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Truck Recommendations For The Phoenix Mini Max

The majority of Phoenix Campers are 100-percent custom designed and built to a customer’s specifications.  These campers literally start with a customer idea or drawing and get translated into a physical camper by Phoenix Campers.  When Phoenix Campers says 100-percent custom, they mean 100-percent custom.

In contrast, the Phoenix Mini Max is a set floor plan.  The Mini Max is already designed and ready to go.  When a customer orders a Mini Max, they specify what truck they have (or want) and Phoenix adjusts the Mini Max floor plan to that truck.  Then the customer selects options and what interior counter top and fabrics they want, and Phoenix builds the camper.

What that means is that the Mini Max camper under review does not necessarily represent the Mini Max another customer would order and purchase.  It all depends on the truck you’re targeting, and the options and interior materials you want.  The part that’s set in stone with the Mini Max is the floor plan and overall design.

Wet Weight Calculation of the Mini Max

With that out of the way, let’s run the numbers on the Phoenix Mini Max under review.  This particular example of the Mini Max was built for a mid-size truck.  Phoenix actually borrowed a Toyota Tacoma for the photoshoot.

Using the standardized Truck Camper Magazine wet weight calculation, let’s run the numbers on this Phoenix Mini Max.

Base Dry Weight – built and optioned as reviewed

Phoenix Mini Max dry weight, 1,209.9 pounds + 15 gallons fresh, 125.1 pounds + 6 gallon full hot water heater, 50 pounds + 1x 20 pound full propane tank, 20 pounds + 1 battery, 65 pounds + stuff, 500 pounds = 1,970 pounds

Mini Max Truck Recommendations

As a short bed pop-up truck camper designed for mid-size or full-size trucks, we are going to adjust the above stuff weight to a more realistic 250 pounds.  Given the limited size of the Mini Max, and its relatively limited storage (compared to larger hard wall models), 250 pounds of stuff is much more in line with what folks will actually pack.

Taking the stuff weight from 500 pounds to 250 pounds changes the base wet weight of the Phoenix Mini Max to 1,720 pounds.  Keep in mind this weight only represents the Mini Max under review; fully wet, fully optioned, and fully loaded.

Should The Mini Max Be On A Tacoma?

A 2018 Toyota Tacoma SR, 4×2, Access Cab, 4-cylinder, 6-speed automatic has a maximum payload capacity of 1,620 pounds.  Change that exact truck to a more popular configuration – 4×4, Double Cab, V6 – and the payload drops to 1,175 pounds.

So there’s good news and bad news here.  The bad news is that the Phoenix Mini Max under review is not a recommended match for a Toyota Tacoma.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a Tacoma configuration possible that offers enough payload for this particular Mini Max build.

The good news is that Mini Max customers are in no way limited to (a) Toyota Tacomas and (b) the configuration of the Mini Max under review.  When the Mini Max debuted, we asked Robby about this very important point.

“We can absolutely make a Mini Max for a half-ton truck.  For that matter we could build it for a Chevy 2500, Ram 3500 – or whatever.  We can build the exact same floor plan and package for almost any pickup truck.  The difference for full-size trucks would be a wider and taller base floor, and an adjusted front wall.  Other than that, it’s the same Mini Max.”

For those of you who have their hearts set on a Toyota Tacoma, there’s another way forward.  As a custom shop, Phoenix Campers can build a version of the Mini Max to match the payload you have available.  Robby elaborated, “Most customers who contact us with lighter duty trucks ask if we can build a unit within the payload capacity of their truck.”

What’s The Best Truck For The Phoenix Mini Max?

Just for fun, let’s say that you don’t have a truck now, and want everything Robby and the Phoenix Camper crew have designed into the Mini Max.  The Mini Max under review was fully optioned and loaded at 1,720 pounds.  That may be too much for a Tacoma, but it’s peanuts for our favorite half-ton configuration.

A 2018 Ford F150 XL 6.5-foot short bed, 4×4, Super Crew, 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with the Heavy Duty Payload Package and 18-inch wheels offers 2,870 pounds of payload capacity.  With the Mini Max, that would give you approximately 1,150 pounds of payload to spare.  This would be one heck of a truck and camper combination.

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