Slide on camper Info

Submitted: Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 00:44
ThreadID: 88290 Views:8621 Replies:8 FollowUps:15
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Hi All
I am considering purchasing a slide on camper pop top for my Landcruiser tray looking at a second hand Supreme. I would be interested in any constructive feed back positive or negative from those who have owned a slide on camper.
We have previously had camper trailers for our travels but thinking it would be better not to have to tow also enables me to tow my boat on some trips.
* Is weight an issue when loaded.
* How much does fuel consumption suffer with extra drag in height of camper.
* How suited are they to "real" off road use and long term use.( months )
* Ease of operation on/off vehicle.
any other thoughts appreciated.

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 06:27

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 06:27
Hi Barry 2.
We had a slide-on on an F350 4x4 for 10 years.
Weight is a real issue. you must be careful.
Fitting water tanks under the chassis is best to keep weight low.
Putting them on and off is a bit of a pain. Eventually we fixed ours in place and left the legs home.
Extra fuel consumption is a non issue. It will always be less that the towing alternative.

We did many ks of 4WD exploring and loved the freedom of not towing (except for the occasional boat).

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 461854

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:22

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:22
Peter, thanks for the reply.
Which track was the photo, F350 would of been a big unit !!
Any problems off road ??

FollowupID: 735588

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 17:49

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 17:49
That is on the SA/Vic Border track.
If you look carefully you will see that we are towing an off road trailer in the pic. We had been doing track mainterance with the Toyota Club that we were members of at the time. They used to call the F350 "The Flats".
The F350 used to eat front shockers (and fuel too). Broke a couple of front leaves over the years and cracked the chassis several times in different places.
Had a great time in it though and went to a lot of places. Eventually we beat the poor camper to death.

OKA196 Motorhome.
FollowupID: 735631

Reply By: racinrob - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 08:44

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 08:44
Barry, I had a slide-on for twelve years and reckon it was the most versatile and convenient camping set-up available. I carried it on a HZJ75 which was also my work truck and daily drive, win win.
With the camper fully loaded with extra fuel and water of course it affected fuel consumption but not nearly as much as towing my new caravan which has replaced it. Any truck driver will tell you it's easier to carry than to tow.
To answer your concerns we did many trips the longest was four months and never suffered cabin fever.
Mine came with mechanical jacks (4) and loading/unloading was never a problem, unit held onto tray with four turnbuckles, the originals were diecast which didn't last so I replaced them with larger good quality tiedowns.
Much more user friendly than a 'van, we went places you couldn't/wouldn't take a trailer camper or caravan.
I fitted a long range fuel tank and a water tank under the tray which as Peter says lowers your centre of gravity but I don't know if that is important. What is important is to fit air bags, initially I fitted the red PolyAir bags but found they died after a couple of years so then fitted the PolyAir bellows type, in a word, brilliant.
I've crossed the Simpson and done most of the treks, (solo) and never had any problems mechanical or otherwise, camped in some amazing places, just thinking about it gives me itchy feet. Happy to answer any questions.

AnswerID: 461857

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:33

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:33
rr, thanks for your thoughts.What make of camper did you have ??
Did you have rear door or side, we are thinking side door seems to give you more room inside.
What made you change to a caravan ??
My L'cruiser already has air bags, they are great for heavy loads.

Thanks again
FollowupID: 735591

Follow Up By: racinrob - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:49

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:49
Barry 2. I had a Compass solid side pop-top, a really good unit no longer made, rear entry with a slide out ladder which my wife fell off and broke her knee, that spelt the end of that, we now need something with low access.
They haven't built the perfect camping unit yet but IMHO a slide on is right up there and I don't understand why they aren't as popular here as they are in the US.
I am biased but I think the rear entry door is best, just a matter of opinion, BTW have you looked at Wombat slide-ons ? Made at Horsham and a good unit.

FollowupID: 735596

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 21:39

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 21:39
rr sorry to hear about your wife hope all is good now.
your right about the perfect camper, like most things it's all about compromise !!
I hadn't heard about Wombat I will chase them up.
We have just been through Horsham on our way home from trip over the west
pity I didn't know about them before.

Thanks again
FollowupID: 735656

Reply By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 08:56

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 08:56
Have used a slide on for nearly ten years now first a Heaslip on a Land Rover Defender 130, now a Utility Camper on a F250.

Greatest thing since the centre pole tent!!

Comfort and quick setup of a CT or Van with out the hassle of towing. Plus you have the freedom to go where your car will go.

Weight is a real issue you need to be super careful.

Off road depends on the slide on. Some manufacturers come from a Caravan mindset others from a off road mindset.
AnswerID: 461858

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:35

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:35
Gone troppo, thanks for your reply.
We are looking at the caravan type Slide on.
Getting soft the comfort level is appealing to all the aches and pains.

FollowupID: 735593

Reply By: wicket - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 10:12

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 10:12
if you're after a bit of comfort but still want offroadability without too much weight then have a look at these, saw one at a show a few years ago and was very impressed the only thing that held me back was the price, about $30k.
AnswerID: 461873

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 21:31

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 21:31
Wicket, Thanks for the info, I remember seeing a highrise at a caravan show awhile back before we were interested but will follow up again.
FollowupID: 735655

Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 10:54

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 10:54
Have had several & have been mounted on Landcrusier (FJ45) & Nissan Patrols 6wheelers & ford F350. The F350 was the best on road & did not change much in its overall ride & performance. There are + & - in all as you will be aware, I now have camper type side on that I built myself & for my use (off road) found this the best for my use,(see profile photo)
In the van type check how its made & frame as all of ours, did not leak at home but with the twisting in the bush all leaked (tray was a very solid steel) the centre of gravity was a shocker, fuel consumption was down by about a 1/3 & if a head wind even worse, remember if driving in treed bush tracks as most are 2+ mtrs wide over head, you will find it hard negotioning these without causing damage, look out for how the layout is going to suit you, most have rear door that can be a issue if you are towing (you can get in & out but is normally not as safe) & side doors can be a problem in towns (car parks) as normally not enough room to let the stars down, in our Winnebago pop top version it had the 4 seasons hatch wright in the correct position so I could stand & use stove etc without having to pop the roof. But if you choose this way try & get all the heavy items as low as possible & do not compromise on the suspension up grade. I found the removable mechanical jacks harder than the hydraulic jacks to put the van on & off but would choose mechanical jacks as they did not add & extra 175mm to the width & remember to take the jacks with you, if you need service/breakdown with car you can leave van at caravan park etc & not be homeless while it is being repaired & is easier to find someone willing to work on it
AnswerID: 461879

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 22:20

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 22:20
Vince, thanks for the reply.
Impressive job you have done on your camper.
Some good points you raise, more to consider, it's a toss up between a tent setup or caravan type the comfort is appealing but I am concerned about the drag and effect on fuel consumption although the front is low profile on the camper we are considering.
Lot of money to make wrong choice.
Thanks again
FollowupID: 735660

Reply By: Tim Owen - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 20:56

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 20:56
Barry - I too was keen to avoid towing. We went for a Carry Me Camper on the back of a Defender 130 Dual Cab. Love it, but not quite the 'caravan' set-up you are after. It is a bit untested yet, only just finished it - but am hoping it will given us the independence we are looking for. Its ex NSW Rural Fire Service and has a whopping 320ltr water tank as part of the tray which will test the suspension when fully loaded. I'm currently getting around 12.4lt per 100km with the TD5. In theory it has wind up legs, but I have no interest in taking it off, and so it is permanently bolted down.

AnswerID: 461924

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 21:47

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 21:47
Tim, thanks for your reply we are tossing up between the two set ups
comfort is slightly ahead at present !!
Must be getting old !!
good luck with your camper

FollowupID: 735658

Reply By: Crackles - Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 23:03

Friday, Aug 05, 2011 at 23:03
*Weight is a huge issue. Many slide on campers weigh 500 to 600+ kg dry so very difficult to stay anywhere near GVM.
* The more that sticks up the more you'll pay at the fuel pump. Low profile campers are not only more efffient but far more stable.
* As above 4x4 ability is directly in proportion to weight, width & height.
* Unloading a camper can be awkward & time consuming particually bracing them so they are stable. Some systems are better than others. On the Patrol below air suspension is used to raise the car, fit the legs then drop it down to remove. If you don't want to compromise on offroad ability these types of units are worth looking at.
Full sized slideons like the Supreme are a bit tall & wide limiting them somewhat on narrow tracks or steep terrain.
Cheers Craig.................

AnswerID: 461938

Follow Up By: Tim Owen - Saturday, Aug 06, 2011 at 08:53

Saturday, Aug 06, 2011 at 08:53
That is a very nice looking camper box, is it commercially available?
FollowupID: 735673

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Aug 06, 2011 at 09:28

Saturday, Aug 06, 2011 at 09:28
This one is from Tailgate campers in Victoria. He builds low volume semi custom units completely out of alloy. Very light & a clever fast setup design. He's been too busy to get his website going just yet.
I suppose my point for Barry was he has a choice between carrying a fully setup van style camper with all it's weight & bulk or a compact unit like this or a Trayon for example that are less likely to break the back out of the ute & are easier to carry on trips like the Cape, Simpson or Canning.
Cheers Craig........................
FollowupID: 735675

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Monday, Aug 08, 2011 at 19:02

Monday, Aug 08, 2011 at 19:02
Craig, thanks for your response and photos havn't been able to get back to you over weekend been out looking at campers tried the supreme slide - on camper on the back of the L'cruiser very heavy and very high.looks a lot smaller when on the ground.I think something like the one in your photos will be better suited for our adventures.Do you have a Ph No for the Tailgate campers ??
Thanks again
FollowupID: 735854

Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, Aug 09, 2011 at 23:27

Tuesday, Aug 09, 2011 at 23:27
Tailgate Campers
Cheers Craig.........................
FollowupID: 736015

Reply By: Steve63 - Monday, Aug 08, 2011 at 13:01

Monday, Aug 08, 2011 at 13:01
We have a Carry Me Camper on the back of a 79 series landcruiser.
Main points:
1) Weight, we have had a GVM increase done so we are now under the GVM. The units themselves are heavy, add water, fridge etc it ends up heavy.

2) At similar speeds you loose a bit in economy but not that much.

3) Ours has been across the Simpson 3 times, down the CSR, Connie Sue, Anne Bedell, Gary Junction Hwy. Most of this done as a single vehicle. Our trips are usually six weeks.

4) I have reinforced the tie down mechanism so it now stays put. It is easy to get on and off. Our issue is that the jacks are well over a metre high to get it off the vehicle. So they are a bit unsteady (possibly assisted by me giving it a nudge while jacked up a few tiimes).

5) it is simple and quick to set up. 10 minutes tops to set up or pack up. If we decide to put the sides down add 5 minutes to both.

6) We spent quite a bit of time getting ours set up to our requirements. It now suites the type of travell we do.

AnswerID: 462103

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Monday, Aug 08, 2011 at 19:13

Monday, Aug 08, 2011 at 19:13
Steve, Thanks for your reply. Yes I am finding that all the ones I have looked at so far are very heavy except for the Outback Camper it is all aluminium and only 350 Kg and a good design.
How did you increase your GVM ??

FollowupID: 735857

Follow Up By: Steve63 - Tuesday, Aug 09, 2011 at 09:15

Tuesday, Aug 09, 2011 at 09:15
The big issue with the weight is that with two adults, full tanks, water and 350kg you are already getting close to the GVM on a lot of vehicles. The GVM can be increased by upgrading springs and shocks. It then needs to be engineered and new complience plates issued. You are best going to someone who does this specifically. GVM can not easily be changed above the sum of the maximum front and rear axil loading. So on a 79 series it can be increased to a little under 500kg but you have to watch the axil loadings.

FollowupID: 735898

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