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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > One of the Best Camper Alignment Techniques

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Heavy_Hauler

Carlsbad

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Joined: 08/14/2006

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Posted: 01/23/07 06:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There has been considerable interest in Camper loading and alignment techniques over the years on this forum.

Many involve putting an alignment mark or chain on the front of the camper and lining up with stripe in the bed of the truck.

The main pitfall with this technique is that even if the front of the camper is centered left to right, it does not guarantee that the camper will be centered front to rear.

Another method is to install a centering guide.

[image] Camper Centering Guides (spott)

[image] Another camper loading guide (ogrer)

They solve the front to rear centering problem but they have the disadvantage of bulk and weight. For those of you with duallies, you only have an inch or so of wiggle room on each side when driving your truck under the camper, So the centering guide is only good for that last inch or so.

As for myself, I roll down the window and simply sight down the bed rail. I realize that not all of you are flexible enough to do that.

Here is a well thought out technique by Sterling Udell. I adapted it from his wonderful website Where-RV-Now?

………………..


String's Wizzo Camper Alignment Technique

Please read all the instructions before you begin!

Tools & Materials:
• White paint & a small brush
• 4 feet or so of fine-link chain
• A plastic wire clip, preferably quick-release (see photo in step 4 of the installation instructions below)
• Electrician's insulating tape (the black plastic stuff)
• Thin transparent tape (the cheap clear stuff, not the more expensive translucent variety)
• Measuring tape

Installation:

[image]

1. Paint a thin line down the middle of your truck's bed mat (a thick rubber sheet that, in our case, came with the camper), from front to back. If you don't have a mat, it's up to you whether you want to paint on the truck bed itself, or go with a less permanent solution (like a line of tape). Use the tape measure to make sure you get right in the middle.

[image]

2. On the rear window of your pickup, place a strip of transparent tape vertically down the center. Again, measure it to find the exact center.

[image]

3. Apply short pieces of electrical tape to the front wall of your camper, at the middle of the top and bottom edges. Once again, I advise using the tape measure.

[image]

4. In the center of the front bottom edge of your camper's cabover section, stick on the wire clip. If it's quick-release, you can also put a small loop in one end of the chain now; otherwise, you'll need to open the loop every time you detach the chain from the clip. I don't need to mention the tape measure again, do I?


Use:
As you've probably worked out by now, this system is based on aligning the centerlines of truck and camper, and all the bits we've stuck on are just visual references to aid this process. The niftiest bit is the lightweight chain hung from the clip under the camper's cabover; chain was recommended to minimize the effects of a breeze. This chain is also the only part of the system you'll remove after you've attached camper to truck; the rest stays in place all the time.
So, once you have the truck generally in position in front of the raised camper, turn around in the driver's seat and look out the back window. By sighting through the transparent tape and along the line down the middle of the bed, you're looking directly down the truck's centerline; you'll know you're aligned correctly in front of the camper when the chain is hanging exactly in front of the electrician's tape marks. It should look something like this:

[image]

Once you have it all aligned, simply back slowly underneath the camper, keeping the wheels straight. You should see the chain drag right up the white line, followed by the electrician's tape. Just to be sure, you'll probably want to check your mirrors to confirm that the rear wheels are centered between the front jacks:

[image] [image]

Obligatory Disclaimer:
I am providing this technique purely as an example of what works for me, and I take no responsibility whatsoever if you screw up while using it!
________________________________________

* This post was edited 01/30/07 07:41pm by Heavy_Hauler *


2004 GMC Sierra 3500 4x4 D/A EC LB DRW
Ride-Rites, RS9000X, TorkLift, Fast Guns, Superhitch
2007 Lance Max 1181



kennyzzz

buffalo new york

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Joined: 09/04/2003

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Posted: 01/27/07 12:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Really like the picture of rear view mirrors,rally shows how tight it is


Chevy 2008 1500 X-cab 5.3 373 posi 4x4 z-71
2003 jayco quest 190 4059 lbs.
2004 Northern light 8.5

BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Joined: 10/29/2001

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Posted: 01/27/07 04:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Heavy_Hauler,

Nice write-up and photos. THANKS!

Your thread should help some folks get their camper on their trucks. I no longer have a problem with that because I only have about .5" clearance between the jacks on our DRW, so the camper can only go one place.

This thread added to the Truck Camper University Thread.

Thanks Again,
Brad


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


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