K5 Camper. My offroad home away from home.

Larry

Bigassgas Explorer
Looks good dude! That RAM mount looks brutal. That one sure shouldn’t shake like a watermelon on a pogo stick like mine did until I added an extra brace.
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
... Not to say an auto couldn't as I did fine with the 700r4, but I relied upon the brakes on some steep downhill runs way more than I would normally have liked too.

Having had both an manual and an automatic, I would offer this on the automatic.

-- For crawling, get into low range earlier than you would with a manual. There is no penalty for this as you rarely use the upper gears in lower range - now you can. :)

-- Some modern auto transmissions have a "sports" or similar setting. On our Isuzu, the sports mode was perfect for rolling mounting roads in the Andes. It kept the transmission from upshifting at the top of a grade, just before you began a descent. Also held in the lower gears a bit longer, useful for performance at altitude.

Offer with the usual guarantee for free advice - the price is right.
 

zoomad75

Observer
Having had both an manual and an automatic, I would offer this on the automatic.

-- For crawling, get into low range earlier than you would with a manual. There is no penalty for this as you rarely use the upper gears in lower range - now you can. :)

-- Some modern auto transmissions have a "sports" or similar setting. On our Isuzu, the sports mode was perfect for rolling mounting roads in the Andes. It kept the transmission from upshifting at the top of a grade, just before you began a descent. Also held in the lower gears a bit longer, useful for performance at altitude.

Offer with the usual guarantee for free advice - the price is right.
If I was still running an auto it's what I did. I was always the first to grab 4low out of the group. Mostly for the fact that the ratio made up for my lack of low end torque and less than ideal tire size and axle ratio.

With the big block and granny gear I don't expect a need to go to 4 low as soon as I did in the past. We will see. I've not had it on anything more than a dirt road since the swap was done. I get to relearn how to drive off road with a stick again.
 

zoomad75

Observer
Besides a couple of snow runs last winter I finally got to put the big block/manual swap to the test last month. My son and I made the run to Moab for the annual Blazer Bash event. We took off a couple of days ahead of the event to explore on our own. First up, Top of the World.

We got to the trailhead at the remains of the old Dewey bridge. Aired down and headed up the trail.


After reaching the turn the trail got rougher and ended up being a series of ledge after ledge.


We got to the top and ended up waiting two hours before we could park at the ledge. A group of Toyotas was doing their best to take as much time as they could getting drone shots and posing for pics leaning over the edge while strapped into a harness and hooked up to the winch of one of the trucks. Zero trail etiquette and overall they were generally rude. We even got the stink eye after being at the edge for a couple of minutes while we took our shots.



Drama completed, we took off back down the trail to find camp. We found a nice wide flat spot off the trail that worked and cooked dinner.



We came down off the trail and ran the canyon down to Moab. We ran into another Blazer Bash participant at the main campground and got invited have a test run at Steel Bender. Squarebody guys might recognize the suburban from his Youtube channel Willomet Motor and fab. The burb is very capable to say the least.

He is tucking 40" tires right there.


We didn't follow his line in most cases, but the Blazer did hold its own. The 8.1 and 5 speed really changed the overall ability of the truck.



Blazer Bash day one we had signed up for Backwards Bill which is a part of the 7 mile rim trail. We had quite a group.


The one major hard spot on the trail was Wipeout Hill. One by one we took our turn at the wall.


The photo of the line does not really give the sense of scale to the height or steepness.


Here's one walking up it without any drama.


My turn came up. I gave it a hell of a try but after doing two massive wheelies trying to get over the top ledge I took the hook to save me from going all the way over backwards and let the rest of the group take their turn.
 

zoomad75

Observer
Same climb but from another perspective. I've been told I need to sell ad space on the roof of the camper.


This one catches both hanging skyward.


Moving on from wipeout hill. The rest of the trail is pretty mild in comparison but still fun to explore.


Saturday was an easy trail day. Two groups of heavy hitters were going down Pritchett canyon and others were going out to the golden crack. Not everybody want to go out on the hard core stuff so we had planned that I lead a small group on a more scenic run down Potash road to the Shaffer switchbacks and back to town via Gemini Bridges road. Easy day, but tops in scenery. We had a pretty good mix with a full blown crawler to a bone stock K5 with a Hallmark camper. Two of the group were there from far away too. The gold K10 longbox was in from WA and the other Stock K5/Camper was in from VA. It was a great group of guys to lead out into the sticks.


My buddy in his crawler.


The group lined up at Thelma and Louise point on Potash rd.



Outside of the stocker, the rest of us were a bit overprepared for such an easy road. I didn't ever pull the t-case out of 2hi all day.

We broke up into two groups of three to keep any park rangers happy for our short stint into Canyonlands.


The scale of the climb is hard to grasp from pics. We were a ways above the lower group.




We took a break for lunch outside of the park on a dirt road where the temps were 10-15 degrees cooler than down in Moab. The run down Gemini was fun, we stopped to check out the bridges and boogied back to town.

The truck did great. No major breakage. I did loose a tire on of all things Potash road, but the group got it swapped out quick and we got back on the way.

I love this part of Utah and can't wait to get back.
 

zoomad75

Observer
@zoomad75 What's up buddy! I've been on here for awhile just don't post much. It's Desert_K5 from CK5. Backwards Bill was a blast and watching you take your rig up it made me sweat a little lol. Hopefully we can catch up next year!
For sure we need to catch up. You thought you were sweating when I attempted the climb! I was drenched!
Looks like you had fun. Nice to see the progress, your rig has come a long way!
Thanks Richard. It was a lot of fun for sure.
 

xleratin

New member
Cool Pics, Ive only been to Moab once...its a 21hr drive from here to get there. But Im itching to go back. Im jealous of your setup. I cant wait till my son is out of car seats so I can do something like this with him!
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
The perfect package, nice truck. I must have missed it but was the truck already converted to 8 lug when you bought it? What axles are you running? Swapping a full floating 14 bolt in the rear was the best thing I ever did to my 79 K5.
 

zoomad75

Observer
Cool Pics, Ive only been to Moab once...its a 21hr drive from here to get there. But Im itching to go back. Im jealous of your setup. I cant wait till my son is out of car seats so I can do something like this with him!
My 25 year old son was with me on this run. It's just as fun as when he was 10. Except now he takes way better pictures!
The perfect package, nice truck. I must have missed it but was the truck already converted to 8 lug when you bought it? What axles are you running? Swapping a full floating 14 bolt in the rear was the best thing I ever did to my 79 K5.
My truck came with the original 3.08 geared 10 bolts. The 14 Bolt full floater I picked up for the build from a K20 truck and the 8 lug Dana 44 came from my buddy's K20 that we added a Detroit Tru-Trac to. Both are geared with 4.10's. I love the peace of mind I have with the 14b out back. I never worry about it, but as big as they are I do drag the pumpkin a LOT. Since I'm running a c/v style rear shaft though, the pinion angle is pretty high so it just skids over rocks if I hit them. I did win a 14b cover in the raffle from Great Lakes Extreme off road that has a really thick flange so I won't be bending the lower edge of the cover anymore.
 

zoomad75

Observer
Nice work on the swap! Did Larry get his frame fixed?
It's fixed. Took way longer than we all thought. Mission creep set in and there was a lot of the dreaded CK5 "might as well" fixes sprinkled in to add time. But the frame was welded back together after terminating the ends with a drilled hole and v-notching the cracks. Then using sections of another shortbox frame that was sectioned to fit inside the stock c-channel and plates on the outside all affixed with grade 8 hardware. It's a standard style of frame repair class 8 trucks, but he did add a second factory cross-member a few inches behind a stock cross-member that ties the rear cab mounts together.

Once the frame repair was done it was time to clean up previous camper wiring under the box, clean and paint the rear frame and install new cab mounts. Some preventative repairs to the camper floor pack and he added a second solar panel to the roof of the camper while he was there. There was more done I'm forgetting, but the way we looked at it, it's not every day the camper and box were going to be off the frame so better take care of stuff now.

He got it ready for this years desert trip and didn't have a problem other than his wiper motor quitting and popping the fuse for the a/c compressor clutch, but he was already on the way home when both of those came up.
 
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