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2013 Top Mod Contest Part 1

Mod lovers will think they went to truck camping heaven this week and next as we debut over sixty incredible truck camper modifications in a four-part mod-rageous contest series.

Camper-Modification-Contest-winner-day-1

What is it about truck camper mods that makes so many of us head over heels crazy?  Whatever it is, our readership always spikes whenever we mention mods.  If we even suggest something in TCM features a mod, half the readership snaps to attention like a dog who just saw a squirrel.

Think we’re kidding?  Try this:

1. Go to a truck camper rally.

2. Find a pack of truck camper owners talking.

3. Say, “You guys want to see my latest camper mod?”

They’ll be looking at you like Wile E. Coyote just saw an oven roaster turkey, with stuffing.  In fact, you better actually have a modification to show them or they might wire your camper jacks in reverse when you’re not looking.  In the truck camper community, we take our camper mods seriously.

This is the first of a four part series spanning this week and next.  The first three installments include runner-up $25 Lowes Gift Card prizes.  In the last and final installment next week, we’ll name the the winner of the $100 Fuel Card Grand Prize, aka the 2013 Top Modder.

Since we have now mentioned “mods” about a dozen times to a rather large crowd of mod-hungry truck camper owners, it’s time to show you the first installment of 2013’s Top Mod Contest entries.  Let’s get to it.

Runner-Up Winner #1: Art Davidson, New York
2007 Chevrolet 3500
2003 Bigfoot 30C10.11SL

“Ouch!  I did it again, slipped and bruised my leg on those shaky fold up stairs.  How many times has that happened to you?  There’s got to be a better way.

I looked at having a deck and stairs built, but most of the ones I looked at were over a thousand dollars.  Time to do some research and planning.

I found a company, Markstaar, that would supply me with the same aluminum planking used for stadium seating.  I bought two lengths for about $145 including hold down clamps.  Next I needed several different types and sizes of aluminum.

I found another company on line, Speedy Metals, that offered some very competitive pricing.  The cost of the aluminum came to about $200.  This will vary, based on the sizes and lengths you may need.

The step treads and some of the folding arms were salvaged from the folding steps.  This project did not require any welding since everything is bolted together.

To determine the rise height of each step and the height of the deck, you need to measure the height from the ground to the entrance step of the camper.  Ideally, each step should be between eight inches and nine and a half inches.

The deck is made from two pieces of two inch by ten inch Mill Finish Aluminum Plank. The planks can be cut to length with a cutoff blade in a circular saw or miter saw.

1-Camper-Step-41-Camper-Step-51-Camper-Step-6

Above Left: Underside deck framing, Middle: Canter lever supports, and Right: Jack support

The deck frame is made from quarter inch aluminum angel extended under the camper to provide additional canter lever support.  The frame is mounted to two quarter inch angles fastened to the two lower bolts on the jack support brackets.  Additional support is provided by two and a quarter inch by one inch arms connected to the top jack support bolts.

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