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Wolf Creek 850 roll over story

anutami
Explorer III
Explorer III
Well, Since I opened this can of worms here is the entire story.

First let me say I have been a long time truck camper owner and I am no rookie. I have gone trough several truck campers. I recently had an article published in truckcampermagazine.com about me and my family
Here is some more background on who I am and how long I have been truck camping.

http://www.truckcampermagazine.com/camper-lifestyle/four-season-truck-camping-in-southern-california

If you read the article you can see in the pictures I used the same tie down system with both the Northstar Laredo and Eagle Cap 800.

The week before Christmas I was driving home from a great camping trip in the anza borrego desert (trip report here http://www.anzaborrego.net/anzaborrego/Forum/messages.aspx?TopicID=694 and was traveling on BLM land road named EC085. I was traveling at approx 25 mph on a straight section of the road, when a strong gust of wind came up and caused the camper to become separated from my truck and rolled over the truck bed rail! The road was also a bit bumpy but not too bad. I had my 6 year old son Brett and 8 year old daughter Brenna in the truck with me. It is a miracle we are all okay. The crazy part of the situation is I did not really feel the truck do a huge sway or anything. It was my daughter in the backseat who said "dad the camper just fell off". Upon further inspection I noticed the cause of the camper becoming separated from the truck was my Wolf Creek was manufactured with a spliced in piece of plywood where the front passenger anchors are installed and this spliced plywood separated from the skirt. When the front tie down became separated I noticed my bumper was tweaked a bit upward and believe the rear tie down became separated by pulling up on my bumper. Before starting to travel on EC085 I called my wife to tell her we were going to stay one more night. Knowing I was about to be driving about 20 miles on a dirt road I specifically checked all my spring loaded turnbuckles to make sure they were nice and hand tight snug. I am fully aware of keeping the turnbuckles hand tight and not using a tool to tighten them down.

Here are some pics from the incident

The spot where I called my wife took a pic and checked the tie downs


The spot where the camper rolled out


My wolf creek in the middle of the desert. Notice the turnbuckle still attached


closer look at splice




My truck








The torn off jack


Underside separation


Nose cap damage


rescued by Dickerson Towing








Moderator edit: Please note, maximum photo width=640.
2001 Ford F350 LB Diesel 4x4 CrewCab Stick
2015 Wolf Creek 850 Thermal Pane Windows, Oven, Reinforced Anchor Bolts, 200w Solar, Torklift Tie Downs, Fastguns, Stableloads
129 REPLIES 129

specta
Explorer
Explorer
deltabravo wrote:


It's not the problem of "the furnace Northwood puts in their campers" it's where it's located in the AFs: In the slide out (except the 865). With it being there, you can't run ducting anywhere else in the camper.



That doesn't make any sense at all, especially in a "4-season" camper.

Years ago I had a TT with a radiant heat furnace so there was no ducting anywhere, the bathroom was always freezing.

We camped in temps well below freezing and the furnace kept the rest of the trailer toasty warm.



I solved that problem by installing a 2nd propane gas light in the bathroom. It would warm up the bathroom on cold morning in about 15 minutes. I'm quite sure that this would be more difficult to do in newer TCs.
Kenny
1996 Jayco 376FB Eagle Series TT
1997 Jayco 246FB Eagle Series TT
1976 Ford F-250 4wd Mercury Marauder 410 - 4V
Regular cabs. The best looking trucks.

billtex
Explorer II
Explorer II
We have small 12v fans that we use on boat and in TC. They are USB. No need for hookups, use minimal power. It is very helpful to blow some warm air up into bed area if you do not have ducted heat.
2020 F350 CC LB
Eagle Cap 850
25'Airstream Excella
"Good People Drink Good Beer"-Hunter S Thompson

deltabravo
Nomad
Nomad
anutami wrote:
One of the major complaints that I can't really fathom especially with the Arctic fox is the furnace Northwood puts in their campers. How do you call their campers 4 season with NO heat in the cab over, bathroom and basement?


It's not the problem of "the furnace Northwood puts in their campers" it's where it's located in the AFs: In the slide out (except the 865). With it being there, you can't run ducting anywhere else in the camper.

I was a 10.75 year owner of an AF811. Camping in colder weather, the cabover does get cold at the head of the bed. It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I solved the problem by setting a small fan on the stove top to blow air towards the cabover. That trick only worked when I had power hookups, which was rare. Even more rare was camping in cold weather.

The cold cabover of my 811 is what kept me from buying an 865. I can't imagine camping in an 865 in cold weather. The cabover has a tunnel leading to it with bathroom on one side and fridge on the other side, with no direct flow of air to the bed from the furnace. There's also no place to put a small fan like I used on my stove top to blow air the bed.

A popular mod for people in the AF truck camper forum is to upgrade to a digital T-stat and wire it so you can run the basement air circulation fan with the fan switch on the T-stat. That allows you to run the fan all the time to keep things warmer in the basement. This can't be done to later model campers though because the T-stat controls both the furnace AND the A/C as of at least two years ago, maybe as far back as the 2017 model year.
2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2018 Arctic Fox 992 with an Onan 2500i "quiet" model generator

burningman
Explorer II
Explorer II
All this talk about tie downs, when it appears the camper’s anchor points are what failed. It doesn’t much matter whether you use frame tiedowns, belly bars, Happijacs, or Brophy clamp-ons.
The camper anchor points themselves are usually the weak point.
2017 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CD SE
99 Ram 4x4 Dually Cummins
A whole lot more fuel, a whole lot more boost.
4.10 gears, Gear Vendors overdrive, exhaust brake
Built auto, triple disc, billet shafts.
Kelderman Air Ride, Helwig sway bar.

lniles
Explorer
Explorer
anutami wrote:
lniles wrote:
Just came across this thread/saga -- the camper is for sale again, and the seller included the pointer in the ad.
https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/rvs/d/costa-mesa-truck-camper-2012-wolf-creek/7257401197.html


that's very nice of the seller to disclose this. I did meet up with him several years ago to give him the scissor steps that I ended up with. I wouldn't hesitate to buy that camper it looks like a pretty good deal. It looks like he has done a bunch of mods. Northwood makes one tough camper!

My second wolf creek has performed great and I have been and many many off road excursions. One of the major complaints that I can't really fathom especially with the Arctic fox is the furnace Northwood puts in their campers. How do you call their campers 4 season with NO heat in the cab over, bathroom and basement? Pretty much every time we camp in the snow the water lines behind the bathroom freeze up and the cabover gets so cold I have a pile of blankets and sleeping bags so high they almost touch the ceiling of the camper!!!


Yikes. Have you tried to do anything about insulating those water lines?

Thanks for the info. Do you have any thoughts on how the tiedown points were reinforced after the accident?

We got a Lance 1055 a few months ago, really like the camper but at 3500 lb empty it's just too heavy for our SRW F350. So I'm looking for something lighter that can still sleep 3 adults and ran across this 850 that seems to fit the bill.

joeshmoe
Explorer
Explorer
He's just down the road from me. Maybe I should buy it. LoL
2014 Northwood Wolf Creek 850
2005 Ford F350 SRW SuperCab/LongBed 6.0 Powerstroke
QuickTrick's Towing Tune
Torklift Tie Downs/Fastguns/Upper/Lower Stableloads
Rancho 9000's

anutami
Explorer III
Explorer III
lniles wrote:
Just came across this thread/saga -- the camper is for sale again, and the seller included the pointer in the ad.
https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/rvs/d/costa-mesa-truck-camper-2012-wolf-creek/7257401197.html


that's very nice of the seller to disclose this. I did meet up with him several years ago to give him the scissor steps that I ended up with. I wouldn't hesitate to buy that camper it looks like a pretty good deal. It looks like he has done a bunch of mods. Northwood makes one tough camper!

My second wolf creek has performed great and I have been and many many off road excursions. One of the major complaints that I can't really fathom especially with the Arctic fox is the furnace Northwood puts in their campers. How do you call their campers 4 season with NO heat in the cab over, bathroom and basement? Pretty much every time we camp in the snow the water lines behind the bathroom freeze up and the cabover gets so cold I have a pile of blankets and sleeping bags so high they almost touch the ceiling of the camper!!!
2001 Ford F350 LB Diesel 4x4 CrewCab Stick
2015 Wolf Creek 850 Thermal Pane Windows, Oven, Reinforced Anchor Bolts, 200w Solar, Torklift Tie Downs, Fastguns, Stableloads

lniles
Explorer
Explorer
Just came across this thread/saga -- the camper is for sale again, and the seller included the pointer in the ad.
https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/rvs/d/costa-mesa-truck-camper-2012-wolf-creek/7257401197.html

jaycocreek
Explorer II
Explorer II
I've never liked the tie down hooks provided on almost all campers.


I have to agree with this big time!..While I use the tie down hooks for local getting around,I always carry a bunch of HD ratchet straps for when I encounter steep or nasty terrain...When it gets rough,the straps come out and I use them..Some places I go are so steep getting down to it then back out..So looking a little redneck has kept my camper in place..

Sorry to see this happen..
Lance 9.6
400 watts solar mounted/200 watts portable
500ah Lifep04

anutami
Explorer III
Explorer III
Bump, don’t want to see this disappear into the abyss
2001 Ford F350 LB Diesel 4x4 CrewCab Stick
2015 Wolf Creek 850 Thermal Pane Windows, Oven, Reinforced Anchor Bolts, 200w Solar, Torklift Tie Downs, Fastguns, Stableloads

burningman
Explorer II
Explorer II
I've always tied to the front jack brackets instead.
I've never liked the tie down hooks provided on almost all campers.

I'm using a Stable-Lift now and I modified it with 1x3 steel rectangular tube running the length of the camper which is attached to the original corner jack brackets. Either the camper AIN'T coming off, or it will have to tear it's whole self in half.
2017 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CD SE
99 Ram 4x4 Dually Cummins
A whole lot more fuel, a whole lot more boost.
4.10 gears, Gear Vendors overdrive, exhaust brake
Built auto, triple disc, billet shafts.
Kelderman Air Ride, Helwig sway bar.

anutami
Explorer III
Explorer III
Wanted to give an update that this story has a happy ending, or should I say happy camper. The individual that purchased the wolf creek from the guy who bought it at auction and fixed it up contacted me. He found out after a mod I submitted to TCM last year, did a search and found this thread. He had a few questions about the mods I did, and let me know he reinforced the anchor bolts :). He is very happy with the camper and has spent over 40 nights in it. We actually met up and I gave him the Torklift Glow Steps I had for the camper and a storage box.
2001 Ford F350 LB Diesel 4x4 CrewCab Stick
2015 Wolf Creek 850 Thermal Pane Windows, Oven, Reinforced Anchor Bolts, 200w Solar, Torklift Tie Downs, Fastguns, Stableloads

Deb_and_Ed_M
Explorer
Explorer
I'm glad this was bumped back to the current stuff - maybe it's a "sign", because yesterday I was poking around in the LP gas compartment-now storage on my Bronco, and I was specifically looking at the front tie-down point and thinking "this looks sort of puny". In MY case, the bracket is bolted through chipboard - that doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling... I guess I'll beef it up!

Regarding the TC blowing off the truck (OP) - a friend of mine saw the same thing happen to a TC while crossing the Mackinaw Bridge on a windy day - only it sounds like THAT camper broke up when it hit the ground. 😞
Ed, Deb, and 2 dogs
Looking for a small Class C!

anutami
Explorer III
Explorer III
grizzly8 wrote:
SAME THING IS HAPPENING ON MY 2012 WOLFCREEK 850 LB I HAVE CALLED NORTHWOOD ABOUT FIXING IT AND THEY SAID ITS UP TO MY DEALER.WELL MY DEALER DIDNT BUILD THE CAMPER,GOT THE RUN AROUND FOR THE 7TH TIME .NORTHWOOD IS JUNK TELL EVERY 1 TO BEWARE.MINE IS NOT SAFE TO HAUL.AND NOT PAID FOR YET UNREAL DONT KNOW WHAT TODO.


Grizz,

Thanks for bringing this back up, I had almost moved on!

I sent you a PM back in February. We need more specific information pictures etc. If you want us to help you out. I think you said you actually use Torklift Tie downs and they were tearing out, but it is hard to get an idea. I think you are going to be on your own regardless as you camper is out of warranty and northwood would blame your tie downs as the cause anyway. Some people on here will even blame you for them being too tight. Anyway, your best course of action is to fix it yourself, or get it insured and let the wind blow it off you truck and get an insurance settlement.
2001 Ford F350 LB Diesel 4x4 CrewCab Stick
2015 Wolf Creek 850 Thermal Pane Windows, Oven, Reinforced Anchor Bolts, 200w Solar, Torklift Tie Downs, Fastguns, Stableloads