Submitted: Monday, Mar 11, 2013 at 20:09
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was at the caulfield camping show,looking at the active campers optima slide on model to suit a twin cab,any thoughts good or bad on these campers?noticed there was no bug screens on the door and rear opening on the pop top,thanks for future answers bye barry
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Reply By: splits - Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 at 15:49

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 at 15:49

I haven't seen one of those campers so I can't help you in that area. The only advice I can give you is be very careful if you put one on a dual cab. The big American pickups should be fine along with the long wheelbase Land Rover Defender but it is asking a lot to expect any of the small Japanese utes to carry one.

I assume you have read this specification brochure. It lists the weight at 450 kg empty. That does not sound like a lot for one of those utes but you have to think about weight distribution.

The current model Hilux 4x4 dual cab cab/chassis for example weighs 1780 kg and GVM is listed at 2780. From that 1000kg payload comes the weight of the tray, the camper, the occupants, the fuel plus anything else that you put in or on the car and camper. The empty camper and tray combined would be around 550 kg with most of it behind the axle. To make matters worse, the camper has its heavy kitchen and refrigerator right at its rear end and you still haven't started packing the camper.

This is why the note on the bottom of the specifications sheet warns about the possible need for tray and suspension modifications if this model camper is used on a dual cab.

That is definitely not the answer. If you stiffen the rear suspension without doing exactly the same to the front end, you will make the car more prone to going into sudden oversteer in corners. That is the last thing you want with a car that is already tail heavy.

You also run the risk of chassis damage with all of that mass bouncing up and down so far behind the axle.

If you find these campers are well built and ideal for your needs then no problems, just make sure you select a car that will carry it safely without having to change its design.
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