Hi Guys! New member here. I’ve been wanting a pop up truck camper for years. I started shopping around for one recently and came across this site. It is a great wealth of information. I have a few questions that I could use your guidance on. I would love to buy a new FWC or ATC, but those just aren’t in my price range at the moment so I thought I would look at buying a used camper that will allow me and my family to try it out. If we get a lot of use out of it, we can look at buying a nicer one in the future.
I have a family of four. My wife and two boys. The boys are ages 9 and 15. We love taking a big vacation every summer. In the past we have ventured off to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, The Rocky Mountains, and the Black Hills. For every trip so far, we’ve stayed in hotels or cabins, but I’d like to get the outdoors feel of it a little more, hence the camper. Has anyone else made this work with four people? I know we will be cramped. I was thinking if both boys don’t fit in the camper for sleeping, one could sleep in the back of the truck or we could bring a little tent for them. Is my thinking way off on this? There will be other trips, where it is just me and the boys (or one boy), or my wife and I. So, not all trips would be with four people. I suspect my oldest son will drop out of the vacations within the next few years, since he’s getting to that age, so we could be down to 3 real soon.
I own a 2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax. When I bought the truck I had an inclination of hauling a camper in it, but never delved into the details concerning payloads. I just assumed since it is a big truck (compared to my previous Tacoma) that it would be able to haul anything. I was a little surprised to find the payload is on the low side when you start figuring in the camper, the family and all our gear & supplies. So, for that reason, I decided I need to keep the weight of the camper down low, in order to get all that other stuff in my truck as well. I have been looking at used campers that are designed for smaller trucks and are lighter weight like 1200lbs or less, such as the Sun lite Skyhawk SB. I just ordered a pair of firestone airbags, which I will install, and I already have E rated tires. Is there anything else you would suggest to help the truck handle the load? I’ve also been considering a sway bar or some new Bilstein shocks, but thought I’d wait and see how the truck does with the camper before spending more.
Next up, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to attach the camper to my truck. I’d like to have it ready for when I go to pick the camper up (whenever I find the one I like). I’d like to have the tie downs in the bed of the truck. Are all campers setup to be tied down in the bed, or are some externally tied down only? Maybe it would be best to wait and see which camper I end up with? What do you guys suggest doing here? If doing an in bed tie down, what is the best practice or way to do this or what products suggest for this? Are there any tutorials online on how to set this up? I prefer not to pay a dealer to do this.
This is more general camper question...Once you get to your destination can you remove the camper from the truck and continue to use it, or does it need to stay on the truck? Does the floor support the weight of people in the camper when not sitting in the truck?
I’ll mention in closing that we probably won’t do a lot of serious offroading with the camper on the truck. It'll mostly be stopping in a campground or small jaunt off the beaten path.
Thanks for bearing with me.
Edited by Yama-Bro, 30 June 2020 - 02:53 PM.