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Thread: Long-bed Camper in a Short-Bed Truck (with support mods)?

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Long-bed Camper in a Short-Bed Truck (with support mods)?

    Anybody ever mount a camper that was designed for a long-bed (8-ft) truck onto a short-bed (6.5-ft) pick-up?

    Not one of the super-heavy campers, with slide-outs, etc. Just a fairly lightweight long-bed model.

    My truck is a Chevy 2500HD crew-cab with an extra leaf spring and diesel motor, but, it only has a short bed.

    Plan to replace the tailgate cables with HD solid steel support bars, and add air-bags to the suspension, too.

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  2. #2
    Member logman 49's Avatar
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    I've hauled my Alaskan 8' camper in my Ram shortbed for years, goes right to the end of the tailgate. I didn't replace the tailgate cables but I did add air bags. I made a step that goes into my receiver hitch to aide getting in and out when I'm not hauling a trailer.

  3. #3
    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
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    You should have a data plate - maybe on the glove box door - that tells you the load capacity of your truck. Be sure you're not overloading it, weight-wise. Also, be aware that installing air bags does not increase your load capacity; they just help level the truck after loading.
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

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    Measure the width of the camper that fit inside the truck bed to make sure it is not to wide.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Some follow up questions (NOT specifically related to short -vs- long bed campers):
    I plan to keep the camper mounted on my truck most of the time. Probably only dismounting it twice per year.
    What are the Pros & Cons, need-to-have -vs- nice-to-have, complex -vs- simple, etc, for the following equipment:

    Torklift -vs- Happy Jack tie-downs?

    Fast-Guns?

    Electric -vs- manual jack-stands?

    Rubber mat -vs- blue-board underneath?


    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  6. #6
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Campers usually have a "center or balance". Your truck owners manual should also have a load center. While others have done what you are trying to do, not having the load properly balanced in the truck could cause driving issues.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Campers usually have a "center or balance". Your truck owners manual should also have a load center. While others have done what you are trying to do, not having the load properly balanced in the truck could cause driving issues.
    sounds like a good excuse for a 'beer gut'...I'm balancing out my camper...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluNosDav View Post
    Some follow up questions (NOT specifically related to short -vs- long bed campers):
    I plan to keep the camper mounted on my truck most of the time. Probably only dismounting it twice per year.
    What are the Pros & Cons, need-to-have -vs- nice-to-have, complex -vs- simple, etc, for the following equipment:
    Torklift -vs- Happy Jack tie-downs? Take your pick. I chose HappiJac tie down brackets for the better tie down angles to prevent movement, access to fuel door, ground clearance, and corrosion resistance from not being under the truck. 5 years on a '12 GMC, no bent bumper or box as some will have you believe.

    Fast-Guns? I also use Fast Guns with my HappiJac's, great corrosion resistance, easy to use, and can be locked on. HappiJac now makes a similar tie down at a fraction of the price.

    Electric -vs- manual jack-stands? Electric with wireless remote all the way! Makes loading/unloading so much faster and easier when doing it with one person. Also makes stabilizing the camper easier.

    Rubber mat -vs- blue-board underneath? Rubber mat for sure, even if you use blue board to raise for cab clearance. A rubber mat helps prevent camper movement. Blue board can be used to gain height or added insulation if needed, but can raise the camper to high depending on truck/camper combo.

  9. #9
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Torklifts, fast guns, electric jacks, and rubber mats. That’s what I used for my 9 1/2’, 3,000 lb., fiberglass camper w/slideout dinning room in a 1 ton, short bed, Dodge/Cummins. It worked just fine but you’ll definitely want to get the air bags installed and it’s also a good idea to run 10 ply (load range E), tires.



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