Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Are new heavy-duty trucks cracking in half? This one did!

By Cheri Sicard

If this story looks familiar, it’s because Russ and Tiña De Maris wrote about it in our Sunday newsletter. Read their story (plus many comments from our readers) here

In the video below, Roman and Andre from The Fast Lane Truck have some literal breaking news about heavy-duty trucks cracking in half.

This news will be especially important to those interested in truck campers as that is where problems can happen. And be aware, the broken frame in the photos did not happen overnight, but over time.

To be sure, the cracked heavy-duty truck in the video, dramatically buckled in the middle, is likely the result of user error and miscalculations about payload and the amount of weight you can load in the back of a truck.

Nonetheless, it graphically illustrates what can go wrong if you neglect these important weight and payload considerations.

The truck in question is a new Ram 3500 dually that was carrying an Eagle Cap 1165 camper through remote regions of Baja, Mexico. The hosts stress, however, that the problem that caused this disaster applies to other brands of heavy-duty trucks as well.

In the photos you can see that the weight of the camper has completely bent, or perhaps even broken, the truck’s frame!

Mike, the truck’s owner, did research before leaving on his trip and believed he was well within the truck’s payload limits. However, he failed to take into consideration the configurations of his specific truck such as 4WD, engine type, and other features that lower a truck’s overall payload capacity.

Roman and Andre say this is a common misunderstanding people have about payload. So if you are carrying a truck camper, it would behoove you to take a closer look. This is true when towing, too.

Watch the video for details, but in simplistic terms, the more features and “fancier” the truck, the less payload it will have.

In Mike’s case, all the extras his truck came with cost him more than 2000 pounds of payload!

The video will also show you how to find the exact payload of your particular truck. Something you definitely need to know before loading it up like Mike did.

##RVDT2037

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SDW
11 days ago

First off, I couldn’t tell if his truck was a dually. If not, than that truck is nowhere near strong enough to carry that camper. I research Host truck campers and they make several models that all require a dually to carry them. They weigh right at 4,000 lbs.
That’s dry. If you add fresh water not even counting what you might be carrying in the grey and black tanks then your pushing possibly another 1,000 lbs. Now add the weight of the amount of people in the truck.
2022 Chevy Silverado Duramax Crew cab Long bed Dually will handle 6,900 lbs. in the bed.

Left Coast Geek
11 days ago

4 door pickups have the same GVWR and far heavier curb weights, hence less payload than the single cab version. Ditto loaded ‘luxury’ trucks have far heavier curb weights.

Far too many fixate on the DRY weight of their camper and neglect to consider just how much stuff ends up in it… then you go and hang a 50 lb bike rack off the back with a couple 60 or 70 lb ebikes, and go WAY over the rear axle weight rating. And yes, that camper looks to be intended for an 8′ longbed, not a 6’6″ standard bed truck.

Lawrence Neely
12 days ago

While I agree payload may have been a factor, most likely it was that the fact that there is way too much weight over the back bumper that broke the frame. the bike and looks like the kitchen and other heavy items in the camper shell are too far in the back. So any wild bump roads will break the frame

bill
12 days ago

Not mentioned in the video but this camper is designed for an 8′ bed and this truck is around 7′ or less. You can see the truck tailight before the overhang even begins. Also not mentioned (but listed in the owner manual) is that a dually setup, while much safer and better handling, also detracts from load capacity by at least 300#.

Brian
11 days ago
Reply to  bill

A lot of people on several forums made that comment but the truck in question has an 8 foot bed. Short bed trucks are shorter in the section between the rear of the cab and the rear wheel, not the section between the rear wheel and the bumper. An easy way to tell is if the part behind the cab is about the same size as one of the doors it is a full length bed, if that part is visually shorter than the door it is a short bed. Google some pics of Ram 3500 duallys and you will see what I mean.

Skip
12 days ago

We read this yesterday why again today?

Admin
Diane McGovern
12 days ago
Reply to  Skip

Hi, Skip. Did you read the disclaimer at the top? Two different posts from different writers on the same story, obviously. But sorry for the redundancy. Take care. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Bob p
12 days ago

This gentleman has learned a very expensive lesson. His first mistake was listening to the sales person whose only purpose in is job is to sell that truck, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH! Not buying a long bed truck to support that size camper, then hang a motorcycle on the back, and buying a very optioned truck, every option you buy takes the weight of that option off the payload. The max payload is calculated on a base regular cab(2 Dr) with standard equipment, it will be a gas engine not the diesel, it will have the standard automatic transmission not the heavy duty transmission. So after paying an exorbitant price for the truck he’s now faced with a $17,000 repair bill. Maybe his insurance company will total it but I doubt it as most insurance companies have lack of intelligence clauses in their policies.

Leonard
12 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

100% my thoughts. I ran into someone a while back who had a F150 to pull a 30′ 5th wheel. “The salesman at Ford said it would be ok.” My suggestion to them was to trade it in for at least a 3/4 ton truck asap, as it was not only scary for them to drive, but ridiculously unsafe. First person I always blame for anything? The person I see in the mirror. Too many people look to blame others, IMHO.

Buckeyebutch
12 days ago
Reply to  Leonard

I 100% agree, just looking at that setup screams physics isn’t in his favor.
As is said many times.
YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID

Jewel
12 days ago

There has been such an influx of new RVers that seem to think research is asking random strangers in social media or just looking at commercials for the facts.

It only takes one look at the door sticker of a truck and the side sticker of any RV to know the numbers needed to start. There are great calculators available online that help determine actual weights.

Maybe RV dealers should start taking an educational position – maybe some basic class to know how to choose the right size RV for the specific needs of the buyer.

Tommy Molnar
12 days ago

This was never a problem until truck camper mfg’s started trying to compete with TTs and fifth wheels – literally. I remember lusting after a Six Pac slide in camper in the 80s. Never did get one.

Michael
12 days ago

When truck campers became popular in the 60,s I remember a relative that had one out behind the barn that this had happened to. A farm hand lived in it.

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