Welcome to the seventh entry in May’s Mega Mod Contest. One Mega Mod will be published in every Email Alert in May. At the end of the month, we’ll hold a reader vote to determine May’s winner. Click here for information about the 2023 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Clay Hoyt, Wilson, Wyoming
2014-2018 Chevy Bed Camper Fitment Mod
2015 Chevy Silverado
2012 Hallmark camper
I have a 2012 Hallmark camper that extends past my tailgate. The camper perfectly fit my previous 2006 Chevy Silverado, but I replaced that truck with a 2015 Chevy Silverado. The newer trucks – including my 2015 Chevy Silverado – have narrower beds that the camper wasn’t going to fit.
Loving my Hallmark, I decided to make the 2015 truck bed wider at the rear just before the tailgate. I wanted at least a half-inch clearance on each side between the camper and the truck bed.
Above: Before picture of the Chevy truck bed; note how much it sticks out
With a silver felt marker and a straight edge, I made a vertical line where I would cut. Then I made a horizontal line at the bottom where the camper would be. The vertical line was just toward the side of the bed from the horizontal locking pin. I removed the locking pin and taillights.
I had an electric portable bandsaw and a buddy to keep an eye on one side of the cut while I watched the other side. I did the vertical cuts with the electric bandsaw and cut the horizontal cuts with a grinder and cutting wheel.
Then I removed areas of the bed liner to weld the plates in place and prevent smoking up the garage or starting a fire. Keeping a spray bottle of water on hand is a good idea.
Next, using a 1/16th inch steel plate, I traced out where to cut the plates. They were a little bigger than the openings. I welded them in place where the cut out piece was. Then I ground the plates down at the edges with a grinder and filled any holes by welding. Finally I sanded them smooth.
Above: Shows how far the bed was cut
The result looks good and strong and did not weaken the bed. Then, I applied a couple of coats of Herculiner black bed liner. Now it looks like a factory bed.
I’ve talked with the parts guy at the Chevrolet dealer and the beds from 2014-2018 were all like this, so there were camper fitment problems. I think Chevrolet had enough complaints with camper owners that in 2019 the beds went back like they used to be; wide enough for campers.
I know that it might put off some people from buying those years of Chevrolet trucks but, with a little work, they can be fixed to fit a normal-width camper.
Above: At least one inch wider on each side
This mod has worked out perfectly. The camper is cradled into the bed. I do have to watch loading and unloading because the pins that lock the tailgate are about a half inch from the camper.
I had the parts on hand, so the mod didn’t cost anything. If you were to have someone do it for you it might be a few hundred dollars as it would take most of a day. It wouldn’t cost much for the parts, just a couple bucks for the metal. A quart of the Hurculiner is about $80 USD.
It took me two days to do both sides. Then, I had to wait for the Hurculiner to dry. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is hard because you need to be able to weld and fabricate the metal pieces.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.
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