The Weight Challenge
Where do you install that much weight in a Truck Camper? Can it all be in one place? How much wire needs to be run? Will it stress the camper, the truck frame?
We had a good solution for the old Lance slide-in camper but the initial placement in the new chassis mounted camper design didn’t work as expected.
Many truck campers, small RVs and trailers hold 1 or 2 batteries which weigh 60+ lbs. each. Our battery bank weighs 300 lbs. Accommodating it has proved to be more of a challenge!
Our initial installation was in the driver side power bay cargo box. The initial concept was briefly described in our ep:5 Cargo Box video and then we shared the power migration from Lance to the new camper in our complete Power Management System video in Episode 16.
After the Shake Down trip, we determined that the batteries definitely needed to be relocated. Their current position has created a problem for the camper and truck frame. I’ll describe it as walking down the street with 10lbs of screws in your left front pocket; your pants tend to start falling down on one side. Not a pretty picture.
The Camper is Tilting!
When recently asked how stable the pivot mount was performing, Steve gave the following reply:
The short answer is that it is excellent on the highway and works pretty well (so far little experience), isolating the camper from the stress of rough roads but I do have several problems. It is actually quite a complex design because it involves a lot of structural and weight distribution issues beyond the mounting design. 1) The front mounting points are near mid-span of the frame (about a foot behind the cab). My battery hangs on the driver’s side right at the front attachment point (intentional). The load on the passenger side, although equal, is more distributed along the length of the camper. The point load on the driver side bows the frame more than the distributed load on the passenger, consequently, the frame bends more on the driver side, tilting the camper. You really have to keep the load on both ‘firm’ mountings equal, much more so than a conventional mount. You must look at the weight distribution not only side to side but front to rear and see how it will affect loading at the ‘firm’ attachments.@stevehericks
Video Why, Where, and How the 300lb Battery Bank was Relocated
This video covers both the design challenge as well as the new battery box construction and installation.
This was one of the last major efforts before getting on our road trip from Southern California to Everett, Washington. I’ve planned on 4 drive days with a day off in the middle. Anticipating a need for a break and time to correct any issues is always a good plan. We also have a 3 part article being published by Truck Camper Adventure coming out that I’ll post once it’s out in another couple days.
The weather here in Washington is the cold, wet spring weather you expect. I’ll have a follow-up post and video of the trip driving up. There was a lot of spring color and some great overnight spots. Not much time to site-see but we squeezed in some picturesque stops.
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