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Rut roh, truck bed cracking at tie downs


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#1 daverave

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 09:23 PM

Hi all revered truck experts!

Back a few weeks ago from a nearly two month trip from Sacramento to Montana and back. We made an ill-advised excursion onto the Bonneville Salt Flats (Craig Breedlove!) when it was a bit wet. Realized pretty quickly that it was a bad idea as salt was getting everywhere! Went directly to a car wash and several tokens later got most of it off but even days later there was still hunks of it falling off under the truck.

Anyway, back home I got underneath the F-150 to verify that there were no hidden salt deposits and discovered that at 3 of the 4 tie down locations there was some visible cracking at the tie down bolts/plates. Seems to me to be pretty concerning to say the least? FWIW, I'm pretty diligent about keeping the turnbuckles tightened; i.e., every few days when we are doing significant off pavement, washboard, or big wind highway days.

We've been running this rig (2013 4WD F-150 with a 2016 Hawk) for about 100k miles. What is the forum's opinion on the severity of the cracking illustrated on the attached photos? Is this amount of damage something that needs immediate attention or is it, just like my aging body, something that merely needs to be monitored for now. I would imagine that any reasonable solution would involve a welder and possibly removal of the camper from the truck. $$$$$

Thanks for your thoughts,,,,

Cheers!

Dave (daverave)

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Edited by daverave, 06 November 2023 - 09:26 PM.

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#2 daverave

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 09:25 PM

Two more including the one with no cracking yet. Each location does seem to have at least a little deformation of the truck bed.

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#3 ski3pin

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 09:31 PM

If it was my truck, I would immediately be looking into how to get this repaired and strengthened so it does not reoccur. 


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#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 09:38 PM

If it was my truck, I would immediately be looking into how to get this repaired and strengthened so it does not reoccur. 

Dave, that looks nasty, I agree with Monte’s comment!  I do believe you’re going to need to remove the camper from the truck, and you may need to change to a Tacoma style tie down system.


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#5 daverave

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 09:50 PM

As a further point of reference, we had FWC install a new compressor fridge, rooftop solar panel, and batteries a few days before we left on this trip. They took the camper off the truck at the factory for that install and if there had been a problem I would have hoped that they would have noticed it and would obviously mention it to us?!?


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#6 GflGdog

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 09:51 PM

Let us know what you end up doing. I have a 2019 F150, and have been concerned about the aluminum bed. On a footnote, I have managed to dimple or bend in the side of the frame on mine where the air bags sit against the side of the frame, from bottoming out repeatedly out in the utah desert. Camper is off now, working on repairs as well.


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#7 goinoregon

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 10:15 PM

dave - maybe the cracks are not visible from within the bed?   i would think they would have spoken up, if they saw the cracks.


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#8 Stan@FourWheel

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 11:48 PM

Maybe add a set of these for the front camper tie downs ?

 

 

https://dasmule.com/...unting-brackets


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#9 m5040

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Posted 07 November 2023 - 12:15 AM

Maybe add a set of these for the front camper tie downs ?

 

 

https://dasmule.com/...unting-brackets

You can't effectively secure loads to sheet metal, and when you continue to tighten the binders, you just bend the metal more.  You need to attach to the frame like on Stan's recommendation.


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#10 CreekRob

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Posted 07 November 2023 - 12:35 AM

I'd call FWC re possible solutions like the Das Mule brackets, but if the bed is aluminum I think you need alternate tie down points ASAP.


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