2000 F250 Crew Cab 7.3 Flatbed with a FWC Grandby

cbattles

Chris Battles
This has been a long time coming, and some of you may have read about the crazy drama with my flatbed.

With that all taken care of, I was able to score a reasonable deal on a thoroughly used 2010 Grandby shell with a few small issues. My goal here wasn't a full on "camper" (kitchen, bath, etc.), and I reused as much material as possible which meant foregoing cosmetic perfection.

I just wanted a warm, comfortable place to sleep for at least my wife, my young son, and myself, and I wanted to be able to move around without setting up and tearing down camp regularly.

So, I built out the shell accordingly:

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There are two 30x75 6" mattresses in the cabover and extension, and one on the driver side. I installed a 2kw diesel heater, and included some simple storage on the passenger side, and storage for larger items under the lower bed.

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Since this was going on a flatbed, I built some side boxes using prehung, surplus RV doors that I scored online. I mounted them upside down and secured them with thin cable so they drop down into workspaces.

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I just got back from my first trip, which ironically included a pass through Grandby, CO while I was hunting Elk (unsuccessfully).

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The whole setup (including the heater) worked beautifully, even at nearly 10k feet, single digit temps and 30+ mph winds.

I just used a cheap Chinese diesel heater, I actually bought two so I'd have a spare of everything. Before I left, I bought and installed a smaller fuel pump, which ended up being perfect. It ran very clean, even at altitude, and I ended up using less than 3 gallons of fuel running for 7 days, more or less the entire time it was dark.

As a side note, I'm aware that these are not supposed to overhang the bed. However, it's actually less than 12" and it's hard to see, but it is reinforced a little in that area. I had every intention of fabbing a bed mounted bracket of some kind to support it further, but there's virtually no weight back there and zero deflection even with 250 lbs bouncing on the door frame, so I skipped it.

And, honorable mention to one of the best things that I did to the truck, installing a True Trac. It had a non-functional factory limited slip and even in 4wd, it left a lot to be desired in terms of capability offroad. With the True Trac and the extra weight on the back, I was able to tackle some very nasty stuff in 2wd, and 4wd got me back in places that I probably had no business taking a rig my size. I was very impressed. The next big thing on my list will be swapping my Dana 50 for a Dana 60 and installing another True Trac in the front.
 
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ripperj

Explorer
I like it… a lot.
Posts like this remind me of something that in the back of my mind I know, but constantly ignore- simple is often (always?) better.
I need to check out those diesel heaters again- I was following the threads when they first popped up years back. I have a gasser, but have room and load capacity for a small (10g??) diesel tank. Sounds like that would run close to a month. 10 gallons and the tank weights just a tad more than two 20 # propane tanks and lasts a lot longer(diesel has 35% more btus per gallon)
Have fun !


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ripperj

Explorer
I see the Coleman gas stove .
My son and I are accidentally turning into Coleman junkies. I drove a couple hours a few years back to get a new in the box from the early 70s and my son keeps dragging them home from yard sales. I think we have 6 , including a dual fuel and a propane. We are into all of them and a couple lamps for under $100 and that includes the $70 I paid for the new in box one.
People either love them or hate them it seems .


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cbattles

Chris Battles
I see the Coleman gas stove .
My son and I are accidentally turning into Coleman junkies. I drove a couple hours a few years back to get a new in the box from the early 70s and my son keeps dragging them home from yard sales. I think we have 6 , including a dual fuel and a propane. We are into all of them and a couple lamps for under $100 and that includes the $70 I paid for the new in box one.
People either love them or hate them it seems .


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The old ones at least are built like a tank and just keep chugging along. Works for me.
 

cbattles

Chris Battles
I like it… a lot.
Posts like this remind me of something that in the back of my mind I know, but constantly ignore- simple is often (always?) better.
I need to check out those diesel heaters again- I was following the threads when they first popped up years back. I have a gasser, but have room and load capacity for a small (10g??) diesel tank. Sounds like that would run close to a month. 10 gallons and the tank weights just a tad more than two 20 # propane tanks and lasts a lot longer(diesel has 35% more btus per gallon)
Have fun !


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Thanks.

And I really can't say enough about how impressed I was with that little heater. A few notes:

- They regulate temperature by decreasing and increasing btu output within a set range, it does not actually turn off and on. This wasn't a big deal, I just used my vents and fan to make sure that the load was sufficient that it didn't over-shoot the temp settings. This had the added benefit of keeping the inside totally free of any noticeable condensation. And although it's technically inefficient, I was still very happy with the fuel usage.

- After reading a lot about how these work and doing some tests on my own, I decided to go with a smaller fuel pump than was supplied with the 2kw heater. This tricks the heater into supplying more combustion air for any given amount of fuel, which is good for usage at altitude, and it effectively lowers the btu range at which it can operate which matched it even more closely to the demand in my case.

- I used the included pick up tube (meant for the fuel tank) and modified a cap on a 5 gallon Scepter fuel can to act as the tank. I carry 4 of these in the driver side exterior box on the camper. It's spare fuel for the truck and I can quickly switch my pick up to the next can if needed. I also installed vents on each of these 4 cans for this purpose, and they're nice to have anyway.
 

cbattles

Chris Battles
A little more about the truck, for posterity:

- Ambulance alternator swap, rated at 215 amps continuous
- 4 x 200ah AGM sealed golf cart batteries
- Sensata 12/1200 pure sine inverter, rated at 1200w continuous

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It's wired so that the camper has Anderson and 110 connectors, and the truck has Anderson connectors at the front bumper and rear of cab.

I have a winch set up on a receiver tray and front/rear receivers, along with a 1/0 extension cable and 1/0 jumper cables, all with Anderson connectors.

The idea here was to neatly tuck the batteries low and forward, and the upside is that I can run most 110v tools or other things in the field with just the truck if I want to. And, if I need the winch in the rear, I can just unplug the camper and use the extension cable.

The 7.3 is running upgraded injectors, turbo, tuning and some other goodies that probably put it in the range of 400 hp and 1000 ft-lbs tq on a hot tune. More importantly though, from about 1500 RPM, it's making roughly double what it did stock which makes a huge difference in how it feels to drive this thing.
 
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ripperj

Explorer
I dug thru your other posts quickly and didn’t see at quick glance-do you have a link or details on the heater and pump set you are using?
Thanks man


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cbattles

Chris Battles
I dug thru your other posts quickly and didn’t see at quick glance-do you have a link or details on the heater and pump set you are using?
Thanks man


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I used this heater kit:

Happybuy 2KW Diesel Heater Double Vent 2KW Diesel Air Heater 12V Diesel Parking Heater Metal Tank for RV Bus Car Boats Motorhome


And this 16ml pump:

Tavot Low Fuel Consumption 16/28ML Heating Pump - Durable & High Performance & Long Service Life 12/24V Diesel Heater Oil Pump


These things cycle in and out of availability, and they're sold under a bunch of different brands. The important thing is to get a true 2kw heater which is shorter than some marketed as the same. You want one with a length of about 11.4", a lot of the listings do list dimensions. Likewise, the 16ml rating is what's important on the fuel pump.
 

blakeape

Adventurer
Hey I love the simplicity and functionality of your build. I just sold an 02 7.3 F350. Great trucks but I found a 7.3 E350 I going to build hopefully this winter. Anyway, I love those boxes with the RV doors! Do you have a link or other info where to find them or something similar. I need to build some boxes for my 12 valve Dodge with a flatbed. Thanks
Jake
 

cobro92

Active member
Sweet rig! I have a 2000 F350 7.3 myself and I am looking to do something similar. Why did you go with the true trac instead of a locker? Just because you don’t need to engage it? I feel like they cost around the same.

Also what’s the name of the light bar thing you have on the front bumper?


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