The new ride and hauler for the camper was purchased on August 24th 2016. I have been looking for an upgrade of the truck for a while and really started looking shortly before our Montana trip. I had contacted a local dealership with what I was looking for and what I wanted to spend. On the day we arrived back home after our two week vacation Joanne and I made the drive into town and to the dealership. There was a truck for us to look at. The first truck they showed to us was not to our liking but they then showed us a second truck. We really wanted that truck as it was pretty much everything we wanted. We bought a 2004 Dodge 3500 Dually truck. It has the Cummins diesel, is a 4×4 and is the Club Cab. The truck is pretty much fully loaded with options and even has a Pacbrake exhaust brake on it. The mileage on the diesel was 150545…for that motor it is just now broke in. It is also obvious that the previous owner took very good care of the truck.
This truck gets better fuel mileage than my other trucks, including my 1/2 ton truck. So it has become my daily driver as well as the camper hauler. So that means the camper will now be coming off and on, a change from keeping it on my Chevy that was only for the camper. The other big change was going from a flatbed setup to a regular bed for the camper. That would mean a loss of storage space for now. We do have plans for a bigger camper in the next few years and they have a ton more storage room compared to the one we have now. So that means a bit of “dealing with it” for now.
Changes, wow…several for adding the camper to this truck. I had to order all new tie downs from Torklift. On the flatbed I had a totally different way of having the camper tied down to the truck. That system would not work on the Dodge. Also, since my flatbed was 8 foot wide the whole length I did not use swing out brackets. I had used c-channel for that. On the Dodge I would need the front jacks to be on swing out brackets. So we bought a pair and got them added to the camper front jacks.
After several measurements on the camper and the truck I had a decision to make. My camper is designed for a short or long bed. I could place the camper all the way to the front of the bed or I could set it back a bit and still have the c.o.g. (center of gravity) be at or slightly ahead of the rear axle. With the loss of side storage on the flatbed I opted to set it back.
I built a storage box to fit between the camper and the head of the bed. Piecing it together with a plan, sort of. It was a think about the design while building it kind of deal.
Soon I had the box built. As I write this I still need to add a lid but that will be done soon. Now on to see how the camper fits on the truck. Still waiting on the tie down system but I could see how the camper sat on the Dodge.
The next thing to do was to replace the Adventurer Comfort Step back on the rear of the camper. While the camper was on the flatbed it was not needed. Now it is needed so back on it goes.
The Torklift tie down system arrived at my doorstep and it was time to get things installed.
I had to have the front Torklift brackets installed at the shop where I work. I could get the bracket bolted to the top but the side bolts would be a pretty big job. I would have to drop my fuel tank on the drivers side to install them. So instead I had the shop weld the front brackets to the frame. The rear brackets I had Johnson RV install. The bolts on the truck were so tight and I did not have the right tools to get the job done. So all the brackets were installed eventually. Torklift Fastguns got adjusted and the tie down system is good to go!
I did get the little storage box finished and it is very helpful.
After a couple outings now, I am very happy with the way the camper is secured to the truck. The ride is great. I am still working on a few other things like, installing the Lock and Load for the generator and I want to install the under the truck flood lights like I had on the Chevy. That is very useful when parking at a camp spot during the dark.
Thank you to Torklift for outstanding customer service and for making great products. I am ready to go!