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The Torklift International Summit Bumper Project

Torklift International is developing a new multi-function aftermarket truck camper bumper system.  Here’s a sneak peek at the first Summit prototypes, and an important question from Torklift International.

Torklift Summit Camper Bumper prototype

With our original factory bumper, one almost needed a grapple hook and rope to climb into our project camper.  The standard pull-down step and shallow bumper system created an extremely steep ascent.  The angle and space between the steps was closer to a ladder than anything resembling residential height stairs.  Getting out?  We usually just yelled, “To Infinity… And Beyond!”, and jumped.

Okay, that was a bit dramatic, but we really did have an abrupt camper entry and exit.  We often needed to apologize to folks who wanted to see inside our camper, but were uncomfortable with the step and bumper system.  We were used to it, and got in and out of our camper like Bo and Luke leaping into the General Lee.  That said, our original factory bumper and entry step system was definitely a hazard.

Torklift-Summit-Project-Camper-OEM-Steps

Above: Our original bumper and steep entry and exit angle – click to enlarge

“I sure wish we could get a Torklift International bumper like the Northwood Fox Landing, or the Palomino Landing Pad, or the Lance Ultra Deck Plus,” I said to Angela earlier this spring.

“Me too,” she answered.  We were dreaming.

Fast forward a few months.  We stopped by Torklift International in Washington State during our “Never Seen That Tour” to see their new factory.  On the day of our arrival, we showed Jack Kay, President of Torklift International, our camper and factory bumper and step system.  Moments later, our cat Harley came to the camper door and stole the show.  He does that.

That afternoon we went to lunch with Jack and members of the Torklift International leadership team.  Unbeknownst to us, a team of Torklift International minions was descending upon our rig while we were out.  Measurements, photography, and notes were taken, and a call was made.

Jack’s phone rang at the restaurant.

“Hello?  …Okay, good.  Thank you.”

“No promises yet Gordon and Angela, but our team is working on a prototype bumper system for you.”

Torklift-Summit-Proto-BIG-Old-Bumper-Prototype-1

Above: Our old bumper (top) next to Prototype A of the Torklift International Summit bumper system (bottom) – click to enlarge

Torklift-Summit-Proto-BIG-Old-Steps-New-Steps

Above: The new taller and deeper Torklift International Summit bumper step with glow elements (top) next to the old bumper step (bottom) – click to enlarge

Well, toss the grapple hooks, burn the ropes, and cancel the extra life insurance policy!  That was the best news we had in a long time.

It turned out that Torklift International was already working on an aftermarket bumper concept, and our rig was the perfect test mule.  This was one of those win-win situations that you can’t plan for, but you can sure try.

Torklift-Summit-Proto-BIG-Prototype-1-Kit

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