A seal of approval: the FastGun truck camper turnbuckle “O-Ring”

Loading a truck camper for the first time may be tricky

You’ve outfitted your truck with Torklift TRUE Frame-Mounted Tie Downs and purchased FastGun truck camper turnbuckles. The anticipation of loading your truck camper onto the truck for its maiden voyage is getting you pumped up with excitement. You’ve even prepped your truck’s suspension with Torklift International StableLoads to help your vehicle stabilize the weight of the camper and eliminate any potential of handling issues.

If you’re a truck camper newbie your first experience might be similar to the following:


Back it up, Like a Mack truck
Once you’ve engaged the StableLoad suspension stabilizer into the gap of your truck’s leaf springs with the quick turn of a 3/8-inch ratchet, carefully remove and store the tailgate of your truck. Raise the camper jacks to the proper height above the truck bed to make way for loading. It’s important to load the camper so it’s positioned straight in the center of the truck bed. Line up the truck and watch for clearance on the wheel wells. It might be easier if you have a spotter to help you navigate while in reverse. If this is your first attempt at loading a camper, you’re probably on the verge of beast mode. We suggest going very slow and having patience. Make sure any power cords are clear of the camper so they don’t get cinched underneath it. Lower the jacks and camper into the truck bed and Touch Dowwwwn! Just like Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch.

Connect Four

connect-fourPopular board game
by Milton Bradley
Once the camper is loaded on the truck, you’re ready to Connect Four. We aren’t playing games with you. It’s so easy even Milton Bradley could do it! Connect the truck camper to the vehicle using all four camper anchor points. The important connection from the truck camper to Torklift’s frame-mounted tie down system will achieve the most stable and secure truck camper set up available. Even though there are several styles of truck camper turnbuckles to choose from, the Torklift International FastGun turnbuckle is the fastest and most convenient turnbuckle.


How to install and adjust turnbuckles? Watch this video:

You may have noticed the “spring tension indicator” or O-ring on some of the camper turnbuckles. It’s popularly recognized on the number one selling truck camper turnbuckle worldwide, the Torklift International Original FastGun with quick-disconnect capability. Click here to see how to achieve the correct amount of tension needed and how the FastGun is literally the easiest “set and forget” turnbuckle installation. The FastGun turnbuckle allows you to connect four in less than four minutes…Voilà! The stars align. 

Great things come in small form
Let’s take a closer look at the little black rubber band on the FastGun turnbuckle’s threaded rod. At this point you may be thinking, “Hold the phone – what is this dealy-bob?”

b2ap3 thumbnail fg-indicatorO-ring on Torklift turnbuckleThis O-ring is what we like to call a “spring tension indicator” because that is exactly its function. It indicates the amount of tension in the spring within the turnbuckle, allowing you to gauge how many pounds of tension is securing your camper. Don’t underestimate the convenience of this feature as great things really do come in small form.

Truck camper manufacturers recommend 300 pounds of pressure be applied on all four points to properly hold a truck camper to a truck. The spring-loaded function is crucial because it allows some give while driving on rough and bumpy roads. The spring mechanism protects both your truck, tie down system and camper anchor points from any possibility of damage.

Seal of Approval
Since this O-ring is much like a seal for bolt configurations, many people overlook its true purpose. Since the coil spring is located inside the stainless steel body of the turnbuckle and not directly visible, we depend on the use the O-ring feature to tell us what’s going on in there.


tension-before-afterWith a FastGun turnbuckle, here’s how it works in 4 simple steps:

  1. Adjust turnbuckles into place
  2. Align the O-ring to the bottom of the turnbuckle body
  3. Snap down the quick-disconnect handle of the FastGun turnbuckle
  4. If the O-ring lowers by a quarter inch, you’ve achieved the correct amount of turnbuckle tension

If the O-ring or spring tension indicator is in the right position on your truck camper turnbuckle, consider it the “seal of approval” that you’ve successfully set up your truck and camper. Go forth and enjoy the adventures of the truck camping lifestyle.

Turnbuckle O-rings                                                        You’re good to go!

Click here to learn more about Torklift International Original FastGun turnbuckle.


sherylWritten by Sheryl Bushaw:
As a graduate from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Journalism and emphasis in Public Relations, Sheryl is a passionate writing professional with focus in areas of copy writing, social media and creative design. She is a travel enthusiast and explorer-extraordinaire with a zest for life.

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8 easy steps to determine correct tension on truck camper turnbuckles

After you’ve selected turnbuckles for your truck camper, it’s crucial that the turnbuckles are installed and adjusted properly. A very important aspect of installing turnbuckles on a camper is applying the correct amount of tension. Proper tension on a turnbuckle is designed to correctly connect the truck camper tie downs to the camper anchor points.


FastGun truck camper turnbuckle

How do you know how to find the proper tension on a truck camper turnbuckle?

Camper manufacturers suggest that 300 pounds of tension be applied to secure the camper properly. The easiest way to achieve this is with a turnbuckle that uses our patented spring tension indicator such as FastGun turnbuckles, SpringLoad XL turnbuckles and AnchorGuard Derringer turnbuckles.

FastGun turnbuckle

If there is not enough tension you could potentially lose your camper or the camper could shift within the truck bed. If there is too much tension you may damage the anchor points on your camper. Torklift turnbuckles are spring-loaded to avoid any potential damage to tie downs or camper anchor points.

Example of damage to a camper anchor point

Avoid damage to your camper and truck by using spring-loaded turnbuckles with the proper amount of tension applied. Torklift’s patented spring tension indicator is a round O-ring used as a gauge to set your spring tension.

Spring tension indicator on FastGun turnbuckle

As an example, follow these 8 easy steps to determine the correct turnbuckle tension with a Torklift International FastGun turnbuckle:

1)   Hang the FastGun truck camper turnbuckle upper hook from the camper anchor point

2)   Adjust the threaded hook bolt so the bottom of it is approximately 1/2 inch above the tie down insert (The handle on the FastGun turnbuckle should be in closed position)

3)   Open the handle on the FastGun turnbuckle

4)   Hook the bottom hook bolt into the tie down anchor point

5)   Pull the lever handle down until you begin to feel spring tension
      Hint: The hole for the snapper pin should be nearly blocked half way

FastGun Handle

6)   Adjust the round O-ring up against the bottom of the FastGun turnbuckle

7)   Snap down the FastGun handle
How to install and adjust turnbuckles - Torklift International

8)   Snapping the handle down should result in the round O-ring being spaced approximately 1/4 inch below the body of the FastGun turnbuckle

b2ap3_thumbnail_tension-before-after.pngSpring tension indicator on FastGun turnbuckle

The quarter inch space visible between the O-ring and body of the turnbuckle indicates the internal spring within the turnbuckle is activated and compressed.  You have now achieved the proper 300 pounds of tension.

Now that you’ve successfully secured the camper turnbuckles, avoid stolen turnbuckles by securing them with locks. Torklift International FastGuns have locking capability with FastGun Locks. With keyed-alike snap lock design, they come in a set of four and have weather caps to protect from debris.  

To learn more about how to install truck camper turnbuckles, watch a full demonstration here:

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