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Old 08-27-2018, 09:10 AM   #1
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Launching A Boat w/ A Truck Camper

Picked up an older C-951 a few weeks back that has undergone a complete top to bottom restoration which I will share when I have photos. Meanwhile I am hoping to go out soon for my shakedown trip and am thinking on taking my 21' Thompson boat along as well. Does anyone know if I can launch and retrieve my boat with the camper still attached to my truck bed? My truck is a Ram 2500 with an 8' bed and it does have 4 wheel drive.

Thanks.....Joe
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:15 AM   #2
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Hi Joe,

I've seen people do it before. If you can tow the boat with the camper on, I don't see why you couldn't launch it too. Just make sure you have solid brackets under the truck and make sure your turnbuckles holding the camper on are in good shape. If so, you should be ok.

Something to keep in mind though, the frame of the truck campers is all wood, so if you have rot that you don't know about, the angle may cause the brackets to pull out. But hopefully not.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:33 AM   #3
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Never thought about the stress on the camper. I think I will take the time to take the camper out of the truck bed.

Thanks for the caution.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:31 PM   #4
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Way back when I had my pickup camper on a Ford 250 I had a hitch on my front end. At marina I would in unhitch, turn around and rehitch to front. 2 advantages were better visibility and rear wheels are out of water. One thing I did notice when towing was boat sway. With camper on truck there is no downward air pressure but up lift from air passing under truck. This I corrected by moving boat forward on trailer increasing tunge weight.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:53 PM   #5
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I know it takes a lot of time, but I think I will unload the camper to drop the boat. With modifications that added weight to my camper, I am concerned with the stress on the brackets especially with the steep angle of many boat launch sites.
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:54 AM   #6
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Joe,
As rigid as that camper is, since its rebuild, I wouldn’t worry about taking it off the truck to launch or retrieve your boat, unless you wanted it off for some reason. Those maneuvers are done at very low speeds, anyway, and those Torklift tiedowns are about as good as it gets. That said, a front hitch is an excellent idea, as long as you have 4wd. Al
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:10 PM   #7
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Everyone......since you have mentioned it, how often do you folks remove the camper from the truck when camping? i have seen articles where people will lower the camper close to the ground for stability and also where horses are used the same as if the camper is being stored for a longer period of time. I'm not very experienced at it, but the removal of the camper itself takes about 30 minutes from start to finish but that is just using the 4 corner jacks for stability. Curious as to real life experience. Thanks.....Joe
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:54 PM   #8
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Not only to launch a boat but also to be able to take the truck around town where we are camping without the camper in the truck bed, does the freestanding slide in camper need any additional support for the front sleeping area, the portion that extends over the truck cab when sitting in the truck bed, when it is separated from the truck itself? My camper has 4 support posts, each one rated for 2000 lbs each.

This past week I camped in Burlington, VT in a city campground which was only 2 miles for the center of the city, so I used my bike to get around. That is not always possible.
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