off-roading with hard side camper

Jack90

New member
Truck campers are new to me, but have been off-roading for many years now, and I have just started down the path of planning out a new build. My goal is to build a very capable off-roading rig just like this one –
From your experiences, if this truck had a hard sided camper, do you think it could still go over this terrain shown in the video or would be way too top heavy? Any recommendations of a hard sided camper that could do this?
 
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Lance990

Observer
This is more of a truck topper but it seems to be the best of both worlds. It is this or a Project M by FWC for me in the future. Hard sides are just too top heavy and tall for my uses. I have a Lance 990 hard side but I can’t go where I want to go with it. They weigh more, too. My camper is 3,800 lbs wet weight. I have a 2007 F350 DRW truck that is required to haul it. Right now, I am just sleeping in the bed of my truck under my truck topper for off-road adventures. Works great for now! https://www.truckcamperadventure.com/hiatus-campers-releases-patented-hard-side-pop-up/
 

Jack90

New member
Thank you! I have been exploring the idea of a hiatus, too! I will be calling them this week to see if heat can be added. Sure does get cold in the rocky mountains quickly.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
If you order a Hiatus today they will start building it in January of 2022. In these uncertain times that is a long time to wait for something that could be delayed even longer.
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
Hard sides are just too top heavy and tall for my uses.
^These are the words that are most important. Anything off-camber at all, especially on a SRW truck, are scary and dangerous. I haul my Bigfoot on a dually now for that reason. And tall - the shell on any cabover camper is very fragile. You will not be able to push your way through tree limbs, or even tall brush, without damage. Not to mention narrow mountain trails that are cut into the side of a mountain and have an overhang.

For any kind of serious off-roading stay with a pop-up.
 

Jack90

New member
For any kind of serious off-roading stay with a pop-up.
>>> Thanks a million! Your reply helps a ton getting me in the right direction.
 

Mickey Bitsko

Adventurer
true hard side campers are top heavy and are difficult to navigate tight trails but the
elephant in the room here is having a very capable 3/4/1ton 4wd truck.
the truck in that video is FAR from stock.
 
Truck campers are new to me, but have been off-roading for many years now, and I have just started down the path of planning out a new build. My goal is to build a very capable off-roading rig just like this one –
From your experiences, if this truck had a hard sided camper, do you think it could still go over this terrain shown in the video or would be way too top heavy? Any recommendations of a hard sided camper that could do this?
Tow a capable 4WD behind your truck and hardside camper. That is unless you want to destroy your rig. Voice of experience here.
 

::Squish::

Observer
So..l from my perspective (bigfoot 1500, Ford F350, SRW 4x4 long bed)
our camper doesn’t have AC on the roof or a microwave
It still it’s a lot of fragile weight up high that’s moving around. We’ve done some mild stuff, mostly challenging forest service roads.

if we were to explore more off the beaten path we would get a hardside pop up like an Alaskan

the other draw back of a camper off road is how much stuff gets shaken and stirred. It makes a mess of things.
 
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UHAULER

Explorer
Truck campers are new to me, but have been off-roading for many years now, and I have just started down the path of planning out a new build. My goal is to build a very capable off-roading rig just like this one –
From your experiences, if this truck had a hard sided camper, do you think it could still go over this terrain shown in the video or would be way too top heavy? Any recommendations of a hard sided camper that could do this?
That's kind of poser wheeling. There aren't many places where you will go over a perfectly graded mound of dirt. Picture going over that mound and then one front wheel drops into a hole and then maybe the other side hits a rock.
 
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rruff

Explorer
From your experiences, if this truck had a hard sided camper, do you think it could still go over this terrain shown in the video or would be way too top heavy? Any recommendations of a hard sided camper that could do this?
I know people obsess about it, but a tall camper doesn't affect the CG that much. If you have similar stuff, the roof and whatever is attached to it might be ~18" lower in the popup? But the roof itself weighs <200lb, plus whatever else you are putting up there. Would it be 500lb total? Of course you could go crazy, but you don't need to...

Your entire rig probably weighs ~10,000 lb, most of it down low. How much does it raise the CG to move 500 lb up by 18"? Maybe an 1"? It just isn't a big deal. And for the truck to fall over sideways, the CG needs to cross the vertical plane from the downhill wheels. It's a lot of tilt!

Best hard sided camper would be something like a fiberglass and foam shell that you custom outfit. Commercial campers, I kinda like Bigfoot and Northern Lite because of their molded fiberglass shell, but they have way too much junk in them for me, and are heavy as a result.
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
That's kind of poser wheeling. There aren't many places where you will go over a perfectly graded mound of dirt. Picture going over that mound and then one front wheel drops into a hole and then maybe the other side hits a rock.
I was laughing at the “need” for a spotter.

I take my 3500 with 3” lift and 35s with my Northern Lite into a lot of places that others find to be crazy. Once I’m “there” it’s really nice to have the hardside when I’m camping in snow etc. BUT, there is not a day that goes by when I’m driving TO that spot that I don’t pine for a Hallmark pop-up. If I were buying again today, and not needing my camper for 5 months of winter work accommodations, I would probably be in a Hallmark.
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
Why exactly? The lower roof is definitely nice for long road driving in gusty winds, and tree branch clearance.
That, and about 5 other reasons. I owned an older Skamper pop-up and even though it was a bit more rustic, it was great to drive with. I was crossing Nevada once when the wind was so bad the State Patrol was closing highways. I had no problem doing 90+ mph across the flat dry lake sections. My hood was flexing, but the camper never came in to play. With a hardside, I would have had to stop and camp. Although that might have been fun too.
 
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