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> 8' TC in 6.5' bed, Unstable?

jopatco
post Jan 15 2014, 08:12 AM
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Hi Guys

I'm strictly a newbie to popup TCs but have studied them and am ready to pull the trigger. A lot of the time will be off-road (I won't be jumping creeks, just creeping down old rocky roads). Would it be feasible to put an 8 foot popup in a 6.5 foot bed F350? The dealer says it's a good idea. It looks a little "back heavy", but seems like I would have the best of both worlds: short wheelbase for tighter places yet a larger camper. Anyone running a rig like this?

Thanks for any advice you can give.
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Nobody
post Jan 15 2014, 08:32 AM
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Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: '99 Ford F-250 SuperCab long bed, 7.3L Power Stroke
Type of Tiedowns used: Blackstone Mfg Co Camper Clampers, looking for TorkLift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2003 SunLite 8.5 WTSB, modified roof lift to support roof air



Pretty sure you'll get opinions from folks more qualified than me but, IMO your F-350 will do fine with an 8' pop-up cabover. A little over a year ago I bought an 8.5" Sun-Lite from a gentleman in Tennessee. He had it on an F-150 & said it did great (of course I don't believe he was taking it off pavement much. I really thought he looked 'tail heavy' but perhaps it wasn't. I mounted it on my old '85 Ford Diesel w/8' bed & of course it does great...

This was his set-up
user posted image

my set-up at deer camp
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vanjr
post Jan 15 2014, 07:08 PM
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QUOTE(Nobody @ Jan 15 2014, 08:32 AM)
Pretty sure you'll get opinions from folks more qualified than me but, IMO your F-350 will do fine with an 8' pop-up cabover. A little over a year ago I bought an 8.5" Sun-Lite from a gentleman in Tennessee. He had it on an F-150 & said it did great (of course I don't believe he was taking it off pavement much. I really thought he looked 'tail heavy' but perhaps it wasn't. I mounted it on my old '85 Ford Diesel w/8' bed & of course it does great...

This was his set-up
user posted image

my set-up at deer camp
user posted image
*



I gotta say your set up for deer camp looks classy! Love the retro.
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Nobody
post Jan 16 2014, 10:42 AM
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Favorite Truck Camper(s): Palomino
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: '99 Ford F-250 SuperCab long bed, 7.3L Power Stroke
Type of Tiedowns used: Blackstone Mfg Co Camper Clampers, looking for TorkLift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2003 SunLite 8.5 WTSB, modified roof lift to support roof air



QUOTE(vanjr @ Jan 15 2014, 07:08 PM)
I gotta say your set up for deer camp looks classy! Love the retro.
*



Thanks, I've owned that old Ford since new (39 miles on odometer when I took delivery in 1985). With 8600# GVW it's actually a 3/4 ton truck on a 1 ton chassis. I've towed a 32' 5th wheel RV, several smaller camp trailers, & hauled 5 different cabover campers on it. In late 1980's I bought a near new 12.5' Real-Lite side entry cabover (may have seriously overloaded the truck), added 'Air Lift' air bags, cabover 'shock absorbers', frame mounted tie downs (brand??), & fabricated an extended 'ball mount' for the hitch receiver. Wife & I retired in May '92, & at the end of June '93 we began a 2 1/2 month trip to Alaska with the 'big' camper & towing a small, single cab Toyota 4wd P/U. Had no problems except after several days I experienced some 'brake fade' on the Ford. Upon checking I found it was the rear drum brakes; I then realized that I hadn't been doing any backing up with the Toyota in tow (the 'self adjusting' brakes on the Ford require regular backing up to keep the drum brakes adjusted tongue.gif ). I then 'pulled into' a 'lay-by', unhitched the Toyota, & spent 15 minutes or so repeatedly driving the Ford forward, & backing up a distance of about a city block. We continued our trip with no problems, occasionally repeating the 'backing' exercise. We were 'on the road' from about Jun 29th to Sep 10th, 1993, put almost 13K miles on the Ford, all of it hauling the big cabover & towing the Toyota (with an additional 3K miles on the Toyota, sightseeing). Before starting the Alaska trip I had a Banks Power Pack (not a turbo) installed on the Ford. The Pyrometer which came with the Power Pack enabled me to adjust my speed/engine rpm to keep exhaust temp below 1200 degrees on long/steep grades, improving my performance as well as fuel efficiency. Think our 'fuel mileage' throughout that trip was between 14-15mpg which I still consider excellent, taking the 'load' into account. I think I'm a little more knowledgeable (& a lot more cautious) these days & wouldn't try that again but the old Ford's performance exceeded my expectations. I've tried to keep it 'maintained' properly & with just over 166K on the odometer I'd not hesitate to start a trip tomorrow (with the Sun-Lite camper) to any destination I could drive to...
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aqualung
post Jan 18 2014, 08:20 AM
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Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: Dodge 3500 Dually Quadcab 4x4 6.7L Cummins
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Truck and Camper Setup: 2008 Adventurer 90FWS Torklift Tiedowns with SuperHitch and SuperTruss Firestone Air Bags Torklift Load Stabilizers Fastgun Turnbuckles



If you're concerned about driving stability then you need to make sure that the center of gravity of the camper is on or in front of the rear axle. You should be able to find the camper CG on the manufacturer's website and compare it to the measurements of your truck. Some campers will have the CG marked on the side of the camper.
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805gregg
post Jan 19 2014, 08:59 PM
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You will learn that if you have a 1 ton truck you also want the capability of a 8' bed, a tent camper doesn't weigh enough for you to worry about.
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Jeff
post Jan 30 2014, 12:44 PM
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Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: F250 SD Crew Cab SB 4X4
Type of Tiedowns used: Billis Tie downs Torlift XL's
Truck and Camper Setup: 2004 F250 Super Duty Crew Cab 5.4L 4X4, Air Bags, Torklift XL's, Torklift Stable Loads, 1999 Palamino Maverick 8801



QUOTE(jopatco @ Jan 15 2014, 08:12 AM)
Hi Guys

I'm strictly a newbie to popup TCs but have studied them and am ready to pull the trigger.  A lot of the time will be off-road (I won't be jumping creeks, just creeping down old rocky roads).  Would it be feasible to put an 8 foot popup in a 6.5 foot bed F350?  The dealer says it's a good idea.  It looks a little "back heavy", but seems like I would have the best of both worlds: short wheelbase for tighter places yet a larger camper.  Anyone running a rig like this? 

Thanks for any advice you can give.
*



I used to have an 8' popup I hauled on my 97 F250 Crew Cab 4x4. Had no issues. That truck also did not have overload springs. I now haul an 9' Palamino hard top with the extended cabover on the same type of truck only an 04 Super Duty F250 with overloads. I did beaf up this truck with air bags along with blocks on the overloads. The truck does fine however with that said no matter what my next truck with be a 1 ton. Your truck will do fine with the popup. Good Luck and enjoy!!
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