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Old 06-15-2011, 06:38 PM
Rad53 Rad53 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8
Default Hardside Camper in Half Ton Pickup

Several companys make hardside campers for use in a half ton pickup truck. They appear to push the payload limit of a half ton truck and even over the limit in some cases. Would like to hear form you if you have done this, what your experiences are good & bad. Also did you beef up the truck suspension or tires at all.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:00 PM
REW REW is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
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If you get the pop up style and the soft sided walls to lighten the weight, you are in good shape with a 1/2 ton truck.

The lower running profile really helps the fuel mileage as well.

It is illegal to have any one ride in a pickup camper when the pickup is moving so there is little down side to have a pop up style camper.

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Old 06-15-2011, 08:21 PM
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jimmy4218 jimmy4218 is offline
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Location: Mn, U.S.A..
Posts: 877

I have an old pickup camper that I use for camping in the summer and hunting in the fall. I have a silverado 1500 that I added a leaf spring package to for @250.00 that added 3000 lbs. of capacity and only took under an hour to install. It was well worth it!
Illegitimi non carborundum
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:43 PM
Phil T Phil T is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Moorhead, MN
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It depends on the rear axle weight rating, suspension, frame, tire load ratings, etc. The rear axle weight rating can be found on a sticker that's on the driver's door frame or the edge of the door. If the axle is strong enough, the suspension can be strengthened with additional springs or air bags. Tire load capacities are easily upgraded.
Don't overload the axle!
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:29 AM
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Shellback Shellback is offline
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Location: Wagontown, PA, USA.
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I seriously doubt any pickup with a hard side slide in camper will be within the legal GVW for a 1/2 ton when loaded with passengers and gear. I did a lot of research on the slide in campers and you may find some that meet the legal limits, they are using dry weights and no passengers or gear. I have an 06 Dodge 1500 4x4 Quadcab and it's load capacity is about 1350#s. My bare bones slide in pop up with no bath, but a loaded propane tank and water tank uses all of the weight rating. Throw in about 200#s of gear in the camper itself, 600#s of passengers, gas and gear in the truck, then the hitch weight of my boat, and you can see where I'm way over! I added Timbren overload springs, and my axle and tire ratings will carry the extra weight. Braking is okay with just the camper, but I needed to add brakes to the boat trailer to feel comfortable. Do a little searching on this site, and you will see 99% of truck campers are overloaded, and the methods they use to handle the extra weight.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:41 PM
Stripehunter Stripehunter is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 577

Things like add-a-leafs, airbags, etc. increase LEVEL LOAD capacity, meaning they will keep your truck from sagging up to the amount they specify. BUT they DO NOT increase your vehicles GVW ratings. Such things make a heavy load much easier to handle, but they will not increase how much you can legally carry.
This place stinks now.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:12 PM
Mueller Mueller is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Brule, Wisconsin.
Posts: 680

I had a Lance 1010 on a 2000 K2500 I was pretty much over loaded> I added air bags and a sway bar. Never felt real comfortable with the rig in terms of handling. Don't think trucks except duallys are really stable with a slide-in. My friend had the same camper on a single axle one ton ford and the ford was a couple inches higher than my chev and quick manuvers were a little scarier than in my rig. The killer was braking, had to leave one big distance between anyone in front of me, had brakes on a 1775 pro-v but I was real nervous about the braking your stopping distance even with just the camper on was imho was dangerous. Don't feel a truck with a weighty high center of gravity load is very stableI know this was a 3/4 ton but their might be similiarities. Had a sunlite pop-up on a 95 1/2 ton Chev added a leaf in the springs and you didn't know you were carrying anything. Look at the new popups they are nice. Wonder about liability in an accident when your GVW is exceeded. Just my 2 cents worth. Mueller

PS The camper sales person will tell you all is copesetic as long as you do not exceed the axle ratings, but have an accident and they will quickly lose their memory

Last edited by Mueller; 06-16-2011 at 07:21 PM.
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