Utility Topper w/ 6 ft. bed?

Hey,

Wife and I are trying to figure out how to start camping at the track with our 3 young boys. We need a camper that sleeps 8+, relatives and all. I'd like to be able to haul my RMZ inside, not exposed to the elements. But $ keeps us from dropping $20k on a toy hauler.

I think I might have found a cheap way to go. I've found quite a few 2003-2005, 26-31 ft. travel trailers in the $9k-$13k range, some even with a slide out or two. But that leaves the bike in the back of the truck, exposed to the elements.

Has anyone put a utility topper (something like this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=015&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=250214578536&rd=1

on a truck and used it as a toy hauler?

Seems like a cheap way to go, kind of tight but it would at least provide some protection from the elements and would be lockable.

One problem is that the truck I'm gonna buy only has a 6 ft. bed so it would have to go in a little sideways, so I could only haul one bike at a time.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

If you're concerned about the bike being out in the open, have you considered a van at all instead of a truck?

Another idea may be to get a nice clean used RV and tow a enclosed trailer too.

Just some thoughts.

RV's generally don't have the sleeping capacity of the travel trailers. We've found some TT's that can sleep 9 in our price range. Plus I'd still need something else to pull the trailer, unless I got the RV out every time I want to go practice.

As for vans vs. pickups, I really like the flexibility the crew cab trucks offers. If I'm just doing a day trip or practicing, I'd leave the camper at home. Can't do that with a conversion van, can't haul the kids with a cargo van.

Anyone have experience with a utility type topper? Especially on a 6 ft. bed?

RV's generally don't have the sleeping capacity of the travel trailers. We've found some TT's that can sleep 9 in our price range. Plus I'd still need something else to pull the trailer, unless I got the RV out every time I want to go practice.

As for vans vs. pickups, I really like the flexibility the crew cab trucks offers. If I'm just doing a day trip or practicing, I'd leave the camper at home. Can't do that with a conversion van, can't haul the kids with a cargo van.

Anyone have experience with a utility type topper? Especially on a 6 ft. bed?

I've had a tall topper like that once, it didn't last long. Made a massive dent in my fuel mileage (went up 3-4 mpg when I took it off), couldn't go through drive-throughs at the bank or T-Bell, and couldn't park in any ramps and had to pay attention to tree trimming on residential streets.

You could take it on and off as needed, but that sucks-mine was H-E-A-V-Y.

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