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Thread: Using OEM bed tiedown loops...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Using OEM bed tiedown loops...

    I just got a new 2012 GMC Sierra SLE 1500, replacing my 2003 GMC Sierra 1500. My 2004 FWC Hawk was mounted on the old truck using four eyebolts installed in the bed floor by the FWC driver when the camper was delivered. It's now going on the new truck.

    I would like to try to use the OEM tiedown loops on the new truck, on the lower bed sidewall. Has anyone been succesful doing this with a lightweight pop-up camper? Mine weighs approx. 1200 lbs.

    Would spring loaded tiedowns help?

    I would like to know the good, bad, and ugly about using OEM tiedowns.

    Thanks!

    Bucky

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1
    If it were my truck, I would not use the oem tie down points. They just don't have the heavy duty mount strength that the eye bolts do. Why gamble?

    Good luck with the new ride.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    573
    I'm using them on my 2004, its held up fine on a few WV trips through the mountain roads and up the dirt trails on our farm.
    2004 Chevrolet Silverado ECSB z71
    1982 Palomino Bronco 186

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    41
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the quick replies.

    Eugene, how much does the Palomino weigh?

    Bucky
    Last edited by Bucky; 12-31-2011 at 11:27 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mile High
    Posts
    158
    I would call FWC about the tie down system. I seem to recall that what you want to do is a no no (per FWC).

    My new FWC Granby back in 1983 also was bolted thru the floor with four elevator bolts. Never had a single problem with that system.
    Why not just go old school? Thats how the factory did it for years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central Coast of CA
    Posts
    584
    Personaly, I would see how the stock hooks are attached to the bed. If they are simple lag type metal screws, no. But if they are bolted connections, I would go for it.

    My camper is attached to the stock bolted points. Have beaten the crap outta the thing with No issues.

    That's my 2 cents, but Im cheap.
    The Rig: Early 1999 Ford F-250 7.3L CC 4x4 (Build Date-02/98) - 217,xxx miles
    DIY Intake with S&B Filter, FBD 4" Exhaust, leveling kit, 285's, Mag-Hytec Diff Covers, 203* thermostat, CCV Mod, DP-Tuner, and Bilstein 5150's
    The Campers:
    1990 FWC Hawk. In the process of a refurb!
    1989 Skamper 0S06 Sold, Adios Amigo

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    1,147
    I tried the factory tie downs on my 2007 Classic with my FWC Hawk. The driver's front factory tie down broke and is only hanging on with the lower section.

    I now have eyebolts through the floor.

    Jack
    2007 2500hd, Max/Alli, Hawk FWC (the new explorer)
    Build thread: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...07-Chevy-Build
    2006 Jeep LJ Rubicon
    Build thread: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...006-LJ-Rubicon
    KE7NCK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    41
    Just got the 2004 FWC Hawk mounted on the 2012 Sierra.

    Got a major surprise when I discovered the 2012 bed rails were too high. Plus, the tailgate opening bottom corners are rounded; the Hawk's squared back end would catch on those corners and never set down on the DeeZee rubber bed mat.

    Solved both problems by spacing out six four-foot 2x4s on the bed mat, which raised the camper enough to clear the bed rails and rounded corners. I wonder if the current FWC Hawk design fits my truck's clearances.

    Re the GMC OEM tiedowns, you can't see how they're attached. I'll do some test runs to see how the camper stays cinched down.

    Thanks for the help.

    Happy New Year!

    Bucky
    Last edited by Bucky; 01-01-2012 at 10:11 PM.
    2004 Four Wheel Campers Hawk

    2012 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE ext. cab, standard bed
    5.3L V8, 4x4, Z71 off-road package
    TorkLift Quick Disconnect StableLoads
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" - Yogi Berra

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    196
    remember the good old days when truck boxes were the same size and shape..........waxing nostalgic.
    A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    41
    FOLLOW-UP:

    After 5,000+ miles, I just again checked the turnbuckles attached to the OEM tiedown loops in the corners of the 2012 Sierra.

    All were rock solid, with no wiggle or slop in the turnbuckles or tiedowns, which indicates to me that the GM OEM tiedowns can be used with a lightweight pop-up camper (2004 FWC Hawk). (NOTE: I use locknuts on the turnbuckles. The camper optioned out to approx. 1200 lbs.)

    No off-road driving like a lot of you guys, but I figure driving over the crummy I-495 bridges at speed on the way up to Maine and back (many times this summer) put a lot of stress under load on those tiedowns.

    I know FWC requires a waiver for new campers installed this way, and I can understand the liability issue, especially being unable to know the condition of every OEM tiedown loop on every truck. In my case, however, this was a brand new truck that had never had anything cinched down to the OEM tiedowns.

    Anyway, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. If I do experience an OEM tiedown failure, I'll be sure to report it on this thread.

    Bucky
    Last edited by Bucky; 08-15-2012 at 08:11 PM. Reason: word smithing
    2004 Four Wheel Campers Hawk

    2012 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE ext. cab, standard bed
    5.3L V8, 4x4, Z71 off-road package
    TorkLift Quick Disconnect StableLoads
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" - Yogi Berra

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