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Old 03-22-2009, 02:22 PM   #1
Hellibut
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Question For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

I'm thinking real serious about getting a cabover for my Dodge Ram 2500 6.7 Turbo Diesel with a 6' bed. I don't need anything REAL big but would like to get a self contained model. I've read a bit about leaving the tailgate on and getting a 8' model but have a wee bit of concern with how it will handle. I will be pulling my 20' NR as well and don't have a lot of concerns about power but would sure like any thoughts from those that have have/had this set up and how it worked for you. I'm looking for something fairly new and the market for used campers for a 6' bed just isn't there.

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Old 03-22-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

I have an 8' camper on my short bed Chev. The camper is a self-contained 8' Fleetwood Angler, weighs 1920lbs wet. I have pulled a 17' I/O fiberglass boat, and a utility trailer with an ATV and a bunch of camping gear. I have heavier tires, and air bags on the rear axle. I leave my tailgate on, and use a hitch extension. Works great.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

There's plenty of SB truck campers if you keep your eye's open and move fast when you see one you like. Arctic fox 811, Eagle Cap 850, and more. Watch craigslist. A "longbed" truck camper will not have the right center of gravity and get the weight behind your rear axle. I did just what you are asking for for awhile, and worked but it was dangerous. You have precious cargo if your family is with you and risk is not an option. Go to RV dot net in their truck camper forum and read and learn.
Good luck!
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Here is mine I am parked on a hill so it looks like it is squating in the back it might be a little but I only had about 40#'s in the air bags in that picture. I have the 3500, air bags, upgraded shocks. Mine is a Fleetwood Elkhorn pretty well loaded with options, Gen, micro, 2 awnings. The boat is a 21" seahawk. I pulled this to Ketchikan Ak 2 years ago and I am doing it again this summer. I really like mine it is designed for a SB truck.

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Old 03-22-2009, 06:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Gundog: that is one awesome setup but I don't think I'm quite there yet!

Fish Mojo: My safety and my families is the precise reason that I asked the question. You and Teeb are on opposite ends of the spectrum here just as different websites/forums are. Don't get me wrong I sincerely appreciate all responses to this as it is up to me to figure out what will work and what will not. I talked to a dealer yesterday that said, we are NOT going to send you down the road in something that is unsafe. While there is something to be said for that statement I am still a little skeptical and thus the questions. I thank you all for any and all theories on this.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gundog View Post
Here is mine I am parked on a hill so it looks like it is squating in the back it might be a little but I only had about 40#'s in the air bags in that picture. I have the 3500, air bags, upgraded shocks. Mine is a Fleetwood Elkhorn pretty well loaded with options, Gen, micro, 2 awnings. The boat is a 21" seahawk. I pulled this to Ketchikan Ak 2 years ago and I am doing it again this summer. I really like mine it is designed for a SB truck.

Mike


Just because you can do it doesnt mean you should.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

This is the ticket.




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Old 03-22-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Rebeler, is that for real? Honestly it may work. Throw another axle back there and rear load concerns are gone.
Handling would be my first concern. Without Googling, I'm a bit compelled...
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:24 PM   #9
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Rebeler, is that for real? Honestly it may work. Throw another axle back there and rear load concerns are gone.
Handling would be my first concern. Without Googling, I'm a bit compelled...

I saw this, or something like this on Craigslist a while back, pretty scary if you ask me.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

I had a Lance Lite 8 1/2, I would put on my 02 Chevy Duramax and pull 19 foot sled. I would just go slow around the corners. But with a camper you pretty much have too anyways. It felt fine for me, just my

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

People get all worked up about putting an 8' camper on a 6' truck.

I put relative light 8' camper on a short box 3/4 Chevy and later a short box 3/4 ton Dodge. I pulled a 22' Alumunim boat all the time as well.

I put good quality airbags and excellent quality tires on both trucks and used a 18inch stinger with the stock class 5 receiver to pull the boat. I had no issues whatsoever. You have to use your brain of course. You don't want to be taking corners fast and have to allow for plenty of breaking distance. I don't believe it was any more dangerous than any other truck camper combo.

Airbags and tires are the key.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

A quick google indicates your Dodge 2500 has a 20K GCWR. That is the TOTAL weight of the truck with you, the fam, the boat and camper sitting on the scales.

Stop on the scales with the boat (and family) before you go camper shopping. Then seen how much weight is available for a camper. Shop by wet weight and remember how much gear will be loaded; everything from dishes to clothes.

Remember - Towing isn't going to be the issue - STOPPING will be. Put brakes on your trailer for added safety.

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Old 03-23-2009, 08:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

As far as overall weight I'm not concerned as I'm simply NOT going to get anything that approaches my max limits and there's plenty out there to choose from. Teeb brought up an interesting point about this subject that would seem to carry some weight. The really big campers hang 2+ feet off the back of an 8' bed so as far as weight distribution what's the difference. Certainly a point to ponder. I'm going to continue to keep my eyes open for something for a 6' bed but certainly at this point will not rule out a 8'.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellibut View Post
I'm thinking real serious about getting a cabover for my Dodge Ram 2500 6.7 Turbo Diesel with a 6' bed. I don't need anything REAL big but would like to get a self contained model. I've read a bit about leaving the tailgate on and getting a 8' model but have a wee bit of concern with how it will handle. I will be pulling my 20' NR as well and don't have a lot of concerns about power but would sure like any thoughts from those that have have/had this set up and how it worked for you. I'm looking for something fairly new and the market for used campers for a 6' bed just isn't there.
The Dodge "shortbeds" are actually 6 1/2'. You have 6" more bed than you thought.

Is putting an 8' camper on a 6 1/2' bed any different than putting a 10-11' camper on an 8' bed?

I don't see any issues with a camper on your truck.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Quote:
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Here is mine I am parked on a hill so it looks like it is squating in the back it might be a little but I only had about 40#'s in the air bags in that picture. I have the 3500, air bags, upgraded shocks. Mine is a Fleetwood Elkhorn pretty well loaded with options, Gen, micro, 2 awnings. The boat is a 21" seahawk. I pulled this to Ketchikan Ak 2 years ago and I am doing it again this summer. I really like mine it is designed for a SB truck.

Mike

That does not look like a safe set-up.Great looking stuff,but just not in that combo. I can't imagine having to swerve or attempt any kind of evasive move at speed. I prefer any camper hanging past the end of the truck to be sitting on a dually. Plenty of power in those cummins!
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

My setup is perfectly safe and handles just fine. I have a commercial drivers license and this handles and stops better than any loaded truck I have ever driven. You guys dispensing advice really need to know what you are talking about. The truck is a short bed 1 ton truck and my GVW has not been exceeded and yes I have been over a scale with it. The camper is an 8.5' model designed for a SB truck it will not fit in an 8' bed. My trailer hitch is a super hitch google it, it is designed for this application it is a double tube arrangement. My camper does not have a slide out so it saves weight there it is also an aluminum frame model and is very light for it's size. I also do not haul my rig full of water and I am mindful of how I distribute the loaded weight.


Some people who have never operated large vehicles think everything should stop like their Volvo but it does not work that way. If my rig scares you, you should not own one simple as that. When you add a boat to your rig it changes the handling for the worse does that make it unsafe? It certainly is not as safe as it was without the trailer. If your driving skills dont match your rig you should stay away from it or get some training.


I did my homework before I put this all together and passed on several models of campers that I could have gotten a very good deal on because they were too heavy. The Lance campers are very nice but they are wood framed and very heavy. Any of the campers with slide outs add 500-800 #s. The whole issue with SB trucks and campers is COG (center of gravity) This means the way the weight is distributed, check that on all the specs. I have driven this rig to Alaska and back and never felt unsafe.


Models I passed on where Artic Fox, Eagle Cap with slide, Lance one more model I dont remember the name. The Eagle cap with out a slide was what I was looking for when I found this one. Fleetwood got out of the camper business after 2003. Good luck on your search but make sure and do your homework.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:29 AM   #17
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gundog View Post
My setup is perfectly safe and handles just fine. I have a commercial drivers license and this handles and stops better than any loaded truck I have ever driven. You guys dispensing advice really need to know what you are talking about. The truck is a short bed 1 ton truck and my GVW has not been exceeded and yes I have been over a scale with it. The camper is an 8.5' model designed for a SB truck it will not fit in an 8' bed. My trailer hitch is a super hitch google it, it is designed for this application it is a double tube arrangement. My camper does not have a slide out so it saves weight there it is also an aluminum frame model and is very light for it's size. I also do not haul my rig full of water and I am mindful of how I distribute the loaded weight.


Some people who have never operated large vehicles think everything should stop like their Volvo but it does not work that way. If my rig scares you, you should not own one simple as that. When you add a boat to your rig it changes the handling for the worse does that make it unsafe? It certainly is not as safe as it was without the trailer. If your driving skills dont match your rig you should stay away from it or get some training.


I did my homework before I put this all together and passed on several models of campers that I could have gotten a very good deal on because they were too heavy. The Lance campers are very nice but they are wood framed and very heavy. Any of the campers with slide outs add 500-800 #s. The whole issue with SB trucks and campers is COG (center of gravity) This means the way the weight is distributed, check that on all the specs. I have driven this rig to Alaska and back and never felt unsafe.


Models I passed on where Artic Fox, Eagle Cap with slide, Lance one more model I dont remember the name. The Eagle cap with out a slide was what I was looking for when I found this one. Fleetwood got out of the camper business after 2003. Good luck on your search but make sure and do your homework.
Mike
A big AMEN to that GD! I PMd you on this very thing as well as that Alaska trip.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:35 AM   #18
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You guys dispensing advice really need to know what you are talking about.
Mike

I also have a Class A CDL, tank, hazmat, doubles, ect..... many many miles both on US and overseas, I have driven trucks with campers and trailers.... Not the best move I have made but I have learned.

I stand by my original comments.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:40 AM   #19
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Mike (GunDog)

That is a jammin' set-up you have there.

Sadly, the Toyota Tundra's have a weenie payload rating.

Luckily I am approaching 90K and will get a HD 3/4 ton or 1 -ton next.

I could probably use a lighter "Pop-Top" camper on my Tundra, but I really want a true locking hard shell camper someday soon.

Wife & I rented a Dodge Xtra cab and thought it had a very nice ride. Probably will go Dodge.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

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The Dodge "shortbeds" are actually 6 1/2'. You have 6" more bed than you thought.

Is putting an 8' camper on a 6 1/2' bed any different than putting a 10-11' camper on an 8' bed?

I don't see any issues with a camper on your truck.
A 10-11' camper is designed for an 8ft bed, so the weight is properly distributed. So yes, big difference.
Some 8ft campers are designed for both short bed and long bed trucks, simply by removing the side skirts at the rear of the camper for the 8 foot bed. A long bed designed camper should not be put on a short bed truck.
I would hold out for a short bed camper, as said they are out there you just have to be patient.

Hellibut:
The biggie with hauling campers is to not exceed your tires ratings...you need to weigh your trucks axles to start...so say your rear axle, unloaded, weighs 3000lbs and the sum of your tires is equal to 6400 lbs you have 3400lbs of total payload and tounge weight. You will likely be over your GVWR with this method but it's a good way to go for hauling campers...especially with a 3/4 ton, a 1 ton is a little more forgiving but the tires are still the weak link.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:59 PM   #21
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gundog View Post
My setup is perfectly safe and handles just fine. I have a commercial drivers license and this handles and stops better than any loaded truck I have ever driven. You guys dispensing advice really need to know what you are talking about. The truck is a short bed 1 ton truck and my GVW has not been exceeded and yes I have been over a scale with it. The camper is an 8.5' model designed for a SB truck it will not fit in an 8' bed. My trailer hitch is a super hitch google it, it is designed for this application it is a double tube arrangement. My camper does not have a slide out so it saves weight there it is also an aluminum frame model and is very light for it's size. I also do not haul my rig full of water and I am mindful of how I distribute the loaded weight.


Some people who have never operated large vehicles think everything should stop like their Volvo but it does not work that way. If my rig scares you, you should not own one simple as that. When you add a boat to your rig it changes the handling for the worse does that make it unsafe? It certainly is not as safe as it was without the trailer. If your driving skills dont match your rig you should stay away from it or get some training.


I did my homework before I put this all together and passed on several models of campers that I could have gotten a very good deal on because they were too heavy. The Lance campers are very nice but they are wood framed and very heavy. Any of the campers with slide outs add 500-800 #s. The whole issue with SB trucks and campers is COG (center of gravity) This means the way the weight is distributed, check that on all the specs. I have driven this rig to Alaska and back and never felt unsafe.


Models I passed on where Artic Fox, Eagle Cap with slide, Lance one more model I dont remember the name. The Eagle cap with out a slide was what I was looking for when I found this one. Fleetwood got out of the camper business after 2003. Good luck on your search but make sure and do your homework.
Mike
Hey, if you feel comfortable driving that set-up,and it's legal,nobody elses opinion really matters., I understand you want to defend your set-up, but the advice was being given to someone else.And, it looks like he likes your set-up. As stated before, I wouldn't drive it, too much rear axle weight and a short wheelbase. My set-up is a 1 ton crew cab dually with a 14000 # 3 axle tow hauler.I also tow a 6000 # boat,and an enclosed cargo trailer for work,this isn't my 1st rodeo.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:43 PM   #22
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Really sorry to see this turn in to what it did. Thanks for all of the useful suggestions and we can now close this out. I'm going with the Lance 825 unless of course you want to let me use your rig Gundog. I'd be happy to try it.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:11 AM   #23
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Gundog, the more I thought about what I did, ripping your set-up to guide someone else, not cool, bonehead move on my part.
One of the learning lessons I hate so much.

I apologize, Bill
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:55 AM   #24
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

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Gundog, the more I thought about what I did, ripping your set-up to guide someone else, not cool, bonehead move on my part.
One of the learning lessons I hate so much.

I apologize, Bill
Classy. You don't see that on other boards!
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:19 AM   #25
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Willie View Post
A 10-11' camper is designed for an 8ft bed, so the weight is properly distributed. So yes, big difference.
Some 8ft campers are designed for both short bed and long bed trucks, simply by removing the side skirts at the rear of the camper for the 8 foot bed. A long bed designed camper should not be put on a short bed truck.
I understand the longbed camper vs shortbed camper thing.

A lot of guys say its not safe to put ANY 8 1/2' camper on a shortbed,thats what I was referring to. If you have a camper designed for a shortbed and it hangs off the back 2',why is that any more unsafe than a 10' camper hanging off the back of a longbed 2' ?
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:53 PM   #26
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

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Gundog, the more I thought about what I did, ripping your set-up to guide someone else, not cool, bonehead move on my part.
One of the learning lessons I hate so much.

I apologize, Bill
Thanks Bill, No harm no foul.

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Old 03-28-2009, 04:26 PM   #27
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Default Re: For those that did it... 8' camper on 6' bed

Just drop the tail gate and load her on up.... its that easy. I did add air bags, like anyone that hauls a camper should do.

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