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Installation Process

You can either put the conversion in first or make the wheel clearance first. I recommend putting the conversion in first, so if you have a problem with the intended position, (like: cross member, water/gas line obstruction, tongue weight) you don't end up with an extra large hole in the side of your camper. This is intended to be a guide for the process, and not specific instructions for every situation.

Some things to consider before you start.

  • Where are the cross members? If you can line up the conversion frame with the cross member there will be less fishing hole space lost to intrusions.
  • How much tongue weight do you want? Although the best freeway towing will have 100-400 pounds of tongue weight, if you want to move it with an ATV you will want less. You need to decide which is most important. Note: The wheels are not in the center of the conversion, so your fulcrum (pivot) point will be where the wheel is.
  • Where is the door and interior features? Usually the conversion can put moved forward or backward 3-4” without effecting the towing too much. Relocating things like hot water heater sink can be much harder than modifying drawers.

 

Putting in Combo Camper Conversion

IN PROGRESS

Remove the axles

First cut any electric brake wires. If you are not reusing them and they are connected to the trailer wiring make sure to cap the ends of the wires. You can unscrew or cut bolts, or cut the shackles from the frame.

Raise the conversion into desired location

Support the conversion up to the frame, floor jacks work well. Measure from the frame to outer edge of conversion to have equal amounts on both sides. Then, measure from the outside front corner of the conversion to the tip of the tongue, and repeat on the other side.  These 2 distances should be equal adjust as needed to get corner to tongue and side to side equal. use jacks to increase upward pressure of the conversion to the frame.

Drill holes though frame

Use a 1/2" drill bit to drill through the frame using the mounting tabs as guides.

Bolt conversion to the frame

Put a bolt in each hole after you drill them to insure the conversion does not move as you drill other mounting holes. After all the bolts are in tighten them to the frame. If there is a gap between the mounting bracket and the frame, and there is usually a little, place washers in the gap to avoid tweaking the conversion frame.

Creating wheel clearance

Measure for the size of the opening

If you install the conversion first you use the edge of the conversion frame as a guide. If you are cutting the opening first you will need to measure 50" from front to back. This is 2" larger than the conversion to give a little mounting room.

The height is a little more complex.  The swing arm and wheel need 32", 36" for the XL tires. For the cut height you need to subtract 3" for conversion frame, plus the camper frame, usually 3-5", which make the cut 22"-24" up from the bottom of the wall. This should give you about 2" of extra space, so you can make the box shorter if you cut or trim the height after the wheels are installed.

Cut tin to expose wall

I suggest cutting the tin before the wall, because there are usually things hidden in the wall, like the wires you can see in the bottom picture.  If the unit is gutted or you know you will not be using any wiring or plumbing I would suggest taking a circular saw and cutting though the whole wall.  Finish the ends of the cuts with a sawsall.

Complete the cut through the wall and floor

Use a circular saw to cut through the wall using the cut tin as a guide to follow.  Take care around any wires or pipes that are in the wall, make these cuts with a sawsall or handsaw.  You may want to save the tin of the wheel well so you can use it on the inside of your wheel box.

Ready for wheel boxes to seal the unit

If you are keeping the amenities that are around the wheel boxes you will have to do a little more cutting to trim out areas behind those items. Pictured is cutting around the opening of a refrigerator opening. Now you should have plenty of clearance and can make framing for the interior boxes. 2x2 or 2x4 can be screwed to the walls and floor to make these boxes.