Friday, August 1, 2008

Tires Tires Tires

Yes probably one of the most important safety items for truck campers are you tires. We always suggest that all of our customers check their tires before getting a truck camper. Why you may ask? Well putting a truck camper on your truck dramatically increases the weight of your vehicle. The last thing you want is to have a blow out at high speed with a truck camper. This means you need good quality tires in GOOD condition with proper load ratings.

The load range or ply rating branded on a tire's sidewall helps identify its strength and ability to contain air pressure. The more ply’s you have the larger the load rating of your tire. We recommend a load rating of “E” or higher. E load rated tires are a 10 ply tire. Again the more the better. You need to review the specific tire / brand on your truck to determine the load rating. You should then multiple the load rating of your tire times 4 (number of tires on your truck). So for example, if your tire has a load rating of 2750 x 4 = 11,000 lbs would be the maximum your total combined weight of your truck camper, truck and supplies can weigh.

Speaking of tires, you must check your air pressure of your tires before any camping trip. This is an important safety check. It is also good common sense as properly inflated tire provide better gas mileage. Finally, drive within the speed limit! Many tire manufactures have limits on speed and heavy load. DRIVE SAFE and you will be safe.

You can view a list of called Sprad’s RV complete listing of truck campers for sale.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What I need before I pickup my new Truck Camper

When purchasing a truck camper there are a few things you will need to use your new truck camper. First and the most obvious item is your truck. Your truck is an important part of your truck camper purchase because it will determine what size truck camper you can purchase. Unless you are thinking about a small pop up track camper (example Palomino Bronco ) you need at least a 3/4 ton truck. The late model trucks have a better payload capacity. Speaking of payload capacity, this is what is important with a truck camper. Do not confuse your tow rating with payload capacity. A long box truck camper will give you more flexibility since you will have more usable space and most manufactures offer more models in the long box Varity.

The next item you will need to consider is how to attach the truck camper to the truck. This is accomplished by what we call tie downs. Tie downs consist of a bracket of some type mounted to your truck. You will then need some type of turn buckle to attach the camper to the tie downs. We STRONGLY suggest that you always purchase turn buckles with some type of spring mount on one end of the turn buckle. The spring loaded turn buckle allows for some give when your hit a bump or go off road. There are two major companies that manufacture tie downs.

One company is called Torklift. They manufacture a frame mounted tie down system. The frame mounted tie down system is exactly what is says, these tie down’s mount to the frame of your truck. These tie downs typically cost a little be we believe they should be used with any camper weighing more than 3000 pounds. Our experienced technicians can install the tie downs between 3 and 4 hours. If you are installing yourself, we suggest you plan on at least 4 hours. We find that 80% of Torklift installations go as planned. From time to time you run into problems that you did not expect such as aftermarket accessories. We have also had challenges recently with late model trucks and the new large cone exhaust systems.

The other company who makes truck camper tied owns is called Happijac . They manufacture a tie down system that attaches to the bed of your truck and your bumper. Their system is typically less expensive and takes less time to install. We like the Happi Jack for smaller truck camper installations.

The other item you need when you purchase a truck camper is a rubber bed matt. This is an important safety item that keeps your truck camper from sliding around in the bed of your truck. You can typically purchase these for between $60.00 and $100.00.

Most truck campers cover up the lights of your truck. This requires that you plug your truck camper into your vehicles lighting system. Most people with truck camper prefer what is called a bed plug. This is simply a 7 way plug (same used on trailer and fifth wheels) that is mounted in the bed of your truck. We typically mount on the driver’s side about 1/3 of the way back in the bed of your truck. We also suggest to customer that the make sure they get a charge line hooked up to the 7 way plug. This will allow your truck to charge your camper batteries when the alternator is running. We also suggest that you have an isolator included. The isolator keeps your truck camper from drawing from your truck’s battery.

Finally, when you pick up your new truck camper do not forget to leave your tailgate at home.

You can view a list of called Sprad’s RV complete listing of truck campers for sale.

Host Truck Camper

Host Campers today announced a new truck camper. The new camper is called the Chinook. This truck camper is 8' 6" for a short bed truck. The Chinook has a double slide out. This is the only double slide out truck camper I am aware of.

For more information on Host Truck campers we offer please visit Host Truck Campers at Sprad's RV.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Welcome to the truck camper blog. We will work with new and existing truck camper owners to answer basic questions regarding the use of their truck campers.