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Old     (RPM_DLX)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-20-2017, 9:54 PM Reply   
So I have been looking at cab over campers because I have become addicted to taking my boat camping. I currently have a 2015 Toyota Tundra double cab with the short bed. I believe its a traditional 6 1/2ft bed and I tow my 2005 Sanger V215 so its not the heaviest of wake boats. I am curious if anyone else on here does a cab over camper and tows a boat? I am trying to figure out how these cab over campers advertise for half ton trucks. I am looking at a 2017 Lance 825 with a dry weight of 1800lbs. It gets advertised as built for half ton short beds like my tundra but the max payload capacity is around 1600lbs. I know you need to add air bags for one but that doesn't change the GVWR. I am seeing people running campers on their half ton like this and trying to figure out what the tricks are. I am concerned about putting 1800lbs in the bed and then hooking up the boat and adding its tongue weight. I really don't want to trade trucks right now because the tundra is paid for and a new 3/4 ton is crazy expensive. Even with the 3/4 ton truck the weights can still be an issue.
Old     (WheelerWake)      Join Date: Mar 2013       05-21-2017, 6:27 AM Reply   
You could simulate the camper by putting fat sacs in the bed and see how you like it.
Old     (suprafly08)      Join Date: Dec 2008       05-21-2017, 6:34 AM Reply   
If your tundra has the "short bed" like you said, it is actually a 5.5 foot bed.

I'm sure they make campers for it, but don't order the wrong size.

I don't know about the weight concerns, but let us know how it goes. It sounds like that would be a cool setup.
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       05-21-2017, 7:36 AM Reply   
That's a lot of weight for a SWB half ton with soccer mom suspension, and towing as well... Too dicey for me. Get a one ton, and a dually would make things a lot more stable. NADA says a 2015 Tundra double cab 4x4 is $30k, that's plenty to buy a one ton 4x4 outright and still have a large chunk towards a slide in camper. Safety first, or at least as an afterthought.
Old     (fence_sence)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-21-2017, 8:22 AM Reply   
Don't do it. I have 3/4 ton Duramax, Eagle Cap 800 and tow my '00 Tige 22i. I have air bags, Torquelifts and a Reese class V Titan hitch. I had the hitch and the Torquelift welded to the frame. To tow the boat I need to run an extension in order for the boat to not be under the camper. It's a really heavy setup and I'm just comfortable with it. There's no way in he'll I'd even attempt it in a 1/2 ton anything.
Old     (RPM_DLX)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-22-2017, 7:30 AM Reply   
I have already been under the idea that this truck wouldn't do it. I am just trying to figure out why the camper makers advertise for the half ton trucks but the payload weights of most half tons don't even reach the dry weight. I do own my truck outright and I could just go trade it ion on a 3/4 or 1 ton. It just seems excessive since its my daily driver as well. I would have to look at used and then not really sure what to look at or if I'd go gas or diesel. I like the idea of a dually for the stability but then it makes my daily driving that much more difficult. Although I could just ride my motorcycle more often. Recommendations on a replacement vehicle close to the price of my truck?

Suprafly: I have the double cab, not the crew max so its the regular 6.5ft bed, not the shorter 5.5 ft bed.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       05-22-2017, 8:42 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by cadunkle View Post
That's a lot of weight for a SWB half ton with soccer mom suspension
Old     (CALIV210)      Join Date: Jun 2015       05-22-2017, 9:46 AM Reply   
The camper manufacturers advertise that way because some where in tiny little microscopic print it says "Practice safe loading habits" or some nonsense like that . I think its really shady the way the camper and RV industry tell people things are half ton capable . Sometimes the weight is so close that you couldn't have a passenger . I think if you really wanna get a camper and do more camping you would get used to daily driving a 3/4 ton truck really quick and I doubt the mileage would be any worse then the Tundra . Gas or diesel is a personal preference only you can decide . Just dont drive a Diesel you wont want the gasser lol
Old     (getssum)      Join Date: Jul 2005       05-22-2017, 10:39 AM Reply   
What about going to a roof top tent setup mounted on crossbeams above the bed?

Not the same as a camper but much, much lighter and quicker setup times for sure!
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-22-2017, 11:31 AM Reply   
I spend no less than 20 days sleeping in the back of my truck and about 20 days sleeping on the water each year. I have an ARE MX topper that is great. A real slide in might be a little better but would be about 100 times more of a pain in the but in general.

My absolute favorite thing is to just sleep in the boat anchored in a cove.
Old     (sppeders)      Join Date: Jul 2011       05-22-2017, 1:22 PM Reply   
How many people are generally sleeping in the camper with you? Wife? Kid? Just you?

There are a ton of videos on youtube of guys taking the taller style toppers and making them into nice living quarters for a night or two. You could also look into one of those composite toppers you see on the backs of work trucks. Some are cab overs. It's just a shell. If you like a project you could build it the way you wanted, for much lighter weight.

There are also truck tents (for the bed), and rooftop tents.

Last edited by sppeders; 05-22-2017 at 1:25 PM.
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-23-2017, 5:19 AM Reply   
The advertised dry weight is with no water no gear and no options. We have a one ton with a artic fox 811 .We have added air bags, torque lift stable loads as well as a hellwig big wig rear sway bar kit. Like above we needed a hitch extension so we went with the torque lift super hitch and extension and tow our supreme s238. It's a huge load and takes some getting used to. You could probably get away with a hybrid pop up camper but combining it with a boat will be super uncomfortable and sketchy to drive. My advice is wait tell you can get a bigger truck and have a few grand to modify it as well because any stock set up is really not good enough to feel safe.
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Old     (Stazi)      Join Date: Sep 2011       05-23-2017, 5:34 AM Reply   
One emergency stop and that whole rig is flipping into a ditch. Yikes!
Old     (racer808)      Join Date: Jan 2013       05-23-2017, 6:00 AM Reply   
That's crazy. Looks like you need a weight dist hitch too. There's no way those front tires are even touching the ground at highway speeds.
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-23-2017, 6:07 AM Reply   
No it rides fine with no sway. Look at the wheel well gaps they are even. We have spring loaded fast gun tie downs to reduce stress on the camper tie points. The down side is it also allows the camper to rock back and forth some because of the overhang. I assure you that it is safe if it was not I would not be doing it as we take our kids with us and would never put them at risk.
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-23-2017, 6:31 AM Reply   
Ummmm...that thing is not level.

One thing is certain, when it comes to slide in campers on 1/2 tons and boats hooked up to trailers, there is a lot of rationalization and denial.

Only way I would do it is with a 1 ton and no hitch extension. And probably go with a dually.

Think what you want, but that is an everything is great until something unexpected happens setup.
Old     (CALIV210)      Join Date: Jun 2015       05-23-2017, 6:35 AM Reply   
A light weight pop up cab over camper would probably do the trick for you . Some are pretty cool too with small kitchen and everything .
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-23-2017, 7:05 AM Reply   
Think what you want. The truck is level the camper is up slightly off the bed because of the tie downs and being parked on a incline. Trailer is also level. With any extra load you have to drive with caution at reduced speed does not matter what camper you go with because the height changes the center of gravity. The truck is a 3500 with all the possible upgrades and also has the Jake break. Boat trailer has 4 wheel disc breaks as well. My point is truck campers are not for everyone and even when set up properly are sketchy. Opinions are nice but unless you have experience with it are without merit. The benefit of the truck camper with boat in tow is once you get to your destination the camper comes off the truck and you have your rv your truck and your boat all separate .
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Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-23-2017, 7:24 AM Reply   
If you say so. Your trailerless picture looks a lot safer and more level than your first pic with the trailer and extension. First pic looks about as level as a soccer mom SUV loaded up with 800 pounds of mulch from Home Depot. Have you taken it to a scale and gotten true axle weights with that load?

My opinion is that your trailer size and extension bar make your truck less safe. I love the trailer idea, I just think your a little overloaded with that extension bar.

As you say, even properly set up it's a "sketchy" situation.
Old     (ScottyTahoe)      Join Date: Dec 2015       05-23-2017, 7:29 AM Reply   
That's a nice set up, you have done it exactly as I want to.
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-23-2017, 7:56 AM Reply   
Here is a close up of just the camper on the truck you can see what I'm talking about lift from the tie downs. We could go with chain tie downs but they are hard on both the camper and truck
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Old     (RPM_DLX)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-23-2017, 8:09 AM Reply   
Harold, that's my ideal set up! I'm thinking I may need to wait until I have a better truck more suited for this. I'm kicking myself in the ass for buying another half ton right now
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-23-2017, 8:37 AM Reply   
Agreed...very sweet. I still think it looks tilted and sketchy with the extension though. Boat alone or camper alone look great. Maybe a longer bed or shorter trailer and ditch the extension?

I would throw your setup on some scales and see what the true axle weights are with and without the boat.
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-23-2017, 9:57 AM Reply   
Compare both pics camper moves with the tie downs set up we use. Here are a couple pics of the mods needed to make it as safe as I possibly could. Look up the parts if you like. Super spring's, torque lift stable loads, hellwig big wig sway bar kit, bilstein shock upgrade, firestone air bags with wireless remote and on board compressor, torque lift frame mounted tie downs and a torque lift super hitch with the super truss extension. Like I said it's not for everyone but we have put thousands of miles on the set up and it works for our needs.
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Old     (fence_sence)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-23-2017, 10:49 AM Reply   
^^^Nice set up man. I'd drive it. Mine is not quite that built and I've had it in some seriously bad wind conditions. I'm pretty sure my camper (no slide out) and my boat are lighter than yours though. Which Bilstien shocks are those? They look like the same exact ones I put on. Never had shocks make such a positive difference in a truck. I don't have the fast guns.
Old     (Reddog78)      Join Date: Mar 2017       05-23-2017, 12:44 PM Reply   
How much that camper weigh
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-23-2017, 12:56 PM Reply   
Tag says 3850 but I'm sure it's closer to 4k
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-23-2017, 1:04 PM Reply   
Yes it is heavier than the factory rates for payload hence all the modifications to make it as safe as possible. Fact is almost all campers will be heavier than factory ratings unless you get a striped down model and nobody wants that.
Old     (fence_sence)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-23-2017, 2:09 PM Reply   
Wow. That's crazy heavy. About twice what mine is.
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-23-2017, 2:51 PM Reply   
Yeah but it has a full wall slide full size rv fridge 25 inch flat screen with surround sound ac a sleep number mattress genset you know all the bare essentials you need to be comfortable LOL
Old     (Gotmods)      Join Date: Nov 2012       05-23-2017, 3:03 PM Reply   
Used class c motior home and keep the Tundra
Old     (RPM_DLX)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-24-2017, 7:23 AM Reply   
Funny you mentioned the class C motorhome because I was starting to look at that already. That could be a cheaper way to go and I have room on the side of my house for one.
Old     (fence_sence)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-24-2017, 8:39 AM Reply   
^^^ My buddy just went this route last year and picked up a sweet little Class C for what I paid for my camper. It's another vehicle to maintain but it's certainly got it's pros.

Last edited by fence_sence; 05-24-2017 at 8:42 AM.
Old     (fence_sence)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-24-2017, 8:41 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by h20king View Post
Yeah but it has a full wall slide full size rv fridge 25 inch flat screen with surround sound ac a sleep number mattress genset you know all the bare essentials you need to be comfortable LOL
Aka "roughing it"
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-24-2017, 9:34 AM Reply   
I was going to go the rv route as well but my wife did not want us in separate rigs. We use our camper during the winter for snowboard trips as well so it works great at transforming our truck into a 4x4 RV
Old     (chillinoj)      Join Date: May 2009       05-24-2017, 10:50 AM Reply   
I would look into these guys:

My buddy had a popup built for his truck, that I bought from him when he went the suv route, and I love it for car camping trips. Its got a huge bed, sink, stove, heat, table/couch, lights, fans, & most importantly since I'm in Texas AC!

It's held up really well & i'm always looking to use it more.

*disclaimer: I recently upgraded trucks to a 2500 diesel so I could do trips with both the boat & camper, the first pic is just from a day trip on the boat before I left for the weekend camping*
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Old     (Gotmods)      Join Date: Nov 2012       05-24-2017, 8:07 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by RPM_DLX View Post
Funny you mentioned the class C motorhome because I was starting to look at that already. That could be a cheaper way to go and I have room on the side of my house for one.
If I'm mooring so I only have to do one drop and retrieve, or have buddies with trucks I can use to launch I just use the motor home. When I have to launch daily with no trucks available I just have the wife follow me in my truck so I have it available. Either way I always end up towing the boat with the motirhome because the wife hates towing.
Old     (Mazdarx)      Join Date: Mar 2014       05-27-2017, 10:06 AM Reply   
I've been considering getting a camper to put in the the back of my half ton dodge. Nothing as big or heavy as some of the ones here. Just a basic 8 foot model. Was thinking an import model just to keep it light. And my boat is lighter than what some of you guys have, its an 01 supreme. Still unsure if this is a good idea or not though.
Old     (fence_sence)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-27-2017, 11:21 AM Reply   
I think my Eagle Cap 800 is somewhere around 1700 dry. That's pretty light. But if you plan on doing anything anywhere, it's going to exceed your 1/2ton limits. I've seen it done many times. I just don't like pushing limits of trucks. I'd much rather be well inside them.
Old     (Reddog78)      Join Date: Mar 2017       05-27-2017, 3:58 PM Reply   
I have a 14' Dodge Ram 2500 diesel how do you think a 1800# cab over would do on my stock suspension and my 98' dd sport nautique? I've been contemplating this for some time but am thinking my truck isn't big enough. Oh it's a 6' bed.
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-28-2017, 7:29 AM Reply   
Here are my opinios/observations:

1)truck + slide in camper + boat is sweet setup

2) half tons are probably a bad idea

3) most people approach or exceeed their legal limits and then tow a boat in addition

4) various options exist for making it safer but the rating is still the same.

5) camper companies are out there to sell product...not make sure you don't overload your truck

6) bed load capacities are sometimes pretty low

7) 100,000 miles and no wreck does not mean the setup is safe. Or in other words...survival does not constitute good behavior. Lots of safety parallels to mountaineering and back country skiing.

Everyone's comfort for drivinging an overloaded rig around is different. For me, I think my limit is a dry weight about 1000 lbs less than my beds load limit.
Old     (Spotless)      Join Date: May 2016       05-30-2017, 12:03 PM Reply   
I used to do this with my 1/2 Chevy. Good memories. But the day I pulled the boat behind a little 5th wheel, I would never go back.
Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-31-2017, 4:49 PM Reply   
Move to Oregon where you can do this......
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Old     (CPanner)      Join Date: May 2015       05-31-2017, 5:23 PM Reply   
I'm more than confident that the hitch on any 5th wheel trailer wouldn't be rated to tow a wakeboat. I'd much rather see the truck camper/boat combo.
Old     (CPanner)      Join Date: May 2015       07-25-2017, 8:57 PM Reply   
This can be done safely, just make sure you have all the right equipment.
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Old     (Lemonade)      Join Date: May 2015       07-26-2017, 9:40 AM Reply   
Anyone ever use a campervan to tow? I'm debating about getting rid of our 5th wheel and into a 3/4 - 1 ton campervan to tow the Sanger


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