Camper style - pro/con

#1
Hey all, as the title suggests. I'm looking to hear weigh in's of different camper types. More specifically, standard slide-in vs. flatbed vs. custom's that will fit in a service/utility bed.

I have long considered a custom pop-up that will fit in a service bed as I frequently carry much equipment - 2/3 saws and equipment, several ax'es, recovery gear, spare parts, gas, work equipment. Thus I have been planning to get a service bed as much of this 'equipment' can be used for both work and play times. So, to maximize storage I considered a custom camper to go along with the service bed. But, sorting the floorplan seems to be a long standing issue in terms that obviously you have less floor space, so finding a location for a porta-potty, or even a small shower, water tank, etc... would be significantly more difficult than with a normal camper which has more floor space, and space over the wheel wells, unlike a service bed. Additionally, for my particular application the camper will likely be permanent; however, it might be removed here and there - which is why I did not also suggest a frame mounted custom as an option.

So...I'm curious to hear thoughts. And especially from anyone who might have a camper that fits a service bed.
 
#2
I worked in a boatyard in the mid '70s and the lead machinist, Skip, lived in the back of his truck. it was a GMC single rear wheel, with a Reading utility body & cover. double swing rear doors. he just parked in the back of the yard and used the same showers & head the boat folks used.

utility bodies are heavy, and combined with cargo, certainly don't seem to be an ideal starting point.
 
#3
I am in the same boat as you.we currently have a slide in and it has served us well.but its got some age to it and after a few more trips we will replace it. we just purchased a f-350 6.7 8ft bed.
at first I was leaning towards a custom service body from aluma line,they are one hour from us..but as s.e. charles said to much weight and i would fill it up with gear. I try to keep our rigs as light as possible.Have been watching the flat bed builds on the forum and now are leaning that direction..we are reaching retirement and anticipate spending a lot more time in our popup.
the camper build would as light as possible.Bundu tec campers are also a hour away and will custom build.have visited the shop and liked what I saw.was leary of the wood frame.but after talking to Rory who previously owned north star.i am sure it will out last us.
good luck
kp
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
#4
With a 6.7 diesel I wouldn't worry about weight. It's time to splurge. Bundutec seems like a good way to go although I'm not to keen on the monochromatic Euro look. You'll get a lot of camper with them and it'll be sturdy.
 
#5
utility bodies are heavy, and combined with cargo, certainly don't seem to be an ideal starting point.
I'm most likely going to be overweight anyway I am willing to bet. But aluminum service beds only weigh about 600-700 #'s. Seems reasonable to me. Now a steel one is out... but aluminum would work I think. The real ticket though is how much does this take away from camper ability, in multiple aspects, as the floor width would be restricted to about 4' as compared to a normal bed which is somewhere around 5.5' I think.
 
#6
I'm most likely going to be overweight anyway I am willing to bet. But aluminum service beds only weigh about 600-700 #'s. Seems reasonable to me. Now a steel one is out... but aluminum would work I think. The real ticket though is how much does this take away from camper ability, in multiple aspects, as the floor width would be restricted to about 4' as compared to a normal bed which is somewhere around 5.5' I think.
I'm running a fully optioned Phoenix custom with an aluminum reading utility, on a f250 regular cab srw 4x4 diesel. Certainly possible to overload but my wet weight still below gross.
 

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#7
I'm running a fully optioned Phoenix custom with an aluminum reading utility, on a f250 regular cab srw 4x4 diesel. Certainly possible to overload but my wet weight still below gross.
Looking good fatkins!! I like what you have going on. Whats your GVWR? I max at 10K.
Also, I'm curious if you would elaborate on your Phoenix since I think thats who I might go with seeing as how they seem to be more in the 'custom' world for fitting a bed.
 
#8
Looking good fatkins!! I like what you have going on. Whats your GVWR? I max at 10K.
Also, I'm curious if you would elaborate on your Phoenix since I think thats who I might go with seeing as how they seem to be more in the 'custom' world for fitting a bed.
10K max GVWR.
Custom built to fit the 8 ft. utility bed with dry weight listed at 1400lbs.
Build time varies, with this one taking about four months.
Be sure to do your home work re. layout. Building on a utility bed means a narrower footprint.
 
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#9
10K max GVWR.
Be sure to do your home work re. layout. Building on a utility bed means a narrower footprint.
Is there anything specific that you wish you would have done differently?? The bed I'm considering is still 4' wide, and I believe 6.75' total outside width.
 
#10
What about a flat bed with toolboxes built into it? Obviously the doors are a little small on this one but you get the idea. And hang boxes below the bed, plus have pullout drawer in the rear.

 
#11
I'm most likely going to be overweight anyway I am willing to bet. But aluminum service beds only weigh about 600-700 #'s. Seems reasonable to me. Now a steel one is out... but aluminum would work I think. The real ticket though is how much does this take away from camper ability, in multiple aspects, as the floor width would be restricted to about 4' as compared to a normal bed which is somewhere around 5.5' I think.
Most slide ins are near 4 feet floor width anyway. The distance between wheel wells is the controlling factor.
 
#13
I have been running my Alaskan on a utility bed for the last 13 years and 120,000 miles. It's worked great from 700 mile highway days to grinding along in low range to hunting camp. The storage is a game changer with a slide in camper, it makes it organizing and accessing your gear so much easier and more efficient. the down side is they are heavy and if I was starting from scratch I would look at a flatbed with side boxes to see how much weight and cost savings might result. IMG_0906.JPG IMG_0906.JPG