Truck Camper vs Egg - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-03-2013, 05:16 PM   #29
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Looking at resale truck camper only fits specific trucks correctly, this limits pool of potential purchasers and probably resale value or ease of resale. FG trailer has larger pool of people that can purchase and tow with TV they already own.

One can put different axel on some of the FG trailers to get it higher off the ground. Rough ball-park of $600 - $1000 to go that route on my Scamp 13 YMMV, and something most will want a professional to handle.

Increase in axel down angle puts wheel spindle lower, allows for larger wheel so modest increase in axel to road clearance. Probably more important gives more clearance on the front and back edge of shell when going over dips and ridges. Avoids scraping the back edge of FG when road dips down and then up sharply.

You mentioned rock climbing - pictures posted sometime ago of custom trailer for a rock climber had a 13 ft set so high in the air owner could have wrapped a tarp around the bottom and called it a guest bedroom. I knew some envy, and keyboard got some drool on it. DW had no interest in doing chin up to get inside. So it's off my list.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:24 PM   #30
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I've Owned Both

Hello Everyone:

Several years ago we owned a 16" Scamp with the side bath and front couch that also made bunks. My younger son and I had a great time visiting the various Tennessee State Parks, some of the country's best state parks in my opinion.

My TV was a 1993 Ford F350 LWB, 4 Door, 4WD, average gas mileage was 11.5 to 12 without the Scamp and around 10.5 to 11 with it.

Fast forward, we now have a Northstar Laredo TC. My TV is still the '93 Ford. With the truck camper on the truck I get about 9.5 to 10 mpg.

IMHO you cannot beat the versatility of a TC. I can camp wherever I can park my truck. It is completely self contained and we have all the comforts of home. It currently fits my DW's and my camping habits. I also used it to live in when I took a 13 week travel nurse position. To combat the transportation issue, I carry a honda helix scooter in a carrier attached to my receiver hitch. We have taken several week long camping trips without any problems.

That being said, if I had not had the F350 to begin with, I probably would not have purchased the TC. The TV investment is LARGE with most TC's which have most of your conveniences you may want. Also TC are some of your most expensive "campers" since they have to provide all your comforts in a much smaller space. Weight limits what materials can be used.

After this camping season, we will be transitioning to a pull behind camper and expect it will be one of the fibeglass "eggs".

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Old 06-03-2013, 07:43 PM   #31
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About the capacity of a truck to carry a camper while towing a trailer...
Although just about every pickup could safely carry a camper while towing a boat (with the exception of some very-short-box trucks) many people will not be satisfied with the camper which is light enough or the boat which is light enough. Common sense says that if you want a big camper and/or a big boat, you will need a big truck... and those trucks are readily available. As Carol has observed, common sense does not prevail.

It's rear axle capacity - and perhaps GVWR - which is likely to be insufficient (not max trailer rating).
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #32
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No one said anything about you don't need a tag (tax) for the slide in or it is insured by the truck insurance!
As already mentioned, this varies by jurisdiction. Here in Alberta, a private trailer license costs almost nothing and is good for life, while the trailer is covered by the tow vehicle's liability insurance (albeit not collision).
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #33
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Good point! I use that same point when arguing for a Travel trailer over a motorhome.Trailer tags are a very small fraction of the cost of Motorhome tags, and insurance is not required.
Is there a title for the Slide-in?
Some states, including Oregon, a camper insert has to be licensed. I don't know how the license cost is compared to trailers.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:34 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Also Bass boats do not work out well in the open waters of the Pacific neither does a small light engine - so the boats being hauled normally weigh far more than a bass boat

The check points also often include conservation, fisheries and Ministry of Transport folks all working together in one location - in addition to checking your vehicle's weight they get to check how many fish you actually caught as well as what you used to catch them!

As far as fear trumping common sense goes there have been a number of serious accidents in BC involving p/u trucks with campers and the trucks inability to stop quickly due to being overloaded. I dont really care if someone whats to risk their own neck by pushing the limits but sadly I dont know of any roads/highways were you dont have to share with other people thus putting them at risk as well.

Vehicle manufactures are clear on their weight capacities - its clearly spelled out in the manuals of most tugs. Its just that some people dont like to read it or weigh their trailers, campers or boats to know what they actually weigh.
Well, I was only pointing out what I thought was the only real advantage of a slide out. Most folks fish rivers and lakes and only need a small boat or a snowmobile trailer for dirt bikes or snowmobiles etc.
The Tacoma is a small truck and could not accept a fullsized slide-in.
It is exhausting trying to explain ad nauseum the difference between ratings and capacities, Vehicle manufacturers say little about capacities and tend to obfuscate when they speak to ratings.
I still prefer to share the road which those who would educate themselves on the road worthiness of their rigs , then apply that education with common sense as opposed to being motivated by fear, something I choose to reject. There will always be horror stories, but travel is still worth the risk.
Many more drive intoxicated than over their vehicle ratings anyway, if you must worry about something.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:26 PM   #35
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Greetings Miranda and welcome to the forum.

I hope you have a fun time pondering and locating your adventure setup.

During my wife's and my search for our adventure rig we considered the Northstar Flatbed truck camper, XPCamper, and often drooled over the van conversions such as Sportsmobile, and Outside Van. What we went with was a full size chevy 1/2 ton AWD van that can go just about anywhere one would normally think of taking a van...



it has all the usual trimmings such as bed/bath/shower/kitchen etc... (all in pull out modules _this link has some info_).

These vans are affordable (our new in 2010 was ~26K and we added ~5K in mods) as most new pickups in the same class?

Then of course we wanted a rolling entertainment center so we had to get an egg (and we live in the soggy northwest...so you either deal with soaked kitchen tents or get a small egg!) so we got a Parkliner...it is our "Breakfast" to our van's "Bed". We sleep in the van and relax in the egg.



Best of both worlds, and plenty of room for your toyz in the van if you plan for it.

Just sayin'...a van and egg might be worth thinking about.



Happy Hunting Miranda!
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:38 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by arlon View Post
Going solo, I'd just look for an old van and turn it into a DIY camper. I have an AWD Astro van that I did a few slight mods for overnighting. It is the perfect vehicle for me when I'm doing a weekend road trip by myself. It sleeps fine, has aux 12v system and extra battery, fan and computer power, ample storage, comfortable sleeping, goes about anywhere. If it's more than just me, our Casita is the ticket.

If you already have the truck then a camper makes more sense (I hapen to have both). I have been considering selling my van and simply putting a small camper shell on my truck. But I don't think it would be as handy as my van.

If you are looking for bang for buck, might look into Capri truck campers. They are really popular with the rodeo guys that have to tow a trailer too. .: Capri Campers :: Models :.
That brand is one I'd never heard of. Interesting, I like the cedar paneling.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #37
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Truck camper or trailer

We had truck campers for almost 20 years and even snowbirded in them for 2-3 winters. Finally sold the last one when my wife had trouble getting into the overcab bed. Our EggCamper is far superior to a truck camper. It's much easier to hitch and unhitch (and faster, too). It's roomier than even the 11 1/2 ft TC. I don't need a truck to tow the Egg. If travel is your goal, and ours was for many years, the TC is a good way to go providing that your overnights are many and your stops are of short duration. Really, the best answer to the question is how do you intend to use it?
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:39 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by rgrugg View Post
....If travel is your goal, and ours was for many years, the TC is a good way to go providing that your overnights are many and your stops are of short duration. Really, the best answer to the question is how do you intend to use it?
Yes it does make a big difference if your preference is sightseeing so you move on often, or hitting a remote spot for a week in the boondocks, or using camper as base camp to explore the sightseeing opportuniities in an area.

Have a motor home made travel nice, and short stops easier but now FG egg suits our current habit of wanting to go out and explore local sites and attractions over a few days. Much easier to drop trailer and drive off in TV.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #39
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Ok Dakota, Let me say I've been there done that. I started out with a truck camper. Big mistake. Where do I start. First you need a bigger truck which means more gas. I've never seen one that wasn't top heavy. Not to mention after you get to where your going. Take the camper off is work, even with the new electric stands. If you leave it on the truck you can't go anywhere unless you always leave things put away. No room to bring other things unless you pull a trailer to put stuff; more gas, ect. DON'T DO IT. RUN RUN. I would't even consider a truck camper after I've had both. Good luck with the decision you make.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:36 AM   #40
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Off roading with an egg

I'd posted on another thread and a couple piped up but nobody there could definitively compare and contrast a FG egg camper vs a truck camper in terms of being off road.

I've seen some say they wouldn't risk rough unimproved roads and others say they do it. But rough road is so relative. I've read threads where people say they've done hundreds of miles on rough washboard roads and suggested they successfully navigated boulder strewn unimproved forest roads no problem for years.

The manufacturers I've inquired of have suggested it isn't advised (boulder strewn forest roads) in a FG trailer. But others have said you just go slow and make sure stuff is tied down.

I'm curious about when I need to cross a creek (note, not a river) without a bridge. I'm curious about when there's a steep downhill followed by a steep uphill on the road. Already a Scamp's stock ground clearance without mods is equal to my Tacoma so I'm not worried about missing a road boulder as I am with a V at the bottom of a hill or the trailer not handling a stream crossing because it's so light.

Specifically, in terms of creek crossing and uphill and downhill, I'm curious if you can compare. Is a vertical jack knife possible with a fifth wheel 19' Scamp? I'm ignorant when it comes to towing altogether.

I think my family went with truck campers precisely because of where you could get with them you could not with a trailer. But it appears a FG egg can get where any teardrop can and maybe almost just about anywhere a truck camper can.

Can you maybe list the kinds of roads and places a TC can go a FG camper cannot?

What would be advantages and disadvantages of going 16' vs 19' fifth wheel Scamp in terms of hitch type and where you could and could not go with each?

Thanks!

Josh
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:01 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by oldcircusbread View Post
I'd posted on another thread and a couple piped up but nobody there could definitively compare and contrast a FG egg camper vs a truck camper in terms of being off road.
I've seen some say they wouldn't risk rough unimproved roads and others say they do it. But rough road is so relative. I've read threads where people say they've done hundreds of miles on rough washboard roads and suggested they successfully navigated boulder strewn unimproved forest roads no problem for years.
Specifically, in terms of creek crossing and uphill and downhill, I'm curious if you can compare. Is a vertical jack knife possible with a fifth wheel 19' Scamp? I'm ignorant when it comes to towing altogether. Josh

Hi Josh, I can't give you any info on any rough off roading with a TT. I do travel a lot of off roads with my SD but it's nothing to write home about. I did start out with a '68 F250 camper special, 390 V8 & auto with a 9' cabover on it. Never did any real water crossings but did do some rough dirt roads/trails with it. I will say it's pretty weird as you're going over a high 45* angled ridges/berms to see the cabover thru the windshield leaning one way and the truck cab leaning the other way. That frame was really twisting and ended up breaking the right motor mount. That made it interesting for the rest of the trip cuz as the frame twisted the throttle tightened and ran the rpms up. Funny now but as we were a long way from anything the pucker factor was involved too .
If your tug is 4wd and heavy enough to overcome the TT's dead weight you may be fine going up hill out of a water crossing.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:55 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by oldcircusbread View Post
I'd posted on another thread and a couple piped up but nobody there could definitively compare and contrast a FG egg camper vs a truck camper in terms of being off road.

I've seen some say they wouldn't risk rough unimproved roads and others say they do it. But rough road is so relative. I've read threads where people say they've done hundreds of miles on rough washboard roads and suggested they successfully navigated boulder strewn unimproved forest roads no problem for years.

The manufacturers I've inquired of have suggested it isn't advised (boulder strewn forest roads) in a FG trailer. But others have said you just go slow and make sure stuff is tied down.

I'm curious about when I need to cross a creek (note, not a river) without a bridge. I'm curious about when there's a steep downhill followed by a steep uphill on the road. Already a Scamp's stock ground clearance without mods is equal to my Tacoma so I'm not worried about missing a road boulder as I am with a V at the bottom of a hill or the trailer not handling a stream crossing because it's so light.

Specifically, in terms of creek crossing and uphill and downhill, I'm curious if you can compare. Is a vertical jack knife possible with a fifth wheel 19' Scamp? I'm ignorant when it comes to towing altogether.

I think my family went with truck campers precisely because of where you could get with them you could not with a trailer. But it appears a FG egg can get where any teardrop can and maybe almost just about anywhere a truck camper can.

Can you maybe list the kinds of roads and places a TC can go a FG camper cannot?

What would be advantages and disadvantages of going 16' vs 19' fifth wheel Scamp in terms of hitch type and where you could and could not go with each?

Thanks!

Josh
Josh,

As you say, it's relative, so it's a tough question to answer.

I learned to drive in the 1970's on 15,000 acres of some of the steepest cattle land in California, east of Mount Hamilton. We had a collection of vehicles that included short and long-bed Internationals, a Unimog, a mid-60's CJ-5, a little aluminum-bodied early 70's land rover, a salvaged Oldsmobile rollover sans-body, and I can't remember what-all.

We had an old Alaskan camper on a 1960's long-bed club-cab International. It was wonderful at reducing the top-heavy aspect. Alaskan campers are still made, and there are certainly (several?) other truck camper brands that are built with a canvas pop-up system to reduce the top-heavy aspect.

Thinking about the conditions we had at the ranch, in broad terms I would say that what you are proposing with a Scamp would probably not meet your expectations. In turn I will allow that it is actually difficult to be clear on just what those expectations are. Boulder-strewn and vertical-jackknife make these sound like some pretty challenging requirements; look up a pintle hitch if you really want to accommodate a jackknife.

These fiberglass trailers that are the focus of this forum generally range from 13 to 21 feet or more, and from just under a thousand pounds dry to over 4,000. Some of the vintage units have known frame weaknesses, such as where the frame "bends" under the front end of a Boler. My general impression is that my Casita's frame is quite a bit heavier. However, none of the molded fiberglass trailers that I know of were designed for the sorts of conditions you are describing. Some of the smaller and lighter trailers have correspondingly lighter frames, so going smaller and lighter doesn't necessarily solve the problem.

A couple of things you might consider are some of the four-wheeling forums. I've seen where people have reported their experiences with Casitas and Scamps in that context. Some Australian forums also seem to focus on some pretty rugged conditions and some of their caravans (trailers to us) are pretty well built for fording creeks, high approach angles etc. Some are even what I would basically call military. They have some pretty exotic and expensive units.

My other thought, since you mention limited towing experience, is that you might try renting a trailer and taking out in some of your target conditions. By rental trailer, I mean one of those commonly-available cargo trailers that people use to move their furniture and whatnot. Pick something that has a similar length and dimensions and load it to 3,000 lbs or whatever you have in mind. Take it out and see how it works under the conditions you are contemplating.

But please, don't tell the rental company I sent you!

In all seriousness, I think you are getting into the area of something that would benefit from, or outright require, substantial modification of a factory-built travel trailer. It's been done, to various degrees, by people that had the time, money and inclination. But, it's not baked in.
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