Author Topic: Truck Camper  (Read 1788 times)

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Offline Mojave Dirtball

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Truck Camper
« on: August 29, 2019, 07:51:40 AM »
How to Load a Truck Camper

When I purchased my Lance Camper fourteen years ago, the dealer (Galaxy Camper in Ontario, CA) advised me that by the time I load the camper on my truck 900 times, I will have attained an acceptable level of proficiency.  After reaching that goal, I thought it might be beneficial to share the following procedures with my fellow truck camper owners.  I discovered a much shorter, less detailed version of this procedure on the World Wide Web.  The original author, whom I never met but consider him brother, is unknown.  I have heavily edited this procedure based upon my years of experience and one very memorable trip to Yosemite National Park.

How To Load A Truck Camper

A properly loaded truck camper is truly a thing of beauty.  Correctly positioned in the exact center of the truck bed, it gives a sense of symmetry and proportion, of freedom, adventure, exploration, and self-reliance, of a job well done and a catastrophe avoided.  But, jacking a $35,000 two-ton camper 15' into the air on four skinny legs and then backing a $45,000 F-350 crew cab under it with only a couple of inches of clearance on either side can occasionally be just a little bit stressful, and if not undertaken with the proper state of mind, can test the strength of a 25-year marriage, the limits of the First Amendment, and the enforceability of neighborhood covenants.

My pre-truck-camper-loading goal is to strive for a completely calm, meditative-like state of mind by avoiding any activities that can increase stress levels before the loading process is initiated.  Choosing the proper time of day and day of week is an extremely important factor in maintaining the proper stress-free state of mind.  Attempting to load the camper late on Friday evening for a 3-day weekend of camping and 4-Wheelin' after a very stressful 12-hour day at work will almost always result in two officers of the law showing up at my residence to investigate a "domestic disturbance".  Trying to load the camper in the early Saturday morning pre-dawn hours is not any better, and generally ends with the same results.  This can be especially embarrassing when the same two officers from the night before arrive at my front door for the second time!

I have found that Saturday afternoon, between the hours 12:30pm and 2:00pm, on the weekend before the planned departure, seems to be the best time for my wife and me to load our truck camper.  At that time of day on Saturday, there always seems to be plenty of neighbors around in the event we need someone to call an ambulance, fire department, rescue squad . . . or a 40-ton rental crane should I happen to drop the camper on myself, the wife, dog, neighbor's cat, car, truck, house or, whatever.  I've also found that at that time of day on Saturday, my neighbors don't seem to mind the yelling and screaming as much.  Even if I let out a stream of four-letter words that would qualify me for a guest appearance on the Osbornes, my neighbors just don't seem to care.  Perhaps they think we're watching a ball game on TV.

So, the following is my normal loading procedure, but this version is based on a much-anticipated trip to beautiful Yosemite National Park.
 
Please note:  if you plan to have your wife assist you with this process, you must be a dog owner.
 
1.  Remove the 75-pound tailgate from the truck and promptly drop it on my foot!  Realize that Iím not as young as I used to be, and ask the wife for assistance with carrying the tailgate into the garage.
 
2.  Hobble back over to the truck and very carefully position it squarely in front of camper
 
3.  Carefully run camper all the way up on the electric jacks and pray the wind does not start blowing! (which is almost always does in the Mojave Desert).
 
4.  With wife giving directions, carefully back truck under camper taking care to avoid the gates, camper jacks, camper electrical connection cables, etc.
 
5.  Very carefully lower camper into truck bed and find that it's about 1 inch to the right of center.
 
6.  Run camper all the way back up on the electric jacks.
 
7.  Carefully pull forward, with wife as spotter, maneuver truck 1/2 inch to the right and carefully back truck under camper for the second time.
 
8.  Lower camper back into truck bed and find that it's now about 1 inch to the left of center.
 
9.  Mumble something to self as I run camper all the way back up on the electric jacks again, wife says, "what did you say?" I respond, "nothing Dear".
 
10.  Carefully pull forward, with wife as spotter, maneuver truck 1/2 inch to left and carefully back truck under camper for the third time.
 
11.  Lower camper into truck bed and find that it's now about 2 inches to the right of center with camper rubbing the Rhino Lining off the right-side fender well.
 
12.  Blame dyslexic wife for lousy directions and not knowing her left from right as I again run camper all the way back up on the electric jacks.
 
13.  Watch as disgruntled wife storms into the house while waving at me with her middle finger.
 
14.  Carefully pull forward (with no spotter now), maneuver truck 1 inch to right, and carefully back truck under camper for the fourth time.
 
15.  Lower camper into truck bed and find that it's now about 2 inches to the left of center with camper rubbing the Rhino Lining off the left-side fender well.
 
16.  Throw the camper jack wireless remote on the ground and watch the battery, the battery compartment cover, and the top and bottom of the remote fly off in 4 different directions.
 
17.  Gather up all the pieces to the camper jack remote, reassemble, and secure them in place with a piece of duct tape.
 
18.  Cuss useless dog as I again run the damn camper all the way back up on the electric jacks.
 
19.  Pull the truck forward one more time, maneuver truck 1 inch to left and carefully back truck under camper for the fifth time.
 
20.  Lower camper back into truck bed and find that it's perfectly centered!  Great!  But it's also misaligned with the truck bed by 10-15 degrees!
 
21.  Cuss architect, prime contractor, and concrete man that poured my driveway 15 years ago as I run the friggin' camper all the way back up on the electric jacks one more time.
 
22.  Go in house, apologize to wife, and ask her resumed role as spotter.
 
23.  Pull that sorry Ford forward one more time, with wife back as spotter, maneuver truck and carefully back truck under camper for the sixth time.
 
24.  Lower camper back into truck bed and find that it's perfectly centered and perfectly aligned with the truck bed!  Great!
 
25.  Congratulate nearsighted dyslexic wife for much improved directions, and for figuring out her right from her left, and her elbow from her X@#hole!
 
26.  After wife gives me a one finger salute and leaves for the second time, I notice that I forgot to put the %$#@!*&# rubber mat in the truck bed before loading the camper!!!!!!
 
27.  Cuss the %#$@*&%! Lance Camper engineer responsible for failing to design the camper with a non-skid bottom as I run the &%!@$# camper all the way back up on the $%#@!!* electric jacks one more time so I can pull the truck out and put the !$#@%$#@! rubber mat in the truck bed!
 
28.  So finally, after several more attempts and a trip to the local truck stop for more diesel fuel, I get the !@#$%#@! thing centered and properly aligned on the !@#$%$#@! truck, tied down, trailer on the hitch, I realize that I failed to move the license plate from the bumper of the truck to the rear of the camper so, a crawl under the rear of the camper and using moves that would impress a contortionist, I remove the plate from the truck and install it on the rear of the camper.

29.  Finally I complete the process by loading the wife and dog in the cab of that sorry *$ss Ford and head West for a !#@$%#@! fun-filled #$%&*#! week in Yo$%#@!@#@!semite, National Park.
 
So, why is it important to own a dog if your wife helps you load your truck camper?  Cuz itís nice to have someone to talk to during a day-long drive to Yosemite!

While I have edited the above to fit my personal experience, the original author is unknown, but he has obviously walked more than a mile in my shoes!!!
Never the last trail.

JCosmos

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Re: Truck Camper
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 08:21:01 AM »
Can you to your jeep with this setup?

Offline Mojave Dirtball

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Re: Truck Camper
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2019, 10:11:54 AM »
Hi Jon.

Yes, I indeed tow my Jeep.  The truck is outfitted with a SuperHitch and EAZ Lift load distributing torsion bars.  I tow a 10,000GVW (actually 9,998GVW) trailer with Jeep.
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