Ram 5500 Fire Crew Carrier Overlanding Camper Build

TwinDuro

Active member
Very cool and can’t wait to see your progress on this rig! I love the 6.7/G56/NP273 combo along with that 12.25” S111 axle in the back. Pure beef! 😀👍

Seems like an awful lot of truck for the money and a great platform for your build.
 
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OverlandFT

Member
While sanding and prepping the ram for paint, we discovered the remnants of a few stickers and badges on the window and roof. The fine particles from the sanding helped to highlight the faint outline of a vinyl sticker that had been removed on the window that read "Silver State Hotshots". There was also one on the roof and bumper that read "30A". After some quick research on google, we were able to find the amazing origin story of the truck and also got some pretty sweet pics of the rig in action as a hotshot crew carrier:

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Hot Shot 3.jpg
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We found these photos on the Silver State Hotshot's facebook page. We knew when we purchased the Ram that it belonged to a wildland fire crew; however, seeing these brave men and woman in action and knowing that our vehicle played a role in their efforts gives us a whole new perspective of what it's been through and what it's capable of. The truck in the front of the line in photo #2 is our truck --you can clearly see 30A displayed on the bumper.

Right now we are brainstorming a way to pay homage to the history of the vehicle both in the build and on our social media profiles. We'll probably frame one of the photos and display inside the camper. If we ever get around to creating social media profiles for the build, we will post a link to to help promote awareness and fundraising for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation at https://wffoundation.org/
 
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ITTOG

Well-known member
That is so cool to be able to find the history. Even better is your desire to pay respect to the brave souls and their industry. I love it.

Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
 
Cool project, there aren’t that many crews that ran with that style buggy, maybe 3-4 BLM crews. Most crews run 2 bigger buggy’s instead of 3 smaller ones that you have. I believe since getting rid of those they have gone to the bigger chassis. Most trucks get replaced after 10 years. Those trucks have been used and abused but when they get fixed it is done correctly.
 

McCarthy

Is it riding season yet?
So cool seeing the history behind the truck, would be cool to have a small mural or logo on the truck somewhere to pay respects. Maybe the unit logo in black on the side? Something inconspicuous.
 

zoomad75

Observer
Pretty unique setup for a build, but very fitting given it's roots. It's cool that you want to pay homage to the crew that used the truck.
 

OverlandFT

Member
Thanks guys! McCarthy, great idea on adding the Silver State BLM fire logo as a homage. We'll have to do that...

Last weekend I got back to spraying raptor liner to finish the door jams and detail work.

I've ordered the tires/wheels! I took a chance and bought new Pirelli Pista 335/80R20 military tires for $200 each. I spoke with someone about them and they're dual purpose road/trail and supposedly more refined than MPT81s. At that price, they're worth a little risk...unfortunately they're currently lost in transport and floating around somewhere in the midwest. I ended up ordering wheels through Stazworks. I chose the 24-bolt MRAP aluminum wheels with offset to match @92" track width front & back. Those should be built later this week.

In the meantime, I purchased some components to build the extra a/c compressor into "on board air." I found an air tank mounted underneath in the back and there's an existing air chuck running to it. I got a lubricator for the compressor, a separator to remove the oil, pressure switch, connections and air hose. I went with braided fuel/oil 3/8" hose for the air hose and -6an fittings. It's overkill, but I wanted something that was heat tolerant after dealing with airlines blowing on my old Isuzu Vehicross (which would disable the ARB lockers). More updates to follow this weekend after I get the OBA up and running.

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Recommended books for Overlanding

highwest

Active member
I’m also having issues with blowing my air line related to heat. Could you provide additional details on that fuel/oil line? It looks like it coils pretty well.
 
Thanks guys! McCarthy, great idea on adding the Silver State BLM fire logo as a homage. We'll have to do that...
Id contact them first, crews are pretty protective over their logos. I think it’s an awesome project and really think your intent is great but I wouldn’t be pumped if I saw someone with our old buggy that put our logo back on. I’m not trying to be a ********, but as someone who’s spent years on a hotshot crew trying to give some insight. May I suggest something like the US Hotshot association or wildland firefighter foundation logo?
 

Boatmonkey

Observer
I was a hotshot, as was my father, neither of us would care at all about the logo and we both don't know anyone who would. I say go for it, it's a cool idea.
 

OverlandFT

Member
Id contact them first, crews are pretty protective over their logos. I think it’s an awesome project and really think your intent is great but I wouldn’t be pumped if I saw someone with our old buggy that put our logo back on. I’m not trying to be a ********, but as someone who’s spent years on a hotshot crew trying to give some insight. May I suggest something like the US Hotshot association or wildland firefighter foundation logo?
I hear ya and don't disagree. I contacted SIlver State Hotshots and was planning to ask them if they have anything they use for promotional or foundation purposes.
 

OverlandFT

Member
I’m also having issues with blowing my air line related to heat. Could you provide additional details on that fuel/oil line? It looks like it coils pretty well.
Sure, this is what I found. Temp rated to 350 F

 
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