My F250 project

bronconite

Observer
So here are some pics of my recently acquired multi-purpose truck. It's a '91 F250HD, 5.8 liter, and ZF 5-speed. I've camped out of it a bit this summer with a ground tent. I'd like to be a little more self contained but am unsure exactly what direction I want to go. I need to be able to use it to haul stuff (junk/mulch/etc.) occasionally but it will be mostly a recreational vehicle. It won't exactly be an expedition vehicle but I want to be able to camp out of it for at least a week.

I've thought of using a flatbed with some sort of custom camper but my current thoughts are to do the needed rust repair and customization on the utility body and use a RTT.

Whatever I do will happen as time and money allow. Work will begin in spring on the cab rust issues and full tune up on the 351.

So give me your thoughts and ideas. :camping:



Custom aluminum bed cover



These are the bed cover support. The PO told me he once had 7 people standing up there at a race.


Two of the supports double as spreader bars when you need an open bed.


These U-channels are not only support brackets but also rain gutters.


 

WKCwith5

Adventurer
That is a great year truck. I have one that has 200K on it and is worked every day. Really burns the fossil though. A flat bed with removable camper may be a good way to convert from work to play with out a lot of switch over time. Good luck on your build.
 

Every Miles A Memory

Expedition Leader
You'd have to be crazy to get rid of that Utility Box!! I've been searching Craig's List and Ebay for months in search of a good used one for our F-250.

Unless I want to drop $5000, which is the price of a new one, I havent been able to find one anywhere. Those that I have found are in such bad shape, I would spend that much to fix them up.

A great start and one that would allow you to use the truck for work during the week and camping, travel when time allows would be to get a Slide-In Truck Camper

Jack it up and pull out when you have to go to work. When you're headed out for a journey, back into the camper, hook it up and you're ready to go explore.

Great base vehicle to start with and years of miles left on it by the looks of it
 

Maximus Ram

Expedition Leader
Throw an RTT on the top and stock the boxes with your camping gear and call it a start. Then mild lift, some nice A/T's, maybe an awning..oh the possiblities:jumping: :jumping: :jumping:
 

ujoint

Supporting Sponsor
I say sell the box & build a lighter flatbed customized to your exact needs. The box sale may fund the whole project!
 

bat

Explorer
I agree with U-Joint sell it and make a custom bed with boxes to fit. It would definately be lighter and built for your needs for storage. I helped a friend build his flat bed with a frame for diamond plate construction side boxes and put a 4wheel camper in the middle and it was great.
 

bucketosudz

Explorer
I have a 90 F-250, mine is a long bed with a Glasstite topper. I am eager to watch your build.

My old boss had one with the exact same box on it and 89 F-250. They are nice, but was tough to maintain the doors and seals. Seemed I spent alot of time cleaning dust from tools after traveling to constructions sites. There are numerous possibilities for this though, best wishes.
 

inked33

Adventurer
i would personally keep the utility box on there, and either throw a rtt on it or put a camper there. you can always customise the inside of the boxes to suit your needs and would have more then enough storage. lookin forward to seeing what direction you take with the build
 

ntsqd

Heretic Car Camper
A friend of mine used to use a utility bed to support week plus long trips to Baja with his family of 4. The passenger side was kept loaded with all of the camping gear and the driver's side was tools & spares plus room for whatever small needed a place for that trip. He used the horizontal passenger side drop-down door for cooking on.

About the only complaint that he ever had with the bed was the departure angle. I'd give it several more tries and see if it grows on you. If it doesn't, then sell it and use the funds on building something to replace it.
 

bronconite

Observer
I say sell the box & build a lighter flatbed customized to your exact needs. The box sale may fund the whole project!
I think an aluminum flatbed would be ideal, that body is very heavy, but I'm going to try to build this spending as little as possible, so for now I think it's going to be what's there. By the way, I think a 4wd van is the ultimate, but I need a truck.

About the only complaint that he ever had with the bed was the departure angle. I'd give it several more tries and see if it grows on you. If it doesn't, then sell it and use the funds on building something to replace it.
It will get more than a few more tries.:camping:
The departure angle is terrible. Look at this.

Here you can see the piece of C-channel used to space the hitch down from the frame to clear the bumper. That is 7" from the bottom of the frame to the top of the hitch.

I have an idea how to help departure angle significantly.

A great start and one that would allow you to use the truck for work during the week and camping, travel when time allows would be to get a Slide-In Truck Camper
A regular slide in camper won't work with mine. The bed sides are too high. Compare the following picture with the one above and look at the spacing from the top of the wheel well to the bottom of the center box.


I really appreciate the opinions and ideas. It helps in the planning process a lot.:26_7_2:
 

ntsqd

Heretic Car Camper
I have seen metal "shells" made to fit a bed such as yours. They're made by some or all of the utility bed mfg's for their own beds. They never (?) go over the cab, but they are usually taller than cab height. Some variation on one of those might be an option.
 

bronconite

Observer
I have seen metal "shells" made to fit a bed such as yours. They're made by some or all of the utility bed mfg's for their own beds. They never (?) go over the cab, but they are usually taller than cab height. Some variation on one of those might be an option.
I could have bought one of those recently from a customer at work for $600. The configuration of these would be perfect but they are VERY heavy and I'd really like to stay as light as possible. Good call though.

I love this truck!!!
:iagree:
 

BigJimCruising

Adventurer
I wouldn't spend the cash on a flatbed unless you're looking to add a large camper, the utility box will work fine. Plus there's nothing like lockable storage when traveling. I've been camping with friends and stopped for lunch at a dinner. When we came out some of their gear from the truck bed had been stolen. Now everything gets locked up. Plus you can leave your camping and off roading gear in the truck full time and be ready to roll on a phone call! Toss a lift on there and some good off roading tires and you're ready for the trails. I'd take that rack off and mount a shell on top of the boxes for now. Sleep on that top shelf in the bed with all your gear safe underneath you. Add a porta potty for the family and your good to go for extended trips. After you get to know the truck better over a few trips you can see what you really need to do. I might consider removing that back bumper and installing something with more clearance.

You can put a slide in camper on the boxes. I've seen where they built up a storage area/flat top so the camper would sit on the shelf and they had storage under the camper. The shelf was just tall enough for the camper to clear the boxes. The storage wasn't much but by installing a fixed water tank in the gap they could extend there camping for quite a while. Good luck on the build! See ya on the trail!
 
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