Jack's 2007 Chevy Build

Hackopotomus

Observer
Saw your truck at the shop today. That thing is a beast! I think the ultimate setup and will serve you well.

Mine's in there getting a CST 6" lift (you can see it behind yours in the second photo). I mounted 315/70-17's on the H2 wheels but had rubbing issues. Plus got sick of the rock hard ride with the torsion bars cranked all the way up. Now the keys are all the way down and running Fox 2.0 shocks so should ride pretty smooth.

Now I have to decide about a camper. Been looking for popups but will probably build my own. I really like your set up with the flat bed but don't think I need that much room (just me and my dog) so will probably leave the factory bed and build on it. I didn't look inside your camper but I'm sure it is pretty nice inside.

With the SAS and engine work by the guys you're going to have a first class rig ready to tackle the world!

IMG_6196.JPGIMG_6197.JPG
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
I've been reading your thread at work all week, it's quite the inspiration. I probably won't do the SAS, but I'll be imitating alot of the thing's that worked for you.

Had I finished reading sooner, I wouldn't be copying you on your taillights because I would have designed around it lol.
Thank you. I'm glad it gave you some inspiration and gave you something to read at work. :ROFLMAO:

The SAS is a serious bit of work and you need to make sure it is truly worth it for your specific use/needs.

I hear you on the taillights, not my favorite solution, but sometimes you have to make the best of it.

Jack
 

Hackopotomus

Observer
One thing I really like about flat beds is the storage boxes underneath. You can put a lot of stuff in there that you wouldn't want inside the camper. Because I didn't want the expense of a flat bed plus the extra weight I am thinking going with side boxes like these and then building a popup roof on top and rear entry doors. I'd mount the boxes more outboard so the backsides are flush with the inside of the bed rails giving me a little more interior room.

lumber_rack_tool_boxesB.jpg
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
Saw your truck at the shop today. That thing is a beast! I think the ultimate setup and will serve you well.

Mine's in there getting a CST 6" lift (you can see it behind yours in the second photo). I mounted 315/70-17's on the H2 wheels but had rubbing issues. Plus got sick of the rock hard ride with the torsion bars cranked all the way up. Now the keys are all the way down and running Fox 2.0 shocks so should ride pretty smooth.

Now I have to decide about a camper. Been looking for popups but will probably build my own. I really like your set up with the flat bed but don't think I need that much room (just me and my dog) so will probably leave the factory bed and build on it. I didn't look inside your camper but I'm sure it is pretty nice inside.

With the SAS and engine work by the guys you're going to have a first class rig ready to tackle the world!
Thank you. The heads were supposed to make it back from the machine shop this week, but I'm not sure whether they did or not. I tried to make it the best I could, so I appreciate the compliment.

Yeah, I think the fenders have to be cut or the truck has to be lifted to avoid any rubbing. I think with your wheelbase, the lift will be a good thing. Plus you should see an improvement in the ride.

Our FWC was a good set up for two people and would have been perfect for one person and a dog. We deliberated for a long time as to whether we should keep the FWC or go all the way to what we have now. As you can see, we went all of the way, but there is still a part of us misses the FWC. Everything is a compromise and while we have spent multiple days (in the rain) in the FWC, it wasn't the most comfortable and that was our biggest push for something more comfortable (and larger/heavier).

Jack
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
One thing I really like about flat beds is the storage boxes underneath. You can put a lot of stuff in there that you wouldn't want inside the camper. Because I didn't want the expense of a flat bed plus the extra weight I am thinking going with side boxes like these and then building a popup roof on top and rear entry doors. I'd mount the boxes more outboard so the backsides are flush with the inside of the bed rails giving me a little more interior room.

View attachment 501215
Make sure you post the build up, would love to see it.

Jack
 

60beforetruck

Active member
Nice build. I have been in the same boat as you. SAS, blown head, you know the fun stuff. I would love to have a nice camper but, I wheel my truck a little harder then most. It is also a little taller. I have a bed draw set up with a queen mattress currently. Not the best but, it gets the job done.
Keep the photos coming of that unit getting used.
 

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locrwln

Expedition Leader
Nice build. I have been in the same boat as you. SAS, blown head, you know the fun stuff. I would love to have a nice camper but, I wheel my truck a little harder then most. It is also a little taller. I have a bed draw set up with a queen mattress currently. Not the best but, it gets the job done.
Keep the photos coming of that unit getting used.
Thank you. Good to know there are others. I am bummed that I lost the HG's, but as stated earlier, that was my fault. If you ever feel like upgrading to something else, our FWC Hawk shell had no effect on the truck while offroad. We added a few things to the interior, but kept the weight down as low as possible in the camper to keep the COG low.

Mengel Pass in Death Valley


Fordyce Trail in the Sierras (sorry about the quality, the light was messing with my phone)


We just didn't want to "live" in it. The extreme stuff is probably behind us with this camper, but it won't stop us from using it. :cool:

Jack
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Yet another reason to go flatbed camper :cool:

While the camper floor might be a bit higher than with a standard bed and truck camper, the overall COG is often considerably lower.
Especially when you have underbody stowage boxes.

Broke truck or not, I'm sure this is a blessing Jack.
Better to have it broke now, and not on your next big trip.
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
Yet another reason to go flatbed camper :cool:

While the camper floor might be a bit higher than with a standard bed and truck camper, the overall COG is often considerably lower.
Especially when you have underbody stowage boxes.

Broke truck or not, I'm sure this is a blessing Jack.
Better to have it broke now, and not on your next big trip.
I agree. We had a Lance on our F350 and a Sun-Lite on this truck, both were standard slide-in style campers and both were very noticeable on the truck. I think a by-product of that is the fact that regular hard size camper is basically "balancing" on a 48" wide floor. Whereas a flat bed camper's entire width is resting on the bed.

Oh yeah and boy am I taking advantage of those boxes. I have tools, recovery equipment, spare fluids, and pretty much anything else I could fit in there.

I have to keep telling myself that as I cannot imagine trying to deal with this somewhere south of the border.

Jack
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Yep, and as for camper design, just look at where many items in a standard truck camper wind up being...
They are either too high, or too far back...

With the limited floor space of a typical truck camper, heavy items like LP tank, batteries, and even the fridge are often above the bed rails, or all the way to the rear of the camper.
Afterall, there has to be access to these items. With a flatbed camper, all of it can be positioned low, and anywhere you want forward-back.

Most are designed fairly balanced when on jacks. I prefer them to be a bit nose-heavy, and balanced left to right (wet)
Once loaded on a truck it makes it considerably more driver friendly, as it pushes some of the weight to the front axle.

I set ours up nose heavy for this reason. However, truth be told, with the manual jacks it was a bit sketchy loading/unloading because of it.
Once I ponied up for the sweet remote controlled electrics, all the stress went away. (y)
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
Wow, you took out a head gasket from running it a bit hot a while ago?

If running it hot was the cause, mine should definitely be on the way out... I pulled my 15,000lb 5-er up to our property last April with the 65hp "tow" tune in the truck. Predator says max 8500lbs towing... I had to keep it down in 4th gear or it would quickly get hot. (Didn't help that it was 80F out...) Two passes it was 220F or a little over for a couple miles, even in 4th, and it was at least 200 almost all the way. No EGT's, but I force it down a gear if it starts pushing smoke... Smoke out the tailpipe under load is a poor man's EGT gauge... :)

So far, so good, but I know head gaskets don't last forever in aluminum head engines. Hopefully mine hold on until I have a 2 post hoist so I can just pluck off the cab and front clip and change them out...

270k mi and counting...
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Question about your coilovers up front. What spring rate and length did you use? A wild guess would be 14" springs with 500lbs/in?
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
Wow, you took out a head gasket from running it a bit hot a while ago?

If running it hot was the cause, mine should definitely be on the way out... I pulled my 15,000lb 5-er up to our property last April with the 65hp "tow" tune in the truck. Predator says max 8500lbs towing... I had to keep it down in 4th gear or it would quickly get hot. (Didn't help that it was 80F out...) Two passes it was 220F or a little over for a couple miles, even in 4th, and it was at least 200 almost all the way. No EGT's, but I force it down a gear if it starts pushing smoke... Smoke out the tailpipe under load is a poor man's EGT gauge... :)

So far, so good, but I know head gaskets don't last forever in aluminum head engines. Hopefully mine hold on until I have a 2 post hoist so I can just pluck off the cab and front clip and change them out...

270k mi and counting...
Yeah, I had it on the 90hp setting and I actually boiled coolant out. It was around 100 degrees and I was climbing fully loaded (didn't down shift or have the tow/haul activated) from 3500' to 10000'. That was the first time and I did that several times afterward before I figured out how to keep it cool(er). My EGR cooler also had a leak in it, which was probably the bigger issue. Transmission was getting into the 250 range as well during this.

You will probably be safe as you at least know what is going on and how to deal with it.

Jack
 
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