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#1 robcc

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 01:11 PM

We are in the final steps of choosing a Bobcat for our 2009 Nissan Frontier. After going around and around with a shell plus options we're closer to the choice of a full bobcat and with options we end at 1,000 pounds w/o jacks. The payload for the Frontier is 1,213 pounds. So with 2 people we are slightly over capacity.  We'll do all of the suspension upgrades and LT tires etc. How concerned should we be? 


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#2 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 02:44 PM

I can’t comment about your level of concern regarding weight.  I had a fully built out (minus stove and water system) Bobcat on a 2007 Ranger.  With airbags, it handled the load fine.  

 

What I can comment on is interior space.  I found that I did not have enough interior space.  With camera gear or bird hunting gear, and an 80 pound German Wirehair Pointer, I didn’t have enough room, and that is why I sold it.  If the dog was on the floor, I didn’t have room to maneuver around, if he was on the side dinette converted to a bed, I didn’t have a place to sit.

 

I would like to get another ATC Bobcat, but if I do, it will be a shell with only a furnace on the inside.   To me, the space is more important than creature comfort features.
 


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#3 Ronin

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 06:57 PM

As long as you can stop I wouldn't be concerned. Pick up a 1/2 yard of sand or pea gravel which is approximately 1,000 lbs and see how your truck drives and stops on roads you're most likely to be traveling on. 


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#4 57Pan

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 07:00 PM

Not sure about your Nissan, but I have a 2005 Tacoma with slight 2” lift and airbags. I have a fully lloaded 2011 Bobcat (sink,furnace,refrigerator) and it handles it just fine. Also running lt tires etc. I know that like everyone else running a mid size truck I’m technically overloaded, with two of us and our gear.
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#5 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 08:41 PM

Welcome to the cult "robcc". I have a 2009 Bobcat full camper,first carried on a 2006 Ranger now on a 2002 Toyota Tundra.

The Ranger had  "supersprings" on the rear and I went with airbags for the Tundra.

Both trucks worked well with the camper although the I like the change we made to the Tundra. More power/space.

 

ATC makes great campers we have traveled over 50K miles with ours and have had no problems.

As for space we manage,it's only the two of us,no animals along.

I have the side dinette and like it gives more room then the rollover couch IMO.

Give Marty a call at ATC.He will answer all your questions.

Frank


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#6 drumwood

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 01:16 AM

I have a Bobcat on a 2008 Nissan Frontier. I can definitely recommend the Bobcat. My wife and I love it!

I ordered a Bobcat shell. The only really "weighty" thing I ordered with the shell is the furnace. I added solar and a 110 ah AGM battery, so that adds weight. The side dinette and countertop and the rest I built out myself, using 1/2" baltic birch to keep the weight down. I have no on-board water tanks. My Frontier is a crew cab, and when I was looking for ways to keep weight down, I took the rear seats out. At the same time I took out a bunch of heavy stuff that I didn't really need under the seat. That saved me almost 100 pounds!

On the Nissan I have the Firestone air bags and E-rated tires. When my wife and I are loaded up for a weekend trip, we are very close to GVW...usually no more than 100 pounds over. When we go for a longer trip, the weight increases accordingly. I try to be weight-conscious when we are packing up. 

The truck drives nice...plenty of power going up mountains. Not much sway. The main thing to be careful with is the brakes. I check them out at least once a year. I want to have the brakes in tip-top shape. Definitely gear down on the long mountain down-hills rather than riding brakes. I have had a few panic stops, and so far always been able to stop. But in those situations I do get the feeling that I wish I had a bit more stopping power. Also, I don't really do any off-roading, so I can't comment on how the Frontier handles in that situation.

So you will definitely be over GVW once you are loaded up with the fully built out Bobcat. It will probably drive just fine. You just need to be comfortable in your own mind that you are exceeding specs, and have some faith in your ability to drive accordingly. 
 


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#7 robcc

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 02:05 AM

These are really helpful post. Nice to hear some people do go over payload in certain circumstances and we are not alone trying to keep weight down. We are thinking since the tailgate will be gone there is 50 lbs. Also we are considering from the full bobcat what we can eliminate? We are considering forgoing the furnace which is only 20.5 lbs but with the tailgate that is 70 lbs combined. We could then just use a wave or Big buddy heater for those shoulder months and have ATC put a T into the propane. We probably won't winter camp but we'll be in places like Moab in November. Would we regret forgoing the heater? Any other ideas on weight savings from a full bobcat? Maybe the water system? I think we'd want the 3 way fridge since it is so efficient on propane and quiet but not sure how much a fridge weighs?


Edited by robcc, 30 January 2021 - 05:03 PM.

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#8 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 09:19 PM

Only a suggestion,don't skimp on the heater.The furnace is well worth the #25.

With the weight of the Big Buddy/Wave heater you will only save a few pounds IMO.

We don't winter camp but the spring/fall in places like Yellowstone can get a bit cold 

in the mornings.It sure is nice to just reach over and click on the thermostat for heat.

 

Hard to say what to include on your camper as far as weight goes.In the long run your weight

savings might not amount to much if you aren't comfortable.Just my thoughts.

 

When our Bobcat was on the Ranger the real issue was the power.Since we had the small V6

there was a lot less power so hills/head wind really made the driving slow.

 

As far as handling the truck/camper did well.Now the Tundra has enough power and more space.

It's not a huge truck about 6" wider/longer so it feels similar to the Ranger.

 

We try to travel as light as possible but.

Good luck with your Bobcat.

Frank


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#9 ski3pin

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 12:22 AM

Getting a small camper is wise like getting a small backpack. It makes you justify everything you might want to bring along.


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#10 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 01:06 AM

Getting a small camper is wise like getting a small backpack. It makes you justify everything you might want to bring along.

It appears my issue was wanting to bring almost everything but the kitchen sink (literally).  I loved the Bobcat, but could not pare down the gear.

 

Following up on Ski3pin’s comment, getting a Bobcat is wise.


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