Is it possible for a truck camper to become completely dislodged while driving? If you had any doubts, you shouldn’t, because according to a recent report in the Central Oregon Daily News, it actually happened. But that wasn’t the worse of it. The Arctic Fox 811 camper became dislodged at an active railroad crossing on a busy highway with no way to move it. You heard us right. The camper was stuck directly on the tracks.
“A camper became dislodged from a pickup truck at Evergreen and [Highway] 97, at the railroad crossing,” said Lt. Eric Beckwith with the Redmond, Oregon Police.
The frantic owner called Redmond Police who took action immediately to have the camper removed. Fortunately, nobody in the hair-raising incident was hurt.
Judging from the report and the photographs taken at the scene, it doesn’t appear that any kind of truck camper tie-down system, like the one made by Torklift International, was used to transport the camper. A thin strap is visible in one of the two photographs, but looks to be completely inadequate for any kind of transport, especially a 2-ton truck camper. Railroad crossings can be pretty bumpy and can easily dislodge cargo of any size.
Apparently, we need to reevaluate our list of top 10 list of truck camper mistakes and pitfalls to include using some kind of tie-down system.
Kacey Davey with the Oregon Department of Transportation says situations like these are uncommon for their department. We sure hope so.
“Anytime you are going to be hauling anything in your vehicle, make sure that you know your vehicles capabilities and that you secure your load so that you don’t lose anything out the back of your vehicle or your truck,” Davey said.
We all enjoy truck camper adventure, but not when it involves a train. It goes without saying that your camper should never be used without some kind of approved tie-down system in place. This includes a good set of solid-steel Torklift Tie-Downs (or aluminum Torklift Talons) and a good set of steel turnbuckles, like our personal favorite, the Torklift FastGun.