Torklift International debuts a product to stabilize a camper off the truck. As the saying goes, if the camper’s a rockin’, get a WobbL-Stoppr! Don’t be swayed. Stop the rock!
We get questions from newbies on a regular basis about whether or not a truck camper can be used off the truck. The short answer is, “Yes, most campers can be used off the truck in most circumstances”.
The long answer is that most modern hard sided truck campers are designed to be used on or off the truck. That doesn’t mean put the camper all the way up on it’s jacks and pile your local Little League team into the cabover. What it does mean is that you can take the camper off the truck on relatively level ground, lower the jacks until the camper is a foot or two above the ground, level the camper, and then use the camper. You can sleep in the cabover, you can make breakfast, you can even use the bathroom. Yes, it can be done.
“But what about pop-up truck campers?” you ask. Well, there it gets a little more complicated. Not every pop-up camper is designed to be used off the truck. Most of the larger pop-up campers are, but I would talk to your dealer or manufacturer before making any assumptions.
With either a hard side or a pop-up, a truck camper used off the truck is not nearly as stable as a camper used on the truck. When you get into a camper off the truck, the camper can sway a bit, giving some owners an uneasy feeling. That rocking can also stress the frame and structure of a truck camper over time. For most truck campers this effect is minimal, but if you plan to use the camper off the truck on a regualr basis it’s certainly something to consider.
To the rescue comes Torklift International with the reintroduction of their newly redesigned and updated Wobbl-Stoppr. To find out more about the Wobbl-Stoppr, we talked to Jack Kay, Principal of Torklift International, Jay Taylor, Torklift’s General Manager, and Candice Boutilier, Torklift’s new Marketing Director. Oh, and Torklift has moved! This is one news packed Torklift story you don’t want to miss.
TCM: The WobbL-Stoppr is a product Torklift initially debuted years ago. What’s the history of that product and what made Torklift decide to bring it back into production?
Jack: That’s kind of an interesting story. Back in 2000, an inventor/engineer in the aircraft industry approached us with an early version of the product. He and his wife were avid truck campers but his wife was very sensitive to the motion of the camper when off the truck. He analyzed the cause of the motion and came up with two or three product designs to address it. When he perfected the best solution, he called it the WobbL-Stoppr and applied for a patent. Then he approached us to be an exclusive distributor of the product.
We immediately recognized the concept and saw how friendly the WobbL-Stoppr is to install and use. We also saw how the WobbL-Stoppr protects the integrity of the camper frame and jacks while increasing safety because it prevents the camper from tipping and swaying. At that time we went into the distribution of the product. Along the way there were concerns about the price of the product and we experienced some warranty issues related to the plastic knobs. This was all part of a learning process for us as we had never worked with an outside designer and an independent manufacturer.
Jay: From there we took the original WobbL-Stoppr to the Torklift research and development team. They made improvements to the design, materials, and manufacturing of the product. It’s now a significantly better product and worthy of our lifetime warranty. We also were able to bring the retail price point down.
TCM: It sounds like it could have been called WobbL-Stoppr 2. Can you tell us more detail about the changes in design, materials, and manufacturing?
Jack: We changed from steel to aircraft grade aluminum to lighten the product. We also changed the knob design and modified the mounting points to add strength and durability. The manufacturing process was streamlined with new jigs and our motion reduction strategy you wrote about for your Torklift factory tour last September.
Jay: The WobbL-Stoppr is now lighter in weight and lower in cost. The WobbL-Stoppr now retails to the consumer at less than 50% of the cost from two years ago. We are very proud of our Research and Development department.
TCM: Are there any limitations to the WobbL-Stoppr system, or should it work with any truck camper that uses corner jacks?
Jack: WobbL-Stopprs are sold in pairs and are designed to work with square and round jack mounts. The initial pair is designed to go on the front of the camper face and run down to the jack leg that is affixed to the camper body.
Most truck camper owners will only need one pair of WobbL-Stopprs. Dually truck owners with extended jack brackets may find that an additional WobbL-Stoppr pair on the rear jacks is necessary to make the camper rock solid, but most owners will find one set is all they need. We have found that only about 10% of truck camper owners feel it’s necessary for two pairs of WobbL-Stopprs. One set should do it.
TCM: Is there a camper weight limit?
TCM: Does the WobbL-Stoppr system work with all types of jacks; manual, electric, and hydraulic?