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Camper Weight and Truck Combination......Actual Numbers! Opinion?


Vladimir

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I am looking at buying a Camper for my one ton Dodge Truck.

 

The weight of the camper shown on the sticker is 2960 lbs. It is a 2007 Northern Lite Ten 2000 CD Select Edition for long bed.

 

So here are the actual weights of the Camper. Weighed full of water, two people, one dog and gear. The truck that was weighed was a 2007 Dodge Ram Long Bed Dually. My truck is a 2010 3500 but with a single axle.

 

The Gross Weight was 11,880 lbs. The weight on the front axle is 4,940 lbs. The weight on the rear axle is 6,940 lbs.

 

On the door of the sticker....,my truck shows. Gross weight 10,100 lbs.....front axle is shown as 5,500 max and rear axle is shown as 6,200 max.

 

The water tank is 42 gallons. I am unsure of how much of a mis-match there is between the 2007 truck and my 2010 in weights.

 

All comments and suggestions will be VERY appreciated.

 

 

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It sure looks like the gross and rear axles are going to be over what you are rated for unless your truck is a lot lighter.

 

You might try to reduce your weight by cutting contents and water but 1,780 is a lot to shave off the total weight and having little or no water really cuts down on where you can camp.

 

Shifting what cargo you have left to move weight to the front axle might help the overload on the rear one but again 742 pounds is a lot. The only good news here is if you get under the gross your rear axle issues may get a lot less severe.

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It sure seems the weight of the camper, which I assume is a TC jumped up considerably from the 2960 lbs. you mention to give you that much additional weight on the rear of the truck. Having owned and carried a 1181 Lance in the past which is a heavy TC especially with all he stuff the DW loaded into it, I would have never attempted to carry it on a non-dually truck. You may want to reconsider the camper choice or treat yourself to a new truck.

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Unless you can find weights for the 2007 to compare to your 2010 it will only be speculation about the amount of difference in actual weight. Is the 2690 shown for the camper a dry weight, or a gvwr? If it is the latter then you may have some hope. The scale weight is also influenced by all of the things which the owner may have placed into the truck, such as jacks and tools. It can be surprising just what amount of weight will find it's way into a truck.

 

One thing that might help would be to unload the camper from the 2007 and then take it to the scale and weigh it along and that should give you a good idea of what the actual weight of the camper is.

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I did go to the Ram web-site and got the difference in weight between his truck and mine. It is between 500 and 600 lbs. My ONE-TON truck is lighter.

 

So that brings the rear axle to (with water) to within a hundred lbs of my recommended weight rating.

 

However, that still leaves me 1,000 lbs overweight with the gross weight rating. Without water I can get it down to about 500-750 lbs over gross weight.

 

I don't think the water will be an issue for us. We will be camping mostly on National Forest areas or pavement with the truck camper. Plenty of streams to fill up close to a campsite.

 

However, what will be an issue is traveling Forest Service roads in the camper. I am concerned about roadability issues on backroads with that set-up. Any comments on this issue??

 

Northern Lite is one of the lightest truck campers on the market......so it really means that to get a truck camper you pretty much need a dually since almost all other campers are much heavier. I am concerned about driving a dually on Forest Service roads.

 

I have been watching truck campers on the road......Wow! I am sure some are overloaded by more than just a 1,000 lbs!!!

 

So how important is the Gross Weight relative to the axle weights?? It seems odd that I can get to the axle weights, but I am still over on the gross weight.

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The weight of the camper shown on the sticker is 2960 lbs. It is a 2007 Northern Lite Ten 2000 CD Select Edition for long bed.

The tag camper weight of 2960 lbs is misleading.

In 2007 there was only one truck camper manufacturer (Eagle Cap) that actually took a physical weight of the camper as it left the factory.,

There is a reason for that which I will not go into.

 

Your prospective camper, the Northern Lite, has a tag rating of 2960 lbs.

That weight is for a stripped down NL camper without any options.

The problem is that it is difficult for a buyer to obtain the additional option weights. . .things like awnings, dual pane windows, generator, etc.

(Most of those things are/were considered options - and they add a lot of weight to the camper posted tag)

 

Realistically, that camper probably weighs around 3500 lbs - without water or propane!

 

Part Two: the truck

You have a single rear wheel axle truck. The "axle rating" is based on the load capacity of the tires.

Your trucks rear axle is probably rated by the axle manufacturer (not Dodge) with a maximum weight of 9000+ pounds.

Because the rear tires are rated at a maximum of 3500 pounds each (go look at them, I'll bet that's what the tire's side wall print says) it means that Dodge has to post an axle limit of not more than 7000 pounds.

So. . .to be safe, Dodge (Ford & Chevy too) rates the rear axle at approximately 6200 pounds.

 

The work-around that some TC owners do is to upgrade the tires and rims to a heavier capacity tire/rim combination.

19.5 inch tires on Rickson rims is a common solution for increasing the load carrying capacity.

I have not done that, but the cost is usually $3000+ for that upgrade.

 

Hope that helps. Lets see what others have to comment. . .

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When the tires hit the expansion joints on a bridge it sounds awful. Like the rubber is really smacking the road irregularity super hard.

But it "feels" okay. Road dips (you know the kind where you see a big black spot from oil drips) when hit at speed are comfortable.

I installed a pair of SuperSprings (5000 lb capacity) and they help.

The truck is just barely within the rated tire capacity.

But I don't want to be like this guy:

post-327-0-73424300-1428178252.jpg

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