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How to care for tie downs and turnbuckles

TDTBTruck campers are the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors without having to bother with tent camping or sacrifice on comfort. At its most basic level, a truck camping rig consists of a truck that has a truck camper, also known as a slide-in camper, and the accessories to hold the camper down in the bed. These accessories include truck camper tie downs and turnbuckles. 

Below is a guide on the best way to care for your truck camper accessories to make sure they have a full, long life with plenty of camping adventures ahead of them.

TDTB 1Tie Downs
The best way to secure your truck camper to your truck are frame-mounted tie downs. Not to be confused with bed-mounted tie downs, as they attach to the bed or bumper of your truck and could potentially cause damage by pulling and yanking the truck bed sheet metal. Torklift’s frame-mounted tie downs are designed to incorporate four tie down points that bolt directly to the truck’s frame which is the strongest part of your truck. 

 When it comes to maintenance for steel tie downs, there’s a couple of easy guidelines to follow:
1.) Regularly clean and inspect your tie downs – this is incredibly important! Due to the harsh and sometimes extreme under-vehicle environment that your tie downs live in, the best thing to do is regularly clean your tie downs after each trip to prevent potential for rust. 

2.) Touch up any affected areas – if you are starting to see that some areas have been affected by the road debris and grime, you can touch up the spots with enamel or urethane based aerosol paint products. A good example of this is Rust-Oleum. 

TDTB 2If you have the aluminum and stainless steel Talon truck camper tie downs, you won’t have to worry about rust! They offer rust free corrosion protection for life. Maintenance of your tie downs to ensure maximum use is important to make sure they work properly. Even just wiping down and cleaning them at the end of each camping trip once you return home will help them maintain a long life. 

TDTB 3Also available as an accessory for the steel truck camper tie downs and come automatically with each Talon tie down kit is the Torklift Finishing Kit. Designed to protect your tie downs when you’re not using them to haul your truck camper, simply remove the tie down insert, replace it with our special protective foam inside the frame mounted portion of the tie down and cap it with our finishing kit. This will help prevent any water or debris from entering your tie downs when not in use and keep them in great condition! 

TDTB 4Also known as the ‘hold down’ portion for your truck camper, turnbuckles are used with tie downs to make sure your truck camper stays attached to your truck while you’re hauling it down the road. The best example of a truck camper turnbuckle is the number one selling FastGun. These stainless steel truck camper turnbuckles come in sets of two and are spring-loaded with spring tension indicators. What does that mean? It means that you can quickly determine the correct tension needed to hold down your truck camper. Manufacturer recommended tension is 300 pounds to be applied for securing the truck camper properly. 

Torklift uses quality grade 304 stainless steel that is well known for its anti-corrosive properties. However, there are some coastal regions where stainless steel can come in contact with road chemicals and other harsh debris that could potentially affect the finish. The best way to avoid this possibility is a quick and easy solution: simply use WD-40 and a microfiber cloth to wipe down the turnbuckles. To give your polished FastGun turnbuckles an attractive finish, we suggest using an approved stainless steel chrome or aluminum wheel polish. 

For questions about the upkeep and maintenance of your tie downs and turnbuckles, or for more information on any of the products mentioned, contacts us at 800-246-8132 or shop now at one of our Torklift Certified Dealers.


kerstinWritten by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing, and has loved every minute of working for Torklift for over 2 years. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes for baking and daydreaming about future travels. 

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Don’t hold your truck camper to your truck with glue

Glue Blog 11Sher Jennings-South Dakota born and raised and familiar with the extreme weather patterns is ready for it all. She also understands when it’s unsafe and time to shut it down. Working with her grandfather who was a home mover and very adamant about using the safest equipment really set her safety standards in place, especially while hauling. She carried these standards into purchasing her first camper. Friends badgered her with other alternate brand tie downs but after she did her research, she decided to go with Torklift turnbuckles and tie downs.

Don't let this happen to you!

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Tie downs vs. wind

Glue Blog 3A couple years ago while on a trip with a friend who previously badgered her about trying an alternate brand of tie downs, heavy winds hit hard. That afternoon on the way back from the Pendleton Roundup the friend of Shers’ was hauling her caravan to the Gorge with their brand new $45,000 truck. When they had finally arrived both the driver and the passenger were a wreck in fear of the support and safety of the caravan. She then asked them, “why they had just bought a new truck and spent $30,000 on a new camper but settled for a cheaperalternate brand of tie downs?” Sher then tried to explain how using an alternate brand of tie downs is like trying to secure your camper using Elmer’s glue. It’s important that when investing a large amount of money into a new rig and camper that you have a tie down system that is going to protect and support that investment. Torklift has two types of tie downs that will do just that!

Frame-Mounted Steel Tie Downs
This option secures your truck camper at four independent tie down points directly to the frame. This tie down improves the vehicle’s handling and stability with no loss of ground clearance. A lifetime warranty comes with this tie down.Glue Blog 4

Talon Aluminum Tie Down 
This is a high performance tie down that is lightweight and rust free for life. It also secures the truck camper to the truck frame. Constructed out of light weight military grade aluminum, it’s 50% lighter than most steel tie down applications. Featuring high impact powder coating with a no-drill application, this product is also covered by a lifetime warranty.

What connects the camper to the tie down?

Glue Blog 5Torklift has designed a FastGun turnbuckle that is the number one selling quick-disconnect turnbuckle in the RV industry. This stainless steel turnbuckle comes in a set of two and are spring-loaded with spring tension indicators. They are compatible with both frame-mounted and bed-mounted tie downs with a Legendary lifetime warranty.


Our tie downs, when installed properly, provide 100% support for your truck and camper. Torklift has also designed a product to secure your investment that much more! With FastGun Locks you are able to secure your turnbuckles to your tie down. The locks come with keys for convenience and weather caps to prevent damage and road grime. For more information on any of these products you can contact us at 800.246.8132 or email: 

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shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. When I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family - from the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, blue grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content. 


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Mini me... by Torklift Jen


Looking back to my humble beginnings of truck camping there were many learning opportunities and tips that I should have picked-up on in regard to all this truck camping stuff.

I am reminded that all I really needed to know about truck camping, I learned in kindergarten.

Like coloring, stay between the lines on the highway and go a little crazy when you’re off road.

Don’t run with scissors, but it’s okay to run up a sturdy set of scissor steps. IMG_1035

If you got bad suspension you were in some heavy-duty trouble and you were going to be in a world of hurt when you got home from school.  Now with good suspension you can carry a heavy load home and not feel a thing.

Kissing a toad will not result in a prince charming and will result in me looking very silly kissing my little tow behind car.

I learned that if you tie your toy truck bumper to a string attached to your bike and take off down the driveway, the bumper will get pulled off the truck and the part will end up in your baby brother’s mouth and then you’re in a heap of trouble from mom.  The worst!  Frame-mounted tie downs are always best.

IMG_0119Pick up your toys and someday your toys will be pickups.

Training wheels are not for babies.  They were just good practice for driving my dually Ford F350.

Time-out is a good thing if you’re prepared with your best toys and can sit and enjoy the quiet.

I think I’ve got all these new concepts down now and can put them to good use as I grow into “Torklift Jen”.

True Frame-Mounted Tie Downs- Stay snug to your foundation.

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