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School me on cab over campers

Arickvan

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Oakley CA
I'm in the market for a cab over camper, but have never had one before

i currently have a 2001 thor tahoe transport bumper pull toyhauler, so im used to camper stuff just not cab over stuff

im shopping used about $5-6k and currently have a f250.... shortbed and plan on towing a flatbed with the crawler on it

i know i know, "get a long bed" nope :flipoff2: ill get air bags if needed

anyways whats the biggest size camper you would put in a shortbed truck?

9' 10" way too big?
 
I can't speak on the bed size, but the pop up campers are freaking awesome. Wife and I spent two weeks on a roadtrip in one, and it was a freaking blast.

Careful on used because water damage is always prevalent.
 
What you can put in it is based on the center of gravity of the camper. You want that in front of your rear axle. With a 3/4 ton you're gonna want air bags unless you go with the pop up style.

I put bags on my dually for when I had my Lance on it. And it wasn't a 9' model either.
 
I can't speak on the bed size, but the pop up campers are freaking awesome. Wife and I spent two weeks on a roadtrip in one, and it was a freaking blast.

Careful on used because water damage is always prevalent.


oh ya this is a good point

planned trips would be moon rocks nevada, mojave ca and koh, so all desert trips

i wanted to stay away from popups because of wind and then ive never seen a pop up with a shower and toilet, but convince me otherwise :flipoff2:



What you can put in it is based on the center of gravity of the camper. You want that in front of your rear axle. With a 3/4 ton you're gonna want air bags unless you go with the pop up style.

I put bags on my dually for when I had my Lance on it. And it wasn't a 9' model either.

is there a rule of thumb for center of gravity of the camper itself?
 
oh ya this is a good point

planned trips would be moon rocks nevada, mojave ca and koh, so all desert trips

i wanted to stay away from popups because of wind and then ive never seen a pop up with a shower and toilet, but convince me otherwise :flipoff2:

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Shower. Toilet. Heater. Hot water. But this was on an 8' bed though. Not sure about a short bed.

The screen top was awesome. Breeze ran right through in the hotter temps. Kept us nice and cool. Then you could zip it shut if it got too cold or rained out.

The cab over had a slight leak. We sealed it and repaired a portion of the bed area. Started leaking again. Went back and forth then I just gave it away. Used campers are usually a can of worms.
 
I think a 8’ camper works pretty well in a short bed with the tailgate down. Anything longer than that and you are gonna be putting too much weight behind the axle.

If you are shopping Lance the “extended cab” models have a larger cabover area which helps move weight forward.

Used campers are definitely a can of worms. Our $500 Six Pac had considerable water damage I had to fix. We’ll probably use it for a couple years until it is trash and then go all Idasho and build one.

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I'm in the market for a cab over camper, but have never had one before

i currently have a 2001 thor tahoe transport bumper pull toyhauler, so im used to camper stuff just not cab over stuff

im shopping used about $5-6k and currently have a f250.... shortbed and plan on towing a flatbed with the crawler on it

i know i know, "get a long bed" nope :flipoff2: ill get air bags if needed

anyways whats the biggest size camper you would put in a shortbed truck?

9' 10" way too big?

With a short bed you'll need to keep the camper short or you'll end up ass heavy the front tires will be too light for proper steering.
 
theyre nice to get out of the elements. i was a tent camper fer years and still am. a buddy sold me his cab over but dont get alot of use. wife wants a bumper pull but i think wed rather save money and use tents.
her whole family has campers and feel that limits to where we can go. inlaws have a 40' 5th wheel but kinda hard to drag deep in the woods away from everyone. brother and sis inlaws have a hybred popup thing thats more manageable.

i got that cabover thats made fer my 97 f250 crewcab short bed that we might sell.

RUGER
 
I also don’t like long beds. I’m a crew cab short bed fan and have been searching for the “right” slide in for a long time. I only want something better than a tent, I don’t need a gigantic Lance. I want a bed me and the lady can lay in, a fridge, a heater, and a bed for the boy.

Palomino and Hawk have shortbed specific slide ins, and if you can find one used they are typically in the price range you mentioned.

Problem is, most used slide ins for sale are either huge, or beat to shit. I’ve seen $30k lances for sale for $5K because they suck to haul around. Used palominos disappear as fast as they pop up.

https://www.crowsurvival.com/short-bed-truck-campers/
 
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Shower. Toilet. Heater. Hot water. But this was on an 8' bed though. Not sure about a short bed.

The screen top was awesome. Breeze ran right through in the hotter temps. Kept us nice and cool. Then you could zip it shut if it got too cold or rained out.

The cab over had a slight leak. We sealed it and repaired a portion of the bed area. Started leaking again. Went back and forth then I just gave it away. Used campers are usually a can of worms.

huh, ill stop scrolling past all of those and actually take a look then :laughing:
 
theyre nice to get out of the elements. i was a tent camper fer years and still am. a buddy sold me his cab over but dont get alot of use. wife wants a bumper pull but i think wed rather save money and use tents.
her whole family has campers and feel that limits to where we can go. inlaws have a 40' 5th wheel but kinda hard to drag deep in the woods away from everyone. brother and sis inlaws have a hybred popup thing thats more manageable.

i got that cabover thats made fer my 97 f250 crewcab short bed that we might sell.

RUGER

:eyeswiden: goooo on...
 
Research trailer hitch extensions, that may be the biggest factor in how big a camper you can get and still be able to tow.
 
I think a 8’ camper works pretty well in a short bed with the tailgate down. Anything longer than that and you are gonna be putting too much weight behind the axle.

If you are shopping Lance the “extended cab” models have a larger cabover area which helps move weight forward.

Used campers are definitely a can of worms. Our $500 Six Pac had considerable water damage I had to fix. We’ll probably use it for a couple years until it is trash and then go all Idasho and build one.

ya i did/am dealing with that, with the toyhauler i have:laughing:

every time i take it out, i have some screws to replace or caulking to add
 
We have a 2001 Fleetwood Angler 8b with the extended cabover. Its about right for the weight on our one ton, but we do need bags when towing our boat behind it. I wouldn't go much over 8ft just due to COG. Longbed campers are designed to be in long beds and the COG is further back and will be miserable on a short box. Its on the lighter side for a camper as well, 1600lbs dry weight. Whatever you do, get one with electric jacks! I fucking hate taking this thing on and off the truck.
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Research trailer hitch extensions, that may be the biggest factor in how big a camper you can get and still be able to tow.

Torklift Superhitch with a 48" extension would be sufficient for towing a Jeep around assuming its loaded right on the trailer. We only need a 12" extension in our factory receiver to tow our boat, but its tight haha.
 
:eyeswiden: goooo on...


its a skyline weekender lite 850

i guess i should of said its made fer a fullsize crewcab short bed truck. buddy had a 96 f250 extended cab long bed and used the extra space between the cab and camper fer storage.

RUGER
 
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This is ours in Acadia park . Depends on how much you plan to be in it. Ours is heavy as fawk. I would choose a different floor plan but there isnt any I really like out there. After having this one and spending a good bit of time in it. I would/will go flatbed with side entrance next time. It has plenty of height for us, but having to turn sideways to walk thru by the bathroom is a p.i.t.a. Plus you can double your floor space with a flatbed.



Airbags by themselves didn't really help much. They help but you cant lift the load off the overloads or it feels like your driving a water bed. I used wedges between overload springs and rest of the pack with airbags and it drives pretty "normal'.





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Lived in an old Mitchell 8 footer for a couple of years, carried it on my 68 F250 camper special from one coast to the other and back to NM. Just me and the cat it was okay not much fun for haveing female company over unless they were used to roughing it. fully loaded with my gang box in the back it sat down pretty good, but the old 390 moved ut on down the road
You might look into fourwheeler brand they come up used every so often they have an alumiunum structure not wood and staples like the others, but you are looking at 12 footer to get a full bathroom in any cab over brand
 
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Research trailer hitch extensions, that may be the biggest factor in how big a camper you can get and still be able to tow.

When I was doing the cab over with trailer thing I made a tongue extension, I wish I still had pictures of it. Those hitch extensions scare the fawk outta me :eek:. I peeled the factory hitch on my 06 dodge 3500 down about 30 degrees towing my enclosed trailer on a road with frost heaves, no way I was giving that thing more leverage.
 
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Here is what we currently have. 9' Shadow cruiser pop up in a long bed dodge. Its a '90's model, gave 1500 for it. It was pretty clean, I doubt it got used much. I added a window unit ac in one of the "cubby" holes on the floor. Has a toilet and running water, heat, sink, stove, fridge etc, no shower. It weighs 1300# empty and is really about all I want on the 3/4ton. I run bags and they help a lot at 30psi. We like it because we can pull whatever we want to do that weekend behind the truck, boat, buggy, bikes, old car, etc.




We had a solid top 10' before with a shower and queen bed above the truck. It was freaking heavy at 2k#. Way to much on a single wheel truck. Also it hung out past the bumper enough that a longer hitch was necessary. It had more room in it than the current mobile house but I did not like driving it around. Imagine driving around with your tailgate down all the time and how often you will hit it with the trailer? And you want to add another foot hanging out the back past that?
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Had a plamino pop up and it worked good for what it was, but be sure to pull up the bedding and lift up the front bunk to check the storage underneath, you need to see the amount of rot before buying. for a fixed roof, the full height rear door is nice over most of the other pop ups. the parents have a livinlite camplite. aluminum frame and composite throughout, should not ever rot out. shame they got bought out and then basically shelved and forgot about and then discontinued.
 
Had a plamino pop up and it worked good for what it was, but be sure to pull up the bedding and lift up the front bunk to check the storage underneath, you need to see the amount of rot before buying.
Exactly where ours rotted. We fixed it a few times, but eventually just ditched the whole thing. Worked great for the few years we had it. The road trip we took in it was awesome.
 
When I was doing the cab over with trailer thing I made a tongue extension, I wish I still had pictures of it. Those hitch extensions scare the fawk outta me :eek:. I peeled the factory hitch on my 06 dodge 3500 down about 30 degrees towing my enclosed trailer on a road with frost heaves, no way I was giving that thing more leverage.

05 Dodge Dually long bed. If you want to run an extension, look at the ones from Truss Hitch. Adds another receiver hitch right under the OEM one and the extension is a double tube set up. I run a 2 foot extension when I have the Lance in the bed. The trailer has a weighed 1200 lbs. of tongue weight and the hitch has no issues.
 
oh ya this is a good point

planned trips would be moon rocks nevada, mojave ca and koh, so all desert trips

i wanted to stay away from popups because of wind and then ive never seen a pop up with a shower and toilet, but convince me otherwise :flipoff2:





is there a rule of thumb for center of gravity of the camper itself?

They usually have their cog clearly labeled. At least all the ones I've seen did.
 
Torklift Superhitch with a 48" extension would be sufficient for towing a Jeep around assuming its loaded right on the trailer. We only need a 12" extension in our factory receiver to tow our boat, but its tight haha.

I had a longbed 2003 Dodge dualie with a Lance 9 1/2' slide-in in the bed. I used a 24" extension Torklift and it worked fine towing an 18' bed trailer with the Jeep on it.
 
I have an 1977 8' Alaskan we've been using for about 2 years now. I like the fact that it's hard sided. We've had to replace the floor and have some issue around the front vent that need to get addressed
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I want to get rid of my Safari Trek Isuzu Diesel 28’ and get a slide in. I want full bathroom and ac though. Who wants to trade? My Trek needs a lot of work since the roof has leaked but everything still works. It is aluminum sides and frame but has a lot of solid wood cabinets that need refinished, the floor needs redone so does the walls. Its usable as is but needs a lot. They are worth over 20k in good shape. I would take 5k for this one from anyone on here. It is probably worth about 7-8 as is.
 
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I have owned a few and I did love them all.
I have owned a pop up scamper
2 Lance's
and a MASSIVE Arctic fox with slide out.

All always on a shortbed dodge, with air bags.
You can run a longer camper on your short bed, you just need to make sure the center of gravity is in front of the rear axle. The camper will have a sticker on it saying where the center of gravity is.
The bad with campers is they are small, they work great for 2 people, but if the weather changes they suck to hang out inside.
The beds sleep east to west or north to south, NEVER buy east/west beds as it sucks to steam roll over your wife to get up in the morning or get up to pee.
If you have a ford, make sure the cabover part of the cabover is tall enough to clear your cab of your truck. A lot of people end up making platforms to space up the cabover to clear the cab, pallets also work.
Popup cabovers are awesome to really explore in as they are light weight, but most do not have a proper toilet. Most pop ups have a cassette toilet you setup in the hall way and you have to ask your wife to go for a walk. Pop-ups are also bad if you go to windy areas.

If I bought again, it would be Lance, they by far had the nicest fit and finish and used all the available space they could.

I just sold mine in February and bought a Class C RV and really enjoy that. I drove to Washington a few weeks ago and it was great to just pull over and sleep without getting out and having unlimited snacks while driving as the kitchen is right behind you. The other bonus is the hot driver swap when going down the road.
 
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