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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > How tight do you make the tiedowns?

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Hoko

Washington state and Elisrass South Africa

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Posted: 08/22/06 07:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have new happijack tiedowns the ones in the front have a spring inside the ones in the back do not.

I waas told by the dealer to just snug them by hand tightly. I did it today but I have nothing to base the "feel" on.

What are you guys doing?

bookmaker

Marianna, FL

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Posted: 08/22/06 07:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hoko, I don't have Happijacks, but recently helped install a set. The fronts should tighten 1/4" extension of the spring loaded end. Make a mark on the spring loaded shaft at rest right where it comes out from the housing, then tighten until the mark is 1/4" out.

The rears are hand tight, just that. Bring them up to take out the slack and snug just a little.

You can download the HJ instructions from their web site if you would like more info.

Dale


Dale & Rose Cavin, Marianna, FL
1997 Ford F-350 crewcab dually, 7.3L Power Stroke Turbo diesel.
Torklift tiedowns and SuperHitch.
2004 Lance 1121 (lost to hurricane Michael 10/10/18)

FF1063

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Posted: 08/23/06 05:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just make good contact in the front by hand, the rear ones get the wrench.


98' Ram 3500 DRW / 05' Arctic Fox 990

BradW

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Posted: 08/23/06 06:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bookmaker wrote:

The fronts should tighten 1/4" extension of the spring loaded end. Make a mark on the spring loaded shaft at rest right where it comes out from the housing, then tighten until the mark is 1/4" out.

The rears are hand tight, just that. Bring them up to take out the slack and snug just a little.

You can download the HJ instructions from their web site if you would like more info.

That sounds about right to me.

I've never been a believer in real tight tiedowns. The problem is, if you get them too tight, as the truck flexes, two tiedowns will get looser and two will get extremely tight. You can damage the tiedowns and/or the camper eyelets if the the tiedowns are too tight.

I've read many references to adjusting them "hand tight". But, you can get them way too tight with just hand torque if you try hard enough. I would say that "finger tight" is more what I do. I would guess its down around 3 to 4 ft-lbs; kinda just "snug".

Anyway, that's what we do and after 10 years and 100,000 miles of hauling our Lance using Happijac tiedowns, I've never damaged the tiedowns, truck, camper eyelets or had the thing blow off the truck. [emoticon]

Instructions on Tightening (see page 4 of 4)

Brad

* This post was last edited 08/23/06 09:19am by BradW *   View edit history

Berticus

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Posted: 08/23/06 06:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Above is what i agree with on the hand tight. One other thing to do is after loading, tightening and maybe after your 1st stop is to check ont he tie-downs. Sometimes one or two might need to be retighten. I found that about 25% of the time i have to retighten at least one.

I really do not know if it make too much difference but U have 4 spring-loaded tie-downs. The front chambers are about 3" longer then the back ones. No issues at all with this setup but might be why I have to tighen up every so often. Anyone else running 4 spring-loaded tiedowns???


Happy and Safe camping, Robert.


The Setup:
96' Serro Scotty 25'Dodge,4x4,Diesel,Class-C, 86 20' Chris Craft LTD.


Junket

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Posted: 08/23/06 08:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On thing I might add the jam nuts go up this keeps the water out of the shafts.
Ken


2005 Dodge Cummins 610 325Hp 3.73 Auto
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S'mores

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Posted: 08/23/06 08:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a little different philosophy on tie-downs. I feel that the spring loaded turnbuckles allow the camper to move. And from my experiene, movement is what causes the camper's tie-down damage. A good solid connection (not overly tight) between camper and frame will keep it firmly in place. Less rocking, less bounce. I travel some very rough roads, and this works best for me.

bookmaker

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Posted: 08/23/06 09:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Berticus, my Torklift tiedowns have the spring loaded cup on all four corners. As noted above, Happijack uses springs only in the front ones. In the owner's manual for the 1121 I just purchased, it specifically states to spring loaded ties must be used in the front and solids can be used in the rear.

I agree with s'mores that appears too loose, but I found out the hard way on my other camper what happens if you tighten them too tight. Let's just say it was a very expensive repair.

Rock roll or not, I have decided to go with the manufacturer's recommendations, Lance, Happijack and torklift.

Dale

Eric&Lisa

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Posted: 08/23/06 05:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a footnote, check the nuts on the camper tie-downs. I was surprised to find mine very loose. A few were even finger loose. All required at least a half turn of the wrench to snug up.

YMMV!
-Eric


Eric & Lisa - Oregon
'97 Silverado K2500, New HT383 motor!, Airbags, anti-sway bar
'03 Lance model 1030, generator, solar,

sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 08/23/06 06:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BradW wrote:

bookmaker wrote:

The fronts should tighten 1/4" extension of the spring loaded end. Make a mark on the spring loaded shaft at rest right where it comes out from the housing, then tighten until the mark is 1/4" out.

The rears are hand tight, just that. Bring them up to take out the slack and snug just a little.

You can download the HJ instructions from their web site if you would like more info.

That sounds about right to me.

I've never been a believer in real tight tiedowns. The problem is, if you get them too tight, as the truck flexes, two tiedowns will get looser and two will get extremely tight. You can damage the tiedowns and/or the camper eyelets if the the tiedowns are too tight.

I've read many references to adjusting them "hand tight". But, you can get them way too tight with just hand torque if you try hard enough. I would say that "finger tight" is more what I do. I would guess its down around 3 to 4 ft-lbs; kinda just "snug".

Anyway, that's what we do and after 10 years and 100,000 miles of hauling our Lance using Happijac tiedowns, I've never damaged the tiedowns, truck, camper eyelets or had the thing blow off the truck. [emoticon]

Instructions on Tightening (see page 4 of 4)

Brad


This information is correct. What torque lift does has notheing to do with Happijaac.

If you make them too tight one will cause the area under your slide (if you have a slide) to warp down.

Just follow the manual... don't adlib.

Congratulation on the rig.


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
AirFoil, Trimetric, LED lights, Platcat vent heat

2003GMC K3500 LT/Crewcab/duramax diesel/allison/dually/4x4/OnStar/front reciever mounted spare

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