It pains me to admit that my camper was mounted on my truck ALL SUMMER and didn’t go camping ONCE. It’s downright disgraceful, but that’s what happens when the truck dies & won’t start again. With the bathroom project keeping me busy, I didn’t really dig into the problems until August. By this time I was needing the truck to haul off all the debris I was creating!
I started by assessing the situation, and removing the existing jacks. In both cases, the upper bracket broke, whereas the lower bracket tore some wood frame as it tore out. The corners were 2×2, with only a portion tore out for a 4” strip. “Hmm,” I thought, “sure would hate to tear into and replace the frame if I don’t have to…”
The brackets I had bought before were a set of 4, and I had 1 left. It was destined for a front jack to match the other side. The price had gone up, and I just couldn’t justify buying another set for $140. Discussing options with my brother, I settled on using 3/16” angle iron & flat stock. A local machine shop furnished the materials affordably, and cut/drilled them to specification for $80. This provided me a 24” length of steel to grab the corner above AND below the tear-out.
I spray-painted them white (like my antenna mast) and used new lag bolts to secure them. In some places, I had to cut trim, adjust the skin, and provide filler/sealant.
I attached lengths of flat steel going forward for reinforcement. These were able to attach to three supports. By the time I was done, I could start lifting the truck with just one corner. Very stout.
With a means to unload the camper, I was now looking for a parking spot. Last year, I just dropped it in my back yard. While the ‘weed incubator’ area was still available, I also needed to address the greater parking situation, as Birdy would be moving in soon.
My new neighbor was building a house, and I had asked the contractor to include 5 extra yards of gravel sometime. It had been 5 months, so I emailed them and said to cancel the order. Another outfit had it dumped in 72 hours at under half the cost. Monday morning it was delivered, & Tuesday night I spread (by hand) 4 of the 5 yards. In retrospect, that’s too much for a night after work!
I had calculated 5 yards to cover my new parking area, but that was the compacted volume I needed. It was delivered un-compacted, and I saw my error. I just narrowed my area by 4 ft and it worked out fine, with the last yard being spread another evening after work. I had gotten another water barrel with the idea of rolling for compaction, but I found my car tires too easy to pass up.
The camper has a nice place to sit for the winter, and now all my vehicles can park off-street, with room for the occasional guest too!