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> Why A Truck Camper Part 1 of 2, A Closer Look at Why?

garbinator
post May 21 2008, 01:58 PM
Post #1


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Group: Members
Posts: 56
Joined: 7-February 08
Member No.: 2,832
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 3500 GMC Dually 4X4 Crew Cab DuraMax w/6sp variable Allison
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac, Altec power jacks
Truck and Camper Setup: Lance Legend 990 fully loaded series, Electric Jacks, Air Bags, heavy duty torsion bar, Titan extend-a-hitch, .357 Mag Marlin Lever Action (Cowboy rifle) for camper defense. Bose Acoustic Wave Machine to Ez the nights away...



Part 1 of 2

I am probably the only one in the bunch who runs in my travel group who runs a 19 ½ ft. fully self contained camper with all the amenities, including a propane powered gen set. My entire unit is older, but I didn’t wish to mortgage myself to death over the lot.

The reason I always wanted a cabover camper is simple. Portability. It’s also known as the SUV of the RV world. I suppose the primary reason we love it is at this point in our lives we enjoy getting into very tight campgrounds other units just cannot even attempt. Depending on the trip and time of year, desert dirt roads can at times offer-up washed out portions making it necessary to either get the shovel out or navigate your way around or possibly through it. With a 4X4 truck camper oftentimes these obstacles are not an issue.

Pretty much all sewer and drain pipes are not exposed to the various drag points such as rocks, washouts, down branches unimproved roads are generally known for. The four wheel drive pickup sits high enough within reason keeping all under carriage vulnerable areas out of harms way. Having low range capability offers the dry camper yet another important option once they leave the pavement. In the past, I have had my tree pruner sit on top of the camper with pruning shears at the high ready position, together with an FM walkie talkie, working our way into some serious backwoods country were only high ground clearance tent campers usually trod. So…portability, ease of negotiating very tight spots, simple leveling options, able to tow most toys with ease. A very important priority factor… makes for some of the worlds finest camp spots known to modern man.
Maintenance and repair.

With only a pickup acting as the modern day mule, the care and feeding it requires is that of any other daily driver out there. Rv repairs are oftentimes greater than your typical $85 an hour garage rate. Depending on your chosen poison, a Class “A” motor coach running a big diesel pusher can run as high as $150 an hour in repairs. Another truly big consideration is licensing, if you choose, there is none, if you only wish to be an honest Abe then you would register your camper with the DMV paying only a one time charge of $72. That’s it!
Economy of use.

My wife seldom refuses to go dry camping during mid winter. She knows I’ll keep her warm & comfy. Our camper sports only one deep cycle battery at what I believe to be a 94 amp capacity. During our waking hours we are not on the trail, we run our propane generator if we’re on a weekend only trip, if we are camping for weeks, we use a Honda 2000i for even more economy. I will speak of the propane generator later as that subject is probably the most talked about in all of the truck camper forums as a rule, generally, people don’t want anything to do with them because they are dependant on propane. Sad. On every campout we’ve been on with friends during cold snowing nights have us leaving our small 12 volt electric heater running at usually give or take 55 degrees (While Sleeping). As our small heater only manages to spew out just over 8000btu’s it translate into a unit that does not overly tax the battery. Nor does it tax the propane tank. Keep in mind our small area to heat, coupled with its excellent insulation qualities, combined with central heating ducts assures pretty even heat distribution throughout.

Now, how many times have I been in three axel toy haulers freezing my buns off all because they can’t run the 48,000btu heater for very long before the batteries die? All because they don’t wish to make a run down to Kernville for propane, or run their big generators from compartments with little to know sound proofing, all the while, their poor wives freeze! That translates to no heat at all during the coldest time at night. 5 to 6000 watt generators eat fuel at a pretty good clip per hour. Dry camping for weeks will soon prove the need for more fuel. Of course, the more people housed, showered and cooked must also prove an important factor. Then there is always the black tank to take into consideration. My point being, bigger equals larger area, greater comfort, enough room for an actual Lazy Boy rocker recliner, but requires quite a bit of fuel to maintain operationally.

Whereas the Lance camper, with only one battery, will only use just under half of a seven gallon propane tank in a 10 day period of daily use. Two people. That is with the alternating between Honda generator (battery recharging mainly) and AM propane generator use from using the microwave so much. In all actuality, I have only had to resort to my backup 7 gallon propane tank a few times. Each one was because we used the generator and the A/C dang near 12 hours a day and much of the night while camping in mid summer’s heat. When I say continuous I mean just that.
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garbinator
post May 21 2008, 02:02 PM
Post #2


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Group: Members
Posts: 56
Joined: 7-February 08
Member No.: 2,832
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 3500 GMC Dually 4X4 Crew Cab DuraMax w/6sp variable Allison
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac, Altec power jacks
Truck and Camper Setup: Lance Legend 990 fully loaded series, Electric Jacks, Air Bags, heavy duty torsion bar, Titan extend-a-hitch, .357 Mag Marlin Lever Action (Cowboy rifle) for camper defense. Bose Acoustic Wave Machine to Ez the nights away...



Part 2 of 2

The Propane Generator.

Here we are at the primary sore spot with many first time RV owners. Now! I am most sure if one were to glom on to a 5000 watt wooly bugger of a propane gen set it would gobble the propane as fast as you could pressure it in! Especially at a high demand load! But then small 2500 watt gen sets the Lance factory installs only burn bout a quart or so an hour. I believe that would have to require a rather hefty load power wise as prior to my picking up the small Honda I once used the Onan exclusively even to just recharge my battery.

I would take off on a long ride in the desert leaving it running the whole time. As propane burns so clean, and is pollution free, your oil changes will turn into years in between, not hours as the owners manual states. Same goes for your spark plugs. Clean and purdy looking! This pretty much has proven to me a very LOW maintenance motor and has always started no matter the climate except if your parked off the road leaning over (off camber) too much and your generator refuses to crank-up… oop! Forgot about that. By the way your reefer will kick off as well.

Do keep in mind running propane allows you to avoid the various road tax’s added on to gasoline.


Cargo space.

I purchased a crew cab dually. Not because I had anybody to haul in those back seats, nope! Space! I use every once of it—I be the cargo master! If it were my choice I would yank the back seat out entirely and build me an organizer storage locker in the back. But momma won’t have any of it. The shower can be used to stash (store while travelling) your BBQ without damage, the upper overhead sleeper any soft whatever’s go up there.

All hard semi-heavy goes on the bottom floor area. The space in between the mattress and the pop-up drawer lid is a perfect fit for your choice of defense long-gun. I prefer a Marlin lever action 357 stuffed with silver tips. I figure 9 rds is enough to repel any potential threat… being that of man or beast. Keep in mind the little lever carbine does NOT LOOK intimidating as it is only a “cowboy rifle”. Most adults grew up playing with em or watched them in action thanks to John Wayne. Think about it… which would you rather be ready to defend yourself in court with? A cowboy rifle? Or a Mossberg 580 military (Intimidator) 9 shot extended mag aimpoint equipped… anyway, moving on.

My choice of trailer for the Toy/s.

12 foot Featherlite all aluminum trailer with a built on ramp on the back. Once again most people will take one look at the big ramp on the back and what comes to their mind first? WIND DRAG! A quote from my fellow comrade in arms… “theres no way I want anything to do with that, it’ll rob my fuel mileage!” Phooey!

The day we saw him lose his ramp because the spring loaded keeper somehow disappeared caused our convoy to make a sudden stop off the highway waiting for him to retrieve his precious ramp. Damaged of course. All these years later he now has realized a change of heart. He wished he’d of bought the trailer with the ramp on the back. Very simple, it matters not one iota as it travels “behind” the primary wind block! You’re RV! Weight is/was a very big consideration for many reasons. Here they are.

Maneuverability; since the trailer only weights 450lbs empty I can move it with only two fingers at the coupling. There have been two occasions I have been in such tight situations I have had to remove everything off the trailer, uncouple it, push it off the forest service road so as to be able to turn the main rig around then reload all… try doing that just you and your wife with a Carson 900lb all steel trailer (off-road). As for expense? I know I’ve saved that just in Doctor bills! I have lower back injuries. I appreciate the light trailer, I believe my old 2000 (somewhat) modern mule of a truck appreciates it as well. Incidentally this is also why I do not nor will I ever install a permanent tool box on the tongue of the Featherlite. Added weight, I don’t need it until I load it in an arranged order so as to limit my overall tongue weight.

Remember, “Load Master” Learning to be one will assure many happy traveling hours.

I hope this essay was helpful.
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garbinator
post Sep 15 2008, 01:19 AM
Post #3


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Group: Members
Posts: 56
Joined: 7-February 08
Member No.: 2,832
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 3500 GMC Dually 4X4 Crew Cab DuraMax w/6sp variable Allison
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac, Altec power jacks
Truck and Camper Setup: Lance Legend 990 fully loaded series, Electric Jacks, Air Bags, heavy duty torsion bar, Titan extend-a-hitch, .357 Mag Marlin Lever Action (Cowboy rifle) for camper defense. Bose Acoustic Wave Machine to Ez the nights away...



QUOTE(larryjj @ Aug 18 2008, 07:22 AM)
Garbinator

Hi

Is that a cargo trailer? Negative, it is an open trailer used primarily for hauling my Polaris Ranger Rzer

And what make is the generator ? Onan, I run the crap out of it when and if I need too. I NEVER have a worry about it using too much propane! Coupled with the little Honda 2000i, I could stay dry camped for well over a month and not need propane. The reason I like the Honda gen set versus the $500 solar panel is reliability. The Honda only runs about .13 cents an hour to run. I hope this helped you biggrin.gif
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brownies daddy
post Mar 18 2009, 09:59 AM
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Joined: 4-March 09
From: san diego ca
Member No.: 3,068
Favorite Truck Camper(s): LANCE (Of Course)
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: FORD (WHAT ELSE?!!)
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac
Truck and Camper Setup: Brownie is a great big beautiful 03 Ford f350 ,7.2 power stroke diesel,4x4 STX superduty crew cab ,she runs a super chip ,firestone airrite bags, with airrite dual control airbag compressos.she sports a pro comp 9.5 inch suspention lift ,37x12.5x16 pro comp x terrain tires,american raceing wheels, dual fox shocks,on the front and sigles in the rear,in the cab we have a alpine stereo system, a 950 watt alpine amp,boston acoustic speakers,alpine sub woofer , a cobra c.b with a firestick hood mounted attenna, on her back we have a Lance 980 11.3 camper, fully loaded with all the options,and we just installed a sattelite dish,she pulls with a reese towbeast class5 receiver with thr reese tow bar exstention .she pulls a 97 jeep tj and a 20 ft bayliner no problem, shes been in the sand ,mud ,snow and countless boat ramps and has never let me down



QUOTE(garbinator @ Sep 15 2008, 06:19 AM)
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Nice post I agree 100% with what you are saying
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Lannaia
post Apr 9 2009, 01:31 PM
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Joined: 6-April 09
Member No.: 3,102
Favorite Truck Camper(s): samsun
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: F-350 Dually
Type of Tiedowns used: Custom
Truck and Camper Setup: Air Bags, Happijac Tiedowns, Titan Class V Hitch with Lance 1191 fully loaded



Well, I am also dying to experience wilderness camping. You have a great post and very informative too. Thank you for all the tips you've shared on which vehicle a camper should used during camping journey.


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garbinator
post Sep 13 2009, 02:36 AM
Post #6


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Group: Members
Posts: 56
Joined: 7-February 08
Member No.: 2,832
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 3500 GMC Dually 4X4 Crew Cab DuraMax w/6sp variable Allison
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac, Altec power jacks
Truck and Camper Setup: Lance Legend 990 fully loaded series, Electric Jacks, Air Bags, heavy duty torsion bar, Titan extend-a-hitch, .357 Mag Marlin Lever Action (Cowboy rifle) for camper defense. Bose Acoustic Wave Machine to Ez the nights away...



To update this thread I started sometime ago, I recently upgraded my modern mule of a truck from a 2000 Chevy gasoline 454 big block to a 2006 GMC 4X4 DuraMax Dually fully loaded including all electric captains chairs! In a nutshell!

I LOVE THIS TRUCK! I absolutely dig everything about this unit! My wife has serious issues with her sciatica nerve in her back, NOT anymore! Not sitting in this rig! As she has the ability to adjust her seat exactly as she pleases along with her being able to adjust her side of the climate control system…

The amount of torque produced with camper on has me out pulling many import cars from a dead stop at the traffic light! You should see the look on these kids faces when ol’ baldy here leaves em in his wake! I rarely do it anymore, but to know you can is, well fricking amazing!. Travelling over the Siskiyou mountains in Oregon, an 18% grade on a very hot day had me in the fast lane holding 70 without a problem except it got a wee hairy passing so many vehicles I slowed way down for safety reasons, such as possibly having to stop with enough safe distance so as not to roll over the idiot who would eventually lane change just in front of me.

The Garbinator’s rule of thumb: Always drive with tow/haul mode ON when hauling camper. You will experience one of the most amazing functions of the Allison transmission as it begins to since your slowing down and begins its down-shifting action. Oftentimes totally eliminating your need to brake at all.

With the Lance extended overhead cab, it blocked the XM factory antenna; so I went to my local stereo shop and had then install a mag mount antenna on my hood with a special factory antenna plug right behind the glove box. Best $45 bucks I ever spent! The ONLY bad thing I can report is the fact going from a lower to the ground 2 wheel drive dually versus the higher riding four-wheel drive is cornering! My first time scart the doggy-pooh outta-me! But? I had to know, and inquiring minds soon learnt a serious lesson. SLOW DOWN! Even when the air bags air up to 70lbs the sway remained the same. Soooo… there ya go friends.

Traveling over the entire forest service Siskiyou mountain had me utilizing the manual mode of the tranny. There were only four or five occasions I was forced to use my brakes as the downhill was so steep first gear could not hold the 21 miles per hour cornering speed. When the electric fans kick on in the front they scare the bejesus outta you! They are powerful, they do a marvelous job at bringing down not only the heated radiator, but your transmission as well.

I could go on and on, but it is getting late and I have to hit the rack. Another very important fact my friends is this? It is the last year where smog equipment is NOT required. If you happen to be in the market for one fully equipped can be had for around $26,000 to depending on mileage options etc. $30,000.

Thank You General Motors… I am so sorry the Government had to buy you. You are not under appreciated by me.
Cheers!
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truckmaniac
post Oct 19 2009, 07:05 PM
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Group: Members
Posts: 18
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Member No.: 3,465
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 2008 Arctic Fox 1150
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 2008 Ford F350 King Ranch Dually Crew Cab 4x4
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2008 Ford F350 Dually with Firestone Airbags, Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks,Torklifts, Fast Guns, Factory Class 5 hitch, Reese 41" extension to tow my Ranger Z21 bass boat and of course the 2008 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath with Generator.



QUOTE(garbinator @ Sep 13 2009, 02:36 AM)
The Garbinator’s rule of thumb: Always drive with tow/haul mode ON when hauling camper. You will experience one of the most amazing functions of the Allison transmission as it begins to since your slowing down and begins its down-shifting action. Oftentimes totally eliminating your need to brake at all.





DO NOT USE THE TOW HAUL MODE DURING ICY CONDITIONS!!!!

I was returning from South Texas to West Texas after a few days of fishing and ran into an ice storm just South of Sweetwater, where the terrain is hilly, with constant up & down grades. As I topped one hill, traveling between 35-40 mph, and started down the other side the Allison Transmission decided to "grade brake" (down shift) which engaged the surge brakes on the boat trailer that was in-tow and the fun began.

The entire rig (2006 Chevy K2500 4x4 Duramax, Brand New 2008 Lance 825 & 2005 Ranger Z21 Comanche) jack-knifed, did a 180 and flipped over. The truck & camper were "totalled", the trailer was totalled, however the boat sustained minimal damage, since it came off the trailer and landed right-side-up on the icy tall grass.

As a side note: I have always used the Torklift system with my truck campers. The camper did not come loose from the truck and is what kept the rig from "rolling". The Wrecker Service, since they knew it was a "total" didn't make any effort to "ease" the rig back onto it's tires, yet the camper stayed on. In fact, neither the Torklift brackets or Fast Guns were damaged. The owner of the wrecker service told me that he had worked 15 truck camper "flip or roll-overs" in the past 19 years and all but 1 were on single rear wheel trucks. In all 15 cases the campers came off the truck. Of the 15, 12 of the trucks were using the Happi-jack systems and the remaining 3 looked to be some kind of home-made rigging. He was definitely impressed with Torklift. I took his advice and now drive a Ford F350 1-ton dually.
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garbinator
post Oct 21 2009, 03:51 PM
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Group: Members
Posts: 56
Joined: 7-February 08
Member No.: 2,832
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 3500 GMC Dually 4X4 Crew Cab DuraMax w/6sp variable Allison
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac, Altec power jacks
Truck and Camper Setup: Lance Legend 990 fully loaded series, Electric Jacks, Air Bags, heavy duty torsion bar, Titan extend-a-hitch, .357 Mag Marlin Lever Action (Cowboy rifle) for camper defense. Bose Acoustic Wave Machine to Ez the nights away...



TruckManiac

This is a very tricky one to tackle, as each of us reading this has or has experienced what you experienced. I know personally my own circle of friends who refuse to operate anything bigger than a pickup 4X4 in such conditions, never mind an RV of some kind.

Much of my past driving experiences have involved all-climate on and off road to include heavy to light. I must include trailers of all types. Military, oil field etc etc.

You indicated your Allison downshifted causing your electronic brake controller to apply braking to the rear causing loss of control.

In my honest assessment do not believe that is what actually took place. You see the electronic brake control is not influenced by the downshifting of your transmission. It was created when you felt an increase in speed while moving downhill under such conditions wishing to merely slow down when suddenly you realized loss of control.

I submit it was due to your touching the brake with your foot. Your electric brake system is NOT tied into your Allison tranny at all.

It happens suddenly and without prior “emergency practice conditions” I assure you I have been exactly where you have been on more than one occasion. Even without the snow and ice!

You see, once the momentum of your rig takes over pushing like motion takes over and everything becomes nothing other than heavy objects moving in the downhill direction the incline takes you. It would be the same exact motion if you were moving at 5 MPH on a icy or slippery muddy road with an incline so steep your whole rig risks sliding into the embankment on your driver side door.

I will describe two driving methods I had to learn the hard way but learn and practice them I did.

Whenever faced with stopping while pulling trailer in slippery conditions always reach down and apply trailer brake first then slowly ease on the truck brakes never allowing your truck brakes to exceed your trailer… this causes or makes the trailer act sort of like an anchor. It’ll quickly put you right back in a straight-line if you’re even slightly twisted up. But then this will depend on the size and capability of your trailer braking system as well. The smaller the tires and brakes the lesser the effect of recovery.

Method # 2

While moving slowly, you suddenly realize your rig is slipping in a direction you don’t want it to go…

… as fast as you can put the vehicle into free-wheel. Meaning, out of gear totally. (clutch in) Off with the brakes, vehicle will suddenly straighten up on its own then reapply brake slowly to slow momentum. No one in here will ever be able to do this just by reading this, it has to be practiced before YOU learn to interrupt this momentum cycle thereby giving yourselves permission that it actually works and can save your butts. Without confidence, without prepping the “mind the hand, eye, and your brain to decide to act” cannot be expected to be dialed in together if and when the time comes. My very first serious practice of this came as a military Jeep and trailer driver as oftentimes we were sent in to such horribly difficult terrain I would find the whole rig sliding sideways completely off my direction of travel! Going down hill is scarier than going up. As I had to learn to handle both as one unit. Going downhill oftentimes had me using nothing but the trailer brake dragging it behind so as to keep the jeep straight, and yes I remained in low gear but stayed off the primary brakes.

Mud snow and ice.

This is why on all electric brake controllers there is a switch or “actuating switch or controller” is located in such a way so as to allow you to operate it in this fashion. There usually is a thumb depression on the actual switch, this is what its for.

I hope I explained myself without adding to much confusion to the issue.


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truckmaniac
post Oct 21 2009, 09:51 PM
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Group: Members
Posts: 18
Joined: 19-October 09
Member No.: 3,465
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 2008 Arctic Fox 1150
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 2008 Ford F350 King Ranch Dually Crew Cab 4x4
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2008 Ford F350 Dually with Firestone Airbags, Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks,Torklifts, Fast Guns, Factory Class 5 hitch, Reese 41" extension to tow my Ranger Z21 bass boat and of course the 2008 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath with Generator.



QUOTE(garbinator @ Oct 21 2009, 03:51 PM)
TruckManiac


You indicated your Allison downshifted causing your electronic brake controller to apply braking to the rear causing loss of control.

In my honest assessment do not believe that is what actually took place.  You see the electronic brake control is not influenced by the downshifting of your transmission. It was created when you felt an increase in speed while moving downhill under such conditions wishing to merely slow down when suddenly you realized loss of control.

I submit it was due to your touching the brake with your foot. Your electric brake system is NOT tied into your Allison tranny at all.


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I agree that the electric brake system is not tied into the transmission. If you'll read my comments more closely, I never said that my accident had anything to do with the electronic brake controller.

What I did say was that the transmission grade-brake "down shift" caused the surge brakes on the trailer to engage and of course you know that with surge brakes, any loss of momentum by the tow vehicle due to braking, transmission down shift, steep down grades, running into a wild hog, etc.) will partially or totally engage the brakes.

I never touched the brake pedal from the time the accident started until I ended up driver's side down on the shoulder of the road.

When the transmission down-shifted (and it was a firm downshift that could be felt), it cause enough momentum loss that the trailer in essence, "pushed" against the slower moving truck and engaged the surge brakes, every so slightly. While the truck and camper were still moving in a straight line down the highway, it was the trailer that had lost traction and began jack-knifing. This in turn caused the rear tires of the truck to "break loose" and the next thing I knew, I was all over the road, traveling in "slow motion".

Even if I hadn't been towing a boat trailer with surge brakes, I'm not so sure that the firm downshift wouldn't cause the rear tires of the truck to loose traction momentarily.

I stand by my statement NOT to use the tow-haul mode on the Allison transmission when the roads are icy. Since I now have a Ford F350 with the TorqueShift transmission, I will also avoid using the tow/haul mode on it if the road conditions are icy, since it also "grade-brakes".
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garbinator
post Oct 24 2009, 02:29 AM
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Group: Members
Posts: 56
Joined: 7-February 08
Member No.: 2,832
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 3500 GMC Dually 4X4 Crew Cab DuraMax w/6sp variable Allison
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac, Altec power jacks
Truck and Camper Setup: Lance Legend 990 fully loaded series, Electric Jacks, Air Bags, heavy duty torsion bar, Titan extend-a-hitch, .357 Mag Marlin Lever Action (Cowboy rifle) for camper defense. Bose Acoustic Wave Machine to Ez the nights away...



My apologies... I failed to recognize "Hydraulic" which is something different from what I run.

I had to educate myself regards to these brake systems and now have a better understanding. Now I have a question?

You think it would be wise to use "M" or manual setting by selecting a gear and staying with it while heading downhill?

What about using 4 wheel high range? Would that help maintain control?

Again my apologies for being thick headed... I'm an Okie, sometimes we can be snots! LOL.
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truckmaniac
post Oct 24 2009, 09:35 AM
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Group: Members
Posts: 18
Joined: 19-October 09
Member No.: 3,465
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 2008 Arctic Fox 1150
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 2008 Ford F350 King Ranch Dually Crew Cab 4x4
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2008 Ford F350 Dually with Firestone Airbags, Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks,Torklifts, Fast Guns, Factory Class 5 hitch, Reese 41" extension to tow my Ranger Z21 bass boat and of course the 2008 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath with Generator.



Garbinator:

Thanks for the gracious apology. Being from the Lone Star State, it means a lot coming from a Sooner. Didn't the Long Horns just thump the Sooners in football? Just kidding, we are semi-Texas Tech fans and it would have been in Tech's interest for the Sooners to win.

Back to the wreck and your questions:

While 4 wheel drive helps in the mud and snow, it really doesn't do much on ice. I've seen lots of folks here in Lubbock who have 4 wheel drive for the one time it snows here each winter, end up in accidents or off the road because they think that 4 wheel drive is a cure for ice. I'm sure it helps a little, but not much.

I don't know if manually down-shifting, prior to descending a grade would have any effect good or bad, other than it would keep the tranny from down-shifting further.

I've had occassion to drive in ice quite a bit in my travels and I have always just "coasted" down hills, with my foot off of the brake and accelerator, and have never had a problem, that's why this Allison "grade-brake" feature threw me for a loop, literally.

Another lesson I learned many years ago is to NEVER use the cruise control on ANY vehicle if you suspect ice. Lots of fun when you are driving on a clear road and go over a bridge, and I use the term bridge loosely here in Texas because they are usually open spans that cross creeks or low lying areas, and there is ice on it. When the drive wheels (tires) hit the ice at speed it is just as though you hit the gas pedal and they will break-loose and the fun will begin.

If you've got any more questions, please let me hear from you. If I don't know the answer, I'll make something up.
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garbinator
post Oct 26 2009, 06:00 PM
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Group: Members
Posts: 56
Joined: 7-February 08
Member No.: 2,832
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 3500 GMC Dually 4X4 Crew Cab DuraMax w/6sp variable Allison
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac, Altec power jacks
Truck and Camper Setup: Lance Legend 990 fully loaded series, Electric Jacks, Air Bags, heavy duty torsion bar, Titan extend-a-hitch, .357 Mag Marlin Lever Action (Cowboy rifle) for camper defense. Bose Acoustic Wave Machine to Ez the nights away...



Another thing I failed to mention, we have alot of mountains in my area... chaining up is the norm. By doing so, 4WD is a definite advantage especially when conditions change from gravel, dirt back to pavement again. Whole different ball game in your neck of the woods.

By the way? Having been to Lubbock, other than scary yahamaha flooding and the possibly of being sucked up into a tornado, what is good about living there? I enjoy vast public lands open to OHV as well as truck camper camping galore. As we traveled through there from Amarillo (I call it Ammadillo) is there any place nearby to enjoy that sort of thing?

If not... then what would ah guy have to do for outdoor adventure kicks? Buy a boat like you?

My kid's want the wife and I to relocate near them. But I fear loosing my freedom to play as I have always been able to do here in Cally. I know we got a pile of whacko-Jackos around here, but we keep extra security locks handy... huh.gif

If inflation doesn't hit us, we plan on retiring in 6 or 7 years.

By the way, I would love to be a volunteer at the Glider Infantry Museum. Neat place!!!
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truckmaniac
post Oct 26 2009, 07:41 PM
Post #13





Group: Members
Posts: 18
Joined: 19-October 09
Member No.: 3,465
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 2008 Arctic Fox 1150
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 2008 Ford F350 King Ranch Dually Crew Cab 4x4
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2008 Ford F350 Dually with Firestone Airbags, Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks,Torklifts, Fast Guns, Factory Class 5 hitch, Reese 41" extension to tow my Ranger Z21 bass boat and of course the 2008 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath with Generator.



The climate is typically fairly mild, although we get those temps in the teens and in the 100's every year and we have to deal with a few dust storms if we don't get our 18" of average rainfall. Low humidity is an advantage.

There really isn't a whole lot to do here recreation wise, but it has been a great place to raise a family. Not to big and not to small. It is easy place to get around and pretty safe.

If you have health issues, Lubbock has an excellent medical district, the largest from Dallas to Phoenix.

The cost of living is fairly low.

New homes are going for $90 to $125 per square foot, depending upon the size, location and amenities.

Good schools.

Like someone once told me, from Lubbock you can go 350 miles in any direction and find exactly what you are looking for: Mountains to the West in New Mexico, Dallas and all it has to offer to the East, the Hill Country to the South and more mountains to the North.

Our kids are all moving away: East Texas, North Carolina and who knows where the youngest will go when she finishes college in the next few years. With grand kids in East Texas, it sure is tempting to move there, but it would be difficult to leave our parents, since they are starting to have medical problems.

When we get time, we take our truck camper to the mountains or camper & boat to a very nice lake just an hour from home. We also enjoy motorcycle touring and you can do that from most anywhere.
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Uncle Bob56
post Nov 30 2009, 04:09 PM
Post #14





Group: Members
Posts: 7
Joined: 30-November 09
Member No.: 3,541
Favorite Truck Camper(s): northstar
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: Ram with a northstar
Type of Tiedowns used: Custom
Truck and Camper Setup: I own a F-250 with a Northstar Camper



Thank you for post biggrin.gif


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WesGPS
post Nov 13 2010, 06:30 AM
Post #15





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Joined: 1-June 10
From: Shelbyville, TN
Member No.: 4,341
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 2005 Dodge 5.7L Hemi 2500 Heavy Duty Short Box.
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift with Fastguns
Truck and Camper Setup: 2009 Lance 845 Fully Equipped



What a great post! Lots of good information here. Thank you both. WW


--------------------
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2009 Lance 845 with LP Generator, Roof Air, Flat Screen TV, DVD - and more to come.
2005 Dodge 5.7L Hemi Heavy Duty Short Box 4X4.
Hellwig Anti Sway Bar, AirLift 5000 Air Bags, Viair Compressor and Tank With Modified Wireless Air Remote Air Bag Control.

WesGPS.com
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CamperArt
post Dec 11 2012, 08:43 PM
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Joined: 11-December 12
Member No.: 6,389
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Dreamer by TII
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1977 Chevy C30 crewcab dually camper special with 1970 TII Dreamer Imperial 11.5' with side gaucho
Type of Tiedowns used: Chevy "camper special" factory bolts with 4 logging chains and screw-jacks!
Truck and Camper Setup: She's a bone stock 1977 Chevy C30 Silverado crew cab dually Camper Special with a 10,000lb. gvw from the factory, loaded with a stock 1970 Dreamer Imperial 11.5' side gaucho. The height of 1970s luxury! The Chevy has a Dana 70 differental fitted with full-floating axels, so 4000lbs. wet is no problem. She's powered by a mildly built 454cid big block backed by a TH400 3 speed auto. Yes, it gets about 8 to 10 miles per gallon. If you can't afford the gas, you can't afford the rig! (I'd rather spend thousands on gas than 50k for a new diesel truck!) Besides, old is good... She's a green and white two-tone, and the camper is white with green stripes. My parents bought the Dreamer used in 1979 for a great family vacation. Dad loaded her on his 1977 Ford F150 Custom and drove it all through WV., Tenn., Fla., NC, SC, and Va. Can you imagine a HALF-TON carrying that camper up and down the mountains? I don't know how she did it. I've still got Dad's old Ford, too, fitted with his late-60s era cap. I don't know what brand it is, but it's 2x4s covered with plywood covered by heavy aluminum siding. It weighs about 400 or 500 lbs. itself! They don't make 'em like that anymore....



QUOTE(garbinator @ May 21 2008, 02:02 PM)
Part 2 of 2

The Propane Generator.

Here we are at the primary sore spot with many first time RV owners. Now! I am most sure if one were to glom on to a 5000 watt wooly bugger of a propane gen set it would gobble the propane as fast as you could pressure it in! Especially at a high demand load! But then small 2500 watt gen sets the Lance factory installs only burn bout a quart or so an hour. I believe that would have to require a rather hefty load power wise as prior to my picking up the small Honda I once used the Onan exclusively even to just recharge my battery.

I would take off on a long ride in the desert leaving it running the whole time. As propane burns so clean, and is pollution free, your oil changes will turn into years in between, not hours as the owners manual states. Same goes for your spark plugs. Clean and purdy looking! This pretty much has proven to me a very LOW maintenance motor and has always started no matter the climate except if your parked off the road leaning over (off camber) too much and your generator refuses to crank-up� oop! Forgot about that. By the way your reefer will kick off as well.

Do keep in mind running propane allows you to avoid the various road tax�s added on to gasoline.
Cargo space.

I purchased a crew cab dually. Not because I had anybody to haul in those back seats, nope! Space! I use every once of it�I be the cargo master! If it were my choice I would yank the back seat out entirely and build me an organizer storage locker in the back. But momma won�t have any of it. The shower can be used to stash (store while travelling) your BBQ without damage, the upper overhead sleeper any soft whatever�s go up there.

All hard semi-heavy goes on the bottom floor area. The space in between the mattress and the pop-up drawer lid is a perfect fit for your choice of defense long-gun. I prefer a Marlin lever action 357 stuffed with silver tips. I figure 9 rds is enough to repel any potential threat� being that of man or beast.  Keep in mind the little lever carbine does NOT LOOK intimidating as it is only a �cowboy rifle�. Most adults grew up playing with em or watched them in action thanks to John Wayne. Think about it� which would you rather be ready to defend yourself in court with? A cowboy rifle? Or a Mossberg 580 military (Intimidator) 9 shot extended mag aimpoint equipped�  anyway, moving on.
 
My choice of trailer for the Toy/s.

12 foot Featherlite all aluminum trailer with a built on ramp on the back. Once again most people will take one look at the big ramp on the back and what comes to their mind first? WIND DRAG! A quote from my fellow comrade in arms� �theres no way I want anything to do with that, it�ll rob my fuel mileage!� Phooey!

The day we saw him lose his ramp because the spring loaded keeper somehow disappeared caused our convoy to make a sudden stop off the highway waiting for him to retrieve his precious ramp. Damaged of course. All these years later he now has realized a change of heart. He wished he�d of bought the trailer with the ramp on the back. Very simple, it matters not one iota as it travels �behind� the primary wind block! You�re RV! Weight is/was a very big consideration for many reasons. Here they are.

Maneuverability; since the trailer only weights 450lbs empty I can move it with only two fingers at the coupling. There have been two occasions I have been in such tight situations I have had to remove everything off the trailer, uncouple it, push it off the forest service road so as to be able to turn the main rig around then reload all� try doing that just you and your wife with a Carson 900lb all steel trailer (off-road).  As for expense?  I know I�ve saved that just in Doctor bills! I have lower back injuries. I appreciate the light trailer, I believe my old 2000 (somewhat) modern mule of a truck appreciates it as well. Incidentally this is also why I do not nor will I ever install a permanent tool box on the tongue of the Featherlite.  Added weight, I don�t need it until I load it in an arranged order so as to limit my overall tongue weight.
 
Remember, �Load Master� Learning to be one will assure many happy traveling hours.

I hope this essay was helpful.

*



Hi!
I agree with you. The slide-in truck camper is the most manouverable type. Also, since I already have a number of trucks, it makes good sense. Why buy, tag and insure yet another vehicle?
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cycler
post Jul 29 2016, 05:59 AM
Post #17





Group: Members
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Joined: 28-July 16
Member No.: 9,089
Favorite Truck Camper(s): lance
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: ford
Type of Tiedowns used: torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: complete newbie, looking for info on building a retirement rig.



Agree, this is a great post for folks like my wife and myself. Contemplating buying a retirement rig, truck/camper/trailer for the motorcycle and travelling a bit.
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Murdog
post Nov 28 2016, 04:37 PM
Post #18





Group: Members
Posts: 7
Joined: 28-November 16
Member No.: 9,285
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Northern Lite
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 2013 Ford F250 Diesel 4x4 crew cab
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift Fastguns
Truck and Camper Setup: Ford F-250 Diesel 10,000 GVWR. modifications include; Extra Large rear sway bar, air bags, stable loads, Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks.



QUOTE(truckmaniac @ Oct 19 2009, 08:05 PM)
DO NOT USE THE TOW HAUL MODE DURING ICY CONDITIONS!!!!

I was returning from South Texas to West Texas after a few days of fishing and ran into an ice storm just South of Sweetwater, where the terrain is hilly, with constant up & down grades. As I topped one hill, traveling between 35-40 mph, and started down the other side the Allison Transmission decided to "grade brake" (down shift) which engaged the surge brakes on the boat trailer that was in-tow and the fun began.

The entire rig (2006 Chevy K2500 4x4 Duramax, Brand New 2008 Lance 825 & 2005 Ranger Z21 Comanche) jack-knifed, did a 180 and flipped over.  The truck & camper were "totalled", the trailer was totalled, however the boat sustained minimal damage, since it came off the trailer and landed right-side-up on the icy tall grass.

As a side note:  I have always used the Torklift system with my truck campers. The camper did not come loose from the truck and is what kept the rig from "rolling".  The Wrecker Service, since they knew it was a "total" didn't make any effort to "ease" the rig back onto it's tires, yet the camper stayed on.  In fact, neither the Torklift brackets or Fast Guns were damaged.  The owner of the wrecker service told me that he had worked 15 truck camper "flip or roll-overs" in the past 19 years and all but 1 were on single rear wheel trucks. In all 15 cases the campers came off the truck.  Of the 15, 12 of the trucks were using the Happi-jack systems and the remaining 3 looked to be some kind of home-made rigging.  He was definitely impressed with Torklift.  I took his advice and now drive a Ford F350 1-ton dually.
*



I agree that using the Tow/Haul mode in slippery conditions is risky, even if not towing. The downshifting that occurs in tow/haul mode is not precisely predictable. On an icy downhill I want as much control as possible and do not want any unplanned downshifts especially say on a icy corner.
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