How to Install a Truck Camper

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Installing a truck camper can be dangerous, as you are operating very heavy equipment. This process takes a team of five people at least who can coordinate lifting and lowering each side of the camper as it is worked onto the truck bed. A tie-down and turnbuckle system will come with all the hardware needed to secure the camper to the truck. After installation, take your camper for a slow, short drive to test the installation.

Things You'll Need

  • Four tall truck jacks
  • Four assistants
  • Tie-downs
  • Turnbuckles
  • Jack up your camper so that the bed of your truck will slide directly underneath the camper, with both sides evenly balanced. Insert four individual jacks on each corner of the camper. Have four people jack the camper up at the same pace simultaneously at all four corners. Counting each jack out loud may help this process.

  • Back the truck up slowly, inch-by-inch, until the bed is lined up evenly on both sides with the camper. Have four assistants stand around the truck as you back it up, two on each side following the truck and two on each side of the camper. Let them lead you. This may take several attempts.

  • Take the camper off of the jacks once the camper and bed are lined up perfectly. Release the two jacks in the back first and simultaneously to prevent imbalance, but do not release them all the way. Drop both front jacks the same way, lining them up with the back jacks. Go back and forth slowly until you can ease all four jacks out from underneath the camper.

  • Attach tie-downs and turnbuckles. Your vehicle will require a specific system depending on its make and model. Install the brackets underneath your vehicle just behind the driver and passenger doors. Install the crossbar underneath the frame of your truck with the hardware that comes with your system. Slide the bracket in and attach it with a pin on each side.

  • Attach the smaller brackets to either side of the back bumper. Attach the turnbuckle to each side and make sure they're secure.

  • Connect the turnbuckles from each hook on the camper to each bracket on the truck. There should be one on each side just behind the doors, and one on each side of the bumper. The springs in your turnbuckle system will hold the camper tightly to your truck.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you find this process too difficult or do not have at least four helpers, you can take your camper and truck to an RV shop to have it installed by professionals.

References

  • "The Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing"; Brent Peterson; 2001
  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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