Having a truck camper on your truck has long been seen as the most resourceful and efficient RV in the world. Would you like to head to a place where only a pickup could go?
Do you want to have off-road capability thanks to a four-wheel drive? Would you like to head into the wild with the barest of equipment, just you and your truck? Then a truck camper is what you need.
While a truck camper might be fun, there is an added sense of responsibility. For starters, your camper and truck must be assembled with safety in mind.
What this translates to is ensuring that the correct camper and truck choices are made with factors such as truck payload, camper weight, general fit compatibility, and center of gravity.
Attaching a truck camper to your truck is a carefully thought out process that requires you to understand your truck’s safe tolerance when it comes to the payload.
The process of attaching a travel trailer is pretty much similar as you have to be cognizant of your truck maximum towing capacity before you hitch a travel trailer to your truck.
You have to ensure that your truck’s maximum towing capacity clearly exceeds that of the travel trailer.
So, can a truck camper pull a travel trailer? Is that something that is possible? Theoretically yes. It is possible for a truck camper to pull a travel trailer. That being said, there are quite a lot of factors to be considered. Either way, you’ll likely be looking at a small truck camper and a small travel trailer.
Towing with the added weight of a truck camper
Towing tends to add quite a lot of additional factors to the necessary calculations. For instance, not only will you need to be aware of the weight of your truck camper, you will need to know the payload and maximum towing capacity of the truck, the tongue weight of the travel trailer, and the weight of the travel trailer itself.
One thing you do not want to do is to buy a truck first, then set out to get a truck camper and a travel trailer. This can lead to disastrous situations where you finally discover that your truck is incapable of pulling your travel trailer, let alone with the added weight of a truck camper.
If you are interested in RVing and you plan to use both a travel trailer and a truck camper, you will have to ensure that you know the total weight of both RVs.
This helps to ensure that you only purchase the truck that has sufficient towing capacity and payload. This is an important thing to do as it might not always be possible to weigh your desired travel trailer or truck camper.
The size of your travel trailer is not necessarily limited by how much you can spend. What it is limited by is your truck’s capacity. This is why it is imperative to take the time out to plan the RV rig. If you do not desire to be hampered by limitations in regards to how what you are able to tow and haul, you will have to plan.
How much additional payload is required to tow a travel trailer?
This number tends to depend on what on numerous factors such as what you plan to tow, as well as the towing equipment in use.
Generally, a truck with a camper load will require a minimum of 350 lbs of additional payload capacity to be considered a safe towing vehicle. This number is derived from the gross vehicle weight rating minus the loaded and wet weight of the RV.
If you have a truck camper with an overhang, you will need a minimum addition of 150 lbs to the previous number.
Does the towing equipment’s weight matter?
It is important that the towing equipment such as the tongue is added to any calculations done. For some reason, this is something that is overlooked.
For instance, if your truck uses a stock class 3 graded hitch and the truck camper does not need an extension for an overhand, you might simply have to add just an extra 50 lbs to make up for the trailer wiring, safety chains, hitch pin, coupler mount, trailer ball, mounting plate, and ball mount.
Nevertheless, if you require a larger hitch such as a Class 5, as well as an extension for the truck camper overhang, then you might end up adding about 150 lbs just from the towing equipment.
Whichever way you go, you will have to subtract the weight of the towing equipment from the available weight of the tongue.
It is to be expected that your towing equipment will add a bit more weight to the overall rig. To sum it up, the tongue weight of a truck with a truck camper is derived by removing the truck’s listed GVWR from a camper’s wet and loaded weight.
Getting the correctly rated tow equipment to pull your travel trailer
When it comes to towing equipment, there are 5 differing hitch classes. When it comes to towing applications on a truck classes 3 to 5 are the designated hitches.
This begs the question; how can one pick the right hitch to pull their travel trailer? Selecting the appropriate hitch would mean having to select one that matches the tongue weight and gross trailer weight required by both the travel trailer and the truck.
- Non-commercial full-sized pickup trucks are typically equipped at the factor with a class 3 hitch. A class 3 hitch is typically rated at a tongue weight of 800 lbs and a gross trailer weight of 8000 lbs.
- Class 4 hitches typically have a gross trailer weight rating of anything from 10,000 to 12,000 lbs and a tongue weight of 1000 to 1200 lbs.
- Class 5 hitches typically have a gross trailer weight rating of anything from 16,000 to 20,000 lbs and a tongue weight of 1000 to 1200 lbs.
The short answer to the title question would be a resounding yes, as it is possible to have a truck with an installed trucker camper pull a travel trailer.
Nevertheless, there are quite a number of factors that one must have to consider. You have to get a truck that not only has enough payload to haul around a truck camper, but it has to have more than enough to support the towing of a travel trailer.
The travel trailer also has to be within the truck’s maximum towing capacity. And while most people believe that a truck’s towing capacity means it can tow a travel trailer with that weight, they forget to account for the tongue’s weight which is roughly 10% of the travel trailer. The gross vehicle weight rating of the truck would also have to be considered.
In all, it is imperative that you stay within the range of the listed tow equipment, trailer, and truck capabilities. Doing so ensures that you do not put your life and the lives of your passengers and those on the road in danger by overloading. Following the laid down, guidelines will also ensure that you do not run afoul of the law.