Storing camper jacks

Reader Steve sent the following question:

I noticed that you don't have jacks mounted on your FWC. Did you not purchase these items, or did you just take them off? If you did take them off I was wondering where you stored them? I was going to get clever and replace the bolts holding mine onto my Hawk with clevis pins and lock pins but discovered this was almost as fiddily as dealing with the bolts and nuts. I always have a socket set and wrenches with me anyway. Do you store them in the camper or in the truck when you travel? I was just wondering if you had a preference? I have a Ford F350 diesel crew cab with a 6.5 foot bed and the area behind the front seats is bigger than some apartments I've lived in so I turned it into a storage area with a bench. Anyway, I was just wondering if you had any brilliant ideas for dealing with this problem that I hadn't thought of.

Steve, we didn't buy camper jacks for two reasons: First, we have the luxury of being able to leave the camper on the truck all the time, rather than needing to remove it for utility when not traveling. And second, should we have to remove the camper for maintenance or repair, I have a friend who owns a set of jacks who is a remarkably cheap date - a pound of good coffee or a six-pack of quality beer is enough to get all sorts of stuff out of him, including professional welding and, recently, replacing a broken window in our middle-of-nowhere cottage when we were out of the country. I'll probably have to pay him for the glass, though.

Where was I? Right: We did make sure to buy jack brackets when we ordered the camper, as adding those later would be a real pain.

It sounds from your question that you occasionally remove the camper while traveling, to establish a base camp and leave the truck free for exploring - a great idea. It would be nice to avoid taking up interior storage space with them, no matter how generous that space is in your F350. Looking back at a couple of projects we've done on the JATAC, I wonder if you could exploit the underside of the camper overhang, as we did for our table (here), and fabricate a bracket that would securely hold the four jacks. Musing on the issue, I looked at Yakima accesories and found their Rattler Wheel Straps (here). Depending on their rating and the weight of your individual jacks, you might employ those plus some sort of safety backup.

Another spot might be the side overhang on your camper, if there is one, where we store our Hi-Lift jack (here). I also know several people who've fabricated a Hi-Lift jack mount on the rear wall of their camper, to the right of the door. Finally, if you have steps to access the camper's roof, it would be simple to make a mount to store them there. Sorry for the lack of a definitive answer, but I hope this gives you some ideas. Let me know what you wind up with. And if you need some fabricating work, I have this friend . . .