If you want to go camping from time to time in something a little larger than a traditional tent, a truck bed camper is an easy to use and relatively cheap option to consider. But as with any kind of attachment you install on your truck, much care needs to be taken to ensure that it doesn't tip or fall off while you're driving. If your truck bed camper feels like it's shifting around on the road, check out these three things.
The Turnbuckles Connecting The Camper To Its Tie-downs
Once you set your truck bed camper in place, turnbuckles are used to to connect the anchors on its sides to metal-tie downs clinging to your vehicle's frame. While there are many types of turnbuckles available (ranging from simple fabric buckles to lever operated chains), they all need to be completely taut in order to work properly.
When you get off the road, pull at all your turnbuckles to ensure that none of them have lost any tension during your drive. If a turnbuckle has springs, remove it and pull the springs up and down with your fingers. If the springs have a tendency to get stuck in one particular position, it's a sign that you need replacements.
The Bolts Holding The Camper's Hitch Together
A bad hitch can cause the camper to lean backward while it's under pressure. Even worse, if the strain placed on them is too much, the bolts holding the hitch to your vehicle could come apart while you're on the highway.
If your turnbuckles seem fine, remove the camper so that you can inspect every side of the hitch without interference. Find out where you can get replacement bolts if you see rust in between the hitch's metal surface and any of the bolt heads.
Your Vehicle's Suspension System
An older suspension system might not be able to properly distribute the weight from a particularly heavy camper. Luckily, if you suspect that this is the problem behind your camper's shifting, it's possible to enhance the system by installing extra air springs within the vehicle's frame. Doing this will even improve the smoothness of your ride when you're driving without anything attached to your truck.
You can buy specialty kits for installing extra springs or you can order the work to be done at a mechanic's shop. The shop option is probably your best bet if you have no experience doing automotive DIY projects.
For more information, contact professionals like Crowder RV Center, Inc.