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Camper Ordered, But Which Truck to get?

payload truck choice dependability advice for new truck owners vehicle choice

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#1 BigRanchInSky



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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:17 PM

Hello, I'm new and excited to join discussions. This site is gold, pure gold, especially for newbies like me, and I'm learning so much so quick, Thank you for all your input!


My story: After years of envy, my wife and I finally ordered a Hawk from Denny S/RM FWC and will pick it up near the end of March '19. 


I have no truck and no truck experience. But I have to start somewhere.


Sorry to beat a dead horse, but which truck are you running and how do you feel about it's capabilities? What do experienced owners recommend?


We plan to go offload with this rig, so I want a 4x4 truck that can handle most light duty offroad use and occasionally be asked to some medium-level terrain navigation—but I'm not planning on any super serious maneuvering.


Here is what Denny @ FWC is telling me about weight, payload and truck choice:


This camper would be around 1300lbs dry, so you will be adding 26 gallons of water, 5 gallons of propane, 2 people, dogs, food, gear, beer, etc.. So yes, when all said and done, you will be about 2000lbs. I would look at any 3/4 ton pickup so RAM 2500, Ford F-250 or Chevy 2500. If your going to do a half ton truck, I would go with F-150 and order it with a heavy payload package.


Easy enough, but like most city slickers I really love the dependability of Totyotas, So I'm seriously considering a Toyota Tundra, but I I looked at the max payload and it's 1,600#. A couple of people here seem to be very happy with a Tundra, but they've all done modifications to the back suspension to make the rear stronger. Is loading an additional ~500# going to be a little risky? or lot risky? And will it wear out a ton quicker being overloaded? Am I taking a risk when it comes to insurance bc I'm re-tooling out of the stock rated payload?


I'm don't mind taking average, small risks, but is getting a Tundra and beefing it up with 2 additional springs per side going to be good for the long haul?


This truck will only be used with the camper, stored during the cold season.


Vehicle dependability over the long term is important to me.

A quiet ride on the long freeway stretches in the intermountain west is also important.


Let me say I'm very impressed with the Ford F250, a bit less with the Chevy 2500 and Ram 2500, but I've only driven them around the block at local dealers. I have only consumer reports as an objective measurement on dependability on the different brands, but for sedans Toyotas seem to always beat US carmakers. CR rates all the trucks pretty evenly.


I've searched for all the threads that have some key terms for weight, payload, etc. and they are pretty buried within the 167 posts herein, so I was hoping to get an updated set of answers is why I'm asking, yet again.


Thanks in advance for your patience and help!


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2019 Hawk / Ford F250

#2 longhorn1


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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:36 PM

Love our 2013 F250 with tow package. Don't even feel the Grandby on the truck.
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Ford F-250 Long bed, 2014 Grandby


#3 BillTheHiker


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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:42 PM

I suggest you read the many threads on truck payload and related. Use the search. Here is one on related issue
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#4 rubberlegs


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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:51 PM

Since you are adding some heavy packages carrying lots of fluid, but only using it for camping, it seems payload trumps longevity and reliability. You probably won't put nearly as many miles on it as a commute vehicle.


I went through the same concerns and tried to keep the camper as light as possible. But with two people, no dogs, no hot water, and very few "options", we were 600 lb over the Tacoma weight limit at 6200 lb. I have to say it drives ok. We only added "Sumosprings" which seem to work quite well.

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Tacoma/Fleet 2018.

#5 Josh41


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Posted 05 January 2019 - 08:38 PM

I promised my self if I ever get another camper, it will be a Hawk on a heavy duty truck like an F250 or similar.  I think Nissan's new Titan has a HD model.  


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#6 rtpvibes


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Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:33 PM

I’m going to say this . I have owned two fourwheel camper . A grandby and a hawk .
Both with all option.
I had a outfitter with a shower and all the bells and whistles .
And now I have. Hard side lance 805
All on my tundra 01 and 07 .
Every camper was on both except lance .
And I always had my two family members .
Never had any issue .

This was my experience .
Good luck and happy camping when it arrive
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#7 smlobx


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Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:41 PM

First, welcome to WTW! This is a great bunch of people here and we're happy to help you spend your money!

There is a member here, Advmoto, who has a Hawk on his gas F-250 short bed and seems to like it.

Hopefully, he'll chime in here shortly., Bill?
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#8 Bwht4x4


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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:32 AM

Everyone I know that has had a FWC on a Tundra now has a 3/4 ton.  Just saying!


I just bought a brand new 2018 Ram 2500 as a replacement for my 2005 Ram 2500 to carry my Hawk.  2k lbs in a Tundra is a lot of weight, even with air bags and E tires.  A 3/4 ton needs nothing...just top of the fuel tank and drive away!

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2018 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab, 4WD, CTD paired with a 2013 FWC Hawk

#9 CougarCouple


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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:38 AM

Hello Bigranchinsky
Welcome to WtW, congratulations on your new camper your gunna love it.
As far as the truck thing goes all I can offer is they all drive different when you put 2000 lbs in the bed. I for one like having a vehicle being under, than over on weight rating. I did add air springs to level the truck, and we are 800lbs under the GVWR.

Edit: "Sorry to beat a dead horse, but which truck are you running and how do you feel about it's capabilities? What do experienced owners recommend?"
We purchased a Ford 2016 F-250 Lariat, and never considered any truck under a 3/4. As far as capability there is no question this truck does what it was designed for, city, and highways it is a pleasure. The 6.2 gas motor is up to the task. Off road so far no problems, you mentioned Silverton. We were there this past summer and drove out to Animas forks, north of Silverton if you are familiar with that road we had no problems.
Like others have mentioned you must look at yourselves and what you do, that would be my recommendation

Edited by CougarCouple, 06 January 2019 - 11:12 PM.

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F250 extended cab, Cougar from ATC. You guys rock thank you!

#10 klahanie


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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:22 AM

Welcome !


Sorry, I can't answer about the Tundra. Just want to comment on a few things from your post ...


Sounds like the main purpose of the truck is to carry your Hawk, so it would seem to me that how well it performs that function should be the main determining factor for vehicle choice. This differs somewhat from the buyer that may have wanted more of a "best compromise vehicle" needed for sometimes contradictory tasks such as: hauling, daily driver, good fuel economy, parking size etc.


You wrote, "A quiet ride on the long freeway stretches in the intermountain west is also important". I believe the F250 has a 10 speed, that might be beneficial for this, and therefore worth researching. Not advocating, just say'in, I have no knowledge here.


If 1600# is max payload then actual might be lower. Again, worth looking into. May be prudent to check the tags on a few new trucks on a sales lot for likely range. ON EDIT: same goes for the F250.


The suggested load of 2,000# seems a bit low by my math. - Say 1300 dry + 200 water + 20 LPG + 300 people + 50 dogs. That would leave only ~130# for "food, gear, beer, etc". Could be right, could be wrong for you, IDK.


But the consideration I want to raise is, if that weight increases will you still be okay with it ?


To use my own example... I didn't want to buy a new truck and be overloaded right from the start. I wanted to have some allowable payload room for future add ons. Even then, I knew it could be close. As it turns out we've found it very easy to carry more weight then I had hoped for. And, I note, that's despite us having had previous truck camping experience.


Further example are the folks we've all seen at the campground, the ones with the "little city" set ups, complete with screen room, carpet, loungers, tables, barbie, big cooler, mod lighting etc, not to mention the "toys". I have to think at least some of those folks never thought they'd end up carting around that much stuff. But sometimes it happens to the best of us !


Finally, recovery and contingency gear often gets overlooked in weight calculations. Perceived need depends where and how you travel, of course.


Bottom line, "know thyself". Then pick what works for you, use it, and be happy with it.


Good luck !

Edited by klahanie, 06 January 2019 - 03:49 AM.

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~David.  2010 F350 C&C w camper deck. 1997 Granby, orig owners.

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