Overland Truck Build?

Marshallnola

New member
I'm considered a lurker- but this thread has my attention and I'd really like some advice from you all. I had started with a 2003 F250 CCLB 7.3- for about 30 days before it was stolen (101k) - the insurance arm wrestle has me considering vehicles that are newer for insurance value BS logic. I'm kinda all over the place - but this thread and this comment peaked my ears Chassis was lengthened behind the rear suspension to accommodate the 10'long custom bed. Bed also rides on a torsion free 3-point mount, and needs it. - @IdaSHO - my questions are -

start with a flatbed?
or start with a pickup and install a flatbed?

I'm more interested in a toolbox/ovrlnd pop up scenario so i'm not sure I have to worry as much about torsion, i was looking for a F350/Ram 3500 SRW Flatbed - sub 40K. Or as @FAVPST mentioned super single conversion on a dually. I know there is a multitude of opinions, but the direction of this thread is helpful to newbs. - MOD - I'm following if thread is moved..
 

rruff

Explorer
Newer 3/4-1 ton pickups that come with a bed (not chassis-cab!) have stiff fully boxed frames. I think Ram and GM started in the 2000s and Ford in 2017. That simplifies things since you can safely hard mount the flatbed and camper. If it's a flexible open-C frame then you need to account for chassis flex.

So... to make your life easier, I think getting a 1ton that has (or had) a regular bed is the way to go. Upgrade the suspension to get good articulation.
 

ScottPC

Member
You rang?

Yes, ours does a decent amount of off pavement, and of that, some that does require an honest 4wd.
The truck is superb. It does everything that I could expect out of it, especially considering we are pushing 12k lbs wet and loaded.
And there is no way I would expect a 1/2 ton to do it as confidently and/or safely. Even with some silly "payload package"

With roughly 20k?? miles on the setup so far, we are averaging just shy of 9MPG.
Average average average. So that includes extended highway as well as off road travel.
True highway travel we nip at 10MPG.

Truck is a 2011 6.2 supercab long bed.
Drivetrain is completely stock.
Rolls on 35's, stock suspension + rear bags.
Chassis was lengthened behind the rear suspension to accommodate the 10'long custom bed.
Bed also rides on a torsion free 3-point mount, and needs it.

Any questions, please let me know.
Always willing to share info/insight.

:cool:

Nice set up! What was involved with lengthening the chassis and the custom bed? Is the bed aluminum or steel? In your estimation, would the 7.3 add any value for the way you use the truck with camper?
 

FAVPST

@YEWWWWCAMPER
Newer 3/4-1 ton pickups that come with a bed (not chassis-cab!) have stiff fully boxed frames. I think Ram and GM started in the 2000s and Ford in 2017. That simplifies things since you can safely hard mount the flatbed and camper. If it's a flexible open-C frame then you need to account for chassis flex.

So... to make your life easier, I think getting a 1ton that has (or had) a regular bed is the way to go. Upgrade the suspension to get good articulation.
i didn’t realize chassis cabs didn’t have fully boxed frames. Thanks for the explanation.
 

FAVPST

@YEWWWWCAMPER
If your end goal is a flatbed camper get as much payload as you can. If you plan on staying with a project M you have lots more options because you don’t have payload issues. Look at Goosegear F350 with a flatbed fifty ten, AT Overland has built multiple flatbed campers on 2500, 3500. Call some of these companies see what they recommend.
 

cobro92

Member
Also Carli/Thuren both have excellent aftermarket suspension options. The benefit of going with RAM 3500 is that Thuren has some really excellent packages that drastically improve on/off road handling for much cheaper than Carli (from what I can tell).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
If your end goal is a flatbed camper get as much payload as you can. If you plan on staying with a project M you have lots more options because you don’t have payload issues. Look at Goosegear F350 with a flatbed fifty ten, AT Overland has built multiple flatbed campers on 2500, 3500. Call some of these companies see what they recommend.
We are going to AT Overland tomorrow.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
I should really learn how to multi-quote.... :ROFLMAO:

For those that inquired, the chassis was cut and extended right behind the rear leaf hanger.
Plated top and sides, and the bottom was further tied together with the OEM hitch.

here are a few photos to illustrate...









Some details of the 3-point mount subframe...







Bed fabrication...





Flex tests showing off the torsion free 3-point mount setup







Back from blasting and epoxy primer and base coat
Starting final assembly of aluminum panels.



Entire think raptor lined



Alloy tread plate decking and head board installed




Finished and on the road...

 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
I have had numerous would be customer inquiries about building such a bed.

Being 100% up front about costs, I have nearly 15k just in materials in this bed.
So for a custom build similar, built by my hands, you are looking at about double that (30k)

Its one hell of a project, and I am a stickler for details.
That means it is done right, but it also means it takes longer and cost more.

Food for thought for those interested in custom beds built by anyone.
It ain't cheap or easy to build, so they are expensive for a reason!
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
And sorry if anyone feels I cluttered the thread with a photo-dump.

I probably need to get around to posting a build thread just for this bed....
Let alone the camper or truck...
 
So we spent the last week going to AT Overland in Prescott to look at campers. Everyone was very helpful and knowledgeable. Spent some time in the FWC Hawk flatbed as well as looking at all of the AT Overland designs being installed along with a FWC Project M install. Really liked the Hawk size and layout but really disappointed they do not allow a propane delete and more robust options for solar/battery systems. We talked trucks and custom flatbeds with the AT owner who had some beautiful builds in the lot. Our heads were swimming with the pros and cons of every conceivable option.

We also got out and hit up the local Ford dealership and I think we drove just about every configuration of truck/motor/chassis they had on the lot. I have driven the older F250s for work and they always felt like a work truck, stiff and plodding. The F250 Super cab, 4X4 we drove was a whole other beast. Nice ride and way more nimble than the old trucks and the diesel was actually quiet, I did not need a headset to talk to my wife in the passenger seat. But it is still big and hard to see over/around and I can't imagine driving that thing around town everyday or on anything much smaller than a graded gravel road. We drove a F150 Super cab 4x4 with the 5.0 V8 and it was perfectly acceptable but kinda boring. The truck I was looking forward to the most was the regular cab, 6.5 foot bed with the 2.7 EcoBoost. Dang that thing was fast with lots of power all over the place. The 122 inch wheel base is super easy to turn and while it may not actually be that much smaller than the F250 it FEELS so much smaller. We are pretty minimalist so I feel confident we can do without the storage in the super cab. MPG also a plus.

So at the moment we are leaning towards keeping the FWC Project M and getting the F150 regular cab, 4X4 with factory rear lockers and dealer installed and warrantied front Torsen lockers/LSD from the Raptor. Payload is 1,650 - 1,790 depending on set up.

As much as I love the 2.7 the intercooler for the turbo makes it difficult if not impossible to mount a front winch and keep it under warranty. The 5.0 V8 allows for a winch in the stock front bumper or in an aftermarket bumper. So decision time, how important is a front winch? In past 4x4 vehicles I have never had a winch and I have turned back from lots of roads for fear of getting stuck. I have actually been stuck a few times and in all but one case was able to get out without assistance. Just me and my shovel. We usually travel without partners and like to get out there. If we ever get Corona under control we plan to head south and keep going till we hit Ushuaia. For the price and weight of a winch I could carry about 8 maxtrax.

Suggestions? Ideas?
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Guys run winches with both EcoBoost motors. All you have to do is swap to a different style intercooler, which is a good thing because the factory one is a joke. They run something like this:


Personally I wouldn't worry about a winch. To me they have always been expensive, heavy, and just add one more thing to fail. You're not building a rock crawler or a mud buggy... You're building a truck with a camper on the back. How serious of off roading do you plan on doing with a small house on the back?

I'd get set or two of maxtrax and two come-a-longs. Two 30' tow straps and some shackles.
 
I have considered the intercooler swap but I'm sure that would immediately void the warranty on pretty much the whole motor so maybe after the first 36,000 miles. Also, the ones I have seen move the intercooler up to allow for a winch mount but then block a portion of the radiator, possibly creating overheating issues. I am in Arizona and average summer temps are over 100F.

It seems overlanding build planning is solve one problem create a new one.
 
Top