Wow, what a transformation! That's going to look sharp. I think buying an ex-FD truck is a smart idea. Meticulous regular maintenance and low miles. It's a solid motor, pre-DEF and pre- all that other electronic crap (which I admit, I can't live without, lol.) And I hear you on the flexibility. A truck camper setup is the only way to go. I'm sold on it. It's a truck, it's a camper, and it gets you way out further than anyone else in an "RV".Love that Pony Express route through the "Wesert" and Nevada. Some really great gems and some unbelievable scenery. AND Dangit that's one handsome rig. Love the rails. Sounds like Alumline does what many people do: the skilled dogs do the real work and the newbie grunts do the **** work. Good to know that at the base of it, it's solid and straight. Should last a lifetime. Like I said, they are quite reasonable on the pricing. The main problem for me is everybody is out 14-18 weeks for delivery, which kills summer for fun and play. I have too many trucks and the lady is getting antsy, so I'm looking at used aluminum flatbed units (ei UNICORNS), or in-stock units (ei, agricultural units with 5th wheel setups and huge skirts), none of which will be the right size. Wish me luck.
I'm building a budget Expo rig. Work/play. Can't spend a ton of money cause the 'Rona hit my bar really hard (we are doing great now but there's a sizeable hole where money went). So I went and bought this for Covid Xmas from an Expo member (RAD DUDE). He was kind enough to pick me up from the airport in Kalispell and drive me up to his ranch near the Idaho panhandle in Montana and I drove it home through a blizzard through Montana, Idaho and northern Utah. 2001 F450 Super Duty 7.3 Powerstroke with 38k original miles. Was a brush truck in Troy Montana for its life. Over $27k in service records:
Turned it into this, with some (READ: ALL) help from the boys at Oakley Offroad in Sandy:
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Swapped/rebuilt axles and suspension from a 2006 Super Duty with the wide track front Dana 60, matching S110 rear with True Trac, re-geared to 5.38, Yukon zip locker in front, super minimal 2" level, dual stabilizers and some other extras but not much else. Now I have a 7.3 Powerstroke with the way better turning radius of the 2005-on models. Radius is unbelievable really.
Plan is to have a super flexible rig. I also have a stout oil rig flatbed trailer I had modded out to make it completely flat and had it lifted a few inhes, and I bought a big ARE welder shell/canopy that sat unused on a truck shell lot so I bought it and now have a really good use for it.. That canopy will live on the trailer when it's not hauling my cataraft or yard debris. I'll have a camper on my flatbed in "play mode" and put the ARE shell on the flatbed in the more common "work mode" or for hauling gear/bikes/outboards/stuff to shuttle for mountain, lake and desert trips. Here is a shot of the shell as it lays currently on my flatbed trailer:
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I keep saying I'll do a build thread instead of hijacking other people's threads, but I'm lucky if I remember to brush my teeth in the morning so... I love Ogden BTW. Let me know if you end up wandering around SLC. This thing should be ready to roll in the next month or so and I'll need to get it on some dirt!
You're exactly right about AlumLine. The boxes were gorgeous, but they were probably build by the senior guy, on the bench, in the A/C, etc. The frame? Definitely the fng new guy.
I looked at CM, Bradford and Moritz for a basic steel platform flatbed. If you figure buying a bed, all the boxes, and then mounting them, Alum-Line came out about the same or cheaper -- and I could get exactly what I wanted. Think about staying steel though. You can handle the weight and it's easy to fab onto. The only read drawback is corrosion.
Let me and @frodotbaggins88 know when you're ready to head out. We'll go have some fun.