Hunting. I check these regularly while we are traveling. In my experience, the service manuals are essential because the manuals that come with the camper are very limited in the information that they provide. 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. Basically, a truck camper is an RV that is made portable and thrown into the bed of your truck. I must remove them from the truck but can leave them dangling from the camper if I like. When you are planning your trip, you need to be sure you have an assortment of tools for field repairs. The nut drivers are handy for the water heater and refrigerator, the spark plug wrench is specific for our generator, the others have been added as they have been used. In the end, I decided against it, mostly because I didn’t want the bother of having a difficult to park rig. The last step is to tug on each of the tie-downs to make sure they’re still tight. If any of these detectors are out of date, replace them immediately. When you are installing these items, use a product like Locktite to ensure that the connections don’t loosen while you are driving. My 2012 Ford F350 SuperDuty Diesel carries the Turtleback like it’s nothing, making it easy to drive and park nearly anywhere I like. Once I put these on, they stay on until the camper is put away after a trip. As soon as you get past the “Make sure there is power coming to the unit” the next direction is “Take this appliance to your local RV dealer”. While some may advocate carrying spares of every filter on your truck, unless you own an unusual truck, I don’t recommend this. In addition, we replaced all of the incandescent bulbs in the camper with LED bulbs. The serpentine belt drives your water pump and alternator and you will not get far without one. 2017-02-14T19:55:09Z The letter F. A ghost. Then I use the remote to extend the legs so the camper is completely raised at least two inches off the truck. 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 makes it possible for me to move it around the garage without help. So when I back up, the front of the camper bumps this 2×4 spacer, thus keeping the camper at least 2 inches back from where it would otherwise be. Next, I need to install the four support bars on the truck. Similarly, my former Dodge pickup required an Allen socket to check or change the transfer case fluid. I don’t want to tow, yet I want to be able to leave our “home” at a campsite and drive around in a family vehicle so I’m starting to think a largish truck camper might suit us best. But let’s see how I feel in three months after another 2,000 miles. Another benefit of the setup is having easy access to my living space any time I’m stopped. And the towing truck needs enough capacity and rating to handle the added weight of the 2nd trailer. I have made field repairs to my refrigerator, water heater, and furnace. For example, if you are near a service interval for your transmission fluid, change it ahead of time. Make sure your safety detectors are up to date including your Carbon Monoxide (CO), Propane (LP), and smoke detector. Above: These are the tools I carry in my pickup when we are camping. This indicates the front end is high. As you can see, it’s pretty convenient for traveling. When I get home, I use my own compressor to inflate the air bags under the truck bed. Sometimes you can cut the hose a little shorter and then re-install it. I get in the truck, pull forward a few feet, get out, unplug the camper’s power from the truck, get back in, and pull out the rest of the way. The Gun that Won the West. My oil filter is similarly protected, so is unlikely to be pierced by an errant boulder. This utilizes the four camper “legs,” which have electric jacks on them. It’s really working out well for me. When parked long term, it’s like living in a small trailer. Type: Hard-side, multi-slide (2) … You will be traveling with a heavy load and may be going up long steep grades. Driving down a rough two-track is much more challenging for your vehicle than going down a paved highway. — and take curves and corners slowly. There are also truck campers that come with slide – out sections. We usually do 70 pounds for the front tires and 80 for the rear ones. Normally, you’d back up until the front of the camper bumps the lip of the truck bed right behind the cab. Steven Merrill reveals his extensive preparations for a long-term, off-road, and off-the-grid truck camping experience. That means making sure all cabinets are securely latched, all loose items are secured, all windows and vents are closed, the antenna is cranked down, and the slide has been slid in. Second, you can’t really tow something behind a pull trailer. 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 … I use the wrenches to loosen a bolt, then twist the spring up or down on the screw. This is a real joy when I make stops along the way for hikes or visiting other places of interest. Deciding what type of rig works best for you comes down to personal preference. This makes it impossible for the camper to damage the taillight lenses. “Second, you can’t really tow something behind a pull trailer.”. This helps the refrigerator work more efficiently, but it also makes it more comfortable for my stay. As you travel, adjust and pare the list. Fellow travelers seem to be a bit more approachable at campgrounds than in … If you have something to add to this post, please use the Comments form to speak your mind. Learn how your comment data is processed. You may need to carry both SAE and metric size sockets for your truck and camper. Again, this crude and improvised tool goes in the truck tool box. When I’m done, I can put the remote away in a little pocket I installed inside the camper door. Expect to pay about $100 for this inspection in addition to any service or repairs that you might need. 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. However, there is a situation where you might consider bringing one or more of these. I must be completely clear of the camper. A truck with a camper on the back does not come cheap. Latest: Camper Nose Rebuild and Crossword Puzzle. While you are under your truck, take a look at the location of your filters – are they in a vulnerable spot where they might be punctured by a rock? I highly recommend creating a standard packing list for your truck and camper. Unlike caustic cleaners, these don’t pose any hazard of chemical burns, but they will help keep your camper drains running clear. A mini roll of their Emergency Sealing Tape (2” X 4’) is less than $12 and you can use it to make a quick permanent repair. Want to go for a hike? Welcome to the third entry in January’s Mega Mod Contest. Still, I can usually fit it in a parking space. One additional tool I bring is a portable air compressor. Back in April of this year, I bought a 2005 Lance slide-in truck camper that I’ve dubbed the Turtleback. That means no drive-throughs or parking garages. Let’s get prepared. 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). Start by looking at your preventative maintenance schedule including engine oil and filters, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, tire wear, tire pressure, tire rotations, and brake system inspection (hoses, pads, fluids). If so, you should change these hoses before your trip. From small pickups like Ford Ranger to 1 – ton rating truck, you can easily find a suitable truck camper and dpf deletekits for your vehicle. I didn’t need the space and like the 500+ pound weight reduction. Again, sometimes this requires me to raise them individually. This was a huge step down in size from the fifth wheel I bought back in 2010, the Mobile Mansion, which I sold in September of this year. This camper includes four power jacks so you could easily take it on and off the truck in short order. Travel Lite Truck Campers For Sale: 102 Truck Campers - Find Travel Lite Truck Campers on RV Trader. 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. First unplug the cable for the backup camera in the tailgate, then disconnect the cables that hold it up when it’s dropped, then angle it out of its pin hinges. 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. A lot more. As for length, the camper adds about 2 feet to the back of my truck. Also check your fire extinguisher to make sure it has sufficient charge. That makes my already long truck even longer. Above: If your truck needs some specialty tools, be sure to bring them along. The basic premise of truck camping is being entirely self-sufficient, which means being able to travel (aka the truck), sleep, and cook. Due to the weight, I can’t do it by myself. Then I walk around and make sure all outside storage spaces are latched, the back door is securely closed, and the back step is up. I usually grab a visiting friend and enlist his or her help. Normally, I stop lowering when that’s at least a foot off the ground. Announcing the Truck Camper Adjustment Bureau Mod Contest. I debated for months on whether I should bring my boat with me on this trip. Parts can come loose or crack. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Think about every aspect of your trip and what you believe you will need. Absolutely, you will see people driving all sorts of trucks with varying sizes of camper on the back. You don’t need to carry coolant unless you will be traveling in below-freezing weather. Additional camper preventative maintenance tools include screw drivers, pliers, RV fuses, an adjustable wrench, and a socket that fits the spark plug on my generator. Home » Important Truck Camping Tips » Off-Road Truck and Camper Trip Preparation. 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. Lance 1172 Truck Camper – From $63,626. Here’s a hint: there’s a lot more to it than weekend campground stays. I also carry one in my 1961 Willys pickup. Next, I use the remote to retract the legs so the camper is lowered back down. Then put these items on your standard packing list, and use it. And did I mention how easy it is to park? Note that I had a full hookup so I had all my hoses and 30 amp cable out. I figure that it takes about 15 minutes to offload the camper. Again, this isn’t very difficult to do. This means off-loading the camper. I usually rotate tires and change the oil at home, but I didn’t want to carry the messy equipment with me. Step 2: Preventive Truck Camper Maintenance. This includes your refrigerator, water heater, water pump, furnace, and battery system. While towing a trailer might be easier for hooking up or unhooking when parked, having a pull trailer has two drawbacks. A truck camper is mounted on the bed of a pickup truck. A cheap plastic tarp and a disposable coverall are handy if you need to work under the truck or camper in the mud. You need to go through your truck thoroughly before you leave on your extended trip. I have to watch headspace. A truck bed camper maximizes available space and can provide a bathroom, a small kitchen, and a bed. The Happy Truck Camper: 17 Great Tips for Better Trips On a Budget. Purchasing is not an option if you are looking for saving money. These units come with optional four-season packages that you’ll want for hunting. I have also seen a new pickup break a serpentine belt in the Arizona desert 90 miles from any kind of service.