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 > Major Problems with Bed of Truck - how to fix?

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JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 03/22/22 05:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AdvancedQs wrote:




You are way off. I’m sorry. But what you’re talking about has nothing to do with the problem.

There is nothing sliding back-and-forth. Your imagination is going in the wrong direction.

The thread has convinced me to just do it right and get a flatbed. That way, everything is going to be fixed the right way to transfer the load to the frame without all of this cheap material in between.


All I have to judge by is the pictures. Left fender, paint is still pretty good. Right fender, beat to snot. Now I confess, I have never hauled a camper, but spent my life hauling other stuff. Only 2 reasons I can see for that pair of fenders in same bed; Something heavy dropped, or something sliding around in bed. Good Luck.

deltabravo

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Posted: 03/22/22 06:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What kind of condition was the bed in when you bought the truck from the previous owner?

I have been in a group with about 3000+ Arctic Fox / Wolf Creek camper owners since 2016. No one else has ever experienced truck bed damage like this.

I can't envision how a camper could cause the front of the truck bed to split apart like that.

Putting a flatbed on is going to drastically increase the weight on your rear axle since a flatbed will weigh a lot more than a standard truck bed. That's not something I'd ever consider doing on a 2500 series truck.

I had a long bed 811, which is slightly lighter than a short bed version because it has shorter side wings and no generator. I weighed my truck on my way to the dealer to pick up the camper. On the way home I stopped at the same scale.
The 811 put my dually over the GVWR of the truck.


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jmtandem

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Posted: 03/22/22 07:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Question: what kind of beefy solution can I do that will transfer this weight to the frame? Obviously, a new bed will not work because it will just crush the same way this one did. I need heavy duty reinforcements to transfer the load to the frame. How would you go about this?


I agree with others that a flat bed would be a good option.


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mellow

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Posted: 03/22/22 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If money is no object the flatbeds from Sherptek are highly configurable: https://sherptek.com/truckbed


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Grit dog

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Posted: 03/22/22 10:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, whatever happened to begin crushing your bed, is not normal, IMO.
Only put 25-30k miles on our 07 Dodge with the same camper and there was minor denting of the bed floor at the very rear like yours. But it happened first trip and never got worse. It actually served to center the camper up, lol.
Looking back, it was probably the heaviest the camper was ever loaded and was definitely the worst roads. We were moving to AK and camper our way up there, loaded for who knows what on the Alcan.
That said, you’ve figured out that your bed is done for. Also looks like the bottom of your camper may be collapsing as, if you’ve had the belly out of it, the weight is mostly all supported around the perimeter.
I’d bet a new (used) bed would hold up for quite a while. But I’d also bet you’re loaded heavy. (Full time and the amount of damage present)
Beefing up the mounts isn’t too difficult with the bed off and truck beds are readily available and not too expensive. But have to reinforce and get right color or paint, etc.
Flatbed is the easy, durable option if you really think it’s all the truck beds fault and not the manner of use. And a flatbed won’t add a bunch of weight unless you add a bunch of weight, IE heavy steel bed, with many options, tool boxes etc.
Good luck getting it fixed. And check the camper. It may be damaged underneath.

Couple other suggestions. If you get a truck bed, a sheet of plywood will spread the load better. Prevent localized buckling. Doesn’t solve the crushing of course.
Also the camper DOES move around. Like you said, the right bump or turn or braking etc.
I padded the front off of the bottom of the bed, so the camper wouldn’t connect with the top edge of bed. (It did, first trip and dented the bed front) and also used a board along the fender well, sitting on edge, to keep possible lateral movement to a minimum.

Bottom line, you found the service limit of a truck bed with a very heavy load in it. Could have been some specific initial factors that started the damage or not. But you know how to fix it, but have just procrastinated for a (long) while about fixing it.


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stevenal

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Posted: 03/22/22 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AdvancedQs wrote:

Here is a good picture of the lean. Notice also that it slides over to the passenger side because the wheel well ends up moving over as well. When that whole side of the bed slumps, it moves the wheel well a few inches to the passenger side also.
So it’s both tipping, and sliding over to the passenger side.


So there is weight on the side of the well, a part not designed to carry weight sideways. Some of us use load guides to keep camper centered. Some have duallies to prevent leaning on normal crowned roads with heavy, high COG campers. This is weight related.

How will you keep camper from moving on the flat bed?


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time2roll

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Posted: 03/22/22 02:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Considering the damage I would look at a dedicated rack system to hold the camper.
I am thinking steel frame to support steel rails to slide and attach the camper.

Remove the bed, build the frame, tack the bed sides back on for looks.


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AdvancedQs

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Posted: 03/26/22 05:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Update: After very careful examination, what happened is the crossmember supports are made of the same sheet metal the side of the bed is made from. They are flimsy. They are cheap. I can’t believe anyone’s actually stand the test of time. It’s amazing they do. So, they are being replaced by quarter inch steel square tubing. That will prevent this problem from ever happening again. The towers are being replaced by steel plate bent at a 90° angle to hold the weight up there. This will add 128 pounds to the vehicle. I will have to lighten the load a little bit to make up for that. But, this will be indestructible. I’m also putting pieces of old tire in between the frame and these new supports for a softer ride. Now it will be indestructible.

for anyone that plans to put high miles on a truck camper, this is probably a good idea. OEM beds are made very cheaply.

I’ll post some pictures of the fix once it’s done. I decided not to do this myself because I am just too busy to do this project. So, it’s outsourced to a local fabrication shop. Their first opening is April 12. So, that’s when it will be done.

AdvancedQs

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Posted: 03/26/22 05:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

Considering the damage I would look at a dedicated rack system to hold the camper.
I am thinking steel frame to support steel rails to slide and attach the camper.

Remove the bed, build the frame, tack the bed sides back on for looks.



Interesting response. Essentially, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m rebuilding the support structure below the bed. And leaving the bed there to provide the looks.

I had already done incremental modifications. I have three-quarter inch plywood in the bed already. The rubber mat. I made new supports for the towers when they were failing. But, it’s time to get serious. A proper welded steel frame won’t be going anywhere.

mellow

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Posted: 03/28/22 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have the bed off I would recommend coating the frame to help with rust and take care of any other issues while the bed is off, much easier.

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