I’m thinking of mounting my pop-up Jayco camper on a small flatbed trailer to do away with mounting/dismounting it from the truck. This would also bring it closer to the ground, and I would be able to carry canoe & kayak on top-it’s too high up when on the truck. Has anyone tried this, or does anyone know a reason it wouldn’t work? I thought of getting a small travel trailer, but I like the camper, and a wee trailer would be cheaper. Thanks.
Caution the oddity could cause accidents
If I am invisioning this right. The truck would have a kayak and then the trailer a truck camper which would have an odd shape (the front would have a notch cut out to go over the cab). Now, I would find that very distracting going down the road, and might not be watching the road instead. How do you plan to keep it steady enough in transit?? I know they stand on their own on the ground, but you are talking a moving HEAVY object here. A used conventional trailer might really be more solid for travel and definitely stop the rubber necking as you move on down the highway. Perhaps on second thought it would be a great idea if you are using the front open bottom space to haul your bike??
You sure lost me with you discription of
the Jayco pop-up. I thought pop-ups came on wheels. Anyways once you are all set up at the campground you will have to break camp each time you want to take the kayaks somewhere? Or are you talking about rolling the pop-up on a trailer and then rolling it off once you are at the campground and using the trailer for the kayaks? Like I said you lost me.
Poor communication on my part!
I have a Ford Ranger w/ oversize tires & heavy duty suspension, so its bed sits higher than normal. The camper is a small, typical cabover truck camper, but has a top that cranks up, somewhat like a tent trailer, but without the beds that slide/fold out. It’s been great for my wife and me, but I don’t keep it on the truck when not camping, and putting it off and on is more effort than I want (just turned 70). I have a We-no-nah Vagabond, 14.5, and my wife has a 9’ rec kayak, both of which can ride in the truck bed, which can’t be done with the camper mounted. SO, the fantasy is to bond the camper to a flatbed trailer, using the same cable system used to bind it to the truck presently. The trailer could be parked where I store the camper presently, and do away with the on/off work. The good side effect is that it would bring the camper roof within reaching range, and the canoe and/or kayak could ride on top, so we could take the boats camping. Also, when camping, we could unhitch the trailer and go boating away from the camping site. Should mention that I live in WA, and camping/boating places abound.
I also was very lost when you said you were
thinking of mounting your pop-up on a trailer since I also thought the popup was a trailer.
Suggestion: why not buy a small pop up travel trailer? If your Ranger is at least 6 cylinders it should be able to pull it. Then buy a hardshell fiberglass cap for the truck, put some mounting bars on it and carry your canoe and yak on it.
You will have the best of both worlds. When you get to the campground you leave your little house on wheels there and take off to the good paddling places with your truck and paddlecraft.
I agree that putting that camper on and off the pickup is way too much work and trouble unless you have some sort of lift.
That’s what i did, then i got a bigger truck and bigger camper. It is NICE having my own shower and bath room… but i do think for all the effort a used Coleman pop-up and rack system for the pick up would be the way to do.
My only recomendation is not to use a trailer that has small diameter sized tires as they tend to get hot and burn out bearings on longer trips. 12" size tires work nice in this application.
It would work
But there are some problems to overcome. you would have to get the positioning right for the trailer to pull properly.
I would sell the Jayco and buy a small travel trailer.
Years ago a neighboor had a large truck and cabover camper. One day I saw him drive down the hill with his rig and come back with a Toyota 4x4 PU. I thought he sold everything but a week later he drove down the hill and came back towing a custom built fith wheel trailer with his cabover mounted on it. It was a very slick rig and if he could do it so can you. Your camper is a crank up so the CG should not be too bad. Just make sure you get a good heavy duty trailer with a wide stance and tires rated for the load. You will probably have to have brakes on the trailer if your weight is over 1500 lbs. Not a bad idea to have brakes anyway.
In a previus post they suggested getting a small camp trailer or tent trailer. This was good advice but of course more expensive. Look at the used trailer market in your area before you make any investment. You might find a good rig at a reasonable price.
Thanks for your responses…
…which are stimulating the kind of thinking I need to do. Some comments.
Compared to a travel trailer or tent trailer:
–It would be less topheavy, since in the collapsed
position it would only be 41" taller than the bed
of the flatbed trailer.
–It would indeed take careful positioning, both
side-to-side and relative to the trailer axle, etc.
–The chains/hooks/ringbolts/etc. used to attach it
to the truck could be adapted to a trailer.
–It is similar to a tent trailer, but they all seem
to have 2 pull/slide-out wings for beds. Our
camper’s cabover section is fine for the 2 of us.
–Good-sized tires are important, I agree. the
flatbed trailers I’ve examined have 14-15".
–I don’t want a canopy on the truck, since I use
it a few times a year for other loads, and would
have to mount/dismount a canopy.
–I paid $1500 for the camper 6-7 years ago, and
it’s still in excellent shape, so I don’t want
to invest in a new rig.
–As former hardcore tent campers, we find indoor
plumbing superfluous. We do have a portable
toilet that fits in a corner.
Thanks for your thoughts, and more are welcome. I’ve been known to make mistakes.
I’ve actually seen this set-up.
The trailer had side tool boxes and a storage ‘closet’ under the cabover. The trailer had larger wheels. The guy is an on-site welder and had a welding rig on his truck.
The comment about a top heavy load is valid. I would haul the boats on the truck. If they hang over the truck box, you will probably need an extended tongue on the trailer. If you can haul the boats on a rack or topper that is taller than the trailer, you won’t have an interference problem.
Having slept in your type of camper and a pop-up trailer, I found your type faster to set up and more weathertight.