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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Truck Camper Loading, Marital Bliss and Why I own a Dog

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BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Joined: 10/29/2001

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Posted: 04/26/05 06:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A properly loaded truck camper can be a thing of beautiful. Correctly positioned in the exact center of the truck bed, it gives a sense of symmetry and proportion, of freedom, adventure, exploration and self-reliance, of a job well done and a catastrophe avoided. But jacking a $35,000 two-ton camper 15’ into the air on four skinny legs and then backing a $50,000 one-ton extended cab truck under it with only a couple of inches of clearance can occasionally be just a little bit stressful and if not undertaken with the proper state of mind, can test the strength of a 30-year marriage, the limits of the First Amendment and the enforceability of subdivision covenants.

My pre-truck camper loading goal is to strive for a completely stress free mind, avoiding any activities that can increase stress levels before the loading process is initiated. Choosing the proper time of day and day of week is an extremely important factor in maintaining the proper stress free state of mind. Attempting to load our camper late on Friday evening for a 3-day weekend of camping and bass fishing after a very stressful 12-hour day at work will almost always result in two officers of the law showing up at my residence to investigate a “domestic disturbance”. Trying to load the camper in the early Saturday morning pre-dawn hours is not any better and generally ends with the same results. This can be especially embarrassing when the same two deputies from the night before show up at my front door.

I have found that Saturday afternoon, between the hours 2pm and 4pm, on the weekend before I plan to leave, seems to be the best time for my wife and I to load our truck camper. At that time of day on Saturday, there always seems to be plenty of neighbors around to call an ambulance, volunteer fire department, rescue squad and a 40 ton rental crane if I should happen to drop the camper on myself, wife, dog, cat, car, truck, house, etc. I’ve also found that at that time of day on Saturday, my neighbors don’t seem to mind the yelling and screaming. Even if I let out a stream of four letter words that would qualify me for a guest appearance on the Osburnes, my neighbors just don’t seem to care. Maybe they think we’re watching a ball game on TV.



So, the following is my normal loading process, but it is specifically based on our last trip to Yellowstone:

Very carefully back truck up squarely in front of camper, and then pull forward about one truck length

Carefully run camper all the way up on the electric jacks

With wife giving directions, carefully back truck under camper

Very carefully lower camper into truck bed and find that it’s about 1 inch to the right of center

Run camper all the way back up on the electric jacks

Carefully pull forward, with wife as spotter, maneuver truck 1/2 inch to right and carefully back truck under camper for the second time

Lower camper back into truck bed and find that it’s now about 1 inch to the left of center

Mumble something to self as I run camper all the way back up on the electric jacks again, wife says, “what did you say?” I respond, “nothing Dear”

Carefully pull forward, with wife as spotter, maneuver truck 1/2 inch to left and carefully back truck under camper for the third time

Lower camper into truck bed and find that it’s now about 2 inches to the right of center

Blame dyslexic wife for lousy directions and not knowing her left from right as I run camper all the way back up on the electric jacks again.

Carefully pull forward, with no spotter now, maneuver truck 1 inch to right and carefully back truck under camper for the fourth time

Lower camper into truck bed and find that it’s now about 2 inches to the left of center

Cuss useless dog as I run camper all the way back up on the electric jacks again

Pull the dang truck forward one more time, maneuver truck 1 inch to left and carefully back truck under camper for the fifth time

Lower camper back into truck bed and find that it’s perfectly centered! Great! But it’s also cocked about 10 degrees from straight

Cuss architect, prime contractor and concrete man that poured my driveway 5 years ago as I run the friggin’ camper all the way back up on the electric jacks one more time

Go in house, apologize to wife and ask her resumed role as spotter

Pull that sorry Ford forward one more time, with wife back as spotter, maneuver truck and carefully back truck under camper for the sixth time

Lower camper back into truck bed and find that it’s perfectly centered and perfectly straight! Great!

Congratulate nearsighted dyslexic wife for much improved directions and figuring out right from left and elbow from………….

After wife gives me a one finger salute and leaves for the second time I notice that the truck tail lights are touching camper because I forgot to put the %$#@!*&# plywood spacer between the front of the [email protected]%$# camper and the%&*$#[email protected] truck bed

Cuss the %#[email protected]*&%! Ford engineer responsible for changing the #$%#!&* bed dimensions on the new Super %$#@!*&% Duty trucks as I run the &%[email protected]$# camper all the way back up on the $%#@!!* electric jacks one more time so I can put the !$#@%$#@! plywood spacer in!

So finally, after several more attempts and a trip to the local truck stop for more diesel, I get the [email protected]#$%#@! thing centered and straight on the [email protected]#$%$#@! truck, tied down, boat on the hitch, wife and dog in the cab headed west for three !#@$%#@! fun filled #$%&*#! weeks in Yellow$%#@[email protected]#@!Stone, Wyoming.

So, why is it important to own a dog if your wife helps you load your truck camper? I like having someone to talk to on the three day drive to Yellowstone.


Wake Up America
1996 Lance 500 and 2006 F-350 PSD 4X4 DRW
Our Truck Camper Photos


Ripsnort

Lake Tapps, WA USA

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Posted: 04/26/05 06:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LOL! I was taking it seriously until about 1/2 way through...[emoticon]


Stupid should hurt.

1990 Fleetwood Jamboree 27 ft E350

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shorebird

Long Beach, Ms.

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Posted: 04/26/05 06:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brad print this out and submit it to the various publications for consideration. Maybe the check that comes with acceptance will buy the DW a nice dinner or present. Or do you enjoy the silence. I know that my DW would not keep silent. I'd hear about every thing that I did or didn't do, over and over and over and over...................[emoticon]


2001 Ford E-350SD 6.8L V-10
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Robert Mitch

Atlantic Canada

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Posted: 04/26/05 06:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brad I can't stop laughing. All this time I thought it was just me that went through this. I am just going out to load mine for the first time this year.Great story.


Gulfstream BT Cruiser B-5230
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cruizin54

Stroudsburg, PA

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Joined: 05/30/2003

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Posted: 04/26/05 06:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brad, I read this and had to send it to my better half! Great read - very funny. I could really picture exactly what you were saying.

THANKS!


Steve and Joan
2006 GMC 3500 Dually 4X4 Crew Cab Long bed - Duramax / Allison

2005 Lance 1121 (previously had Adventurer 80W)


leede

colo.usa

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Joined: 10/19/2001

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Posted: 04/26/05 06:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ROTFL! [emoticon] Been there,done that!!!!!

jmcgsd

San Diego, CA

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Joined: 08/11/2003

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Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 04/26/05 06:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yup, I agree - have it published!

Thank God I didn't read this before we ordered the truck camper! [emoticon]


'09 Pacific Coachworks Tango 276RBS
95 Lance 880 Truck Camper

'91 F350 Dually 2WD CC 7.5L (76K Original miles!)
AirLift Bags, Reese Titan hitch, Rancho 9000X


Dually

FL USA

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Posted: 04/26/05 06:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brad That is a great story it really makes me appreciate that there is only a 1/4 inch space between my camper and the bed on my truck on each side. I really can't mess it up. I always loaded the camper by myself I have found that it I don't have someone else to blame things on I usually get it right the first time.


97 C3500 CC DRW 7.4
2005 Jayco Jayflight 27BH
Northeast Florida Camping Club

starr138

Southern,Ia USA

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Joined: 08/10/2004

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Posted: 04/26/05 06:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All I will say is You are lucky to have the electric jacks.Try this with the old crank jacks.After a couple times, I fitted the camper with plywood spacers.It would only fit between the inner fenders and back from the cab if it was centered.


Starr
1979"Orphan" Free Spirit Eagle 54,000 miles on Chevie 454. New Kwikee electric double steps,Onan 4.0 generator. Oldie but a Goodie.The Motorhome that is. I'm just old.I use and Support CB Channel 13


3D

Tennessee - but have itchy feet

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Joined: 03/20/2004

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Posted: 04/26/05 07:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Suggested to the wife the other day that her next car needs to be a truck to haul stuff in the bed from time to time, since the camper is in my truck. Take it off, nope, would rather whine and moan about not having any firewood cause I can't go get it, cause my truck bed is full. And what you described is why and is not far from the truth. I think I might have a chance loading it quickly though if a video camera were properly placed with a monitor in the cab.l Lets see now, new tires...done; full gauges, fast guns, and now video camera....future. Guess it don't end. Brad, thanks for the laugh....see that everyones in the same boat.

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