This Huge Truck Camper Snapped a Ram HD 3500 Dually in Half – Here Is What Happened and How to Avoid It!

Breaker breaker one nine: I taco-ed my truck!

ram hd 3500 one ton dually frame bender snap eagle cap slide-in camper truck damage

Mike Pavel’s Ram HD 3500 dually snapped in half on a recent camping trip when carrying a huge Eagle Cap 1165 truck camper. Now, he is facing a $17,000 repair bill that his warranty will not cover. What happened? How come?

You would think that a modern heavy-duty pickup truck can handle any slide-in truck camper out there, right? Well, no. It all depends on the rating of your truck and the weight (and leverage) of your truck camper. Here are all the numbers.

Based on the article by The Drive – the owner of this truck drove approximately 25,000 lbs with this similar load. It’s possible that the cumulative overloading over a long period of time and lots of miles was a cause for this frame failure.

Mike has a Ram HD 3500 dually crew cab with a 6.7L Cummins I6 turbo-diesel. It appears to be a 4×4 model with some luxurious options, such as power deploying side steps. If you look at Ram’s towing guide and payload rating chart, a base version of this truck has a payload rating between 5,080 – 5,580 lbs (see images below).

The ultra-luxurious Eagle Cap 1165 camper has a dry weight of 4,917 lbs. Add 66 gallons of water and 60 lbs of propane, and your camper is suddenly approaching 5,500 lbs. Now add all your gear, a hitch in the back with a bike, and your family – and your truck’s payload is quickly exceeded.

Know the payload rating of your truck.

Check the online guide using the truck’s VIN, or look inside the driver’s door jam for the payload rating.

Know the weight of what you are carrying.

You can get the exact weight of your truck and camper (or anything else) at a local truck stop’s scale.

Know the slide-in camper carrying capacity of your truck.

Look inside your glove box for a sticker that lists the truck’s camper carrying weight capacity. If not there – this information may be in your owner’s manual.

By the way, the truck camper capacity of your truck is likely less than the payload rating. Take a look at Ford’s towing guide above. A new 2022 Ford F-450 dually 4×4 crew cab has a camper rating of 4,513 lbs. It’s difficult to find any pickup truck that can carry this type of huge slide-in camper.