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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know better than to post this in the "Suspension" thread as that'd be like asking the barber if I need a haircut. And I know that one can follow the specs to the letter. BUT, I'm looking for your personal experience, the results of actual real life toting of a slide in similar to my set up I'll describe. Please answer with your knowledge and not your opinion - No need quoting the glovebox sticker or "what if". I'm looking for old school real world experience. Thanks!

Here goes:

I have a 2006 LBZ, 2500HD (my avatar), extended cab, long bed, 4x4, SRW, auto, SLT (all the options), tow package, not raised or otherwise jacked up, Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S LT235/85R-16/E1 120R on stock rims, Line-X bedliner and Reunel oversized heavy arse bumpers that box in the frame at both ends>> Reunel Extreme Heavy Duty Bumpers

I want a Camplite 8.6C aluminum and plastic slide in camper. https://www.livinlite.com/8_6-overview.php
It weighs 2100 pounds empty / dry. It ends at the rear bumper (no overhang) and no slideouts. It would be tied down to the frame.

Do I HAVE TO make any modifications to carry that load? I know people suggest airbags, springs, sway bars. And I'm not opposed. BUT, is it a MUST???

It would stay on the truck 95% of the time and is intended for overnite stays around town. We (just the wife & I) often goto late night events and this would be ideal to stumble back to after a night of indulging. And while we never plan to hit the interstate with it, we may.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I'm thinking....since this is for around town 99% of the time I can:

*Leave the fridge out
*Leave the propane tanks out (it's HOT Vegas so never need the heat and we don't cook)
*Remove most of the interior cabinet doors & use netting
*Leave the jacks off

We need the shower & cassette toilet and the water that goes with 'em. Can't do a pop up style camper as I don't want it known that we are actually back there. Think parking lot of businesses.

I got the idea sleeping in the bed of the truck for years with just a camper shell. But now we are older and could use a toilet and shower. Hey, sometimes you gotta be to work the next day. I know, going this route will do nothing to curb our drinking...:drink:
Don't judge lol :nope: :Nonono:
 

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I have had a 2007 Lance 835 (8.5' for longbed) since new (over 8 years now) which goes onto my 2004.5 3500 SRW . . . similar to what you're looking at. I've done many 2 weeks trips, a month to/from Alaska, and a 3-month trip going as far as Nova Scotia, down the east coast, and back to Southern California.

What you need, and what you can get by with, depend entirely on what you might want to do in the future. Just driving around on city streets you don't need much, suspension-wise (i.e., you can get by). You can wait and see how much sag you get after loading the camper. If it's just a little low or not stable on dips, you might consider Torklift Stableloads (A7310) which preloads onto the lower overloads.

If you ever plan to drive on a highway (Valley of Fire? Zion? Bryce? all just a few hours from you!) then I highly recommend rear swaybars and maybe heavier front swaybars. I used Bilstein shocks for years but wanted more so I now use Rancho RS9000XL on the highest settings (and I'd still like more). If you ever travel and hit wind, you'll know why you need these things.

A bed mat (~3/8" thick) provides a nice non-slip cushion for the camper, even over the Line-X.

Torklift makes good frame-mounted tie-downs. I use HappiJac for the front (recommended by Lance back then) which are fine (little ears stick out between the cab and bed), but the rear HappiJac's were a sad/bad joke (bumper mount). I bought the rear Torklift frame mount. A comment on the front Torklift frame mount . . . it might interfere with the fuel filler door so you have to release the tie-down each time to fill up (if so, be sure to have a quick-release tie-down at least on the fronts).

On your 2nd set of ideas:
- remove the refrigerator? Seems like a lot of work and I'm not sure what it accomplishes, other than leaving a big hole and access to the outside unless you then seal it up again. I'd leave it in and just leave it turned off.
- leave the propane tanks outs? I guess you'll have cold showers!! You might not cook but you might enjoy hot coffee on those "morning afters". And I know it snows once in awhile in Vegas!! I lived in Barstow for a year back in the 70's and it snowed!!

I've had cassette toilets before and I definitely prefer a toilet with a black water tank (like the Camplite 8.6). Then you can go several days before you have to dump.

Like I said before, if you don't take any road trips then you can afford to wait and see what suspension mods you need to make. A bed mat (<$100) and decent tie-downs are important right from the start. The rest you can figure out as you go along. Enjoy it!!
 

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What you need, and what you can get by with, depend entirely on what you might want to do in the future. Just driving around on city streets you don't need much, suspension-wise (i.e., you can get by). You can wait and see how much sag you get after loading the camper.

A bed mat (~3/8" thick) provides a nice non-slip cushion for the camper, even over the Line-X.

Torklift makes good frame-mounted tie-downs. A comment on the front Torklift frame mount . . . it might interfere with the fuel filler door so you have to release the tie-down each time to fill up (if so, be sure to have a quick-release tie-down at least on the fronts).
Exactly
Truck campers have advantages over tow behinds, but they do tax the vehicle.
A good set of tie downs and the mat are where you'll start.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, thanks guys. Especially you Jake for the great detail. I will "ease" into it as you describe. Excellent. Thanks again!

Reason I'm wanting a cassette toilet is that I don't plan on hitting dump stations / organized camp grounds - only as a last resort. So I love the idea of pulling the cassette and dumping it right in the toilet at home.

The LBZ will sit on the side of the house with the camper in it. It'll come out for trips to the strip (30 min. away) and trips to our favorite watering hole. Instead of having to find a hotel, sleep at a friends, drive drunk, stop partying... we can crawl back to the camper until morn.

You're gonna laugh but as I write this it sure sounds like we have a drinking problem. Truth be told, not at all. Wife is drunk on two beers, yes 2. And I can't seem to stay awake much past 9PM anymore. Seriously, it's like I hit a wall at 9 every night. The camper equipped truck in a parking lot sure would come in handy on a nightly basis. Okay, enjoy the laugh.

While I may have visions of a party bus..... Nevermind the "Do Not Disturb, Bear Hibernating" sign on the door handle. lol
 

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I have a sewer cleanout next to the house and the side driveway where I drop the camper, so I have a convenient place to dump when I get home. While some others (mostly the females in the family, for some reason) cringe, I've also been known to dump into a bucket and carry it into the house and toilet for small amounts. Just gotta be careful because you don't want a spill! Hey, I hose out the bucket but they seem to want that bucket specially marked.

Yes, I can identify with your wife. I usually stop after 1 beer because I start embarrassing my wife after 2 ... except in the desert where extra beer is necessary and better tolerated, don't you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a sewer cleanout next to the house and the side driveway where I drop the camper, so I have a convenient place to dump when I get home. While some others (mostly the females in the family, for some reason) cringe, I've also been known to dump into a bucket and carry it into the house and toilet for small amounts. Just gotta be careful because you don't want a spill! Hey, I hose out the bucket but they seem to want that bucket specially marked.

Yes, I can identify with your wife. I usually stop after 1 beer because I start embarrassing my wife after 2 ... except in the desert where extra beer is necessary and better tolerated, don't you think?
lol. :hehe:

And yes, extra beer is needed in the desert. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Hey, I didn't move to Sin City because I'm a church going, teetotaler, family man. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I looked at those Stableloads before. Seem pretty basic. Is the reason you wouldn't leave them engaged when unloaded is because they will stiffen your ride too much by engaging the overloads?

I also eyeballed Torklift's frame mounts. You guys like the lockable ones to prevent theft?
 

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The Stableloads are quick and easy to engage/disengage. If left engaged without a heavy load it does make the ride even harsher than "normal".

For the tie-downs, I have Happijacs in the front and they would be a PITA to remove. The rear Torklifts are in 2 pieces. Once piece is bolted to the frame, wedged in with the receiver. For the removable piece it uses a thin hitch pin to hold, so I use a locking one (cheapy from Walmart).

For the turnbuckles, I use what came with the camper (Happijac? Not sure). The front is spring loaded; the rear isn't. They are threaded rods that use a lock nut to secure and hold the setting. I guess somebody with a couple of 3/4" wrenches could steal these, but they aren't exactly hot items. If I had the quick-release turnbuckles I guess I would probably lock them.

In this sense, my camper is not "locked" to the truck but I don't think anybody is going to casually walk off with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ya know what I didn't ask is the most obvious of questions...

Is 2100 pounds (dry) a heavy load for my 2500HD rig? In other words, I know it's "heavy", but when comparing self-contained truck campers, is that a typical and acceptable load for that rig? Is it on the light side, the heavy side, the bad idea side, the don't worry about it side, etc...

On one side you have the specs that say don't do it and on the other side you have slide-ins on Tacomas! :confuzeld
 

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Question: Does this slide in you speak of have A/C? It's stupid HOT here in Vegas during the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hot? Huh? No, not here! lol Read 115 yesterday on the rearview mirror temp!

Yes on air. Definitely!
 

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Yeah, false reading. It was more like 1 million degrees!
 

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For the limited use you're talking about it should not be a problem
It would take a determination thief to steal a mounted truck camper. They would most likely steal the whole thing
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
lol. Guys, I guess I wrote my question in post #8 about theft too vague. I was talking about theft of the tiedowns, not the camper. I wouldn't want someone to walk away with my tiedowns.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just took notice of my factory overloads today. Driver's side is touching and passenger's is not. Truck is as seen in my avatar and has 3/4 tank of fuel (driver's side). So it appears even without a camper (or load) in it the overloads touch and will most definitely be touching the Stableloads if installed. Just an observation.
 

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The right way to do all of this is fill up with diesel and go weigh the truck, also getting front and rear axle weights. Then look up maximums allowed for the truck. Then figure out if the truck can handle the load. ... I haven't done that.

The loaded weight of the truck is about 7200 lbs. I believe the 2500HD had a GVW of 9200 lbs., so technically you would be overweight. I think there might be a maximum weight listed in the glove compartment?

The 3500 SRW ECLB is rated for 9900 lbs. The 3500 has a higher rating because it came with larger tires (265 E's) instead of (I think) 245 D's (or were they E's?). Other than an extra spring in the rear pack, slightly wider steel rims, and tire size, the 2500HD and 3500 SRW really are about the same (frame, drivetrain, suspension, brakes, etc.).

Again, for just running around town, it's not going to matter (check weight limits on tires and rims; if not enough then consider bigger like the 265 E's which are fine on the stock 2500HD rims).

I'm not initimately familiar with the 2500HD, but assume it does have the lower overload. It doesn't seem like it should be engaged unless there's a load in the bed. I have to pry the opening on some of mine a little to engage the Stableloads, while I could jack up the truck a little (the other option).

Again, if I had quick-release turnbuckles then I would use a lock. I do use a locking hitch pin on the removable portion of the Torklift tie-down.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks. Yea, I can't remember now the number in the glove box for a load in the bed, but it was definitely below 2100 pounds. And that's why I really needed to ask folks with experience. There's "legal" and there's "it'll be fine". My OCD tells me not to do it, but then I'm gonna feel crappy every time I see a camper on a 2500 thinking "why didn't I try it".

It does surprise me that a 2500HD is not enough truck for a camper... OR ... that campers are so darn heavy. I didn't expect everyone not in a dually was overloaded...and some with slideouts...wow.
 

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I know better than to post this in the "Suspension" thread as that'd be like asking the barber if I need a haircut. And I know that one can follow the specs to the letter. BUT, I'm looking for your personal experience, the results of actual real life toting of a slide in similar to my set up I'll describe. Please answer with your knowledge and not your opinion - No need quoting the glovebox sticker or "what if". I'm looking for old school real world experience. Thanks!

Here goes:

I have a 2006 LBZ, 2500HD (my avatar), extended cab, long bed, 4x4, SRW, auto, SLT (all the options), tow package, not raised or otherwise jacked up, Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S LT235/85R-16/E1 120R on stock rims, Line-X bedliner and Reunel oversized heavy arse bumpers that box in the frame at both ends>> Reunel Extreme Heavy Duty Bumpers

I want a Camplite 8.6C aluminum and plastic slide in camper. https://www.livinlite.com/8_6-overview.php
It weighs 2100 pounds empty / dry. It ends at the rear bumper (no overhang) and no slideouts. It would be tied down to the frame.

Do I HAVE TO make any modifications to carry that load? I know people suggest airbags, springs, sway bars. And I'm not opposed. BUT, is it a MUST???

It would stay on the truck 95% of the time and is intended for overnite stays around town. We (just the wife & I) often goto late night events and this would be ideal to stumble back to after a night of indulging. And while we never plan to hit the interstate with it, we may.
We conducted a test recently to show how StableLoad stabilizes your truck’s suspension in comparison to airbags and your stock suspension in the sort of driving conditions you’ll most likely be experiencing around town with your truck camper:

https://youtu.be/DpeZxqSBAOQ

Most of our customers find that StableLoad is the only suspension upgrade they need to make to help their truck handle the weight of their truck camper. With especially heavy loads, StableLoads can be used in conjunction with air bags as needed. In such instances StableLoad allows you to run significantly lower air pressure in your air bags which helps keep as much load as possible distributed through your factory suspension as the truck engineers intended.

You can learn more about StableLoad here:
Truck Camper Suspension - truck sway - truck sag - reduce camper roll | StableLoad

Torklift tie downs:
True Frame Mounted Camper Tie Downs | Torklift International

Torklift turnbuckles:
Truck camper turnbuckles - Industrial turnbuckle | FastGun

Hope this helps with your search. It sounds like you are going to have a great time once your camper is ready to go : )
 

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I just went out and looked at mine. The glove box says 2200 lbs. for a camper but my Lance is about 2400 lbs. (wet). The door sticker says 9900 lbs. GVW. Assuming about 7200 lbs. for the truck, then I have about 2700 lbs. for the camper and us. I'd say I'm definitely at that limit.

Again, your stickers will be a little lower because it's a 2500HD instead of a 3500. But they are different because of the OEM tire capacity and not because of suspension, drivetrain, or brakes.

As you noted, both my camper and the one you are looking at are relatively "light" compared to the 9-12 footers with slideouts that are available, and weight up to 4000 lbs. I don't know how they do it, either, but duallies for sure.
 
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