New Truck camper; how to prep truck

dullers

New member
Hey all! I lurk here a lot and post a little. Could use some advice.

My wife and I have been traveling the US and full timing in our 30' travel trailer (Arctic fox 30u) for 2 years now. It's *our* first rv (our parents both had rvs when we were kids) and we've been bit by the bug.

We're headed home "for good" now and are planning to sell the camper and downsize to a truck camper. I'm definitely looking used. Probably something that needs work and is old; 80s or 90s. I'm a contractor and we're basically rv repair experts at this point. Planning - Solar, batteries, generator, exterior storage for skis/bikes, rear and/or front hitch basket, all the normal fun stuff.
But I'm totally green to the truck camper aspect.

***What do I need to do to/for my truck to get it ready to rock a truck camper? ***

I have a 2016 ram 2500 cummins / Laramie / short box / single rear wheel with tow package. Not looking to argue about specs or getting a different truck and open that can of worms. I've read all those threads lol.

My current plan is some Firestone ride rite airbags (used these before on another truck. Loved them) and that's about all I know.
I see people reference torklift tie downs. I'm assuming some sort of tie down rig will be necessary. I'm not looking to just ratchet strap it to the fenders.

Any advice for an old rv'er but new truck camper?
Thx y'all!

Sorry for the crap formatting. I'm on my phone we're Boondocking right now and my laptop is dead and our batteries are low :p


TLDR; what mods for truck to drop a TC in??
 

dullers

New member
As info - I'm looking at an old 1992 skamper hard side that needs some love. Prefer no pop ups.
I've also got my eye on a Lance and a Fleetwood angler, both used.
No slides or anything crazy. Trying to keep weight reasonable.
 

birdiecat

New member
Air bags are good and so is Torklift, you might want to look into a sway bar for the rear. It made all the difference in the world for me.
 

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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Air bags are good and so is Torklift, you might want to look into a sway bar for the rear. It made all the difference in the world for me.
By far the best upgrades for the money. I've had two Lance campers on two different trucks and went with this system on both and loved it. The only other addition is a remote mount plug under the truck between the cab and bed to plug the camper into the trucks D.C. System. This will save cutting a hole in the bed to mount the plug.
 

dullers

New member
Great start thx guys! I'll Still take any other input people are willing to share.

Did some searches on here and cummins truck forums and looks like a hellwig sway bar would be a nice upgrade to my stock sway bar.

I'll also check out the rv.Net forums. Good call. I always forget about them.
Irv2 is another good rv forum.

Cheers!
 

dullers

New member
By far the best upgrades for the money. I've had two Lance campers on two different trucks and went with this system on both and loved it. The only other addition is a remote mount plug under the truck between the cab and bed to plug the camper into the trucks D.C. System. This will save cutting a hole in the bed to mount the plug.
Cool thanks! Which system? The torklift or the airbags (or both?)

I've actually got 12v run to the bed already and a frame-ground in the back. It's for my fridge, inverter, cap lights etc.
I also have the 4pin and 7pin connectors right in my bumper. The truck has 2x 12v batteries don't he cummins too which is handy. Although it needs a lot of juice to start that big motor.

I'll have to post some pics and details somewhere on these forums. I know how people dig the custom cap setups. Here's mine:

Truck bed https://imgur.com/gallery/qHmDm

Not sure how to post pics on mobile. The forum is pretty clunky on my phone.
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Cool thanks! Which system? The torklift or the airbags (or both?)

I've actually got 12v run to the bed already and a frame-ground in the back. It's for my fridge, inverter, cap lights etc.
I also have the 4pin and 7pin connectors right in my bumper. The truck has 2x 12v batteries don't he cummins too which is handy. Although it needs a lot of juice to start that big motor.

I'll have to post some pics and details somewhere on these forums. I know how people dig the custom cap setups. Here's mine:

Truck bed https://imgur.com/gallery/qHmDm

Not sure how to post pics on mobile. The forum is pretty clunky on my phone.
Most truck campers have a camper to truck "shoreline" that connects all the D.C. Systems, camper battery and vehicle lights. The plug/connect can be fairly large and most installers mount the receiver plug inside the bed requiring a large hole to be cut for the receiver plug to fit. To save this hole, I mounted mine under the truck and simply fished the camper plug down between the cab and bed. Good Luck!
 

dullers

New member
Most truck campers have a camper to truck "shoreline" that connects all the D.C. Systems, camper battery and vehicle lights. The plug/connect can be fairly large and most installers mount the receiver plug inside the bed requiring a large hole to be cut for the receiver plug to fit. To save this hole, I mounted mine under the truck and simply fished the camper plug down between the cab and bed. Good Luck!
ohhh gotcha. ok good to know. thank you!
 
I have a Lance and just bought a cord that had the Lance plug on one end and a 7 pin on the other. No holes in the bed, just run along the inside of the bed, out the back, and into the regular plug on my bumper.


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jswift716

Adventurer
You could always look at the new habitats (flippacs) it would save you a lot of weight, gas, and give you a lot more mobility over a big heavy slide in. Just another option if you haven't already picked something up. Me personally, I like the simple and somewhat discrete style so I just use a contractors cap, the ranger is mine


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Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Dullers,
The truck camper forum on RV.net is still probably the best go to site for the info for which you are looking. Noting your needs/wants/experience, I'm thinking buying a used truck and camper together would be a good choice. You may have to cast your net far and wide to find a good sample. The one thing you will not be able to buy in a truck camper is space. TC's are hands down the most expensive per sq. foot of all the RV's. The rule of thumb is: the longer you plan to stay in said RV, the larger you want the unit to be. Other admonitions are: buy a LOT more truck than you think you will need. It's a strange and foreign paradigm for trailer and MoHo RV-er's. Going off-road? Small is best with small tanks. You want solar power. Going on the road in 4 seasons? Get the 4 season insulation package. Do you skip summer like we do? Air conditioning not needed.
I did a front to back drivetrain upgrade a few years ago and am enjoying the fruits of said upgrade every time we get way off in the bush. You need a few weeks of emersion into some of the timely articles on the TC forum on RV.net and http://www.truckcamperadventure.com/ The hard side truck camper forum on EX Portal is pretty much dead, so I wouldn't waste my time there. Good luck with your quest.
Rereading your initial thread, I see you have a RAM 2500 short bed. There are fewer S.B. models out there, but they are around. You will need tie downs which usually come with a used camper so you hope they fit your model. You will need to have a 7 pin plug installed on the inside left of the truck bed. The biggest woe with older truck campers with wooden frames is water intrusion and subsequent wood rot or mildew. Few campers, if stored outdoors escape the water woe. So, you still want to look far and wide for a lighter weight, short bed truck camper and have all the attachment pieces organized before you pick up the TC.
jefe
Here we are remote camping next to Hat Creek near Mt. Lassen N.P. last week. We rarely pay for a campsite but love to boondock. This is the least tall, narrowest, lightest weight, full featured hard side truck camper available at the time and has served us well for 15 years and hundreds of quiet nights in "the box".

surviving a rocky road over Mengel Pass in Death Valley: only casualty was a dented rear driveshaft.

and surviving a flashflood:
 
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