Good things come in small packages...by Torklift Jen

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By: Torklift Jen

 

I came across this recent post on the RV.Net community forum.

 

Timothy W. Holman "Exlporer", writes:        "Anyone else use the Torklift tie down finishing kit…or should I say forget to!!!! :)

 

It works great when you remember to put it on...I got caught with mine off…..now that we are finally thawing, the tie downs will be cleaned and the caps installed again. Never know what the rest of the midwest season will hold."

 

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I do a lot of online research on RV and automotive forums for current events, learning opportunities, and of course, on everything Torklift. The above post I thought was very timely for the extreme conditions many of us are facing with snow and ice this winter and to help with the questions I am seeing on corrosion and protecting your tie downs.

 

Torklift International’s Finishing Kit is a vinyl cap kit for tie downs.  It keeps dirt and road debris out of the receiver tube of the tie down when the inserts are not being used.  Installation is effortless, just remove the tie down insert, replace it with the special protective foam and cap it off with the exclusive vinyl caps.

 

With the simplicity of the product, I noticed that a few of life’s truisms that apply to truck camping seem to fit for the Tie Down Finishing Kit.

 

Good things come in small packages…
The Finishing Kit is one of the simplest Torklift products and also comes in one of our smallest packages, but it is an incredibly smart and great investment in protecting your tie downs against the harsh effects of the environments that your truck faces seasonally.

 

Rust happens…
You may ask what to do if my tie downs are rusting.  Just like any factory or aftermarket components that are made of steel and attached to the underside of a vehicle, Torklift’s original True Frame Mounted Tie Downs are made from a thick steel plate and there is a potential for surface rust to develop if they are not cared for properly. This can be due to regional road conditions and treatments, as well as normal factors inherent of any steel underbody part. For this reason, manufacturers do no warranty product finishes. Torklift International’s Legendary Lifetime Warranty covers not only the truck camper tie down but also the camper anchor points when used in conjunction with spring loaded turnbuckles.  As with any product finish, normal care and maintenance should be employed to maximize protection against the negative impact from environmental conditions.

 

Hindsight is 20/20…
This is why the Finishing Kit is better not left as an after thought, or the spring thaw.product_header_finishkit

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Stop the show...by Torklift Jen

Stop the music!wscircle
Hold the show!
Step away from the camper…

There’s a new sheriff in town and it’s called the Wobble Stopper.

It has banned that rocking and rolling going on inside your backyard road house, the shimmying in that side yard sideshow and don’t even think of trying to shake town because this galvanized brass is gonna stop your getaway galavanting.  (actually, it’s made of stainless steel and aircraft grade aluminum).

 

Torklift International has developed a camper stabilizer that’s a peace maker for all that wobbling going on inside when the camper is off the truck and balancing on the jacks.

 

Most pickup campers come equipped with electric jacks which makes them easy to unload and lower down close to the ground for easy access. The problem is that the camper sways back and forth on the jacks when you walk around in it or simply try to sleep. Every time you move the whole camper moves. It’s not practical to carry saw horses that don’t break down or large numbers of heavy blocks or additional jacks to stabilize your camper.

 

This instability can cause thousands of dollars in damage to the truck and the camper by wearing on the unit and creating jack mount and camper frame stress.

 

The Wobble Stopper camper jack stabilizers simply attach to the front legs and camper body.  The braces are fully adjustable and fit square or round jack applications.  When ready to use they swing into place and attach to a small plate on the camper body.  They stow out of the way and up against the camper leg when not in use.  Wobble Stoppers have been specially designed for easy installation with a hinged two-piece clamp and bracket design.

 

With the Wobble Stopper added to your truck camper set-up you’ll be sleeping in a sea of tranquility not with the seasickness of the swaying camper movement.

 

Your days are numbered you crazy, footloose kids and your dancing campers.

 

See the Torklift website for product information on the Wobble Stopper camper jack stabilizer: http://www.torklift.com/products/wobblestopper.php


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And the Oscar goes to...by Torklift Jen

The latest news in Torklift International productions includes a trailer.  Not the type you may associate with our expertise in manufacturing parts for towing and hauling, but the Hollywood kind- the “Coming to a theater near you”- kind of trailer.
oscar
The recent launch of the Ultra Deck Plus bumper for Lance Campers created a stir in the blogosphere and a huge response to this new product.

The complete story and video aired exclusively in Truck Camper Magazine. And, the epic video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5m1M-EPio2w


We were thrilled with the response to the new bumper and it also lead to some very creative conversations on the video production introducing the product.  We were offered alternate endings, possible hidden symbolism and great feedback and support of the bumper.

It seemed that viewers were asking for more, so after reading some of the forum discussion posts, I am pleased to offer you an exclusive “director’s cut “ script and answer some of the questions I found on the new design and its features.

Q: What models of truck campers will it be available on?
A:  As of 2/21/14, Lance Campers has made the Ultra Deck Plus exclusive with the 1052 model.  Look for other models to be available in the future.

Q: What is the weight difference of the new optional Ultra Deck Plus and the standard equipment bumper?
A: It is 149 pounds.

Q: Will it require the use of a hitch extension?
A:  The Ultra Deck Plus will extend about 2 feet, so a 48 inch to 60 inch hitch extension will be required when towing specifically with the Lance 1052 model.

Q: How much is the new bumper going to cost?
A: See your dealer for more information, however, The Lance 1052 will be MSRP $34,437 for the base camper and $39,800 for the standard build optioned out camper.  This includes the Ultra Deck Plus bumper and many other special options.

Q: Where does the sewer hose go?
A: So stealth, but it’s there.  There is also a 2”x 2” receiver hitch (300lb. cargo capacity) for accessories built in for easy storage.

Q: What type of fish was that used in the filming?
fishA: Honestly, we weren't sure either so we contacted the local fish and wildlife department and had them view the mystery gold fish. Below is an excerpt from their response:  "After close observation of the body movement, dorsal fins, breach, and splash patterns we are of the opinion that the  "goldfish" in question is highly likely a native game fish related to the bass family commonly called a sun fish. We have attached an image for your viewing."

And, adding the disclaimer,  *No animals, (or fish) were harmed in production of this film.

Look for the upcoming sequel featuring our “Talons” Torklift’s new military grade aluminum tie downs.

 

TalonTrailer
…I am hearing the cue music to cut this speech, I cannot help with a tear in my eye, but to thank all the people who made this possible.  The engineers, Lance Campers, Torklift International, my managers, our families, truck campers, and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere…

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The eagle has landed... by Torklift Jen



This time the eagle has landed at Torklift International and has inspired a brand new tie down system.

Yes, our original True Frame Mounted Tie Downs are the best in the business and that design and exceptional manufacturing will remain the same.  The Talon Camper Tie Down is a specialized alternative for high performance in the toughest climates and terrains.

Talons are yet another new and exciting product from the innovators here.  I love the visual image of the majestic eagle as it swoops down to securely attach to the truck frame and secure the camper with awesome power and incredible strength.  And like all of our products, they are a true symbol of being made in the USA.

These new Tie Downs are built especially for those who take their campers and trucks to the extreme and face inclement weather and harsh environments.  Talons can meet and exceed all of your traveling demands while keeping your family, truck, and camper safe.

If your equipment is encountering salt water and treated roads on your adventures, you will find these elements to speed up the natural corrosion process of metals.  The Talon’s aluminum structure will enhance the lasting durability and ease of maintenance, also making it more lightweight at the same time.  It’s the same stuff we trust when we’re cruising at 35,000 ft. in your favorite airliner.

Talon in the prototype stage, I installed this one myself!

Talon in the prototype stage, I installed this one myself!


Check out these beauties on our website: Talon Camper Tie Downs

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It'll go down in history as tailgate... by Torklift Jen

IMG_1569This has nothing to do with scandal, politics, or conspiracy.  Unless you consider a crosstown rivalry between opposing football teams “politics.”

Tailgating is the ritual of pregame parking lot BBQ’s, good-natured razzing and one-upping your neighbor.

In that spirit, I couldn’t wait to try out the latest in Torklift design innovation and do a trial run with the newest achievement in truck camping functionality.  You may have thought you’d seen it all in truck camping, but now Torklift is designing and manufacturing multi-functional bumpers for the RV industry.

So, this is how it went down.

When I pulled up in the new camper with the Torklift designed bumper feature, the crowd went silent.

The BBQ smoke magically cleared as I circled the lot for a space.  If I am not mistaken, I think I even saw a couple of mouths drop and some bow downs.

I had brought in some real competition to this parking lot.  It was the best new bumper on the block.

Now I not only had the truck camper for the ultimate, all-inclusive, pre-game celebration.  I now had the ultimate patio and entertainment center to go with it.bumper_cutout

The new campers with this bumper will have features like custom steps, huge drawers for storage, lockable bins and racks, and area for BBQs.  It is a true gathering area with all the comforts of home.

So, my football team may have come in a distant second place, I will always be known as the winner with this tailgate set-up.

 

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Breaking Bad... by Torklift Jen

Don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler!DSCN3851

I was surprised to find out that my innocent looking propane tank and auxiliary battery can live out a sordid existence in the wrong hands.

I guess I thought that theft of these items would be due to someone who needed to BBQ more than me or maybe he/she had unfortunately left their headlights on somewhere.

But no, these items are being targeted for use in the manufacture of methamphetamine and other drugs.

They are an easy target on RVs, because of the vacancy and remote storage of some units and convenience of the items exposed.

These thefts and associated tampering can cause hundreds of dollars in damage and costly repairs due to cut wiring and the not so careful removal of your possessions.  You can keep a step ahead of the bad guys and break the chain of these crimes, without anymore broken and cut chains.  Torklift has made specific products for thwarting these kinds of thefts and keeping your possessions safe under lock and key.

The Fortress GasLock is the first of its kind propane tank lock that allows your tanks to be securely locked when mounted to trailers, towables and RVs.

The PowerArmor locking battery box series is a great looking addition to your RV-set-up and can be used to secure other valuable items as well.

HiddenPower is an under-bed battery mount.  Hidden from theft; your extra battery is mounted in a stealth location under the bed and conveniently accessible for extra power when needed.

These and other security minded products are available to keep your investments safe.   See our website for the full line of lockable products.

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Ahoy, welcome aboard... by Torklift Jen

wsinstructions3I don’t mind being told I drive a land yacht, but not because the camper is swaying back and forth when standing on the jacks.

It can feel like you’re out at sea riding the swells when the camper is off the truck.  The only think missing is a game of shuffleboard on the lido deck and the midnight buffet.

The motion has even been known to make people feel a little dizzy or seasick.

Torklift has a solution to this rocking motion called the Wobble Stopper.

More than just for movement, they reduce the stress on the jacks and wear to the camper frame.  If enough damage is done, this will sink your wobbly camper faster than the Titanic.

They are very easy to transport.

The Wobble Stoppers attach to the front camper legs and camper body.  The braces are fully adjustable and fit square or round jack applications.   They are super sturdy and made out of lightweight aircraft grade aluminum.

It’s smooth sailing from now on.

 

The Wobble Stopper in action:  http://www.torklift.com/products/wobblestopper.php

 

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Life before FastGuns... by Torklift Jen

Although it’s impossible for me to imagine, and difficult for those who have come to love the FastGun, that there was life before this revolutionary turnbuckle.

IMG_0107 copyI went to the oldest person I know, my 105-year-old grandmother, and asked her what it was like before the FastGun.  She said, “ We used bows and arrows.”

So, okay, not that far back.

She’s not a truck camper, but she did tell me a camping story that falls somewhere in the timeline between covered wagon and the Winnebago, but I’ll save that for a later date.

I resolved to find out what it was like.  So, I went to the computer and typed in a query.

A generic turnbuckle is really just a simple piece of tension building hardware used in marine applications, sports, shipping and construction.

It is a simple piece of hardware that can make a simple task difficult.

“Big Red,” the Ford F-350, doubles as a work truck and a weekend camper.  I can’t imagine taking the camper off and back on this often without the FastGun turnbuckle.

OutofUseThey are spring loaded for superb functioning, easy adjustment and have spring tension indicators, that take the guess work out of tightening and securing.

They have a quick disconnect feature that makes the leveling process fast.  They allow use of the electric jacks to level when the camper is left on the truck.  This avoids the hassle of leveling blocks under your tires.

100% no tools, 100% lockable, quick-lever handle and a lifetime warranty that means with my genetics for longevity may be a very, very long time.

There is no turning back for the turnbuckle.  http://www.torklift.com/x.php?w_page=original_fastguns

 

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Hindsight is 20/20...by Torklift Jen

IMG_1573 I have a valid fear the unknown when it has to do with backing up the truck and camper.

When I’m out there solo and I don’t have a crew of marshallers guiding me in like a 747, I need to rely on technology.

So, I am trying to build a case for a new investment in a back up camera system for “Big Red” the F-350 and camper set-up.

Who knows what goes on back there?

But, it must be pretty exciting because they made a full feature movie about it called the “Blind Side.”

I’ve done my research and I know that comparable systems and solutions may be less expensive.IMG_1576

But I’m skeptical with names and features like the “Backseat Driver Camera,” “The I Told You So Alert,” or the camera app. that links right to your insurance company.

I’m a careful driver, so I’m sure my footage will not be a “hit”.  Sorry…

I’ll keep gathering my data for the best system and keep you posted.  So, if you’re hearing the “Beep, Beep, Beep” of a truck backing up be cautious, as that truck may be doing research for the movie sequel “The Blind Side2.”

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Dog Days of Summer... by Torklift Jen

66056_105774042821964_1828172_nThis term has been used as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans for the hottest days of the year.

It has an astronomical link to the rising of the star Sirius which is called the “dog star. “ This happens with the time of the year that usually coincides with the warmest days.

It is also used to describe those lazy days that also occur when the weather outside is so hot that we don’t feel like doing anything.

As it happens, I recently shared the dog days of summer with a dog.

I was lucky enough to get to take a good dog friend on a camping trip and that provided some additional meaning to these long hot days.

As a cat owner, I’ll admit that I was in a dog daze.


There were things that I just couldn’t understand, like how they hate when you try to cool them off with a fan or use the blow dryer after a bath.  Yet, they want to stick their head out the window going 60 MPH, no problem.

Or, how the doggie area at the highway rest stop seemed to be the highlight of the trip.  All the smells and activity, the dog was possessed.

We tried to stay hydrated with lots of bottled water, but on hikes he was much more interested in natural streams and ponds.  I am sure that there were little critters in the water that would have made me sick for a week, but I heard no complaints of doggie indigestion.

However, being locked together in tight quarters for the night, especially after rich camping grub, the aroma that evening could have been from anyone.

I was also surprised at how friendly and happy the dog remained, no matter what.  I couldn’t tell if he was panting because of the heat or the excitement, but his tail was wagging constantly.

Do dogs not hold grudges?

When my kitty sees the camping equipment coming out she runs and hides.  She hasn’t forgiven me for the one time we tried to go camping.

Of course it takes a lot of extra planning and mutual understandings to provide a safe and fun trip for all.  We had a blast riding out the last of the dog days of summer together.

http://www.torklift.com/products/safestep.php

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Boondocking- it just sounds scary... by Torklift Jen

In_Use

I imagine boondocking will be a camping experience like this.

I pull into the most picturesque, secluded camping spot I can find.  Through the deep, dark woods right on the edge of the lake.  But, something seems just too perfect about it.  Come to think of it, I hadn’t passed another vehicle for miles.

Oh well, I enjoy my afternoon of exploring and as I return to the camper at dusk, I notice I have a neighbor.

The cutest little couple comes out of their trailer to greet me.

They are just so friendly.  They go on and on chatting about the history of the area and stories of their travels.

“Did you know they have been camping together for well over 50 years? “

They are so nice, so very, very nice.

The couple invites me over for games. They invite me for dinner.  However, I notice a strange glance and giggles between them throughout these offers of hospitality.  They still act like newlyweds, how sweet.

I think, “How did they survive out here in the middle of nowhere, out in the boondocks, for so long? “

Wait a minute, wait A MINUTE!

“They want to have ME for dinner!”

I excuse myself back the camper in hurry.

Suddenly, I feel a sharp tap on my shoulder.

WHAA!!!!!

Oh, it was just them again.

They remind me to turn my lights down as there are no hookups here.

WHHHHHAAAA!!!! AAAAHHHHHH!!!!! The horror, the humanity! No hookups!

Boondocking means camping without hookups.

 

Have no fear- with HiddenPower you can keep the lights on all night. http://www.torklift.com/products/hiddenpower.php


 

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Advice for camping with a cat... by Torklift Jen

419589_10151354407658972_1580098168_n“Don’t!”

Camping is great fun for the whole family.  Including the four-legged ones.

So, it was time to let Ivy, my cat, enjoy the freedom of truck camping and a new second home on wheels.  Why not?

Dogs love to swim, explore all the new smells of the great outdoors, sneaking dropped camping goodies, and the thrill of hunting big game, even if it is just chasing a chipmunk.

“MEEEEOOOWWzza!”

Her eyes became as wide as saucers and she was all claws, my otherwise docile kitty quickly showed me who was boss.  She obviously didn’t appreciate the safety and comfort I was able to provide for her in a camper.IMG_2645

She lived up to the name “Poison Ivy” as in something that you get while camping and never want to be exposed to it again. I left her home to reign over her own little kingdom, maybe it’s not too late to rent a dog for the weekend.

Safe Step:    Step riser guard panels protect pets from falling and “see through” anxiety on scissor steps.   http://www.torklift.com/products/safestep.php

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Top 10 reasons to camp in the rain... by Torklift Jen

IMG_1340Rain is no excuse to postpone a camping trip.

It is inevitable for people living in the Northwest, so here are some hints for looking on the bright side and thinking about all the great things about camping in the rain.

1.  The wet dog smell- A familiar fragrance in the NW, popular on canines and humans.

 2.  The relaxing sound of pitter patter- The soundtrack of the Northwest, they make meditation music of this stuff.

 3.  Slugs- They are kind of cute and can make good fishing bait.

 4.  Keeps the risk of forest fires down- Smokey the Bear love us soggy people.

 5.  At least it is not snow- Cold weather camping can be fun with the right gear, but when it’s summer, that’s a bummer.

 6.  Games and conversation time- Time to concentrate on the people around us.

7.  Um

8.  I’ll get back to you

9.  Still thinking

10.  A truck camper- a new found refuge.

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I could be called an experiment... by Torklift Jen

IMG_1624When I told my team at Torklift International that I had never truck camped, the room went silent.  I could tell that this was a serious offense.  At that moment, I was dubbed an experiment, a newbie … a truck camper.

Since that day, it has become my job to truck camp and document my experiences.

I used to drive a Hyundai.  Now I drive a Ford F-350.  This truck and the Torklift products installed on it will endure the test of ultimate user friendliness, my active recreational use and performance with grace-under-fire.

Let’s hope not literally.

My job is clear.  I am an experiment and the mad scientist is Torklift International.

And to start, a good question for a new guinea pig should always be: “What happened to the old guinea pig?”

I think she probably became an expert!

Join me on my trials as I form a hypothesis on what this truck camping thing is all about.
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