Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: Wolf Creek 850 roll over story

Posted By: anutami on 01/12/14 03:41pm

Well, Since I opened this can of worms here is the entire story.

First let me say I have been a long time truck camper owner and I am no rookie. I have gone trough several truck campers. I recently had an article published in truckcampermagazine.com about me and my family
Here is some more background on who I am and how long I have been truck camping.

http://www.truckcampermagazine.com/campe........son-truck-camping-in-southern-california

If you read the article you can see in the pictures I used the same tie down system with both the Northstar Laredo and Eagle Cap 800.

The week before Christmas I was driving home from a great camping trip in the anza borrego desert (trip report here http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/Forum/messages.aspx?TopicID=694 and was traveling on BLM land road named EC085. I was traveling at approx 25 mph on a straight section of the road, when a strong gust of wind came up and caused the camper to become separated from my truck and rolled over the truck bed rail! The road was also a bit bumpy but not too bad. I had my 6 year old son Brett and 8 year old daughter Brenna in the truck with me. It is a miracle we are all okay. The crazy part of the situation is I did not really feel the truck do a huge sway or anything. It was my daughter in the backseat who said "dad the camper just fell off". Upon further inspection I noticed the cause of the camper becoming separated from the truck was my Wolf Creek was manufactured with a spliced in piece of plywood where the front passenger anchors are installed and this spliced plywood separated from the skirt. When the front tie down became separated I noticed my bumper was tweaked a bit upward and believe the rear tie down became separated by pulling up on my bumper. Before starting to travel on EC085 I called my wife to tell her we were going to stay one more night. Knowing I was about to be driving about 20 miles on a dirt road I specifically checked all my spring loaded turnbuckles to make sure they were nice and hand tight snug. I am fully aware of keeping the turnbuckles hand tight and not using a tool to tighten them down.

Here are some pics from the incident

The spot where I called my wife took a pic and checked the tie downs
[image]

The spot where the camper rolled out
[image]

My wolf creek in the middle of the desert. Notice the turnbuckle still attached
[image]

closer look at splice
[image]

[image]

My truck
[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

The torn off jack
[image]

Underside separation
[image]

Nose cap damage
[image]

rescued by Dickerson Towing
[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

Moderator edit: Please note, maximum photo width=640.

* This post was last edited 01/12/14 11:53pm by an administrator/moderator *


Posted By: CREATO on 01/12/14 03:50pm

Holy smokes , glad no one was hurt that's a story your children will never forget.


I dont rent out space in my brain



Posted By: RamTC on 01/12/14 04:09pm

anutami, thanks for sharing your experience, good to hear that no one was hurt. The only thing I can add is that AF seems to be using the same failed design on the new Wolf Creeks that they were using on the AF's prior to 2005. This type of failure was an issue back then as well. When AF went to the AL frames in 2005, they improved the tie point design by bolting through the new frame, very strong and would tear up TorqLift or HJ mounts before failing. Seems AF needs to re-visit the the Wolf Creek tie points and I think they would want to based on the pics you've provided.

* This post was edited 01/12/14 04:16pm by RamTC *


Present - 14' Ram 3500 4X4 DRW CTD AISIN 3.73
Past - 98' Ram 3500 4X4 DRW CTD / 99' LANCE 1110 / 04' ARCTIC FOX 990 / 05' ARCTIC FOX 990


Posted By: Francesca Knowles on 01/12/14 04:10pm

MAN!

Callin' my son right now and telling him to check how the tiedowns are attached to his camper- I'm really shocked that at least from the pics these depended on a few wood screws holding the point of attachment on.

Thanks a lot for the post/pics- sure hope insurance covers everything and glad no one got hurt.


" Not every mind that wanders is lost. " With apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien


Posted By: Ski Pro 3 on 01/12/14 04:14pm

If it were me, I'd never even bother with dealing with the camper manufacturer. Your insurance should cover your camper and truck. Let THEM deal with the Wolf Creek folks if they wish.

If you want to kick the can, maybe contact an attorney about the personal injury / civil litigation against WOLF CREEK but life is awful short to be spending time on a long shot.

Only property damage. Nothing money can't fix and that is why there's insurance.


2006 Dodge Ram 4x4 crew cab w/diesel and manual tranny.
2012 Lance 855S camper


Posted By: Rbertalotto on 01/12/14 04:24pm

Once again...I'm totally amazed at how poorly truck campers are designed and manufactured.......And what we PAY for them!

Sure glad no one was hurt!


RoyB
Dartmouth, MA
2018 RAM 2500 4X4 6.4L
2011 Forest River Grey Wolf Cherokee 19RR
420w Solar / Bogart SC2030 / Trimetrics



Posted By: n7bsn on 01/12/14 04:30pm

That is certainly not what people expect of Northwood quality


2008 F350SD V10 with an 2012 Arctic Fox 29-5E
When someone tells you to buy the same rig they own, listen, they might be right. When they tell you to buy a different rig then they own, really pay attention, they probably know something you don't.


Posted By: Victory402 on 01/12/14 04:54pm

You can blame it on the mounts if you want to, but anyone with 1/2 a brain can see that 7 wood screws and seamed plywood aint gonna hold squat. This blows my mind!


Posted By: Ranger Smith on 01/12/14 04:54pm

Man that is******for mounting surface. It's like you need to run a strap over the camper to keep it secure. I would never trust that mounting and don't think I'll ever own another Northwoods product if they are all made like that.


Where we are now

Amateur Radio Operator WW1SS . . . Expert Electronics MB-1 , K3, P3 and KPA 1500,Icom 7100
Steve and Joy
2012 Winnebago Tour 42JD . . . 2016 Ram 1500 4x4 Toad
Cooper ... The Doodle,
Baby and Kissie the Chihuahuas and Lucy the Biewere Yorkie



Posted By: 3 tons on 01/12/14 04:56pm

And in some states, passengers are even allowed to ride in campers!! Whoever it is at Northwood that sanctioned this reckless design needs to take a walk for the good of others...I seriously doubt that the good Mr. Ron Nash would have permitted this tie-down design returning to production...Might this have been engineered by Billy-Bob?? Looks like someone's now 'up a creek'...Northwood needs to issue a warranted fix.


Posted By: kerry4951 on 01/12/14 05:11pm

Thanks for sharing your experience. Thank goodness you and family were all OK. Northwood needs to go back to the drawing board and start over. There is no excuse for this.


2009 Silverado 3500 dually D/A, Supersprings, Stable Loads, Bilsteins, Hellwig Sway Bar.
2010 Arctic Fox 1140 DB, 220 watts solar, custom 4 in 1 "U" shaped dinette/couch, baseboard and Cat 3 heat, 2nd dinette TV, cabover headboard storage, 67 TC mods


Posted By: Wagonqueen Truckster on 01/12/14 05:21pm

Oh My GOSH! So now I don't think my husband is a dork by adding even more re-reinforced steel plates to the Amerigo truck camper re-build.


Posted By: jimh425 on 01/12/14 05:25pm

As others have said, thanks for sharing. I think all of us should take a look at that part of our campers even if they aren't the same brand.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.



Posted By: Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli on 01/12/14 06:33pm

Very sorry to see this happen to you. I was just looking at the structure of your camper compared to my S&S and wanted to point out some differences.

[image]
Your camper has a 3/4" aluminum square channel attaching the side wall and the underside of the camper together. The two plywood panels are never attached to each other. This just doesn't look like a structurally sound practice of joining the two pieces together.

[image]
Here is how my S&S TC is assembled in the same area. There is a 2x3" single length of wood for the whole side of the TC serving both front and rear tie downs that the TC side wall comes down over and screws into both the 2x3" and the plywood tub over the truck bed sidewall. The piece over the truck side wall is also screwed down into the 2x3" making a very very strong connection. You can see on the inboard side of the TC, there is also a 2x2" connecting the TC together in the same manor. If your rig is repairable, I would strongly look at trying to retrofit a connection similar to mine on your TC and anybody else who doesn't have similar reinforcement of such a vital connection point as this on their TC should look into doing a similar retrofit too.

My camper has been slammed hard enough three times where the hooks on the turnbuckles have bent out and released but the tie downs show no sign of having ever been stressed. My left side tie down is hard to spot but you can see the outboard side where the 7 pin plug is and a black plastic zip tie looped through it. This is also my weakest tie down as the tie down is located in the bottom center of my propane compartment with only about 6" of front sidewall and the jack bracket holding everything together. Other side similar with fridge compartment opening and 8" sidewall in front and jack mount.
This is my TC front right side.
[image]

I wish you well and that you folks will be on the road again in no time.


Camper Jeff and Kelli's Blog!

A CLOSED MOUTH GATHERS NO FEET!



Posted By: 805gregg on 01/12/14 06:47pm

Why can't I see the pictures?


2003 Dodge Quad Cab 3500 SRW LB Cummins diesel, Banks Six Gun, Banks exhaust, Mag hytec deep trans pan, and Diff cover. Buckstop bumper, Aerotanks 55gal tank, airbags, stableloads Bigwig stabilizer, 2003 Lance 1071 camper, solar and generator


Posted By: exhaustipated on 01/12/14 07:25pm

Thanks for the post and pics. I'm glad no one got hurt and I hope your insurance will cover everything so that you can get back on the road again.


2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4WD LT1 Ext Cab Z71 Long Bed Vortec 6.0L V8 SFI gas.
2012 Travel Lite 960RX
Torklift frame mounted tie downs with FastGun turnbuckles and a Lock and Load maximum security cargo tray.
Timbren SES
Curt front mount hitch receiver



Posted By: Joe417 on 01/12/14 07:44pm

What I'm seeing here isn't bad manufacturing by Northwood's but it is bad manufacturing by the plywood manufacturer. It looks like several of the plys all met at the same glue joint which was a failure just waiting to happen. There's hardly any way the plywood user could tell it was glued that way. It was great that no one was hurt.

What I'm also seeing is that this unit didn't disintegrate when it hit the road on the front corner. I think that's a better statement than 20 people standing on the roof.

I've happened upon more than a couple of RVs that turned into a pile of rubble when they turned over.

This could be the start of a new material quality check at the TC factory.

Hopefully you can get back on the road quickly.

Good luck.


Joe & Evelyn



Posted By: Desertboy on 01/12/14 08:04pm

Sorry about your camper and truck. But you did an awesome job on the trip report. Those are some really nice pics.


1969 AVION
3/4 12 VALVE

Freightliner/24' Flatbed 50,000 miles/ Titan 4000 receiver Hitch, no Mods needed.


Posted By: n7bsn on 01/12/14 08:17pm

805gregg wrote:

Why can't I see the pictures?


You have your personal preferences set to not show photos.
I'm not recalling where, but it's in your personal setup.


Posted By: goldwinghauler on 01/12/14 08:22pm

The last I remember Ron Nash was I'll and his company was being run by someone else. He might have even sold his company. I agree with 3tons this is not the type of poor design that he would stand for.


2017 Dodge Ram 3500HD Cummins Diesel CC LB 4WD Dually w/ Supersprings SSA-24 and Hellwig Big Wig Sway Bar
2018 Eagle Cap 1165


Posted By: More2Explore on 01/12/14 08:28pm

WOW! So glad none of you got hurt!

Guess I'll be taking a good look at my 2014 especially since I recently discovered two Torque lift tie-down pins bent apparently due to the Wolfcreek 850 shifting in the truck bed during a trip home in a winter storm!!!

Hope that you are able to get all the insurance things worked out and get back on the road soon!


2014 Wolf Creek 850 SB
2013 F-350 SCB SB 4X4 6.2 L


Posted By: Powerdude on 01/12/14 08:51pm

Well, at least nobody got hurt. Lucky on that one.

As for the construction, it looks like a few wood screws holding everything together.

There's got to be a better way to do that. A little steel bracket for the joint where the jacks and tiedowns are mounted would have made sense, for very little weight gain.

Now, you just gotta deal with the insurance/financial mess. Sucks to be you.


2016 F250 CCSB 4x4 6.2L
2001 Lance 820


Posted By: Bigfootchevy on 01/12/14 10:06pm

Very glad no one was hurt but you always got to be ready for the unexpected to happen.

Thanks for sharing.

Paul


Posted By: anutami on 01/12/14 10:14pm

Thank You Everyone for the words of encouragement. Just so glad my kids were not in the back as I often let them ride in the camper. Luckily both my truck and camper are insured both were deemed total losses and I am very happy with the settlements on both. I kept my truck and just got a new bed put on it. It was nice to find out the 2014 ford f350 truck bed fits my 2001 ford f350.

I am in the market for another camper...

Old bed off
[image]

My new truck bed
[image]

[image]

EDIT: maximum photo width=640

* This post was edited 01/13/14 12:51pm by an administrator/moderator *


Posted By: bigcitypopo on 01/12/14 10:15pm

asked and answered... sorry.. it ooh so long to load...


2014 RAM 2500 BigHorn CrewCab 4x2 ShortBox, 6.7L CTD
2014 Keystone Springdale 294bhssrwe - Hensley Arrow!
The best wife, 2 kids and a bunch of fun


Posted By: steve68steve on 01/12/14 11:21pm

Joe417 wrote:

What I'm seeing here isn't bad manufacturing by Northwood's but it is bad manufacturing by the plywood manufacturer. It looks like several of the plys all met at the same glue joint which was a failure just waiting to happen. There's hardly any way the plywood user could tell it was glued that way. It was great that no one was hurt. ..

Look again - it's not a plywood failure. Plywood is not glued like that - that was a sawed panel pieced in.

... and even if it WERE a plywood failure, there are four big bolts to hold a steel plate to the plywood floor.... but only some small screws holding the floor to the rest of the camper. Terrible design.


2013 Travel Lite 960RX
2001 Ford F350 Diesel Super Cab Long Bed


Posted By: Reddog1 on 01/13/14 12:10am

I am kinda amused by some of the posts. Have you ever really looked at how your tie-down brackets are installed on your TC.

I think it is fair to ask the question: Are the tie-downs expected to hold the TC to the truck, like a 4,000 pound load on a big truck that uses several straps and possibly chains?

I see a couple of things not really talked about in the posts. Notice the ruts in the road? I think I am looking at a road of sand, hit a rut on one side of the truck, sure looks like that side of the truck would tip quite a bit. Add to that a strong gust of side wind.

Personally, I have seen semis laying on their side, some with their loads still attached, and some not. I am of the belief several things were at play here, and question the TC manufacture could correct them.

I do hope the story has a happy ending. It appears the OP thinks so.

Wayne


Posted By: kerry4951 on 01/13/14 06:46am

Reddog1 wrote:

I am kinda amused by some of the posts. Have you ever really looked at how your tie-down brackets are installed on your TC.

I agree....most dont know how their tie down brackets are installed. They are only assuming and hoping that theirs are installed much better.
I posted on the OPs other thread that I accidentally proved it to myself one day just how strong mine are on my AF. Forgetting to remove a right front Fastgun I lifted the TC by mistake and actually bent the Torklift steel extension arm, but did nothing to the tie down bracket or to the mounting point on the frame. I hated myself that day but now that I look back it was a learning experience and I also have peace of mind knowing I can depend on the way the tie down brackets are built and installed.


Posted By: 1mtnman on 01/13/14 07:45am

I see some of these very large truck campers using front bed and bumper tiedowns and I just don't understand how that can be a safe setup when we are talking about a 3000-4000 lb camper.
I would never haul a camper using any system that did not utilize the truck frame to attach the tiedowns. There are a lot of us who take these campers into out of the way and rough areas where other RV's dare not go therefore you can't be too concerned about how safely your camper is tied down.
Many camper manufactures make recommendation as how there units should be tied down and one would expect a reputable dealerships do the same however I'm sure this is not always the case.
The incident sure gives those of us who haul these units a chance to evaluate our setup and learn from someone else experiences.






Posted By: Mello Mike on 01/13/14 07:46am

Not only that, but I've driven through some intense wind storms in Northern Arizona without incident though I do have frame mounted Torklift tie downs for my rig.


2016 Northstar Laredo SC/240w Solar/2-6v Lifeline AGMs/Dometic CR110 DC Compressor Fridge
2013 Ram 3500 4x4/6.7L Cummins TD/3.42/Buckstop Bumper with Warn 16.5ti Winch/Big Wig Rear Sway Bar/Talons w/SS Fastguns
My Rig
1998 Jeep Wrangler
US Navy Ret.


Posted By: Butch50 on 01/13/14 08:02am

1mtnman wrote:

I see some of these very large truck campers using front bed and bumper tiedowns and I just don't understand how that can be a safe setup when we are talking about a 3000-4000 lb camper.
I would never haul a camper using any system that did not utilize the truck frame to attach the tiedowns. There are a lot of us who take these campers into out of the way and rough areas where other RV's dare not go therefore you can't be too concerned about how safely your camper is tied down.
Many camper manufactures make recommendation as how there units should be tied down and one would expect a reputable dealerships do the same however I'm sure this is not always the case.
The incident sure gives those of us who haul these units a chance to evaluate our setup and learn from someone else experiences.


Before I post this just to let you know that I use Torklift frame mount tie downs. But to say you wouldn't use any tie down that doesn't tie to the frame, I take it you haven't looked how Happpijac's are fastened to the truck then you need to take a look. Happijac tied downs

If you look at the diagram you well see that the Happijac's also tie to the frame. If I didn't care about drilling holes in my truck bed I would have no problem with the Happijac tie downs. In fact many years back I used the Happijac tie down system, this had to been in the 70's when I used them.

To the OP I'm glad nobody got hurt. Truck and camper can be replaced, I know it sucks but can be done.


Butch

I try to always leave doubt to my ignorance rather than prove it

2017 Ram 3500 Mega DRW
2018 Grand Design 303RLS


Posted By: 1mtnman on 01/13/14 08:35am

My point was regarding the use of the bumper tiedowns that are used in many cases with large campers. The bumpers just aren't built to support the loads placed on them by these heavy campers. We have seen in the past several times just on these forums references to the bumpers being bent when using this support method. I have nothing against the Happijac system although I also have the Torklift system.
I have often wondered how the Happijac quick release and the Fastgun units compare with the turn buckle and chain system as far as strength is concerned.


Posted By: pasusan on 01/13/14 08:38am

I had to show DH this thread as we are always drooling over truck campers. As we went through the pictures and I told him that insurance totalled both the camper and the truck he immediately saw the big picture and said: "You mean the manufacturer is off the hook and we all pay for that?"

I am hoping the insurance co. goes after the manufacturer somehow... Would they?


"I'm out here to enjoy nature -- don't talk to me about the environment!" ~Denny Crane

Susan & Ben
2004 Roadtrek 170 for quick getaways
84 Bronco & 90 Award Classic 23 joined with a Hensley Cub for longer trips
Trip Pics


Posted By: crosscheck on 01/13/14 09:00am

Thought I would add a personal story regarding winds in the Anza-Borego Springs SP.

Last year in March, we parked by the water tower near the train tracks at the end of the Montaro Wash road as we hiked in to see the Goat Canyon trestle. That night the winds were so strong, we couldn't sleep as the Outfitter was rocking so much. My wife thought the truck was going to flip over.

I dropped the top, drove into the wind and made up the dinette bunk where we slept kinda.

I always have a lot of respect for desert winds. (Pictures and write-up in "Some Like It Hot[emoticon]art 1") in our blog.

Dave


2016 F350 Diesel 4X4 CC SRW SB,
2016 Creekside 23RKS, 490W solar, 2000W Xantrex Freedom 2012 inverter, 4 6V GC-2 (450AH)
2006 F350 CC 4X4 sold
2011 Outfitter 9.5' sold
Some Of Our Fun:http://daveincoldstream.blogspot.ca/


Posted By: Rbertalotto on 01/13/14 09:28am

Quote:


I am hoping the insurance co. goes after the manufacturer somehow... Would they?


Only if death resulted or great, long-term bodily harm and the lawsuits were enormous. Otherwise it would not be worth it for the insurance company to pursue.

Now, the Recreational Vehicle Association, DOT, or some other vehicle/camper organization should get involved and create standards because it is clear the camper manufacturers can't police themselves.

(I can't believe i just wrote this being a libertarian..... [emoticon] )


Posted By: tad94564 on 01/13/14 10:22am

crosscheck wrote:



I always have a lot of respect for desert winds. (Pictures and write-up in "Some Like It Hot[emoticon]art 1") in our blog.



Having stayed at Truckhaven (Salton City) when the Big W was blowing..

When the wind blows at Anza Borrego/Salton Sea area, it's really, really bad..


Posted By: Mello Mike on 01/13/14 10:32am

1mtnman wrote:

My point was regarding the use of the bumper tiedowns that are used in many cases with large campers. The bumpers just aren't built to support the loads placed on them by these heavy campers. We have seen in the past several times just on these forums references to the bumpers being bent when using this support method.


Yep, especially since in this incident it was one of these rear Happijac tie downs that failed.

I think the main objection with the Happijac tie downs are the rear tie down points, not the front ones (though many don't like the idea of having to drill into the truck bed). For this reason, some TC owners use a combination of the two, using Happijac TD's for the front, and Torklift TD's for the rear.


Posted By: Francesca Knowles on 01/13/14 11:16am

anutami wrote:

Just so glad my kids were not in the back as I often let them ride in the camper.

I mentioned earlier that I was going to call my son and tell him to check his camper tiedowns...and the above is the first thing he said when he saw the post/pics. His tiedowns look O.K....but he's stopped the "kids-in-the-back" policy just in case. They're not too happy about it, but it's kids-in-seatbelts-in-the-truck from now on.

Thanks again for the heads-up!


Posted By: Gripnriprod on 01/13/14 11:17am

Mello Mike wrote:

Not only that, but I've driven through some intense wind storms in Northern Arizona without incident though I do have frame mounted Torklift tie downs for my rig.
Driving 60+ mph and being passed by a semi is an intense wind storm. The OP said it tweaked the bumper. Many have talked about how rugged the older (2001?) bumpers are and they're ok for HJs.
I don't think the TC would have come off of the truck (JMHO) with Torklift Tiedowns. Probably wouldn't have prevented damage to the TC anchor point considering the apparent design but I'm no engineer. Sure would be nice if some of the manufacturer's would contribute to this site. I'd bet they monitor it.
Go on Torklift's site. They used to have pics/video of a truck and TC on it's side in a ditch. Retrieval accomplished without the TC coming off of the truck. Yes I have Torklift Tiedowns and No I don't work for Torklift.


'11 GMC 3500hd SLT DRW D/A 4x4 Spray-in, Air Bags w/comp & controls, TL, Superhitch, 48" Supertruss, 9.5t Warn, front rcvr, Fox Shocks, '11 AF 1140, DB, AC, Gen, Solar, Thermal Windows, Wardrobe, Rear & Side Awnings, 18' Lund/40hp Honda 4 stroke



Posted By: Wagonqueen Truckster on 01/13/14 11:34am

Since we are on the subject of tie downs... My camper will be kept on my truck with (old technology I assume?) belly bars. Two of them. One front and one in the back. (there is no bumper on my truck due to the size of the camper) These bars are tied into the frame (so to speak) and I am using turn buckels attached to each of the four jacks that are permanently attached to the camper (1976 Amerigo) What do you think of this setup as far as safety goes?


Posted By: Photomike on 01/13/14 12:01pm

WOW!!!!!!!!! I have been in 110kmph (68mph) crosswinds and add to that the fact when they hit I was doing 100kmph (60mph) and I thought for sure this would happen to me.

Not excusing the mounting of the tie down but given the right circumstances and the winds could easily of exerted a force a lot stronger than the tie downs could have held even if done correctly, add to that the poor plywood / joining and you see what happens. To have the camper lifted out of the bed like that you can see how the gust must have caught the TCer. What amazes me is the relative lack of damage to the truck and camper.

Glad nobody was hurt!


2017 Ford Transit
EVO Electric bike
Advanced Elements Kayaks


Posted By: jmtandem on 01/13/14 12:03pm

Quote:

Since we are on the subject of tie downs... My camper will be kept on my truck with (old technology I assume?) belly bars. Two of them. One front and one in the back. (there is no bumper on my truck due to the size of the camper) These bars are tied into the frame (so to speak) and I am using turn buckels attached to each of the four jacks that are permanently attached to the camper (1976 Amerigo) What do you think of this setup as far as safety goes?


Bellybars tied into the frame front and back are probably as safe/strong as Torklifts. What I think we are seeing in the pics here is that once something started to fail, other failures occured and it took out the whole camper. It might have happened fast but it probably was a chain reaction. Maybe it was the 'perfect storm' combination of wind, wind direction, and truck speed coupled with tie downs in the camper that were overpowered. But we were not there and are only arm chair quarterbacks. It is very surprising that the camper came off the truck. That must have been one heck of a gust catching the camper at just the right time and angle.

If I recall from several years ago a few AF owners had some issues with tie downs pulling through plywood. And this from a company that prides itself with Northwood Quality, 30 folks on the roof at a time with no issues, massive frames on FW and TT's etc.

In one pic we can see the aluminum tubing. I thought Northwood inserted wood into the aluminum tubing for the screws to tighten into. There appears to be no wood inside that tubing.

* This post was edited 01/13/14 12:17pm by jmtandem *


'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.


Posted By: Rbertalotto on 01/13/14 12:19pm

Quote:

Since we are on the subject of tie downs... My camper will be kept on my truck with (old technology I assume?) belly bars. Two of them. One front and one in the back. (there is no bumper on my truck due to the size of the camper) These bars are tied into the frame (so to speak) and I am using turn buckels attached to each of the four jacks that are permanently attached to the camper (1976 Amerigo) What do you think of this setup as far as safety goes?


Is there any type of shock absorbers in your system? I'm always concerned about the constant pulling on the camper by the twisting of the trucks frame.

I used heavy duty springs on my camper and have had no issues.

[image]

On my camper, the tie downs attach to the jack attachment points. I had to greatly reinforce this area as the whole camper was falling apart at the four jack mounts.

[image]

These are stainless steel plates that are attached to the bottom and the side of the camper. Spreading the weight and tying the sides into the bottom. Solid as a rock now!

[image]

And in the front I added aluminum angle iron to the jack mounts

[image]

[image]


Posted By: anutami on 01/13/14 12:40pm

I will be going with Torklift Tie downs from here on out,

In defense to happi jac here is their email response when I contacted them. They also said the most extreme situation they encountered was a truck and camper getting sucked up and tossed by a tornado and the truck and camper were still attached. If anyone wants the engineer report PM me and I can email it to you.

"My name is Gary Scothern. I am the Warranty & Technical Support Manager for Happijac (LCI). I have been with Happijac for 27 years and have been directly involved in the development of the Happijac tie down system. I am writing to you to refute some very erroneous information you’ve received from the folks at Northwood Mfg. It is obvious from the pictures you supplied that the failure rests solely with the anchor point on the camper. In the photos you can see the turnbuckle still clearly attached.

We have been manufacturing and selling the Happijac tie down and turnbuckle systems since the mid 1970’s and they have been used at one point or another by about every camper manufacturer that has ever come and gone over that time. I would challenge anyone to find another such failure involving Happijac tie downs. Lance, one of the largest and most enduring camper manufacturer has always endorsed Happijac as being the best and safest tie down system.

I have attached an engineering report explaining the premises upon which the Happijac system was developed, and the advantages of the system.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further I would certainly welcome a call."


2001 Ford F350 LB Diesel 4x4 CrewCab Stick
2015 Wolf Creek 850 Thermal Pane Windows, Oven, Reinforced Anchor Bolts, 200w Solar, Torklift Tie Downs, Fastguns, Stableloads


Posted By: Reddog1 on 01/13/14 01:06pm

Is there anyone that think there would have been a better outcome if the TC would have stayed attached to the Truck? Think about it, the truck would have been on its side, kids and all.

I do offer a disclaimer, I have a stable lift. By design, the lower hoop sandwiches the truck bed and frame between the lower hoop and TC. Tie-downs other than the Stable-Lift are not used, although they could be. I do not have a Wolf Creek TC. I have owned numerous TCs, since about 1972. My point is, I have nothing to defend, gain or loose in this discussion.

Wayne


Posted By: JumboJet on 01/13/14 01:07pm

anutami wrote:

I will be going with Torklift Tie downs from here on out.


Unless the anchors pull loose from my camper, I could not imagine the force that it would take to destroy the front and rear frame mounted Torklift tie downs or Torklift Fastguns.

The things I do not like about the Happijac system - the holes through the bed; the ears that stick out between the cab and bed; and the button mounts on the bumper.

I could see enough flex from one mounting point giving way that then would allow enough leverage and wrenching of the other mounting points to be torn loose.


Posted By: Rbertalotto on 01/13/14 01:36pm

I don't believe anyone is questioning the various attachment point on the trucks. Usually we are talking steel to steel and welded or bolted fix points.

The issue is the camper fixment. Steel to plywood and wood screws......Wood screws and plywood are going to lose everytime!

I have to believe that for all concerned, the camper should stay with the truck no matter the condition. I'd hate to have a camper fall out of a truck in front of me on the highway. Or worse, the truck going one out of control direction and the camper in another. Now I have two "targets" to avoid.

One other engineering point, once you lose one side of the campers tiedowns, the other side is trying to pull the camper over, especially if there is lots of tension on the tie-down on that side and the attachment points are some distance from the camper's moment arm.

Here is my synopsis....The truck hit a big bump, the rear turnbuckle detached as the camper shifted up and down. (I've seen this happen many times with tie down straps that have "open hooks" holding motorcycles down on a trailer)
Once the rear tie down was compromised, the front tie down took all the force and the camper failed.

But I would thing that these campers should be engineered for any one tie down to hold the entire camper secure.

If the rear tie down was a solid turnbuckle, without benefit of chain, when the truck flexed it would be very easy for the "hook" to unhook. A piece of chain in the system might have alleviated this. With motorcycle straps we always wire tie the hooks to the hold down points so they never dis-connect.


Posted By: 1mtnman on 01/13/14 02:10pm

Rbertalotto wrote:

I don't believe anyone is questioning the various attachment point on the trucks. Usually we are talking steel to steel and welded or bolted fix points.

The issue is the camper fixment. Steel to plywood and wood screws......Wood screws and plywood are going to lose everytime!

I have to believe that for all concerned, the camper should stay with the truck no matter the condition. I'd hate to have a camper fall out of a truck in front of me on the highway. Or worse, the truck going one out of control direction and the camper in another. Now I have two "targets" to avoid.

One other engineering point, once you lose one side of the campers tiedowns, the other side is trying to pull the camper over, especially if there is lots of tension on the tie-down on that side and the attachment points are some distance from the camper's moment arm.

Here is my synopsis....The truck hit a big bump, the rear turnbuckle detached as the camper shifted up and down. (I've seen this happen many times with tie down straps that have "open hooks" holding motorcycles down on a trailer)
Once the rear tie down was compromised, the front tie down took all the force and the camper failed.

But I would thing that these campers should be engineered for any one tie down to hold the entire camper secure.

If the rear tie down was a solid turnbuckle, without benefit of chain, when the truck flexed it would be very easy for the "hook" to unhook. A piece of chain in the system might have alleviated this. With motorcycle straps we always wire tie the hooks to the hold down points so they never dis-connect.


I totally agree with this concept regarding the chain of events principal.
I recently went from the Torklift Basic Springload and turnbuckle system Springload to the Happijac Quickload tiedown system. In order to make this system work with the Torklift tiedowns I had to use a coupler to add more threaded bolt to the Happijack system to accommodate the front Torklift tiedown point. I was told by Happijac not to use any chain in the system. At this point I am not certain I have as good of tiedown system as I would have had with the Fastgun system.


Posted By: Francesca Knowles on 01/13/14 02:25pm

The more you guys-in-the-know talk about this, the more I wonder if the O.P. shouldn't make a report of this incident to the NHTSA.
Link to " File a Complaint" page

This sure looks like a manufacturing defect, and one that could have had much more serious consequences had it happened on a busy highway or if there'd been passengers in the camper.

There are presently hundreds of RV's under recall orders simply because of a lockset that could jam, trapping folks inside their rigs. It seems to me that what amounts to an "unsecured load" issue like this deserves the same kind of alert-to-owners.


Posted By: Rbertalotto on 01/13/14 02:47pm

BTW....One of the strongest point on these TC are the camper jack attachment points. These four point mounts usually have a piece of steel running up the corner of the camper tying the side into the front and the back panel.

Any reason why you can attach the tiedown to these points?

[image]

[image]


Posted By: username taken on 01/13/14 03:06pm

Rbertalotto wrote:

BTW....One of the strongest point on these TC are the camper jack attachment points. These four point mounts usually have a piece of steel running up the corner of the camper tying the side into the front and the back panel.

Any reason why you can attach the tiedown to these points?

[image]

[image]


I've always wondered that myself. Why aren't the tiedowns integrated with the jacks?


Posted By: pezvela on 01/13/14 03:24pm

I dont understand how people think that the HappiJack tie downs were somehow to blame for this. It looks like the integrity of the camper was to blame. Seems like the same thing would have happened with the Tork Lifts.

Although I must admit that I have had Happijacks come out of the bottom attachment eyes on major off camber surfaces; sometimes even when I go over a curb with one tire in the back.


Posted By: RWDIII on 01/13/14 03:25pm

I went out and checked my tiedowns,although I'm half your size and 1/3 you weight,I have torklifts on the front and happi jacks on the back
The camper attach points seem to be solid,not spliced


OLD 2006 F150 4wd 7200gvw,Lt275-65-18,Scan Guage,Garmin,flowmaster,load levelers,Firestone work rites Bronco 800

NEW 2015 F250 Scab 4wd 10000 gvw, 6.2 Scan guage,Garmin,work rites,3200 lb load,1800lb Palomino Backpack SS1200


Posted By: pezvela on 01/13/14 03:30pm

I hope you can laugh along with me but I can just hear an 8 year old daughter saying (in the matter-of-fact way that 8 year olds do), "...uh, dad, the camper just came off."

That cracked me up!!!!


Posted By: wnjj on 01/13/14 05:06pm

pezvela wrote:

I dont understand how people think that the HappiJack tie downs were somehow to blame for this. It looks like the integrity of the camper was to blame. Seems like the same thing would have happened with the Tork Lifts.

Although I must admit that I have had Happijacks come out of the bottom attachment eyes on major off camber surfaces; sometimes even when I go over a curb with one tire in the back.


Because the bent rear bumper (i.e. disconnected rear tie down) likely contributed to the front failing.


Posted By: jmtandem on 01/13/14 05:22pm

Quote:


Because the bent rear bumper (i.e. disconnected rear tie down) likely contributed to the front failing.



Despite our friends at Happijac's comments, this is a weak point with their system and a very strong point with TorkLift. The rear bumper of so many new trucks is weak and easily bends. TorkLift would not bend as easily. I have had both systems and the little HJ buttons on the bumper are not a tie down worth wasting time with. Lance, in a recent brochure had a pic of one of their campers using a system that was not HJ.


What needs to be seen here is the condition of the other tie down on the same side of the camper. In one of the pics that tie down can be viewed and from the distance of the picutre appears to not have been pulled out of the bottom of the camper. If that is the case, then the tie down tension probably came loose on a bump and the entire wind gust load was absorbed by the remaining tie down and that failed. While Absolute Northwood can do better, the failure might not have occured if what contributed to it was a loose or no longer connected same side tie down. If the second tie down also pulled out of the bottom of the camper (it appears that it did not) then the design is flawed as there was tension on that tie down throughout the episode. If that was the case both most likely would have pulled out of the camper bottom. A 60 mph gust hitting a truck going 25 mph could easily be a relative wind gust of 70 or more miles per hour. That would get the attention of any cabover camper driver. It would be interesting to learn of the wind direction, constant wind speed, and estimated wind speed in gusts. In one pic the real estate is blowing and where I live that indicates a wind speed of around 45-50 mph or better. It is amazing the truck escaped with so little damage. It appears that it can be driven home.


Posted By: Butch50 on 01/13/14 05:41pm

Rbertalotto wrote:

BTW....One of the strongest point on these TC are the camper jack attachment points. These four point mounts usually have a piece of steel running up the corner of the camper tying the side into the front and the back panel.

Any reason why you can attach the tiedown to these points?

[image]

[image]


I think you would be quite surprised on what is behind that jack attachment point. A lot of them have nothing more than a 2X2 for the jack to fasten to. Then they lag bolt the jack through it. There have been posts after posts on here where people have had the corners rot and have the jacks come loose. When they repaired them they added in metal backing.


Posted By: sleepy on 01/14/14 03:53pm

Reddog1 wrote:

Is there anyone that think there would have been a better outcome if the TC would have stayed attached to the Truck? Think about it, the truck would have been on its side, kids and all.

I do offer a disclaimer, I have a stable lift. By design, the lower hoop sandwiches the truck bed and frame between the lower hoop and TC. Tie-downs other than the Stable-Lift are not used, although they could be. I do not have a Wolf Creek TC. I have owned numerous TCs, since about 1972. My point is, I have nothing to defend, gain or loose in this discussion.

Wayne


I agree with you completely about the camper seperation.

-----------------

And,

I'd like to say that I have repaired or helped repair severl Truck Camper tie down systems over the years.

In each case the problem was the attachment bracket attached to the camper wings.

The damage incured was what I call Speed Bump Damage.

If you hit a speed bump hard enough for your camper to start bouncing or porporsing it can tear the tiedown bracket off the wings of the camper.

IT makes no difference what kind of tiedowns that you use.

If it isn't immediately apparent and you have a stress related incident later like wind, rough roads, hard braking, etc you'llthink that the latest incident caused all of the problem.

If I remember correctly... the OP's campers attachment bracket probably failed first... possibly starting the chain of events that we see in the pictures upside down in the road.

It had nothing to do with the tie downs them selves... no matter what type tie downs the failure started in the campers attachment bracket tear out.


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


Posted By: garryk6 on 01/14/14 05:10pm

tad94564 wrote:

crosscheck wrote:



I always have a lot of respect for desert winds. (Pictures and write-up in "Some Like It Hot[emoticon]art 1") in our blog.



Having stayed at Truckhaven (Salton City) when the Big W was blowing..

When the wind blows at Anza Borrego/Salton Sea area, it's really, really bad..

I can vouch for the winds in the Anza Borrego... Lived in San Diego for many years (DW is from SD). Went for Thanksgiving from WA to SD,then over to Phoenix area with our old 1994 Suburban 7.4 and our 30 ft TT. Coming back we got caught in a wind storm through the Anza Borrego all the way up the pass... White knuckled driving for sure, and slowed down to 45 on the flat, then going up the pass out of the desert, I was foot to the floor in 1st gear, and was doing 10 mph.... Wind was that strong! Got 4.2 mpg that leg of the trip. Would much rather have the Avion for winds like those!!
Glad you are safe! and things can be replaced, people can't...

Garry in AK


Garry K
Wife + 4 kids
Retired Military Family.... Alway's on the move....
2002 F350 CCSB 5.4 6spd 4x4 in AK
1966 Avion C-10 Truck Camper



Posted By: garryk6 on 01/14/14 05:23pm

username taken wrote:

Rbertalotto wrote:

BTW....One of the strongest point on these TC are the camper jack attachment points. These four point mounts usually have a piece of steel running up the corner of the camper tying the side into the front and the back panel.

Any reason why you can attach the tiedown to these points?



I've always wondered that myself. Why aren't the tiedowns integrated with the jacks?


Some campers are, like those that use Reese Titan jacks.

[image]

* This post was edited 01/14/14 05:43pm by garryk6 *


Posted By: dakonthemountain on 01/14/14 08:42pm

garryk6 wrote:

username taken wrote:

Rbertalotto wrote:

BTW....One of the strongest point on these TC are the camper jack attachment points. These four point mounts usually have a piece of steel running up the corner of the camper tying the side into the front and the back panel.

Any reason why you can attach the tiedown to these points?



I've always wondered that myself. Why aren't the tiedowns integrated with the jacks?


Some campers are, like those that use Reese Titan jacks.

[image]


Gary, I think he meant mechanically integrated, not frozen together with ice!! [emoticon] [emoticon]

Dak


2018 GMC Denali "Extreme" and 23' EVO 2050T Travel Trailer
Escapee member #224325-Since 1992



Posted By: Rbertalotto on 01/15/14 06:45am

But the Titan jack mounts "pull" on the same area as the others. A VERY week point. I had to reinforce this area on all four mounting points on my TC.

The corner mounted jacks spreads the forces out into the whole corner of the camper. A very strong, if not the strongest, area of the camper.


Posted By: ticki2 on 01/15/14 07:56am

sleepy wrote:

Reddog1 wrote:

Is there anyone that think there would have been a better outcome if the TC would have stayed attached to the Truck? Think about it, the truck would have been on its side, kids and all.

I do offer a disclaimer, I have a stable lift. By design, the lower hoop sandwiches the truck bed and frame between the lower hoop and TC. Tie-downs other than the Stable-Lift are not used, although they could be. I do not have a Wolf Creek TC. I have owned numerous TCs, since about 1972. My point is, I have nothing to defend, gain or loose in this discussion.

Wayne


I agree with you completely about the camper seperation.

-----------------

And,

I'd like to say that I have repaired or helped repair severl Truck Camper tie down systems over the years.

In each case the problem was the attachment bracket attached to the camper wings.

The damage incured was what I call Speed Bump Damage.

If you hit a speed bump hard enough for your camper to start bouncing or porporsing it can tear the tiedown bracket off the wings of the camper.

IT makes no difference what kind of tiedowns that you use.

If it isn't immediately apparent and you have a stress related incident later like wind, rough roads, hard braking, etc you'llthink that the latest incident caused all of the problem.

If I remember correctly... the OP's campers attachment bracket probably failed first... possibly starting the chain of events that we see in the pictures upside down in the road.

It had nothing to do with the tie downs them selves... no matter what type tie downs the failure started in the campers attachment bracket tear out.



My thoughts run along the same lines as the above quotes . It must have been some kind of special sheer wind to just catch the top of the camper and hardly feel it in the truck . With that kind of leverage it might have taken the truck with it if the mounts didn't fail . Keep in mind the tiedowns are only rated for about 300# each , not a lot for a 4000# load . It seems like you experienced the " Perfect Storm " . Glad to hear all are OK .


'68 Avion C-11
'02 GMC DRW D/A flatbed


Posted By: Reddog1 on 01/15/14 09:34am

sleepy wrote:

... I'd like to say that I have repaired or helped repair severl Truck Camper tie down systems over the years.

In each case the problem was the attachment bracket attached to the camper wings.

The damage incured was what I call Speed Bump Damage.

If you hit a speed bump hard enough for your camper to start bouncing or porporsing it can tear the tiedown bracket off the wings of the camper.

IT makes no difference what kind of tiedowns that you use.

If it isn't immediately apparent and you have a stress related incident later like wind, rough roads, hard braking, etc you'll think that the latest incident caused all of the problem.

If I remember correctly... the OP's campers attachment bracket probably failed first... possibly starting the chain of events that we see in the pictures upside down in the road.

It had nothing to do with the tie downs them selves... no matter what type tie downs the failure started in the campers attachment bracket tear out.


It is my understanding the reason most the tie-downs now have springs or rubber cushions built in. Then greatly reduce the stress on the TC mounting brackets. If overtightened, you loose the ability of tie-downs to absorb the shock.

Back in the seventies (and a bit later), we only had turn buckles for tie-downs. It was common practice to loosen the rear ones, when driving on washboard type roads. This allowed some movement of the TC with reduced stress on the tie-down mounting.


Posted By: Mello Mike on 01/15/14 09:57am

sleepy wrote:

Reddog1 wrote:

Is there anyone that think there would have been a better outcome if the TC would have stayed attached to the Truck? Think about it, the truck would have been on its side, kids and all.

I do offer a disclaimer, I have a stable lift. By design, the lower hoop sandwiches the truck bed and frame between the lower hoop and TC. Tie-downs other than the Stable-Lift are not used, although they could be. I do not have a Wolf Creek TC. I have owned numerous TCs, since about 1972. My point is, I have nothing to defend, gain or loose in this discussion.

Wayne


I agree with you completely about the camper seperation.

-----------------

And,

I'd like to say that I have repaired or helped repair severl Truck Camper tie down systems over the years.

In each case the problem was the attachment bracket attached to the camper wings.

The damage incured was what I call Speed Bump Damage.

If you hit a speed bump hard enough for your camper to start bouncing or porporsing it can tear the tiedown bracket off the wings of the camper.

IT makes no difference what kind of tiedowns that you use.

If it isn't immediately apparent and you have a stress related incident later like wind, rough roads, hard braking, etc you'llthink that the latest incident caused all of the problem.

If I remember correctly... the OP's campers attachment bracket probably failed first... possibly starting the chain of events that we see in the pictures upside down in the road.

It had nothing to do with the tie downs them selves... no matter what type tie downs the failure started in the campers attachment bracket tear out.


I understand what you're saying and agree with your thoughts on the attachment bracket failure possibly being caused by a prior incident, but in this case the rear Happijac tie down to the bumper also failed. The rear bracket on that side of the camper was completely intact, while his bumper was twisted from the incident. So in this case a frame-mounted tie down on the rear probably would have saved this camper from going airborne.


Posted By: BradW on 01/15/14 11:17am

Mello Mike wrote:

So in this case a frame-mounted tie down on the rear probably would have saved this camper from going airborne.


Maybe. Or maybe the rear camper tie-down eyelet may have failed.

Regardless, I wasn’t there and I ain’t go no video evidence, but I don’t find it credible that a violent camper ejection like this was all cause by a crosswind while driving at only 25 mph. JMO.

Brad


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



Posted By: jmtandem on 01/15/14 11:22am

Quote:

So in this case a frame-mounted tie down on the rear probably would have saved this camper from going airborne.


If this is correct then our friends at HappiJac are possibly incorrect. A contributing factor is a HJ issue due to thier attachment points on the weak bumper that is not strong enough and should not have been used as an attachment point. Culability is shared and it perhaps is not totally a Northwood issue after all. If Sleepy is correct, and he likely is, then having the camper tie downs too tight when going over a bump but not necessarily too tight standing still, could also contribute to the tie down failing in the camper. I still maintain it is the combination of a chain of events that basically was the perfect storm in this case. Torklift tiedowns might well have saved the day. In my mind a bumper attachment because that bumper attaches to the frame is not a frame mounted tie down. I have had both HJ and TL and hands down TL is a far superior and much stronger tie down system. All four corners go directly into the frame of the truck.


Posted By: sleepy on 01/15/14 11:32am

Reddog1 wrote:

sleepy wrote:

... I'd like to say that I have repaired or helped repair severl Truck Camper tie down systems over the years.

In each case the problem was the attachment bracket attached to the camper wings.

The damage incured was what I call Speed Bump Damage.

If you hit a speed bump hard enough for your camper to start bouncing or porporsing it can tear the tiedown bracket off the wings of the camper.

IT makes no difference what kind of tiedowns that you use.

If it isn't immediately apparent and you have a stress related incident later like wind, rough roads, hard braking, etc you'll think that the latest incident caused all of the problem.

If I remember correctly... the OP's campers attachment bracket probably failed first... possibly starting the chain of events that we see in the pictures upside down in the road.

It had nothing to do with the tie downs them selves... no matter what type tie downs the failure started in the campers attachment bracket tear out.


It is my understanding the reason most the tie-downs now have springs or rubber cushions built in. Then greatly reduce the stress on the TC mounting brackets. If overtightened, you loose the ability of tie-downs to absorb the shock.

Back in the seventies (and a bit later), we only had turn buckles for tie-downs. It was common practice to loosen the rear ones, when driving on washboard type roads. This allowed some movement of the TC with reduced stress on the tie-down mounting.


And I'm in agreement with Reddog1 again:

and again I'd like to add:


Lance camper has their patented dampers that attach to the front of the TC cabover

They slow down violent actions, like porporsing, side winds, etc

They make it very comfotable to drive a truck with a large camper

there is no problem when a truck or bus passes, nor wind gusts

People seem to forget them, probably because they work so well.


If there isn't any give and take that is when things break

when things turn over


You are invited to drive my truck and camper... you'd see...


Janet loves to drive it... and she was terrorfied of driving my old camper with belly bands... it felt like it would turn over turning a corner or when a bus passed.


Posted By: 12V Cummins on 01/15/14 11:38am

I don't think cab over struts would have done anything in this circumstance. If a camper has a good COG it does not need struts and you do not get "porporsing". If i recall the cog of a 850 is pretty good especially on a long bed.


Posted By: sleepy on 01/15/14 11:50am

12V Cummins wrote:

I don't think cab over struts would have done anything in this circumstance. If a camper has a good COG it does not need struts and you do not get "porporsing". If i recall the cog of a 850 is pretty good especially on a long bed.


These are actually oil filled piston dampers (strutts are rigid)

Have you ever driven a truck and Lance Truck Camper with the dampers?


Posted By: sleepy on 01/15/14 12:00pm

This is one heck of a bend in the side of the truck bed.... the amount of pressure it would take to bend this like it is would be tremendous.

I looked as closely as possible to tire tracks in the pictures... anything.

Not even a bit of dust from the wind... creepy.

Thank goodness everyone is OK!


[image]

* This post was edited 01/15/14 01:53pm by an administrator/moderator *


Posted By: Buzzcut1 on 01/15/14 12:25pm

Sleepy, all fine and danndy, except that lance specifically recommends removing the struts during off pavement driving


2011 F350 6.7L Diesel 4x4 CrewCab longbed Dually, 08 Lance 1055, Torqlift Talons, Fast Guns, upper and lower Stable Loads, Super Hitch, 48" Super Truss, Airlift loadlifter 5000 extreme airbags



Posted By: sleepy on 01/15/14 01:51pm

Buzzcut1 wrote:

Sleepy, all fine and danndy, except that lance specifically recommends removing the struts during off pavement driving


I have always been under the impression that Lance said off-roading... not off pavement. The road in the pictures is in about as good a shape as some of the interstate highways in Arkansas.


Posted By: Reddog1 on 01/15/14 02:03pm

I keep seeing those ruts on the driverside of the road, I easly imaging a gust of wind hitting the passenger side of the TC hard enough for the driver side of the truck to be pushed into the rut. That in itself is quite an angle and load on the tie-downs. When the bed of the truck hits the bank, and the truck/TC is already at an angle due to the rut, the truck stops its roll but the TC (top heavy) does not. I cannot imagine any tie-down that could take that amount of force, regardless of the manufacture.

I am not suggesting a fault here, but simply under those circumstances (wind/road) it is risk we take. When we see big truck on their side due to wind, it should be obvious.


Posted By: rtz549 on 01/15/14 02:59pm

I just want to know if a material exists that could be used instead of plywood for the floors in these truck campers? The plywood floors are a huge deal breaker for me(water/wood damage).

A lot of large existing materials just aren't thick enough to offer what the plywood does. I think many of these materials could be used in a layered or built up method.


Posted By: Redsky on 01/15/14 03:41pm

I did a rough calculation of the wind force side load on my 845 camper and with a 50 MPH gust the force is about 844 lbs., which is not all that much and countered largely by the weight of the camper. But with a 70 MPH gust the side load nearly doubles to 1660 lbs. of force. It's the gusts that will get you.

The problem is that all that force needs to be resisted by the two windward hold downs on the camper. The turnbuckles are designed to provide 300 lbs. of holding force or 600 lbs. per side so even a 45 MPH gust could overwhelm them.

This wind force loading is exacerbated by the height of the camper off the ground and it does not help to have a less than rigid platform with the truck's suspension and tires flexing. Had the truck been parked while the winds were blowing it is likely that the separation would not have occurred.

Plywood or other sheathing is to provide shear strength to a structure. It is the framing that serves to hold the structure together whether it is a house or a camper. Clearly Northwood Manufacturing did a shoddy job of designing and building the camper and older Lance campers are little better in this area with their thin wooden framing.

Not any different with other RV's out there. Roll a motorhome or trailer and the framing is going to collapse. Probably better to be in the "crash cage" of a modern pickup than in any RV.

What the accident demonstrates to me is the need to exercise more caution when high winds and strong gusts are predicted and possible alter my travel plans so as not to be out on the road.


Posted By: 12V Cummins on 01/15/14 04:53pm

I bet if the tiedown didn't pull out your whole rig would have rolled over imagine the damage that that would have cause? almost lucky that the corner pulled out and the camper gradually fell over/off.


Posted By: bcbigfoot on 01/15/14 06:27pm

Personally I would not use Happijac system, not because of a strength issue with their system but because of the typical lack of strength in camper tie down points. The front happijac tie downs on many applications pull on the camper tie downs at a approx. 45 degree angle greatly reducing the camper tie downs strength which is already very minimal at best.


2002 Dodge 3500 2wd dually, cummins, 4.10 gears, 10500gvwr, Rancho 9000's shocks
2005 Bigfoot 259.6E, 80watt solar, eu2000 Honda gen., 2x group 31 AGM bats., 7100 btu aircond, electric rear step.



Posted By: Ski Pro 3 on 01/15/14 06:41pm

I bought a Lance camper from the dealer last year. The dealer said, and the Lance manual says, to use Happijac system. I, instead, chose to install the Torklift tie down system.

I sure hope ALL camper manufacturers are reading of this situation. If this had happened to me, after following both my dealer, who would have installed the Happijac tie down system, and Lance, who has it in writing to use the Happijac system, I would be suing BOTH Lance and Happijac for the loss of what ever the insurance company wasn't covering.

It's a huge responsibility and liability for both dealers and manufacturers who they are partnering with on things like tie down systems.


Posted By: RZAR66 on 01/15/14 06:50pm

skipro3 wrote:

I bought a Lance camper from the dealer last year. The dealer said, and the Lance manual says, to use Happijac system. I, instead, chose to install the Torklift tie down system.

I sure hope ALL camper manufacturers are reading of this situation. If this had happened to me, after following both my dealer, who would have installed the Happijac tie down system, and Lance, who has it in writing to use the Happijac system, I would be suing BOTH Lance and Happijac for the loss of what ever the insurance company wasn't covering.

It's a huge responsibility and liability for both dealers and manufacturers who they are partnering with on things like tie down systems.


Lance now endorses both the Torklift and happijac tie down systems. Funny thing is they have done no changes to their campers.


1995 Ford F-350 DRW 7.5
2014 Lance 1050S


Posted By: Ski Pro 3 on 01/15/14 06:55pm

Something I've been trained for on heavy equipment, like tractors, is that you NEVER turn the wheel back up a grade if you are starting to turn over. You are supposed to turn down the grade to prevent a roll. So, if that was the case here, a slight off camber with a wind and the driver corrected by turning back up the side slope due to ruts, then the momentum of the tip over is carried forward. However, if the driver had turn WITH the wind, and down the rut, it's likely he could have saved the situation. Of course, being aware that the situation exists would need to be realized. It sounds like he was surprised that the camper was even missing off the truck until his daughter told him it was.

Youtube has videos of tractors rolling on an off camber due to the front wheels turning back up the hill in an attempt to recover. I'd recommend viewing those so that we can all be aware of how to drive out of a tough situation if it happens to anyone here.


Posted By: bcbigfoot on 01/15/14 07:01pm

skipro3 wrote:

I bought a Lance camper from the dealer last year. The dealer said, and the Lance manual says, to use Happijac system. I, instead, chose to install the Torklift tie down system.

I sure hope ALL camper manufacturers are reading of this situation. If this had happened to me, after following both my dealer, who would have installed the Happijac tie down system, and Lance, who has it in writing to use the Happijac system, I would be suing BOTH Lance and Happijac for the loss of what ever the insurance company wasn't covering.

It's a huge responsibility and liability for both dealers and manufacturers who they are partnering with on things like tie down systems.



By the sounds of things the Lance campers have been designed with the Happijac system in mind and their tie down mounts may very well be stronger when used with the Happijac system. However I know my Bigfoot and several other campers that would not be as Happi with the off angle stress that would be placed on the camper mounts.


Posted By: sleepy on 01/15/14 07:22pm

bcbigfoot

the Lance is designed for a 6 point tiedown...

2 of the strut dampers provide the forward attachments

2 of the Happijacs provide the center attachments

2 of the happijacs provides the spring loaded rear attachments on the rear bumper

I'll take 6 point attachments over 4 point attachments any time

sleepy


Posted By: RZAR66 on 01/15/14 07:27pm

Here is the link showing Lance now endorsing using Torklift or Happijac.

http://www.lancecamper.com/truck-support.php


Posted By: 12V Cummins on 01/15/14 08:34pm

sleepy wrote:

bcbigfoot

the Lance is designed for a 6 point tiedown...

2 of the strut dampers provide the forward attachments

2 of the Happijacs provide the center attachments

2 of the happijacs provides the spring loaded rear attachments on the rear bumper

I'll take 6 point attachments over 4 point attachments any time

sleepy


Ill take a lighter, better balanced truck camper with 4 spring loaded turnbuckles and frame mounted tiedowns and outperform any 6 point lance.

Sounds like lance had a pact with happijac and they now realize that torklift is the better way to go with heavier campers. Why does lance recommend air lift? Whats wrong with firestone?


Back to the op. I still think that this is a whole sort of unfortunate events: rough roads, wind, failed tiedown, and the corner of the WC separating.


Posted By: mike mck on 01/15/14 09:31pm

anutami

Wow as I look at the photos I am trying to picture what kind of a wind gust would push a 4000 lb camper over or thru a bed rail.
Tiedowns or not.

If you were in an off camber situation going up that berm. I could understand the forces required to create that situation.

As to camper tiedowns and construction the question becomes design intent. I do use torklift tiedowns and have no expectation they will hold the camper weight while of camber enough for the camper to roll over the bed. My expectation is it will hold the camper in place from sliding forward or back in the bed.

It appears the wind gust was enough overcome the ability of any tiedown system or rig was so far off camber the weight of the camper overcame the design intent of the tie down area of the camper.
just my 2 cents


Posted By: Reddog1 on 01/15/14 09:50pm

mike mck wrote:

anutami

Wow as I look at the photos I am trying to picture what kind of a wind gust would push a 4000 lb camper over or thru a bed rail.
Tiedowns or not.

If you were in an off camber situation going up that berm. I could understand the forces required to create that situation.

As to camper tiedowns and construction the question becomes design intent. I do use torklift tiedowns and have no expectation they will hold the camper weight while of camber enough for the camper to roll over the bed. My expectation is it will hold the camper in place from sliding forward or back in the bed.

It appears the wind gust was enough overcome the ability of any tiedown system or rig was so far off camber the weight of the camper overcame the design intent of the tie down area of the camper.
just my 2 cents


From my perspective and experience, you have got it. There comes a point that you and I have to take responsibility. This does does not mean we were purposely negligent.


Posted By: jefe 4x4 on 01/15/14 10:06pm

I know the exact spot where the OP went over. It on the last curve before a long straight away. It's next to the Plaster city narrow gage (3') railway. In years gone by, it's just a slightly undulating sandy desert RR service/BLM road. Me thinks the OP was inordinately unlucky and simply got into the 'perfect storm' as mentioned above.
I use Happi jax and find them well engineered. The fronts are spring loaded at a 40 deg. angle or so and that's to keep the box on the bed (and no slide out the back) up front where most of the weight resides. The plate tied to the bed is vertical so lots of sheer. The rears are tied to the factory bumper, which, on a Dodge is pretty sturdy. i cannot vouch for Ford or GM. It is made to flex the bumper, with no spring utilizing the bumper instead. I've heard that some mfgr's bumpers have a one-way trip with flex: Up.
There is a lot less stress on the rear tie downs.
IMHO, THE most glaring mechanical misjudgement in this scenario is the lack of centering guides on the truck bed. In nasty situations like this, much of the sheer could have been transfered to bottom and side plates of the TC and to the centering guides making it difficult, nigh impossible to slide sideways at all and snap the tie downs. The wind would have to crush the bottom box of the tc or lift it straight up at least 6 inches to launch the thing as shown in the pix. There was obvious shock loading going on at the start of 3 seconds of all hell breaking loose. This is a basic tenant of my XTC spiel: the rougher the road, the looser you run the tie downs. This ONLY works if you have centering guides that act as a keyway. Transfer that sheer.
O.K. , so I still had a probably typical response and said, "Oh No!", over and over again as i read the post. It's easy to pontificate if you were not on site and just looked at a few very descriptive pix. The other thing is: a hardside is luckily (maybe not in this case) quiet and noise resistant to things outside, as are modern pickups. I can see why the OP had no idea what was happening.
I'm glad all were safe.
regards, as always, jefe


'01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, 241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar


Posted By: bcbigfoot on 01/15/14 11:26pm

sleepy wrote:

12V Cummins wrote:

I don't think cab over struts would have done anything in this circumstance. If a camper has a good COG it does not need struts and you do not get "porporsing". If i recall the cog of a 850 is pretty good especially on a long bed.


These are actually oil filled piston dampers (strutts are rigid)

Have you ever driven a truck and Lance Truck Camper with the dampers?



Actually in the transportation engineering, struts are very similar to shocks. By the way strutts are spelled with one t. I guess a engineer would know that, wouldn't he?


Posted By: pezvela on 01/15/14 11:46pm

sleepy wrote:

bcbigfoot

the Lance is designed for a 6 point tiedown...

2 of the strut dampers provide the forward attachments

2 of the Happijacs provide the center attachments

2 of the happijacs provides the spring loaded rear attachments on the rear bumper

I'll take 6 point attachments over 4 point attachments any time

sleepy


And yet the struts are an option? Doesnt sound like it belongs in the same category as an anchoring system. It's a ride control option, not a necessary safety device.

Out west here, I've known two people who have used their struts on simple dirt roads and destroyed them.


Posted By: bcbigfoot on 01/16/14 12:30am

sleepy wrote:

bcbigfoot

the Lance is designed for a 6 point tiedown...

2 of the strut dampers provide the forward attachments

2 of the Happijacs provide the center attachments

2 of the happijacs provides the spring loaded rear attachments on the rear bumper

I'll take 6 point attachments over 4 point attachments any time

sleepy


Ok, and you did. (What's your point) As I might of as well if I owned a Lance that was engineered to use the happijac system however I don't.

I own a Bigfoot and the happijac tie down system would compromise the camper tie down mounts strength. The happijac pull in at a steep angle, under a situation were the camper were to try and separate from the truck, that angle would put force on (pull in, think lever) the side of the camper tie down mounting plate causing it to start ripping through the mounting structure on one side, like a claw hammer pulling a nail out, or pulling Velcro apart starting at a side or corner.

Pulling straight down (or less angle) on the camper mount tie down would load the mounting plate evenly across the mounting structure increasing it's ability to resist being pulled out much like pulling a nail strait out with a pair of plier's, or separating Velcro from the center. Basic engineering sleepy.


Posted By: BradW on 01/16/14 05:15am

Redsky wrote:

I did a rough calculation of the wind force side load on my 845 camper and with a 50 MPH gust the force is about 844 lbs., which is not all that much and countered largely by the weight of the camper. But with a 70 MPH gust the side load nearly doubles to 1660 lbs. of force. It's the gusts that will get you.

The problem is that all that force needs to be resisted by the two windward hold downs on the camper. The turnbuckles are designed to provide 300 lbs. of holding force or 600 lbs. per side so even a 45 MPH gust could overwhelm them.


Just so no one is confused, 1,660 lbs side force does NOT translate into 1,660 lbs of force on the tie downs. The force on the tie downs would be MUCH less. I assume your calcs are based on the wind being exactly perpendicular to the camper side? What are the odds of that?

Also, if there had been 70 mph wind gusts, you would have seen a LOT more dust blowing around in those photos.

Brad


Posted By: CAJW on 01/16/14 07:56am

I'm no engineer, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn (before we got our TC), but I agree with Jefe 4x4 in that centering guides may have helped prevent this.

Another thought to ponder is, would a DRW truck have helped keep the unit from tipping past the point of no return vs. the SRW the OP had? IMHO, it would have put the rotation point farther out and may have kept the truck from leaning over that last little bit to allow the camper enough lean over stressing that tie down mount to the failure point and fall out.

I'm in agreement that the OP (Nolan) was caught up in the perfect storm, literally. When teaching classroom for motorcycle training, we discuss accidents as having many links in a chain and if any link is broken (a contributing factor removed), the crash (accident) doesn't occur. In his case, it appears that Nolan was in the wrong place at the right time for all these things to come together to create this situation. Thankfully no one was hurt, which is the bottom line.


2013 AF 996, 2013 Chevy 3500 CC,LWB,4X4, Duramax, DRW, 3.73 rear, Torklift Stableloads & Tie-downs,Fast Guns, Ride Rite Air Bags, Superhitch w/ 32" extension.Big Wigs, Front Timbrens, TST TPMS-507,CubbyCam, Trimetric. TM & SC 2030 150W + 100W suitcase


Posted By: bcbigfoot on 01/16/14 08:02am

One would also likely need to calculate in the low pressure area generated on the leeward side of the camper, compounding the force of the wind.

In one of pictures there is dust blowing across the road/field. I lived in area's of Saskatchewan that is like that, one minute 40/50 mph wind gusts the next few minutes relatively calm. It's the nature of wind gusts in some locals.

As a armchair quarterback my guess is a combination of events to create a perfect storm. Wrong tie down system, typical poor truck camper tie down mount design/engineering, perhaps poor workmanship to boot. A big gust of wind and a little over correction of steering to keep the truck going straight (like skipro3 pointed out) and throw in a rut or two of soft powdery dirt. Walla the formulation for a 1 in a 1000000 flying camper. Or not?


Posted By: wnjj on 01/16/14 08:08am

BradW wrote:

Redsky wrote:

I did a rough calculation of the wind force side load on my 845 camper and with a 50 MPH gust the force is about 844 lbs., which is not all that much and countered largely by the weight of the camper. But with a 70 MPH gust the side load nearly doubles to 1660 lbs. of force. It's the gusts that will get you.

The problem is that all that force needs to be resisted by the two windward hold downs on the camper. The turnbuckles are designed to provide 300 lbs. of holding force or 600 lbs. per side so even a 45 MPH gust could overwhelm them.


Just so no one is confused, 1,660 lbs side force does NOT translate into 1,660 lbs of force on the tie downs. The force on the tie downs would be MUCH less. I assume your calcs are based on the wind being exactly perpendicular to the camper side? What are the odds of that?

Also, if there had been 70 mph wind gusts, you would have seen a LOT more dust blowing around in those photos.

Brad


Yep. Consider the lower left edge if the camper as it sits in the truck bed the pivot point. Multiply the wind force times the average height of the wall above that point (so maybe 1660 x 5 feet?). That's the rotational force hurting you. Now subtract off the weight of the camper pushing down at it's side-to-side center. I'll use a conservative (3000 x 2 feet).

1660 x 5 - 3000 x 2 = 2300 ft-lbs. This means a wind like that could start to tip over an unsecured camper.

Figuring the tiedowns in, they are about 6 feet horizontakly away from the left edge. That means even with only one tiedown, it need only hold 384 lbs to stop 2300 ft-lbs.

The truck was either tilted, bouncing or that tiedown was already compromised before the wind hit or some combination of these.


Posted By: sleepy on 01/16/14 12:21pm

This has been a good discussion...

1)so far I've been reminded that I can't spell I'll bet that 99.44% of the Truck camper regulars knew it already

2) and that I'm not an engineery that's right, I'm a retiree

3) I read that some one else noticed the lack of wind blown dust in the air in the pictures But Janet and I, while in bed in our TC survived a 108 mph down draft straight line shear wind in Sandusky, Ohio. it hit us in the rear drivers side corner... for a miniute or so it shook us in every concievable way. The happijac's held. (I posted on it at the time... it was fall of 2005)

What the OP could have had is a sheer wind that was over in seconds.

Since we don't have a wind tunnel to repeat the same conditions over and over making only one change at a time using different tie down systems we can't say with any certainity what is best, or if there is any difference in the tiedons at all... at this point it is just conjecture.

I do understand research methadology. And I understand when a guy claims to be a quarterback... armchair of course.

Even an educated guess... is still a guess!

sleepy


Posted By: anutami on 02/04/14 11:22pm

Well, I have been searching high and low for "the perfect rig" to replace my 2012 wolf creek 850 and I keep going back to the wolf creek. This camper seems perfect for a family of 4 that prefers 4wd roads. It is hard to beat a hard side non slide 8' camper with an aluminum frame structure, larger holding tanks, light weight, huge dinette, beautiful interior, perfect fold down bunk for my 5 year old, massive storage cabinets, that you can take off road to almost as many places as a pop up camper. Is there another 8' camper that can compete? My only beef is with the tie down anchors. Northwood agreed to reinforce the tie down anchors on a new custom build 2014 wolf creek 850 and I pulled the trigger. Props to Kevin Baker owner of apache camping center in portland as he negotiated on my behalf. The wolf creek held up great rolling out of my truck and holding up even better when the tow truck driver rolled it back upright, so the frame and structure are obviously above par.. Northwood has been great on helping me out and I can't wait to get on the road again. I guess I have what you you call the truck camper blues as it is prime desert season right now in so cal and looking forward to feeling free again. I am going with the new torklift talon tie downs so I should have no more worries of my camper becoming separated from my truck.


Posted By: kerry4951 on 02/05/14 05:24am

anutami wrote:

Northwood agreed to reinforce the tie down anchors on a new custom build 2014 wolf creek 850 and I pulled the trigger.

It may be in their best interest to start doing this to all their new campers from this point forward. No need to do just one. Anyway, glad you have your new TC ordered and overall Northwood builds a great product.


Posted By: abslayer on 02/05/14 06:14am

BradW wrote:

Mello Mike wrote:

So in this case a frame-mounted tie down on the rear probably would have saved this camper from going airborne.


Maybe. Or maybe the rear camper tie-down eyelet may have failed.

Regardless, I wasn’t there and I ain’t go no video evidence, but I don’t find it credible that a violent camper ejection like this was all cause by a crosswind while driving at only 25 mph. JMO.

Brad


Took the words right out of my mouth[emoticon]






Posted By: Rbertalotto on 02/05/14 09:29am

Good for you! Sounds like they are taking care of you. Good Luck with it!


Posted By: Grodyman on 02/05/14 10:12am

Hey anutami,
Let's see some pics when you get your camper! Did you get the rollover sofa or the dinette? I was seriously considering this model before I landed on the Lance 830 with rear tent. It has larger holding tanks and two propane tanks I believe.

Gman


2017 F150 CC/5.5' 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost/3.55
2018 Passport Ultra-Lite 153ML


Posted By: deltabravo on 02/05/14 11:42am

Truck looks nice with the new bed on it - I had no idea that the body lines were the same on the older and new Super Duty trucks.

Apache Camping center is a great dealership to work with. I bought my AF811 from their Tacoma store.


2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2009 Arctic Fox 811 (bought new 11/9/09)
2015 Nash 17k (bought pre-owned 5/23/18)
2008 Haulmark 8.5x20 toy box trailer


Posted By: anutami on 02/05/14 02:15pm

Grodyman wrote:

Hey anutami,
Let's see some pics when you get your camper! Did you get the rollover sofa or the dinette? I was seriously considering this model before I landed on the Lance 830 with rear tent. It has larger holding tanks and two propane tanks I believe.

Gman


Thats funny because I almost bought a 1040d in orange county, but the outside was hammered with rust because of the ocean air. I like the dinette better because it seems to have more room for the family to sit around, it has a storage cabinet that fits a case of bottled water/beer nicely, and I use the cushions for a blockade for the bunk so my son doesn't roll off during the night.

I had started to put the small dinette cushion against the small hinged rail I made up (I don't have a pic where they were installed)
[image]


Posted By: Jfet on 02/05/14 06:37pm

Reddog1 wrote:

I am kinda amused by some of the posts. Have you ever really looked at how your tie-down brackets are installed on your TC.


Yep, I have looked.

Our manufacturer used 1/4" welded steel angle tiedowns wrapped and welded directly to the steel frame.

[image]


Posted By: Reddog1 on 02/05/14 08:36pm

Jfet wrote:

Reddog1 wrote:

I am kinda amused by some of the posts. Have you ever really looked at how your tie-down brackets are installed on your TC.


Yep, I have looked.

Our manufacturer used 1/4" welded steel angle tiedowns wrapped and welded directly to the steel frame.


And who was the manufacture?

Wayne


Posted By: anutami on 02/13/14 05:54pm

Looks like somebody bought My Wolfcreek 850 at auction because I just saw it headed north on the 15 freeway into temecula ca!!


Posted By: bka0721 on 02/13/14 07:02pm

Reddog1 wrote:

Jfet wrote:

Reddog1 wrote:

I am kinda amused by some of the posts. Have you ever really looked at how your tie-down brackets are installed on your TC.


Yep, I have looked.

Our manufacturer used 1/4" welded steel angle tiedowns wrapped and welded directly to the steel frame.


And who was the manufacture?

Wayne

Jfet is making his own camper. He has the long Flatbed build going.

It is good when one recognizes a weak area and makes the needed corrections. To bad the National Manufacturers cannot build something better.

b


Posted By: Reddog1 on 02/13/14 10:01pm

bka0721 wrote:


Jfet is making his own camper. He has the long Flatbed build going.

It is good when one recognizes a weak area and makes the needed corrections. To bad the National Manufacturers cannot build something better.

b
You are assuming mounting the TC solid to the truck bed is better. There are many things to consider, with the overall framing at the top of the list.

It was very common for people to bolt the TCs through the floor to the bed in the 60's and 70's. I do not remember the last time I have seen it done. My TC is a 1988, and has seen many miles. I see no benefit in bolting it to the bed of my truck. I think if I were to consider doing that, I would go to a Class C and have more room.


Posted By: anutami on 03/30/14 07:41pm

Looks like my Wolf Creek has been restored and listed for sale on craigslist. I was curious to see what would happen to it. I wonder if the guy selling this will disclose it was purchased at auction and deemed a total loss. My restored Wolf Creek


Posted By: GWolfe on 03/30/14 08:00pm

Well he did mention in his post that there were some exterior scratches.


2016 Clipper 17RD
2011 Silverado



Posted By: bighatnohorse on 03/31/14 08:41am

A superior method of tie down construction was developed and used in the SnowRiver campers.

A single flat steel plate tiedown approximately five feet long was attached to the length of the camper frame on each side.
[image]

Those with better memories and search skills might find the photo of the truck and SnowRiver camper that rolled over and the camper was still attached to the camper.

The tiedown construction used in Woof Creek, Lance, Arctic Fox and others is antiquated. SnowRiver was ahead of it's time.


2014 Lance 1181
'15 F350 6.7 diesel dually long bed
Eagle Cap Owners
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. . ." -Mark Twain



Posted By: grizzly8 on 05/26/15 06:15pm

SAME THING IS HAPPENING ON MY 2012 WOLFCREEK 850 LB I HAVE CALLED NORTHWOOD ABOUT FIXING IT AND THEY SAID ITS UP TO MY DEALER.WELL MY DEALER DIDNT BUILD THE CAMPER,GOT THE RUN AROUND FOR THE 7TH TIME .NORTHWOOD IS JUNK TELL EVERY 1 TO BEWARE.MINE IS NOT SAFE TO HAUL.AND NOT PAID FOR YET UNREAL DONT KNOW WHAT TODO.


Posted By: Reality Check on 05/26/15 07:13pm

grizzly8 wrote:

SAME THING IS HAPPENING ON MY 2012 WOLFCREEK 850 LB I HAVE CALLED NORTHWOOD ABOUT FIXING IT AND THEY SAID ITS UP TO MY DEALER.WELL MY DEALER DIDNT BUILD THE CAMPER,GOT THE RUN AROUND FOR THE 7TH TIME .NORTHWOOD IS JUNK TELL EVERY 1 TO BEWARE.MINE IS NOT SAFE TO HAUL.AND NOT PAID FOR YET UNREAL DONT KNOW WHAT TODO.



Please, stop the yelling...

Ok, so did you take it to the dealer yet? I dare say, when my new trucks have warranty work needed, I don't take them to Detroit.

"insert joke here"

Thought for the day: Breath in.... breath out.... repeat as needed.


Edited because I hurt someones feelings.

* This post was edited 05/26/15 08:27pm by Reality Check *


'07 F550 with Link Ultraride air under an '11 AF 1150. It's either a fishing boat, snowmobiles or dual sports; something is always being towed.

Switching over to a 2016 F550 with new Ultraride air...just need to get the flatbed built.



Posted By: anutami on 05/26/15 07:45pm

grizzly8 wrote:

SAME THING IS HAPPENING ON MY 2012 WOLFCREEK 850 LB I HAVE CALLED NORTHWOOD ABOUT FIXING IT AND THEY SAID ITS UP TO MY DEALER.WELL MY DEALER DIDNT BUILD THE CAMPER,GOT THE RUN AROUND FOR THE 7TH TIME .NORTHWOOD IS JUNK TELL EVERY 1 TO BEWARE.MINE IS NOT SAFE TO HAUL.AND NOT PAID FOR YET UNREAL DONT KNOW WHAT TODO.


Grizz,

Thanks for bringing this back up, I had almost moved on!

I sent you a PM back in February. We need more specific information pictures etc. If you want us to help you out. I think you said you actually use Torklift Tie downs and they were tearing out, but it is hard to get an idea. I think you are going to be on your own regardless as you camper is out of warranty and northwood would blame your tie downs as the cause anyway. Some people on here will even blame you for them being too tight. Anyway, your best course of action is to fix it yourself, or get it insured and let the wind blow it off you truck and get an insurance settlement.


Posted By: Deb and Ed M on 05/27/15 07:19am

I'm glad this was bumped back to the current stuff - maybe it's a "sign", because yesterday I was poking around in the LP gas compartment-now storage on my Bronco, and I was specifically looking at the front tie-down point and thinking "this looks sort of puny". In MY case, the bracket is bolted through chipboard - that doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling... I guess I'll beef it up!

Regarding the TC blowing off the truck (OP) - a friend of mine saw the same thing happen to a TC while crossing the Mackinaw Bridge on a windy day - only it sounds like THAT camper broke up when it hit the ground. :-(


Posted By: anutami on 12/21/16 03:30pm

Wanted to give an update that this story has a happy ending, or should I say happy camper. The individual that purchased the wolf creek from the guy who bought it at auction and fixed it up contacted me. He found out after a mod I submitted to TCM last year, did a search and found this thread. He had a few questions about the mods I did, and let me know he reinforced the anchor bolts [emoticon]. He is very happy with the camper and has spent over 40 nights in it. We actually met up and I gave him the Torklift Glow Steps I had for the camper and a storage box.


Posted By: burningman on 12/24/16 06:58am

I've always tied to the front jack brackets instead.
I've never liked the tie down hooks provided on almost all campers.

I'm using a Stable-Lift now and I modified it with 1x3 steel rectangular tube running the length of the camper which is attached to the original corner jack brackets. Either the camper AIN'T coming off, or it will have to tear it's whole self in half.


2017 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CD SE
99 Ram 4x4 Dually Cummins
A whole lot more fuel, a whole lot more boost.
4.10 gears, Gear Vendors overdrive, exhaust brake
Built auto, triple disc, billet shafts.
Kelderman Air Ride, Helwig sway bar.



Posted By: anutami on 08/24/18 08:16am

Bump, don’t want to see this disappear into the abyss


Posted By: jaycocreek on 08/24/18 09:25am

Quote:

I've never liked the tie down hooks provided on almost all campers.


I have to agree with this big time!..While I use the tie down hooks for local getting around,I always carry a bunch of HD ratchet straps for when I encounter steep or nasty terrain...When it gets rough,the straps come out and I use them..Some places I go are so steep getting down to it then back out..So looking a little redneck has kept my camper in place..

Sorry to see this happen..


'94 Ford F-350 DRW/460 EFI(91K miles)/Lance 9.6/Happijac's/Helwig SB/Reese solid bar extension/Firestone bags and siped AT3's.


Print  |  Close