Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: 5th wheel rails and a truck camper
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 > 5th wheel rails and a truck camper

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thomas201

Eastern Panhandle WV

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Posted: 10/20/20 08:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are thinking of adding a truck camper to the fleet, for the boonies. We are going to continue to use the 5th wheel. I want to keep the bed rails since they are very handy with a set of tie downs that fit the slots. The truck is a 2012 Ford, and I might need to raise the camper, even without the rails. So I searched, but I am looking for better ideas.

Options:

1. 2 inch high density foam board, with slots routered out in the bottom for the rails. Bed mat on top.

2. Some 2X6 boards (how many and what pattern), plywood cap and a bed mat on top.

So I cannot be the first. Any other ideas? I do want to be able to pull out the platform by myself, but that is about the only other requirement.

Thanks for the help!

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 10/20/20 09:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we had our 35ft Jayco fifth wheel,we also had a truck camper..I just used 2X4's around the bed rails left to right ..Worked great and were easy to store..


1994 F-350 DRW /460/k&n intake /415# torque/lance 9.6/Engel compressor fridge/3 gr 27 batteries/Honda 2k/Honda 3K/WH Camo 2250/Reese solid bar extension/Buddy heater/3 inverters//Happi Jack tie downs /Firestone bags/Yamaha Rhino/Winch and Lockers

NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 10/20/20 09:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The first dually pickup I owned came with fifth wheel hitch rails in the bed from the previous owner. I found that 5/4” treated deck boards were just the right height to allow the camper to clear the rails.

I attached them to the bottom of the camper, and also had the smart idea to place two of them so they landed directly in front of the hitch rails. They acted as guides for the camper when lowering it into the bed, and prevented it from moving backwards while traveling.

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Joe417

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Posted: 10/20/20 09:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another option is to change hitches to a B&W companion. Or something similar.


Joe & Evelyn


TxGearhead

Texas

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Posted: 10/28/20 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't think I would screw holes in the bottom of the camper unless you're sure you will be the last owner. I wouldn't buy a used camper that someone did that to. No disrespect meant to NRALIFR.
I would use 2x6 boards on the bed of the truck though. Not screwed in. I would be sure to support the bottom of the camper using the manufacturers recommendation. Maybe use some galvanized framing aids to hold it together.


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Killingsworth

in the desert

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Posted: 10/28/20 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't have 5th wheel rails, but have used a 2x6 on each side and one down the middle of the bed. I filled in the "in-between" area with foiled foam board, has worked great. I just bought a 4x8 sheet of high density foam and am going to try, using the entire sheet eliminating the 2x6 boards. Ill see how that works on our next trip.
I rejected the idea of attaching anything to the bottom of the camper, on a permanent or even semi permanent basis. I also think, at least for my situation having the "rubber bed mat" on the bottom is the best for me.

NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 10/28/20 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No offense taken.

I knew where the structural members are in the floor and how thick they are (stud finder and Lance info) and whether there was any plumbing or wiring to worry about (one drain tube from the fresh water tank, and no wires).

My screws are just as sealed up as the screws Lance used on the bottom. And finally, I like the fact that it sits up off the bed mat now. It stayed wet between the camper and the mat for a long time when it was just a flat surface.

It’s been like this for ~15 years now.

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srschang

Western NY

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Posted: 10/28/20 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess it depends on how the bottom of the camper is finished. Mine has the 2x6 floor joists exposed, with 2" pink foam board squares in between. I added 3 - 2x4s to the underside of the floor joists to get just a bit more clearance at the bedrails and to provide some ventilation under the camper as NRALIFR mentioned.

Having the 2X4s attached to the camper are 3 less things I need to mess with when I load & unload.

Scott


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otrfun

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Posted: 10/28/20 02:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd vote for Option #1: a 4x8 sheet of high density foam board (HDFB).

Much easier, lighter to use/handle/mod, plus it would provide support to almost the entire bottom of the camper (exception being the area routed out for the hitch/bed rails).

We used several layers of HDFB to keep the front of our camper properly distanced from the front of the bed, plus more layers to keep the camper centered in the front (had a tendency to creep several inches left and right in high winds). Another plus for HDFB, it doesn't scratch the gelcoat on our fiberglass camper.

TxGearhead

Texas

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Posted: 10/29/20 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would add that you should consider support for the wings between the wheel wells and the tailgate. Just using a 4x8 sheet will have that part of the camper hanging in mid air.

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