Welcome to Manins' truck camper project

Side Steps

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The steps to the side door slide out from under the camper and pivot down to the ground. They are difficult to use, cannot be closed from inside the camper (so rapid departures are not possible), and are unsteady and feel unsafe to the new user.

The unsteadiness is because the frame tends to fold up if a user steps on the inside of a step. Because each step is slotted for one of its retaining bolts the step also tends to fold up even if the frame does not.

The frame can be locked (see below) but the slotted steps require a rebuild to correct the faulty design. TravelTrucks offer a fix, but they consider it to be an "upgrade" instead of the correction of a safety hazard, and costs $$$.

Locking the Frame

I mounted a 100 mm surface bolt on the lowest cross-member of the frame and cut a matching hole in the frame to receive the tongue. I used M6 stainless steel machine screws for the bolt and 4 B.A. brass machine screws and Loctite 243 for the receiver plate.

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Step Deployment

In some cases such as at the side of the road with a gutter, the steps would not slide out far enough to clear the camper frame.

I drilled new holes closer to the end of the slide. This allows the steps to be deployed in most cases now.

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Entry-Assist Handles

At short stops we tend to not deploy the steps at all. One foot on the spare wheel, grasp the entry-assist handle on the right and up we go! But a second handle, on the left door jamb, is a good idea.

The OEM entry-assist handle comes from UES International, part number 930-001. Another, smaller, of similar quality but not as bulky is part number 582-0105 and is fitted to the inside of the door itself. I obtained another of these to mount on the left of the door opening. For strength I fitted a length of aluminium angle behind the fibreglass wall where the handle goes. Four M6 cross-point headed bolts fit into tapped holes in the aluminium, with nuts and lock washers behind. The handle is not going to come off!

The new handle bolts to the reinforcing angle through tapped holes.

Handle fitted in position on the left door jamb.

New handle on the left, OEM enty-assist handle on the right.

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