A truck camper tie-down can be classified as either a frame-mounted truck tie-down or a bed-mounted truck tie-down. These two common types are what is typically used to securely anchor a camper to a truck bed.
A bed-mounted truck camper tie down is typically used to anchor lightweight truck campers to a vehicle and it uses a metal plate bolted or clamped to the truck bed where the truck camper tie-down is attached to be able to connect with the camper’s mounting points. A bed-mounted truck camper tie down is limited only for use on trucks with thicker skins and is best avoided on thinner-skinned modern trucks. Due to the thinner skins of modern trucks, a bed-mounted truck camper tie down results in cracking or tearing damage to the truck bed if a lightweight truck camper is not used.
A frame-mounted truck camper tie down uses two bars that are placed under the vehicle bed and are connected to the vehicle frame using a clamping or bolting system. The camper is secured to the truck using a chain or turnbuckle to solidly attach the camper to the vehicle to prevent any shifting of the camper when the vehicle is moving, and clips are used on the rear frame or bumper of the truck, with its chain or turnbuckle system to secure the rear of the camper to firmly anchor it in place on the truck bed. Another method of anchoring the front of a camper is to use a square tube tie-down that attaches to the front outer surface of a vehicle’s frame and the rear is anchored to another square tube that is secured to the rear hitch receiver of a vehicle. Small square tubes are then slid into the frame-mounted tie-down and are secured by a retaining pin to firmly anchor a camper into place on the truck bed. Using a frame-mounted truck tie-down is more suitable and safer for anchoring the more modern and heavier campers.
A truck camper tie-down must be durable enough to securely anchor a camper so that it will not get displaced or shift position on a vehicle and compromise road safety. Every truck camper tie down that is considered for use must have a rated and certified load rating that is above the camper’s weight so that the camper will not shift from its position on the truck bed and create an unsafe driving and road condition that poses a hazard to the vehicle’s running stability and to other vehicles. The truck camper tie-down load rating is commonly based on the gross weight of the truck that is carrying the camper. Regulations specify that all truck campers must be solidly anchored to the carrying vehicle to prevent stability problems when the vehicle is running and to prevent damage to a vehicle’s bed or body due to the camper shifting under its weight while in motion.
It is advised from a safety standpoint to own an extra set of truck camper tie-down equipment if the camper to be anchored is heavy even if the camper considered is supplied with its tie-down. Truck camper tie-down equipment is required by regulations to be used by all camper vehicles for road and vehicle safety. As required for safety reasons, there must be a minimum of four truck camper tie-down attachment points on any camper vehicle. Two tie-downs in the front of the camper and four tie-downs at the rear. The truck camper tie-down prevents a camper from sliding off a vehicle and present a hazard to other vehicles on the road.