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Thread: so basically... 3/4 ton/1 ton heavier camper

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Northern California
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    15

    Default so basically... 3/4 ton/1 ton heavier camper

    I had originally thought about getting a suburban and camping/hoteling out of it, but the more research I do I'm thinking a truck and camper might be the better way to go.

    My question is this: I know I want a bigger/heavier camper. I really like the Lance Legend 945/990 and Squire 8000/9000. I don't want a truck that's going to strain going up the Rockies or where ever else our adventures take us. So basically, I need to be looking for a 1 ton diesel, right? I'd be getting a crew cab. I do not plan to off road so I'm thinking I don't need 4wd. If I find the 1 ton diesel, will I still need to update shocks, springs, etc. or get air bags?

    Any advise is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    midwest
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    46
    There is a host of guys on here who know TONS about your exact question. After reading your post, I have a couple questions. You mentioned that you know you want a bigger heavier camper, do you know this for sure? I only ask because we bought our first truck camper last month and have been so impressed with how "big" it feels even though it's a small lighter model. We have a 2014 Lance 825. It's awesome. Plenty of space/storage for our family of 4 and dog. If I could give you any advice it would be: get a 1 ton truck regardless, go take a walk through not only the campers you might want, but also the things you think might be too small. Also, consider 4x4 even if you only use it to get up a snowy hill in your neighborhood it's better than being stuck at the bottom of the hill. I do like having a diesel, but have owned two Ford V10's (great engines) and LOVE them so really consider all the options. Best of luck in the search and keep us posted! I would highly recommend Lance too by the way, quality, customer service, the owner group, all of it has been outstanding.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Northern California
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    15
    Honestly, I'm only going by what I've seen online in pictures so far. My plans have changed a bit since I first started this search/journey, but one thing I'm pretty confident in is that this will be our home for an uncertain amount of time. I plan on traveling as much as possible and only being "home" for a semester or a summer so my boys can be around family and friends. At this time, I don't plan to rent apartments each time we come back - they're just too expensive. So, the thoughts regarding bigger are for that reason: It'd be our permanent home. That would include homeschooling, doing sewing projects (me), doing science/school projects (the boys). Also, we're a tall family. I'm 5'10. My 13 year old is my height already. My 9 year old is 4'10. My 17 year old (ex) step son, who will be traveling with us from time to time is 6'4. So, you're right, I don't know for sure that I do need the bigger/heavier camper, but just knowing us, I think we'll want it.

    I am eager to go look in some - we'll be doing that this weekend - to really know for sure!! The fact that you have a family of 4 and a dog in the Lance 825 does make me wonder if we could do that too though!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    166
    If you aren't planning on going off-road, I'd just go with a dually. This would eliminate any need for airbags and updated suspension.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nor Cal
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    633
    Have you thought about a regular class C motorhome ? If you don't need 4wd and are going to be living in it for long periods, A class C might work better. They might even be more affordable vs buying a truck and camper.
    98 E350 EB
    03 F150 supercrew
    2012 YZ250

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    93
    You have probably already thought this through, but seems to me a class C motorhome might be a better choice if you'll be full-timing and intend to leave the camper on the truck 24/7 for an undetermined amount of time.

    Truck campers, as great as they are, are pretty much designed using compromises all around -IMHO.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Northern California
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    15
    I did consider a class c. It was my first thought. A few things put it out of the running though. 1. There's only one passenger seat, so one or more people would always have to be in the back. Not the biggest deal, I guess, but it's something I consider a possible nuisance, especially since my 9 year old tends to get car sick on windy roads. 2. I don't want a toad. I don't want to tow anything. Being about to sight see through a town or city we've never been to before could be difficult in a class c. We could use public transportation and/or bikes, but not know how far out of a town we may camp, not knowing public transportation logistics, etc. just makes the class c too difficult. 3. When we are home, I do want a regular vehicle to get around in. I could keep the 4 door sedan I currently have in storage and use it when we're in town, but taking into consideration points 1 and 2, it just doesn't make sense to do the class c.

    The truck and camper affords us the ability to be able to get into towns easier. If need be we can take off the camper at the camp site (not ideal, but I've read of a few families that do do that). Then, when we are home, I can keep the camper at a rv park and have the truck as a regular vehicle.

    Same thinking went into not getting a class b. I looked at the older ones and really liked a couple of them, but then when we're home, it'd be too much like living in our car. I don't want to be dropping off my kids at school in the same rig they just woke up and ate breakfast in.

    Thank you all so much for the questions and thoughts!! I really appreciate the different prospective on things! I don't have things figured out. I've never lived this way before! And, I've gone through thinking of several different arrangements. You're thoughts, questions and opinions are really helping me to make sure I haven't overlooked anything in my thought process.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sisyphus View Post
    If you aren't planning on going off-road, I'd just go with a dually. This would eliminate any need for airbags and updated suspension.
    If I had a 1 ton swd, would I need to get airbags and updated suspension? Or, better stated, are the airbags and updated suspension highly recommended in a 1 ton swd?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    166
    Quote Originally Posted by CarolynJune View Post
    If I had a 1 ton swd, would I need to get airbags and updated suspension? Or, better stated, are the airbags and updated suspension highly recommended in a 1 ton swd?
    Considering the campers you've listed, yes. With full tanks, your family, and all the gear, I'd suspect you'd be at or way past your GVWR. This is not to say that people don't make it work, but often suspensions upgrades and airbags are necessary to alleviate the rear sag and ride comfort.

    Going dually solves all these problems and makes it far more comfortable and safer to ride on the road.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    3,529
    Even dually may need bags to keep it riding nicer.

    I have an F450 with a camper I am building on it. With 45 psi in the bags I am not touching the overloads. Once it hit overloads the ride suffers a lot.

    Ill second what everyone else says, go dualie. Souter rear axle, and likely the only way you wont be over loaded on the rear end. The F450 DRW is rated at 1200 GAWR.

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