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Question Of The Week

How To Fix a Truck and Camper Misfit

Truck Camper Magazine readers report their truck and camper fit compatibility experiences.  The poll result reveals good news.  The comments showcase the challenges and solutions.

Truck Camper Fit Compatibility Chart

According to the poll result, 57.7-percent of truck and camper matches fit like a glove.  No adjustments are necessary, just load and go.  That’s the good news.

Digging into the comments, there’s actually more good news.  Most of the readers reveal minor fit compatibility issues that were easily solved by installing (a) a truck bed mat and/or plywood riser to clear the truck cab, or (b) a wood spacer to push the camper back to clear the tail lights.

Both of these problems and their solutions should be widely familiar to any truck camper manufacturer, dealer, and consumer.  This is why I focused on fit compatibility in the article, “How To Match A Truck and Truck Camper”.  It’s also why I threw a red flag when the new trucks emerged with all their bed and cabover dimension changes.

The take away from all this is simple; for any proposed truck and camper match, pay attention to fit compatibility.  As the above poll shows, chances are your rig will fit like a glove, but at least be prepared to need a riser, or a front spacer.

This week’s Question of the Week was, “Did you current truck and camper have any fit compatibility issues, or did your rig fit like a glove?”

Flat Tray Camper Australia

“I don’t understand why Americans love standard truck beds.  Here in Australia we put flat trays on Utes and throw away the small standard bed.  This enables us to make campers that have flatbeds, which are so much easier to build, are much stronger, and have no wasted space.

I have seen some flatbed campers made by US companies as well.  Why don’t you start showing those?  Maybe you can point people in that direction and then the compatibility problem won’t be a problem.” – Chris Adams, 2008 VW Transporter, 2017 Shedbilt

Adventurer Camper Fitment

“There are no issues with our combination; 2007 GMC Sierra 2500HD and 2016 Adventurer 80RB.” – Brian Plourde, 2007 GMC Sierra 2500HD, 2015 Adventurer 80RB

“I have to use five sheets of plywood under our 1997 Bigfoot 10.6 truck camper.  This raises the cabover enough for adequate clearance on the truck cab roof and clearance lights.  Other than than, no problems.” – William Jones, 2003 Ford F350, 1997 Bigfoot 10.6

“Our former Lance 1161 with a StableLift system sat on a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood to clear the truck bed rails.  The new camper fits perfectly.” – Larry Bell, 2003 Dodge 3500 diesel, 2017 Northern Lite 9 6 Classic

2017 Chevy Ladder Riser Bigfoot Camper

“The higher bed rails of our 2017 Silverado 3500 provided almost no clearance to the wings of our 2000 Bigfoot 9.6 truck camper.  The biggest problem came from a new radius at the bottom of the 2017 Silverado’s tailgate that hit the edges of the camper.

To solve both problems, I made a 1.5-inch riser.  I built it using 2x4s like a ladder with two 8-footers below each edge connected by four 4-footers at the front, back, and midships.  A 1×4 would have provided enough clearance, but I had extra 2×4 laying around and they provide enough clearance between the rails and wing to slip a garden hose into for easy storage.

Bigfoot Camper Wood Riser

The ladder structure is much lighter and more dimensionally stable than two 4×8 sheets of 3/4-inch plywood would be.” – Tom Strock, 2017 Silverado 3500, 2000 Bigfoot 9.6

 

“The 2007.5 Chevy 2500HD bed has a radius corner where the sidewall and floor meet.  This is at the bed’s opening.  When the dealer lowered the 2012 Lance 855S into the truck bed, the kick-out for the bathroom sat down on the radius corner.

Well, there no more radius.  I now have a nice square corner on one side.  I placed a sheet of 1/4-inch  plywood on the bed to keep the bathroom kick-out from banging on the corner.  Later on I had a Linex liner sprayed on which took care of the scraped corner.” – Bill Taylor, 2007.5 Chevy 2500HD, 2012 Lance 855S

“The previous owner had added 2×4 riser under the floor for extra rail clearance.  It fit like a glove with that.” – Dietrich Kanzler, 2015 Ram 1500, 2000 Northstar TC800

Dual Rear Wheel Adaptors Lance Camper

“I originally had a 2007 Toyota Tundra when I bought my 2005 Lance 815.  When I picked up the camper and loaded it into the bed, I had about 2-inches between the bottom of the camper and the bed of the truck.  All of the weight of the truck camper was resting on the bed rails.

I took a quick trip to a home improvement store for some 2x3s and a sheet of 1/2-inch plywood.  That gave me the clearance I needed to get the camper home from Ohio to North Carolina.  Once I got it home I had my truck sprayed with a bed liner.  This eliminated a potentially slick surface for the camper to sit on.

Later I upgraded my truck to a Ram 3500.  There was no way I could use my tie-downs because the anchor points were blocked by the dually flares.  After some research, I discovered Torklift made dually adapters (part A7004) which I was able to modify slightly and get it to work.” – Kevin Harris, 2014 Ram 3500, 2005 Lance 815

“I originally purchased a 2013 Chevy.  The 2013 Four Wheel Camper Hawk was built to match.  It fit perfectly, except for the rubber bumpers at the front of the Hawk being 2-inches too long.  A sawsall fixed that.  Then my 2013 Chevy went swimming, a tale far too long for the new 150 word limit on QOTW responses!

I replaced the 2013 Chevy with a 2017 Chevy Silverado with the bed dimensions being essentially the same.  It’s not exactly the same because I now have 1/2-inch clearance on the inner sides.  The fenders are flared a bit over the tires, giving me about 1/2-inch  clearance on the outer sides to the jacks.

This makes loading much more challenging.  I wrap heavy plastic sheeting (think heavy duty drawer liner) around the jacks to provide a buffer to avoid scratching the paint.  It is really difficult to move the rear of a long pickup to the side by 1/2-inch and keep it lined up!” – Bill Peters, 2017 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

Tie Down Extenders

“The rear tie-downs didn’t clear the fenders on my 2004 Ram 3500 and 2015 Arctic Fox 990 combination.  I attached eyebolts to the camper tie-down points to move the tie-down attachment points out.  That gave me enough space to clear the fenders.” – John Bull, 2004 Ran 3500, 2015 Arctic Fox 990

“When the 2015 Palomino Backpack SS-550 sits in the bed of the 2011 Ford F250, it only sits on three of the four channel steel cross braces.  The brace at the back of the camper misses the back edge of the truck bed by about 2-inches.  This leaves two feet of the camper rear unsupported.

To fix this problem, I made a cross brace piece from wood that I tuck in between the bed and camper right at the back end of the bed before I drop the camper down.  It stays put by the brace on the camper and supports the load.

I have thought about reducing the forward bumper thickness so the camper slides farther forward, but have yet to try that.” – Kent Leboutillier, 2011 Ford F250, 2015 Palomino Backpack SS-550

“I had to put a spacer under and in front of the 2007 Northstar TC650 to make it fit my 2016 Ford F150.  The spacer will be in an upcoming TCM mod contest.” – Matt Reinker, 2016 Ford F150, 2007 Northstar TC650

“The 2017 Nissan Titan XD truck bed is 6.5-foot and the 2017 Lance 650 is 6.5-foot.  The sewer connection sits a little low and interfered with the end of the bed.  We added a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood cut to 6.2-feet and that solved the problem.  Other than that, the camper fit like a glove.” – Ron Carr, 2017 Nissan Titan XD, 2017 Lance 650

“I have no fit issues with the current 2015 Ford F350 and 2003 Bigfoot 10.6E rig, but I’m wondering what the future holds.  I had been running GM trucks for years, but when I went to replace a 2006 Chevy I found that GM had changed the box slightly to the point where there was about 3/8-inch between the camper and the sides of the tailgate.  There was a radius in each corner of the tailgate opening that would have required raising the camper so that it would clear.

I went and measured a Ford and it was the same as the 2006 Chevy.  I’m a Ford guy now.  Why do the manufactures think their way into stupidity by changing basic design measurements?” – Dave Miller, 2015 Ford F350, 2003 Bigfoot 10.6E

“I had no fit issues.  Interestingly, taking a 1997 Ford F350 long box and mating a 2014 Palomino SS1500 was painless, even with over a 20 year difference in builds.  I was concerned at first, but when I set it in (at the dealer), it fit like five toes in a sock.  I altered nothing including my 20 years old Happijac mounts.  Everything matched up perfect.” – Daryl Davis, 1997 Ford F350, 2014 Palomino SS-1500

Camper Flat Towed Behind Truck

“I have no fit problem at all.  I mounted my 2011 Lance 992 on a custom built gooseneck trailer and it never comes off.” – Robert Hicks, 2010 Silverado 2500HD, 2011 Lance 992

“To get the 3-plus inch clearance over the 2011 Ford F250 truck cab, I needed to add a 3-inch platform to the bed of the truck.  Otherwise everything was fine.  I love the 2017 Travel Lite 625.” – Jeff Buckley, 2011 Ford F250, 2017 Travel Lite 625

“Our 2016 Arctic Fox 990 will rub the front of the 2015 GMC 3500 truck bed and the front of the bed is very thin metal.  So I had a piece of ash cut and planed to 1-13/16-inch thick by 6-inches high to fit across the front of the bed.  I then screwed a piece of 3/4-inch HDPE to the board to keep the camper from rubbing on the top rail of the front of the bed.

Then there is the notorious GM crown of the floor of the bed.  I solved that by placing a 3/8-inch thick by 20-inch wide piece of rubber on top of the existing bed mat in the rear of the truck.  That stops the camper from rocking in the bed.” – George Visconti, 2015 GMC 3500, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

“Luckily the 2004 Ram 3500 and 2017 Arctic Fox 1140 fit like a glove considering there was a 13 year age difference.” – Angela Klinger, 2004 Ram 3500, 2017 Arctic Fox 1140

“We had been searching for a lightweight camper with a toilet and shower and a north-south bed.  We wanted to take a four month 18,000 kilometer cross-Canada trip to the West Coast and then north to swim in the Arctic Ocean while camped on the shore at Tuk.  We saw no point in taking our 32-foot fifth wheel with three slides.

We found a 1999 Lance Lite 815 that met our basic needs.  Before mounting the camper on the truck, I had to remove the fifth wheel hitch, but could not remove the rails.  So, I had to build up a platform of pressure treated wood so that the camper would not touch the rails.

After carefully loading the camper onto the truck, I noticed that the front of the camper was less than a couple of inches above the marker lights on the cab of the truck.  A minor problem averted by accident.” – Stephen Leonard, 2008 Ford F250, 1999 Lance Lite 815

“We did not have any issues with our current 2014 Ford F150 and 2017 Adventurer 80RB combination.  However, we have also loaded a 2013 and a 2015 Palomino.  On the 2013 I made a frame from 1-1/2-inch square tubing and screwed it to the bottom.  On the 2015 I used 1×4 PVC and just screw it to the bottom.” – Matt Wiegand, 2014 Ford F150, 2017 Adventurer 80RB

“The bed rails of the 2008 Ram 2500 were too tall for a 2008 Lance 915, so I needed to add some height for it to fit.  The length of the bed and the design of the rear brake lights meant that I could not place the camper as far forward as I have done in the past.

My solution was to use a 4x4x4 placed across the front of the truck bed to ensure the camper couldn’t come too far forward.  So far, these changes seem to have worked.

Since the bed is also much higher than my old Chevy Silverado I could no longer use the sleeper unit I had.  This unit was manufactured sometime in the late 20th century, but worked very well on short trips or on trips to visit relatives.  The jacks were not tall enough to lift the camper, so it was not safe.” – Harry Palmer, 2008 Dodge Ram 2500, 2008 Lance 915

2015 Chevrolet 2500 And 1998 Lance Squire Lite 186

“My original combination was a perfect fit; a 1996 Chevrolet and 1998 Lance.  I acquired a new truck and never considered any fitment concerns.  I did have just enough brain power to think about a test fit before embarking on a 3,000 mile trip.  Aaaaaaaagh!  The camper doesn’t fit!

The first thing I noticed was that the width of the tailgate opening is slightly narrower.  I almost knocked off the fishing pole storage box.  I hit it hard enough that the seals were broken and compromised.  I got past that, lowered the camper onto the truck, and the wings rested on the bed rails.  Give me my old truck back!

I have not decided how to permanently fix this problem, but my temporary fix is two 2x12s running the length of the bed and a 1/2-inch sheet of plywood.  That’s 100 extra pounds!  There must be a better way.” – Scott Spradley, 2015 Chevrolet 2500, 1998 Lance Squire Lite 186

“I needed to shim the bed of the 2016 GMC 3500 with 2x6s to get the edge of our 2013 Lance 1172 above the rail of the truck.  I found that the back cross brace on the camper was about 3 to 4 inches past the back of the bed.

To solve this problem, I bought a 3-inch aluminum I-beam, shimmed it with a trimmed 2×4 to get the height requirement, and it bolted to the rear bumper.  It seems to work great and keeps the truck camper level.  It also prevents damaging the bottom panels on the camper.  It’s not too heavy and pretty easy to remove when it’s not needed.  I attached with two 7/16-inch cap screws.

I haven’t found a use for the I-beam while the camper is not in the truck, but give me a little more time and I will multi-purpose it!” – Mark Daigle, 2016 GMC 3500, 2013 Lance 1172

“Actually my first truck camper was a 1999 Lance 1130.  Due to the shape of the 2008 Chevy 2500HD bed at the back, I had to build a 2-inch high platform to fit it in the bed.  The camper would sit on that platform and not in the bed.  Due to the shape of the bed opening, my new 2017 Palomino HS-2902 is a tight fit, but it works.” – Bryce Tedesco, 2008 Chevy 2500HD, 2017 Palomino HS-2902

“The older campers we owned never seemed to have enough storage.  This time we bought a flat deck 2014 Ford F350 and then bought aluminum boxes for the underside.  Then I built some wooden boxes for the top side.  We now have tons of storage and the camper fit is a non-issue.

The only downside is that our 2006 Okanagan 106UDB sits a tad higher, but with the duallies, I have not noticed any issues.  Not everyone will like the way a flat deck truck looks, but they are very versatile and function the same.” – Kevin Mooney, 2014 Ford F350, 2006 Okanagan 106UDB

“The rear of the 2010 GMC 3500 truck box floor was rubbing on the bottom of the 2010 Northern Lite Queen Classic camper.  I installed a vinyl box liner and that took care of the problem.” – Jeff Mawbey, 2010 GMC 3500, 2010 Northern Lite Queen Classic

“There was not enough length in my 2016 Ram 2500’s 8-foot bed for the CampLite 9.6S to clear the rear wheel wells.  The first time I loaded it, the rear 3/4-inch of wheel well was crushed.  It appeared to have clearance before I sat it down (with the help of the dealer who was of no assistance).

I added a 3/4-inch spacer in the the front of the camper to set the camper back that 3/4-inch.  Despite moving the center of gravity back, there was no apparent change in the handling after the change.” – Danny Crain, 2016 Ram 2500, CampLite 9.6S

Storage And Truck And Camper Fit

“I chose a 2016 Ram 5500 cab and chassis and added a 10-foot aluminum flatbed.  The only real problem is that it’s slightly (2 to 3 inches) off the center of gravity according to camper’s arrow.

I think I would go with a flatbed if I had had to choose a truck again.  Just mark the flatbed for pad alignment and load camper on/off.  It makes for great storage on the sides.  The purpose of the flatbed was to load a RZR 1000 Buggy for transport to a staging area when the camper is off the truck.

The 2016 Ram 5500 flatbed has no problems at all with the 2016 Arctic Fox 990.  I was initially nervous during its first fitting, but it has worked out fine.” – Frank Poole, 2016 Ram 5500, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

“The 2012 Lance 992 side rails were a bit too low for the 2015 GMC 3500 bed so we added a cattle mat (a thicker heavy rubber mat) under the camper and now it sits fine.  There is no rubbing.

We also had to put a 2×4 at the front of the bed as the bump stops were at the wrong height to do any good.  Everything is great after those small adjustments.” – Tracy Schuster, 2015 GMC 3500, 2012 Lance 992

“My 2012 Lance 1050 fit because I had two layers of stable mat in the 2009 Chevy 3500 truck bed to keep the camper from hitting the molded (stamped) reinforcements at the rear of the bed.  The stable mats help keep the sidewalls from flexing.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050

“The 2015 Lance 825 was designed for a short bed truck.  However, the bed on the 2008 Ford F250 extended cab is a few inches longer than the short bed on the crew cab.  I have to put a block in the bed of the truck against the cab to stop the camper prior loading it.  A 1.5”-inch block works.  Otherwise, the camper would hit the taillights.  It’s an easy fix, but an issue that Lance did not anticipate.” – Joseph McCormick, 2008 Ford F250, 2015 Lance 825

Extend The Bumpers An Inch With Blocks Jim

“The 2000 Northern Lite 9-6 Classic would not clear the 2005 Ram 3500, so I built a platform out of 2x2s, plywood, and rigid foam.  That raises the camper about an 1-3/4-inches.  The platform is permanently attached to the bottom of the camper.

I also found it was necessary to extend the bumpers 1-inch with blocks so the camper doesn’t rub on the taillights.  It’s also a very tight fit at the tailgate.

Rub Rails Out Of 1 8 Inch Thick Aluminum Jim

I made rub rails out of 1/8-inch thick aluminum to protect the fiberglass and help guide the camper onto the truck.” – Jim Scott, 2005 Ram 3500, 2000 Northern Lite 9-6 Classic

“My 2017 Ford F450 and 2017 Northern Lite 10-2 CD rig requires a 1.25-inch plywood bed riser and a rubber mat to provide clearance between the center ridge of the passenger’s cabin and the camper’s sleeper.  That is a factory suggestion from Northern Lite.

Dually swing out brackets work, but I have zero clearance with the rear doors.  My fix was that I had index pins machined that allow the dually brackets to travel past the 90-degree position, and lock-in 60-degrees inboard allowing them to store folded in against the truck camper.  That provides 2-inches of clearance between the top of the truck’s rear doors and the brackets.

The Torklift turnbuckles in the front driver’s position interfere with the operation of the fuel door.  My fix for that is to live with it.” – Mike O’Malley, 2017 Ford F450, 2017 Northern Lite 10.2 CD

“I had to raise the 2012 Northstar Liberty to clear the bed rails of a 2007 Toyota Tundra.  This is the second camper I’ve had to do this for.

As it happens, it turns out to be a benefit.  By adding two pairs of 2x4s on the sides and front, it raises the camper 3-inches and creates a cellar for additional storage.  I store things like a shovel, axe, fire poker, rolled up carpet, fire pit grill, surf rod holders, floor boards for inflatable boat, and filet board to name a few.

To close off rear, I cut the side 2x4s the same length as rear end of the pickup bed, and installed a 3/8-inch threaded stud in the end of the side 2x4s using 1×4 PVC trim from Lowe’s.  I cut it to the width of the bed, drilled holes for the studs, and used wing nuts to install or remove the PVC trim as needed.  From behind it looks like it’s part of the camper when it’s installed.” – Henry Nelsen, 2007 Toyota Tundra, 2012 Northstar Liberty

“The 2009 Chevy 2500HD truck box was too deep and the camper hit the top of the box.  To fix this, we lay five 2×6 boards across the box floor.  The problem is solved.” – Tom Ralls, 2009 Chevy 2500HD Silverado, 1994 Shadow Cruiser 800

“I moved from a 2000 Ford F350 to 2013 Ford F350.  I had to add a 2-inch head board to keep the back of the 2002 Apache truck camper from busting my tail lights since the newer trucks have tail lights that extend past the body metal.” – Larry Preston, 2013 Ford F350, 2002 Apache Sun Valley

Front Truck Bed Spacer for Wolf Creek Camper

“My 2007 GMC 2500 wasn’t setup for a camper, so the dealer delivered the 2013 Wolf Creek 850 to my driveway.  He told me the front top rail of the bed (under the rear window) would hit the camper before it was all the way forward in the bed.

To solve this fit issue, I built a spacer that the camper would hit before touching the railing.  A year later I installed Torklift Wobble-Stoppers.  I had to modify the spacer to allow clearance for the Wobble-Stopper brackets.” – Bryce Dillree, 2007 GMC 2500, 2013 Wolf Creek 850

“The gap between the wheel arches on our new 2017 Isuzu Duramax truck was about 3-inches wider than the old one.  I only found out the day before we were going for an extended tour of Yorkshire and the Lake District.  We had postponed going away due to late delivery of the truck.

The short term answer was to wedge the 2005 Northstar 700 DL in place using our leveling ramps in conjunction with ratchet straps to stop them slipping.  The permanent answer was to replace the timber skirt with some slightly wider timber shaped to be nearly 1.5-inches wider and slightly tapered.  Now the truck eases itself in true and level.” – Tony Sutton, 2017 Isuzu D-Max, 2005 Northstar 700 DL

“Capri Campers are old school and slide in without any fuss.  I also had a short bed Capri in the same truck and it worked.  I just mounted in further away from the front of the box and could close the tailgate.” – Colleen Staton, 2016 F250 Ford, 2018 Capri

“My 2017 Four Wheel Camper Hawk and 2016 Chevy Silverado fit perfectly.  I had no issues at all.” – Jim Melton, 2016 Chevy Silverado, 2017 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

“With upper and lower StableLoads and Rancho 9000s, the 2011 Ford F350 and 2018 Northern Lite 10-2EX CD Special Edition is a great fit.” – Roy Garland, 2011 Ford F350, 2018 Northern Lite 10-2EX CDSE

“Six-Pac used Tundras as their main vehicle so the fit was perfect and easy.” – Doug Baker, 2006 Toyota Tundra, 2006 Six-Pac D650

“No problem with a 2018 Chevrolet 3500 and 2014 Northstar Adventurer 8.5.  It truly fits fine and the loaded camper is hardly noticeable the way the truck performs.” – Jay Knight, 2018 Chevrolet 3500, 2014 Northstar Adventurer 8.5

“In my 2017 Ford F250, I have the new bed rug in the box and a 1-inch thick horse stall heavy duty rubber mat.  The 2017 Palomino SS-550 never moved a frog’s hair during my Alaska trip.  The cabover portion of the camper fits close with perhaps 2-inches of clearance.  I could easily raise it, but why?

My only critique if I had one would be to make camper only 1-inch shorter which would allow the tailgate to close completely.  While not a big issue, it is worth noting.” – Shellie Barnes, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Palomino SS-550

“The 2017 Ram 3500 and 2016 Palomino HS-2911 fit like a glove.  I did add Timbrens to the rear suspension, which was a very easy add on.” – John Leslie, 2017 Ram 3500, 2016 Palomino HS-2911

“The cabover of the 2012 Travel Lite 890SBX was too close to the cab of the 2013 Ford F250.  I put a 1-inch rubber mat and a 2-inch piece of styrofoam to raise the camper 3-inches.  This also helped access to the bed’s sides for storage.” – Nicholas Manderfield, 2013 Ford F250, 2012 Travel Lite 890SBX

Navajo Rez Road

“Although the 2002 Silverado 2500 was more narrow in the box than my previous 1986 Ford F150, the 1993 Litecraft pop-up truck camper barely went past the width of the more narrow Silverado.  I just have to be careful putting it on and off as there is only a mere 3/4-inch clearance at the rear of the box.  Thus, I rarely remove the camper once I have it mounted.  I had bought the camper new in 1993 while I still had the 1986 Ford.” – Jan Hill, 2002 Chevy 2500, 1993 Litecraft 8-foot pop-up

“Depending on which side you looked at, the center of gravity of the 2016 Arctic Fox 865 was either 4-inches in front of, or 4-inches behind my 2007 GMC 2500HD rear axle.  The center of gravity markers on the two sides disagreed.  In any event, the load on the rear axle was higher than I hoped, with minimal load on the front axle.

The overall weight was okay, so we installed Air Spring air bags in the rear to bring the bed to level at 70 PSI.  That redistributed the weight forward a bit, and it also resulted in better road handling than I had with a far lighter Travel Lite camper in the same truck without the air bags.

Northwood says the Arctic Fox 865 is a short bed only camper with the generator box installed, but it sticks out the rear of a short bed quite a bit.  With the center of gravity marking disparity, we had to improvise.  I still love the camper!” – Reed Prior, 2007 GMC 2500HD, 2016 Arctic Fox 865

“I had to put a 2×4 under the 2007 Lance 815’s floor to raise it up the necessary 1.5-inches to clear the 2017 Ford F150 bed rails.” – Rag, 2017 Ford F150, 2007 Lance 815

“I attached a 2×4 riser to the floor of the 1998 Weekender 8.5.  That allowed it to clear the bed rails and the crew cab of my 2007 Ford F250.  It also allows a little under the floor storage.” – Phillip Greer, 2007 Ford F250, 1998 Weekender 8.5

“I took the rubber bumpers off the 2002 Lance 921 and I placed a 4×4 that’s covered with outdoor carpet at the front of the bed of the 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD.  The Lance goes up against the 4×4 and everything fits just fine.  I don’t have to worry about the taillights or hitting the factory bumper.” – Erwin Greven, 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, 2002 Lance 921

“The back corners of the 2011 Chevy Silverado truck bed has a protrusion which causes the 2017 CampLite 6.8 to require 2.5-inch spacers to raise the camper.  The dealer threw four short sticks of 2x2s under the corners.  We took the rig out on a shakedown cruise almost immediately.

On our return trip home the camper shifted a few inches to driver’s side and the noise level increased dramatically.  Upon our return home we removed the camper and found the factory bed liner was distorted and ruined.

My fix was a new high density 3/4-inch rubber pad.  I had an old 1/2-inch floor pad and cut 6×6-inch squares.  I will place them under four corners.  Then I will make spacer guides like some I saw in a past issue of TCM.

We will be hitting the road in a few days if the wind ever dies down.  We will see if that helps.  Happy trails!” – Charlie and Barb King, 2011 Chevy Silverado, 2017 CampLite 6.8

“No big problems, but the 2015 Lance 1172 does interfere with my Sirius radio depending on the direction of travel.  I also must undo a turnbuckle to fuel up.” – Robert Mayton, 2014 Ford F450, 2015 Lance 1172

“We had two fit issues with the 2017 Chevy Silverado and 2001 Fleetwood Elkhorn.  First, the bed rails on our 2017 Chevy Silverado were too high, so I placed three 2x10s in the bed at equal spacing.  They work great.

Second, there was a brace on the inside of the tailgate that protruded into the bottom of the left side.  It had a large radius at the bottom corner and took up about one-inch of space.  That kept my unit from fitting in my new truck.

I took the truck to Roy’s Body Shop in Eldersburg, Maryland.  We talked over the modification and they nailed it!  You can’t tell it’s been modified.  I strongly recommend their work.” – John Mladjenovich, 2017 Chevy Silverado, 2001 Fleetwood Elkhorn

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed since I traded the Ram truck for a 2015 Ford F350.  I can’t test the fit until spring.  Wish me luck.” – John Heath, 2013 Dodge 3500, 2016 Adventurer 86FB

“I needed to add about 2-inches to the bottom of my 1994 Caribou 10F when I got my new 2003 Ford F350.  My other pickup was a 1997 Ford 250.  The camper fit well.  The cab is taller on the 2003 so the overhead hit when I lowered the camper onto the new pickup.  I just put some 2x4s and a sheet of plywood.  I used wood screws to attach it to the bottom of the camper.  It was a fairly easy fix.” – Kelvin Kohanes, 2003 Ford F350, 1994 Caribou 10F

“I had to add 1.5-inches of thickness to the 2013 GMC Sierra 3500 truck bed so that the 2013 Lance 1191 would clear the bed rails.” – Jerry LaCouture, 2013 GMC Sierra 3500, 2013 Lance 1191

“I went from a non-slide to double-slide 2013 Lance 1172 in a utility body.  I had to cut the inside corners of the 2013 Ram 5500 box out and reverse them so the basement would fit, which required cutting and welding.” – Kevin Hasch, 2013 Ram 5500, 2013 Lance 1172

“I have no fit issues with a 2016 Ram 3500 and 2007 Lance 1055.  I installed a rubber mat so my camper doesn’t slide around.  The truck and camper fits perfectly.” – Jim Hignite, 2016 Dodge Ram 3500, 2007 Lance 1055

“In 2013, I purchased a used 2010 Four Wheel Camper Hawk Shell Model camper.  When we went to install it on a new 2013 Ford F150, there was a difference in the height of the truck’s side walls.  The camper was short by about 1-inch.

To fix it I purchased a 1-inch sheet of marine grade plywood to fill the gap.  To lighten the weight of the plywood, I cut rectangular holes in it so it looks like a waffle.  Also, the plywood was painted and screwed to the bottom of the camper.” – Peter Mason, 2013 Ford F150, 2010 Four Wheel Hawk Shell

“I wanted a hardtop and traded my Palomino B550 pop-up for a 2015 CampLite 5.7.  It was built to fit a smaller truck than my 2016 Ford F150.  But, I wanted the ability to trailer my horses, and be able to shut the tailgate without taking off the camper.  The low weight of the camper is amazing.

I only needed a couple of 4x4s to lift and clear the roof and rails, which provided great storage underneath.  Originally I had to use 2x4s under the Palomino in order to use the sink drain since the top of the box interfered.  This was a good solution since I like simple no maintenance traveling.  I have travelled many miles with this configuration with no complaints.” – Heather Rutherford, 2016 Ford F150, 2015 CampLite 5.7

“The 2002 Lance 1130 cabover was too close to the 2002 Ford F350 for comfort.  We used 2-inches of high density foam to raise the camper.” – Scott and Donna Bailey, 2002 Ford F350, 2002 Lance 1130

“The 2007 Ram 2500 cab was too tall for my 2013 Travel Lite 840SBRX camper to clear with the requisite 3-inches of clearance.  With the camper completely forward in the bed, it also rubbed against my taillights.

My solution was that I attached three 2x4s to the bottom of my camper with 2.5-inch lag bolts.  For taillight clearance, I velcro attached a half-inch piece of wood slat to the front bed rail.” – Gregory Watson, 2007 Ram 2500, 2013 Travel Lite 840SBRX

“No issues.  The 2002 Ram 2500 and 2017 Northstar 950SC are a good fit.  I did add air bags and bump stops to improve on the ride handling.  I also have the ability to level the vehicle easily with or without the trailer added.” – Wayne Erhart, 2002 Ram 2500, 2017 Northstar 950SC

“My Lance dealer advised me that the sides of the 2011 Chevy 3500HD’s truck bed are slightly rounded at the tailgate.  The solution is a thick 4×8 piece of plywood as well as a 4×8 rubber mat to lift the 2015 Lance 1172’s bottom up and off the rounded truck bed corners.

Also, my truck has an aftermarket heavy duty steel bumper and matching running boards.  The bumper extends a little further past the end of the bed than the stock plastic and light steel bumper.  Therefore, we had to slightly trim the plastic box on the driver’s side of the camper’s rear that houses the holding tank valves and exterior shower.” – Todd Kidder, 2011 Chevy 3500HD, 2015 Lance 1172

“With the 2012 Northstar 9.5 Igloo and 2017 Ford F350 combination, there was insufficient cabover clearance using a BedRug bed mat, 3/4-inch plywood sheet, Ford hard rubber bed mat, and 3/4-inch riser boards on the camper.  That setup had worked on the 2010 Ford F250.

The solution was a riser frame using 2x3s screwed together, primed and painted, and screwed to the camper’s bottom and onto the existing riser boards.

The plywood is gone, which is a weight savings over the new riser and one less thing to deal with.  As with the 2010 Ford, I still need a spacer at the front of the bed to keep the rear of the camper clear of the tail lights and bumper.  There were no issues with the bed rails.

I believe the new Northstars are equipped with, or have available, riser kits from the factory.  If they were they in stock, Truck Camper Warehouse in New Hampshire would have sold me one when they installed my tie-downs.” – Brett Burguard, 2017 Ford F350, 2012 Northstar 9.5 Igloo

Modified F450 To Enable The Bigfoot Camper

“My 2002 Ford F450 came with no box.  Since there was no box, the truck had to be custom built.  The frame was cut and I have a fiberglass box filler.  I used an F350 eight foot box.” – Stan Kern, 2002 Ford F450, 2008 Bigfoot 30C1002

“No fit issues.” – Deborah Johnson, 1989 GMC 2500, 2018 Wolf Creek 850

“The front bumpers on the 2017 Wolf Creek 820 were too short.  When it was fully loaded the camper hit the 2013 Ford F250 taillights and did not allow access to the black tank drain.

I put a couple of boards in the bed ahead of the bumpers so the camper could not slide in too far.  I’m looking at a better solution for this camping season.  Any ideas?” – Randall Gilbertson, 2013 Ford F250, 2017 Wolf Creek 850

“My 2017 Chevrolet 3500 has a very narrow tailgate opening with a radius where the sides meet the bed.  It’s possible for the 2005 Northern Lite 10-2 CDSE to sit on those radius corners if it’s not perfectly centered.

To solve this issue, we put two 3/4-inch stall mats stacked up in the bed to raise the camper above those corners.” – Dick Liebergen, 2017 Chevrolet 3500, 2005 Northern Lite 10-2 CDSE

“Unlike our old 1994 GMC Sierra K3500 where our 1987 Lance fit like a glove, our 2015 GMC and 1987 Lance did not fit.  The bed rails were too high.  To fix it I used a rubber bed mat and two sheets of full dimension 3/4-inch marine grade plywood screwed and glued together.  It now fits fine.” – Dave Pracht, 2015 GMC Sierra K3500, 1987 Lance LC900

“Before purchasing our 2017 Northern Lite 9-6, we installed a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood and a 1/2-inch rubber mat in our 2017 Ford F350 – as recommended by Northern Lite.  The result is just a 1-inch space above the cab.  Fits like a glove!” – Russ Henshaw, 2017 Ford F350, 2017 Northern Lite 9.6 Sportsman

“No issues.” – Kim Petrie, 2014 Ram 3500, 2014 Arctic Fox 996

“No issues.  Our truck and camper fit fine.” – Joe Peters, 2017 GMC 3500, 2016 Arctic Fox 811

“With information like this, you could make a real nice compatibility spread sheet.  I actually have two different trucks and two different campers that could have interchanged.  A 2000 Lance 1010 or a 2005 Lance 981 will fit like a glove in either the 2002 Ford F250 or the 2006 Ford F350.” – Ben Hansen, 2006 Ford F350, 2005 Lance 981 Max

“We recently sold our pop-up camper on a utility bed Chevy and got a new 2018 Ford F350.  A 2012 Hallmark Cuchara came along so we snapped it up.  Upon loading it on the truck we found that we need to adjust how far the camper fits into the bed to avoid hitting the taillights.

To solve this issues, I’m going to use the camper bumpers from an old Happijac system we had laying around.  I will mount them to the front of the camper and set it back about three inches.  That will be perfect to avoid breaking the taillights.

The rest of the camper fits like a glove; a really tight glove.  I’m adding 3/4-inch pressure-treated plywood to the bottom of the camper to better clear the top of the bed rail and give us a little extra clearance with the cabover and the top of the cab.  It’s close and could hit during off-road driving.” – Cliff Kellogg, 2018 Ford F-350, 2012 Hallmark Cuchara

“Our fit is good with a 2017 Ford F250 and 2017 Adventurer 89RBS.  We do put 1/2-inch x 4-foot x 8-foot piece of plywood in the bed of the truck before we load the camper to give a little more rail clearance.  From our rookie understanding, this is fairly common.” – Marc Wilde, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Adventurer 89RBS

“Gas lines running down both sides of the truck camper came in contact with the truck bed’s rail.  To clear the bed rails we bought horse stall mats from Tractor Supply to add height.  They are 3/4″ thick, and placed on-top of existing 3/8″ bed mat.

While trying to avoid the gas line issue and keeping the camper centered and parallel to the truck, the lower corner of the camper tore through the bed liner at the fender-well.  It would be real nice if the camper manufactures added a teflon corner at these forward points.

To stop the camper from tearing the bed liner my current solution was to build a three side picture-frame using deck board for the sides attached to a 2×6 headboard.  It’s a very tight fit, and time will tell if this is a long term solution.  I am also buying a laser to mount the camper inside the truck.  That will help to help center the camper and keep it parallel.” – Roland Brodeur, 2016 Ram 3500, 2018 Arctic Fox 1140

“I bought a standard 3/8 thick bed mat. Then I purchased two sheets of a product called Dow Blue Board.

The size Dow Blue Board I purchased was 4’x8’x3” thick. The total cost, before tax, was right at $90. These have a compressive strength rating of 25 PSI. By my calculations this would be 144 sq in per sq ft x 25 PSI = 3600 pound rating per square foot of material. That is more then enough for even the heaviest campers.

I placed the sheets side by side on my garage floor, laid the above bed mat on top of them, then traced the outline of the bed mat onto the foam sheets. I then cut off the excess foam outside of the bed mat outline.

After being cut, these sheets only weight several pounds each and can support the weight of the camper. Being light weight they are very easy to remove when I am not using the camper. When using the camper, I place the bed mat down first, then the two pieces of foam on top of the mat, and the camper on top of the foam.

I don’t believe my camper has ever moved after being tied down. As a side note, I did leave the foam in front of the wheel wells as I thought this would help keep the foam in place. It would not be necessary to leave foam in this area as there is no part of the camper that would sit on this foam.” – Jim, 2015 Ford F350, 2008 Northern Lite 9-6 QSE

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