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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Tie-down systems performance/safety vs cost

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silverbullet555

Boise

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Posted: 06/09/20 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have no doubt this has been beaten to death.

Now that we have a new truck camper, I need to outfit the truck to safely carry it. If it matters, the truck is a 2007 2500HD Chevrolet Silverado crew cab 4wd 6.5' bed.

It seems that the torklift stuff is the crème de la crème of tie-downs and they are at the top of my list.

But, I would like to balance cost as well, at least until we know if truck camping is for us. The camper cost us $3K and I am looking at probably $2.5K in truck upgrades if I am not careful. I need to upgrade the hitch so I can run a 24-36" extender to be able to safely tow our boat. That alone will cost me a bit over $1K between the hitch and the truss.

I also plan to do some suspension upgrades with a sway bar and/or airbags.

That leaves tie downs and the truck attachment points. It came with Brophy tie downs which will I will use to get the camper home (5 miles).

I want to balance performance and safety with cost. Safety is always the top consideration, but if two systems are both safe, then cost can come into play. This goes for the tie down points and the turnbuckles to connect the camper to the tie down points.


So, from your perspective, what do I need to consider?

What are safety/performance benefits of torklift over happyjack, etc.?

I want to make a good choice and not overspend or make things unsafe.


James
2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Classic Crew Cab 4wd 6.5' bed
1995 Northland Grizzly 860 camper
2002 Cobalt 226

brholt

Seattle

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Posted: 06/09/20 01:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Definitely not Brophy tie downs.

How are you going to use the camper? Paved streets and campgrounds? Crawling over rocks on trails? The more off-road, the more I would tend to the Torqlift.

The other thing to consider is how long you intend to keep it and use it. Amortizing over a long time makes the costs come down

Slymer

Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 06/09/20 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are considering safety versus cost but the other consideration is convenience. How often you will be taking the camper off will be a big consideration. If it is OFTEN then the convenience of the FastGuns will be huge. Will provide safety, plus MAJOR convenience,..but yes,..at a cost.
I did major truck upgrades to my 2011 F350 to carry our AF811. The last one I did was RideRight airbags,....and I wish it had of been the first upgrade. I may not have needed all the other upgrades.
One upgrade though shines above ALL others,....going to 19.5 rims so I could get commercial Michelins on my SRW. The rubber is the weakest link I believe.

BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 06/09/20 02:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used these 3300-lb Harbor Freight Ratchet Straps to get my free 2002 Lance 811 home....but I don't feel comfortable recommending for highway travel [emoticon]

[image]

I'm planning to get a set of the Torklifts to be sure I'm secure going on the beach.


2015 Ram 3500 SRW 4x4 Laramie Crew Cab Long Box, Cummins diesel
2002 Lance 811 Slide-In Camper
SOLD: 2008 Terry 34' TT
SOLD: 2001 K2500LT 8.1L Suburban

Lance 811 Renovation Story!
Project Complete!
Maiden Voyage!


Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 06/09/20 02:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're upgrading your hitch, you could reasonably fab straight bar tie downs for the rear coming out of a Curt or Torklift hitch. Or get just the Torklift extensions.
Front you could use happijacs


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Slymer

Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 06/09/20 02:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow,.....that is certainly ballsy. Never seen that one done before. Love the ingenuity though,...just to get it home. Well done.

Lwiddis

near Bishop, California

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Posted: 06/09/20 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice truck.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 06/09/20 03:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Happyjacks attach to the bed and bumper. Torklift attaches to the frame. I’d look for used tiedown mounts on Craigslist/Ebay/etc considering you have a very popular truck. I’d go with cheaper tiedowns before I’d go with cheaper tiedown mounts.

Also, Torklift has a hitch that works well with tiedown mounts, so I’d consider that as well.


'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.


silverbullet555

Boise

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Posted: 06/09/20 04:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All good points and I appreciate the insights.

Initially, it will likely be paved roads and some light dirt roads. Come fall, it will include some washboard and forest service roads and could get into some more rough stuff depending on what tags I draw.

Prioritizing upgrades is certainly important and that may be the best move. I also don't want to damage the truck or us while waiting to find better or more convenient options.

I'm not sure how often it will come on and off yet as I haven't ever had one. I have another vehicle that I often use as a daily driver so there is potential that it could stay on the truck a fair amount.

I've seen a ton of torklift pop up, but mostly for Fords. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for torklift on the used market even if I initially go a different direction. Ebay will be another good place.

Right now, I am considering
Air bags with individual bag control from cab
Sway bar
Tie down sytem
Hitch and extension

Again, I appreciate the perspective as I don't know what I don't know.

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 06/09/20 05:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The new Happijac's attach to the frame and are a fraction of the price of Torklift..More than enough for your camper...I have the old happijack that doesn't attach to the frame and a Lance 9.6 camper with a horse mat under it and don't have any issues in the backcountry on FS unmaintained roads and grades which is 99% of my TC use..

I am right at 4K loaded ready to camp for the TC..


1994 F-350 DRW /460/k&n intake /415# torque/lance 9.6/Engel compressor fridge/3 gr 27 batteries/Honda 2k/Honda 3K/WH Camo 2250/Reese solid bar extension/Buddy heater/3 inverters//Happi Jack tie downs /Firestone bags/Yamaha Rhino/Winch and Lockers

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