This weekend we performed some much needed maintenance on my road and weather beaten Torklift Tie Downs. In case you’re unfamiliar with the system, the Torklift Tie-Downs consist of four independent, frame-mounted tie down receivers that work much like a standard hitch receiver as the tie down inserts are removable. This means that when you’re not hauling around your truck camper, the tie down receivers are practically undetectable. No other system keeps your camper secure to your truck like the Torklift tie down system.
The only real negative with Torklift’s system is that the receivers and inserts sit less than a foot off the ground. This means that they are constantly being exposed to dirt, road grime, and moisture. Consequently, periodic maintenance is required to protect them and keep them looking good.
Truth be told, maintaining the two driver side and front passenger tie-down inserts isn’t that difficult. Cleaning and spray painting them once a year is all that’s needed. But it’s a completely different story with the rear passenger side tie-down. This particular insert takes a real beating on outings as it’s directly behind the engine’s exhaust. The heat from the exhaust blisters and blasts away at the tie down’s powder coating leaving it rough, filthy and rusted. As a result, more attention on this one piece is needed in the form of sanding, cleaning, priming, and painting.
The photos below show the basic sequence of taking care of this tie down insert. The first picture doesn’t really illustrate how bad of a beating this tie down took. Parts of the tie down felt like 60 grit sandpaper. We applied three coats of black gloss spray paint after sanding and priming. We used Rustoleum spray paint for extra protection.
Later this week we’ll be removing the tie down receivers for sanding and painting. The receivers actually take more abuse than the inserts since they’re always on the truck, so more work will be required for these.