• Danielle and Charles Allard
  • Great Smokey Mountains, TN

How to Fit Your Truck and Camper

Step #1 - Determine Your Truck's Payload Capacity

Determining your trucks payload capacity is a straightforward process. Payload Capacity is simply the difference between your trucks Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and the Curb Weight.

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowable weight of your pickup truck when it is fully loaded with all of its cargo, fluids such as gas and oil, and passengers. Your GVWR is provided by your trucks manufacturer and is located on a sticker placed on the driver’s side doorframe.

The Curb Weight is the weight of the truck on its own without any cargo or passengers. This weight does include fuel, oil and any other fluids related to the operation of the truck. To determine your truck’s Curb Rate, first fill up your gas tank and all fluids and then visit a certified scale. If you remain in the truck, make sure that you subtract your own weight from the total provided.

To determine payload capacity, you simply subtract the Curb Weight from the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

For Example:
Your Ford F-350 has a GVWR of 10,800 lbs MINUS THE Curb Weight of 6,588 lbs = Payload Capacity of 4,212 lbs

The total of 4,212 lbs is the maximum weight that your truck can haul including camper, passengers, and cargo.

Step #2 - Determine the Center of Gravity

The next step is to determine your truck’s center of gravity point. This is a straightforward process. Simply measure the distance from the front wall of the bed of your pickup truck back to the center of the rear axle. The number that you get for this distance, measured in inches, is the point that your Northern Lite truck camper’s center of gravity needs to be forward of. For example, if the number that you calculate for your trucks center of gravity is 45 inches, the truck camper’s indicated center of gravity needs to be less than 45 inches.

Step #3 - Ensure That Your Truck's Dimensions Fit the Intended Camper

When you find a truck camper that you are interested in, you need to ensure that it fits your particular truck model. A 2019 Ford F-350 can have significantly different dimensions than a 2017 Dodge Ram 3500, as such, before you purchase your camper it’s important to measure all of the key features on your truck to ensure a proper fit between your truck and the Northern Lite camper. The exterior truck dimensions that you need to pay attention to are bed length, bed width, rail height, cab height, tailgate opening, as well as the truck’s bumper.

If you follow the 3 steps above, selecting a Northern Lite slide in truck camper for your pickup truck should be an easy process. To ensure the best match though we highly recommend that you visit one of our 30 plus Northern Lite truck camper dealers situated across Canada, the United States and Australia.

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