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 > Loading/unloading on uneven ground

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bkenobi

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Posted: 05/30/19 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 10'2" NL that fits snugly into the bed of my SRW Ram. I have about 1/2" on either side of the camper to the tailgate latch points. I have never loaded/unloaded anywhere other than pavement or gravel parking lots, so I'm wondering how others fair when loading in an area with uneven ground. I'm envisioning smashing the truck and camper even when moving slowly. Is this a legitimate concern or am I just being overly cautious?

I was planning on taking my TC to a friends house and leaving it for a month as a cabin of sorts (driving a small vehicle down on the weekends). I thought the TC would be in their gravel driveway where it's flat (not necessarily level). I just found out they'd prefer me to put it in their pasture which has bumps and holes from the horses. I'm inclined to do something different, but maybe this isn't that big a deal?

Opinions requested!

sbryan@vtbryans.com

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Posted: 05/30/19 11:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the same issue with close tolerances and have taken the camper off on uneven ground a couple of times. Unloading isn't an issue but getting loaded back up can be a ***** (at least my experience). Matching the slope of the truck to the camper on uneven ground can be a real challenge and cause fear and frustration. My advice is don't unless you have absolutely no other choice.


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bkenobi

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Posted: 05/30/19 11:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's what I've been envisioning. If the ground is unlevel, I'd have to match the truck angle to the camper by tilting the camper. The other thing is, if there are holes, the truck could move up/down and side-to-side and bump into things. Maybe not a huge problem once at low speed, but hitting an unseen rodent hole could damage a jack or the fiberglass.

Kayteg1

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Posted: 05/30/19 11:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bumps and holes can be level out?
I drop my camper often and few time I drop it on tilted pads, it takes some skills.
When front to back tilt is easy, when rear is higher, you might run out of front jacks travel.
My dually has 1" of clearance between jacks and fenders, what is good on flat, but doesn't take much side tilt to have the camper swing on the jacks and 1" clearance is gone. Than there is a need to drive over front jacks footing, what can move the camper as well.
If you have more than 1" side tilt, it might not be worth it. Too risky.





bkenobi

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Posted: 05/30/19 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I have 1/2" on either side when flat/level, doesn't that mean I'd have less than 1/" tilt for loading/unloading (at least the last ~2'). I have lots of room between the truck bed and jacks, but when I'm almost loaded, I am REALLY tight. I suppose with practice the ~2' where it's critical could be groomed prior to unload so no holes cause a catastrophe. I suppose hidden holes are an issue, but that could be a problem for jack points too. Actually, that sounds pretty scary (having a jack start sinking into a rodent hole).

FWIW, I just heard back from my friends and they will move a horse trailer so I can park in the gravel area. This is still something I'd been wondering about, so if people want to continue the discussion I'd love to hear more.

Grit dog

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Posted: 05/30/19 01:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You cant be pulling of backing the truck through potholes or similar while under the camper. But you have a whole pasture to find 8' of relatively flat ground.
Or use a couple planks to keep the rear wheels of the truck running relatively smoothly.
Loading and unloading on slopes is fine though. Of course more level the better, but....
That's the easy part. Park the truck where you're going to unload. Once the camper is up off the truck and ready to drive out, measure or mark where each of the jacks are extended to.
Level/drop camper for use, re-set camper to the same measurements when you re-load it. This applies to pavement or pasture.


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bkenobi

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Posted: 05/30/19 01:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was thinking boards might be a good way to go, but nice to hear another person suggest it. Was originally thinking of just using trenching shovel to level things out prior to lifting camper off. Pick a spot, drive forward 8'. Any locations that are an issue, fill in with shovel. Probably require multiple passes since i can't compact the dirt as much as 12klb will.

JimK-NY

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Posted: 05/30/19 03:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have even a slightly tighter fit for my RV and the tailgate latch bolts. I would not want to try to load on an irregular and soft surface. I think I would look for an alternative even if I had to pay for leaving it at a storage facility.

maxum1989

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Posted: 05/30/19 04:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is it possible to lay down a couple 2x10 planks in line with your wheels after smoothing out the worst holes? Then back onto those boards when dropping off the camper, leave them on the ground in the same position so we loading again they are already there for a guide and will bridge over the worst holes. I've done this method before when the ground had holes and dips that weren't too crazy.


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billtex

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Posted: 05/30/19 08:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have four jacks on your camper. Place some plywood or metal plates under the feet. Load/unload as needed. Don’t over think it. I have unloaded camper on some crazy uneven ground-no worries-just go slow.


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