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Forrest Renslow, Greenacres, Washington
Camper Storage Tray
2017 Ford F-350
2021 Northern Lite 9-6 LE
My camper storage tray is designed around Torklift’s rear camper tie-downs and the Torklift SuperHitch that I use to pull my boat. The front of the tray has brackets that lock around the rear camper tie-downs. The back of the tray locks in around the extension hitch for the boat by using square U-bolts.
The tray is super ridged and can carry quite a load. I carry camp tables, firewood, camping mats, and many other items.
To make the tray, I carefully measured up the space I had under the camper’s rear bumper area and the distance to the Torklift camper tie-downs. Then I went to my CAD program (at work) and designed the tray using the dimensions I got from the measurements of my truck and camper.
I made no pattern as I use CAD daily in designing machined parts. But, I later added the hole for accessing my spare tire carrier. It was an afterthought. I needed to be able to get a crank in for dropping the spare tire (the hole you see in the vertical portion of the tray).
From the CAD program, I got the part dimensions. Then I purchased a piece of .125 thick aluminum/5052 alloy because it is best for forming and bending. I bought the material cut to size from the material supplier (sheared to size). I formed the main tray table using a press brake. Then I cut the brackets, supports, and clamps using a water jet.
I welded the brackets, gussets, and side panels using an aluminum spool gun (welder). And lastly, I powder-coated the tray after determining that everything fit correctly.
The dimensions of the tray are 14” tall x 28” wide x 60” long. It weighs about 30 pounds.
I like that I can use the tray while towing a boat or without towing something. I just put on the extension hitch, so I can clamp the tray down.
The tray sits on top of the extension hitch so it does not interfere with towing. The side panels do come off if I need to load something into the side of the tray.
The cost for me to build it was about $1,000 for the aluminum metal, fasteners, and powder coat. With sheet metal bending, machining, and welding, it would probably be double that if you had to pay for those services. This is a very difficult project with bending, machining, and aluminum welding that is required.
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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