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Old 05-27-2007, 06:32 AM   #1
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I'm in the process of buying a good used TC & need to get tie downs in the process. Any suggestions on what type? I've got a Y2K Ram 3500 W/ running boards.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:32 AM   #2
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I'm in the process of buying a good used TC & need to get tie downs in the process. Any suggestions on what type? I've got a Y2K Ram 3500 W/ running boards.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:50 PM   #3
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I had Happy Jacks with my 11 1/2' lance and they did a fine job. I never went off roading so I did not stress the jacks much. I also installed the front shocks from the camper to the front of my Dodge 3500. There are other options including the frame style tie downs that are popular. I found the Happy Jacks easy to install.

Good luck on your search. Let us know what you decide.

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Old 05-28-2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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I have the torklift frame mounted tie downs. They have seen quite a bit of off road without any problems. They may only work for you if your running boards stop at the cab. If they go all the way to the back wheels they may not work. Don't know about the Happijac tie downs. From the pictures you can tell that they will work with any running board. I do know that the Happijac jacks are junk. Hopefully the tie downs are engineered better.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:23 AM   #5
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Hi P3 guy,

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.
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:14 PM   #6
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The Happijac system is a frame mounted tie down system that is very easy to install and remove.

Cheers
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:02 AM   #7
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Having had both, I have to say I prefer Torklifts system, I do not like the front bed mounting system Happijac uses, i woudl rather have the camper anchored to the frame.

Stablelift is convenient, but it is not for everyone.
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:52 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the come backs. I just ordered a set of Tork Lifts. I,too, was a bit uneasy with the way the front tiedown is attached with the Happijac system. Hopefully the installation of the Torklift is as easy as they say. We've owned a class A, a fold down and still have a 30' 5th wheel. This our first experience with a TC. We're learning a bunch from this site & really appreciate all the shared info....Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:25 PM   #9
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p3guy,

We have had our torklifts now for 8 years...never any problems....here is some installation instructions we posted:

http://duedall.fit.edu/yellow/mounted.htm

Torklift sent me a set of fastgun but we have never used them. We used turnbuckles bought at Ace Hardware,

HEMI
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:10 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hemi:


Torklift sent me a set of fastgun but we have never used them. We used turnbuckles bought at Ace Hardware,

HEMI </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your kidding!
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:46 AM   #11
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Not kidding on both accounts; I still have the fastguns in the box and I am still using the ace hardware turnbuckles. HEMI
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:28 AM   #12
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I am just surprised that you are not using them. I love the fast guns. But I also have a bit of carpal tunnel so they are wonderful for me.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:33 PM   #13
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You willing to sell the fastguns?
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:21 AM   #14
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Thanks; I will keep them as a backup; I have used the standard turnbuckle/chains for several years...however they will likely wear out sometime and then I will convert to fastgun, Hemi
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