Alaskan Rubber Bumpers/ Bed Mat Question

CGSwimmer

New Member
Joined
May 30, 2024
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9
Location
Kodiak, AK
Hi folks, soon to be new Alaskan 7’ owner here in a few weeks and wanted to get some feedback from those of you who have experience with these campers. First, is a rubber bed mat in the truck bed necessary? My truck has the spray-in bedliner installed.

What about rubber bumpers between the front of the camper and the truck bed? It seems the majority of truck campers come with these bumpers and Alaskan does not. I’ve read reports in the past of the truck bed and/or camper being damaged without those bumpers. Is this not a concern with the Alaskans?

And last, I’ve also read about some issues with the height of the cab over being too close to the trucks roof, resulting in some type of platform needed in the truck bed. Seems like this may just be an issue with Ford’s? I have a Ram 2500 short bed. Any other Ram owners need a platform in the bed to raise the camper to clear the truck cab? Any assistance is greatly appreciated and I look forward to contributing here once I get the camper on the road back up to Alaska!
 
My 2¢… yes a bed mat is a wise choice, plus will keep the liner from getting chewed up. I don’t know if Alaskan uses bumpers, but I don’t want my camper rubbing the bed.

Alaskan should be able to give you the specs that include height to the cab over. Compare that to your cab to bed height. I like to have around 2” (or slightly more) of clearance. If it’s close, some type of a platform is needed.

Are you still in the Coast Guard? I have lots of respect for that great team.
 
My 2¢… yes a bed mat is a wise choice, plus will keep the liner from getting chewed up. I don’t know if Alaskan uses bumpers, but I don’t want my camper rubbing the bed.

Alaskan should be able to give you the specs that include height to the cab over. Compare that to your cab to bed height. I like to have around 2” (or slightly more) of clearance. If it’s close, some type of a platform is needed.

Are you still in the Coast Guard? I have lots of respect for that great team.
Thanks for the input! You’d think bumpers would be something they would install on them, but it’s not something I can find too much information on online. They did respond back that they will put boards in the bed on pickup day but I’m thinking a rubber mat on top their boards wouldn’t hurt.
Yes, still in the CG for another few years, then hopefully putting this camper to some good use across the country! Thanks again
 
Thanks for the input! You’d think bumpers would be something they would install on them, but it’s not something I can find too much information on online. They did respond back that they will put boards in the bed on pickup day but I’m thinking a rubber mat on top their boards wouldn’t hurt.
Yes, still in the CG for another few years, then hopefully putting this camper to some good use across the country! Thanks again
Interesting conversation about a rubber bed mat. I was told (ATC) that a rubber mat was not a good idea if the camper was going to be kept on the truck most or all of the time because it would trap water between the mat and the bed. If removing the camper often, then a mat would have opportunity to dry.

Placing a rubber mat between boards and camper would protect the bottom of the camper, and the boards would provide air space to keep water from getting trapped between the mat and the bed, but couldn't the boards themselves potentially shift along the truck bed and chew up the liner anyway?
 
Interesting conversation about a rubber bed mat. I was told (ATC) that a rubber mat was not a good idea if the camper was going to be kept on the truck most or all of the time because it would trap water between the mat and the bed. If removing the camper often, then a mat would have opportunity to dry.

Placing a rubber mat between boards and camper would protect the bottom of the camper, and the boards would provide air space to keep water from getting trapped between the mat and the bed, but couldn't the boards themselves potentially shift along the truck bed and chew up the liner anyway?
I’ll probably just have a good discussion with them when I pick it up. Might just be something I have to keep an eye on and adjust as time goes on. I plan on keeping it in the bed semi-permanently.
 
I don’t know what they are doing currently but when I got my 7’ 2020 they didn’t put any bumpers and it definitely rubbed on the front of the bed. It cosmetically isn’t great but doesn’t seem to be an issue beyond that. I hope they are doing something better by now. They custom cut 2x4’s with a strip of plywood for the camper to sit on and to clear the cab height on my F-350, likely they will do something similar on yours. Would be interesting to see what they are doing differently now though with the change of ownership, if anything. I had a spray on bedliner and didn’t use a rubber mat like a horse stall mat. The camper definitely shifts around a bit and you’ll find after some rough roads or sharp turns that it will shift a lot. I’d find it hugging one of the rear pillars or even shifted completely over, which I didn’t like. I think a bed mat will help but it won’t entirely prevent it as I’ve had three alaskans over the years and they all shift around if you actually do some offroad driving or go 80 on the freeway with signficant wind (Wyoming). I tried stacked horse stall mats however they don’t recommend putting the camper directly on the horse stall mats (or any rubber mat) as water can pool up there and rot the bottom over time since it’s just wood. So either way it will tend to slide around on the wood planks.
 
I don’t know what they are doing currently but when I got my 7’ 2020 they didn’t put any bumpers and it definitely rubbed on the front of the bed. It cosmetically isn’t great but doesn’t seem to be an issue beyond that. I hope they are doing something better by now. They custom cut 2x4’s with a strip of plywood for the camper to sit on and to clear the cab height on my F-350, likely they will do something similar on yours. Would be interesting to see what they are doing differently now though with the change of ownership, if anything. I had a spray on bedliner and didn’t use a rubber mat like a horse stall mat. The camper definitely shifts around a bit and you’ll find after some rough roads or sharp turns that it will shift a lot. I’d find it hugging one of the rear pillars or even shifted completely over, which I didn’t like. I think a bed mat will help but it won’t entirely prevent it as I’ve had three alaskans over the years and they all shift around if you actually do some offroad driving or go 80 on the freeway with signficant wind (Wyoming). I tried stacked horse stall mats however they don’t recommend putting the camper directly on the horse stall mats (or any rubber mat) as water can pool up there and rot the bottom over time since it’s just wood. So either way it will tend to slide around on the wood planks.
Thanks so much for the input! I’ll reply back in August after I pick it up and get home if they are doing anything different than what you described. I’m currently looking into different options for the front of the bed where it meets the camper in the event they aren’t installing the rubber bumpers or a friction strip.
 
A short length of 4x4 paid on the bed mat should do the trick.
That’s simple, I like it. That’s what I’ll go with. Been looking at thin strips of plastic from Amazon that go on boat trailer bunk rails. My thought was to attach a 36” x 3” strip of it to the front of the camper where it hits the truck bed rail. Your idea seems perfect without anything having to be done to the camper.
 

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