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Old 07-26-2006, 08:02 AM   #1
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Hello everyone.

Been looking around at older slide-ins for my Ford Ranger. Looking for something for tailgating basically, nothing for heavy duty driving and comfort. Was wondering what the basics were for a slide in. Such as the following---

When tailgating, I am guessing best use the jacks to level camper and truck so when people of in & out of camper truck won't go up & down. (hope this makes sense)

Also, how does the camper secure to the truck bed? Tie downs, special equipment??

Anything that would help me figure out what I need is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Jeff
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Old 07-26-2006, 08:02 AM   #2
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Hello everyone.

Been looking around at older slide-ins for my Ford Ranger. Looking for something for tailgating basically, nothing for heavy duty driving and comfort. Was wondering what the basics were for a slide in. Such as the following---

When tailgating, I am guessing best use the jacks to level camper and truck so when people of in & out of camper truck won't go up & down. (hope this makes sense)

Also, how does the camper secure to the truck bed? Tie downs, special equipment??

Anything that would help me figure out what I need is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Jeff
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:05 AM   #3
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Hello redtree511 welcome to iRV2
When I bought a slide-in for my son for $100 we had to rewire all running lights, redo plumbing,electric and step into slide. Rebuild one corner for jack plate to hold to body of slide. He has two jacks one side and one in center of other side.
We installed a kit with brakets and eyes to body of truck to hold slide on bed of truck than used hooks with turn buckles to tighten to bed.
He is a fisherman for strippers off beach can drive camper on beach and setup his equipment, is known as the "The Salty Wader" in these parts.
He can set up camper on the three jacks and it very stable, drive his truck to where ever. Very flexable setup.
If there is anything else Jeff let us know.
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:25 AM   #4
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Jeff, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy the forum. You will find we are a group of fun loving RVers that like to help each other where we can. One popular brand of mounting camper to truck is called Happijac. Any questions you have, just ask. Good luck and stay safe.
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:43 AM   #5
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There's not a lot of campers that fit a small truck like a Ranger, but I have seen them before.

I always use the jacks on my camper to stabilize it when I'm parked. Otherwise it rocks too much. I also use the jack for minor leveling, but you can only level so much while the camper is attached to the truck.

Depending on your campers electrical needs, you'll need to find a way to connect the camper to the trucks electrical system. My camper has complete rear lights like the truck and also batteries that need charged off the truck. I mounted a 7 pin plug inside the bed to plug the camper in. You could also run an extension to your plug on the rear bumper if you're setup to tow.

You'll also need to buy a mounting system to hold the camper onto your truck. 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 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 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.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:02 PM   #6
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Thank you for the info, very detailed. I will let everyone know when I finally get one.
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:01 PM   #7
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redtree511, WELCOME to iRV2!!!

Looks like you've made a post or two already and even have an answer to your first question!!

What a great forum!!
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:04 AM   #8
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What generation of "Ranger" we talking about? I know some of the old 1970s model Full size Fords were also called Rangers.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:16 AM   #9
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That was going to be my queston is it the small Ranger truck or the older F series "Ranger" model.
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