Truck Campers Tips

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How can I be safe when towing a truck camper?

Truck Campers and Safety

Safety is important when you are carrying the extra weight of a truck camper:

  • Make sure you choose the right camper for your truck. A bad fit will cause your truck to be overloaded and unsafe. If the camper fits but your truck is shy of handling the load, there are modifications you can make to increase towing power. A small truck camper may be an option if you don't have a large truck
  • You may want to add air bags and install new shocks and/or tires, depending on weight. Not only will your truck handle towing your camper better, but you may increase gas mileage and lower wear and tear on your vehicle
  • Sometimes, a large camper will cover the rear lights of your truck. Consult your dealer or service center for alterations that work with your battery
  • Be sure your tie-downs are firmly in place before starting out
  • Check your owner's manual for more safety tips. If you are unsure, consult your service center expert for advice

   
How do I prepare my truck for a truck camper? How do I install and remove it?

Prepartion, Installation, and Removal of Your Slide In Truck Camper

  • Remove your shell, cover, tonneau, toolbox, and tailgate prior to installation.
  • Your tailgate won't close with the slide in truck camper on, and will reduce towing ability.
  • Remove any bed liners, rugs, or carpet kits.
  • Spray-in bed liners and/or rubber bed mats are not necessary but will prevent damage to the truck bed and keep the truck camper stable while you drive.
  • You will want your truck to run efficiently when you're adding extra weight.
  • Make sure your electrical system, tires, and suspension are up-to-date. Truck tires should have proper weight rating for the camper you choose. Because each model will vary by shape and weight, always follow safety guidelines in the manufacturer instructions to install or remove your pickup truck camper.
  • For most models, remove the tie-downs and disengage the safety latch from each of the corner ball screw jacks, and lower the jacks to the ground.
  • To clear the truck tray, do several turns of the jacks.
  • If you have a higher end model you may have electric jacks that will work both independently or simultaneously. Once you crank up your supports, drive the truck in or out from underneath.
  • If you are installing, crank your jacks down and secure the safety latch on each corner. Some trucks require a platform so the camper clears the top of the truck.

   
How do I choose a truck camper?

Choose the Right Truck Camper for Your Lifestyle

If you love to camp but don't want the hassle of setting up a tent or maintaining a large RV, a truck camper may be for you.

Truck campers are the best deal on the market in terms of money and weight. They come with a wide variety of features including dinette, refrigerator, over-the-cab bed (much like a Class C) and some even have a shower and stool!

Campers for trucks vary according to truck size. They can be used in all types of trucks including long bed and short bed. Consider size, comfort level, durability rating (to water, wind, or storm) and lifestyle when making your choice. Are you camping by yourself? Be sure you can set up your truck camper alone. Select a camper that will comfortably sleep the number of people camping. Storage is also an issue: Where will you store your truck camper when you're not camping? If you like luxury, look at higher end models that have special features and expand beyond the size of your truck. Also consider the choice of buying a new or used truck camper. Do your research and you'll be a Happy camper!

   
Is there a truck camper for my short bed truck?

Short Bed Trucks: All You Need

It's hard to believe you can camp in a short bed truck! Complete with queen bed, sink, stove, refrigerator, table, sofa bed and closet, several short bed truck camper models offer efficiency and comfort. Newer campers come with an air conditioning and heat, but if you like a bit more space, you can put a long bed camper on a short bed truck. You must leave the tailgate on, in the down position and you may need a hitch extension so the trailer doesn't hit the tailgate. Over load springs or air bags are often used with 1/2 ton short bed trucks to keep the extra weight from making the rear of the truck dip.

   
Why should I consider electric jacks for my truck camper?

Hydraulic vs. Electrical Jacks

If you have corner hydraulic jacks for your slide in truck camper, you may want to consider replacing them with electric. Electric jacks allow you to raise and lower the camper with an average load or unload time of 20 minutes. Some electric jacks even come with remote control to raise and lower all jacks together. Sometimes newer campers are prewired for electrical jacks and higher-end models will come standard with them. If you decide to change your jacks, consult your RV service center for installation.

Having a truck camper doesn't have to be hard work. Save your sweat for the fun stuff and go electric!

   
Why buy a used pop up truck camper?

The Value of Used Pop Up Truck Campers

A used pop up truck camper is of value when you find one that's in good shape and has all the amenities. Used truck campers can sell for thousands under new, adding quite a bit to your vacation budget! You can find pop up truck campers that open with a push of a button and some that fold out. Insurance companies put pop up truck campers in the same category as mounted truck campers, so that saves you money over a tow-behind pop up camper. Pop ups can also be stored in your garage at home. Check your trusted truck camper dealer for savings!

   
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Jolyn Wells-Moran