Truck Camper vs Egg - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-02-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
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Truck Camper vs Egg

Hey Everyone,

Would you please be able to share some of your experience and research in the pros and cons of a Truck Camper vs an Egg travel Trailer?

Let's say for an example of a Northstar Laredo SC Hardside Truck Camper that is narrower and not as tall as other of these huge truck campers on the road with dual slideouts and such vs a Scamp 16 ft front bathroom side dinette again as an example.

I would use this while traveling to bicycle races, stay at state parks or boondock trying to travel inexpensively. I'd definitely at times would like to get off the beaten trail and explore away from crowded campgrounds for the solitude of the wilderness and set up a base camp. Solitude does not mean rock crawling hardcore expedition with a Unimog type vehicle but gravel or logging roads out in BLM or something like that. lol

Egg Campers tend to use less fuel due to being aerodynamic and require less of a towing vehicle. Correct? They tend to hold up under normal conditions better to stick RV's. Correct?

Truck camper campers are sold on their versatility and ability to go where other campers cannot but can an Egg Campers come fairly close without damaging them?

Room? Comfort? Anything else you can help in the pros or cons?
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:01 PM   #2
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With the truck camper you have to put everything away to go to the store for beer or milk. Although, I guess you could ride your bike.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:13 PM   #3
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Some of the comparison seems to assume that the a truck camper is not constructed of moulded fiberglass like our trailers; however, at least Bigfoot RV (and maybe others) build moulded fiberglass truck campers. Perhaps there are two questions:
  1. truck camper versus travel trailer?
  2. why moulded fiberglass? (not worth asking "which is better" in this forum)
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Some of the comparison seems to assume that the a truck camper is not constructed of moulded fiberglass like our trailers; however, at least Bigfoot RV (and maybe others) build moulded fiberglass truck campers. Perhaps there are two questions:
  1. truck camper versus travel trailer?
  2. why moulded fiberglass? (not worth asking "which is better" in this forum)
We toyed with the idea of a truck camper. Glenns post was one issue. Having to always have a truck that fits the camper was the other.

For FB truck campers Northern Lite comes to mind
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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Have to agree with Glenn & Raz. I first toyed with getting a class B van, but my usual way of traveling is to drop the trailer at a site, they drive the tow vehicle to nearby areas to take photographs. Packing, releveling, dealing with hookups (if I have them) etc with a truck camper or class B wouldn't be practical. More than once I've been given sites at state & national parks because the previous class B camper got tired of releveling their van each time they went anywhere.

I know you can drop a truck camper, but it is more work than my trailer. On the other hand, some friends that have a truck camper feel they have better traction for driving moderate jeep trails with the camper on the truck, and once you get it packed up, you do have everything with you...
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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There are campgrounds which longer allow campers to be taken off the truck if you wanted to opt for leaving the camper in the campground. I was in an Idaho campground where a couple was staying for 2 weeks and wanted to remove the camper from the truck, the campground said "No Dice"

You'd be surprised the out of the way places people take our little Fiberglass trailers. Sort of like in years past seeing a little Volkswagen Bug miles and miles from the nearest road. So the boonies are not out of the question for a little fiberglass trailer.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:39 PM   #7
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I think a lot it depends on what you're going to do once you get to a camping spot.
Many people overcome the need to pack up everything just to go for a short trip, store, sight seeing, etc., by setting the camper on the ground.

The height can be both good and bad. Climbing into one is a bit more difficult than stepping into a fiberglass trailer. I see scissors type stairs used, but I don't think I would trust them. The view from up there could be better though.

The interior room to move around is probably less in the camper than in the trailer. There's less storage in most campers I've seen than in a trailer. Besides that with a trailer you have the bed of the truck to carry stuff.

Watching a truck camper going down the road in side winds is a bit scary, I can't imagine how scary it would be inside the truck.

OK that's my 2cents+ worth.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:42 PM   #8
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Regarding travel trailers fiberglass eggs would be the only way I would go. I'd definitely have a 4 wheel drive pickup being used for non camping everyday used to tow the trailer but a 1/2 ton would be just fine for it.

So basically there would be a number of off the pavement options to go boon docking with a fiberglass trailer or pretty close to what a truck camper could do? I'd rather have the room and convenience of the travel trailer. It just seems like a better all round rv for my needs.

I might stay for a couple of days at one spot and just mountain biking, go hiking, kayaking, use a telescope for star gazing, explore or whatever and just chill
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:56 PM   #9
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Kayaking and biking? I can think of one obvious advantage.



Granted, that's a 19'.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #10
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It takes a much bigger truck to provide the same living space with a camper vs a trailer simply because the truck must handle all the weight (mostly on the rear suspension) and at a higher center of gravity. So, if you don't need a truck that big for anything other than hauling the camper, it is a waste of money and gas.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
Kayaking and biking? I can think of one obvious advantage.



Granted, that's a 19'.
Great photo! lol It's nice to have that option to store some of my gear in the trailer though most of the time it will probably be stowed away in the truck cap. Hopefully a fairly secure one too.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:16 PM   #12
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Figure on a 3/4 ton pickup at the least to carry the camper. Whereas a FG egg can be towed by a 1/2 ton pickup, many small SUVs, many minivans, etc. Going with a trailer gives you more options on configuration, inside space, and storage.

For extreme out-of-the-way locations, the pickup/camper rig can't be beat. For anything less extreme (like you anticipate), the trailer will usually work.

Molded FG bodies can take a lot of rough road bumps without anything loosening on them, because they're like 1 piece (2 pieces glassed together is just about like having 1 piece). But the stuff inside (cooktop, microwave, plumbing, etc) can loosen up equally in either one.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:50 PM   #13
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People are still using their fiberglass trailers 40 years after produced, so if you had a trailer, you could change your tow vehicle many times with many options to choose from (car, pick-up, van, cross over, etc.), without having to change your comfortable familiar trailer/camper.
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:19 PM   #14
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We had molded fiberglass Toyota Sunrader mini-motorhomes for years and, as we saw it, truck mounted campers have the same disadvantages.

Every time you want to go somewhere you have to pack up the whole kit, mark your camp site, and then reverse the entire process when you come back, even when you just need to get a gallon of milk or a cold 6-pack.

If you plan primarily on one-night stands it's not so bad, but after more than 2-3 days in the same place it gets to be a real drag. This is one of the reasons you see the monster Class "A's" pulling around a tow'd car.

And again, you can get by with a much smaller tow vehicle that will help save gas money both when towing and not towing.



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Old 06-03-2013, 12:07 AM   #15
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I camped with a Bigfoot truck camper and it was fine except that anytime you needed to go someplace you needed to pack everything up or remove the camper from the truck. This for me was the big downside and reason for purchasing a trailer instead.

The truck camper had remote control hydraulic jack stands which made it pretty easy to get off the truck but I held my breath when it had to get it back on as it was a tight fit to the truck. It also made me nervous if it was left sitting on only its jack stands when in public parks.... never know what someone might decide to do if you were not around.

It was a full size camper so it was pretty comfortable - it had a bigger bed than my Scamp as well as a full dinette so it was a bit more comfortable than my 16' Scamp but it required an equally as big truck to use it - much higher gas consumption on long hauls than my set up with the Scamp.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:19 AM   #16
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Thank you everyone for helping me get back on track with a focus on a fiberglass travel trailer! I now believe this would be the best way for me to go regarding my needs. It will give me a wide range of economical travel options besides eggs known for lasting a long time.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:49 AM   #17
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My parents had a popup truck camper for years. One downside- last pickup my dad bought would not fit the camper.

But for travel it was great. They did an around-the country trip and also a couple to Alaska, and if you aren't staying long in one campground, they're great. No hitching up, no trouble backing in, etc. Better off-road than a trailer. I do not know how they managed all their gear in one (especially a popup) but they did.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:09 AM   #18
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Jared,
How in the world did you get those kayaks inside the 5th wheel? The back window?
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:18 AM   #19
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Nope, right through the door. They have to go up into the bunk to get in, but then you can't get the second one in. The first goes up into the bunk, then down on the floor, under the table. Then the second kayak goes up on the top bunk, and you put the front of it on the left side of the bunk, and the back of it all the way to the right. Then the second kayak can be pulled out from under the table, and put on top of that one. Then I straighten them out, and strap them down. I can load both kayaks and the bike and have them strapped in, in under 15 minutes.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:54 AM   #20
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About the only real advantage I can see for a "slide-in" is the ability to tow something, like a boat or dirt bikes, or race stuff.
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