Newbie looking for the best TC for my rig.

portofinoqp

New member
Hi guys thanks in advance for the help. I'm new to the TC world but not new to the backcountry. Got married and taking a year NA expedition trip. Definitely going to see sub temps and rough washboard roads. I want a camper that will hold up ( was thinking an Artic Fox 990) but after reading some reviews from you guys I'm having 2nd thoughts. I'm realistic I'm not going rock crawling in this thing but will be on remote 4x4 roads. My rig is a 1999 standard cab long bed 2500 dodge ram 4x4 cummins. It's s built rig with a Kelderman 6" airbag suspension lift, Bilstein reservoirs, gears, lockers and sway bars. I'm running 40s at the moment but will come down to 37s when I find the right TC. I'm curious as I don't see many standard cab long bed setups. Thanks again for the help. Ian
 

portofinoqp

New member
Here is a photo of my truck just in case it makes a difference. Please do not judge me on the wheels I just bought the truck, it was a show truck for a off road company and I am taking off the wheels and tires are going to a 16x37.50 and removing the horrible 22 inch set up it has now.
Thanks,
Ian
 

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Darwin

Explorer
I also am looking for a camper that will hold up to heat and cold. You can see my thread that I started where I weight the various pros and cons to a few different brands I have researched.
My top two are probably either Northern lite, or Northstar. I also have a dodge diesel with 315 75 r16 tires on it. I would definitely suggest 35's or 37's but with 17 inch rims. I really like the Toyo 285 75 r 18's though, they carry 4080 lbs. I know the 37 inch toyos on 17's carry 4300 lbs. Something to consider.
 

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portofinoqp

New member
Thank you for the information I will look into the 17s now. These are the things that make all the difference I would not have thought of.
 

brian90744

American Trekker
Your wheels are 6 or 8 lug?? 8 lug you can use Hummer2 wheels, which are 35" tires. just FYI
brian


Hi guys thanks in advance for the help. I'm new to the TC world but not new to the backcountry. Got married and taking a year NA expedition trip. Definitely going to see sub temps and rough washboard roads. I want a camper that will hold up ( was thinking an Artic Fox 990) but after reading some reviews from you guys I'm having 2nd thoughts. I'm realistic I'm not going rock crawling in this thing but will be on remote 4x4 roads. My rig is a 1999 standard cab long bed 2500 dodge ram 4x4 cummins. It's s built rig with a Kelderman 6" airbag suspension lift, Bilstein reservoirs, gears, lockers and sway bars. I'm running 40s at the moment but will come down to 37s when I find the right TC. I'm curious as I don't see many standard cab long bed setups. Thanks again for the help. Ian
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
Your gvw on that rig is 8800 lbs. The first thing to do is weigh it empty, and then you will have an idea of how heavy a camper you can LEGALLY carry. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but as you start loading it up, you will get very heavy, very fast. My camper is a big beast, and empty, I was 2000 lbs over my gvw. That's not a good place to start. I sold my F350 srw, and bought a 98 Dodge dually. I'm now legal, but just.

The long and short of it is, get the lightest camper you can! Northern Lites are absolutely awesome, but check the weight. You will not be happy with a heavy camper on a truck with a six inch lift. Even if it is a kelderman kit.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I'd try for a popup realistically. The Northstar in my signature was on my '99 with a Kore 2.5 " lift and 285's. It handled well on and offroad. You are 3" higher than I was. The other issue is storage of a matching spare.
 

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
I am sold (I have one so that should say something) on Northern Lites. If I was you I would get one without a basement as this makes it a lot higher and more weight. I bought an older one as it is even lighter than the new ones (smaller fridge and less extras).

As mentioned before check your weight and what you can carry.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Just make sure to see what the wet weight is for each contestant. It's all a trade off. larger tanks weigh more than smaller tanks. My Lance hard side weighed in wet @ 1842 back in 1998. I have only added a fantastic fan over the dinette. Still one propane bottle, one group 29 battery, one very small shower/commode/sink in the wet bath. I do carry a 2K Honda genset when out in the sticks. I off-road the wheels off the thing and keep all the heavy stuff down low. I also play with the tie downs, loosening them for undulating roads, and re-tightening (just snug) for the highway. I was looking at a new Lance 825, which seems like the heir apparent to my 165-s Xcab. Same over all dimentions. The good part is you can order the 4 season package which I wish we had. Foam block insulation and 2 vapor barriers to keep the humidity out and reduce the specter of mold if you long-term your rig. If you have the long bed, there is a version for you too. Go over to RV.net Open Roads and check out the truck camper section. I usually post over there and there is a growing community from around the world of XTC's (extreme truck campers) who do some pretty crazy things in their hard sides. A few months ago we drove the Mojave Road in truck campers: 2 hardsides and a popup. There are several posts about that trip on RV.net with some cool video. Here's the rig I took on the M.R.: click on photo to start vid:

The best TC for you is your decision based on just exactly how you will use it, how much you want to spend, and how much comfort you want to have along the way.
regards, as always, jefe
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
I've been thinking about your situation. Since you have an air bag suspension and NOT dumb 'ol leaf springs, everything that applied to me does not apply to you. What's the problem? Recoil. Coil springs, air bags, and any variation thereof have a good dose of recoil. You can shock and anti-sway the poop out of the suspension but you will always have a wobbly time with a hard side truck camper: especially way up there with a lift. So, I recind my earlier post and can recommend that you get a high-bucks pop up like OUTFITTER! They have some fine insulated curtains that drape around the soft side that do a pretty good job of keeping heat in (or out). You will have a lower center of gravity. I wish it weren't so, but you gots what you gots.
Let us know what you decide.
regards, as always, jefe
On the Mojave Road:
 

deminimis

Explorer
I sold my Bigfoot, so I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm not here to disparage any other brands, but I did a ton of research for a year or better on pretty much every truck camper available, including having one custom built. We needed a camper to do what you describe. Went with Bigfoot and the only complaint I have about that is I sold it back in the Spring. Baja washboard all day long was a-okay. Camped in it in blizzards. Rock solid. Took it everywhere and in all conditions. Looked brand new when I sold it. We miss it dearly and will get another one eventually (once one kid goes off to college probably).

beach1.jpg
Camping%u00252520Meadows.jpg
IMG_0514.JPG
2010-07-17%u0025252008.33.44.jpg
Moab5.JPG
IMG_20121111_094139.jpg
Bigfoot1.jpg

And that shower was wonderful:
IMG_20130218_133832.jpg

Tons of storage for a truck camper. Fam of four lived out of it wandering from Baja beach to Baja beach for weeks. Can't recommend a Bigfoot enough.
 
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805gregg

Adventurer
The Artic Fox camper are rated very light from the factory, with a necessary added package they weigh about 500 lbs more and add your gear figure about 1000 lbs over the advertised weight, my old Lance 9'6" is about 2800 lbs plus gear I've done Baja with it but slowly off road
 

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