2020 Ram 5500 DIY Composite Panel Camper Build Thread

peculierboy

New member
Where did you get the air chuck insert plug shown in the video in the rear? The black plug with the ring pull. With the weather/salt out here, I'm constantly cleaning mine so it doesn't gunk up.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Where did you get the air chuck insert plug shown in the video in the rear? The black plug with the ring pull. With the weather/salt out here, I'm constantly cleaning mine so it doesn't gunk up.
That’s seriously the thing I got asked most about on the Tundra too.

Genius little Gizmo.

I get them from Wits End. They have several different ones for various size chucks:

 

rruff

Explorer
Video with more details up:
Very nice rig!

Have you checked what happens to articulation and crossed-up wheel clearance now that you have the subframe on? Should be fine (I think) since the subframe only moves up relative to the main frame as you twist.

My Tundra doesn't flex nearly as much but I can still get ~3.5" max twist relative to the cab. I was planning to do a 3 point mount with the front rigid, but noticed that this actually decreases the tire clearance... which doesn't seem ideal.
 

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RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Very nice rig!

Have you checked what happens to articulation and crossed-up wheel clearance now that you have the subframe on? Should be fine (I think) since the subframe only moves up relative to the main frame as you twist.

My Tundra doesn't flex nearly as much but I can still get ~3.5" max twist relative to the cab. I was planning to do a 3 point mount with the front rigid, but noticed that this actually decreases the tire clearance... which doesn't seem ideal.
Thanks.

Yes, of course, we maxed out and checked flex during every stage of the build.

I did the same with my tundra. I most definitely would NOT do a Tundra bed hard mounted in the front if you’re looking for flex. The area just behind the cab is where most of the flex happens. We tested this a lot on my tundra
 

rruff

Explorer
Mine is the 8' bed. The heavy duty frame rails extend further back from the cab, and most of the flexing is behind the rear wheels. You can see very little shifting between the cab and front of the bed. I think a 3 point would be ok; from the research I've done that gets used a lot even on very flexy frames like yours or the Fuso. But your design seems best for that sort of frame; evens out the load better.

TundraTwist2.jpg
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Mine is the 8' bed. The heavy duty frame rails extend further back from the cab, and most of the flexing is behind the rear wheels. You can see very little shifting between the cab and front of the bed. I think a 3 point would be ok; from the research I've done that gets used a lot even on very flexy frames like yours or the Fuso. But your design seems best for that sort of frame; evens out the load better.

View attachment 601129
That’s Physically Impossible, but I won’t argue with you.

Enjoy 👍🏼
 
Last edited:

rruff

Explorer
What's physically impossible? There are four mounts in front of the wheels and four behind. The ones in the back are on the flexy part of the frame.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Well... Another huge step forward and some success.

When i first installed the 3" spacer lift, the axle sat almost an entire inch to the drivers side. Obvious fix was an adjustable track bar.

Got an adjustable Trackbar from Dodge Offroad that they claimed solved the problem, although it solved the axle centering problem, it created a bigger problem, and it contacted the axle where the steering stabilizer mounts.

I tried everything, shim, misalignment bushings, charging the bolts it hit to button heads, etc.. Nothing worked.

The Buckstop suspension kit has a trackbar relocation bracket to solve this issue, but they don't sell the pieces separately, and i didnt go with their kit, because i figured i'd be going with the front Kelderman later down the road.

Long story short, while i was on the phone with Buckstop about something else, they asked if i still had my stock control arms, and i did. I was able to convince them to trade my arms for the bracket.

It arrived today, and just installed it. WOW

I removed the adjustable track bar, removed the stock bracket, bolted the Buckstop bracket in, and grabbed my stock track bar.

Was actually amazed, it bolted into placed EXACTLY where i had the other one set to get the axle centered, and i didnt need to move a thing. Literally took 10 mins.

Buttoned everything up, and there is ample clearance now, and the stock rubber bushings will likely take away some vibes that the heims from the adjustable gave.

Moral of the story here... If you're moving your axle forward on a Ram 5500 to clear the big MPTs, there really isnt anyway around using their bracket, which likely means ya have to buy their kit.

Here are some photos:

trackbarcompareFORUM.jpg

trackbar2FORUM.jpg

trackbar5forum.jpg

trackbar4forum.jpg
 

draaronr

Adventurer
what composite builder and specs did you decide? I just picked up a 2016 Ram 5500 crew that was a flood loss, Got it back on the road, and most of the gremlins worked out. Shopping for flat beds and custom campers now.
 

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