Camper Mod Contest Entries

Solving Ford Truck Cab Clearance Problems

Welcome to the seventh 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.

Ford Truck Cab Clearance Solved For Truck Campers

Charles Spray, Bryson City, North Carolina
Solving Ford Truck Cab Clearance Problems
2002 Ford F-350
2016 Travel Lite Illusion 1100

Anyone who has hauled a truck camper on a Ford Super Duty truck is aware that Ford’s cabs are taller compared with other trucks.  Many people place plywood on the bed to elevate the truck camper so that proper clearance is obtained.

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 5

We started out with one sheet of plywood on top of the rubber mat on top of the BedRug.  The camper would occasionally rub the top of the truck’s cab just enough so that the paint from the truck transferred to the camper.  We tried adding another layer of plywood.

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 10

We found out several years ago with our Lance camper that the camper would slide around on the plywood, especially on rough roads.  To alleviate the sliding issue, I used a rubber bed mat, with a piece of 3/4-inch plywood, topped by another bed mat topped by another piece of 3/4-inch plywood, topped by yet another mat.

My truck has a BedRug liner in it, which has worked out really well.  With all of these layers, the camper was raised about 2.5-inches which proved to be sufficient to prevent the cabover part of the camper from coming in contact with the roof of the truck.

Nothing slid around with the layers of mats and wood, however, there was another issue.  I turned 65 this year, and I am getting ready to have a fifth spinal fusion surgery.  I can see the day coming when I won’t be able to wrestle plywood and thick rubber mats in and out of the truck.

There are times when the camper is off of the truck inside its garage.  I have a tonneau cover that we place on the truck, so that pile of wood and mats has to be removed from the truck and then replaced when we put the camper back on the truck.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the camper didn’t require blocks to sit on in order to fit on the truck?

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 2

I unloaded the camper from the truck and permanently attached three layers of 3/4-inch plywood to the bottom of the camper.  I used an old boat trailer, adding a layer at a time securing the first layer to the floor structure of the camper with deck screws.  Each layer was added to the previous layer using longer deck screws with each layer.  The three layers added 2.25-inches of height to the camper on the floor.  This added 210-pounds of weight to the camper.

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 3

We were already hauling two of the three sheets.  The sheet on the bottom is treated for moisture resistance.  In front of the first sheet, I placed a 7-inch piece to move the plywood back so that the plywood base is actually 103-inches long by 48-inches wide.  The middle sheet is offset forward with the seven-inch piece in the back.  The third sheet is moved back with another 7-inch sheet in the front.

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 4

I overlapped the sides of the plywood with plastic, sealing it to the camper with marine sealant.

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 6 On the outside edge, I installed 4-inch wide strips of marine plywood with marine-grade carpet covering them similar to a bunk on a boat trailer.

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 7

The truck bed area never gets wet even when driving in heavy rains, so all of the sealing is mostly for that just in case scenario.  It turned out perfect!

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 8

Four sheets of marine plywood, three sizes of deck screws, leftover plastic sheeting, 3M marine sealer, and marine carpet were used.  Some items were on hand.  All total the materials should cost less than $500 if you bought them new.

Cab Clearance Campers Ford Trucks 9

It took me 25-hours to complete this modification and cost $500.  In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is moderate.

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.

Enter Your Mods Now!

If you’d like to enter a modification you’ve done on your truck camper, click here. You can enter as many mods as you want, at any time.  Good luck mod makers!

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.

Enter Your Mods Now!

If you’d like to enter a modification you’ve done on your truck camper, click here. You can enter as many mods as you want, at any time.  Good luck mod makers!

 

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