Need some help, thoughts and pointers.

Newbflat

New member
Hello all,

So I’m beginning a simple overland build for a F250 or F350 (gas or diesel, not sure yet).... it will have an Alaskan 8.5 hard sided pop up on it. Possibly at some point a flatbed added with boxes in a few years. The Camper should be ready sometime in the late spring or early summer. I’m looking for a truck now. What I’m looking for is some idea of what I will need to do to the truck to make it a reasonable capable off off road vehicle, within the scope of what is reasonable capable for a f250-350 with a 2500lbs loaded pop top on it.

Since I haven’t owned anything with a camper in it before and have limited to moderate off road experience in a 4x4 Ranger I owned that got me out to the Maze over look and a 4x4 van I had 30+ years ago. So I’m unsure of what I can expect from a truck with an Alaskan on the back. I’m looking for input on clearance (F250-350, extra cab, 4x4 , long bed) so tire size thoughts, any lift and thoughts on what is reasonable to do, where things start to become sketchy in terms of hight with camper weigh, and whats pointless given the weight and scope of what the truck and camper are actually capable of. Looking for the sweet spot of still drives nice, is safe but as capable as this combo can be.... reasonable.

I’m basically limiting myself to tire/wheel change, shocks, a small lift or not and a selectable locker, most likely up front as the truck most likely will have a limited slip in it already.

So.... any pointers, tips and thought to get me started and pointed in the right direction would help a lot.

Thanks
Bill
 

CodyY

Explorer
Carli 2.5 pintop clears 37s. Takes a lot of gearing away though.

You're going to want helper bags and an aftermarket swaybar.
Hollar if I can help source any parts I own a shop. Happy to help where I can.


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CodyY

Explorer
Hello all,

So I’m beginning a simple overland build for a F250 or F350 (gas or diesel, not sure yet).... it will have an Alaskan 8.5 hard sided pop up on it. Possibly at some point a flatbed added with boxes in a few years. The Camper should be ready sometime in the late spring or early summer. I’m looking for a truck now. What I’m looking for is some idea of what I will need to do to the truck to make it a reasonable capable off off road vehicle, within the scope of what is reasonable capable for a f250-350 with a 2500lbs loaded pop top on it.

Since I haven’t owned anything with a camper in it before and have limited to moderate off road experience in a 4x4 Ranger I owned that got me out to the Maze over look and a 4x4 van I had 30+ years ago. So I’m unsure of what I can expect from a truck with an Alaskan on the back. I’m looking for input on clearance (F250-350, extra cab, 4x4 , long bed) so tire size thoughts, any lift and thoughts on what is reasonable to do, where things start to become sketchy in terms of hight with camper weigh, and whats pointless given the weight and scope of what the truck and camper are actually capable of. Looking for the sweet spot of still drives nice, is safe but as capable as this combo can be.... reasonable.

I’m basically limiting myself to tire/wheel change, shocks, a small lift or not and a selectable locker, most likely up front as the truck most likely will have a limited slip in it already.

So.... any pointers, tips and thought to get me started and pointed in the right direction would help a lot.

Thanks
Bill
Most of the diesel super duty I've been in lately have a factory rear locker not a LSD so I'd spec that option.

IMO that money is better spent on a winch. Being able to help others and clear downed trees is a much more likely scenario than front locker in a nearly 12k lb truck camper combo.

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Newbflat

New member
I will by buying a used truck, likely 20 or so years old. Either a 7.3 diesel or a gas truck.

So tires.... what should I put on it? Just the max that will fit with no lift? Or a little lift and bigger tires? At what point am I getting to tall and dipping into to high a center of gravity? The camper will be permanently on the truck unless it needs to com off for some reason.
 

NorthernWoodsman

Adventurer/tinkerer
Following.... You're on the same path as myself, albeit ahead of me. I'm a year or two out maybe, but also planning on an older truck, F250 or 350 probably for a dedicated camping rig and have started to question if I want gas or diesel. Just assumed diesel since I loved my Dodge W250 with the 5.9 12-valve Cummins. But now I'm rethinking an older Ford with either the 460 or maybe the V10. Looking forward to peoples replies.
 
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Newbflat

New member
*sigh*..... well the truck I was interested in and one day from driving 350 miles to likely buy sold. The hunt goes on.
 

Newbflat

New member
Ok, truck obtained. 1999 F350 extra cab, long bed 4x4. 102,000 on the truck with 18k on a new V10 engine. Decided I will eat the gas rather than deal with a diesel, I just won’t put on that many miles. 285/75/16s on it with some newish BFG T/A’s on it. I just ordered a Ute Ltd flatbed which should be here in Feb. Now I’m on the search for topside and under boxes. Not looking for custom, just too damn expensive. Here is my new project truck.
517FDEB4-1DEA-437A-800D-83478A7A78E8.jpeg
 

fisher205

Explorer
You are set! I just sold my 2001 F350 w/ a 7.3 a year ago. I hauled a 10' CO Alaskan on it. I found the 285/75-16 work real well. A lift wasn't needed. If I changed I would go to a 285/75 - 18. I am currently have '19 Ram 3500 with a 8' Alaskan. I think you will enjoy your rig. The only thing I found I really did not like was the turning radius. My new dodge will turn inside of the Ford. Good luck.
 

Newbflat

New member
So, boxes. Under bed boxes are easy to find, topside boxes in my detentions are a bit tougher. An issue with the Alaskan camper is the jack brackets. Under the brackets for clearance the box need to be a bit shorter than optimal. You can see this in this still from a vid about Alaskan campers. You can see the bracket and the clearance issue. The center box is higher and of optimal hight and the end boxes shorter by about 3“. I did see a schematic for optimal boxes custom build from Protech, they were $5700 just for the tops. My budget is about half that. The optimal box size if 16” deep except for 11” at the wheel well swell in the camper. 17“ high for the center box and about 14” high on the ends to clear the brackets. The custom Protech build was 17’ high on the ends but the doors are 14” to clear the bracket. Im sure I can’t find anything like that off the shelf, and maybe not even a 10-11” deep box ether. Any thoughts and pointers would be welcome..4B826FB4-9BDA-439C-9F68-2917E9B8BBA1.jpeg
 
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Newbflat

New member
The only thing I found I really did not like was the turning radius. My new dodge will turn inside of the Ford. Good luck.
Ha!... you are not kidding. It makes my Ford E250 van seem like it turns on a dime...lol. I plan on getting new rims and tires to match when these wear out. Not going to lift it, I figure if I can’t clear what I need to with the 285/75/16’s or alIke I shouldn’t be doing it with that camper and weight. Curious on how capable you felt the rig was for you?
 

lzpup

Observer
Love the alaskan choice, so versital for the seasons. I have an 06 Ram 2500 Mega cab with flatbed and a fourwheel camper shell. I went with 37s, it has kept me off of some stuff. It does affect the mileage. I would definetly get the winch before lockers, i have burried it in snow and sand and winched out to save my self. I started out with Toyo MT which were great for so cal. They sucked in anything but deep snow and they made a lot of noise. Now on falken wildpeak at. Moved to the PNW and the tire just works better in the snow I encounter, and I never get that crazy off road. I have manual hubs for the front which add some MPG back. I have Carli suspension and heavery deaver springs. So worth it ride was crap before, now it is great.
 

Newbflat

New member
You are set! I just sold my 2001 F350 w/ a 7.3 a year ago. I hauled a 10' CO Alaskan on it. I found the 285/75-16 work real well. A lift wasn't needed. If I changed I would go to a 285/75 - 18. I am currently have '19 Ram 3500 with a 8' Alaskan. I think you will enjoy your rig. The only thing I found I really did not like was the turning radius. My new dodge will turn inside of the Ford. Good luck.
Do you think the 285/75/18’s will fit without a lift?
 
Check the date on the tires. Mine were ancient. Looking forward to pictures, what you’re building is what I lust after. Maybe the jack brackets could be modified for uniform height boxes.
 
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