Protection From Bugs in Campers

Question:I saw one of you Mini Mates last year at the BMWMOA national rally in TN. I didn’t notice then, but in watching your video I saw you don’t have insect netting backing up the entry way. How do people deal with insect invasion while camping?

Answer:You know, when I first started handling Mini Mates as a dealer I had the same question. I’ve taken them out on many occasions though and I’ve never had a problem. When the entryway is zipped up, it fits pretty snugly against the door and I’ve never had a bug issue. All of the campers have some type of gap somewhere.

The Time Out, for example, uses snaps around the base of the tent canvas and there are places where there are definite gaps between the canvas and the tent shell. I had one of those at Forked Run State Park in southeastern Ohio last year where the mosquitos were thick enough to swim in and I never had a bug problem inside the tent with anything that crawls or flies.

I think the combination of tight-fitting fabric and the fact that the campers are off the ground make a big difference. Of all the campers, the Mini Mate actually probably offers the most protection because excepting that doorway area, the rest of the canvas is fully attached to the camper body all the way around. If you were really intent on blocking anything from coming in, I suppose you could attach a strip of Velcro to the top of the door and an opposing piece to the inside of the canvas where the two meet. You would all but completely seal the unit then.

Rampage in Toy Hauler

Question HI. Found the video of loading your bike interesting using the Rampage system. My question. I have a Raptor Toyhauler with a 10′ garage and of course with a ramp. The ramp is about 90 in long and the bed in the garage has a slight angle to it at the beginning. I don’t see how this system will work for me. Do you have a diagram or any information that shows one of these units installed in a toyhauler? Thanks.

Answer (from Rampage):Toy Haulers — there are two types we know of:

Drop down door – Depending on the door height, when the door is down, the standard Rampage is likely to drop down onto the back side of the door when its fully extended. The rider may have to ride up a little to get the front wheel against the cradle. Then they’d have to leave the bike in gear temporarily as they set up the ties to the cradle. Kick stand distance to the ground may require they carry a small block for that. Depends on how far up they have to ride to reach the cradle. Alternately we could make a longer Rampage unit. The standard 99-1/2″, or a custom length (+ $ 400 MSRP).

Roll up or hinged door – A standard installation, but… the distance from the inside of the door to the edge of the deck may be too much to clear safely, and we’d have to either A. block up the Rampage (photos attached) to clear the edge of the deck, or B. install Rampage roller supports (photos attached – Sprinter Van), and move the unit back and forth approx 7″. Both work fine. I like the roller supports better, since it only raises the unit 1″-2″.

Bottom line, we should be able to do Toy Haulers. I say “should” since there are so many different ones now we need to know a little about each one before committing. The drop down door could be a little tricky for the rider, depending on how close the bottom end of the Ramp ends up to the ground, which depends on the door length (height when closed), but I think they would be OK in most cases.

Rampage Installation

Question:I am considering replacing my car with a pickup truck, and am interested in the Rampage lift that you sell, but have a few questions about it. You say that it can be installed so that it is easy to disconnect the bolts from the
bed, which is great. But how heavy is the unit then? Is it a one man lift, a two man lift, or do you need to get three or four people to move it around?

Also, what size truck bed is needed for the installation? And have you encountered any other reasons that it couldn’t be installed?

Answer:These are great questions.

The Rampage can be removed by one person if you take the sliding ramp out of the base. The ramp is manageable but the base is still pretty heavy. It’s 1/4 and 3/8 steel, so it’s just a heavily-built base. One person who is fairly well fit can handle it, but it’s much easier if it’s a two person job. Some people have built workarounds to make it easier for one person to handle it, but I think it’s easier and less expensive to spring for a couple of six packs and get a buddy to help when needed.

The unit will work in pretty much any size bed. 5′ 4″ is the minimum. Standard bed length is 6′ to 6.5′ and of course the max is an 8′ bed. If you go with an 8′ bed, the benefit is you can mount the unit so that you can put the tail gate on after you load the bike. You could also leave the unit in the bed and have it fully covered, so it wouldn’t be as necessary to remove/reinstall it.

The downside to an 8′ bed is that you have to be more exacting about putting it in. It’s important to place it so the ramp clears the lip of the bed in the back when it’s tilted down, but is in far enough that you can put the tail gate back on.

Sometimes this means that the Rampage mounting holes are over top of the stringers that run under the bed and connect the bed to the frame. That’s a problem when using the rivet nuts that are used for installation. The advantage of rivet nuts is that they stay in the bed so you can easily bolt/unbolt the unit. However, those have to be located on a flat surface. Hitting the flange on one of those stringers when you are drilling the holes for the rivet nuts is an “Oh shit” moment.

If you have a standard size bed, you can move the unit forward or backward a little bit to miss the stringers that run underneath which eliminates this issue. That’s because the rear of the unit is going to hang off the bed anyway, so you’re not trying to meet two placement objectives at the same time. Of course, this means that the rear of the unit will be exposed, even if your tonneau cover is fully deployed, so you’re more likely to want to take the unit out if you do not plan to use it for a period of time.

Although it sounds tricky, installation is actually pretty simple. You’re drilling four holes, installing four rivet nuts and running a power cable. I did it by following the printed directions and did not have a problem. The keys to a successful installation are:

1) Get the right size drill bit that is recommended for the rivet nuts
2) Pay attention to where the stringers run under the bed so you don’t hit them when drilling
3) Make sure the ramp can properly clear the lip of the tail gate
4) Avoid overdrilling the holes for the rivet nuts