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Torklift Heavy Duty Camper Tie Downs and Super Hitch Class V Hitch
By Lance Clifford

 

When I purchased my new Cummins powered 2003 Dodge Ram 2500, I knew it had to be up to the task of hauling my monster 11.3' Lance Camper. I knew the truck was up to the task, but I wasn't sure what type of camper tie down kit was up to the task. As nice as my new truck is, I don't have much confidence in the thin sheet metal of new trucks, so I felt that a frame mounted kit was mandatory. My 4,000lb (loaded) camper would be much more stable mounted to the frame anyhow. Dodge says that drilling holes in the hydro formed frame will void your warranty, so a no-drill solution is required when going with a frame mounted system.

After some research on the Internet, I decided on Torklift's bolt on frame mounted system. I gave them a call, and Robin was happy to answer all of my questions, and ship out my parts the same day.

20031201002.jpg My 2003 Dodge Ram is far too pretty to drill holes into the bed or frame! Not only is it a pain in the butt to drill holes, but Dodge will void your warranty if you drill holes in the frame.
20031201001.jpg Here is the complete Torklift bolt on camper tie down kit for the front part of the bed. The kit consists of receivers that bolt to the frame of the truck, and inserts that plug into the receivers when you're ready to haul.
20031201004.jpg The first step in this simple installation was to remove the front bed mount nuts.
20031201007.jpg In what I thought was going to be a difficult task, I had to use the supplied bolt fishing tool to fish a bolt and washer through a bolt hole in the frame and back out another hole in the frame.
20031201008.jpg Here I am fishing the bolt through the frame. The red arrow indicates the hole I am fishing through, and the yellow arrow indicates the hole I am attempting to get the bolt through. It took a matter of minutes to get the bolt into place. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
20031201009.jpg Here is the bolt in its final position. I put the nut on to keep the bolt from falling back into the frame while I was preparing the other parts.
20031201010.jpg Bolting the receiver into place. I had to be careful not to accidentally let the bolts slip back into the frame! A telescoping magnet would aid in retrieving a lost bolt in the frame (not that I would do such a thing!)
20031201012.jpg Bolting the upper part of the receiver assembly to the bed mount.
20031201013.jpg All done. The receiver is just barely noticeable. Much cleaner than a bed mounted setup!
20031201015.jpg Here I am mounting the spring loaded camper mounts to the removable insert. There is no need for "Happy Jack" type spring loaded turnbuckles with this setup since the mounts themselves are spring loaded.
20031201016.jpg A shot of the receiver without the insert in it.
20031201017.jpg A shot with the insert installed, and ready to haul a camper.
20031201038.jpg What a sweet setup!
20031201025.jpg The rear mounts bolted directly to the Torklift Class V Super Hitch. 4 bolts and you're done. The rear mounts use the same type of inserts as the front. I did run into some interference with the tailpipe on the rear passenger side. I quick swipe of the SawZall solved that problem.
20031201039.jpg Here she is in all her glory. Considering I am in dire need of air bags, the camper was rock solid on the truck. I absolutely love these camper tie downs, as there is no question your camper is going to stay where it belongs. There is absolutely no comparison to other camper tie downs. Every other camper mounting product I have ever seen is inferior to the Torklift camper tie downs. The only downfall I had with the system was the tailpipe interference. The problem was easily solved by trimming the tailpipe, however. If you want the cheapest solution, the Torklift kit is definitely not for you. If you want the best, most secure kit money can buy, I highly recommend calling Torklift.

Torklift Super Hitch Installation

The stock hitch on my Dodge is a nice integrated class IV hitch. It is more than enough to tow your rig from trail to trail. However if you're going to add a big cabover, or tow very heavy loads, the factory hitch quickly becomes inadequate.

I have owned a cabover for a number of years, and one thing I have always dreaded was towing with my cabover on the truck. The cheesy hitch extension I've used in the past flexed more than a rock buggy's suspension. There had to be a better alternative. While searching for camper mounts for my new truck, I came across Torklift's new Super Hitch. This monster is rated to tow 15,000lbs, and support 1,500lbs. of tongue weight!

The uniqueness of the Super Hitch doesn't stop there. The Super Hitch mounts under the factory hitch, leaving you with two receivers. What do you need two receivers. for, you ask? For towing with a cabover, that's what!

Imagine a single 24" extension in a conventional hitch. Imagine how much flex your going to get out of that single piece of bar stock. Now imagine having two hitches, with two 24" extensions that are welded together. No more flex!

20031201019.jpg The Super Hitch is an absolute MONSTER. I could barely lift this thing alone, so I called up my buddy Kevin to assist in the installation.
20031201021.jpg We set the hitch onto a floor jack and lifted it into place. The hitch fit perfectly, and was ready to bolt in after a little finagling.
20031201024.jpg
Like the camper tie down system, the Super Hitch was supplied with a bolt fishing tool to fish several bolts through the frame. Since we had experience fishing the bolts through the frame with the camper tie downs, this part was a piece of cake.
20031201026.jpg After installing many grade 8 bolts, the hitch was completely installed. Note the camper mounts bolted directly to the hitch.
Here is the Torklift receiver hitch. It is a beautiful unit complete with side loading chains.
20031201035.jpg Torklift makes a beautiful double hitch for my application, however I just couldn't afford it at this point. So I had Bob Roggy at C&R Motorsports fab me up a cheaper double hitch until I could afford to buy the Torklift model. Here Bob is cutting the material to length.
20031201036.jpg It's not half as pretty as the Torklift Model, but it will do the job.
20031201041.jpg Welded up, and ready to use.
   

Contact Info:
Torklift Central Welding of Kent
315 N. Central Avenue
Kent, WA 98032
800-246-8132
253-854-1832
Open M-F 8:30am - 5:00pm Saturdays 8:30am - 1:00pm PST

www.torklift.com

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