How To Measure A Truck Camper’s Heart of Gravity – RVBlogger

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Should you’re going all in for a truck camper, as a first-time RVer, one of the notable specs is the truck camper’s middle of gravity. You’ll see it on each new or used truck camper on-line, identical to GVWR and towing specs on different sorts of RVs.

Whereas it feels like one thing out of a sci-fi novel, it’s actually not that difficult. It’s not a time period that’s prevalent amongst different RVs as a result of It’s intrinsic to truck campers solely.

Put merely, it’s the place many of the weight resides, the first level of the whole truck camper’s fulcrum. It’s vital data to have for various causes.

The truck camper’s middle of gravity determines what sort of truck will deal with it, the way you go about packing your camper, and the way you’ll finally drive the truck.

It’s like being on a skateboard, a bicycle, or a standup paddleboard. Earlier than you obtain most effectivity on any of these leisure objects, it’s important to decide and get a really feel on your middle of gravity.

What Is A Truck Camper’s Heart Of Gravity?

What Is Truck Camper Center Of Gravity?

The truck camper’s middle of gravity is the precise level contained in the truck camper the place the overwhelming majority of the load is centralized.

It’s the purpose you stand on once you’re on a surfboard or perhaps a bike. The dynamics of the car could change, however the middle of gravity is an actual level on all of them.

This is smart once you notice that the purpose the place probably the most weight rests can be the steadiness level of the truck camper. It doesn’t must be immediately within the middle of the truck camper, both. In truth, more often than not, it isn’t.

Should you measure and decide the precise middle level of the camper, odds are good it’s not the camper’s middle of gravity.

If you wish to discover the truck camper’s middle of gravity, there’s a approach to do this, which we’ll cowl extra in-depth beneath.

The purpose is that individuals generally tend to affiliate a middle level with the middle of gravity, and that doesn’t work on this case.

Why Is Truck Camper Heart of Gravity Essential?

Not understanding the middle of gravity places your truck at excessive threat, to the purpose of changing into undrivable. Figuring out the GVWR (Gross Automobile Weight Ratio), CCC (Cargo Carrying Capability), and dry weight is all effectively and good. Nonetheless, the middle of gravity (CoG) is the place it’s at.

A lot of the weight on a truck camper (that matches your truck) will relaxation on or simply in entrance of the rear axle. Axles are every thing in terms of weight, and even some Class A motorhomes will throw in an additional tag axle simply to deal with all that extra weight.

If the brunt of the load isn’t situated over the axle, dangerous issues are likely to occur. All the pieces underneath the entrance hood of your truck serves as a type of counterbalance to the load of the truck camper.

Shift that truck camper weight too far again, and you’re taking an excessive amount of weight off the entrance axle. The best situation is a seesaw impact the place every individual sitting on both finish of the seesaw is completely balanced, forcing the seesaw to return to relaxation horizontally.

If the load is just too far again, it additionally adjustments the pivot level, one thing we talked about in our turning radius article on Lifting weight off the entrance axle adjustments the dynamics of driving and places you, together with any passengers and folks sharing the street with you in danger.

How Do You Measure Truck Camper Heart of Gravity?

How Do You Measure Truck Camper Center of Gravity?

Measuring the truck camper’s middle of gravity doesn’t finish there. You additionally must measure the middle of gravity in your truck mattress. That is the place you need the CoG of the camper to relaxation, one CoG stacked on high of one other.

Thankfully, truck camper producers present potential clients with key details about the CoG within the specs.

These specs are doubtless situated within the camper (perhaps within the type of a sticker on the window or on the web site the truck camper is marketed on.

Some campers could have a directional arrow, pasted on the truck camper, pointing on the CoG. Nonetheless, an arrow shouldn’t be an actual science, so that you’ll nonetheless want a measurement.

First, let’s begin with the truck camper’s middle of gravity. The truck camper’s CoG is an inch measurement. While you have a look at the specs, you will notice the time period, “middle of gravity”, together with the related inches. The producer is telling you what number of inches the CoG is from the entrance wall.

All you require is a visible marking. If the CoG is 45″, measure from the entrance wall of the camper, 45″ towards the again wall. While you attain 45″, that’s your CoG. After we say “entrance wall”, we imply the entrance of the camper field, not the overhang.

How Do You Know Your Truck Mattress Heart Of Gravity?

That is the purpose the place you measure the CoG in your truck mattress, which is simply so simple as measuring the CoG within the truck camper. This measurement runs from the entrance of your truck’s mattress to the highest, middle of your rear axle.

Be at liberty to mark it in no matter approach you’re feeling is greatest as a result of that’s your truck mattress’s middle of gravity. This level, in your truck mattress, is the place the CoG of the truck camper ought to relaxation. It may be barely ahead of it, however by no means behind it (towards the tailgate).

The CoG in your truck mattress will usually be the middle of the tire, however measuring it out will offer you a extra particular spot to go along with.

How Are Truck Campers Held In Place?

How Are Truck Campers Held In Place?

One factor is for positive: you received’t be utilizing zip ties. No less than we strongly advise you to not use zip ties. Duct tape both.

Earlier than putting in a truck camper within the mattress, get the GVWR, curb weight, payload capability (GVWR – curb weight), truck camper middle of gravity, and truck mattress middle of gravity.

Figuring out the payload capability is essential as a result of it’s the utmost quantity of weight your truck will safely haul. In case your truck has a GVWR of 10,000 lbs and a curb weight of 6,000 lbs, your payload capability is 4,000 lbs.

Truck campers are mounted and held in place with a wide range of strategies, together with body mounting, bed-rail mounting, and bumper mounting.

Whatever the mounting mechanism, tie-downs and turnbuckles are part of it. Usually, there are 4 tie-downs, whether or not it’s a bumper, body, or bed-rail system.

Mattress-Rail Mounting

Because the identify implies, the truck camper bolts to the mattress of your truck, normally via drilling holes by the mattress. This may not be everybody’s cup of tea since you may not all the time have the truck camper.

As soon as the holes are put in, the anchor plates come subsequent. Anchor plates are both customary dimension or wider for bigger truck beds and a extra expansive attachment level.

Bumper Mounting

Bumper mounting methods are for lighter truck campers. It doesn’t matter what form of wild and attention-grabbing new bumper Ford, Chevy, Ram, Nissan, or Toyota comes out with, the bumper won’t ever be as robust because the body of the truck. A lot heavier truck campers ought to by no means mount with bumper mounts.

Body Mounting

That is in all probability the strongest mounting mechanism for a truck camper, with the mattress rail being a detailed second. The set up features a decrease and higher connection level on every of the 4 corners of the truck mattress body. These are the mounts you need for a large truck camper.


Turnbuckles are extra of a reinforcement mechanism. Largely, they’re for rising the rigidity of a mounting level. After all, you may also use them to lower the strain as effectively.

Turnbuckles are available in a wide range of types as effectively, together with chains, quick-release, lever, spring, and conventional.

How Large Of A Truck Do You Want For A Truck Camper?

How Big Of A Truck Do You Need For A Truck Camper?

The excellent news is, except you’re in a Ford Ranger or a Nissan XE (No knock towards these vans within the slightest), you’ll be able to in all probability mount a truck camper on it. There’s a truck camper for every thing from Tacomas to 1-ton monsters that may maintain the largest truck campers.

A lot of the dialog above covers the truck camper’s middle of gravity, truck CoG, and weight. These are all completely vital specs to know earlier than you attempt buying a truck camper on your truck.

No matter what truck you personal, you might want to match the truck camper towards your truck’s payload capability.

It’s additionally essential to understand that simply because your truck is technically able to carrying it, doesn’t imply it’s going to suit your truck’s mattress. There’s room for some truck campers to increase previous the again, however provided that the truck camper’s middle of gravity is in the proper spot or ahead.

For these with small vans, just like the aforementioned Ranger, there are some superior pop-up truck campers on the market which are extremely really helpful as effectively. Take a look at the Northstar MC600, 4-Wheels Campers Challenge M Topper, or one thing from Bundutec USA. For EV vans, Earth Cruiser is engaged on a pleasant slide-in RV camper as effectively.

4 FAQs About Truck Camper Heart Of Gravity

1. Can a truck camper slide out of a truck?

Combining the proper truck camper middle of gravity together with correct attachment to the truck ensures the camper is safe within the truck mattress.

If this stuff are ignored, it may very well be potential for a camper to maneuver round and probably slide out of a truck mattress. It’s, nevertheless, uncommon for truck campers to slip out of a truck mattress.

2. Can you alter a truck camper’s middle of gravity?

Producers put loads of thought and calculations into designing truck campers. The middle of gravity is a key design level and important to the correct use of the camper.

Altering the CoG of a truck camper undoubtedly isn’t advisable and wouldn’t be straightforward to do anyway.

3. The place within the truck mattress ought to a truck camper sit?

The truck camper’s middle of gravity level ought to sit proper above or ahead of the axle, the place the truck mattress’s middle of gravity is situated.

4. How do I do know if my truck camper’s middle of gravity is off?

You’ll visibly be aware an increase within the body of the truck within the ahead half. Because the camper’s weight is behind the truck’s pivot level, it’s going to elevate the entrance (like a seesaw). Should you drive it, you’ll discover decreased traction, poor shocks, and decreased management of the car.

Remaining Ideas About Truck Camper Heart Of Gravity

Whereas all the literature surrounding truck camper facilities of gravity sounds difficult, it’s very easy to find out.

So long as the GVWR, curb weight, payload capability, and the middle of gravity on each the truck and the camper, you’re all set to decide on a camper and make your measurements.

The excellent news is, except for the measurements you might want to make, your truck’s specs will offer you all the remaining data you want. Simply bust out the handbook from the glove compartment or test your truck mannequin on the producer’s web site.

Armed with the truck camper’s middle of gravity data, you may make one of the best choice when buying a brand new or used truck camper on your truck.

Associated Studying:

8 Finest Pop-Up Truck Campers With Bogs

The Kimbo Camper: The Coolest Truck Camper You’ve By no means Heard Of

Scout Camper: The Modular Truck Camper

10 Finest 3/4 Ton Truck Camper Manufacturers

Thomas Godwin – Creator and Half Time RVer

Thomas Godwin is a full-time freelance author with a BFA in Inventive Writing, a U.S. Marine, and an avid outdoorsman.

When he’s not writing, he’s elevating chickens and Appleyard geese. Thomas additionally constructs teardrop campers (making an attempt to anyway) and kayaks the Blackwater River along with his spouse, two daughters, and his Dobermans.

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