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Cabover questions



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Old 09-10-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
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Cabover questions

Picking up my first camper in a few weeks, a new to me 2007 Travel Lite cabover. It is made for short beds but you do have to run without a tailgate since the water tank hangs down some in the back. I've never had a cabover but I am super stoked about never sleeping in a tent again.

Since it is my first I do have a couple questions and hope anyone with experience will chime in with any tips they have.

I need some tie downs. I've pretty much decided on the Tork Lift ones since they seem to be the strongest and I didn't want to drill holes in the bed. Any thoughts or concerns? Things to look out for?

Also, I plan on towing my jeep on my car hauler while hauling it. Since my hauler has a pretty long tongue I could, in the past, run it with my tailgate down. Im not sure yet if the camper will be in the way but im hoping I can work around it.

The guy is throwing in a hitch extension but its not a dual tube job like I've seen before. Its basically a 24" or so extension tube and I don't trust it alone with my jeep on the trailer. Really don't want to pony up for the class 5 or whatever hitch at the moment so I was thinking about building my own dual tube hitch off the factory one complete with lateral stabilizer turnbuckles. Anyone ever done this?

Any tips for storage, use or hauling is appreciated. Thanks
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:45 AM   #2
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I wouldn't use the extension as is. Try to see if it can be towed without it. Watch out for the rear legs of the camper on tight turns. Mine barely touches and i have a car hauler trailer with the low bar running across the front.

Airbags make life a whole lot better.

Not sure if you've got the wiring harness yet but if you're not wanting to splice into the vehicle harness to run an addidional harness, what I did was bought a 7 pin male pigtail (about 6 feet long) and two femail ends. Cut the harness in half, cut remaining 3 feet in half and soldered the two 1 1/2 pieces to the end to make a Y with the female ends on the the ends. If you do this, make sure you only run the brake control to the trailer and not to both the camper and the trailer. did this without thinking and didn't have trailer brakes one trip.

Definitely need a Carbon monoxide/smoke detector so you don't kill yourself.

What we do is run the propane to power the fridge while we drive and only turn the hot water heater on for showering then cut it off after. But be sure to turn it on before you put your towel on because towels fall off a lot easier than you might think. Especially when there's a crowd. (Found that one out the hard way too.)

Got some dry ice for the road trip last time and that worked really well.

Probably want to run a water house onthe top really good to see if there are any leaks you need to fix.

Anything else you have questions about, feel free to ask or PM or whatever.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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I agree about the air bags. Surely if it's going on a single wheel. It's definitely an experience driving and/or towing with a large camper on the back. Visibility is my main concern. It's hard trying to back things up even with tow mirrors.
I would start out by getting a piece of 3/4 plywood to lay in your bed so that it always has a nice surface to ride on.

I bought the torklift frame mounts off eBay. Work great along with the small spring loaded chain mounts.

As far as storage it is a pita. I don't have a building tall enough to back mine under, so I lower it down onto an old trailer. I then back it under my carport.

Now my camper is a little bigger, but I made my own hitch setup. I have a lot of miles on it with zero issues. Scary to some, but I works great.


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Old 09-12-2012, 03:46 PM   #4
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Might consider an aftermarket rear stabilizer bar as well.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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I meant to post in here the other day. I agree with everything said. I have the torq lift tie-downs and the magnum hitch. . I have the 36" hitch extension to pull my 18" trailer and K5. They are both very heavy duty, but expensive. My camper started as a Lance 10', per tag the loaded weight is 4300lbs.

As for storage, I cut a sheet 3/4 treated plywood to make 4 2x4 sections, then cut grooves in each one to make a set of two 'X's. Then cut grooves in 2x4s to cap the top and bottom edges. Sit the camper on top when storing to keep the weight off the jacks.

As for level surface when hauling in the truck, since I have a hide a way goose neck hitch, I would put all of the 2x4s in the bed, then lie the sections of plywood over them for a level surface. Worked great.

I always crank up the fridge a week before a trip, then add cold food/drinks to it several days prior to leaving to allow the fridge/freezer to catch back up. I also freeze bottle of water in the house, then add them to the fridge the day we leave to help keep things cold. I run the pane while traveling, but big gusts can put it out. if you run the pane I would make sure your fridge has a relay or similar safety device that shuts the pane down if it fails to light/relight.

Check for leaks..this can't be stressed enough. My camper is now a 15', not counting the cabover, because I decided to fix what I thought was a small leak. I ended up putting the camper on a goose neck and "rebuilding" the back corner..was a perfect time to add a few feet. The tear down/rebuild got out of hand quickly and I was left with basically a roof and two walls once all the rotted wood was removed. It took a lot longer to finish than I ever would have anticipated.

As said if you have questions post up,I'm sure someone can help.




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Old 09-12-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the tips guys. My main concern now is the hitch extension and my trailer. I need to get the camper on the truck and see just how long an extension I will need. I really didn't want to have to upgrade my hitch and was looking at doing something like Rebelrider.

I assume that is built off the factory class 3 reciever hitch? Do you have any strength concerns where it is attached to the frame with the extra leverage?

The camper is a 2007 model and while it is 5 years old it is obvious it has barely been used. There is basically no wear and tear and the coffee maker is still in the original plastic in the cabinet.

I'm about to order my torklift brackets and while I do plan on running airbags they may have to wait a few months, spent waaaaay too much money lately. Luckily I don't plan on too many trips in the next few months.

I'll definately check it closer for leaks once I get it home but the exterior of the camper is in like new shape so I'm hoping all is well. I don't have anything to store it under so I was planning on either using a large tarp of buying an actual cabover cover.

Thanks for all the tips so far, keep em coming if you have them.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:46 PM   #8
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I wouldn't use the extension as is. Try to see if it can be towed without it. Watch out for the rear legs of the camper on tight turns. Mine barely touches and i have a car hauler trailer with the low bar running across the front.
Hard to see in this picture but the tongue on my trailer is fairly long and there is plenty of room to haul it with my tailgate down, especially if I pull the jack out which is simple. I don't know exactly how far the camper hangs down below the bed but I have a feeling it will be the limiting factor. Here is the truck/trailer combo.

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Old 09-12-2012, 05:56 PM   #9
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Mine is just the stock hitch. I put in additional bracing on the hitch itself. I know the high dollar double hitches are considered class 5, but i just beefed mine up to make up the difference. I wouldnt ever put anything heavier on it though. I also watch how I load the trailer. Notice how my yota is backed on. It has very little tongue weight this way. The camper is heavy enough that it doesn't sway.....
Like I said, I've put several miles on it with no problems. :knockingonwood:
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinty View Post
Hard to see in this picture but the tongue on my trailer is fairly long and there is plenty of room to haul it with my tailgate down, especially if I pull the jack out which is simple. I don't know exactly how far the camper hangs down below the bed but I have a feeling it will be the limiting factor. Here is the truck/trailer combo.

It might be good with no extension at all. I know mine wasn't, but Ive seen guys on pirate run without them.....
Btw, get ready to replace those trailer tires after a few trips. I have the same trailer and they only lasted 2-3000 miles even being rotated. They chop very bad.....
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:33 PM   #11
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It might be good with no extension at all. I know mine wasn't, but Ive seen guys on pirate run without them.....
Btw, get ready to replace those trailer tires after a few trips. I have the same trailer and they only lasted 2-3000 miles even being rotated. They chop very bad.....
Thanks, hoping I can get away without but we will see. Where was your problem? The jacks?

Yes the tires are obviously the cheapest trailer tires they could buy. Luckily I used to work at discount tire and still have the hookup from some old friends.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:59 PM   #12
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No, the bumper of the camper would come in contact with the square tube on top of the trailer. I just didn't feel right going through dips in the road and turning.
Post a pic of it loaded whenever possible, that way we can all see what your working with. You should go with us to k2 on the 28th to test it out. Lol
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:23 PM   #13
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No, the bumper of the camper would come in contact with the square tube on top of the trailer. I just didn't feel right going through dips in the road and turning.
Post a pic of it loaded whenever possible, that way we can all see what your working with. You should go with us to k2 on the 28th to test it out. Lol
Well I can't pick it up until the weekend of the 22nd when the guy gets back into town, I will be able to hook up the trailer then and see. I was planning on trying it out at Trees in October but Im not sure if I will make that now. I am going to shoot for K2 and if the trailer fits without an extension I might make it. Otherwise I probably wont have time to set the hitch up.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #14
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Is the extension solid bar or just hollow square?
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:37 AM   #15
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Is the extension solid bar or just hollow square?
Im assuming hollow. Its was set up in the rafters under his carport when I saw it at his place.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:40 AM   #16
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I think tractor supply sells an extended spud that might do the job.....
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:59 AM   #17
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I think tractor supply sells an extended spud that might do the job.....
Thanks, I'll check that out.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:45 PM   #18
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Thought I would post a pic after finally picking it up.

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:53 PM   #19
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Nice I like it
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #20
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Nice, shouldn't need too much of an extension if any at all....
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:35 AM   #21
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Nice I like it
Thanks, think we are going to enjoy it.

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Nice, shouldn't need too much of an extension if any at all....
Haven't tried to hook up the trailer but the black/grey tank hangs down pretty far. I think ill be looking at the torklift hitch just to be safe.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:50 PM   #22
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Just FYI, I ended up going with the Torklift setup. I ordered and installed my reciever the other day and measured for my extension today. Looks like I'm going to need a 30" extension to put the hitch past the bumper of the camper. I probably could have got away with less because of the longer tongue on my car hauler but I wanted one I could pull the boat with also.

I'll be trying it out for the first time next weekend headed to Trees. It's about 7 hours or so for me so say a prayer for me.

As a side note I have found some roof damage and leaks in the roof of my camper. Next project when I get back is redoing the roof

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Old 02-04-2013, 06:57 PM   #23
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Very nice. I was able to shorten mine by 9". Are you going to have to install airbags?
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:50 AM   #24
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Time will tell but I am thinking I will want to after this trip. The truck handles the camper pretty well and I can load the jeep with a light tongue but I won't know how it handles until I get it all together.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:48 AM   #25
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Depending on what type of room, it might need to be repainted. I did mine in a couple hours. Mine is fiberglass. The paints kind of pricey but works well. I had to re-caulking around my sky lights. I'd like to take them out completely.
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