Hardside camper on truck bed trailer

Photobug

Well-known member
I have always wanted a Cabover camper ever since I bought my first truck 20 years ago. But have always settled for a shell for storage and sleeping in. I have a nice rig now with shell for sleeping in. I am toying with the idea of getting a truck bed trailer and putting a cabover on top of it. In theory this would give me the best of all worlds: A truck with a shell and sleeping area, an empty pick up bed for hauling stuff and a nice camper when the Hardside camper when it is installed.

I know this might take some creativity and customization. I am just wondering how feasible or practical this is? I could also get a flat bed trailer and install a cabover on it but owning a flatbed trailer is less useful to me than a truck bed trailer. I am looking for advice on how the weight and balance may work out on this, and how do you mount a hard side camper onto a truck bed.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
Here is a photo of what i am thinking of doing. Although I would look at both newer trailer and camper.20190729_094315.jpg
 
My opinion is that a rig like that would be pretty hairy. A TC is inherently top heavy and tippy. When installed in a truck, a TC's high center of gravity and low moment of inertia are mitigated by the mass and length of the truck. In the rig illustrated there is nothing to counteract those forces, it seems to me. This thing looks like it would be happier spinning on its axis and having its wheels pointing up, and taking your tow rig with it.

As is the case with most things that are the "best" of all worlds, they are actually not so good at anything. If you are going to pull something, a potentially better option would be a travel trailer--it will work much better and is much more stable. And get a truck bed trailer for hauling junk. Both will do their individual jobs so much better.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
The best setup Ive seen is truck camper on flatbed trailer. Camper is pushed back so overhang is covering front section of the trailer bed. Box is built under the over hang for motorcycle or other stuff.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
We are looking at Travel trailers also.
My opinion is that a rig like that would be pretty hairy. A TC is inherently top heavy and tippy. When installed in a truck, a TC's high center of gravity and low moment of inertia are mitigated by the mass and length of the truck. .
That is my biggest concern is it's stability, especially on the rig pictured. When I first started looking last week there was an Alaskan camper for $200. If it was not 4+ hours away I would have jumped on it.

I like the setups with Flatbed trailers, Cabovers with storage in the front and back deck.

We had a travel trailer 10 years ago and it was nice but it would fit our current lifestyle even better now. I am afraid of having 19 feet of liveable space, would affect how we camp.
 

Jo_Duval

Observer
Also truck campers are very limited in f’oorspace And expensive.

You can definitely find a cheaper trailer that will be better than this setup. Although less unique of course
 

turbothrush

Member
If it’s versatility you want it’s hard to to beat a camper that fits your truck and also fits a properly sized utility trailer that has removable sides. Although mine is a custom camper that I built from the very beginning to fit both truck and trailer You could search around for the perfect trailer or just build one to suit.
 
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Photobug

Well-known member
If it’s versatility you want it’s hard to to beat a camper that fits your truck and also fits a properly sized utility trailer that has removable sides. Although mine is a custom camper that I built from the very beginning to fit both truck and trailer You could search around for the perfect trailer or just build one to suit.

Not that i am looking to build a camper from scratch, but would be interested in seeing yours. Do you have a build thread?

I remember why I came up with this combo. I may be buying a lesser truck for my wife or fur us. She can not drive a manual so when we take my truck I have to do all the driving. The right combo might be towable for a smaller truck that would not be able to carry a cabover. I am now considering a Popup cabover on a truck bed trailer.

I have also discovered a dually truck bed trailer, that would be a kickass platform.Dualy trailer.jpg
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
For the cost of a tiny little truck camper, I can get a huge TT. 25' easy. And premium TT's are only a slight bit more than a camper.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
For the cost of a tiny little truck camper, I can get a huge TT. 25' easy. And premium TT's are only a slight bit more than a camper.
That's the thing I don't want a 25' TT. The next step is a 35 foot slide out toy hauler. I am trying to avoid going this route. When I start looking at TT I really want an 17 -19 footer so if we get a smaller truck it can tow it. When you start looking at ones that can be towed by a half ton or smaller then they start going up in price, so like a moth to a flame I am pulled towards a 25 foot TT. "Why pay $5000 for an 17 footer when I can get a 25 footer for $3000."

It is a bit of a moot point because our primary interest in owning something was to bring our dogs to a music festival next weekend. It's likely not going to happen.
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
For the cost of a tiny little truck camper, I can get a huge TT. 25' easy. And premium TT's are only a slight bit more than a camper.
Yup. And you can enjoy your 25’ “premium” trailer at the KOA, while I will take my “tiny” camper into places where there is much wilderness and few humans. Which IS the point of camping! I do also have a 29’ Airstream for the paved road trips, but that’s not the way I’d go if I had to pick only one...
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
My point was that it makes no sense to use an uber expensive slide in camper, as a trailer. When big trailers cost as much, and tiny trailers are far less.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
My point was that it makes no sense to use an uber expensive slide in camper, as a trailer. When big trailers cost as much, and tiny trailers are far less.
I am finding any trailer that is half-ton towable comes at a premium price. I have no plan to buy an uber expensive TT. Everything I am looking at is used and old. The most expensive truck camper I considered was $5,000. I've seen ones I liked for less than $2000.
 
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