Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 37

Thread: pros and cons of pkup camper

  1. #1
    Member summitx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    400

    Default pros and cons of pkup camper

    got a 18ft travel trailer and thinking about selling and going with a pkup camper pros and cons.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default

    Going with a pickup camper:

    Pro:
    easier to turned around if you get into "one of those places"
    can pull a boat or 4 wheelers; try that with a travel trailer....
    better mileage

    Con:
    less room by lots
    less and smaller amenities
    you lose the ability to toss your downed big game into the back of your truck for the ride home. it doesn't work so well for it to be on your camper floor.
    harder to disconnect living space from truck for a day or two

  3. #3
    Member tccak71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    I'll add to what family man said.

    Pro:
    *I don't think you can understate the ability to tow a boat or trailer with a truck camper.
    *Takes up less space to store/park for the winter.
    *Newer truck campers have all the amenities of travel trailers/rvs, just in a more condensed version.
    *Perfect for a couple, or a couple with small kids-sleeping space wise. Excellent to use with hunting buddies.


    Con:
    *They do make some huge truck campers, BUT, the mods required to safely haul a big 11 1/2 camper or one with tip outs can break the bank.
    *With kids + heavy rain it is crowded! Cramped with babies or small kids who want to explore.
    *Time consuming to remove; but what camper or travel trailer isn't, really?


    I guess a major factor in choosing between the two would come down to family size too.

    Tim

  4. #4
    Member mod elan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Glennallen
    Posts
    1,476

    Default

    What pickup do you have? If you don't have a 1 ton are you prepared to upgrade or do the necessary mods to yours to make it stable?

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default mostly stock

    I'm one of the very few people that dare to haul a fully self contained camper not only on an almost completely stock half ton truck, but also its a shortbed Toyota! (Tundra)

    Add airbags to handle the extra weight, and E-rated tires and you're done. Get more money later and add adjustable gas-shocks.

    Skip the tip outs unless you've got a big truck, like one ton diesel, dually or such.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    What pickup do you have? If you don't have a 1 ton are you prepared to upgrade or do the necessary mods to yours to make it stable?
    I agree. There are far too many people who seem to think that just because it fits in the bed and they have the power to get it going, it is good to go. You need to make sure to have the proper setup, including a suspension system that can handle the load, brakes that can stop the added weight, tires that are rated properly, etc...

    Being able to control it on a good road in normal conditions ins't a big deal. Being able to control it when you have had to swerve around something or stop suddenly for whatever reason is a big deal.

  7. #7
    Member tccak71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    If you get a truck camper and need advice on mods here's a great site to get started:

    http://www.woodalls.com/cforum/index.cfm?site=WPD

    There are some reasonably priced mods a guy can do at home to carry additional weight. I agree with the others though, if you lean toward a slide-out, a dually would be needed. They are heavy.

    Tim

  8. #8
    Member akjw7's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    537

    Default

    I have an old camper I bought from an AOD member (thanks again!) a couple years ago.

    I love it. Love being able to take it places motorhomes and travel trailers can't go - love being able to tow the boat, sled, or wheeler - love that my wife actually likes to go camping now!

    I've used it camping with the family, fishing, hunting, snow machining in the winter, ice fishing, arctic man, and so much more.

    and most importantly it was low cost - sure I had to rewire it, figure out why the fridge wasn't working and fix it, paint the ceiling, but I did it and it works great now. Of course it is definitely no-frills, no running water, no bathroom (does have a porta potty stashed in a cupboard for the wife and kids), no microwave etc! But it was very cheap - is dry and warm, has a fridge, stove top, oven, and my mid 90s 3/4 truck (also cheap) with airbags hauls it great.

    Unfortunately I have two kids in elementary school and an infant so it's quickly becoming too small. Not sure what I'll be able to do about that anytime soon.

    Old campers are nice because of cost but they have their downsides - the no frills thing I mentioned earlier, the smaller ones like mine have no floor space so every movement must be carefully planned!, but it also needs repairs. I have to reseal all the seams in the tin and corners every year to keep it dry. Right now I have several hours into getting some of the tin off to rebuild some wood that has rotted due to leaks in the past. That is a pretty intimidating job, and will probably take me a couple weekends to get done, but worth it since buying a nicer newer camper isn't an option.

    I do think travel trailers are pretty cheap compared to a truck camper when you look at space provided and amenities. But you have to decide if you can live with never being able to tow toys.

    I do miss tent camping though...maybe it's just nostalgia though - setting the thermostat on the camper is sure nice!

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default kids should tent camp

    Put the kids in a tent; that's more fun for everyone.

  10. #10
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default Same here

    Quote Originally Posted by akjw7 View Post
    I have an old camper I bought from an AOD member (thanks again!) a couple years ago.

    I love it. Love being able to take it places motorhomes and travel trailers can't go - love being able to tow the boat, sled, or wheeler - love that my wife actually likes to go camping now!

    I've used it camping with the family, fishing, hunting, snow machining in the winter, ice fishing, arctic man, and so much more.

    and most importantly it was low cost - sure I had to rewire it, figure out why the fridge wasn't working and fix it, paint the ceiling, but I did it and it works great now. Of course it is definitely no-frills, no running water, no bathroom (does have a porta potty stashed in a cupboard for the wife and kids), no microwave etc! But it was very cheap - is dry and warm, has a fridge, stove top, oven, and my mid 90s 3/4 truck (also cheap) with airbags hauls it great.

    Unfortunately I have two kids in elementary school and an infant so it's quickly becoming too small. Not sure what I'll be able to do about that anytime soon.

    Old campers are nice because of cost but they have their downsides - the no frills thing I mentioned earlier, the smaller ones like mine have no floor space so every movement must be carefully planned!, but it also needs repairs. I have to reseal all the seams in the tin and corners every year to keep it dry. Right now I have several hours into getting some of the tin off to rebuild some wood that has rotted due to leaks in the past. That is a pretty intimidating job, and will probably take me a couple weekends to get done, but worth it since buying a nicer newer camper isn't an option.

    I do think travel trailers are pretty cheap compared to a truck camper when you look at space provided and amenities. But you have to decide if you can live with never being able to tow toys.

    I do miss tent camping though...maybe it's just nostalgia though - setting the thermostat on the camper is sure nice!
    I tent camp and use my P/U camper. It makes a great center for a family camp.

    I love being able to haul a boat, snowmachine, or gear trailer along behind me, though I do miss being able to drop off the Camper trailer and go elsewhere.

    I also love being able to go on some really rough roads with my 4x4 and P/U camper where I wouldn't pull a camper trailer or drive a class A. Also, I'm looking forward to taking it out on the ice this winter for ice fishing.

    My family is smaller than it was when I owned a class A and a TT. My youngest son and my grand kids don't mind tenting next to their grandparents, and that is more like real camping anyway.

    I guess if a person could have both a P/U camper and a travel trailer, that would be a good thing. I just hated parking that trailer!

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    26

    Default Truck camper pros and cons

    Pros:
    1. Can tow your boat or utility trailer with 4 wheelers.
    2. Can go down roads that we would never take our motorhome on.
    3. Your home is always with you.
    4. When we road hunt, we could stop and use the facilities or have lunch whenever or wherever we were.
    5. There are places that we used to take our truck camper that we would never take our motorhome.

    Cons:
    1. I wanted more floor space in our camper. (thats the only reason we sold our truck camper and bought a motorhome)

    2. Trying to find a place to dry out shoes, coats, etc when it rained. (there is only so much floor and hanging space in a camper)


    If I were to buy another truck camper I would get a slideout. Also make sure that it has enough storage for your needs.

    I would also have airbags on the truck.

    I would also make sure that it was comfortable for those days when it's pouring rain outside.

    My 2 cents
    Anchorage Ak

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    22

    Default my rig... too tame for alaska?

    sometimes I want to trade it all in for a pickup and camper, as I think this is too much for one person, and I love exploring back roads. But then again, it's nice to be able to unhitch, and then I can explore.

    What I DON'T want to happen is have to be stuck going just to RV parks. That is not what camping is to me.

    decisions.... decisions....


  13. #13
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default Why don't you...

    ... keep the camp trailer, but trade the little Limey SUV for a a PU truck and camper? Put a rack on top of your trailer for a canoe. Tow your little camper for extra camping or gear space. I've seen people do that even w/ motor homes. Unhitch your trailer and go explore.

    In answer to your question; your current set-up will be fine for 90% of Alaska camping. We're (unfortunately) getting pretty tame up here.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    22

    Default

    that's good to know that my rig will be ok for 90%. most likely I will not trade it. and yes, I am thinking very seriously about bringing a canoe or kayak with me.

    hoping to re-discover fishing. Used to fly fish, but it's been decades now. I still have my old Fenwick pole my dad bought me over 45 years ago. I am almost certain though that it is too lightweight for Alaska. Fine for the streams of California, but I imagine I need stouter equipment for Alaska.


    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    ... keep the camp trailer, but trade the little Limey SUV for a a PU truck and camper? Put a rack on top of your trailer for a canoe. Tow your little camper for extra camping or gear space. I've seen people do that even w/ motor homes. Unhitch your trailer and go explore.

    In answer to your question; your current set-up will be fine for 90% of Alaska camping. We're (unfortunately) getting pretty tame up here.

  15. #15
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    648

    Default

    Hey Family man,

    Back to your first post under Cons. I have slung a lot of dead critters in the back of my camper for the ride home including two caribou this year. Just need a good old blue tarp. Of course you could get a hitch hauler as well.

    Dave

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default yep, you can load up the back of a camper

    Good correction Dave; that is a fact. And good to hear from you, neighbor.

    I loaded my camper full of dipnets this last year too. 5 foot hoops look really big inside a small camper, but they do fit.

    I've stayed away from the hitch hauler myself; I've got too much weight too far back already.

    Signed,

    "Family (the cheap skate) Man"

  17. #17

    Default

    Like Sayak said, keep the trailer get rid of the SUV. Parts for that can be hard to find through Canada and you might be hard to find a mechanic that wants to deal with working on it.

  18. #18
    Member Rick P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer Alaska
    Posts
    2,339

    Default

    I hated my pick up camper, loathed it, never got a moment of any kind of positive feeling about it, almost as if it were created specifically to annoy me.

    1) Unless your going to dedicate your truck to being a camper your going to have to unload and load it repeatedly. For most that means a very expensive object teetering on jacks with a even more expensive truck maneuvering under it! I drove a front loader for years and never loaded or unloaded mine comfortably. We also like to go at the drop of a hat. A trailer takes what 30 seconds to hook up with all your gear in it. Seems allot smarter to get a small motor home if you have to dedicate the vehicle to camping to me.

    2) I couldn't find a way to sit, lay or stand comfortably in mine. Tracy and I are both over 6 foot tall and my 3 year old is the size of an average 5 year old. Still I had to give up my truck for this dang thing! I should have at least one comfy place to sit other than in the cab.

    3) I had a small one and it totaled my gas mileage and made the truck handle like a drunk pig........my half ton 4X4! We have a small pop up that doesn't affect either now.

    4) Because the **** thing was so tall and tippy we ended up staying closer to the road. Because you have to pack up all of your gear to move the truck we roamed less.

    5) If your going to haul a trailer behind it your going to need a tinny traler or a very big truck!
    BHA Member
    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

  19. #19
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    I hated my pick up camper, loathed it, never got a moment of any kind of positive feeling about it, almost as if it were created specifically to annoy me.

    1) Unless your going to dedicate your truck to being a camper your going to have to unload and load it repeatedly. For most that means a very expensive object teetering on jacks with a even more expensive truck maneuvering under it! I drove a front loader for years and never loaded or unloaded mine comfortably. We also like to go at the drop of a hat. A trailer takes what 30 seconds to hook up with all your gear in it. Seems allot smarter to get a small motor home if you have to dedicate the vehicle to camping to me.

    2) I couldn't find a way to sit, lay or stand comfortably in mine. Tracy and I are both over 6 foot tall and my 3 year old is the size of an average 5 year old. Still I had to give up my truck for this dang thing! I should have at least one comfy place to sit other than in the cab.

    3) I had a small one and it totaled my gas mileage and made the truck handle like a drunk pig........my half ton 4X4! We have a small pop up that doesn't affect either now.

    4) Because the **** thing was so tall and tippy we ended up staying closer to the road. Because you have to pack up all of your gear to move the truck we roamed less.

    5) If your going to haul a trailer behind it your going to need a tinny traler or a very big truck!

    wow i am crushed...


    and all this time i thought you went out and spit rocks to sleep between...yer breaking my heart Rick!!!!!


    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  20. #20
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default Big guy little camper...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    I hated my pick up camper, loathed it, never got a moment of any kind of positive feeling about it, almost as if it were created specifically to annoy me.

    1) Unless your going to dedicate your truck to being a camper your going to have to unload and load it repeatedly. For most that means a very expensive object teetering on jacks with a even more expensive truck maneuvering under it! I drove a front loader for years and never loaded or unloaded mine comfortably. We also like to go at the drop of a hat. A trailer takes what 30 seconds to hook up with all your gear in it. Seems allot smarter to get a small motor home if you have to dedicate the vehicle to camping to me.

    2) I couldn't find a way to sit, lay or stand comfortably in mine. Tracy and I are both over 6 foot tall and my 3 year old is the size of an average 5 year old. Still I had to give up my truck for this dang thing! I should have at least one comfy place to sit other than in the cab.

    3) I had a small one and it totaled my gas mileage and made the truck handle like a drunk pig........my half ton 4X4! We have a small pop up that doesn't affect either now.

    4) Because the **** thing was so tall and tippy we ended up staying closer to the road. Because you have to pack up all of your gear to move the truck we roamed less.

    5) If your going to haul a trailer behind it your going to need a tinny traler or a very big truck!
    ... bad combo.
    1/2 ton PU + camper; bad combo.

    It's all in what you want. I've heard some folks hate pop-ups too. I've owned everything BUT a pop-up and there is no perfect RV. All have downsides.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •