To Keep or Not to Keep

gfiero

Adventurer
I purchased a new Swift in October for my 2007 Tacoma Double Cab Shortbed. I love the camper itself, I also have my truck set up the way I want it for where I want to go. Problem 1) The turnbuckles suck they loosen and the camper bounces off road, Problem 2) brakes are inadequate, Problem 3) To get the torque I need to move it I need to rev it up, which off road resulted in a blown rear end. Climbing out of Butte Canyon in Death valley. Upgrading brakes seems to be problematic from what I read, (Venders of course say wonderful things). Deaver's wants to add a couple of leafs, I am alright with that.

The big issue for me is attachment of the camper to the truck, this could be the show stopper since I will NOT restrict myself to roads, paved or other wise (as my wife wants, but she doesn't go anywhere camping) So any thoughts out there? I am wondering about running bolts through the floor, replacing the bed to body bolts on the Tacoma and having it bolted directly to the frame. But that leaves the brakes.

Thoughts, suggestions on any of this welcome..
 

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moveinon

New member
My turnbuckles loosened also until I added a lock nut to them and they no longer loosen now. You might try that. For brakes you can improve braking some with going to the slotted, and not drilled brake discs. But to make a real difference replace the brakes with Tundra brakes. You can see folks on UTube doing that which is a pretty simple process and inexpensive if you get the parts at a junk yard. A friend with a Tacoma did that and it made a huge difference. I plan to myself as soon as my brakes need work. Tacoma discs are known for warping and sure are not the best with the camper on. My Tacoma with a Fleet on does OK but sure not what I would like. Deaver does a great job if you leave the camper on full time. If you do not the truck rides like hell when the camper is not on.
 

gfiero

Adventurer
Thanks for the info, slotted does not work for me as I am out in mud, sand and snow. Slots pack and braking is degraded. Deaver gave me a price and description of what they would do, I trust their work as their did the truck when I put a FlipPac on it. I have heard both good and bad regarding the brake upgrade to the Tundra's. I have been told there are computer has problems with it. But that does not fix my main complaint, the weight, the camper is just too much for the engine, torque is too high on the power band to make the truck capable off road on 4's and 5's (Trail Ratings).

I am not ready for a full size truck as the size is to limiting.

I have put the camper up for sale on WTW's gear forum and am considering AT's Habitat or even a RTT. I am not a big campground camper, something about generators, loud music and too many people....
 

ETAV8R

Founder of D.E.R.P.
My turnbuckles loosen as well even with wingnuts on the top threads. A lot of people on Wander The West have suggested Torklift turnbuckles.

I'm surprised to hear you blew out the rear end. I'm assuming you were navigating Mengel Pass and in 4Lo. Is your Swift fully loaded or a shell model?
 

justbecause

perpetually lost
I have put the camper up for sale on WTW's gear forum and am considering AT's Habitat or even a RTT. I am not a big campground camper, something about generators, loud music and too many people....
Have you spent any time in an RTT? I like to think that if I had given it more thought I wouldn't have wasted money on one, but at the time it was that thing I just had to have....
 

ETAV8R

Founder of D.E.R.P.
Ah ok, fully loaded Swift. I found your ad on WTW. I'm guessing the dry weight is around 1000lbs. For something like that I'd not only beef up the suspension but also have air bags. Even with my Finch shell the weight fully loaded is quite a bit and getting the suspension perfect is a work in progress.
 

gfiero

Adventurer
The suspension is fine, it is beefed up, the brakes have a hard time and anything off road means staying high in the rev band to get the torque to move it. The Camper from the factory weighs in a 1465 lb's. More than I planned for after I added my gear. I can not take it to far off road, between the brakes and the having to drive it almost to 4,000 RPM to get the power I need to move it.

I had an RTT before, I am getting a slightly bigger one with the annex I am fine with that. The set up would not be a problem if I did not venture off the fire roads and that sort of thing, but I like to go on the two tracks or where there is not a track just a faint impression in the dirt....

An yes, it was something I wanted for a long time so I let myself ignor the facts I guess.....

Anyway its for sale for sale on the expo and WTW, I am not interested in Craigslist, my experiences there have been less than stellar.
 

justbecause

perpetually lost
I really wanted a popup camper after moving away from the RTT. I read the bowman oddysey and he made a comment that even though he has one of the smallest most light weight campers available that he cannot imagine have less truck to move it. He is in a dodge 3500 with 5.9 cummins. Andrew St Pier started building a popup camper on a v8 diesel land cruiser 7 something series truck, he sold it saying weight was the main reason.

I'm going to listen to people with experience and put a camper out of my mind... although I do keep coming back to a flippac......
 

Happykamper

Explorer
Did the tundra brake upgrade on my taco....ok a shop did the upgrade lol , I hate doing brakes. It was easy straightforward, not all that expensive and I should put an elephant ( mother inlaw ) :) . And it stops great !!! You could also supercharge it !!!!
 

Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
Didn't have too much trouble off road with stock gearing and 33's. The Falcon was a bit lighter, but with full armor, I was around 6,800 lbs. The compression braking helped a lot though. What's your total weight?

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gfiero

Adventurer
I am right at 7000lbs When I load up for a week or two I added another 200lbs. Can you pm me with the info on the brake up grade?
 

Arclight

SAR guy
I am right at 7000lbs When I load up for a week or two I added another 200lbs. Can you pm me with the info on the brake up grade?
You might want to look at a first-gen Tundra. It's about the same size as the T100 chassis, which I think is a good compromise between mobility and cargo capacity.
 

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