Welcome to the fifth entry in November’s Mini-Mod Contest. One Mini-Mod will be published in every Email Alert in November. At the end of the month, we’ll hold a reader vote to determine November’s winner. Click here for information about the 2020 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Jesse Taylor, Pennsylvania
The Taylor 2 Step
2006 Sierra 2500 HD
2020 Lance 865
Our 2020 Lance 865 truck campers was supplied with Lance’s Ultra Step Plus, a folding and removable step system that inserts into the truck’s hitch receiver with an extension bar.
Above: Lance’s Ultra Step Plus system
At my age, I found it cumbersome to install and remove. Additionally, the first step was a bit high from the ground with my truck. I wanted an easier system that better matched the height of our truck and camper combination.
I was informed that directly behind the camper’s exterior rise to the door was a holding tank and to not drill into the exterior at all. I also saw that the aluminum door sill plate was screwed into the exterior just below the door’s opening. From that I concluded that it must have a framing member just under the sill.
I went to a machine shop and got a 1/8-inch steel plate with a 90-degree bend. It’s two-inches inside the bend to the existing sill rain lip, and four-inches down the front of the outside wall of the camper. As there was slightly over 3/8-inch clearance from the door’s bottom to the original aluminum sill plate, clearance was okay.
I measured down from the original sill plate to the screws that were used for that plate, marked the new plate, and drilled five (not three) holes for self-tapping screws. Then I removed the aluminum sill screws as they would have held the new sill plate too far away from the camper wall.
The original sill plate had a small bottom lip that would re-direct rain away from the camper’s body. This is a good thing as it helped to hold the bolt heads away from the camper.
I clamped the stair-step bracket to the plate in a bench vise and drilled four holes for the bolts to hold the bracket to the new plate. I instilled five thin head bolts with the threads on the outside of the plate, not the camper’s wall side, and used lock washers and nuts to install the step plate to the new sill.
I applied clear liquid adhesive (clear Gorilla Glue) to the top and front of the original aluminum sill, and then screwed in the top sill self-tapping bolts. I spray painted everything after adding paint-able latex caulking around the whole project.
Above: The completed mod with Torklift GlowStep system installed
The new steel plate doesn’t flex when I climb the stairs and the bolt heads do not touch the exterior wall of the camper. The Taylor 2 step was named this way because it was a two-step process to bend the steel and mount it on the camper.
The total cost was $20 for the plate, plus the labor to bend the metal. I had all the nuts, bolts, and screws. My project was easy and took about four-hours of hand drilling the plate. I already had the Torklift GlowStep Camper Scissor Steps. In my opinion, the skill level of this mod 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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