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Rear turnbuckle mount failure on Hallmark Guanella

Hallmark turnbuckles camper mounting off-road 4WD Tie downs damage repair

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#21 coulter6

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 08:18 PM

I used the lower StableLoads on my F250 with Northstar T650.  No air bags. I thought they worked very well handling the load.  I installed them myself and not hard to do.  I liked that I could disable the StableLoads when the camper was off the truck giving back the stock ride.

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Also used the total frame mounted TorkLift system all around with FastGuns.  Held the camper extremely well.  Since I spent the money for the camper, I figured spending a little more extra for a solid mounting solution was worth it.

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Edited by coulter6, 09 December 2016 - 08:27 PM.

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#22 ntsqd

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 09:06 PM

If you already have air springs then I don't see any reason to go with the over-load spring spacers. I'd do one or the other, but not both. If you're trying to control side to side sway then add a sway-bar or increase the spring rate of the existing sway-bar.


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#23 smlobx

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 09:50 PM

I thought I had pretty much decided to add the Air Lift 5000 to my new truck in an effort to keep the truck level after I install the Carli leveling springs up front but some comments here have me wondering...
One of the reasons I was leaning that way is because, like many here, my camper is not on full time and I didn't want to have a harsh ride when empty. Also since I could keep the rig as high as when empty I thought it would help when offroad. A crew cab F-350 with an 8 ft. Bed is a big truck and a couple of inches would certainly help.

Is the ride with the air bags harsher when loaded?
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#24 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:40 PM

No, but they are definitely harsher when unloaded and you forget to air the bags down... I keep about 7 psi in them when empty.
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#25 Bad Habit

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:47 PM

The Airlift 5000 system has the built in bump stops so you can run them with no pressure, that is if you remember to air them down.

 

It looks like the Northstar uses a similar connection point on their campers


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#26 DoGMAtix

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 03:36 PM

I happened to be talking to my diesel mechanic (who I know pretty well, having bought a diesel truck with194,000 mi on it) and asked about his take on StableLoads. He had a similar view to Bad Habit's, that the StableLoads are not likely to decrease forces to the camper. He said that particularly when carrying a heavy load you don't want to engage the springs any more than necessary at any given weight, so they can flex in the pattern they're designed to flex in. The overload is still there for overload.

Coulter6, I'm wondering did you take the StableLoads over rough roads? Did the camper seem to get less tossed about/ fewer jarring impacts with them engaged?

He also agreed that running minimal pressure in the air bags would make sense. With squishy air bags and 1,500+lb in the bed, the rear end may sag a bit, but we'll be nicely compressed into the most active range of the springs, with overload dampening available if needed.

It'll be easy to air the bags back up upon return to smooth highway (to level the truck and keep it tight around corners), as we'll be running the compressor anyway to air the tires back up.

Bad Habit, I'll ask you about shocks sometime down the road when we decide we need to have more adjustability to dial in ideal ride under various driving conditions and with/without camper (by then you'll probably have learned a few things through real life experiments). Please post your results in a new thread if/when you head off down that road.


Edited by DoGMAtix, 10 December 2016 - 10:12 PM.

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#27 JaSAn

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 05:15 PM

. . .

 

Although the plywood bordering the holes is probably compromised, if we make the upper plates quite large we should be OK. 1/8” aluminum should suffice on top, 1/16” probably adequate on bottom.

 

. . . 

 

For now I’m just going to focus on putting in plates with as much structural strength as possible so whatever we do with the turnbuckles will be less likely to result in mounting point damage.

 

. . .

 

Coming from the 'when in doubt, build it stout' school of engineering I am curious as to why you are going with aluminum instead of steel?  Steel should give you better bending, shear and tear strength.

 

jim


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#28 DoGMAtix

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 09:30 PM

That's a good question (aluminum vs steel plates) - I'm under the impression that aluminum should be strong enough for the plates, especially with angles to keep them rigid under stress. Bill from Hallmark was in favor of aluminum and I think he's right that they'd be fine, and would have the advantage of being lighter weight as well as less likely to rust or mark up the cushions. I'm a little concerned that very heavy steel plates could stress the plywood more over time. However, we may yet go with stainless or powder-coated steel.

I'm meeting with the fabricator again Tuesday morning and we'll hopefully move ahead with an initial "final plan" then.


Edited by DoGMAtix, 10 December 2016 - 10:08 PM.

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#29 coulter6

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:04 PM

 

Coulter6, I'm wondering did you take the StableLoads over rough roads? Did the camper seem to get less tossed about/ fewer jarring impacts with them engaged?

 

Yes, I did use them on rough roads.  I believe the truck handle better and made it ride smoother.  It also didn't bottom out as much.  It certainly handled better, especially on wash board roads.  They also eliminated the slight body sag with the camper installed.


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#30 nobueno

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 09:01 PM

We have upper stable loads and airbags. Had the airbags first and weren't thrilled with them, then we had a few leaks and decided to have the stableloads as a fail-safe. They make for a much softer ride than airbags with 30+ psi. Instead of a harsh jarring with the air the springs feel like they have some give, as they should. I would think that'd make for less stress on the camper, no?
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Hallmark, turnbuckles, camper mounting, off-road, 4WD, Tie downs, damage, repair

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