Gone Outdoors

How to Secure a Truck Camper

by Keith Allen

A truck camper is usually a self-contained living space that is hauled in the bed of a pickup truck during use and removable at other times. According to the website Etruck Campers, a tie down system is a vital safety measure to keep the camper body securely in the bed of the truck. The tie down systems not only keeps the camper from falling off the truck, but keeps the camper from sliding within the bed and potentially damaging the truck.

1. Determine the best tie down system for your truck and camper combination. Many of these tie down systems utilize a metal bar attached to the frame of the truck under the bed. These frames are attached with clamps to the body or frame of the truck. This type of system is sometimes called a “belly bar” tie down. These systems include models for specific makes and models of trucks. Choose chrome bars if looks and style of the truck are important.

2. Install the belly bar according to manufacturer’s instructions. Some models utilize existing holes in the truck frame, while others use clamps. Make sure the bar does not interfere with the truck’s exhaust system.

3. Place a heavy duty truck bed mat in the bed of the truck. This prevents the camper from shifting within the truck bed and protects the bed of the truck and the bottom of the camper, according to the website Campers Plus.

4. Place the camper in the bed of the truck and fasten the camper to the belly bar according to manufacturer’s instructions. The types of connectors between the camper and bar vary with the make and model, but often are adjustable metal rods allowing a tension to be created to hold the camper firmly to the truck bed.

Items you will need
  • Tie Down System or Belly Bar
  • Rubber bed mat

Tip

  • Making sure the camper fits the truck is also vital to secure transportation of the truck camper. Hauling a camper designed for a 3/4 ton truck with a 1/2 ton truck is hard on the truck and creates an overload that is dangerous.

Warning

  • Check the connecting rods and the belly bar periodically to make sure vibrations have not caused any components to work loose.