1 2 3
frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/20/22 9:48 a.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

I did something similar. I bought a 2 T ramp truck.  Behind the cab was mounted a T shaped camper.  One part of the T over the cab. The other part over the race car on the ramp.  Big king size mattresses on each and the table made into a double bed as well so it could sleep 6  we crawled through  the space where the window had been when we wanted to change drivers without stopping. 
 What that allowed aside from hauling and sleeping  8-10 crew people  or spectators    Was the ability to tow a second trailer and race car.  I never once paid for my own fuel.  

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/20/22 10:00 a.m.
wvumtnbkr said:
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) said:
jh36 said:

In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

Mine is fairly stink free and I try to kitty litter up as we go. That said, I like the smells of the car so it may not jump out at me. 

I may try and bottle some of this smell and ship it to you to give you some perspective. It's not a happy smell laugh

Royal purple synchromesh is the nastiest smell I think I have ever smelled.  Like gear oil and bo mixed together.

 

That's what I imagine you are dealing with.  Haha.

Yeah, I spilled a bottle of Motorcraft LSD friction modifier in the trailer once. That stuff could knock a buzzard off a manure truck from 50 yards. 

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
7/20/22 11:22 a.m.

We've been doing the truck camper thing for ~6 years now.

First, staying at the track beats the hell out of staying at a hotel for a race weekend.  While everyone else is trying to pack up for the night, you're grilling your dinner enjoying a frosty beverage.  And in the morning, having a nice cup of coffee while everyone else is rolling in and unpacking again.  Not all tracks will allow you to camp (usually city/county regs), but where you can, it's great.

Our decision to go truck camper was based on a lot of research.  Truck campers are comparatively expensive, but have some advantages.  No separate drivetrain to maintain, no registration/insurance (taken care of by the truck), fairly small footprint for storage, and when mounted, the RV has a fairly small footprint, so you can go places you couldn't get with a motorhome or camp trailer.  I also looked at living quarters trailers, and they were even more expensive, and to have any decent room (where you're not sleeping in the garage), you're gonna end up with a 40' gooseneck.  The work/play stuff is cool, but if you want to put the car in the trailer overnight (rain, etc), you're out of a place to sleep.

The other advantage is it's just a camper if you want to use it for something else, and you can still tow behind it.  And when it's not mounted, you have a truck to do truck things.  

There are some disadvantages... there's not a ton of space in a truck camper.  Ours has a single slide, which makes a huge difference.  Ours also has a wet bath (the whole bathroom is the shower), which is a PITA.  I would recommend a dry bath if you can do it.  For two people and a dog, we're fine, but for longer trips (more than 1-2wks) it's a little cramped.  For two + kids, it's gonna be tight.  Make the kids sleep in the trailer... cheeky

The other issue is truck campers are HEAVY.  Ours is ~4300lbs wet (loaded and full H2O tank).  You read that right... it's two Miatas.  Once you start adding things like generators and slide outs, they get heavy fast.  Most SRW trucks are going to be overloaded with any of the larger truck campers.

I recommend looking at this site to figure out axle/cargo weights:  http://www.visualsc.com/tc_calc.htm

The other issue is cost... truck campers are expensive for what they are.  When we bought our camper, we bought used (9 years old), at about 1/2 original MSRP.  Fortunately, many RVs don't get used much, so it's easy to find them in nice condition.  Or at least it was 6 years ago.

Overall, we're very happy with our setup, and it has provided us with many adventures.

All that said, we're retiring within the next year, and now looking at motorhomes because we want to increase our traveling time, and would like more room for spending a couple of months on the road at a time.  The good news is our camper is holding it's value very well.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/20/22 12:40 p.m.

^ awesome reply Rodan, thank you. Exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Can you talk me through the wet bath/dry bath decision?  What makes the wet bath a PITA by comparison?

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/20/22 1:56 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

In a wet bath, you shower standing over the toilet and sink. Everything in the bathroom gets wet which means everything you usually store in the bathroom needs to be stored elsewhere. 

In a dry bath, you have a separate shower much like at home. 

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
7/20/22 2:09 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

Toyman pretty much covered it.  With a wet bath, everything in the bathroom is in the shower, so it all gets wet when you shower.

Most of them are designed with storage that is sealed, so you don't have to move stuff out of the bathroom, but anything you don't want wet will need to go back in the cabinets.  Not a lot of elbow room, either.  After you shower, you pretty much need to wipe the bathroom down to keep it useable, and to keep it clean.

Dry bath has a separate shower stall, which still won't have a lot of elbow room, but at least everything else is dry.  Much bigger footprint, so takes up a lot more space, and will only be available in the bigger truck campers.

 

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/20/22 2:33 p.m.

I like camping in the paddock.  It's an inherent part of the track experience!   So is listening to people's loud ass generators running all night long.  Most tracks don't have a ton of power hookups, so please keep the generator in mind.   As someone who usually sleeps in a tent by choice, I prefer Honda generators.  :)

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/20/22 2:51 p.m.

In reply to Rodan :

The issue we've had with small dry baths is that they never stay dry- and since you don't want a lot of standing water in your camper, you have to spend a lot of time drying it out.  

Had I looked harder, I probably would have found a better size for a wet bath than we did- but keeping it clean is easier to us than a dry bath (if we could have even fit one).

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/20/22 2:59 p.m.

Ours works fairly well but it is not overly large by any means. It would work better if I wasn't as big as I am.

Shower. 

20190411_172523.jpg

The toilet and sink are across the hall. 

20190518_145212.jpg

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/20/22 3:06 p.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:
wvumtnbkr said:
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) said:
jh36 said:

In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

Mine is fairly stink free and I try to kitty litter up as we go. That said, I like the smells of the car so it may not jump out at me. 

I may try and bottle some of this smell and ship it to you to give you some perspective. It's not a happy smell laugh

Royal purple synchromesh is the nastiest smell I think I have ever smelled.  Like gear oil and bo mixed together.

 

That's what I imagine you are dealing with.  Haha.

Yeah, I spilled a bottle of Motorcraft LSD friction modifier in the trailer once. That stuff could knock a buzzard off a manure truck from 50 yards. 

Mix of light and heavy shockproof from a during event trans rebuild. It's never coming out.

Jack, pick me up on your way to NJMP I'll carry moist towelettes around for you or something more helpful.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
7/20/22 3:26 p.m.
Toyman! said:

20190518_145212.jpg

This is a major violation of the unspoken "no carpet under the toilet" rule

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/20/22 7:06 p.m.
NY Nick said:

This isn't my set up, it's a friend. He hails his Camaro in this for track days and then uses it with the family for regular camping. It is a Work And Play. It's built like a car hauler but has a queen bed, bathroom and kitchen in the front. The back has a queen bed that goes up in the ceiling and two couches. It fits a full size car but has all the luxuries of a camper. It's built really well and he has pulled it up and down the east coast. It is heavy and he upgraded to a dually to pull it. I have always thought it was the best of all worlds. 

 

Checked these out online, they look really nice!  Not unreasonably priced compared to new slide-ins. Would have to figure out how to keep the bedroom from smelling like race car. 

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/20/22 7:12 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

I'm my friends the garage is a separate room. Of course there are 2 couches that fold out to beds and a queen bed in that room but it is isolated from the front part. I can see smell being an issue though. 

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 UltraDork
7/20/22 7:23 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

I'm using a camper van; it has a toilet and shower. For one or two people it's fine.

Tell me more!

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/20/22 8:02 p.m.
AMiataCalledSteve said:
Toyman! said:

20190518_145212.jpg

This is a major violation of the unspoken "no carpet under the toilet" rule

It's a 90s motorhome. It's a miracle it doesn't have carpet on the ceiling. 

wake74
wake74 Reader
7/20/22 8:36 p.m.

Given that I am a frugal Yankee (cheap SOB)  I went the converted trailer route. Basic 20' Pace unit I bought used for cheap money about 5 years ago. Insulated it, installed LED lights, lots of power outlets (inside and out) with a 30 amp RV plug. AC on the roof.  Epoxy floors with some cheap carpeting I roll out when the car isn't there. A bench in the V Nose. A decent air mattress and a sleeping bag.   I did add an RV window with a screen which was a really nice add. Will likely add another one. Small enough so someone couldn't crawl in it when it's in storage but some natural light and ventilation is nice.  A nice TV on the front wall.  Lots of e trac at multiple levels for hanging and organization  

 

I probably have $5000 in it. I couldn't replace it for that. 
 

Sure a camper would be nicer but then I would have the camper expense plus another monthly nut to store it. 
 

The bathrooms at VIR, RRR etc aren't that bad and there are so few people who slum it at the vintage events I am now doing they don't get enough use to get dirty.  Although I have had a few people give me that what is he doing look from their fancy class A when they see me coming out of the trailer in the morning :-)

 


 

 

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/20/22 8:47 p.m.

In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

Let's do it...I think we are actually taking the bus to that one. It has its own homey smells but they comfort me. 
 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
7/20/22 9:11 p.m.
Teh E36 M3 said:
Tom1200 said:

I'm using a camper van; it has a toilet and shower. For one or two people it's fine.

Tell me more!

Here is mine; it's a 1990 E250. We got it from a travelling nurse who actually lived in it for several years. The only issue with mine is the fridge is electric, it'd be better if it had a propane fridge. It will tow 5000lbs; I use a single axle trailer (800lbs) and my Datsun 1200 only weighs 1600lbs. The motor is only a 351 so on some of the 6% grades I'm down to 40-45mph. My longest tow is 300 miles so realistically a bigger motor would only cut 20-30 minutes off the trip.

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
7/20/22 9:27 p.m.

We also looked at vans early on, the drawbacks being space, and towing ability.   They are great for boondocking, though.  The full-ton diesel vans (E350) are getting pretty long in the tooth at this point, and were never really plentiful.  I wouldn't want to try to tow much more than Tom is towing with a gas engine van.

An ambulance conversion is another possibility, but I've spent enough time around ambulances that, well... yuk.  I don't really want to sleep in a retired ambulance.  4x4 ambulances do make pretty cool overland RVs, though.

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
7/20/22 10:33 p.m.

The 460, V10 and 8.1 will tow a lot more, sometimes more than some of the comparable diesels. A mpg hit over the diesels in some cases, but I bet the larger gas engines all did as well as the 351 in that much van!

Nice rig!

 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
7/20/22 10:37 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

I did something similar. I bought a 2 T ramp truck.  Behind the cab was mounted a T shaped camper.  One part of the T over the cab. The other part over the race car on the ramp.  Big king size mattresses on each and the table made into a double bed as well so it could sleep 6  we crawled through  the space where the window had been when we wanted to change drivers without stopping. 
 What that allowed aside from hauling and sleeping  8-10 crew people  or spectators    Was the ability to tow a second trailer and race car.  I never once paid for my own fuel.  

That sounds very cool. I've seen a bunch with the bed over the cab; never one in both directions!

If ya can, see if you can dig up a picture. 

MiniDave
MiniDave Reader
7/21/22 1:43 p.m.

The problem with the roof A/C is that if you don't have electricity available at the track, you can't run your genny all night can you? Don't most tracks insist it be off from 10P to 6a?

I'm ok with sleeping in the trailer, I would not want to be fixing the motorhome all weekend in order to get home, but money no object I would tow a trailer with a motorhome. Having a cool A/C'd area to get out of the sun and change clothes, not to mention a shower and comfy bed to sleep in would def be the way to go.

For the OP, I would sleep in the trailer - easy and inexpensive to set up. My buddy has a single bed he hauls in his trailer, however there have been a few too hot and too cold nights he's endured. Age might affect this as well......some of us older folks don't stand temp extremes well.

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
7/21/22 2:12 p.m.
MiniDave said:

Age might affect this as well......some of us older folks don't stand temp extremes well.

Or sleeping on the ground.  wink

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/21/22 8:47 p.m.

Yeah, my shoulder is trashed and I can only sleep comfortably on a real mattress. I also like it to be a comfortable 68 degrees at all times while I sleep. 

Looking more closely at the toy haulers, I don't think they're the solution for me. Even the giant ones have giant camper sections and tiny garages.  I could get my car in, but I also have 12 extra wheels, body panels, tools, etc.  I don't need big living quarters at all. 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
7/21/22 11:45 p.m.

Most campers sold as toy haulers, are modified campers, that look great. Till you have the audacity to try to use them. 
Before the toy hauler's became the new touring motorcycle, Work-and-Play started putting camper interiors in cargo trailers. Haven't looked at one in 18-20 years, so they may have "cheapened" out a bit as well. 
Actually the first 5th wheel car hauler with top end living quarters I ever saw was in '97 or so, made by Phantom Trailers... but it was over $50K even back then! I think they have closed up since then. 

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
BIDmzrBXJhEPpCb064g6SSQMsblVEW0MHthR3VtzkV5Z3RsgEt4Gg5ijwlpsq0Tc