Forums The Gear Room Slide in truck campers
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  • #576516
    dude_reino
    467 Posts

    Hey guys, what are your thoughts on slide-in truck bed campers? Worth the money and weight on your truck, or more of a pain in the ass?

    I currently have a Wildernest topper but I’m looking for something with some amenities and better insulation for extended road trips, boondocking, etc. I don’t want to pull a trailer so I thought a slide-in camper would be ideal. But I’ve never actually met someone who has had one.

    Thanks!

    #652745
    Matt Wood
    328 Posts

    What size truck do you have? I drove a friends old toy with one in some modest wind and it scared the shit out of me. I’d say go for it if you have a 1/2 or 3/4 ton.

    #652746
    dude_reino
    467 Posts

    @matt Wood wrote:

    What size truck do you have? I drove a friends old toy with one in some modest wind and it scared the shit out of me. I’d say go for it if you have a 1/2 or 3/4 ton.

    3/4 ton Powerstroke. The wind is a factor I didn’t consider. There are some that do have a lower ceiling that pops up. That may be better.

    #652747
    B-P
    134 Posts

    http://powexplorer.com/

    Check put this site for all your camper related shredding needs!

    #652748
    fustercluck
    668 Posts

    I used to have an older (heavier) 9.5′ camper on my F250. The truck already had some extra leaf springs installed. Didn’t even notice the camper was on it, except when I had to park in tight spots. I would think even on a stock F250 you’d be fine. A six-pac (no overhang over back of truck) and/or pop-up would give some extra mobility and help fuel mileage. Even living in it, I found the bathroom/shower unnecessary, though it made for nice storage space. Plumbing in general was too much of a PITA for me in winter, other than using the sink without running water. But having heat and a stove while being at home at any ski area or winter trailhead you want while it’s dumping is sweet.

    Do it. 🙂

    #652749
    fustercluck
    668 Posts

    Oh, and if you plan on going off pavement, get a Torklift kit.

    #652750
    HikeforTurns
    1113 Posts

    @dude_reino wrote:

    Hey guys, what are your thoughts on slide-in truck bed campers? Worth the money and weight on your truck, or more of a pain in the ass?

    I currently have a Wildernest topper but I’m looking for something with some amenities and better insulation for extended road trips, boondocking, etc. I don’t want to pull a trailer so I thought a slide-in camper would be ideal. But I’ve never actually met someone who has had one.

    Thanks!

    Duder, I picked one up last fall. I have only used it once so far but its pretty sweet. I have a short bed Tundra though so the weight kinda sucks, the steering is a nit squirrely. I will have to install some adjustable airbags on the rear leaf springs if I decide to keep it. I also have a pop up trailer, which is great in the summer but useless in the winter.

    The slide-in is a Northstar TC650 popup, designed for a 6.5 foot bed. What is your bed length? I think with a 3/4 ton you will be in good shape. The short bed Tundra wasnt really designed to carry a camper, but I get by with the Torklift tie downs. I think airbags will help a lot with control and steering. That said I’m not sure how long I will keep it if I dont end up using it much. Its a little tight with 3 people (baby w/crib and dog) moving around and getting dressed, cooking etc. Perfect for two though. The heater cranks. Its a popup so the upper part is canvas, I bought some refletix bubble wrap that I wrap around the inside at night. Popups are way better for driving aerodynamics and less tippy feeling. Solid side slide ins are way better for warmth but are heavier and tippier.

    Another thing is they are kind of a pain in the ass to take on and off if you use your truck during the week for work. You can buy electric jack stands but they are pretty spendy.

    Let me know if you have any other questions

    #652751
    HikeforTurns
    1113 Posts

    This looks like the ultimate shred wagon, short enough camper to fit in your bed with the tailgate closed, swing out tire carrier, lifted diesel.

    #652752
    Rico in AZ
    559 Posts

    pm sdmarkus. he has a rad slide-in/pop up. i saw it last year at the echo lake splitfest, and was immediately jealous. he’s got it on a chevy much like the one above.

    (must win lottery. must win lottery.)

    #652753
    powderjunkie
    1669 Posts

    here is our palomino popup on a 2003 tundra. it can fit in a tacoma bed.

    you can get cold and it can get wet inside because of the tent fabric, but they are much lighter than your standard cabover and easier to handle.

    #652754
    powderjunkie
    1669 Posts

    i dig the northstars. nice setup HFT. a 3/4 ton truck is probably the best bet for most popups, but you can get away with a smaller truck. we have air shocks and they work great. and we love our popup for winter.

    #652755
    MHolmes
    190 Posts

    I have a Hawk by Four Wheel Campers in my F150. It’s bomber. Light and bulletproof. Everything you need and moth you don’t. I’m throwing solar on it right now too for the lights, iPad, and a 12v fridge I’m going to install for summer camping.

    #652756
    maniacdave
    564 Posts

    FWCs are tre rad! All aluminum construction = super bomber. They hold their value as well which makes it hard to find one that’s affordable to bums like me.

    Thinking I’m just gonna build my own camper for next winter. I lived in my old 3/4 ton Chev with just an aluminum topper & that was adequate for short stints in the winter. Now I’ve got a little Toyota with a flat deck so my options are a bit more varied. Thinking along the lines of foam core, fibreglass & marine plywood in structural areas. Maybe modular as well, solid top for the winter, popup for the summer. Ideas are cooking….

    That was Pontus

    #652757
    MHolmes
    190 Posts

    @maniacdave wrote:

    FWCs are tre rad! All aluminum construction = super bomber. They hold their value as well which makes it hard to find one that’s affordable to bums like me.

    Totally! I bit the bullet and bought a new one when I was into some money. But they hold their value so well I figure if I need the cash I can turn it over really quick for good money. We put 22,000km on the truck/camper this summer and loved it – and zero issues.

    #652758
    sdmarkus
    407 Posts

    @ricorides wrote:

    pm sdmarkus. he has a rad slide-in/pop up. i saw it last year at the echo lake splitfest, and was immediately jealous. he’s got it on a chevy much like the one above.
    (must win lottery. must win lottery.)

    Thanks Rico!

    Had my ATC almost two years now and friggin’ love it, I think the pop-ups are the way to go. Has served as a killer platform for all my winter and summer adventures. My rig weights less than 1000# and I take it in and out quite a bit. There are many brands out there and your budget will help guide you. Many admenities available depending on what you’re into. Here’s a few good resources for you:

    http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/index.php?/forum/17/?s=99f47e7d84c1f377428b10917221b243

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/forums/75-Pop-up-Truck-Campers

    This was this past weekend :mrgreen:

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