Tailgate on or off?

5outta6

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
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116
Location
NorCal
I was to remove the tailgate on my truck when using with my camper.

On my old truck I did it that way.

On my new truck, I'm wondering if I can leave the tailgate on.

My camper would be about 9 inches on the tailgate?

thoughts?
 
I knew someone with a compact Sun Lite pop top camper installed onto a Ford 150. He was able to close the tailgate with the camper installed and left it on to use as a porch / mudroom for dirty boots. It also made for a nice shelf/table for an outdoor cook stove.

My personal preference is to remove the tailgate prior to installing the camper to save weight and have less of an overhang past the rear bumper. In my case the tailgate would have to remain in the lowered position.
 
I left my fifth wheel tailgait on. I also coverd the slats with aluminum, fabbed some solid bars to replace the cables. ( I never really trusted the cable crimps to support any weight or bouncing) the cables It worked great with my Hawk. It provide a place to set things on, easy access. I have since sold my hawk, wife was having knee issues, but every time I see a Four Wheel camper; I miss the Hawk.
 
Depends:
How close are you to GVWR, GRWR? Tailgates are heavy; mine weighs about 80 lbs.

What is its utility for YOU? Is it easier or harder to get into the camper? Does its uses outweigh its drawbacks?

I have a receiver 2 step; I step up into the camper. I lean a little forward as I step up; its an easy, natural motion, no hitting my head. A tailgate would just get in the way.
 
The thing about tailgate on, is one I also believe it makes it hard to enter, and in case of a Toyota Tacoma you can’t lower the spare tire, if the tailgate is down.
 
The thing about tailgate on, is one I also believe it makes it hard to enter, and in case of a Toyota Tacoma you can’t lower the spare tire, if the tailgate is down.
Yes you can, you can access the key port above the tire to lower by taking off the license plate, at least you can on a 1997 and 2003 tacoma :) Also works on Tundras.
 
I have rolled with my tailgate down on three different camper/truck combos:
2001 Tundra with Roamin Chariot, 2004 Tundra with Roamin Chariot, and 2004 Tundra with new Fleet.

Given the pros and cons, we prefer to have the tailgate on. Makes a great ledge to attach the steps and other stuff. You can easily make some rigid support struts out of flat aluminum stock to replace the tailgate wires.

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The inconvenience both with accessing the "key" hole for lowering
the spare and the added hassle entering/exiting the camper,and the added weight
behind the rear wheels. IMO isn't worth a little "porch".If it works for you that's great.
Frank
 
You have the option to keep the tailgate attached to your brand new truck along with the camper. It's important to measure accurately to make sure the camper fits securely over the tailgate. Leaving it on can be more convenient than taking it off every time, as long as there is sufficient clearance and stability.
 
I have started to roll with mine on and down as well. Allows me to keep the truck box for storage and a place to stack firewood. Plus the tailgate is a giant pain to remove now days. Takes me longer to plug/unplug and fish the 3 sets of connectors in/out than to remove the gate, so I just leave it on. Probably not a option for some trucks but mine is fine. I just use the built in tailgate step and a folding stool to get in and out. Seems to work fine for me.
p611855153-3.jpg
 
Unnecessary extra weight.
Blocks the camper door when up.
Blocks the camper door when down.
No real added value.
Looks odd with tailgate closed against slide in camper.
You can guess my opinion on this topic.
 
I have started to roll with mine on and down as well. Allows me to keep the truck box for storage and a place to stack firewood. Plus the tailgate is a giant pain to remove now days. Takes me longer to plug/unplug and fish the 3 sets of connectors in/out than to remove the gate, so I just leave it on. Probably not a option for some trucks but mine is fine. I just use the built in tailgate step and a folding stool to get in and out. Seems to work fine for me.
p611855153-3.jpg
I’m curious how you have the camper anchored to the truck with it shifted that far back.
 
I'm using torklift fastguns up front (you can see those) and using the standard turnbuckles hooked to the normal FWC anchor points in the rear. I have a 1/2' rubber mat in the bed I've had forever that keeps the camper from moving around. There is a spacer under the toolbox that the camper is tight too. I put 300 miles on it including some forest service roads and didn't see any issues. Obviously not going to do anything too crazy in a longbed dually but it should get me far enough off the pavement. I don't leave it on since it's also my daily driver.

Next mod is too fab up some quick attach jack brackets so I don't have to bolt/unbolt the jacks anymore. I used to leave the rear jacks on but with it so far back, they need to be off.
 

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