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How To Secure A Slide On Truck Camper To The Truck

use turnbuckles to secure camper to truck

How To Secure A Slide On Truck Camper To The Truck

Trying to figure out the best way to Tie Down your Truck Camper so it stays on the truck?

The last thing you want is for your Slide On to become a “slide off”! There are basically two questions you need to think about when considering a tie-down system.
  1. What kind of device will you use to “tie down” the camper?
  2. What on the truck’s body or frame will you use for an attachment point for the tie-down?

Starting with the first question…

turnbuckles for slide on camperThe standard methods are to use either “Turnbuckles” or some type of “Tiedown”.
  • A turnbuckle is technically a special category of fasteners that allow you to hook something on either end and then tighten them closer together by turning the barrel.
  • A “tiedown” is a generic class of fasteners that allow you to tighten items closer together is some way other than by turning the barrel, such as by clamping down a locking latch.
  • (In practice, both terms tend to be used interchangeably for similar items.)
For cheap DIY, you’ll see many old-timer boondockers using all sorts of things — chains with turnbuckles, ratcheting tie-down straps from the hardware store, even rope — which experienced movers know can be tightened very well with a “trucker’s hitch”. No matter which method you use, a cheap turnbuckle from the hardware store will allow you to get beyond the last inch of slack.

But depending on how slippery your camper is, you might prefer some more serious hardware like a modern (expensive) stainless steel camper turnbuckle, such as those made by Happijac or Torklift.

The second question is what to do for tie-down attachment points.

Do-it-yourselfers using ropes and chains often use the bumper for the rear attachment, and for the front attachments, they either strap it all the way around the bottom or attach it to the frame on both sides. 

If you’re thinking something like that sounds easiest, you might consider that the longer your tie-downs are, the more play they’ll have. Shorter is much better, which is why many people with the budget buy some type of frame extensions, the most popular being Torklift Frame Mounted Tie-Downs. For an option that’s even closer to the camper — right below the walls instead of under the truck — check out the second video about the Brophy Camper Hold Downs, which seem to be a much less expensive way to create front tie-down points that will work with short turnbuckles.

Here’s a helpful video I found demonstrating the Torklift system


And here’s one demonstrating the Brophy System that attaches under the inside lip of the bed rails. 

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