How to Build Camper Tie Downs
Camper tie downs are pieces of gear designed to keep the trailer away from your truck or vehicle and limits the side to side sway and movement of the trailer. There are many tie downs for sale from different companies; however, if you wish to make one for your rig, you can customize the size and height off the ground. Custom-made tie downs are moldable to the condition in which you do most of your driving.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- 4,000-pound tensile strength cable, 1
- 5/16 swivel buckles, 4
- 4 swivel bolts
- Belly bar
Research and think about the terrain the majority of your driving and trailer towing will be done in. Reference your trailer manual for the unloaded weight of the rig and then add in the weight of all your gear and extras packed into the trailer camper. The heavier your trailer and extras, the higher the tensile strength cable you will need. Use 4,000-pound tensile strength cable for most trailers unless the maker's manual says otherwise.
Look underneath the back of your truck and inspect the hitching mechanism. Look for a straight bar running parallel to the truck's axle. This is the belly bar. Look for the L brackets attached to the belly bar. Find them on the outer edges of the bar.
Find the four support bars on your camper. Look for them in each corner of the trailer. Attach one swivel bolt to the hole attachment points on these poles. Make sure the swivel bolts are in a straight and uniform line off the poles in the back of the truck and facing the hitching post of the trailer.
Thread the cable through all four swivel bolts so the cable has four equal sized lengths extending out from the bolts (thread like you are lacing shoes).
Attach the cable to the trailer via the swivel bolts on the poles and then to the belly bar. This will secure the trailer as a redundancy with the ball hitch and coupler, providing and extra level of security and safety.
Check you work by doing a walk-around and inspecting each swivel bolt and cable attachment.
Tips & Warnings
Test your work by taking a short, slow drive up a hill if possible. Watch in the rear view mirror or have a passenger look for side to side sway on the trailer going up the hill and back down.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.
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