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Steep Off-Road Grade with Truck Camper

Team_Lien
Explorer
Explorer
Does anyone know how steep of a grade you can drive up on a rough 4x4 road before your camper will slide out of the back of your truck? I think I remember reading once that, due to the friction of the weight of the camper on your truck bed, you couldn’t drive up something steep enough to cause the camper to slide off the back without rolling the truck. I have a Dodge dually 4x4 with an arctic fox 10 foot camper. The camper is on the truck bed without a rubber mat.

Thanks, Mike
16 REPLIES 16

Hemi_Joel
Explorer
Explorer
.060" thick EPDM commercial roofing membrane works great for friction under the bed without adding any significant weight. That's what I use. You can get scraps free from your local commercial roofer if you ask nice or bring him a 6 pack.
2018 Eagle Cap 1163 triple slide, 400W solar, MPPT, on a 93 Dodge D350 Cummins, DTT 89 torque converter, big turbo, 3 extra main leafs, Rancho 9000s rear, Monroe gas magnums front, upper overloads removed, home made stableloads, bags.

ADA6969
Explorer
Explorer
First bed mat, 2nd good tie downs 3rd if the Jacks hit hill was to steep.

I have gone as far as you can with out the jacks hitting. Towing a 20ft trailer If it any steeper we dont belong there in a 5k+ camper.

Andy
2012 RAM 3500DRW MAX TOW 4WD AUTO STD CAB ST DIESEL STABLE LOADS AIR BAGS AND RS9000XLS, ROADMASTER 1 3/8" REAR SWAY BAR 2021 AF 1150 DRY BATH TOWING 2017 JEEP RUBICON JKU BUILT. OR 2020 JEEP RUBICON JL BUILT

Fuller_Johnson
Explorer II
Explorer II
Back about 5 years ago I went up Fish Creek hill on the Apache Trail I think it is about a 19 percent grade and rough and washboarded. No problem but I was worried about my home made tiedowns. Next time I went on it I went down the hill:) That section has since been closed due to a flood and is blocked with Huge boulders. Hope they can eventually reopen it as it was a Great scenic drive...
Dodge 2500 CTD
Dodge 3500 CTD Sunlite Apache 865 2013 Polaris 850 touring 2022 Polaris RZR 900 Trail Lots of Old Mechanical "Stuff"

greenno
Explorer
Explorer
Dee Zee bed mat get one from Amazon .

Camper_Jeff___K
Nomad II
Nomad II
Hold downs should do their job. I've done a couple grades that creeped me out before and I came through ok. As a rule of thumb, if the grade you are planning to drive is proceeded with "Hey everybody, watch this" don't do it.

deserteagle56
Explorer II
Explorer II
I have a DeeZee mat which is about 3/8" thick in my dually that works great for me. If you want something thicker go to your local farm supply store and get some horse stall mats which are 3/4" thick. Either will provide a great "sticky" surface to hold the camper in place.
1996 Bigfoot 2500 9.5 on a 2004 Dodge/Cummins dually

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Get a truck bed mat….
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Team_Lien
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks everyone! I have the torque lift tiedowns at a good angle so that should help but it sounds like I need to get a rubber mat. How thick do you think I should go on a rubber mat? And as tempting as it is to send it, I will make sure to creep along.

Best, Mike.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
If the camper is on a greased cookie sheet (IE sitting on steel truck bed) you could slide it backwards easily with just a good boosted launch on a flat surface.
If it’s on a bed mat with or without bedliner you’d be hard pressed to launch it out the back with anything you’d be able to reasonably tackle with a dually with a 3’ long 8’ wide 5000lb tail.
Presuming of course you’re not planning on goin all Whistlin Diesel on it…IE no full sends!
How steep you can go is a function of friction, tie downs and common sense/skill.
I’m sure I pulled some 30% or so grades with the ole AF in the back of the ole Dodge without issue.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

jimh406
Explorer III
Explorer III
I’ve gone up a lot of steep terrain with a TC loaded with a rubber mat and Line-X. I’d add a rubber mat if I was you because it also protects the bottom of the TC a bit.

I think it’s pretty unlikely to make a 4000=5000 lb TC to slide out.

'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 DS, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Bags, Toyo M655 Gs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.

NRA Life Member, CCA Life Member

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
LouLawrence wrote:
Aren't there also toggle screws holding the shell to the pickup bed?


Huh?
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

wnjj
Explorer II
Explorer II
The friction in the bed isn't going to help, particularly without a rubber mat. What will cause the camper to move is the vibration and/or bumps. The only thing that will really make sure it stays are good tie downs.

Even with a rubber mat and Torklift tie downs, our camper has crept forward enough to make the front tie downs completely loosen up after driving several miles down a fairly steep, washboard gravel road. I dropped the jacks and repositioned it once we were back on the pavement.

Make sure your front tie downs are angled and not pulling only straight down if you want to minimize rearward movement.

DWeikert
Explorer II
Explorer II
No tie downs?
A photo from the Torklift site showing the tie downs holding the camper to the truck even after a rollover.
Dan
2008 Chevy D/A 2500HD ECSB
2010 Northstar 8.5 Adventurer

valhalla360
Nomad II
Nomad II
Too many variables to give a firm answer. How fast? How rough? Coefficient of friction? Tie downs? Etc...
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV