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Old 04-12-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
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Towing AS w/Camper on truck

Looking at putting a Lance camper on my GMC 2500 short bed and installing a Reese Tow Beast and extension to tow a car trailer and, possibly, an AS 25 Safari.

Appreciate any input on towing an AS with a camper that extends past the bumper.

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

I am about to do the same thing that you are contemplating. We are now shopping for a pop-up truck camper, and intend to tow Lucy (25FB) with it.

I have been researching this for the past six months. The TC's that we are considering go about 2500# loaded except fresh water, and Lucy's tongue weight is about 850#. My research indicated that I will need a 1 ton to comfortably handle this load. We are looking a an 8' bed pick-up, so that we won't have an overhang.

I'm not sure how a hitch system would function with a two foot extension on the receiver. I think that a lot would depend on the tongue weight of the trailer that you will tow.

Brian
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:31 PM   #3
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Look in your truck owners manual there should be charts in there. I have a feeling it will max out the GVW How much does the camper weigh. Might work with a one ton. Its was done a lot with rodeo people before they started putting living quarters in the horse trailers.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:55 PM   #4
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Moosetags, check this out: hallmark Mfg. Inc.- The only option for hallmark pop-up truck campers. Authorized dealer of Okanagan hardside campers. : Home. Popups for a 6-1/2' foot bed are less that a 1000 pounds, well with in the CGVW of a 2500 GMC crewcab. After doing more research, I've crossed the Lance off my wish list.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:06 PM   #5
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I couldn't explain the physics, but, know the less overhang(the length from rear TV axle to hitch) the better the handling/safety is.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
Moosetags, check this out: hallmark Mfg. Inc.- The only option for hallmark pop-up truck campers. Authorized dealer of Okanagan hardside campers. : Home. Popups for a 6-1/2' foot bed are less that a 1000 pounds, well with in the CGVW of a 2500 GMC crewcab. After doing more research, I've crossed the Lance off my wish list.
We have also shopped the Hallmark on-line, but they don't has a viable north/south sleeping arrangement We are headed out to Longmont in May to shop the Outfitter in person. We are closing in on the Outfitter Apex 8 LB XC or the Northstar 850SC. Both of these are fully self-contained 8 foot units with a wet bath and north/south sleeping. Both of these run about 2500# loaded with A/C, but minimal fresh water.

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Old 04-12-2011, 10:02 PM   #7
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My dad had a popup camper on his 84 F250 supercab dually. He had to have the hitch extended but towed the Airstream troublefree with it for many years. The dual wheels no doubt helped with stability. That truck had the old 6.9 diesel with a Banks turbo.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:21 AM   #8
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Be careful. Any extension of the hitch increases the effect of the lateral forces leading to sway.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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Also, I do not see the weight distribution function of the hitch system being able to supply sufficient leverage to do its job when a receiver extension is used.

Brian
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:51 PM   #10
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Be careful! I used an 18 inch extension for my '49 12 foot Boles Aero. Less than 2000 pounds total weight. It actually started to rip holes in the frame of my pickup from the increased leverage the tongue weight had on the receiver hitch. I will admit I travel some pretty rough roads, but a 12 foot Boles is nothing compared to a full sized Airstream. If you try it keep a close watch. I didn't notice anything until I saw that the angle of the hitch had changed. The hitch sloped downward toward the back somewhat like the photo dougsale posted. My receiver and pickup are rated for over 5000 lbs, so the additional leverage must be considerable.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:27 AM   #11
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I'm ordering a Hallmark Nepal for my GMC 2500 short bed later today. It's a pop top and the 6-1/2' length won't interfere with my Reese WD hitch. Adds less that 1000# to the CGVW. First outing will be taking my roadster to the F.A.S.T. hill climb in Lincoln NB in June.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:18 AM   #12
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Several years ago I purchased a used TV. It is a 1t Dodge diesel w/ SRW and a megacab. Having the megacab mandated a 6.5' bed on the '06 Dodges. The original owner was configuring the truck for a in bed camper. I tow with it and do not use it for the truck mounted camper. It came to me with a SuperHitch receiver mounted below and bolted to the factory hitch. From what I have read this double receiver arrangement is to compensate for the overhang of many bed mounted campers and allow it to tow a trailer using an extension bar inserted in the lower receiver. Having the 2 receivers ( over/under) reinforces the added stress from using the extended towbar. Since I don't use one my knowledge of the stresses incurred ends here. I'm sure that some physicist out there can add some math here and tell us how the tongue weight being extended out beyond the camper would affect towing limits. My point here is that if there is no overhang to compensate for you would have the added strength of the superhitch double receiver. And the flexibility of using the extension towbar if you needed it.

Beware, quality truck bed campers run heavy and you may be nearing or exceeding the GVW of the tow vehicle. Added springs, proper tires and gearing may become very important with this config.

See ya on the road.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:20 AM   #13
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The hitches such as Reese are engineered and tell you what you can do with them. By using the TV capacity Data and the Hitch Data you can tell if you are able to use that truck or not. The Reese Extension will extend 41" and pull a trailer total weight of 7500 lbs using the weight distribution. The key is this is a Class V setup with a 2-1/2" receiver hitch not a 2".
I have had a similar tow setup on a F350 DRW Flat bed dump truck. It was a 12'bed and the receiver was welded to extended rails above the frame. These channels extended about 48" wast where the actual truck chassis and stop lights were located. I never had any trouble pulling a heavy steel utility trailer with 20' X 8' of cargo area. trailer had 5' 12 ga. steel sidewalls.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:55 PM   #14
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You should be fine towing the car trailer with the TC...as Brian noted, you will be WAY over limit trying to tow a 25' AS.
This is dually territiory, or as Brian is doing, the new SRW GM 1 tons have a a greatly increased RAWR and commensurate GVWR which may be adequate.
A trip to the scales is in store...

We tow a Classic Whaler behind our TC. I went with an extended tongue versus a hitch extension. Our TC does over hang by 2'. Towing with the extension made me uncomfortable, I recently purchased an extended tongue trailer and have yet to tow with the TC on, but I expect it to be much easier to deal with. Keep in mind the Whaler is only 1500#...tongue weight is ~150# (recommended tw for boats is less than that recommended for trailers).

Do not underestimate what a TC weighs...even the small strippers add up quickly. Expect ~ 1800# for a LIGHT one, once loaded.
Our hardside is 2700# locked and loaded. I would never consider towing our AS with the TC on a 3/4 ton truck. Our Excella tw is over 1000#.
Our truck is a 3/4 ton SB.
The next truck will be a long bed dually with a flush TC so I don't have to worry about hitch extensions etc.
Brian figured this one out real quick...

I have been trying to convince Brian, and I will say the same to you; expect to like TC so much that you start planning 2 kinds of trips; AS trips, and TC trips.
I think you will find you won't have a need to tow the AS and have a TC with you at the same time.

If you have more questions about setting up the TC...contact me anytime.
Good luck.
Bill
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