Presenting a new square case and aluminum turnbuckle, the Torklift SpringLoad XL. Think turnbuckles are boring? Torklift wants your attention.
We hear some of the same questions at every RV show we attend. One question we’re almost guaranteed to hear is, “How does the truck camper attach to the truck?”. If we think the person isn’t serious, we’ll answer “Chewing gum and rubber bands”. Just kidding. We never say, “rubber bands”.
But seriously folks, tie downs and turnbuckles are often an under appreciated and misunderstood part of a truck camper rig. They’re like the Rodney Dangerfield of truck camper equipment; no respect. Then we ask our poor tie downs and turnbuckles to safely control a truck camper load, at highway speed, uphill, both ways, in the snow. Like we said, no respect at all.
Galloping to rescue in their shining aluminum armor, the brave Torklift knights (and knight-ettes) are here to champion the cause of the too often forgotten truck camper tie downs and turnbuckles. They have even pulled a brand new turnbuckle from their Torklift anvil and stone. To learn more about this once and future turnbuckle, we approached the court of Torklift and addressed the roundtable at Sumner, Washington Castle. Hear ye, hear ye…
The following is an interview with Jack Kay, Principal of Torklift International, and Jay Taylor, Torklift’s General Manager.
TCM: Torklift is using aluminum for the casing for the SpringLoad XL. Why aluminum?
Jay: The XL stands for extra light. By changing the casing of the SpringLoad XL to aluminum we were able to remove four pounds from of the turnbuckle system. This is a big deal with anyone with weight concerns and the way fuel prices have been going. The casing of the SpringLoad XL is made with aircraft grade T6061 aluminum.
Jack: There will be colored versions of the SpringLoad XL to match the colors of our Fastguns; black, white, and grey. We’re now in the process getting part numbers for the different colors.
TCM: Let us know when the color versions are ready and we’ll post a blog in TCM. What are the advantages of changing the round cylindrical casing to a square shaped casing?
Jack: A cylindrical turnbuckle case is not going to be as strong as square turnbuckle case. And if you’ve ever hooked up or disconnected a cylindrical turnbuckle, it can be slippery and difficult to adjust if there is any oil or moisture on your hands. The new square cases are much easier to turn and adjust. With the square case, most people are able to adjust spring tension by hand instead of needing wrenches.
TCM: The SpringLoad XL is made from aluminum and stainless steel. Does using two different metals cause any issues?
Jack: As far as electrolysis or a reaction when using different metals, there are formulas utilized by our engineers to determine the volume of content of dissimilar metals to use to avoid a reaction. We do this with every product we manufacture. The SpringLoad XL was correctly designed and tested. There will be no issues.
TCM: Obviously, the SpringLoad XL is spring loaded. Tell us about the spring and why it’s an important part of the tie-down system.
Jack: When you’re tying the camper down to the foundation of the truck, you are going to make the camper and truck frame one unit. If you don’t allow some room for fluid motion and suspension, you can tax the camper’s frame and the camper’s anchor points. For this reason, we provide springs with our turnbuckle systems specifically to protect the camper anchor point.
Our turnbuckles attach to the frame of the truck 100%, not partially, and not a little bit. You have to allow for some flex and some movement. A camper is like a little house. When a camper heats and cools, it moves. It’s shrinking and growing, so you need to allow for adjustment. You can have problems if you are not allowing for this movement.
Our warranty states that you must be spring loaded to have us warranty the camper’s anchor points.
TCM: So, you actually warranty the truck camper’s anchor points as part of your turnbuckle and tie-down warranty?
Jay: Yes, if you are using our system, we warranty the truck camper’s anchor points as long as the warranty on the truck camper exists.
TCM: Is the spring in the SpringLoad XL the same spring that you use in your other turnbuckles?