Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

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Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby petesherrard » 23 Oct 2016 15:59

Hello everyone.

I have just bought myself a mk7 Hilux and recently ordered a Northstar 600SS, popup demountable from the States via a brand new dealer here in the UK.

The dealer is so new I am their first ever customer and they are learning the whole process from scratch, using me as the test customer.

One thing that seems to be a bit confusing to me and the dealer is how to actually mount the camper onto the Hilux. Northstar have said we should be using ratchet straps mounted to the original bolt-on tie loops in the Hilux bed. I'm assuming these are the ones in each corner, mounted half way up the wall of the load bed. These will attach to eye bolts accessed via little hatches from the inside of the camper (The tie loops dont feet very strong to me). But I have noticed that the American Northstars are attached to little arms bolted onto the outside of the Tacomas via turnbuckles and chains. I have also seen eye lashing points bolted right through the load bed wall, to the outside of the truck body. And, I have been told that if I am planning on taking the camper off road (I will be frequently) I really need to bolt right through the floor, directly to the chassis some how.

Any advice on this, with diagrams or photos, would be very, very appreciated. Also, if anyone has any info on what, if any mods to the suspension of the Hilux might be needed (air bags or upgraded/ lifted suspension etc.). The Camper has a wet weight of about 989kg.

Thanks so much. And Hello from Bristol. :)
Pete
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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby zildjian » 23 Oct 2016 16:13

Hi from another Hilux owner
'cargo hooks' not up to it I'm afraid and that goes for all the pickuo truck factory fitted hooks too, no you need to add four of these, one in each corner through floor of tub,

Image

actual position not crucial but ideally with camper loaded the straps or turnbuckles you choose to fit should be slightly angled to pull the camper forward nice and squarely against bulkhead.

so four of these down through holes in tub with a large plate washer to spread the load
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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby petesherrard » 23 Oct 2016 16:51

Hi zildjian,

Thanks for the reply. So would you say that going through the floor with those eye bolts is strong enough, even for off-roading, without having to bolt to the chassis frame? As long as I use large washers?

Thanks,
Pete
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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby zildjian » 23 Oct 2016 16:59

OK if you plan on roughing it, you may want to consider either (As you rightly mention) an underbelly-of-truck system with outriggers that you can then connect camper>truck with straps/turnbuckles/Fastguns from Torklift

alternatively as achieved by members here a substantial steel plate welded/bolted to chassis rail poking up through slots in tub with an eyehole at head to attach too,
this would be my choice although would mean slotting the tub in four places so not ideal perhaps with resale in mind

I've used the eyebolts successfully across three trucks now without failure and some modest off-road
meadows & tracks that sort of thing
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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby SueMcD » 23 Oct 2016 18:45

Hi,
I have a NorthStar but currently use the bolts drilled through the wall of the bed. I would like to move to the Torklift system that bolts to the chassis but am still considering the weight and cost. If you want to go that way, your dealer may be able to import them together with the camper... could save you a lot of £. Just be aware that they are specific for each truck model and I'm not sure if they make a bolt-on version for the Hilux.

http://www.torklift.com/index.php/produ ... /tie-downs.

If you do go for a bolt inside your truck bed, be aware that the connections on the NorthStar are on the outer edge. So, if you are going to tie down into the truck bed, the straps will run over the top rail of your truck.

Would love to hear who and where the new NorthStar dealer is.


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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby Alexd » 23 Oct 2016 18:56

Hello Peter welcome to you too!
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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby petesherrard » 24 Oct 2016 12:27

SueMcD wrote:Hi,
I have a NorthStar but currently use the bolts drilled through the wall of the bed. I would like to move to the Torklift system that bolts to the chassis but am still considering the weight and cost. If you want to go that way, your dealer may be able to import them together with the camper... could save you a lot of £. Just be aware that they are specific for each truck model and I'm not sure if they make a bolt-on version for the Hilux.

If you do go for a bolt inside your truck bed, be aware that the connections on the NorthStar are on the outer edge. So, if you are going to tie down into the truck bed, the straps will run over the top rail of your truck.

Would love to hear who and where the new NorthStar dealer is.


Image


Hi Sue,
Why do you want to change from the bolts-through-chassis system? Why don't you like it?
Rex, at Northstar, says that they are building the camper so we can use ratchet straps accessed via hatches inside the camper. I would assume that if they are doing that, they will be putting the connection bolts somewhere closer to the floor. I have emailed him for conformation but no reply yet.

The dealer was 'encouraged' by Northstar to accept me as their first guinea pig client and I think they felt they would have preferred to have been a bit more organised and ready before they took their first order. Especially as I doubt I am the easiest of clients! (I ask a LOT of questions. :) I will contact them and ask them if they are ready and if they are, I will let you know who they are. :)
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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby zildjian » 24 Oct 2016 12:37

Forklift (if in same shipment) sounds pretty good TBH as an option,
Even if not exactly tailor-made for Hilux it would cheaper to have it modified if necessary and powdercoated afterwards
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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby petesherrard » 24 Oct 2016 14:12

I did look at Torklift but was shocked by the price. And I would prefer to avoid anything sticking out from the truck, especially low down. I have done a lot of off-roading in Africa, where I also plan to take this camper and I can imagine these catching on bushes/ camels/ locals, not to mention being caked in dust and sand after ten hours of driving. So the idea of an eye bolt reinforced at the back of the load bed sounds much more my cup of tea. Also, bolting an eye bolt directly through the chassis sounds good too, and easily reparable, more than a weld. The large holes in the bed needed to accommodate the movement of the bolts does worry me a bit though but I wonder if I could find some sort of rubber plugs to fill them when not using the camper.
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Re: Hello & how do I mount a Northstar to a Hilux!

Postby David Fellowes » 24 Oct 2016 14:40

Don't *think* you'll need to make an overly large hole in the bed, the tubs' don't move around much or they'd be rubbing back of cab,

you aren't trying to use a Navara to do a Hiluxs' job after all

would still prefer an angled bracket of side of chassis rail myself as there's more area to dissipate stress over ideally and agree with torklift and camels :D
I think of myself as part of the the dayshift around here :)
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