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Truck Campers are versatile motors able to get you to some of the most scenic spots allowing you to relax under the stars. Although they need to be mounted onto the bed of a pickup truck when you’re traveling, it’s possible to use a truck camper on the ground, and also move a camper without the help of a truck.
So, let’s find out how to move a truck camper without a truck.
Although using a pickup truck to move a truck camper would make things easier, there are alternative ways to move a truck camper without using a truck. Tools such as a trailer dolly or trailer valet can be useful, or you could borrow or rent a truck, use a transport service, or request dealer transport.
Having constant access to your pickup truck will make things a lot easier when it comes to moving your truck camper around, but if your truck breaks down, or can’t be used, it’s wise to know how to move your camper without it.
So, let’s see what alternative methods you can use to move a truck camper without a truck, and can you even use a truck camper without a truck?
How To Move A Truck Camper Without A Truck
Moving your truck camper without using a pickup truck can be done, but you may need to invest in some new equipment to help things run a little smoother.
Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to move your rig slowly and carefully as truck campers are expensive RVs and repairs can be costly too.
It can be a tricky job to complete, especially if you’re doing it solo, so it might be worth asking some friends to help out!
Method 1: Trailer Dolly
A popular way to move your truck camper without a truck is by using a piece of equipment called a trailer dolly. Usually, a trailer dolly consists of a set of wheels and a motor to help aid in moving large and heavy rigs.
The dolly attaches to your hitch and you can control your camper by using the handles on the dolly. This is a great method if you’re not moving your truck camper too far, and will allow you to get the truck into your desired position.
It’s crucial to use a trailer dolly that’s designed to carry the size and weight of your truck camper. Using a dolly that’s not rated to handle the load of your trailer could result in your trailer being unsupported and coming off the dolly. Therefore, it’s important to know the weight of your truck camper and use a dolly that can cope.
Method 2: Trailer Valet
It may be possible to use a trailer valet or similar motorized dolly to move your truck camper, as the tongue system creates great maneuverability for moving the camper to the preferred destination. The motorized mechanism can come in particularly handy if you’re moving the camper up a steep incline or into a tight space.
Again, it’s vital the trailer valet can handle the weight of your rig, as truck campers can be deceivingly heavy, regardless of their limited size.
One of the biggest fears RV owners have is their truck falling off the dolly and suffering irreparable damage. This risk can be reduced drastically by taking necessary precautions such as checking the dolly has the correct load capacity.
Method 3: Borrow A Truck
I have always lived by the philosophy that if you don’t ask, you don’t know, so if you have a friend or family member who owns a truck, it could be a good idea to ask if you could borrow it.
Mounting your camper to the pickup bed of the truck shouldn’t take too long, so you may be able to borrow a truck and get the job done quickly in less than a day.
Method 4: Transport Service
The RVing industry is huge, and enthusiasts all over the world are purchasing adventure rigs to take them far and wide in search of new horizons and a variety of landscapes. If you’re purchasing a new truck camper, it may be possible to get it transported all the way to your doorstep without you having to move an inch.
Your truck camper will likely either be delivered to you by someone towing your camper with a truck or a flatbed trailer. Either way, having your truck camper delivered to your door will help avoid any stress that may come with trying to find a pickup to borrow or rent.
It’s important your truck camper is delivered correctly, so it may be worth asking the company to check any windows, vents, or doors are properly secured.
Method 5: Rent A Truck
If borrowing a pickup truck is off the cards, and there’s no other option for moving your truck camper, it may be wise to look into renting a truck to do the job. Many rental companies won’t allow the mounting of truck campers, but some now offer vehicles specifically for towing.
It’s essential to tell the rental companies all the necessary details about your truck camper, as they will need to find a truck that can cope with the weight of the camper.
Although there will be some cost involved, the total time needed for moving the truck camper shouldn’t be huge, so you can get the truck back to the rental company quickly.
Method 6: Dealer Transport
Purchasing a new RV is an exciting time, and if you’re looking to buy a truck camper straight from the dealership, you may be able to arrange dealer transport to get your new rig home. Some dealerships may be able to offer this service for a fee, but it could be a useful opportunity for negotiation when purchasing your new rig.
Moving a truck camper without a truck is very achievable, and can be done in many different ways. If you have a small budget and want to avoid spending any money to get your truck camper moved, borrowing a truck is a good idea.
Can You Use A Truck Camper Without A Truck?
Adventures in your truck camper don’t have to come to an end just because your camper isn’t mounted to your pickup bed. Truck campers can still remain in use on the ground, and taking the necessary precautions to stabilize your camper means you can use it like normal on the inside.
This can be useful when friends or family come to visit and you need additional space for guests that still has functional elements such as water and a toilet.
Although it’s possible to use your camper off the pickup bed, it’s vital to correctly stabilize the camper to prevent it from moving around a lot, or even tipping over when someone is inside.
1. Jack Stand
If you’ve been RVing for some time, you won’t be much of a stranger to jack stands, as they are useful pieces of equipment that can help you across many different aspects of the RVing lifestyle.
Jack stands are affordable and can help stabilize your truck camper when it’s on the ground, but it’s vital to only use stands with suitable load capacity when compared to your camper.
2. Powered Legs
Powered legs work through hydraulics, and although they are a more expensive option when compared to regular jack stands, they are robust and offer fantastic durability. The electrical power means you can press a button and lower or raise the legs to the exact height you want your camper to be.
3. Jockey Wheel
It’s possible to use a jockey wheel to stabilize your truck camper when it’s not mounted to your pick-up truck, but it’s crucial to use the correct jockey wheel for the size and weight of your camper. Ensuring the tire is pumped to the correct pressure will help the jockey wheel support the trailer better.
4. Camper Dolly
Camper dollies are a popular way of allowing truck camper owners to use their rigs without a truck, as they act as portable stands with wheels that can be locked securely in place when needed.
Making sure your truck camper is sitting on the camper dolly correctly and the weight is evenly distributed will help avoid any accidents like the camper crashing off the dolly!
5. Block Stack
Putting block stacks underneath your truck camper is an old-school but effective way of stabilizing it so the camper can be used on the ground. Cinder blocks are commonly used to support stationary RVs, but it’s important to make sure the blocks are stacked correctly, and the ground beneath them is flat and free of debris.
One of the many joys of truck campers is the fact they can be used both on and off the back of your pickup truck. It can be difficult knowing how to make the camper stable enough to use it as normal, but it’s worth taking the time to figure out the right method for you and your truck camper.
When the time comes and you need to mount your truck camper back onto the bed of your pickup, it’s vital to take things slow to get the job done right the first time. The camper needs to be lined up perfectly with your pickup truck and strapped down securely so it won’t move or slide around while you’re driving.
Truck campers have many benefits and they differ greatly from other types of RV such as campervans. If you’re debating what type of RV to buy and are weighing up the pros and cons of truck campers, it’s important to remember you aren’t just limited to using the camper on the back of your pick-up.
Truck campers are flexible rigs and can work with your routine perfectly, especially if you sometimes need full access to the bed of your pickup.
The video below is an honest review from two RVers who have lived in their truck camper for several months.
Talking to other avid truck campers is a good way to learn tips you can use in the future, and also provides a great opportunity for expanding your truck camper knowledge.
Having the ability to keep your truck camper stationary and continue using your pickup truck, means you can carry on with your vacation and explore the area you’re in without lugging your heavy camper around.
Even if you usually have access to a pickup truck, knowing how to move your camper without one can avoid problems and delays in the future if you lend your truck to someone or it’s out of service.
Having an extra pair of eyes and hands is always usual, so don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member for some help and guidance when your move your truck camper.
Finding a level area to park your truck camper is essential, as the last thing you want after all the effort of moving the camper without a truck, is to be parked on uneven ground.
Avid RVers will be able to relate to the battle of finding a level place to park, but scouting out a flat area of ground before you move your trailer can make things a lot easier further down the line.