I recently received this email about matching the right pickup truck with a 1997 Lance 3000 Squire Truck Camper.
Hi, Mike! I’m just getting started with the truck/camper set up and after reading your informative Truck Camper 101 article I feel more informed. I haven’t bought anything yet. I just looked at a very clean and well-kept Lance 1997, 3000 Squire, one owner, for only $5,000. And it turns out I know the guy! So now I want to make sure I get the best truck to haul it. I’m sold on the Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel but I’m not sure between the 2500 or 3500, 2015 model. I do not tow at this point, but I want to be able to go off-road. It appears that the 2500 can do the job, but it seems like you lean heavy on the one-ton. Any recommendation? Thanks, Bryan in California.
Bryan, the engineers at Ram made some significant changes to their 2014 and 2015 2500 pickup trucks. The most notable of these being the change to the rear axle suspension from leaf springs to coils springs. This change, they claimed, was made to improve the truck’s ride. In this Ram engineers were successful. The ride is much smoother. But this change also impaired the truck’s ability to haul a heavy load like a truck camper. Why? Because leaf springs are stiffer and offer more support for heavy loads than coil springs which are softer and less capable. This change to coil springs means that new generation Ram 2500 trucks will, in many cases, have significantly smaller payloads. For instance, the crew cab, short-bed, 4×4 version of the Ram 2500 with the 6.4L V8 Hemi offers only 1,480 pounds of payload. Yes, different configurations of the Ram 2500 with certain options offer more payload, but why bother. Spend a little more for a much more capable pickup truck like the Ram 3500 (you can get a crewcab, short-bed 3500 with a Cummins turbo diesel and 4×4 power-train and still get a 4,000 pound payload). However, if your heart is set on a 2500 then be cautious, avoid the low payload 2500s out there, and buy the right 2500 with the right amount of payload for your truck camper hauling needs.