There's no doubt about it, Instagram is a mixed bag when it comes to content. Most of their content is superficial, but you can still find Instagram feeds that are both inspirational and educational. Corey Hoffman, who goes by that name,Entertainment, runs one of these data files. Over the months, we've seen its progress from building a nearly useless truck and trailer combo to one that's now sleek, useful, and fun to drive. In this interview, Corey explains why he decided not only to upgrade to a Ford F-550 with super singles, but also why he switched to a Northern Lite 10-2 RV and a custom rig. Yes, the reasons are well known to most of us, but the thought process behind the decisions is interesting nonetheless.
Thanks Corey for talking to us. Where are you and your wife from?
Corey Hoffman:I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After high school, I did an experiment at the University of Nevada-Reno and it didn't do well academically. I discontinued the experiment and moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, for a few years and then graduated from Portland State University. My wife, Kathleen, was born and raised in Maine, attended (successfully) college at Ithaca University, moved to Park City, Utah, for five years, then moved to Portland, Oregon, to attend the University of Natural Medicine, where he obtained his doctorate. I sold my business in January 2019 and am now retired. Kathleen is a physician in private practice in Hood River, Oregon.
How long have you owned the Northern Lite 10-2LE caravan?
Corey Hoffman:We bought our Northern Lite motorhome in the spring of 2020, so almost a year to go.
Can you tell us about your motorhome and why you chose this particular make and model?
Corey Hoffman:After a long drive through Baja, Mexico in our previous configuration, which included a one ton SRW Diesel truck and an Arctic Fox 990 trailer, it became clear that we needed a lighter trailer and a truck with a higher payload. ONorth Lite 10-2We like the shell, fiberglass construction, long warranty, nice finish, and a very usable and thoughtful interior without the use of an extension cord.
What modifications have you made to your caravan to make it more habitable?
Corey Hoffman:Really, it's just little things like adding hooks inside, boxes to store school supplies, dryers for ski boots and gloves. The biggest change for us was the custom platform.
Can you tell us about your platform and some of its features?
Corey Hoffman:The platforming scenario with the sliding trailer really changed the rules of the game. We carry a lot of equipment with us, such as skis, mountain bikes, surfboards, kites and kitesurfing boards, wetsuits and fishing gear. Without a trailer sliding on a table, all that equipment ends up in the roof box, which really adds to the height, or has to go inside the trailer. I worked with Ryan Bahn fromBahn Camper Bettingin a design that meets our needs, offering the functionality of a motorhome lifted from a truck. Highway Products of Medford, Oregon completed the engineering work and made the bed a reality. The side door is framed with a robust sealing and locking mechanism and allows for quick and easy access to your equipment. Boxes under the bed are perfect for tools, chains, spare parts, etc. Ryan did the installation and integration of the RV which includes a dual compressor and ARB tank, a 40 gallon auxiliary diesel tank so we can now haul 80 gallons of fuel. A 40 gallon auxiliary fresh water tank has also been added for a total of 73 gallons of fresh water!
Beautiful! Do you use solar energy or a generator to charge your truck's batteries?
Corey Hoffman:It really depends on where we are going and how long we will be there. In general, during the summer and fall months, Baja expeditions do us perfectly well using only solar energy. On the other hand, winters in the Pacific Northwest are very gray, so we often take the Honda EU2000i with us to recharge the batteries. The stove must also work in winter, which is our biggest energy consumption.
Can you tell us more about your Ford F-550 truck? You were dealing with a one-wheel conversion, right?
Corey Hoffman:Yes. Our truck is a 2018 Ford F-550, 60 inch crew cab per axle. We haveBuckstop TruckwareSimple Rear Wheel Conversion Kit. After chasing the "wobble of death" a bit and adjusting the wheel angle, the truck and conversion felt great.
Super singles sound great. With the F-550, we assume you are not exceeding your truck's GVW. Have you weighed your equipment yet?
Corey Hoffman:The truck has a GVW of 19,500 pounds. Loaded for months on the road with a variety of toys, we weigh 15,800 pounds.
Perfect! Did you make any modifications to the truck's suspension?
Corey Hoffman:I replaced the front stop lift coils with the king coilover system. The dual-speed screw provides a really smooth ride and also provides better front linkage. also installedHellwig Big Wig Swing Railsfront and towards eAirbags Hellwig Big Wigna volta.
we love yourBuckstop for front winch. Which model is it?
Corey Hoffman:We have a Buckstop Boss with PIAA winch and auxiliary lights and an £18,000 Superwinch.
Do you regret choosing one of the trucks and trailers? Is there anything you'd like to do differently?
Corey Hoffman:The biggest challenge with our setup is the height. We go 12 feet 6 inches to the top of the air conditioner. We will likely remove the air conditioning and TV antenna, which will get us less than 12 feet. As we cruise through the small towns south of the border, I sometimes wish I had a pop-up trailer. But 90 percent of the time ourNorthern Lite is the right choicefor our lifestyle and travel.
What's the longest time you've spent in a motorhome?
Corey Hoffman:We have just returned with our motorhome from a four month trip to Baja. Four months with two adults, our seven-year-old daughter Scarlet and our 70-pound puppy Rally. Our trip through South America will probably last more than a year.
Where have you been in your motorhome so far?
Corey Hoffman:Last year we've been all over the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, California and Baja California.
What mileage are you getting on your setup?
Corey Hoffman:We currently get about 12-14 mpg.
What wheels and tires do you have on your truck and what pressures do you usually drive?
Corey Hoffman:OBuckstop single rear wheel conversion kitit also comes with 20-inch wheels. I use Continental MPT-81 EarthRoamer tires with mixed reviews. They generally work well and provide a lot of carrying capacity. Downside is of course road noise, revs require every 3000 miles and didn't last long. Just put on Goodyear G275 MSA tires. The first impression is that they are much quieter, but it is too early to say if they will last longer. Typical psi is 70 rear and 55 front. For long washboard rides, I generally reduce the pressure to 35psi on all fours.
What places do you plan to visit in your trailer?
Corey Hoffman:We have tentative plans from the Pacific Northwest to South America in 2022. Our immediate plans are to use the trailer three to four nights a week for skiing, biking and surfing in the Pacific Northwest, as well as doing fall runs south of border.
Do you have a website and/or social media channels that our readers can follow?
Corey Hoffman:We're not very smart about it. I created the callInstagram @funroamerfor building the truck, trying to share what I learned along the way, as well as sharing our trips to Baja last fall.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your trailer before it closes?
Corey Hoffman:My parting thoughts are that there is no such thing as a perfect set. Just get there! I've slept in ski resort and trail parking lots for 30 years in everything from the back of a truck, van, trailer, C-Class andcamping trucks. The current setup fits our lifestyle very well, although it can feel a bit crowded at times. There are tradeoffs for each platform, and each has its pros and cons.
What size of truck do I need? When buying your new Northern Lite truck camper it's critical that you have the right size of truck. Northern Lite 8-11 and 9-6 truck campers need a minimum of a 3/4 Ton pickup such as a Ford F-250, Dodge Ram 2500, or a Chevy Silverado 2500 and GMC Sierra 2500.What is the lightest Northern Lite camper? ›
Sportsman Edition. The lightest true 4-season truck camper series on the market, the Northern Lite Sportsman Edition has all of the features that you will need to take on your next adventure in total comfort, no matter where you are or what Mother Nature throws at you.How do truck campers attach to the bed? ›
Bed-mounted tie-downs typically attach to the bed rails of your truck. These either drop into stake pockets and bolt into place (permanent) or clamp onto the rails (removable). Keep in mind that you can mix these types if you need to, using frame-mounted tie-downs at one end of your camper and bed-mounted at the other.Can a 1 2 ton truck carry a truck camper? ›
Because most half-ton pickup trucks lack the requisite payload to haul a hard-side truck camper. In fact, if you were to look at the payload ratings for today's Ford F150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Frontier, and GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevy Silverado 1500 short-bed trucks, most would fall under 2,100 pounds.How do I know if a truck camper will fit my truck? ›
To determine payload capacity, you simply subtract the Curb Weight from the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The total of 4,212 lbs is the maximum weight that your truck can haul including camper, passengers, and cargo.Do Northern Lite campers leak? ›
The Northern Lite (and Bigfoot) top clamshell overlaps the bottom, so it will not leak even if not sealed or fastened. They are haphazardly sealed, and fastened with many sheet metal screws. The trim has no sealing function at all, it merely hides the screw heads from view.How much does a Northern Lite truck camper weigh? ›
|Wet Weight*||3,555 pounds|
Depending on the size of your camper and truck bed, you may leave your tailgate on without any issue. However, your tailgate will add weight to your truck, which will take away from your payload capacity. If you have a large dually truck, this may not concern you.How do you level a truck camper? ›
“We use a cheap portable bubble level. When parking, the bubble level goes on the console between the truck's front seats. If at least half of the bubble is inside the circle, it's good and level enough. When the bubble is more outside than inside the circle, then plastic leveling blocks are used to level the truck.Can you ride in a truck camper while driving? ›
In general, the answer is yes. With just a few exceptions, most states allow passengers to ride in the camper while the truck is in motion.
Minimize Stress on the Frame and Structure
If your RV is not level, you are adding stress to many areas including door frames, plumbing, cupboards, and even the chassis. An RV was built to be level so you could be causing long term issues and damage if you are using it without it being properly leveled.
You can sleep in a truck camper off the truck provided you have stabilized the camper with the appropriate equipment. A jack stand, hydraulic legs, jockey wheel, camper dolly, and blocks are all ways you can secure your truck camper well enough to continue camping inside without the support of a pickup truck.How heavy of a trailer can a 1 2 ton truck pull? ›
Half-ton trucks have tow capacities as high as 14,000 lb, which is impressive.How big of a camper can a 1 2 ton truck pull? ›
Half-ton trucks are extremely popular tow vehicles. Travel trailers that fit within their payload and towing capacities average from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds and 5,000 to 13,000 pounds respectively. Popular half-ton trucks include the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, Nissan Titan, and GMC Sierra 1500.How big of an RV can a 1 2 ton truck pull? ›
The tow ratings on most half-ton trucks range from 6,500 to 10,000 lbs. If your trailer is less than that, you should be ok, provided you don't overload it.How important is center of gravity on a truck camper? ›
It's essential to know the center of gravity to prevent damage to your truck and the camper. Typically, most of the camper's weight should rest on or in front of the truck's rear axle. Meaning, the weight should sit in the front and center part of the truck bed.How long of a bed do you need for a truck camper? ›
TIP: If you're looking to assemble a hard side truck camper rig, we recommend a long-bed (8-foot) truck to have the most camper model options. TIP: In general, we don't recommend super short bed trucks due to the limit of models that fit super short bed lengths.Do I need a dually for a truck camper? ›
You don't need a dually for most fifth wheels and travel trailers. However, these trucks can haul the heaviest trailers and fifth wheels safely. If your camper weighs more than 14,000 lbs, it might be time to consider getting one.Where do most campers leak? ›
RV roofs are prone to leaking. There are a number of reasons for this, the most common of which applies to every single RV on the road IF the roof of the RV has ANY holes, which most do. Seams, air conditioners, fans, vents, antennas, solar panels, etc.Do campers need insulation? ›
While RVs aren't known for regulating temperatures well, having good RV insulation can make a huge difference. Today, we'll look at different types of RV insulation and some things you can do to keep your home on wheels more comfortable year-round.
How Much Do Truck Caps Weigh? For A.R.E truck caps, they range in weight from between 120 and 185 pounds for their truck toppers in the CX Series.How much does a small pull behind camper weight? ›
Small Travel Trailer Weight
A smaller travel trailer – about 22 feet long or less – has an average weight of about 2,800 pounds. The unloaded weight range is typically between 1,200 and 3,900 pounds. The gross vehicle weight rating of small travel trailers varies from 1,900 pounds up to 4,500 pounds.
There is a wide variance among the weights of most trailers, from about 1,000 to 9,000 pounds — but as a general ballpark, the average dry weight of a standard trailer is 5,200 pounds.Can a regular car pull a teardrop camper? ›
A teardrop camper can be pulled easily with a medium sized family car or a small SUV. These campers can weight about 850-1100 lbs.Are fiberglass campers heavier than aluminum? ›
Fiberglass bodies are generally lighter than aluminum bodies, and a lighter trailer means better gas mileage, and ultimately, reduced fuel costs. Fiberglass also insulates better than aluminum, so it will hold heat or keep the space cool during extreme weather.What is the max towable weight? ›
You can find your truck's towing capacity in the owner's manual or calculate it on your own. To find your truck's towing capacity, subtract your truck's curb weight from its Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR). The GCVWR is the maximum weight of your loaded truck and the weight of its attached trailer.Is it OK to leave a truck camper on jacks? ›
Never leave the camper in an elevated position supported by jacks. Never back into or turn into jacks. Never allow one side or corner of the camper to become more than 4" higher or lower than the other side. This can cause the weight of the camper to shift exclusively to the jacks on the lower side.Does leaving truck tailgate down save gas? ›
The commonly held myth about keeping the tailgate open has been destroyed. Aren't you glad you looked up how to save gas while driving a pickup truck? Remember to keep that tailgate up so you can get the maximum amount of MPGs out of your pickup.Does driving a truck with the tailgate down help gas mileage? ›
Turbulence And Drag
This creates a lot of turbulence, which results in more drag. So technically speaking, with the tailgate open the shape of the truck is not as aerodynamic as it is with the tailgate closed. So, gas mileage is better with the tailgate closed.
So what's the right answer? Level and put your slides out according to your RV's user manual. Any professional should tell you that the typical recommendation is to level first, then put your slides out.
We almost always recommend that you buy a one-ton truck to haul a truck camper. Why? Because one-ton trucks feature the largest payload ratings for non-commercial trucks and are equipped with the suspension and brakes required to safely haul a heavy load like a truck camper.How do you stabilize a truck camper? ›
To stabilize the camper when off the truck, I made a stand to set the front onto. The stand takes most of weight off of the legs. With our camper on the stand, it is very stable doesn't seem to wiggle at all. The stand stabilizes the camper and takes most of the weight off of the legs.Can you use the bathroom in a camper while driving? ›
It is completely possible to use your RV's bathroom while driving down the road. However, while it may be possible (and legal) to use your RV's bathroom while driving, some tasks such as using the shower may prove to be more difficult than others, such as using the toilet.Can you sleep in a camper while someone is driving? ›
If you can sleep while sitting up in an RV passenger seat, then you're free to sleep! Just make sure you're properly buckled in for your safety. Conversely, sleeping in an RV bed while someone is driving is not allowed. Even if you live in a state where all passengers aren't required to wear a seatbelt, it isn't safe.Can you live full time in a truck camper? ›
Living in a truck camper is perfect for those who want to explore remote locations but don't want to sleep on the ground under a tent, have a decent place to cook meals and comfortable place to use the restroom. Although it is incredibly fun, truck camper full time living is not necessarily a never-ending vacation.How do you level a camper without a level? ›
One method you can try is to use a bottle jack to lift the RV's lower side. Then reach under the wheels and add more blocks in the right spot. After this, slowly bring down the jack, let the RV rest on the blocks, and check if it is level.How does auto leveling work on a camper? ›
At the press of a button, these systems adjust the landing gear to get an RV as level as possible. The system has sensors in the RV that detect levels and will adjust the jacks as needed. Many times the system has a specific order in which it will lower and raise jacks.Will camper leak if not level? ›
Unfortunately, if you don't level your camper properly, you risk leaks which is why you need to ensure you level it correctly every time you camp at a new campsitYouTou should be aware that if you don't level your slide-out camper properly, you risk water leaks and damage to the mechanics of your slides.What is the best height for a camper? ›
A height of 10 to 11 feet allows most travel trailers able to go under bridges and overpasses with ease.What do you use to level a camper? ›
Use a bubble level or carpenter's level to level the trailer. Place leveling blocks in front of the wheels. Drive the trailer so it rests on top of the leveling blocks. Once leveled, put the wheel chocks on both sides of the camper.
As for it tipping over there's no issue. For some reason many people seem to think this would be a big problem. It's not. As has been said, people get in them all the time on RV lots and at RV shows with no problems.What holds a truck camper in place? ›
STEP 1 – Tie Downs
Tie downs that mount directly to the frame of the truck are the best way to secure the camper. The frame-mounted design fits to specific vehicle makes/models allowing strongest possible attachment to the truck. Eliminate any chances of bed and bumper damage by using a frame-mounted design.
No, it's not safe to sleep in your car with the engine running. Leaving your car engine turned on while sleeping could lead to dangerous exhaust fumes containing carbon monoxide entering the vehicle.What size truck do I need to haul a camper? ›
The weight range for a Travel Trailer is between 1,250 – 8,500 lbs. If you have a Travel Trailer under 3,500 lbs, you will be fine with a mid-size pickup truck. Most Travel Trailers fall in the 4,000 lbs range, so you need a Full-Size Pickup truck to tow them safely.How do you figure out what size camper my truck can pull? ›
You can find your truck's towing capacity in the owner's manual or calculate it on your own. To find your truck's towing capacity, subtract your truck's curb weight from its Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR). The GCVWR is the maximum weight of your loaded truck and the weight of its attached trailer.Can you put a truck camper on a 1500 truck? ›
Typically, a truck camper for a Shortbed Silverado 1500 will need to be under 7.5' in floor length, and it should weigh less than 1,600 lbs.Can a 3 4 ton truck carry a truck camper? ›
Yes! A 3/4-ton truck can most certainly carry a truck-bed camper. When it comes to carrying a truck-bed-mounted camper, what matters most is payload capacity and bed length.What size truck do you need to pull a 10000 pound camper? ›
|Full-Size Truck||Towing Capacity (lbs)||Payload Capacity (lbs)|
|Ford F-150 Lightning||Up to 10,000||Up to 2,235|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||Up to 9,500||Up to 2,300|
|GMC Sierra 1500||Up to 9,400||Up to 2,270|
|RAM 1500||Up to 8,320||Up to 2,335|
As a refresher, traditionally one ton is 2,000 pounds, meaning a half-ton truck would have a 1,000-pound payload, three-quarter tons are rated to 1,500 pounds, and one-ton trucks can carry 2,000 pounds of payload.What is the 80 20 rule for towing? ›
The 80/20 towing rule is a safety measure many RVers follow. Basically, the rule states that you shouldn't tow above 80% of your max towing capacity. This gives room for human error in calculations. It also protects the life of your vehicle by not pushing it to the max every time you tow your trailer.
|Camper Type||Average Empty Weight (lbs.)||GVWR (lbs.)|
|Pop Up Camper||2,300||2,700 to 4,000|
|Small Travel Trailer||2,800||1,900 to 4,500|
|Large Travel Trailer||6,700||6,300 to 10,500|
|Toy Hauler||7,600||14,700 to 22,500|
First, look for the “Gross Trailer Weight” (GTW). The GTW is what the trailer will weigh under fully-loaded conditions, including your gear, food and filled fresh and grey water tanks. On larger RVs, look for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, the maximum the camper and its load are allowed to carry.Can you live in a truck camper off the truck? ›
Because yes, you can sleep in a truck camper when it is off of your truck! This gives you the versatility to drop the camper at your site (normally if you are going to be staying put for several days at least) and then explore much more freely in just your truck.What kind of camper goes in the bed of a truck? ›
Simply put, there are two types of truck-bed campers: slide-in and pop-up. These RV-like homes-on-wheels range from 6 to 14 feet in length and are typically equipped with the same amenities that are found in a traditional recreational vehicle.