Welcome to the fifth entry in September’s Medium Mod Contest. One Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in September. At the end of the month, we’ll hold a reader vote to determine September’s winner. Click here for information about the 2021 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Ted Werner, Gila Bend, Arizona
Off Truck Camper Supports
2011 Ford F-550
2019 Northstar 12STC
After unloading our Northstar 12STC, I was concerned about its stability while moving around inside the camper. The folks at Truck Camper Warehouse suggested adding a low sawhorse under the front to take some of the load off the front swing-out jacks. The rear jacks being shorter and close-in to the camper would be just fine.
I looked at pre-made kits that are designed to hold the camper in the off-season near the height of the truck bed. They were expensive ranging between $300 and $400.
As pictured, I used 2 x 6-inch lumber and attached the 22-inch legs using 10-inch gate hinges. The hinges are attached to each leg using 3/8-inch bolts, washers and lock-nuts.
Each of the leg hinges are attached to the cross beam secured with lock washers and standard nuts. This allows for disassembly and storage in the bed of the truck during travel.
The legs can be adjusted for ground irregularities using the turnbuckles. This hardware is also removable for travel storage. Once the sawhorse is assembled, I lower and level the camper at about 24-inches off the ground. I used the turnbuckles to firmly set the beam against the frame of the camper.
If the legs require more spread, a short length of 1/4-inch chain can be added. The sawhorse can support the full weight of the front of the camper, but I leave the jacks down and only place 10 to 20-percent of the weight on the support.
Additionally, I have placed a trailer slide-out stabilizer jack halfway along each side to further support the camper while we are staying in it. This is probably not needed, but I feel more confident with them installed.
Here is a bill of materials for the sawhorse. These items can be found at any home improvement store (items below cost about $85):
Two 8-foot 2-inch x 6-inch boards cut to 5-feet for the beam, four 22-inch legs, and the scrap for ground pads
Four 10-inch gate hinges
Twenty-six 3/8-inch x 2.5-inch bolts
Sixteen 3/8-inch flat washers
Sixteen 3/8-inch lock-nuts
Ten 3/8-inch lock washers
Ten 3/8-inch standard nuts
Two 5/16-inch x 9-inch hook/eye turnbuckles
Four 5/16-inch eye bolts
Two 1/4-inch quick links
The slide-out stabilizer jacks, 16-inch to 28-inch, can be obtained in a set of two from Amazon for $40.
It took me two hours to complete this modification and cost me a total of $125. 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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