Thread: Pop-up Camper Rear Overhang: Recommendations?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Houston Texas, USA
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by kerry View Post
    I bought a heavy long hitch extension but I'm not comfortable with the ball that far behind the truck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless Diamond View Post
    Sorry, can't seem to find any pictures of the inside, and it's on the other side of the Cascades otherwise I would take some. The layout they show for the K2 is pretty close to what we have, the toilet faces the fridge with no door. There is a storage cabinet that sits above the toilet and then a small padded board to cover the toilet to give a seat or to set things on.

    The truck is stock, no lift. 285/75/18 Toyo AT2 (basically a 35x11.5). I did put the Torklift upper Stableloads on, they just engage the overloads sooner. I flat tow a 2dr Wrangler too, I added a 14" extension and use a ReadyBrute tow bar. It extends out far enough that I don't have any problems with tight turns.

    The truck handles it all great, the only thing I need to do is spend the money and get really good adjustable shocks. There's enough weight behind the axle that sudden bumps get amplified. Having the storage boxes is great, one of the best things, but it makes it easy to carry more weight farther back. With a long bed I would think you could only do the boxes with the Cucharra.
    Quote Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
    Spare tire is another consideration. There was no way mine would fit under the truck so I had to wing it out front. With the rear overhang all those nifty bumpers with swing outs won’t work.
    Gang - thanks for the help. Couple of follow-on questions.
    Hopeless Diamond - no issue on the photos. Any estimated how wide & how deep that potty compartment might be?

    Two of you presented perspectives on towing with the extension hitch. I would think flat tow would be the toughest, and yet you said it worked great. Besides dragging the overhang, this tow extension is another concern. Can you tell me more about where you've towed & how it handles with the hitch that far back (although zero tongue weight flat towing - not sure if that helps or hurts on the extension hitch)

    MTCK - good point on the spare tire. Can you still access it under the truck with the camper overhang?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jeff
    Houston, TX

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3,076
    I've got a 14" (or so) extension and I've towed our Sea Pearl 21 across country and back with that. I have a 36" heavily reinforced extension that I thought I might use to pull our Corsair F-24 since the 14" is too short for it. However, I balked once I thought more about it.
    Last edited by kerry; 10-11-2017 at 05:54 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    65
    If my spare still fit under the rear of the truck, I would be able to access it. At 35” it doesn’t fit so it is mounted up front. I think access is more a function of your truck’s layout. My old chevy is pretty simple but some newer trucks have fancier mechanisms that may require access to the rear bumper to lower the spare.
    -Marcus
    1996 Tacoma 3.4L Auto Extended Cab
    1991 V3500 7.4L L29 4L80E NP205 4.56 gears Hallmark Cuchara
    1984 K30 4.8L TH400 NP205 4.56 gears plow truck

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bellevue/Chumstick WA
    Posts
    580
    Yeah, making sure you can drop the spare is something to be considered. I can access on my Ford, some of the other makes may be different though.

    Haven't flat towed over anything more than a forest service road. Anything more than that it will get unhooked and the wife will drive it. 3 point turns don't work as you can't back it up (at least with the tow bar I have). Have gotten in the Jeep and pulled the truck backwards though to just get enough to go around.

    For the potty area, I would say it is about 28-30" wide, snug but your mileage may vary...
    "If something's gonna happen, it'll happen out there" -Capt. Ron
    2012 F350/6.7l d w/Hallmark K2
    2016 2dr JK Rubicon

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Houston Texas, USA
    Posts
    37
    Guys, your experienced feedback is invaluable. The more I hear you, the more I think I don't want any overhang past the end of the truck. As much as I'd like the extra space. (I'm willing to be convinced otherwise....would use a Superhitch by Torklift & their extender...) Especially with real tongue weight on those trips where I'm towing the Jeep on a trailer. I don't mind flat tow, and have done it a number of times, but for the long hauls would prefer a trailer...easier on the brakes, but also can bring home the Jeep if I wreck it on the trail. :-O

    So now my quest is to see if we larger people can fit into a camper w/ no overhang. I think 8'6" is my limit - pending any compelling arguments to the contrary here.

    Hopeless Diamond, I had a full cabover Lance on my 2002 F350. They're all snug. (like my days on a submarine!) Sadly, I think the only way to know for sure is a butt-test!

    The GF & I talked last night - we both prefer a cassette toilet. It seems the cassette toilet bathrooms have a tad more space in them as they don't scrunch you up against that tiny sink. (Washing hands in the kitchen is fine by us). But she wants an inside shower, despite the water limitations.

    The top couple of models now are the Hallmark Everest & the Northstar 850SC. Looks like Everest has no inside shower? Time to call some companies.

    If needed, we could even modify the dinette so we both sit side by side - no need to leave it sleep-able for us.

    Thanks again everyone - invaluable.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jeff
    Houston, TX

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bellevue/Chumstick WA
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    Talk to Hallmark, I think the Ute has the shower (the Ute is the same as the Everest but "self-contained", it's confusing how they do it). But from what I've seen, when they put in the shower, it's integrated with the toilet so that will squeeze the actual usable space for it. The Hallmark will be more expensive than the Northstar. Different overall construction (composite panels so no wood or aluminum framing). Hallmarks are made to order so you can work with them to alter the basic layout pretty easily. They love winter orders, helps fill the slow months. Not real familiar with how Northstar builds, but I believe it's more of a set plan, with a few options.

    With the long box, you will probably be good with 8.5' models, the bigger ones just seem too long to me and would be more limiting for getting into places we like to go. Our intent is to not go somewhere to spend time inside the camper, we're usually outside so having a lot of extra room and "all the comforts of home" isn't real important to us. We're usually not dealing with a bunch of heat and humidity though so we don't have to try and keep cool inside. I can turn the insides into a tornado struck yard sale in no time, so it's best if I stay outside anyway

    For flat-towing anything, it should have a supplemental braking system (actually anything over ~3500lbs in most states). The Ready-brute I use is a surge brake with a cable that pulls on the Jeep's brake pedal. Real basic and simple system, no hassle with a brake controller. I can stop faster with the Jeep in tow because I'm using the Jeep's brakes too. You're right about if it breaks though, not easy to flat tow a broken hub or axle.
    "If something's gonna happen, it'll happen out there" -Capt. Ron
    2012 F350/6.7l d w/Hallmark K2
    2016 2dr JK Rubicon

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Houston Texas, USA
    Posts
    37
    Thanks. I just called them. Problem #1 is that the listed dimensions of the dinettes on their website are wrong.
    I also found out the bathroom sink intruding on the shower/toilet space is primarily driven by the cut-out in the sides of the camper to allow for the wheelwell & bed clearance on a slide-in. They told me flatbed versions of the Ute rotate the shower 90 degrees & doesn't require to have the cutout - so shower gets bigger but so does the dinette.

    Even without the flatbed version, they did say an L-shaped dinette is possible & would allow better legroom clearance for us tall folks.

    Matt also mentioned that our preferred cassette toilet is available in almost all configurations.

    So, lots of options from Hallmark, but of course would require us to know exactly what we want before ordering.

    Totally agreed on Toad brakes. I'm thinking the Ready-Brute style stuff is a PITA to hook up & use, no? Although that looks far simpler than others I've seen. Does it work well w/o the Jeep vacuum power brakes being active?
    But then again - probably about the same PITA as loading on a trailer now that I think about it.

    So I discussed all these learnings with the S.O. - including the remote possibility we just might feel too cramped in one of these for longer than one night. So, we made the following decision:
    1. Start the low-buck way & get a used 8' or 8.5' camper in good condition. Maybe even a Northstar TC850SC - there seem to be a lot of them out there & they appear to have a dinette & shower/cassette like we want.
    2. Use it & see how we like it. Make our list of what we like & don't like about the used one.
    3. Assuming we like it enough, call Hallmark for a custom, king-daddy unit specific to our needs, including the possibilities of a flatbed version.

    Thanks to all for your help in getting my head around these things.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jeff
    Houston, TX

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bellevue/Chumstick WA
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    580
    A good plan. You will have better luck in for a used Northstar. Using a bit, you will probably find the stuff you thought important, really isn't and find other things are.

    Hooking up the tow bar is not a problem at all, pretty quick and easy. No problem with no vacuum. Was concerned there would be no issue at all.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    british columbia
    Posts
    23
    we have the northstar 850 sc. on a short box ram hd. never dragged *** yet.i'm 6' 245 lbs.so i usually use the outdoor shower with a fold a privy.the indoor shower is ok but it is just easier to use the outside one.i also tow my 15 foot boat without a hitch extension.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego
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    1,800
    Quote Originally Posted by kerry View Post
    Got a Northstar TS1000 (now called a 950 I think) on our Fuso. Were both shorter than you and drive dirt roads usually, not trails. I don't like the overhang when it comes to towing. The amas on our Sea Pearl Trimaran end up really close to the camper on tight turns. I bought a heavy long hitch extension but I'm not comfortable with the ball that far behind the truck. We do like the size of the camper. Had it for 9 yrs.
    I like Northstar's TC850SC. My 2000 TC800's getting pretty tired. I have the 8' bed.
    2007 Dodge 2500 Regcab 4wd 5.9 CTD. G-56 , TC800 Northstar popup 24/7. Suspension mutt. Kore,Thuren & Carli. Anarchy EFI Live.

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