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Old 07-30-2020, 07:50 AM   #1
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How tightly do you tie down your camper?

Hello all

I am new to this forum, we built our own camper 4 years ago and thus far we are very happy with it. We tie down to front frame mounted anchor points and a receiver mounted cross bar at the back ( fairly standard) I chain the actual camper down by incorporating a tension spring in the chain along with the turnbuckle. We do this because we were informed that because the camper was in the box which is not rigid to the frame, that we should not tie the camper down too rigidly to the frame. I believe this is a selling point of the commercial Fastgun system.We have had no problems with the springs, but I see most other people just fasten down with chains and turnbuckles only. Did we over think things?

Google "Electric fence tension spring" to see what we used.

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Old 07-30-2020, 11:17 AM   #2
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I tie down my Palomino Bronco pop-up slide in camper with chains and turnbuckles only. The way I've always done it is to park on level ground and tighten the turnbuckles until all four chains are snug was just a little bit of movement in them, and call it done. I'm not sure if that's the accepted way, or even the right way but I boondock all the time so I'm on some pretty rough roads and I've never had a problem with the tiedowns, the camper, or the truck.

And yes sometimes when I Park some of the tiedowns will be very loose and some really tight, until I'm parked on level ground again. But the camper stays where it's supposed to and I've never had any damage to the rig.


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Old 07-30-2020, 01:50 PM   #3
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You should always have some give in the hold downs. Otherwise, if you for some reason put your truck in a twist the bed can flex enough to pull a tiedown point clean out of your camper.

I take my truck/camper off the beaten path all the time where it is not unusual to have to cross washouts or dips where opposing ends of the truck will have one front tire and the opposing side rear tire nearly off the ground. I learned the hard way not to have the camper corners tied down solid.
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:39 PM   #4
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You have to have the spring in there or eventually you will rip the tie down points right out of the camper.
2005 Chevy CC Dually D/A, 2009 2500 Suburban, 2004 Rinker Captiva 232 boat
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:54 AM   #5
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I'm with the folks who recommend spring loaded tie downs. I would never use chains and basic turnbuckles because of the direct pressure of the truck bed twisting against the "solid" camper, as mentioned.

We've had TCs for about 40 years and I've always kept the front spring loaded tie downs tight, with some give still left in the springs, and the rear tie downs fairly loose. I don't know if this is right or wrong, but it's worked well for us over a lot of years and about 300k miles on all sorts of terrain.

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