Welcome to the fifth entry in April’s Medium Mod Contest. One Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in April. At the end of the month, we’ll hold a reader vote to determine April’s winner. Click here for information about the 2022 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Darcy Willett, Lethbridge, Alberta
Fold-Up Rear Step Handle
2005 Dodge 3500
2005 Alaskan Camper
I am a heavy-duty mechanic and have built other tools or devices using square tubing. I started out with three similar lengths of tubing that were 3/4-inch.
I thought I would build a vertical piece on each end and a horizontal piece connecting the two ends. Then I would attach them to the truck and stake them to the ground.
I joined all three pieces together with two 1/4-inch bolts.
The vertical piece on the tailgate is secured with a bracket made from 7/8-inch tubing and secured to the tailgate with two screws.
I also have a hitch mount carrier that fits under the step when mounted.
By building a bracket and securing it to the vertical piece on the tailgate, it makes for a very secure vertical bracket.
There is no need to secure to the ground, though that would be an option if you do not have a carrier.
With the vertical bracket secured, the horizontal handrail is bolted and secured onto the vertical bracket on the tailgate.
I first thought of just having another horizontal bracket that would be driven into the ground but wanted something that was stand-alone. By forming a triangle and building a removable bolt on the bracket on the bottom of the secure front horizontal bracket, the unit became secure on its own.
I also added one more bracket that is adjustable and secures to the accordion-style step.
It can be adjusted for different step heights or lengths.
No modifications were made to the steps. By undoing the lower bracket with the wing nut and bolt, the front vertical pole can be lifted out of the two brackets.
The unit folds up into a neat and tidy package which I store between the tailgate and the camper until I build more permanent storage for awning poles and the step handle.
I used square tubing and built an angle bracket to support the handle, so no wrenches are needed to install it or take it down.
My wife now feels more secure going in and out of our camper.
It took me two hours to complete this modification and cost me $20. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is medium.
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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