Bumper Pull Trailer

stanginthe11s

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 6, 2022
Messages
249
base your decision on what your actual honest use will be. if you will be staying in one place for a week or more, then a bumper pull may be a good fit as long as you understand the pros and cons of boondocking. if you think you will be doing 3 days and moving, then you might want to look at a small RV as they are just easier to get up and go. if it's just you, then a slide in camper is nice. it is almost 2x the cost to pull a camper vs not pulling (depending on size) so be sure that's not an issue. also, while not often, I have run into problems getting fuel, not every station can handle a rig. My truck is an 8' bed crew cab so with my 25' camper I'm around 50' which can be tough in some areas.
I love my camper, but I don't use it as much as I use to simply because it isn't really cheaper than hotels anymore. I will tent it for 4-5 days then go to a hotel for a night. I don't have to worry about the drive or the cleaning and winterizing when I get home.
 

ToolMann

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
573
Location
Parker, CO
I had wanted a trailer for a long time but refused to finance one. In 2018 I finally had the cash to get what I wanted and picked up a 2015 Lance 1995 trailer for about half what the original owner paid new. I narrowed it down to three brands/models but since I had my half ton truck at the time I went with the lighter Lance. I now tow it with a Ram 2500 diesel so could have easily went with one of the heavier options I was looking at (Outdoors RV and Nash). Our hunts vary from backpack, wall tent and trailer. We've hunted out of the trailer in negative temps and up into the 90's. Having a hot shower, bathroom, stove, etc. make things extremely comfortable. It serves its purpose and has taken all across the west hunting and fishing. I've never regretted the purchase. My wife and I can have it hitched up and ready to go in sub 30 minutes if we want to move. We've had it on some roads most wouldn't, covered in mud and snow piled on top. The only drawback with towing anything (other than wind) is snow. I'm cool camping in it but I all but refuse to tow if the snow is sticking to the pavement. So some planning around that or choosing another option (wall tent) if weather isn't conducive. I'll even take it if solo for antelope. A hot shower after long hot days on the prairie is amazing. I always carry extra water so if just me for 4-5 days I can easily shower morning and night and still have plenty of water. For storage tank capacities I have 45 gallons each fresh, grey and black.
 

Cant hit em

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
3,356
I have a Wolf Pup 17bh i pull with a 4runner and Have had no issues with it. I dont like how the step folds out of the door other than that its been good.
f121b8a80985bebd167402844d096feb.jpg
 
OP
Tips n Tails

Tips n Tails

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
1,036
I have a Wolf Pup 17bh i pull with a 4runner and Have had no issues with it. I dont like how the step folds out of the door other than that its been good.
f121b8a80985bebd167402844d096feb.jpg
@Cant hit em Thats pretty impressive for the 4Runner.

I’ve been debating a corrugated side panel trailer vs. the fiberglass skin. I looked at your floor plan. Do you just sleep in one of the bunks then?
 
OP
Tips n Tails

Tips n Tails

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
1,036
base your decision on what your actual honest use will be. if you will be staying in one place for a week or more, then a bumper pull may be a good fit as long as you understand the pros and cons of boondocking. if you think you will be doing 3 days and moving, then you might want to look at a small RV as they are just easier to get up and go. if it's just you, then a slide in camper is nice. it is almost 2x the cost to pull a camper vs not pulling (depending on size) so be sure that's not an issue. also, while not often, I have run into problems getting fuel, not every station can handle a rig. My truck is an 8' bed crew cab so with my 25' camper I'm around 50' which can be tough in some areas.
I love my camper, but I don't use it as much as I use to simply because it isn't really cheaper than hotels anymore. I will tent it for 4-5 days then go to a hotel for a night. I don't have to worry about the drive or the cleaning and winterizing when I get home.
@stanginthe11s that’s probably been my most difficult decision is being honest lol.

Generally, I’ll park and go spike camping for days. I’ll come back to the truck based on needing to refuel, killed, or needing to relocate. That’s where I like having the idea of being able hook up and go.

Or if the weather turns bad and instead of staying in a pup tent at a trailhead I can enjoy the confines of a trailer.

How I’ve been seeing ppl do it, is they park their trailer 30 mins - 1 hr away to mitigate crappy roads, snow fall in higher elevation, and having cell phone service, etc..and they take their quad or sxs out to hunt. I’d park my trailer in a similar area and take my truck out to park and hunt and/or depending on the area/type of hunt just from trailer itself.

After eating Peak Refuel for 3 - 4 days I like the thought of being able to come back to shower and cook a real meal before heading back out.
 
OP
Tips n Tails

Tips n Tails

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
1,036
We had a 21 Wolf Pup 18tobl. Really cool looking travel trailer, always would get looks and questions at the campgrounds.

Slide broke twice under warranty, AC broke. Other than that it was fine. We sold it because it was a little small and was hard with a little one and one on the way plus I bought it for $17,500 and sold it 2 years later for $17,000. If I had to do it all again I would have bought a bigger, higher quality one with no slide and a 3/4+ truck instead of my 1/2 ton. I imagine if it was my wife and I before kids we would have enjoyed it more but it was hard with a toddler.

View attachment 483045
@Evol Wow. That’s great you got the majority of your money back. Any issues with the fiberglass skin or water leakage around the slide out?
 

wapitibob

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
4,570
Location
Bend Oregon
You can buy these for about $11,000. Cheap enough I don't have to justify the limited use and it's built like a tank so It'll outlast me.
3200# dry, dual axle, 2 big propane tanks, solar, roof air. Not a couples trailer but mine works fine for a single hunter.

 

Cant hit em

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
3,356
@Cant hit em Thats pretty impressive for the 4Runner.

I’ve been debating a corrugated side panel trailer vs. the fiberglass skin. I looked at your floor plan. Do you just sleep in one of the bunks then?

My wife and I sleep in the Bed up front , my daughter sleeps in the top bunks and we put the dog in her kennel on the bottom bunk.
 

gearguywb

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
495
Far too many folks worry about "tow rating" when in reality you need to be far more concerned with payload. Most modern 1/2 ton trucks have a pretty light payload capacity.

Payload is everything in/on/attached to the truck after it came from the factory.

Here is an example:
Payload: 1450
Added winch and hard cover: -300
2 people: -400
All of the gear in the truck: -300

Now you have a payload of 450 lbs to attach to the truck via bumper/5th wheel/whatever.

Adding airbags, springs, etc., does not increase your payload it just makes the truck more "level"

Different trucks have much different tow ratings. The Ram fans will flame me, but the Cummins equipped Ram, decently appointed, will have a payload of 2K or less. A similar GMC will have a payload of 3200, a Ford in the middle somewhere.

Resaon: Ram wanted a "nicer ride", which they achieved, but at the cost of payload by adding rear coil springs on the 2500 series.

This is just an example. I would suggest you look at the door jamb sticker to see what your payload is, the work from there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CCH

swavescatter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
316
^I used to preach payload as well, and you're right about softer suspension decreasing payload. After years of wrangling with weigth distribution hitches and airbags, I'm now in the camp that payload isn't actually the driver, and that payload CAN be fixed with airbags.

Payload is essentially how much weight they expect you to load in the bed (but you're right that passengers and junk in the cab still count towards it), and still have some amount of suspension left before you're hitting bump stops. Softer suspension = less weight before you bottom out. Airbags level you out and help avoid hitting bump-stops (at the expense of a rougher ride when filled, which I why I run empty when now hauling).

What actually matters is your trucks axle weight ratings and tire load ratings (and total gross vehichle weight ratings). These are engineered safety limits and there's no way around them. They also require you to do a little research and hit the CAT scales to verify you're not exceeding them. I started doing this when I realized that I was over payload for my F250, but I had added airbags. Turns out I was over on rear axle weight and hitch weight, hence my upgrade to a long bed one ton (which still needs airbags). At some point your brakes might be undersized as well, so that's where GVWR comes in and you should not exceed.

But if you're not willing to go through all that work, then I agree that payload is the conservative, easy target people should use. Payload is not a legally enforceable offense, DOT can get you for GVWR and your axle weight ratings.
 

Fatcamp

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
4,885
Location
Sodak
But if you're not willing to go through all that work, then I agree that payload is the conservative, easy target people should use. Payload is not a legally enforceable offense, DOT can get you for GVWR and your axle weight ratings.

What is your source for this?

To include liability in the event of an accident?
 

Corey Paulsen (teamkabob)

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
1,428
@Evol Wow. That’s great you got the majority of your money back. Any issues with the fiberglass skin or water leakage around the slide out?
OP, a lot of great options in here. Im on my 3rd camper and enjoy them with the family and use it for hunting here in Kansas and Missouri. Out west you will be happy with a shorter trailer to not be limited on where you park it. If buying used take a flashlight and checks all over for water damage and move on it you see anything. Check the roof too.

I have people asking me about what campers to buy. I always recommend to go rent a few for a weekend and you will see fast on what works and what you hate. Then you have a better idea on the one for you.

Just like buying a car. Needs and wants are different for everyone.

Happy camper hunting!

My 31ft camper drops my mpgs to 10.5 average on the long hauls
 

bnsafe

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
411
I bought a pop up for going out west from mo, for one year. we thought we would camp so we bought a huge pop up. It was a great camper and had every thing you could poss think of. I thought it would be awesome. BUT
pros, It was a game changer for comfort, fun, keeping spirits up, and was just plain nice
cons, for what i spent on insurance, monthly payments, camping spots, extra gas, up keep, supplies, etc I can rent a hotel room and drive the 45 minutes to wherever I want to hunt and have a tv hot shower and food every nite. If I want to go elsewhere I take the tent and hunt a few days then go back to town.
the comfort was game changing and amazing, the cost was prohibitive for me. just crazy. If I still lived out west where I wasnt pulling it across the country I would have one in a heartbeat
 

swavescatter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
316
What is your source for this?

To include liability in the event of an accident?
My source is various reports from various forums over the years. My friend actually got a ticket here in town for towing his excavator on a road limited to 20k lbs GVWR. It's rare, but these cops do exist, and portable road-side scales exist for a reason - to weigh the axle weights of vehicles. Weigh stations exist, people do get tickets - just google that. But I suspect you don't doubt this.

Payload? How the heck would they enforce that? Force you to dump all your stuff in pile and weigh it? I've just never heard of that and I don't believe it's the *determinative* factor driving safety (at the end of the day it's how much weight are placed on your axles and how much weight you're asking your vehicle to safely stop and steer). Is this what you're asking about?

If you're referring to legal liability in the event of an accident, I can't recall a specific example, but I wouldn't doubt it could enter the calculus. If some guy hauling a triple axle toyhauler with his Tacoma killed a member of my family due to an accident, you bet I'd be piling on his safety negligence, but that's mostly a hypothetical (though I don't doubt it has happened).

I think this thread is sufficiently hijacked, so I'll can it.
 
Last edited:

rayporter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
3,830
Location
arkansas or ohio
frontal square footage is rarely mentioned but the drag is a huge factor with any tow vehicle, especially half tons.

as far as tow weights go, if you tow a big triaxle with a half or three quarter ton and hit me, the first thing i will have the officer do is take a picture of the door post on your truck. no, they don't write tickets for being over wt. with recreational vehicles very often but they should.
i see quite a few over wt every year.
 
Last edited:

drra

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2022
Messages
89
I have a camper and use it maybe half of the time. I like to drive to Northern Idaho to go Bear Hunting and for the additional cost (and time) of towing a trailer I could just stay in a lodge (only took it once that far)- close to a 20 hour drive. For the six hour drive to go deer hunting I've taken it more often. There is a cost to towing a trailer very far, not to mention I don't like to tow trailers. The luxeries are hard to dismiss, especially the shower and warm bed. Live just about everything - it is a nice option, but it comes with a cost. It is the only way my wife will make the trip.
 

stanginthe11s

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 6, 2022
Messages
249
you guys with payload issues, curious if you ever looked into how to load your camper. tongue weight can be changed a bit if you are having problems. I know there are trailers with bad designs as far as weight distribution so not being negative to you, just curious.
payload and towing cap. should both be looked at and never exceed the hitch specs. also, if you're expecting your vehicle to stop you and that trailer, then you shouldn't be on the road towing.
 

displacedtexan

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 12, 2022
Messages
791
We have had a 19' camper for a few years. We wanted something that could be used on hunting trips, but that was a side use.

To date it has never been used on a hunting (or field trialing) trip.

We still camp together without it regularly.

I don't see a camper as a replacement for a tent, just a supplement to your tent collection.
 

Evol

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 2, 2018
Messages
252
Location
PA
@Evol Wow. That’s great you got the majority of your money back. Any issues with the fiberglass skin or water leakage around the slide out?

I lucked out on selling it bought and sold at a good time. No issues besides the slide breaking. I had it in a barn when not using it though so it wasn't out in the elements. I haven't read every post but if you plan on hunting out of it in areas that are remote, I wouldn't get one with a slide, too much can go wrong. When mine broke I was at a campground and had a hell of a time getting it back in. Also if I would do it all over again I would have got a double axle.
 

bow puller

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
95
Location
idaho
Trailers another tool to use. I love my toy hauler, we family camp a lot and hunt some with it. Late season it's fantastic to stand up, cook out of the elements with no real setup or teardown. May have to camp 15-30min+ away to avoid bad roads though.

Early season use it for base camp to backpack out of or whatever. If you can swing it grand design and outdoors rv/nash are some good ones. Solar, gen and lithium battery(s) just keep battery above freezing to charge. Mines in a heated enclosure that maintains 40-50°
 
Top