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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Attaching TC directly to pickup frame?

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Bigfootchevy

Bancroft, Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 02/25/12 09:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have to agree that your are not going to lose any weight by removing the pick-up box and replacing it with something else to hold the Camper on. To my knowledge you cannot bolt the camper to the truck through the floor of the camper safely. Your camper has or can hold 2 batteries and 2 propane tanks now.

Paul

dakonthemountain

Crestline, California

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Posted: 02/25/12 09:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm no expert, by any means, but I DO know that the floor of virtually most all campers are not constructed to attach to the bed of any truck through the floor . However there are eye bolts built into the camper wings for the very purpose of holding the camper tight against the truck box. In any event, best of luck with that! ... .and happy camping!
Dak


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DiscoChicken

Lawrenceville, GA

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Posted: 02/26/12 12:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would also add fenders between the tires and TC. If a tire shredded and flapped around against the camper, It would do some damage.


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mpike

Chico, CA

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Posted: 02/26/12 01:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all for the points raised.
I was expecting to have two crossmembers extending far enough out to serve as anchors for the camper's tiedown eyes. A third crossmember in the middle would only have to be as wide as the truck frame, or wider to serve as an attachment point for storage boxes. Two or three lengthwise members would be just the width of the camper bottom.
If this frame assembly was attached just like a pickup bed, I don't see why it would not be just as strong and able to flex, yet be lighter.
How do those light motorhomes on the Toyota chasis work? I used to have a Sunrader and never had any problems with flexing (that I knew of).
I can see, it might be better not to bolt the bottom of the camper directly to the truck frame, but let it sit on the lengthwise frame members, perhaps on a sheet of plywood.
Yes, fenders would be needed, but they could be fairly light.

* This post was edited 02/26/12 01:44am by mpike *

SoCalDesertRider

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Posted: 02/26/12 04:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Essentially, you're building a flat bed, without the deck surface. You will need to use lengthwise channel or tube above the frame rails to flatten them out. These are called sills. They are common under just about any flat bed or service bed. Then you need cross members to support the bottom of the camper, which can also serve as your tie down points, as well as mounting points for storage boxes, either above or below the cross members. These cross members are common to just about any flat bed or service bed. If you finish it out with a sheet metal or wood deck on top of the cross members and join the cross members with rails down the left and right ends, guess what, you now have a flat bed....


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54suds

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Posted: 02/26/12 05:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hackney's three point pivot frame holding a Bigfoot 3000


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DiscoChicken

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Posted: 02/26/12 05:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've thought of this idea too. A flat bed raises the base of a tc above the wheel well, thus making it too high IMO. Resting the tc on the frame OR building a flat bed on the frame with wheel wells is the best of both worlds.

Here is a great example. No less weight though.

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 02/26/12 06:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

....though many of us have speculated, I wonder what the torsional profile of the bed of both a short and long structure would look like (rendered in CAD software as a 3D wire-frame). I suppose that in an extreme situation, exiting/entering a severely ramped parking lot off the level road, the bed structure could twist 2 or more inches on an 8-foot bed (and so would your tightly connected truck camper structure without proper tie-down give, but bear in mind that a truck camper tub is T shaped!). With this in mind, how much torquing resistance would an 8 or 6 foot empty bed inject into the equation? Now, without a bed offering some x resistance to the truck's frame rails, the torquing of the unladen frame rails would be mirrored directly to a connected truck camper floor (truck camper floor structure not directly designed for this as numerous others point out).

So the solution would be to design (as Socal elaborates) a strengthened tray (adding weight). However(!), what 54 Suds points out (through his link to Doug H's 3-point solution) is a proper 3-Point pivoting system whereby the tray (and attached cargo) actually articulates independently of the frame rail torquing, thereby saving your truck camper structure from a long-term twisting and eventual camper frame weakening/leaking.

RVs that are designed ON trucks permanently have special factory or aftermarket frame rails extending and strengthening before the "living unit" is built or attached to the frame rails proper.

In ending, there are special truck campers actually designed for flat-bed attachment at the floor corners (NorthStar comes to mind). The floor area is of course much larger and more rubust that the limited area narrow floor found on the traditional truck camper (only 47-inches wide for the majority of the tub base + the T wings at the rear).

Good luck,
Silver-


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bobndot

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Posted: 02/26/12 08:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mpike wrote:

I was expecting to have two crossmembers extending far enough out to serve as anchors for the camper's tiedown eyes


Whatever you build, make sure it's within the width. Some states really get into that measurement . rv width guidelines

recycler

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Posted: 02/26/12 08:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dakonthemountain wrote:

I'm no expert, by any means, but I DO know that the floor of virtually most all campers are not constructed to attach to the bed of any truck through the floor . However there are eye bolts built into the camper wings for the very purpose of holding the camper tight against the truck box. In any event, best of luck with that! ... .and happy camping!
Dak


your right most aren't mine is all new reframe built with this and cold weather in mind as such the wings are 2x2 lumber instead of the 1x2's it had factory floor already was 2x2 with 1/2in ply on both sides

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