How to Build a Support Base for a Slide-in Camperby Nathan Fisher
Slide-in campers transform a pickup truck into a miniature RV with off-road ability in a matter of minutes with the aid of specially designed jacks. Most slide-in campers weigh more than a ton; many fully self-contained units approaching twice that mark. Rather than relying only on the camper’s jacks to support its weight, when a slide-in camper is removed from the truck it is best lowered onto a solid, but portable, support base capable of staying the load.
Cut two 8-foot 2-by-8-inch planks in half lengthwise with a saw. This creates four 4-foot 2-by-8-inch wide planks.
Locate a level spot. Remove the camper from the truck with the camper’s jacks. Set the jacks so the camper is 3 feet above the ground.
Build one double-wide column under each corner of the camper’s floor--the part the sits on the truck bed when loaded on the truck--with full-size cinder blocks. Place the columns under the edges of the camper so the outside edges of the blocks are square with the edges of the camper floor.
Use six cinder blocks per double-wide column. Stack each column three blocks high and two blocks wide. Orient the cinder blocks so the length of the cinder blocks run parallel with the length of the camper--front to back. Stack the cinder blocks with the hollow spaces inside the blocks running vertically.
Run the planks across the width of the camper, under the camper’s floor. Stack two of the 4-foot planks, one on top of the other, across the two front double-wide columns of cinder blocks. Repeat with the other two planks on the rear double-wide columns.
Lower the camper jacks until the camper is resting on the planks. Leave the jacks in place for extra support and safety.
- check Break down and load the support base in the back of the camper for transporting to different sites. Protect the inside of the camper’s floor with a tarp.
- check Shim the edges of the bottom blocks when setting up the support base on uneven ground.
Items you will need
- photo_camera George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images