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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Arctic Fox 1150 is breaking my 2016 Ford 350 dually

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jshupe

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Posted: 04/15/21 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Avid Fox wrote:

If the hj tie downs and resulting bed flex were the specific problem, I'd see at least some buckling at the bed's front also, but there isn't any.


The front of the beds are braced better than the rear, especially when you aren't running a tailgate to limit the twisting in the rear. Forces travel. I assure you, the damages you're seeing here could easily be (and are) originating from the front of the bed, at the tie-downs.


2019 Ram 3500 HO/AISIN CCLB DRW Longhorn
2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 2.0T (follow or TC toad)
2015 Keystone Alpine 3730FB 2925W/22.8kWh, 30K multi-split
2016 Arctic Fox 1140 WB 1800W/11.4kWh

Avid Fox

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Posted: 04/15/21 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bert the Welder wrote:

Just fro some clarification and maybe correcting my thinking if it's off but;
If a TC is gonna rock in the front to back direction, would not the pivot point be the front edge of the camper base? Given that the cabover is hanging out front sort of as a counter to the rear weight (not that it's as heavy as the rear). Hence why I'd think, based on that thinking, that if you only have one set of sprung turn buckles, you'd want them on the back so that it allows for some dampening of any rocking at the a fore mentioned front pivot point?
Like I said, if wrong thinking, please correct, but just looking at a TC, rear pivot/hinging (front of the camper base coming up off the bed) seems like it would take quite the heave to accomplish.
Blast away...... [emoticon]


Go to Alaska if you want to learn about frost heaves... The dirt roads there are better than the paved ones.

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Posted: 04/15/21 08:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jshupe wrote:

Avid Fox wrote:

If the hj tie downs and resulting bed flex were the specific problem, I'd see at least some buckling at the bed's front also, but there isn't any.


The front of the beds are braced better than the rear, especially when you aren't running a tailgate to limit the twisting in the rear. Forces travel. I assure you, the damage you're seeing here could easily be (and are) originating from the front of the bed, at the tie-downs.


I don't disagree, but not for the same reasons. It's not exactly a HJ problem, it's that perhaps I didn't torque the turn buckles enough. Spring loaded fronts are spring loaded fronts, and they both allow movement. I'm thinking user error, not design error.

jshupe

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Posted: 04/15/21 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Avid Fox wrote:

jshupe wrote:

Avid Fox wrote:

If the hj tie downs and resulting bed flex were the specific problem, I'd see at least some buckling at the bed's front also, but there isn't any.


The front of the beds are braced better than the rear, especially when you aren't running a tailgate to limit the twisting in the rear. Forces travel. I assure you, the damage you're seeing here could easily be (and are) originating from the front of the bed, at the tie-downs.


I don't disagree, but not for the same reasons. It's not exactly a HJ problem, it's that perhaps I didn't torque the turn buckles enough. Spring loaded fronts are spring loaded fronts, and they both allow movement. I'm thinking user error, not design error.


I agree, somewhat, only because if it were that widespread of an issue, you would hear more about it.

That being said, the springs only offer a certain amount of travel, and will either bottom out or reach full extension, then you might as well not have them. You're talking about frost heaves, etc, which may very well exhaust the range of the springs, defeating them. If we're just talking casual on-highway use, the issue may never present itself - but off-road, or on bad roads, the springs only offer so much protection.

Kayteg1

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Posted: 04/15/21 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

But why are you Avid hesitating to check the problem?
Could be just rusted bed support, like other member experienced.
You are sending us on goose chase without giving us whole picture.





Bert the Welder

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Posted: 04/15/21 09:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Avid Fox wrote:

Bert the Welder wrote:

And I'm definitely gonna lay my 8' straight edge in the back when I get the new truck cause I gotsta know.... [emoticon]


I used the 8' 3/4 ply to check the level straightness, and it was crowned by about half an inch or a bit more. It's a smooth crown, not a buckling, but most evident just in front of the factory inbed 5th hitch pin mounts. It is unclear if the 2016 beds are this way from factory, or if this is damage.

The pivot point for any camper is going to be the CG point of the camper, which is just aft of the rear axle on most campers.

Mine is definitely rocking and cracking the back corners. However,
if the hj bed frame tiedowns and resulting bed flex were the specific problem from their design, I'd see at least some buckling at the bed's front also, but there isn't any.

I'm thinking that for the last 5 years, maybe I didn't have the front turn buckles torqued down quite enough to meet the mfr spec'd 300#. Which would limit rocking F-B. Although I thought I did... Maybe not enough every time. I'll make sure they're right going forward.

That's the plan for now...


Yep. Agree with the CG being where it would pivot, but that would be in free air. I was meaning which end of the TC base it would be more likely to pivot on, in the case of being on a flat surface. Though in your case with the crown being the high point, it's going to teeter-totter on that.
Irregardless, a crappy situation and hopefully they'll be a good fix for long term that isn't too painful.


"> 1998 GMC 2500, 10.5 Okanagan, My better/smarter half, George and Finnegan(APBT), all I need.


Kayteg1

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Posted: 04/15/21 11:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

COG is about 1/2 way on the main floor, so camper can't pivot on flat, solid surface.
Driving on Alaska highway I did see the nose of my camper "in my line of sight" what also bend rear tie-down, meaning common truck inertia is shooting the rear up, while putting big stress on front of truck bed.

Bert the Welder

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Posted: 04/15/21 11:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

COG is about 1/2 way on the main floor, so camper can't pivot on flat, solid surface.
Driving on Alaska highway I did see the nose of my camper "in my line of sight" what also bend rear tie-down, meaning common truck inertia is shooting the rear up, while putting big stress on front of truck bed.


Yes. This is my thinking if the TC is on a flat surface. The front corner of the camper bottom is the teeter-todder pivot point.
I had my rear tie-downs shift out of place once from a big dip and jounce. But only once. Swapped the unsprung chains and turn buckles for fast guns right after that. This is why I'm thinking if you're gonna have just two sprung, they should be the back ones.

greenno

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Posted: 04/17/21 01:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Avid Fox sorry for your troubles it sucks I get it but I think the easy fix is replace the Happyjack system for a Torklift and any additional problems will be in the rear view. I know the HJ system has brackets or straps that tie down to the frame as well as the bed but your connection points for the camper connect way out on the end so the flex you get (which is natural) is spread out to include the front part of the bed support.
The rear is a potential weak point also, Bolted through the bumper, really. What structural support does that have? It flexes a lot I guess. So now you have the camper rocking more than it should causing low spots front and back. Somehow you need to level out the bed to distribute the load evenly. Do you have a SRW or a dually?
Torklift as you know have rear supports that attach to the towing hitch (which is structurally engineered) and the front supports go directly to the frame and the tie down arms flex as they should but ALL the load gets distributed to the hitch and frame. To much pressure on the fasteners will put extra stress on your tie down brackets on the camper which is bad.

I also have an Af but its a 2019 990. Been hauling it around for almost 3 years on a 2019 F350 SRW CCLB 4x4 6.7L diesel XL edition truck. Installed the Torklift Tie downs with the fast guns to make it easier getting gas. Then I replaced the rear leaf springs with an 8 pack made for the truck and camper weights . Front and Rear Hellwig BR Sway bars, Airlift bags and run Toyo 35" x 12.5" x 18" tires on Method NV305hD 18" x 9" wheels. Rides like a champ. Do quite a bit of off road travels and never had any issues except spilling a beer or two.

Good luck on your issue. You'll get it.

* This post was last edited 04/18/21 12:34am by greenno *   View edit history

Bert the Welder

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Posted: 04/17/21 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just for the sake of spitting this out of my head, as it's been rolling around, thinking of the issue here of getting the weight of the TC spread out over the truck bed. And also just in case someone conciders doing this way:
If you build a platform for your TC to sit on in the bed, either to raise it for cabover clearance or as in the case of a getting it above a crown in the middle of the bed. Make sure you don't just build an exterior frame, say of 2x4's, and through a sheet of ply on it. Without any support through the middle of this "riser box" all your TC's weight is going to be on the perimeter framing and that weight is just going to be transferred to the perimeter of your bed. The "riser box" need plenty of crisscross frame members or sections of structural foam to spread the weight out over the whole bed. Having a crown in the center of the bed may require framing around this section or shaving the underside of the frame that goes across the crown. Or in the case of foam sheets, cutting around the crown or gouging out the underside so the contact is even, avoiding "hot spots" of pressure.
*Again, I'm only typing this out so it's out of my head. 95% of people are probably going to think of this. I'm just putting it here in case one of the 5%'ers doesn't and happens to see this and has an "oh yeah" moment and is saved from damaging their truck or TC.

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