Charlie and Jeannie Coushaine are on a multi-year coast-to-coast truck camping adventure including the United States, Canada, and Alaska. Charlie is also 2014’s Top Modder, with laser beams.
Top Modder 2014 Winner: Charlie and Jeannie Coushaine, New Hampshire
2001 Ford F350
2012 Chalet DS116RB
Ever since I got a truck camper, and Bill Penney at Truck Camper Warehouse showed me how to hook it up to my truck, I thought that there must be a better way to align the truck and camper to make loading less stressful.
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After much thought and design, I was able to design and install a low powered, safe, green laser line that projects out the sliding rear window of my truck to form a plane. This in turn is matched with three centered registration points I placed on the front of my camper to form a mating plane.
I then just back up, aligning the projected laser plane with the plane on my camper, and the two align perfectly – every time! No more guessing about mis-alignment and a stress free hook-up.
Above: Click photographs to enlarge.
To begin the build, I purchased a four to five mW green laser that projects a line, not a point. With this I added a heat sink, 3V battery pack with switch, and a mounting plate.
I assembled these all together and mounted them to the inside of my truck such that opening the back sliding window allows for projecting a perfectly vertical and centered green laser line down the back of my truck bed.
I then purchased some reflective tape (so laser can be seen during daylight), cut it into three pieces, drew a vertical line down the middle of each, and stuck the three pieces on the front of my camper to form a centered plane. I have used this alignment system multiple times now and each time the alignment has been perfect!
Congratulations Charlie! And thank you to all who participated in the 2014 Mod Contest.
Disclaimer: There are potential dangers to certain lasers. Please thoroughly check the source of the laser you purchase prior to buying and realize that some lasers are not safe to use in this application.
The modification above was submitted by a Truck Camper Magazine reader. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.