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How To Lift And Remove A Truck Camper Without Jacks

Using truck campers is one of the best ways to travel long distances and still feel comfortable during the journey. Truck campers are extremely heavy, weighing 2,684 pounds on average. To lift them, you would need a jack, but how do you use one? We asked avid campers, and here is the reply we got. 

To lift and remove a truck camper without jacks, follow these procedures: 

  1. Brace the camper in a solid, secure position while the pick-up is jacked up
  2. Lower the jacks so the pick-up can drive out from underneath

It is also possible to load or uplift a truck camper without jacks using a forklift or crane, but this is not recommended. Some individuals use sawhorses, but this can damage the camper and truck, as well as cause injury. Renting cable jacks or paying an RV shop to load the camper are better alternatives.

If you're planning to remove the camper from your truck bed, you'll be interested to learn what we've discovered about handling and securing detachable campers. Hang on and keep reading for more tips on how to successfully remove a truck camper. 

Ford F150 carrying a white truck camper, How To Lift And Remove A Truck Camper Without Jacks

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What Are Truck Campers?

Truck campers are the ideal RV for going everywhere, camping anywhere, and towing anything. A truck camper is your best bet for a good ride if you're an adventurous person who loves to have fun while being independent.

A white camper van moving on the expressway

A truck camper is a detachable recreational vehicle that can be loaded and unloaded from a full-size or mid-size pick-up truck's bed. Being able to detach the camper from the truck is one of its regular features.

Hard sides and pop-ups are the two kinds of truck campers. Similar to a motorhome or a towable RV, hard sides have hard walls. Soft barriers spring up while camping and down for transport in pop-ups.

Uses of Jacks For Truck Campers

Jacks are very important tools you will need if you own a truck camper or you intend to get one. Because of how heavy truck campers are, there is a need for a stronger tool that can lift and remove them without any complications.

Camper jacks are as old and common as trucks themselves. Camper jacks are mechanical devices used to lift, support, and remove the campers from the truck.

There are two types of camper jacks. The power jack and manual jack. Camper jacks are designed to be very basic for use. Its support shaft is made of steel and when attached to the camper, it moves up and down. 

How To Lift And Remove A Truck Without  Jacks

A stack of lumber for house construction

To remove the camper from your truck, from your garage, slide some 2"x4" lumber spacers across the top of the bed and under the front and back of the camper, tie the camper and drive out.

The design of most truck campers includes four corner jacks. However, it's possible that you bought an outdated camper without jacks, or that your camper's jacks are faulty.

Whatever the case may be, it's critical to invest in either a permanent jack configuration or some temporary cable jacks and gear to load and unload the truck camper, especially if you don't plan to leave it permanently attached to your pick-up. Because jacks offer stability when lifting, no other approach is practical.

Using the camper jacks is simple; start by parking your truck on level ground. You'll want a steadfast base for the jacks, evened gravel or a wood block to brace beneath. Remove the tie downs from the mounting brackets. Adjust the jacks to reach the ground. Slowly move the truck forward from the stabilized camper. Have a look at this process in the video, below: 

The use of a crane could cause the camper to sway, making appropriate alignment impossible. If not harnessed in a way that distributes weight effectively, it could also cause harm to the camper.

A forklift can tilt or teeter, and it might not be the correct size to fit between your truck's narrow bed. Any loading method that does not include the use of a jack is dangerous and harmful for you, your camper, and your truck.

Most Common Problems With Truck Campers

A small camping area with a truck camper parked on the back

Truck campers are more durable than most campers, take up less room, and are available in a range of models. Here are the most common problems you might face while operating one. 

Truck Campers Are Quite Heavy 

Truck campers with a top-heavy design can make driving in severe winds a nightmare. When towing a truck camper, it also implies you're more likely to flip your car. There is also a limit to the amount of load your camper can carry. Most campers can carry only a maximum weight of 4, 212 pounds. This includes the weight of both passengers and cargo. 

Most drivers will have to slow down a little more when approaching twists and turns as a result of this, but it's something to think about. This is especially true if you plan on taking lengthy, winding mountain roads.

Its Size Does Not Fit In Sometimes 

Find out what size and model your truck can handle before looking at truck campers for sale. Many people have difficulty because they've discovered too late that the camper they purchased will not fit on their truck. Worse, for safety concerns, some trucks are unable to accommodate them at all.

Problem Of Height

Truck campers provide your truck with more space, which is a big plus. However, there is a cost to this particular gain. Some types raise your truck to a height of over 12 inches which is nearly the same as a tractor-trailer.

This implies that getting into specific petrol stations, as well as under tunnels and bridges, may be difficult. Fortunately, anyone concerned about this issue can purchase a truck camper with a pop-top, which is available in both hard-shell and tent-top models. 

Loading  And Unload Are Not That Easy 

Your truck will become more versatile with a truck camper. However, loading and unloading it is a difficult operation. Patience and practice are necessary.

You could damage your truck and knock over your truck camper if you make a mistake backing up when loading it. It can be difficult to hoist it back up without a lot of assistance if it has been knocked off its legs.

Do You Need Tie Downs For A Truck Camper?

A stack of tie downs for a camper

You will need four tie-downs to function as anchor points for your camper, regardless of the type of truck you have. The type you'll need depends on your truck bed, but you'll need two in the front and two in the back.

Steps For Prepping A Truck

Here are steps you should follow while prepping a truck. 

Step 1 

To begin, install a tie-down system in your truck to safely secure the truck camper. The best approach to secure the camper is to use tie-downs that attach directly to the truck frame.

The frame-mounted design is tailored to certain vehicle makes and models, ensuring the strongest possible truck attachment. A frame-mounted construction eliminates the possibility of bed and bumper damage.

Step 2

Turnbuckles are the devices that link your new camper to your truck and tie-down system. Spring-loaded turnbuckles are vital because they provide some wiggle room when your vehicle hits a pothole.

The spring design protects your new camper's anchor points as well as the tie-down system by acting as a shock absorber.

Step 3

Install a rubber bed mat in the bed of your truck to keep the camper from slipping. Bed mats are not only affordable, but they also protect the surface of your truck's bed from scratches, dings, and dents.

Check out this bed liner on Amazon.

Step 4

A truck camper adds a lot of weight to your truck, which causes a lot of side-to-side wobble and body roll. The weight of the camper in the bed will cause your truck to slump, impairing its handling. What are your options for combating these ramifications?

Installing a good suspension stabilizer is a great way to get started. Your truck's handling will vastly improve when the camper is loaded.

Are Truck Campers Easy To Remove?

The good news is that, once you've figured out how to do it, removing truck campers is simple. The bad news is that you risk damaging both the camper and the pick-up truck if you do not correctly reattach the truck camper.

How Are Trucks Campers Attached? 

Two tie-down points in the front and two in the back of your vehicle bed are required for campers. Some tie-downs attach to the truck's bed directly, while others attach to the frame.

Because a truck's frame provides a stronger basis than the weaker sheet metal of its bed, frame-mounted tie-downs outperform bed-mounted tie-downs.

Can You Leave Truck Campers On Jack

The jacks' purpose is to allow you to unload the camper and put the truck to other uses. Some campers aren't made to be utilized without floor support. The majority of campers will work perfectly on the jacks.

Simply do your homework before purchasing and ensure that the camper you're considering may be used without a truck. There are creative solutions if the camper requires assistance.

To Sum Up

Ford F150 carrying a white truck camper

A truck camper can serve the purpose of an adventurous journey but it has its disadvantages. It's quite heavier and taller and because of this, you won't be able to navigate smoothly on the road or pass easily through tunnels or gas stations. When driving a truck camper, Always maintain a normal speed so it doesn't trip off and roll over.

If you would like to read more on trucks, check out these engaging articles: 

Why Are Pickup Trucks Lower in the Front? 

6 Small Ford Trucks You Should Know About