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Old 01-24-2007, 10:56 AM   #1
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Let me start off by saying great looking community you all have here. I'm gaining tons of knowledge already. But I have some specific questions now.

Can someone point me in the direction to find out how Slide-in's mount in the pickup? I have done searches but I am either not doing it correctly or I'm not grasping how the campers are locked in place in the bed.

How can you determine if a camper is sized correctly for your pickup besides GVWR? I understand that E range tires are basically a must but I guess I'm looking on how to make sure the slide in will fit dimensionally. What measurements to pay attention to, etc. I will be using a 76 Chevrolet Long bed K10 for the hauling. By the time I am ready to actually get a slide in the pickup will actually be a K20 thanks to new axles and suspension. I see a lot of "will fit all 8' beds" but I know how it goes with blanket statements like that.

I guess thats it for now.

Thanks
Tony
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:35 AM   #2
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The jargon is tie-downs. So, www.google.com put in camper tie downs or camper tie-downs & here it should be http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=...e+Search&meta=

Happy searching.

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Old 01-24-2007, 04:15 PM   #3
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Welcome blink32 to irv2.
Got some answers already if we keep you moving more should come.
Enjoy the forums and post often.
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:27 PM   #4
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Thank you both much. I'll be googling tonight.
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:20 AM   #5
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blink32, welcome to iRV2.com. As you have founnd out we are a group of fun loving RVers that like to help where we can. GOod luck in your research and come back often sharing what you find and any other new questions. Good luck and enjoy the website.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:56 AM   #6
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Thank you again for another warm welcome.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:44 AM   #7
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Welcome Blink32,

There's basically 3 types of tie downs: bed mounted, frame mounted or stable-lift.

The bed mounted tie downs are inexpensive but don't have the strength of the other mounts. Two common versions are Stake pocket tie downs ( http://www.crbrophy.com/tdhd.html ) and Happijac style ( www.happijac.com ). Stake pocket tie downs are inserted in the stake pockets and have a metal bar that extends outward and down the outside of the bed. You then use chain and/or turnbuckles to attach the camper to the mount. I would never use stake pocket tie downs unless the camper was very light because they rely of the strength of the stake pocket holes in the bed to hold your camper in place. The Happijac style consists of a mount bolted to the front of the bed and a mount attached to the rear bumper. The newer versions have strengthening bars included to strengthen them. But the strengthening bar inside the bed may cause interference with camper loading. Older styles that bolt direct to the bed and bumper are too weak IMO because new truck beds are too flimsy.

Another style of mount is the frame mounted tie downs. The simplest is a belly bar, which is just a long bar that bolts under the truck frame and sticks out both sides. You then use chains and turnbuckles to connect the camper to the mount. It is cheap, but you lose some ground clearance and the cheapest ones stick out the side of the truck so you risk bashing your shins. A better version of the frame mounts are ones like the Torklift ( www.torklift.com ). These are basically receiver hitches bolted to the truck frame that accept extensions for hooking the camper to. Use the same chain and turnbuckle to attach camper to truck. The nice thing about these is they have the strength of the belly bar, but the extension is removeable so that you don't hit your shins on them when the camper is off the truck. And you don't lose any ground clearance because the mount bolts to the frame with no parts hanging low under the truck.

No matter which of the above mounts you use, using spring loaded turnbuckles is a good idea if the mount doesn't have springs built in or else you run the risk of damaging the mounts because the camper can't move at all when hitting bumps or suddenly swerving. If there's no "give" in the mounting, then the eyes can get ripped right out of the camper or the truck attach point can bend (I've seen bent beds where a Happijac mount was attached).

Finally, there's the Stablelift mount ( www.stablelift.com ). It consists of a tubular stand and jack system. You simply raise the camper on the permanently attached frame, drive the truck under, lower the camper and then suck the frame up against the truck to hold the camper in place (there's upside down "U" channels bolted to the truck frame that the camper stand ride in). Although pricey, it's a secure and easy to use mount system. Besides cost, the main disadvantages are reduced ground clearance and some people object to the look of a truck with girdle attached.

As far as sizing, you shouldn't have a problem with your older pickup. Most problems are with newer trucks and older campers. Some newer trucks have a taper in the bed from front to rear or they have higher bed rails or the cab is higher. Higher bed rails or higher cab issues can be solved by putting a "lift" under the camper that can be simply thick bed mats or pallets in the bed. The taper can be a bigger problem if the camper body will hit the tapered bed rails. Just make sure to take measurements of your truck and proposed camper to make sure it will all fit.

Another important measurement to check is the Center of Gravity. If your camper center of gravity is marked, you should make sure that this mark will sit over the rear axle or in front of the rear axle. If the CG is behind the rear axle, you'll put more load on the rear axle and less on the front axle. Depending on camper weight and how far behind the CG is, and you could adversely affect the safety and handling of the truck/camper combo.

Finally, check weights because you don't want overload your tires. Virtually all the camper weight goes onto the rear tires, so make sure you get the highest rated tires you can find and keep them well inflated.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:48 AM   #8
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Blink32, Again, my welcome too; we have had truck/camper for 8-9 years now...just love it. We recently bought a large class A, but we decided to keep the truck/camper for special trips...mountains, remote areas, short trips to Atlanta where parking a class A is not possible.

I have a website that might prove useful you in your information-gathering process.

http://www.duedall.fit.edu/yellow/bigfoot.htm

Here are some specifics:

installing air springs:
http://www.duedall.fit.edu/yellow/air.htm

installing tie-downs (I use torklift)
http://www.duedall.fit.edu/yellow/torklift.htm
and
http://www.duedall.fit.edu/yellow/mounted.htm

Good luck....HEMI

PS: I see that Harold posted a reply too while I was preparing mine...he provides some valuable information.

On the tie-down, I initially used the bed tie-downs for the trip from Coos Bay OR 9(where we bought the camper) to Kent, Washington (one-day trip), location of torklift company....it was day vs night in comparing the bed tie-down vs the frame mount. With the bed mount I could see the bed twisting on turns. This was due mainly to the weight and high center of gravity of the camper (Bigfoot 3000)...with the framemount torklift the camper was solid to the truck. The bedmount tie-downs would probably be okay for very light-weight truck campers.
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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Thank you guys for the links. The pictures are really helping to tie it all together. I understood the concept of how the parts should work but not necessarily their placement or connections. This place is awesome.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:31 PM   #10
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What about something like this? Is there a relatively easy way to identify a make/model so I can determine weights of the camper and what not?
http://southjersey.craigslist.org/rvs/268405071.html
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:20 PM   #11
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Tony there should be a MFG lable in slide giving weights and model number of slide, maybe in cabinet on sidewall or gas bottle area.
Good find good luck.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:46 AM   #12
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Blink, there are still some real lite sold; see

http://www.andersonrv.com/relite2.htm

You could look at these floor plans which list weight....then considering the camper you looking at begin to estimate the weight assuming no bathroom, gen, and other ameneties that are on the modern campers.

HEMI
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:44 AM   #13
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Ahh, thanks tons guys.

Tony
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