Question Of The Week

A Duct Tape Camper Comedy In Six Parts

This week we confessed to using duct tape (actually Gorilla Tape) to fix a torn off vent in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Yes, Gorilla Tape is a somewhat ridiculous and totally temporary solution, but it got us home.

Just for fun, we asked our readership if anyone else had used duct tape to fix their truck camper in the field.  Well, we didn’t exactly get a flood of tape confessions, but we got a few.  And all it takes is one to know you’re not alone, right?

This week’s Question of the Week was, “Have you ever used duct tape, or a variety of duct tape, to repair your truck camper?”

“As in your story, we first used a couple of rolls of duct tape in Michigan.  Our 22-inch by 22-inch overhead escape hatch blew off while driving on the freeway.  We didn’t know when it happened.  When we discovered the missing hatch, it was long gone, and unrecoverable.  We were left with a large, square opening into the cabover area.

We used duct tape to close and seal the entire hatch opening with no structural support underneath.  Two layers of tape kept us dry in the rain until we could locate another hatch cover about two days later.  When removed, that tape made one large sticky ball!

Since then, duct tape has temporarily held the aging step protection rubber matting onto the rear step and bumper (until repaired), and has served as an exterior door hold open device.

I like your description and use of Gorilla Tape and will invest in some shortly.” – Gary Possert, 1998 GMC K3500, 1998 Coachmen Ranger

“I loved your fix of the vent cover!

I have an FYI that may help other truck campers.  Most folks don’t know that duct tape and Gorilla Tape will conduct electricity, so they cannot be used as a replacement for good old electrical tape.

Just four months ago, on a three day trip deep in the backcountry of Death Valley, we were in a buddy’s Toyota FJ Cruiser.  Overnight a rat ate two of the fuel injector wires and nearly stranded us.

I managed to repair the injured injector with some bailing wire and epoxy.  After the repair was complete, all the tape my buddy had in his toolbox was Gorilla Tape or the tape in his first aid kit.  Neither of those are insulators.  Argh!

My buddy had assumed that the Gorilla Tape was an insulator.  On his roll of Gorilla Tape, in very small three-point type on the cardboard roll, it states, “Not for electrical use”.  I have to give them some (three point type) credit.  Never have I seen that warning on a roll of duct tape.” – Bruce Allison, 2000 Ford F350, 2012 Adventurer 910 FBS

“Not yet, but I have it in the tool box.  However, I have used it on my friend’s Jeep to keep it on the road.” – Bob Nelson, 2015 GMC Sierra 3500, 2013 Arctic Fox 1140

“In 2012 we purchased a new 2012 Arctic Fox and, on the way home, we went under an overhang in a fuel station and pulled the radio antenna off.   The screws ripped the top all the way back and it was raining.  We used duct tape to fix it until I was able to replace it.” – Jim Kauffman, 2015 Ram 5500, 2014 Eagle Cap 1160

“Yes, I used it on the Fantastic Fan when it broke.  We used duct tape to cover a rear window.  When pulling heavy logs and the strap breaks, it does damage.” – Eric Williams, Ford F350, 2012 Alaskan 8’

“On a trip to Florida via scenic byways and back highways from Minnesota we developed a leak in the cabover’s front window, which got the bed wet.  I duct taped around the edges and onto the glass.  It kept us dry until I could reseal it when we got to Florida.  That was for two weeks.  I just finished replacing the front window with an aluminum panel and re-paneled the front cabover interior because the front window has started to leak again.  I am glad to see that most of the truck camper manufacturers are no longer putting front windows in.” – Mike and Nancy Pohl, 1999 Ford F150, 1985 American Pilgrim 8.5 hardside

“A wise person once wrote:
Every tool box should have two things: a roll of duct tape and a can of WD-40.
If it moves and it shouldn’t, use duct tape.
If it doesn’t move and it should, use WD-40.” – Larry Ouillette

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