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Another Turnbuckle Fiasco Averted ....FWC facebook page

Turnbuckles open ended aluminum

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#21 Wallowa


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Posted 25 January 2019 - 04:52 PM

While I appreciate the discussion I believe with a modicum of common sense these issues of turnbuckle failures can be non-issues.


First the number of turnbuckle "failures" is unknown and for all the thousands of FWCs bumping down dirt roads damn few have been reported on this forum...in short I feel the "sky is not falling"...the internet most often inflates beyond reality.


Violent flexing of the load such as the incident mentioned above that split the siding and twisted the frame of the FWC nothwithstanding; tighten correctly following FWC guidelines and add the jam nuts to prevent loosening...not rocket science....check regularly and stop worrying...


Speculation is valuable to a point but empirical numbers are what tell the tale....with due diligence the FWCs will not come loose.


But hey, I could be wrong!   :D



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#22 longhorn1


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 01:10 PM

Can some one person post a picture showing the jam nut. I assume it is placed below the main body.
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#23 Josh41


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 01:30 PM

I use Locktite 222 (purple). It is for small fasteners and is relatively easy to still turn.

Edited by Josh41, 26 January 2019 - 01:43 PM.

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#24 kmcintyre


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 01:35 PM

I use those turnbuckles (like others) with closed ends that screw into the end.  Never can have this problem.

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#25 JHanson


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 02:30 PM

Is this galvanized forged steel 5/6" turnbuckle that we are looking for? 



J, was wondering, as I read your incident report, I went to the link for the turnbuckle and it listed it as having a clevis pin on one end and a closed loop at the other. How do you attach this to the eye bolts?

I used a rated steel threaded link, which in our camper made it easier to attach one end of the turnbuckle while working in the confines of the front two attachment points.

Edited by JHanson, 26 January 2019 - 02:31 PM.

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#26 buckland


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 02:42 PM

Thanks J. I have to use same on mine (3" lift due to side rail height). Stronger turnbuckles are a small investment for "peace of mind" ... when traveling one juggles a bunch of things to keep track of and one less thing to be distracted by is a good thing. Like having a tire patch kit and a compressor, extraction mats...etc. 

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#27 Josh41


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 03:27 PM

...and, while taking my camper off today I just found my second broken eyebolt.  Uhg, getting frustrated with this thing.  All I can think is that the angle of pull is too great.  I have read that eyebolts are meant to only be pulled vertical or inline with the threaded post, mine are at quite and angle.  I just watched a FWC video that says you must have an angle in two directions, in the case of the front eyebolts, they say it should pull back to the camper and from the side.  

Maybe this system has a flaw in it???

Back to the drawing board for me.

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#28 DavidGraves


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 03:39 PM

Hi Longhorn


Look at the image of my turnbuckles January 21 in this thread....see the lock not ?


David Graves

Edited by DavidGraves, 26 January 2019 - 03:41 PM.

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#29 iowahiker


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 04:28 PM

Turnbuckle and tie-down failures are an ongoing issue for a limited number of campers since before we purchased our camper in 2012 with multiple forum threads and almost as many solutions as camper owners.  Turnbuckle failures resulting in the over-the-cab impacting the cab were reported back then which is as unique as the recent camper falling to the ground.  


The aluminum turnbuckles were rated for 300-350 pounds each and a set of four exceed the DOT regulations for the various FWC camper weights the last time I checked.  


Turnbuckle loosening can be caused by either camper movement (typically rotational) or vibration unscrewing the turnbuckle.  Careful measurements should be made to detect camper movement which bed-to-camper blocking or increased camper-to-bed friction (by a bed mat) can control.


Turnbuckle and tie-down failure is less common and can have very unique causes.  Driving into a dip at high speed can load and unload the truck springs creating enough vertical force to cause turnbuckle failure (i.e. a ballistic camper) and was reported years ago.  


The camper wood box is very rigid and some truck makes advertise having a "flex" frame.  Driving over rough terrain can flex the frame enough where the load on the turnbuckles is not the weight of the camper but instead the weight of the truck because the camper box is so rigid.  


Obviously, driving so the truck suspension can absorb the terrain will greatly reduce turnbuckle and tie-down failures or switching to spring based tie-downs.  


Tie-down problems are the dirty "secret" for all makes and models of truck campers.  Reading several forums revels problems with every truck camper tie-down system. 


I block my camper at the wheel wells tightly, go to fiendish extremes to create firm camper contact with the front of the truck bed, and have four safety chains (each rated to 800 pounds, 3/16" chain) plus the original hook-hook turnbuckles.  The blocking reduces the lateral load on my turnbuckles while an event related aluminum turnbuckle failure will absorb energy and the chains will keep the camper on the truck.  I also carry spare turnbuckles.

Edited by iowahiker, 26 January 2019 - 04:35 PM.

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#30 BillTheHiker


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Posted 26 January 2019 - 04:50 PM

Since FWC puts great emphasis on the importance of keeping turnbuckles tight and frequent checking, I am surprised they do not include lock nuts in the installation.
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