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Old 05-17-2008, 04:33 PM   #1
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2007 20' Safari
Dayton , Ohio
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Truck camper with AS trailer? like to hear your ideas on this one...

Hi, I currently have:
Dodge 3500 Ram truck, 8' bed, SRW, diesel. And,
2005 20' Airstream trailer

Reason for such large truck with small trailer: truck is left over from hauling 34' Holiday Rambler trailer which weighed alot.

Planning on doing the following this year or early next year:

1. Buy the 6.5' Caribou truck camper from Outfitters in Dever, Co area Outfitter slide-in pop-up truck campers, RV manufacturer & retailer.

2. Put the Caribou on the Dodge (8' bed) (until I can get super Thundra with 6.5 bed truck, see below). Checked with outfier mfg co in Co and no problem with 6.5 camper on 8' bed Dodge. Will have 1.5' space between camper end and tail gate.

3. Trade Dodge truck for super Toyota Thundra truck. With 6.5 bed.
Met a guy at Jackson Center AS plant camp ground last summer who had Thundra truck (super), 6.5 bed, . He was towing 25' AS trailer. Worked well. Nice package.

4. Transfer the Caribou from Dodge to Toyota. Caribou works on new super sized Thundra truck.

Reason for truck camper and trailer is we like to leave trailer as base camp in national park and other camp grounds and then have camper for day trips or over nighters to different locations where trailer wont work. Also, take off with only camper not towing trailer on some trips.

QUESTION(S):

--Is this a good plan?
--What would you do different?
--Right size camper? ((I searched all over for appropriate size camper for Toyota and outfitter comes up as best company)) ((do not want larger/heavier camper like Lance that hangs over rear bed. With Caribou can tow with existing tow hitch on truck and do not need extension set up, lower height, weight etc))

-- Has anyone out there done the same? or seen this done?

-- Any better ideas??

Thanks.
Marty
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:28 PM   #2
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Not the same rig, granted, but one sweet one nonetheless:

Have a look at this rig that the owners full-timed for about 20 years, one really cool Silver Streak

Paws Travels All About Our RV

Trailer is 8,000-lb GVWR

(From original sales ad):

We have 5 Arco solar panels, 600 watt Heart
Invertor, 4 new Trojan T-105ís golf cart
batteries, 5 new Goodyear radial tires, 9 glass
storm windows, 40 channel CB, Weingard
Antenna with 12 volt booster, DSS Satellite
Dish with remote control, outside stereo
speakers,

Dometic 3800 watt propane
generator, built-in

Nutone built-in blender, Eye-level
oven and 4 burner stove, Sharp Microwave
Convection Oven, Reverse Osmosis system,
New Jabsco water pump with large
accumulator tank, Central Vacuum cleaner
with power head attachment, Burglar Alarm
System, 3 Fantastic Fans, Complete Screen
room with privacy panels and a 20í Sun
screen drop with end panels, 20í Main and 6
Window awnings, New 4-Way shocks,
bearings and races.

A few years ago we
installed a new Dometic 2 door refrigerator,
Coleman air conditioner with exhaust fan and
heat strip, Sealand China Bowl toilet and
upgraded the interior.

Also, included is a
heavy-duty custom built weight distributing
hitch head, dual Eaz-lift sway controller and
stabilizer bars, a computer desk and more.



He pulled this trailer, with full camper and boat with a V8-460 Ford truck.

Yeah . . I'll bet you can do it.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:33 PM   #3
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Marty - What is the Super Tundra you mention in your post?

I have an 07 which is the same as the 08 and you would come up short with one of those weight wise. The Tundra is only a 1/2 ton and can carry around 1600 pounds depending on options. The camper you are looking out weights 930 pounds dry and your trailer has a hitch weight of around 600 pounds dry. Add water propane and whatever and you are over the weight and you haven't gotten into the truck yourself yet. The Tundra is a fine truck, but it has it's limits. For the kind of loads you are looking at I would suggest a 3/4 ton.
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:42 AM   #4
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Marty----You are the best person to answer most of those questions. Your plan is fine if it meets your needs. Like Richard suggested, pay attention to the GVW of the tow vehicle in addition to it's trailer capacity. If you just want a new truck or a different truck, great. But your current truck would do just fine with this combination. Let us know what you do.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:01 AM   #5
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Richard, you are correct. Went back and looked at Thundra's payload cap. Deducted hitch weight of 20', outfitter camper, tools, water, etc and etc.

Camper with trailer does not equal good package with the Thundra.
Options now?
1. use trailer or camper alone. But not together. Then that leaves a "open" bed on the pickup when towing trailer -- kinda of defeats the purpose of having pick up to carry extras. Or,
2. keep existing TV and then would have required payload and tow cap.

mmmmm got me thinking....

Thanks for the input. That is why we are all here...learn and learn before leaping.
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioMarty
Camper with trailer does not equal good package with the Thundra.
Options now?
1. use trailer or camper alone. But not together. Then that leaves a "open" bed on the pickup when towing trailer -- kinda of defeats the purpose of having pick up to carry extras. Or,
2. keep existing TV and then would have required payload and tow cap.

mmmmm got me thinking....

Thanks for the input. That is why we are all here...learn and learn before leaping.
Why not get a fiberglass camper shell? You could carry a lot of stuff out of the weather. Fiberglass tonneu covers are available as well. If you got the camper shell (aka topper or cap), it would also benefit your rig areodynamically.
I've learned the camper shell will hurt fuel mileage when not towing by a couple of mpg, so a place to keep the shell when not being used is a plus.
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:44 AM   #7
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why do they call it super if it has a 6.5' bed? I would think a pickup with anything over 8' to be super and anything less to be, well, less. I always enjoy seeing people dangling things out the back of those tiny beds. Good luck with all that.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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My use of wrong term for Thundra...sorry.

should have stated the new full sized thundra pickup.

Was trying to point out the larger new thundra vs the older smaller thundra.

sorry.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:25 AM   #9
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Seems that you have the ideal TV for your plan right now. While I am sure there is some mild whimpering when you stand before the diesel pump down at the gas 'n go, you've already eaten the depreciation on the Dodge and probably have few, if any, payments left.

I would keep the big truck.

mike
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioMarty
My use of wrong term for Thundra...sorry.

should have stated the new full sized thundra pickup.

Was trying to point out the larger new thundra vs the older smaller thundra.

sorry.
A simple way to say it is: 2nd generation Tundra
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:35 PM   #11
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Mike,
After taking a look at the Thundra's payload and deducting the weight of the camper, hitch, tools, etc etc, the idea of Thundra with outfitter and towing a AS 20' will not work. It has to be one or the other but no combo as desired.

So, I agree with you, have large enough truck now to haul and tow at the same time if desired. You are correct, almosts paid for.

Thanks for the input.

Marty
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:54 PM   #12
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I will add this....even if redundant. Why trade a diesel pickup (unless its old and worn out) that will easily haul the camper you want (get an OUTFITTER that fits your bed). The diesel will get better mileage than the Tundra, especially loaded and pulling you'r AS. With the Dodge you won't have to worry about being overloaded. A waste of money??? and a good cummins engine that will last the better part of a million miles??????
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