Page Last Updated: December 17, 2017


This page documents the 'on-going' modifications, upgrades and other changes or improvements we have made to our truck and camper. 

Some of these may no longer be present, having been replaced by an improved system or an alternate component. 



Permanently Removed
Used Sometimes 


These are the most up-to-date views, at various angles, showing all truck and camper spaces, exterior and interior and including descriptive captions. 

Click and zoom into the photos to see the captions.  








GEAR CLOSET (Crew Cab Seat)



"  A fixed or permanent change that makes something work better. "

Auxiliary Lights (front) 

The addition of these auxiliary lights are a safety upgrade I'd been planning for awhile. We will be driving several unpaved, gravel, drytop roads during this latest drive in the north. With that comes a lot of dust and in addition, there's the potential for foggy conditions in the mountains on the trip out and much the same (with snow) heading back east later in the Autumn. As a driver ... I like to see and be seen!

Click here for a published post of this installation.

Auxiliary Light (rear)

Provides additional visibility when backing into dark, forested campsites. This location on the campers bumper can affect the departure angle, so it has been mounted on a bracket that allows the light to be swivelled out of the way if necessary.

* Backup Alarms and Camera

The original Ford alarms and backup camera were relocated from the rear truck bumper and tailgate to the underside of the camper bumper. The camera wiring was installed with a quick disconnect for off-loading.

Brush/Stone Guard 

This is a well built product that provides good protection across and around the trucks front end. Ranchand makes other styles; some that replace the full bumper with an integrated guard.

Cabover Struts 

This is the first suspension modification we made. The struts (shock absorbers) dampen the tendency of the heavy cab-over area of the Lance camper to porpoise (front/rear undulating motion) on wavy roads. On rolling highways it's easy to see the dampening effect they have on the cabover. Porpoising does not feel as severe as it was without them.

* Threshold Sweep and Gasket (entry door)

I installed a camper door threshold sweep and squared the door to the frame. The door needed encouragement to close properly and there was a 1/2 inch gap from door to frame threshold ... a good place for dust, cold air and biting insects to enter.

* Canoe Bar 

We required a front bar to transport our longer boats. We had this one custom fabricated from aluminium and mounted to the campers aluminium wall frame. It was eventually primed and painted to match trim colour.

Cargo Box 

We needed a place to store boating accessories. We've usually got a canoe or kayaks on the roof. Some paddling gear gets stored in a big duffel in the crew seat, but we needed a place for miscellaneous stuff. I attached an aluminium suitcase to the YAKIMA cross bars without drilling additional holes in the roof. It eventually got painted bronze to match the truck trim. We keep extra ratchet straps, rope and chord, saddle and roller hardware and boat locks here.

Cargo Tray 

Attached to the Class V REISS rear receiver hitch. The tray may hold : extra fuel container(s), firewood, and a large duffel containing; recovery equipment and tools, levelling blocks, septic hose supports etc. Most of the items are things that I don't need frequent access to. I sometimes pull a large tarp over the tray and ratchet strap it down. I've also added a couple of large turnbuckles tied back to the hitch that keep the tray from rocking. 

Click here, for a post that details this installation.

Exterior Garages (rear / side)

The rear garage currently contains a selection of tools, air compressor, liquids, fasteners etc. 

The side garage holds our bbq, small propane bottles, firegrate, an outside mat and a kindling bag.

Fender Flares 

These were installed as part of the rigs body protection project ... light, easy to install, I chose not to, but they can be painted.
First Aid Kit / Safety Devices

Including: bear spray, fire extinguisher, signal horn, belt knife, flashlight. Above entry door for easy access.

Gear Closet (crew-cab seat)

First, I removed the rear seat, built a wooden platform and secured it at several locations. I installed rods that extend across the back of the rear seat and also to each side, also anchored securely. We carry an ever-changing variety of gear and equipment here ... additional clothing, packs, rain gear, a vehicle recovery pack, foot-ware bag, bike kit, SCUBA duffel, fold-able bikes, bug enclosure, large gear duffel, canoe barrels and packs, paddle bag, collapsible chairs & table, fishing gear ... 

Click here for a published post of this modification. 

* Ladder Storage Bag                                                                                                                                                             

This is a snowboard bag, waterproof interior, durable and with a water-resistant exterior. It holds an axe, small shovel, campfire poker, narrow rake, awning pole, flags, tent poles, breakdown saw. The bag has been thru-bolted to the back of the ladder. Items can be locked for minimum security. 

I also installed a small work vice on the bottom ladder rung.

* Map, Bulletin Board 

We use an overview map to plot our locations and daily driving progress and, it's a great place to store our 'pin' collection. We tack pertinent travel information and itinerary details to the bulletin board. 

Motion Detector Light (rear wall) 
Solar powered, can set sensitivity, duration and choose to use as a full time light. I eventually tore the small solar panel off of it's roof corner mount with a tree branch. 

The above light was replaced with a SUNFORCE model 82081, 80 led and the solar panel was secured in a protected location.

Mud Guards (camper wings) 

The area on the inside of the campers rear bumper houses sensitive electrical connections. I covered and secured all that wiring with plastic conduit and zip ties. The guards keep road debris like rocks, gravel, dirt and calcium chloride from damaging or wearing the electrical connections. 

They are tethered to the truck bed stake holes (top) and bumper tie-down attach loops (bottom). They can be folded back when loading / unloading the camper. 

Reflectors add a safety component to the night time visibility of our rig. 

**  Satellite / TV Antennae 

Both were removed from the roof. We weren't using the TV and both items not only added weight but were also in the way of loading boats. Equipment is available for re-installation.

Storage Solutions Interior

All these items have improved the storage and use-ability of the cabins' interior ... hooks, bars, rods, wooden shelves, webbed shelves, cupboard bars, magnetic clasps, hanging footwear pouches, a retractable clothesline, Velcro, quick fists, small bins, a folding countertop ...

Storage Tube 

Moved around and sometimes not used. I have located it on the roof (shown) or attached to the jack post brackets. We store fishing poles, long tool handles, an awning rod, rotating toilet wand etc here.

Tool Bag (entry door)

Hung inside near the door bottom. There is a need to have quick access to a number of items that are used for daily camp setup and small repairs ... spare plumbing and electrical parts and accessories (Teflon tape, washers, electrical adaptors), some small tools (bbq starter, lighter, knife, tape measure, gas sniffer, multi tool), carabiners, clothes pins and line, a chord bag, zip ties, bungees.

Water / Electrical Services (hose and cable)

LANCE does not provide a designated storage cabinet or area for either the fresh water hose or electrical cord in their model 855S. To keep both items handy, out-of-the-way and secure they have been moved to the drivers side and are stored by feeding them into the wheel-well of the truck bed. The fresh water hose's municipal service end (with the carbon filter attached) is tethered inside the exterior propane tank cabinet. The electrical cord (with the power surge protector attached) is tethered to the underside of the camper body outer edge.

Window Covers (ceiling)

These are insulated and are used to keep the heat out in the hot months and in in the cold months. Can be snapped on and off, rolled back or secured in place.

Wooden Shelving / Trim

Shelves were built above the window valances (both sides of the cabover, rear wall) for miscellaneous items, 2 small units to hold spices, dish cloths and towels (kitchen), 1 for magazines (dinette). A fold down countertop improves food preparation in the kitchen.


" Improves the reliability, quality or usefulness of something. "

Anti-sway Bar (rear) 

The original Ford bar (top of right-hand photo) was inadequate. The Hellwig Big Wig anti-sway bar has been designed specifically to address the body roll that can occur with trucks that haul top heavy slide-in campers.

Click here for a published post of this installation.

Batteries (cabin)  

The battery compartment is inside the camper's step-up; near the bed. The batteries that came with the camper were inadequate; mismatched, Group 24. The compartment is now jammed with 2 Exide AGM Group 31 batteries in addition to all the original electrical and other mechanical equipment; a converter, fuse panel, CO2 detector and a gas line. The compartment measures approximately 30" long x 18" deep x 10" high.   

Click here, for a post on this upgrade.

Battery (truck) 

Replaced the original battery in 2014, after 3 years and 73000 kms.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm (backup) 

battery operated backup

Cylinder Locks (exterior garages) 

rear and side

Cushions (dinette seats) 

The seat foam had flattened out considerably and was very uncomfortable to sit on for longer than a few minutes. The stitching was also starting to pull apart at the seam that runs the length of the seat on one of the cushions and from the appearance of the other, it wouldn't have been much longer before it would have begun to tear also. The fabric was also showing signs of 'pulls' in several places.

Click here for a published post of this repair.

Helper Springs (rear) 

Removed November 2017 

Click here for a published post of this installation.

Supersprings model ss13, were installed in June 2014, in an attempt to strengthen LOAF's rear suspension. After driving an additional 50,000 kms, we noticed they 'appeared to have lost their effectiveness' and we weren't sure why?

Solar System

Note: Click here for a published post of this upgrade.

Our solar system has been upgraded to 255 watts; wired in series, almost tripling our initial capacity of 95 watts and we've added a 3000 watt modified sine wave inverter. A 50 amp transfer switch automatically disengages the inverter if shore power is detected. We can now power all A/C plugs and our microwave. 

LED lights, water pump, furnace fan and our entertainment system were already on the campers 12V system, so this upgrade allows the batteries to be topped up faster when using these systems. Our HW heater is 2-way - 120V/propane. Our furnace is 1-way propane (with 12V used to power the fan). Our refrigerator is 3-way - 12V/120V/propane.

The only item or appliance that is not able to be powered while dry camping or boondocking is our air conditioner. We rarely use it and have found that our MAGIC Fan, which runs off 12V works well to draw air through the camper.

In the future, we may add another roof panel (small). We have a couple of options for locating additional batteries and when the time comes to replace the AGM's we now have, we may do that. By that time, Lithium batteries may have come down enough in price and that could be another option for us.

New XANTREX 190 watt solar kit (foreground)
JIAWEI 95 watt solar kit (upper right)

New 50 amp transfer switch
(2) EXIDE AGM Group 31C batteries, total 200 amp hrs (top)

New GOPOWER 3000 watt modified sine wave inverter.

Spring Packs (rear)


It was decided, to rebuild the rear suspension by adding 2 new leafs to LOAF's original spring pack (with lower helper spring) and to re-install the original upper helper spring that had been removed in the past to accommodate the supersprings installation. 

Click here for a published post of this installation.

HW Tank

We have wrestled with a hot water tank leak since the drive on the Trans-Labrador Highway in the Fall of 2015. It initially became apparent as a pump that cycled when it shouldn't have needed to.

A choice of inferior materials by the manufacturer and a lack of care by the technician that completed the plumbing was the cause of our problem. An original, thin-walled plastic connector had split and was replaced with a brass fitting; as was a second fitting, installed with the same materials that we suspected would also fail in the same manner.

Click here for a published post of this upgrade.

Power Protection 
model 44260 by TRC, 30 amp 120 voltshore to camper electrical supply

Shock Absorbers 
BILSTEIN 5100 Series

The original, factory Ranchero shocks on the Ford were past their serviceable life. They were done, no dampening capability whatsoever. I now know what it feels like to drive a 6 ton truck that doesn't have shock absorbers. 

Click here for a published post of this upgrade.

NITTO Ridge Grapplers 

We've upgraded the tires to 295/70R18 Load 129E; each is now capable of a maximum 4080 pound load. This is a +486 pound payload capability / corner improvement over the previous Bridgestone 275/75R18's ... it's all about safety and drive-ability.


" DIY projects, paint, protective finishes, materials, fabrications, embellishments. "

Air Dam / Bug Deflector 

Installed on 3 sides, between the trucks cab roof and the campers cab-over floor. It has eliminated 95% of the bug splatter that usually collects on the camper wall just behind the crew seat. It's difficult to tell if there has been an improvement in fuel economy. Material supply was inexpensive and off the shelf ... landscape trimming pieces, aluminium flatstock, stainless hardware, some adhesives.

Anti-skid Strips (roof)

This roof gets extremely slippery with any amount of precipitation. It's crowded up there and moving between the boats can be awkward. An inexpensive mod that improves safety.

Hood Protector 

Deflects bugs and other small debris away from the windshield.


Installed on the main vertical sections of the Stone and Brush Guard and to the side of the PIAA Lights. Bumpers 'bump' before anything important touches.


The LANCE Camper was heavily decal-led. I removed several and could still remove more. We designed this custom logo for the rear wall.

Cooler Grill

Extra protection for the transmission cooler, which is located behind the bumper, in front of the radiator and between the tow hooks.

Flag Pole Mount 

We fly the flag as much as possible. We have another location attached to the canoe bar that will accept a second flag.
Fog Lamp Grills

Look at the dimple on that bumper, it just missed the fog lamp. Chicken wire, painted with black gravel guard, shaped and slipped into place is a fairly inexpensive protector vs. an expensive replacement part.

Dust/Mud Lock Covers

Exterior camper door and storage cabinets.

Trim Paint

Front jack posts, pvc storage tube, roof cargo box, a/c, roof vents, canoe bar - 2 coats of a universal primer and then multiple coats painted to compliment / match the truck bronze.

* Turnbuckles
HAPPI-JAC Qwikloads 

Thick rubber bicycle tube is available in dimensions that fit snuggly along the length of the turnbuckles. The material does a good job of protecting the finish against corrosion. I am still able to lock the handles down to protect against theft and an opening at the top of the tube, allows me to squirt oil down the shaft to lubricate the inside spring mechanism. 

Reflectors and Reflective Tape

Wherever required.

Rocker Panels and Rear Bumper 

Painted with multiple coats of black GRAVEL-GUARD.

Side Lip Trim 

Camper sides from cab-over back to wings


" Portable, move-able, non-permanent items, tools, gear, equipment. "

Air Compressor 


Battery Booster Pack 
MOTOMASTER, w. air compressor

Ceramic Heater 

Electronics Kit

For safety, convenience and entertainment. We carry a variety of electronics gear that gets utilized in both urban and backcountry environments. Backcountry items are sometimes carried in a large PELICAN case

Cameras - (2) digital and (1) waterproof
Cell Phone(s) - 2
Computer(s) - (2) laptops, (1) tablet
Dash Cam - SPYTEC 
GPS - GARMIN Montana 600
Internet Hotspot - ROGERS, Canadian coverage
Internet Hotspot - VERIZON, USA coverage
Inverter - MOTOMASTER Eliminator 500w, camper 
Inverter - XANTREX 300w, truck cab
Marine Transceiver VHF - RADIO SHACK
Two-way Communication - DELORME InReach
Walkie-Talkies - COBRA

Click here, for some detail.

Kayak Covers

To lessen the effects of weather exposure on the kayak hulls, protect against stone damage and to create an additional barrier to rain infiltration. The covers will also protect the hulls from damage to the sterns finish when loading and unloading.

Recovery Kit

Click here, for a published post detailing the contents.
Weather Station 
model 00606 wireless thermometer


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