Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Tailgate support rack
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 > Tailgate support rack

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JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 04/30/22 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many decades ago, I ran my '69 El Camino for a couple thousand miles with tailgate open. Road grime and stuff pretty much ruined the paint on outside of gate.

Dr J the Canuck

Vancouver Island

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Posted: 04/30/22 10:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Considering the weight of the tailgate, the possible damage from camper, bumper and rocks....and the cost of repair/replacement...I would recommend leaving it at home.

Grit dog

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Posted: 04/30/22 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RE tailgate chips/damage from road debris. I expected to see damage from doing this on our old truck with TC, which we ran from L48 to AK and all around AK for a summer, as well as thousands of miles after that. Truck had good mudflaps. Tailgate had zero damage that I could attribute to being down. Sure it's possible to catch rocks and chip it up, but largely not a problem with mudflaps.
And those citing tailgate damage as a reason to not do this, have you ever looked at the lower panels on your vehicle? I'd start there, as the damage right behind the wheels is far worse than it would ever be on a tailgate.


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Slymer

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Posted: 04/30/22 04:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

X3 for me on leaving it at home & using a cargo net. I mostly use the net to make sure I don't lose my bed mat. It's a pain getting the tailgate off and on again & storing it but installing & using the cargo net is a breeze.

mountainkowboy

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Posted: 04/30/22 04:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ran an "Air Gate" on mine when the camper was off.


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BigSwick

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Posted: 05/01/22 02:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you have a long or short bed truck? What model and year camper are you getting? Somebody here surely has that combo and can advise with experience.

stevenal

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Posted: 05/01/22 08:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The receiver is attached to the frame. The TC sits on the bed, which moves with respect to the frame. Anything built flexible enough to allow this movement will likely also allow the gate to bounce.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 05/01/22 12:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stevenal wrote:

The receiver is attached to the frame. The TC sits on the bed, which moves with respect to the frame. Anything built flexible enough to allow this movement will likely also allow the gate to bounce.


Umm, not really. Unless you’re considering very minor amounts of deflection in the truck bed itself. The bed is effectively rigidly mounted to the frame.

burningman

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Posted: 05/03/22 07:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There’s a very simple solution.
Cut a 2x10 to fit across left and right into the slots your truck bed already has for that reason.
It will do double duty. Put it across the front of your truck bed when the camper is in… that something you should be doing anyway, it helps spread the load across from the camper if you have to do a moderate to hard brake slam. The front walls are very thin and delicate and bend easily.

Then when the camper is off, move the board to the slots at the rear of the bed and it becomes your tailgate.


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mkirsch

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Posted: 05/03/22 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dutch71 wrote:

Did any of you ever had to build such a thing?


The answer to this question is, "No." Everyone just takes the tailgate off and makes a compromise.

I understand your idea, similar to a "bed extender" which you can get at Harbor Freight for about $65.

https://www.harborfreight.com/truck-bed-extender-69650.html

The problem is no matter what precautions you take it will be impossible to prevent your tailgate from becoming damaged supporting it this way.

If you let it set on the support by gravity, every bump will cause the tailgate to hammer up and down on the support, denting it.
If you try to squeeze the tailgate between the support and the camper, the sheet metal will become creased from the support.
If you try to strap the tailgate to the support, vibration will rub the paint off EVEN if you put carpeting or other padding between.

There will always be some movement to contend with and any contact between the support and the tailgate will damage the tailgate.

The only way I can see it having a chance of working is if you design the support to reach around the ends of the tailgate and support it by the pins that the cables attach to. Now the design is no longer simple and convenient.


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