Truck Campers Only, w/ an Overland & Off-roading theme

Spent a few days in early May getting away from the daily grind.
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Photo dump of a great weekend in South-Central Utah bouncing back and forth between the mountains and desert. Covered about 800 miles round trip between Friday evening and Monday evening, with about 350 of those being dirt

Had come across a few puddles up to this point that were a non-issue, so I drove up to this in 2WD thinking nothing of it and immediately sunk to the frame on the passenger side. Winch and line extension immediately paid for themselves.
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Pictures never do these views any justice..
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View through the camper door at our Saturday night spot. Was surprised to get such a prime spot at this popular location on a holiday weekend, especially rolling in around 7pm.
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Can you spot the houseboats way down below?
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Did some slot canyon hiking Sunday afternoon
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Again, pictures don't begin to show how incredible this area was
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Sunday night camp location
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Lots of green in this desert canyon
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Photo dump of a great weekend in South-Central Utah bouncing back and forth between the mountains and desert. Covered about 800 miles round trip between Friday evening and Monday evening, with about 350 of those being dirt

Had come across a few puddles up to this point that were a non-issue, so I drove up to this in 2WD thinking nothing of it and immediately sunk to the frame on the passenger side. Winch and line extension immediately paid for themselves.
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Pictures never do these views any justice..
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View through the camper door at our Saturday night spot. Was surprised to get such a prime spot at this popular location on a holiday weekend, especially rolling in around 7pm.
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Can you spot the houseboats way down below?
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Did some slot canyon hiking Sunday afternoon
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Again, pictures don't begin to show how incredible this area was
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Sunday night camp location
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Lots of green in this desert canyon
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That canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante by chance? Great pics!!!!
 
And some notes/discussion points from the trip:

-I've found that the wheelbase/breakover angle of the truck is a non-issue so far, but made contact with the spare tire/hitch probably a dozen times throughout the trip. Hopefully the garage full of parts I've been accumulating will help with this ;)

-What are you all airing down to on rough road/trails? I've been lowering the OEM Duratracs to 35 which seems to work pretty well. Not too soft given the heavy overall weight, still allows for stints of pavement in between dirt without worrying, and greatly improves the ride.

-Had some turnbuckle issues (Torklift Derringer). Halfway through the day on Satuday I hit a large bump and the camper made contact with the roof of the truck (very lucky the sunroof didn't shatter!). Thought it was weird since I've always kept a close eye on that and have taken bigger hits previously. Well, decided to keep driving a bit further when not long after it contacted again on a very small bump this time. Got out and realized both drivers side turnbuckles had seperated. The threaded rod portion completely unthreaded from the handle portion somehow. The rear lower half was long gone, luckily the lower half of the front turnbuckle was still sitting in the bed in front of the wheel well. Retightened that one, and rigged up a ratchet strap at the rear corner and went on our way. Dozens of miles later we heard some clanging from the front of the camper, got out to check and low and behold the passenger front had suffered the same fate. Again, the wheel well stopped us from losing the lower half so I was able to put it back together. However, in doing all of this I did discover that the internal springs are completely blown out, which is likely what caused them to lose tension in the first place. Admittedly, I drive pretty hard and fast, but hadn't considered this to be something to worry about. Going to order a new set of 4 and hope for the best while keeping my current blown ones as spares in case this happens on the trail again.

-My CO/LP alarm goes off often. Of the 6 nights I've spent in this camper so far, it's gone off during 3 of them. In looking at the manual I believe it is an LP alarm, not CO, as the beeping is constant rather than in an on/off pattern. Of the nights it has gone off, I've had the propane both on and off depending on if I used the heater that night which confuses me as I wouldn't expect any leaks with the tank valve closed. I always have a vent cracked at night at a minimum, but if memory serves me right I never had a fan on at the times the alarm went off. Turning on the fan(s) seems to prevent it from sounding again. I have never noticed a smell of propane in the camper. I'll do a soapy water test on all propane fittings to test for leaks, honestly hoping I find something so I have an easy fix to stop this from happening again.

-I am having issues with the lines on my ARB compressor w/ Dirt Church mount. Airing up after the last trip I kept melting the push to connect lines right near the compressor outlet. Before this trip I put heat shield sleeve, like what is used on spark plug wires, over the lines hoping that would solve the issue. Unfortunately despite that I melted a line and blew out a push to connect fitting when airing up after this trip. Seems odd that I haven't heard of anyone else with this issue, but I think I may convert everything over to braided line.
 
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That canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante by chance? Great pics!!!!

Yup! Most of the trip was spent in Grand Staircase-Escalante and the nearby Dixie NF areas.
 
Yup! Most of the trip was spent in Grand Staircase-Escalante and the nearby Dixie NF areas.
Hahahahaha. I totally recognized it as soon as I saw it. What a great spot!
 
Photo dump of a great weekend in South-Central Utah bouncing back and forth between the mountains and desert. Covered about 800 miles round trip between Friday evening and Monday evening, with about 350 of those being dirt

Had come across a few puddles up to this point that were a non-issue, so I drove up to this in 2WD thinking nothing of it and immediately sunk to the frame on the passenger side. Winch and line extension immediately paid for themselves.
View attachment 158117

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Pictures never do these views any justice..
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View through the camper door at our Saturday night spot. Was surprised to get such a prime spot at this popular location on a holiday weekend, especially rolling in around 7pm.
View attachment 158121

Can you spot the houseboats way down below?
View attachment 158122

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Did some slot canyon hiking Sunday afternoon
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Again, pictures don't begin to show how incredible this area was
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Sunday night camp location
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Lots of green in this desert canyon
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@rwalk just curious what you used as an anchor point to winch yourself out? I see there are trees in the area so that is my assumption, but thought I would ask...
 
@rwalk just curious what you used as an anchor point to winch yourself out? I see there are trees in the area so that is my assumption, but thought I would ask...

Yes, I used one of the burn damaged trees. The picture is deceiving, they are pretty far off the road and the only one nearby that seemed like it would hold up to the task was in a spot that resulted in a very sideways pull angle. Luckily it worked without issue.
 
How are you liking that scout? Looks like a great match with your truck!
You said it, its a great match to the truck. My wife and I have tried nearly every style of camper combo over the last 25 or so yrs, and for what I want it's been perfect.

I've been lucky and only had one of the known Scout issues and I honestly spent most of this trip thinking, short of spending Earth Roamer money I'm not sure what better option I could find. I looked at most of the ones in this space and narrowed my choices to this and the FWC Hawk. I ultimately bought the Scout because I liked the deal I got. Are there minor complaints sure, but I've spent 50ish days/nights (3 10 day stretches) in it so far. 90% completely off the grid and its done everything I wanted without much headache. My food stays cold until I want to cook it, the camper stays warm when I need it ( the heater works amazingly well down to 10 deg and a foot of snow on top), its powered our starlink and anything else we might need.

How is the SuperTramp?
 
You said it, its a great match to the truck. My wife and I have tried nearly every style of camper combo over the last 25 or so yrs, and for what I want it's been perfect.

I've been lucky and only had one of the known Scout issues and I honestly spent most of this trip thinking, short of spending Earth Roamer money I'm not sure what better option I could find. I looked at most of the ones in this space and narrowed my choices to this and the FWC Hawk. I ultimately bought the Scout because I liked the deal I got. Are there minor complaints sure, but I've spent 50ish days/nights (3 10 day stretches) in it so far. 90% completely off the grid and its done everything I wanted without much headache. My food stays cold until I want to cook it, the camper stays warm when I need it ( the heater works amazingly well down to 10 deg and a foot of snow on top), its powered our starlink and anything else we might need.

How is the SuperTramp?
Well, TBH my feelings exactly echo yours! I might have a few more nights in mine but we feel the same way, can’t imagine anything better for our uses, it’s been flawless. My only complaint about my ST is I think for a camper its size and battery capacity the charging just isn’t enough. I have plans to add dual 50A DC/DC chargers (100A total) and a few hundred more Watts of solar but that’s really only because I don’t want to think about it. So far I haven't run out of power yet but we do have DC Air Conditioning so it’s always a though. This new generation of campers is really something else. I’d live in it FT if I could.
 
Well, TBH my feelings exactly echo yours! I might have a few more nights in mine but we feel the same way, can’t imagine anything better for our uses, it’s been flawless. My only complaint about my ST is I think for a camper its size and battery capacity the charging just isn’t enough. I have plans to add dual 50A DC/DC chargers (100A total) and a few hundred more Watts of solar but that’s really only because I don’t want to think about it. So far I haven't run out of power yet but we do have DC Air Conditioning so it’s always a though. This new generation of campers is really something else. I’d live in it FT if I could.
I'm planning the same kind of upgrade to the electrical. Mine hasn't let me down yet but I do "manage" it and knowing Im going to have to have some A/C when it gets hot.
 
Had come across a few puddles up to this point that were a non-issue, so I drove up to this in 2WD thinking nothing of it and immediately sunk to the frame on the passenger side. Winch and line extension immediately paid for themselves.
What kind of line extension are you using and would you recommend it?
 
Well, TBH my feelings exactly echo yours! I might have a few more nights in mine but we feel the same way, can’t imagine anything better for our uses, it’s been flawless. My only complaint about my ST is I think for a camper its size and battery capacity the charging just isn’t enough. I have plans to add dual 50A DC/DC chargers (100A total) and a few hundred more Watts of solar but that’s really only because I don’t want to think about it. So far I haven't run out of power yet but we do have DC Air Conditioning so it’s always a though. This new generation of campers is really something else. I’d live in it FT if I could.


As we've previously discussed, our power use in our ST is at the other end of the spectrum. We have 200Ah and when we left for a 4 day trip last week, we left with it at around 60% even though rain was expected for most of our trip. I keep the DC charger breaker turned off under the hood. Arrived at our camp spot early afternoon above 90%. Poured rain for the next couple days and were down to 60% and thought I might need to flip on the DC charger, but decided not to. Next day was sunny and back up to 100%.

That being said, for those that want a lot of fast bulk charging, you might consider the following as there is no need for DC chargers. A buddy with an ST did away with using DC chargers all together and instead used THICK cable and a solenoid tied to one of his upfitter switches. Just flip the switch to connect truck batteries directly to camper batteries. Requires a more hands-on approach, but I like the idea of being in control. No worries about overcharging since alternator and truck battery don't put out over 14.4v that Battleborn recommends as max voltage. When the batteries are lower voltage, they will charge very fast and then naturally taper off as they near 100% SOC. This type of setup is mainly for bulk charging anyway and once full, you just flip the switch to turn it off (but no harm in keeping them connected if you forget; it would just keep the connection between truck and house battery). I think his charge rate was over 100amps.

Really nice that he can connect and disconnect at any time; truck running or not. He has two ARB compressors (front and rear) and fills without the truck idling because he flips the switch to tie the camper batteries to pickup batteries. Can also connect them if the pickup batteries ever went dead. Neat setup.
 
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I’ve found it’s impossible to have too much power. I’d rather be 100% full than be worrying about having enough. I’m not sure when I’ll install the two 50A DC/DC chargers or more solar but it’s the only hold up for the ST. Besides that it’s the best camper I’ve ever used, owned or seen.
 
What kind of line extension are you using and would you recommend it?


I bought 2x of the 50' extensions for more versatility. First line extension I've owned, went with the cheapest made in USA I could find, quality seems fine but the weave seems to be a lot looser than regular winch line, not sure if that's normal and maybe it will tighten up after more use.
 
I bought 2x of the 50' extensions for more versatility. First line extension I've owned, went with the cheapest made in USA I could find, quality seems fine but the weave seems to be a lot looser than regular winch line, not sure if that's normal and maybe it will tighten up after more use.

I went the same route regarding two 50' extensions rather than one longer. And, since I'm using recovery/snatch rings rather than pulleys, you can loop them together and they will pass right around the ring while winching.

I'm using all soft shackles only, though I do have some steel D rings with if needed for other vehicles tow points). I removed the hook and thimble off the Ford/Warn winch line and made a fixed loop at the end of the winch rope with a locked Brummel splice. To remove the stock thimble, one must remove the stiches from the stock buried splice, which can be hard to notice. It's just a buried splice and not a locked splice, so the stitching keeps the buried tag end from slipping out when not under tension).

Depending on my mood, to secure the winch line loop, I use a maxtrax 'winch widget' or a simple short section of PVC, wrapped to be black, to secure the winch line soft loop against the fairlead. I would still like something covering the winch to keep UV and road debris, especially in rain and winter, off the winch and winch line. Working on plan for a thin steel/aluminum panel, on which I will mount front license plate, and secure to the bumper with gun magnets (idea borrowed from further up this thread). Had a prototype with magnets only on the top of the plate, but didn't like how the plate laid on the winch line so plan to do a larger plate secured with magnets to both the top and bottom sections of the bumper (spanning the winch). Will probably go wide enough, with the plating, to span the entire width of the winch to fully protect from road grime and so no one knows the winch is even there. When winch access is needed or perhaps for all off road driving, I'll simply pull off the entire plate/cover.

(The white blurs are because it was snowing when I took these pics )

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I went the same route regarding two 50' extensions rather than one longer. And, since I'm using recovery/snatch rings rather than pulleys, you can loop them together and they will pass right around the ring while winching.

I'm using all soft shackles only, though I do have some steel D rings with if needed for other vehicles tow points). I removed the hook and thimble off the Ford/Warn winch line and made a fixed loop at the end of the winch rope with a locked Brummel splice. To remove the stock thimble, one must remove the stiches from the stock buried splice, which can be hard to notice. It's just a buried splice and not a locked splice, so the stitching keeps the buried tag end from slipping out when not under tension).

Depending on my mood, to secure the winch line loop, I use a maxtrax 'winch widget' or a simple short section of PVC, wrapped to be black, to secure the winch line soft loop against the fairlead. I would still like something covering the winch to keep UV and road debris, especially in rain and winter, off the winch and winch line. Working on plan for a thin steel/aluminum panel, on which I will mount front license plate, and secure to the bumper with gun magnets (idea borrowed from further up this thread). Had a prototype with magnets only on the top of the plate, but didn't like how the plate laid on the winch line so plan to do a larger plate secured with magnets to both the top and bottom sections of the bumper (spanning the winch). Will probably go wide enough, with the plating, to span the entire width of the winch to fully protect from road grime and so no one knows the winch is even there. When winch access is needed or perhaps for all off road driving, I'll simply pull off the entire plate/cover.

(The white blurs are because it was snowing when I took these pics )

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Very nice, that winch widget is a neat little gadget, I currently have a Factor55 Ultrahook but like the fully soft system. I too have a mix of soft and hard shackles along with a Factor55 recovery ring, traditional snatch block, Brennan's Garage soft shackle 2.5 hitch adapter, tree saver, and 30' strap. Hopefully should get me out of any situation

EDIT to add: A possible solution to your UV/debris concerns if you end up not wanting to run a front plate: https://www.factor55.com/p-loop-guard
 
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Very nice, that winch widget is a neat little gadget, I currently have a Factor55 Ultrahook but like the fully soft system. I too have a mix of soft and hard shackles along with a Factor55 recovery ring, traditional snatch block, Brennan's Garage soft shackle 2.5 hitch adapter (as an aside, would highly recommend, only company I could find that makes a 2.5" hitch shackle so no need for a reducer), tree saver, and 30' strap. Hopefully should get me out of any situation

The "winch widget" also has a little magnet so you can attach it to metal when it's removed and using the winch. The only con with the winch widget is you really have to be able to time that last 4 to 6 inches of winch line-in as to not break the widget in half. It's not fragile, but it's no match for thousands of pounds of force. Ha. Bumping the line-in button is not an exact science so I snapped one in half. If I bump in the line and it's in too far (less than 4 to 6" line remaining), it's best to let out winch line again so that final line-in bump is far enough out as it one line-in bump sucks in a several inches of line. Honestly the piece of PVC that I use seems more forgiving and stronger, but I kind of like the orange accent, so will roll with that for now. But if I break another one, I won't replace it. They are only around $10 street price so was worth a try.

Some use a super-cheap softlink and suck in the look so the replaceable softlink takes the UV and weather. By cheap and mean a junky, cheap questionable softlink that you will not use for recovery work. I do like the idea of an aftermarket fairlead that holds the loop, like the ones from Yankum Ropes, but they have no plans to make one sized for the Ford/Warn winch, which is a smaller/narrower fairlead and narrower bolt spacing. My current solution does leave a small part of the winch loop exposed to weather, but my front license plate bracket, that is in the works, will cover that, otherwise I would have gone straight for using a cheapo softlink and sucking the main winch line further onto the spool.

The Factor55 snatch rings are nice since they have the little fingers that hold the rope in place so less risk of it slipping off while rigging. I ended up going with the Yankum Ropes offset snatch ring because of the offset hole. That keeps the ring from rotating during a pull so the winch line, or line extension, slides on the ring rather than the ring turning and sliding on a single section of your softlink. Granted, a softlink is a wear item and replaceable, but I like the idea of spreading out the effect of friction-heat over the entire length of a line rather than isolating it to one small section (the softlink) for the duration of a pull. In the real world, however, either type seems to work fine and the friction is a non-issue for the most part. Pretty amazing the recover gear available nowadays compared to steel cables and snatchblocks of not too long ago.

I like that "Brennan's Garage soft shackle 2.5 hitch adapter". Looks slick and a decent price (for a change). I have a 41TwentyTwo hitch slider from previous rig, which serves as both a hitch slider and recovery point. It is a 2". I used it with an adapter for the first trip with the Superduty, and I touched down a few times so doing it's job. Since then, I've added a combination hitch extension and hitch reducer and had a step welded to it, so the 41.22 will go in the end of that but I know I may have to pull the extension/step when I get into really gnarly terrain. I'll also pull the step/extension it if I do a recovery, so the Brennan's might be a nice bit to have along and insert into the 2.5" receive to avoid doing a pull with adapter (though I've not really heard of any issues with doing that).
 
Yup! Most of the trip was spent in Grand Staircase-Escalante and the nearby Dixie NF areas.
We were there also over last weekend, in an identical twin Tremor (minus the OEV, sadly). I see Calf Creek and Peek-a-boo or Spooky Canyons in there as a well, perhaps some areas on Boulder mtn? High chance we walked right past you at some point! Anyway, looks like a great trip, and great country. We spend a lot of time there.
 
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