Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Born Free truck camper
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Help and Support  |  Contact

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Born Free truck camper

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 4  
Prev
jbash

Chicago

Full Member

Joined: 05/14/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 06/27/06 10:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were the 1973 Born Free TC at the NATCOA show. Tours were available at no charge if you ran into us:-). This was our first trip in the BF (we bought it and the 1997 F250 PowerStroke extended cab together).

I'm just back today from that trip and will try to answer questions soon. We did stop Saturday night at the Born Free plant in Humboldt Iowa (during annual owners gathering) and we were able to see the 1974 they have in the show room and ask questions. They confirmed that my problems on rough roads are because the 4wd F250 is too high relative to the 3rd axle and told me how others had solved the problem in the past (I should have figured this out faster but the last owners used the same setup for 4 years).

The third axle is fixed. It must slide a bit going around corners but tire wear is OK. It turns and follows nicely, as a single unit with none of the issues of trailers. While the belly bar 'cinches up', the main 'tie' is the long 'hook' that runs from hitch ball on truck frame to back of camper.

This is one heavy TC though. Lots of 3/4" inch plywood and none of the new techniques used today to keep weight down. Loaded we were over 12,000lbs, about 9,000 on F250 and about 3,000 on 3rd axle. That is the only way I weighed it on this trip as you can't get all 3 axles on separate parts of the truck scale in one shot (at least I couldn't).

Pics at http://www.bashfamily.org/photo_album.0.html
although not updated since we bought this over a year ago and then had to wait to use until I retired and caregiving for my father ended. We first thought it was a 1971 as that is what last owners told us, but plate on back clearly says it was made 4/73.

We went to buy just the truck but fell in love with the BF camper and its layout. It has been lots of fun so far and people ask about it whenever we stop. I've been doing some work, especially electric upgrade, and there is more to do. But that is OK as it keeps me out of trouble and leaves me without the cash to get into trouble anyway:-)

jim bash

crossent

Newbury Park, CA

Full Member

Joined: 01/26/2004

View Profile



Posted: 06/27/06 11:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jim, What problem are you having on rough roads? I'm looking at one now and was wondering if it would raise high enough to be loaded onto my 86 4wd. How much did you purchase the camper for if you don't mind me asking? A beautiful rig by the way. The one i'm looking at hasn't been used for 19 years! Everything works except the heater but it has a thermostat and it was a hot day. It has a few issues. The window in the bathroom is broken and the vent cover over the top bed is broken. The main concern is the sides behind the window are bubbled. Feels like the fiberglass has delaminated from the wood. You can push on it and feel there is a air gap.No visable signs of water damage on the inside.They have a lot of great designs built into these campers.
Mike

XKarDoc

Holland, MI

Senior Member

Joined: 01/20/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/28/06 01:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jbash wrote:

It has been lots of fun so far and people ask about it whenever we stop.

Years ago we stopped at the rest area on top of Monteagle with our BF and were asked if it was a converted horse trailer.


Terry

'05 Chevy 2500HD 4X4 CC D/A
'00 Jayco Eagle 263RKS 5th Wheel


jbash

Chicago

Full Member

Joined: 05/14/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/03/06 02:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike-
We paid $2K for it. Everything worked but we knew two of the four jacks were having some problems. We bought this with the truck so I didn't have to figure out how to put it all together. TYhe couple we bought from bought it off an RV lot with no info on how it fit a truck and they had to 'guess' at how it fit (they did get the special truck bumper at least!). AFAIK the only thing they did a little differently were the belly bar attachments, the originals were probably welded to the last owners truck so not sold to this couple when they bought the BF.

I'm pretty sure the problem I'm having with the truck 'bucking' on rough roads (particularly parts of I-80 and I-90 in Iowa and west) is related to the fact that the 3rd axle is not high enough for the front of the BF to fit correctly into the truck bed. We stopped last week at BF factory in Humboldt Iowa and they pretty much confirmed that. I think I have the info to get the problem fixed but haven't yet found the right person (a couple leads but they are away for the holiday). I don't weld or have any heavy metal working experience so I need someone to do this work. I think raising it about 2" will be enough but I'm not sure (I need to detach the BF and/or get some advice to understand what the 'natural' height of the back--3rd axle part--is).

The emergency exit vent over the bed is starting to crack on our BF also. I'm pretty sure the standard 26x26" Elixir replacement cover will work but I don't have it yet to be sure.

In terms of the 'delamination', BF told me the shell was not laminated to the wood and in fact was held on only where hardware fit (corners, around windows, etc). I can't remember what the logic was but it made sense at the time. Also I don't think there is a solid layer of wood under the fiberglass, just the frame and a behive kind of insulating filler. And two roll bars of course.

Also they warned me at the factory that the 1973-74 BFs had problems with the rear floor sagging and needed additional support (they used plywood inside the fiberglass shell but changed that after 74). Turns out my floor is sagging and I'm hoping to deal with that at same time as raising the trailer/3rd axle. I suspect we and the previous owner made this worse if indeed the BF tends to 'rock' where it touches the very back of the truck bed.

HTH. Let me know if you do buy it. I've fixed/replaced some things and maybe we can trade experiences. BTW, someone on the NATCOA board is a 'freak' for these old truck campers and trying to get a forum to discuss them.

jim b

Lakeside Alex

Lakeside CA

New Member

Joined: 07/04/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/05/06 07:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi, first time on any board. I have a Born Free camper I need to sell, I bought it 4 years ago thinking I could fix it up by my time has been taken up by my home repairs. I'm the second owner and it hasn't been used since about 1980, I have brochures and stuff for it. if interested contact me at abaez@cox.net located 20 minutes east of San Diego CA $1000.00 I would gladly send you pictures, I don't know how to post them here.

jimmmdog

Hartford CT

New Member

Joined: 01/12/2004

View Profile



Posted: 07/07/06 10:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Try looking at web site for Lupara Motorhomes. This a truck camper made outside of USA that has extra wheels.
Maybe someone can paste a picture onto this discussion from the website. Very cool truck camper.
jimmmdog


Dodge 2002 Dually 2004 Adventurer truck camper

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 4  
Prev

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Born Free truck camper
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2014 Woodalls | Terms & Conditions | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS