Brophy Camper Tie Downs
When we first pick up our 1970 Avion truck camper we have no special equipment aside from our basic 2015 Ram 3500 to cary it. We set the camper on wooden 4x4s and secure it with cables wrapped around factory loops in our truck bed. In hindsight, if we actually came to a stress point where the only thing keeping the camper in the truck bed is the cables, I’m pretty sure something would fail. Fortunately, we are already suitably cautious about the whole affair and avoid steep, bumpy, or fast roads. Instead, we keep the ride smooth and slow from our pickup point in Florida to our workshop in Tennessee.
Setting up the Brophy Camper Tie Downs
As soon as we have the camper setup in our workshop, however, the first order of business is to purchase some proper tie downs. There are so many different options on the market. We choose Brophy Camper Tie Downs because they are simple to install and much less expensive than most alternatives. We can take them off and on as easily as the camper. Well, easier. The camper is a handful.
Mounting the Brophy is quite simple. There is a screw mechanism that allows you to adjust the fit of the Brophy and anchor it to the inner lip of your truck bed. We add thick rubber mats between these bars and the truck bed as it seems they aren’t quite long enough to solidly mount on our Ram 3500 truck bed. This has been a pretty reliable solution until just recently when one of these spacers fell out and we had to improvise a new spacer with a piece of 2×4 wood.
Connecting the Brophy Camper Tie Downs To Your Truck Camper
The Brophy Camper Tie Downs are simply the mount point for your truck. You still need a tie down point on your truck camper and a connector between the camper and truck mount points. It’s critical to remember that, like any chain, this is only as strong as your weakest link. Many truck camper horror stories revolve around one aspect of a mounting system failing and the truck camper tipping or sliding out of the truck bed. There’s a lot of tie downs and turnbuckles for sale out there but most do not have the weight rating necessary for a truck camper.
We have four mount points on the camper, two in the front, two in the back. The front mount points are actually the jack points on the camper. These heavy duty blocks of steel are secured with four carriage bolts to the camper wings and were already where we wanted to secure the camper. So, we just add a D-shackle to the jack point for mounting. In the back, we add a heavy duty U-bolt with to the wing. As for connecting these mount points, after experimenting with chains and clamps, we settle on a set of galvanized turnbuckles from Tractor Supply Company.
Our Experience With the Brophys
We have been relying on Brophy Camper Tie Downs to secure our Avion to the truck for the past three years. In that time, we have tackled quite a few rough off road routs such as the Rimrocker Trail, Shafer Road, and the Moki Dugway. Our camper has remained on the truck through it all. Honestly, we are impressed. The fact that we have relied on these for this many years should convey our confidence in these tie downs better than any words.
All the same, we are starting to look for alternatives. While the Brophy Camper Tie Downs really are the ideal entry point for us and the truck camper, they certainly aren’t perfect. After years of rough road, you can see the strain in our truck bed where the mount points have been warped. Brophy Tie Downs mount to the sides of the truck bed which is pretty much just sheet metal. We are now looking for a tie down solution that mounts to the frame of the truck for a more secure connection.
Overall, Brophy Camper Tie Downs have a valid role in the truck camper marketplace. They are easy introductory tie downs. They are one of the cheapest options on the market, are simple to mount, and very sturdy. If you have a lightweight camper for weekend trips, these may be the tie downs for you. But as you move up to heavier campers and rougher roads, it is time to start looking for tie downs that attach directly to the truck frame.