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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody have a lance 981 on a 2011 chevy 3500 SRW. If so how does it handle. My truck has 4200 or 4400 pound payload stock. I was wondering what all of you in the truck camper world think about that camper on my truck. I know I would be at my limits. The 2011 trucks are really beefed up compared to the previous years, but I know that is a lot of camper, I think around 3800 pounds dry. My truck is a 2011 Chevy d/a 3500 extended cab long box SRW.

I can tell you for sure this truck is a lot heavier duty than my 08 D/A 2500. I love that truck but this thing is a beast. :drink


thanks
Dave
 

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Hi Dave,
I am following in your footsteps. I just bought a 3500 extended cab long bed 4x4 and am shopping for a truck camper. It needs to be winter capable. I live in the mountains in northern california and our winter nights get down to 10-20 f commonly and 10 days a year may approach 0 and will be doing a ski trip to interior BC in febuary to go skiing. Was thinking of a used lance, artic fox, and eagle cap. Was wondering what you have learned. Thanks, Barry
 

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Well I do have some info for you. I purchased a used lance squire 3000. It is the 8 foot 6" extended cab model. It actually is made for a shortbed truck. I have a long bed but I also have a aux fuel tank and tool box that I wanted to leave in, so the short bed camper works out great. The camper on the sticker says it weighs 2500 pounds. It actually weighs about 3000. I know because I weighed it at the scales. That was without water just propane tanks full. That being said the truck handles the camper easily. There was no need for air bags or any other upgrades. I would not be afraid to load the big units of that time frame. I myself really like the lance 1130. It has a dry bath and twice the holding tanks that are heated which would be a must for skiing. You can find great info on lance camper at lancecamper.com then look under support they will have all the facts and figures from 1999 to present day.

The lance 1130 is about 500 pounds heavier than the lance squire 3000 dry weight. So I figure I could carry that rig. You would be right at your tire limits with the bigger rig and maybe would need to use stable loads or air bags or it might work just fine. Like I said mine rides great and I took it out yesterday just to check it on Interstate 80 with a strong south wind hitting me in the side gusting to about 30mph with no issues. I can tell you they really beefed this truck up it is very stable. I also bought a front receiver hitch from curt for $111.00 bucks that I put on and I carry my generator in the front of the truck on a cargo carrier. I actually makes the truck ride better with a little extra weight in the front.

So I know I was rambling here and I didn't proof read but I know I always like to get as much info as possible.
I would not head into the rigs with the slides unless you plan on major upgrades those suckers are heavy. I really think you need a dually for that!
JMHO

I also am assuming your truck is a 2011 or newer because thats what I base all my opinions on. There is a world of difference 2011 forward.

Dave
 

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I have an 11 CCSB 3500 LTZ (11500 GVWR) an I run an 10 Arctic Fox 865 camper which weighs about 3200 dry and pushes 4000 when fully loaded with me, my wife, our gear, water, propane and all my wifes shit plus the canoe and our mini dauschund (10 pounds). When loaded up like that my combo pushes that limit at the scales. I am running at or slightly over on the michelin 265's the truck came with and of course they are inflated to the max psi. I use torque lift tie downs and have added stable loads to my helper springs and recently a hellwig big wig anti-sway bar (I highly recommend all), and a front steering stabilizer, otherwise the truck is stock (with the stable loads the truck does not need air bags to ride level). I had this same camper on my 05 2500 and I can say there is a huge difference overall (it had to have air bags at 70 psi to run level - then it bounced like hell). With the hd frame, upgraded springs, brakes, front end, exhaust brake, etc. the truck handles this weight very well. I am comfortable in all conditions, including high winds, winding mtn roads, rough highways, freeway and all. I have run the truck with this load now for about 5000 miles of my total 13000 on the truck, average mpg is 12.5 with the camper on. Power, of course, is just outstanding, i rarely see the truck shift down or hunt, it just pulls. Overall I am very pleased. I can say without hesitation that the 11 - 12 3500 SRW will handle a very heavy truck camper extremely well right up and slightly beyond its design maximum load capacity. Even with the factory shocks and tires. I will say that when these tires and shocks wear out I am going to buy a 285 or 295 series with a 3750 load capacity just to give me more of a margin on the tires. I also plan on doing a set of bilstein shocks. Otherwise I am going to keep the truck stock. Oh and by the way, we LOVE the Arctic Fox camper also. This thing is simply posh and the quality is top drawer. I highly recommend having a look at one.
 

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HI Thanks for the reply. Since I have a long bed and and want an on board generator I believe that only the longer models will work. I was gping to get an arctic fox 860 but it will not work . I am going to have to a bit longer, arctic fox 990, Lance 915- 981 series with the winter package, eagle 950. It seems like I can do these with those same mods as you but I am pushing the limit and I am concerned, any thoughts?
Thanks
 

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With a 4,000 lb. plus payload (add in food, water, people, etc.) there are some basic additions to your 3500 that will help. Timbrens help by making the overload springs come into play sooner. Rancho 9000XL adjustable shocks help control sway and pitching though both are very well controlled with the much stiffer frame of the 2011 and later HD trucks.

Best tie-downs are the Torklift but they don't always just bolt on and sometimes need a little trimming. Add a rubber bed mat to keep the camper from wanting to slide.

Some campers have more weight on one side and this can cause them to lean even when parked on level ground. For this the solution is air bags that have independent fill lines so you can put more air in one side than the other - don't T them to make it easier to add air to both at the same time.

I would not spend the money on anything other than the Torklift tie-downs and the Lance plug wiring until the camper is on the truck and you have had a chance to drive it around. Then you will know first hand if sway or any other problems are present.

Check you rear axle's load rating and after having the truck weighed at a local CAT scale you will have a good number for maximum payload. With the total weight of the camper added at the rear wheels the next calculation is the load carrying capacity of your rims and tires.

With my truck the axle was rated for 6700 lbs. and the weight on the axle at the scales with the bed empty was 2700 lbs. leaving a 4,000 pound load capability. My stock 17' tires were rated for 6400 lbs and I replaced them with Nitto Terra Grappler 285/70R17 tires to up that to 7500 lbs. and have more of a cushion. With large and heavy campers the easiest solution is 4 rear wheels with a dually setup. If you need more than 7500 lbs. then the solution is Rickman 19.5 steel wheels and load range G tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The lance plug is exclusive to Lance Campers. You will need that just for a lance camper. It runs a 8 gauge wire for the refer when on DC. The DC for the refer does not work all that great. Propane keeps the fridge nice and cold while driving. When I first left mine on propane it would blow out right away when driving. Went to my local rv dealer and they had a kit which they gave to me for free that worked great. It goes over the flue where the burner is and also covers some of the luvers for the fridge. It has worked perfectly.

They gave me the kit for free. I know this was off subject but if you have a fridge that blows out on the road this kit will probably solve your problem.
 

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With your probable loaded weight and SRW truck I doubt your stock tires are going to be adequate. The 18" forged aluminum rims are fine but the stock tires are usually load rated for a maximum of [email protected] for a total rear axle load of 6800#. Your load is 7000 lbs. plus and do not be surprised if the actual "dry weight" of your camper is 300-500 lbs. higher than what shows on the manufacturer's sticker on the back.

The dry weight does not include propane, a battery, AC unit, and other additions. Filling up the water tank can add another 240 lbs. as well to the camper before you put your personal items inside. After loading my Lance 845 into the bed of my truck and driving to a CAT scale from the dealer's I found that it was 400 lbs. heavier than the sticker indicated. 97 lbs. was from the AC unit and probably 70 lbs. was from the battery and 30 lbs. from the propane but the remainder of the difference in weight was and remains a mystery.
 

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30 lbs lp plus another 25 for the tank? My ride weighed 8050 lbs with 3/4 tank of fuel and a fiberglass cap when dry weight was 7100 lbs... I think s.o.p. is to under weigh vehicles for lower registration costs?
 

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Update info I picked up a 2010 arctic fox 990 the only mod was the torklift stableloads that are adjustable/switchable on the lower overloads. The way they fit on my truck one plate in the front and 3 in the back I do have lift the truck with a floor jack to get these in between the springs even when the truck is unloaded. I drove about 900 miles on that combo and installed these because torklift advised that i should put those on, the arctic fox rep suggested both upper and lower stable loads and airbags. He has the same combo without the lower stableloads. Got a little bit of bobbing forward and backward when going over bumps this was most noticed with my head against the head rest. There was no side ways motions. We drove in winds, on snow covered roads, up and down hills , with tractor trailers. Came home put upper stable loads on and drove without the lower ones engaged, these are the blot on blocks. This helped the ride better then the lowers alone. Then engaged the lowers which helped even more. Just did a local 5 mile loop to check it out. I have a set of Firestone airbags in the box which I will add in the next 2 weeks and report back. We are really enjoying the truck camper and love that big slide out.
 

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One more fact Stock height camper off approximate 4 inches between the axle and the jounce bumper, accurate 18 3/4 from the bottom of the rear tie down and the ground 17 1/2 on the front. Camper on with the upper stable loads only 17 1/2 rear, 16 front, jounce 2 3/4, with the lower ones engaged 17 3/4 rear, 16 3/4 front, I will take to scales to see weight soon.
 
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