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Truck Camper Ratings

Truck Recommendations For A Four Wheel Camper Hawk

Wet Weight Calculations

Using the standardized TCM wet weight calculation, it’s time to crunch the numbers on the 2018 Four Wheel Camper Hawk.

Base Dry Weight – factory order without options

Four Wheel Camper Hawk: dry weight, 1,075 pounds + 20 gallons fresh, 166.8 pounds + 2x 10 pound full propane tanks, 20 pounds + 1 battery, 65 pounds + stuff, 500 pounds = 1,826.8 pounds

Base Dry Weight – optioned as reviewed

Four Wheel Campers makes it super easy to find the weight of their options.  They have a downloadable PDF on their website.  Using this information, we were able to determine the weight of the options installed on the review unit.

Here are the options on the review unit and their weights: Thermal Pack (5 pounds), Second Camper Battery (53 pounds), Power Roof Vent Fan (8 pounds), Forced Air Furnace with Thermostat (25 pounds), Water Heater and Outside Shower Package (70 pounds), Porta Potti (10 pounds), 2-Way Compressor Refrigerator/Freezer 130 Liter AC/DC (70 pounds).

To this option list we are going to add two additional options not included above; Mechanical Camper Jacks (100 pounds), and an 80-Watt Portable Solar Panel (25 pounds).  The camper needs jacks to be loaded and unloaded by the customer.  The camper has a Zamp solar controller necessitating a portable or roof panel.  This brings the total option weight to 366 pounds.

Let’s add this option weight to the Truck Camper Magazine standard wet weight calculation.  We are also going to add the 6-gallons of fresh water weight for the optioned water heater (50 pounds).

Four Wheel Camper Hawk: dry weight, 1,441 pounds + 20 gallons fresh, 166.8 pounds + 6 gallon full hot water heater, 50 pounds, 2x 10 pound full propane tanks, 20 pounds + 1 battery, 65 pounds + stuff, 500 pounds = 2,242 pounds

Truck Recommendations

To bring the above wet weights closer to reality, we are going to adjust the 500 pounds stuff weight to a more realistic 250 pounds.  Since the Four Wheel Camper has no upper cabinetry and relatively limited storage capacity, the 250 pounds of stuff weight could still be pushing what most folks will bring.

Changing the stuff weight from 500 pounds to 250 pounds takes the base wet weight of the Hawk to 1,576.8 pounds.  The optioned wet weight of the review unit is 1,992 pounds.  Both wet weights are well within the full-size, half-ton short bed truck range, but not every half-ton truck will be a payload match.

The majority of full-size, half-ton, short bed trucks have less than 1,500 pounds of payload.  In fact, it’s not unusual for brand new half-ton trucks to have far less.  Most truck buyers are not attempting to maximize payload when they purchase a truck.  To the contrary, they’re looking for packages and options that often remove hundreds of pounds of possible payload capacity.  To state the obvious, truck packages and options are heavier than most folks realize.

The good news is that there are several simple solutions to a proper truck and camper match for the Hawk.  The first solution is to over truck.  Match the Hawk to nearly any three-quarter or one-ton short bed truck and you’re done.  Always run the numbers and check the payload stickers to be sure (and overall fit compatibility).  It’s hard to imagine a three-quarter ton or one-ton truck that couldn’t handle the Hawk with payload to spare.

Speaking of payload to spare, another simple solution is to custom order a full-size, half-ton, short bed truck.  For a previous review we built a 2017 Ford F150 XL short bed, 4×4, Super Crew, 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 2,650 pounds of payload capacity.  To reach this impressive half-ton payload number, the truck required Ford’s Heavy Duty Payload Package with 18-inch wheels.  Even with some luxury options carefully added, this truck would be a fantastic payload match for a loaded Four Wheel Camper Hawk.

If you prefer Ram, Chevy, or GMC, tell your preferred dealer that you need 1,576.8 (base) or 1,992 (as reviewed) pounds of payload capacity.  Then, start building a custom truck order.  Make it clear that the final truck needs to have the required payload capacity on the door, or you’ll refuse the truck.  If they say the dreaded, “Don’t worry about it” or, “You’ll be fine” find another truck (or camper) dealer.

According to Toyota’s website, the maximum payload capacity for a 2018 Toyota Tundra is 1,730.  That is for a SR, 4×2 Double Cab 5.7L V8 Standard Bed.  That puts the Tundra on the map for a lightly-optioned Hawk.  Just be careful if you add options like four-wheel drive.  That option alone drops the Tundra’s payload capacity by 100 pounds.

If you’re matching a Hawk to half-ton truck you already have, follow the Truck First path featured in the article, “How To Match A Truck and Truck Camper”.  Most Four Wheel Camper Hawks are custom ordered from the factory.  You can work with the Four Wheel Camper team to build a Hawk that fits within your truck’s payload requirement.  Should your half-ton have less payload capacity than the Hawk’s standard base wet weight of 1,576.8 pounds, consider a Hawk Shell Model.  You can also light weight the truck and camper. Pack less stuff, remove the jacks (a popular practice for pop-up camper rigs), and do not travel with water.  We once removed the factory hitch on a 2013 Chevy 3500 to make a proper payload match.

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