Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Long Bed vs. Short Bed
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 > Long Bed vs. Short Bed

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Fishcamper

Orleans, MA

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Posted: 01/04/10 01:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is not about putting a long bed camper on a short bed truck or vice versa. It's about the relative merits/drawbacks of long and short bed trucks and campers.

I have a long bed truck and camper (Lance 920). I don't need the long bed for hauling other than the camper and I have been considering the advantage of a short bed truck and matching camper. For instance, I'm thinking I could change from a regular cab to an extended or even a crew cab without having an unnecessarily long wheelbase when the camper is off.

So, in summary, assuming the 8 foot bed is not needed, are there disadvantages to going to the short bed (assuming I pair it with an appropriate short bed camper)?


2011 Chev 3500 SRW 4X4 gasser - 1999 Lance 920

trail-explorer

NM

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Posted: 01/04/10 02:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure about Ford or Dodge, but in a Chevy, the short bed only has a 26 gallon fuel tank. Long bed has about a 32 gallon tank.

Chevy - dually is only available in a long bed.

Chevy extended cab (suicide style rear doors) - when you open the rear doors, they are going to smack in to the camper jacks! Not sure if this would also be the case on Dodge or Ford because I don't know how far out the doors swing open.


Jim

racedrvr

Chicago Burbs/Kentucky Lake

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Posted: 01/04/10 02:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I went with the shortbed for the reasons you are considering. I don't consider my having made any sacrifices except the choices of longbed campers are greater than the fewer made shortbeds.
My Chevy extended cab rear doors do not hit anything on the camper when opened fully.


Chevy Silverado LT EC 3500HD 4X4 Duramax/Allison. Torque Lift/Fastguns, Torklift superhitch,
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jimh425

Western WA

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Posted: 01/04/10 02:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Short beds have more percentage of the weight behind the rear wheels. This problem is even worse with a Crew Cab compared to an Extended/Super Cab. Short beds with the same length camper will also have a longer overhang. This makes pulling a trailer slightly more complicated.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR. '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


SoCalDesertRider

Arizona desert

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Posted: 01/04/10 02:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The late model Dodge Quad Cab doors swing open forward like a normal crew cab. Early model Dodge Quad Cabs had suicide doors. I think the change happened somewhere around 2000.

The longbed makes more sense for carrying a truck camper, especially any truck camper longer than 8 feet, cause the axle is further back, having less weight behind the axle and more weight distributed to the front axle.

On most trucks, an extended cab short bed is about the same length as a long bed regular cab and an extended cab long bed is about the same length as a crew cab short bed. The best compromise for hauling a truck camper is the extended cab long bed, if you're worried about wheelbase length.

If you're getting along fine now with a regular cab, then obviously you don't really need a crew cab, you're probly just looking for some more interior storage space and occasional passenger room. The extended cab fits that scenario very well without making the truck unecessarily long while still keeping the full 8 feet of bed length for carrying a wider variety of campers and/or a longer camper. The long bed also allows carrying an 8 to 9 foot camper and towing without an aftermarket heavy duty hitch and extension bar that are needed to carry 8 to 9 foot campers with a short bed.


05E350 6.0PSD
97F350DRW 7.3PSD 4x4 4.10 11' flatbed
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69Bronco ATC250R CR500
20' BigTex flatbed carhauler
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fishfinder

Colorado, USA

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Posted: 01/04/10 03:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a short bed, but wish I had a long bed and a longer camper. I prefer having the back of the camper flush with the back of the truck because it makes backing up easier for me, and I tow a boat (in the summer).

The rear doors on my '08 Chevy don't hit the camper jacks, but it's close.


fishfinder, Colorado
'08 Chevy K1500 Ext.Cab 5.3L/3.73
'03 Phoenix Pop-Up Truck Camper
'98 Four Winns 18' Fish & Ski Boat

Super_Dave

Sacramento, CA

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Posted: 01/04/10 04:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All it took to prevent my doors from hitting the jacks was to put a 2 X 4 between the camper and the front of the bed.


Truck: 2006 Dodge 3500 Dually
Camper: 2007 Eagle Cap 850
Boat: 2003 Jetcraft 2125 - Yamaha 150 HP & 8 HP Kicker


trail-explorer

NM

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Posted: 01/04/10 04:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess I'm way off base on the extended cab rear doors on the NBS chevy trucks. I've seen pictures of how the doors will open almost 180 degrees (flipping all the away around against the truck bed) so I assumed they'd hit the camper jacks in doing so.

My biggest reason for wanting a long bed was to get the 32 gallon fuel tank.

s1214

Vt

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Posted: 01/04/10 04:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One thing that has not been mentioned is that on some models, the long box will cost you a couple hundred pounds of payload compared to a comparable short bed.

Did I understand the comment about weight behind the rear axle? Are you saying that loaded there is more weight, or are you saying empty? Loaded I can understand that it would be a concern, but you would get the same affect with any camper that extends beyond the box sides. As long as the center of gravity is in front of the rear axle it shouldn't matter what size box.

DWeikert

York, PA

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Posted: 01/04/10 05:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

trail-explorer wrote:

I guess I'm way off base on the extended cab rear doors on the NBS chevy trucks. I've seen pictures of how the doors will open almost 180 degrees (flipping all the away around against the truck bed) so I assumed they'd hit the camper jacks in doing so.

My biggest reason for wanting a long bed was to get the 32 gallon fuel tank.

The rear/suicide doors on my Chevy do open to almost 180* but they also have a detent at 90*. I rarely open them the full 180.

The 26 gallon tank is annoying.


Dan
2008 Chevy D/A 2500HD ECSB
2010 Northstar 8.5 Adventurer


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