Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Installing A Truck Cap Or Camper Shell On Your Pickup Truck
A Camper shell is not only for recreational purposes, they are also very functional when you are transporting important cargos or materials. It keeps them dry and safe from the unpredictable weather changes. It is also fuel-efficient. Recent research says that with the "wind drag" that the truck bed and tailgate creates, more fuel is consumed than when driving the same distance with a truck that has a Camper shell. More distance can be covered and less fuel needed.
Many selections of these are available for your truck, from the price range, quality, and materials used. The thermoplastic material used for that is very popular because it is exceptionally light and sturdy while others prefer aluminum or steel camper shells. This would depend on your budget and the kind of expedition you often do.
Once you have decided on the kind of camper shell you want, the only hindrance you have from that fuel-saving trip is its installation. Proper instruction should be done, especially when you are doing it by yourself. If you are not too confident in your handyman skills, then go ahead and hire someone to do the job for you. The least you want is your new camper shell ruined.
Take proper measurements
Ensuring that the camper shell measurement is exactly the same with your truck bed is a must. Have a buddy lend you a hand for this requires much lifting. Lower down the tailgate for extra space and place the shell on the truck bed. Check twice if the shell aligns with the bed. No overlapping should occur. Have your buddy check it for you too in case you're not sure.
Clamp the top part of the truck bed with the shell's flat edge. There will be a C-clamp holder or a lip that you can use to fasten the clamp into. If you want the camper shell to be a removable feature of your truck, clamping it is enough. A durable and more permanent option is to screw it in your truck for secure attachment.
For those who prefer clamping the shells, necessary c-clamps are added to several corners and sides for a stronger hold. Half a dozen clamps are added-four on the corners and two on the sides. Additional clamping will prevent the shell from slipping off.
Tighten the clamps
Tighten them down using pliers. Ensure that they are tightly clamped to your truck beds. And now, for a strength test; make a strong push on the camper shell. If it does not move when you push it means that the camper shell is clamped very securely. You can raise the tailgate and start driving!
Again, the length and width of both the truck's cab and the camper shell should match. Overlapping is not an option-- it will slip off in the long run and stability issues will occur. Taking exact measurements should be made before purchasing a camper shell and do not rely on sheer estimates alone because every truck has different proportion and size regardless of the vehicle model. And whether it's used or brand new, check the type of vehicle it was made for. Following these instructions correctly will ensure a safety ride.
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