RamCruiser...the build

LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
For the past several years I have and will continue to rock my purpose built Land Cruiser 80 series.

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Fast forward to today - For more extended travel we have spent the last couple years looking and testing cabin trucks.
I asked Ms LCP what are the 4 minimun needs for the build.
1) - A heated cabin
2) - A toilet
3) - The ability to stand and dress
4) - A temperature-controlled area for more than 2 people and dogs

My needs/goals for the build
1) Strong off road capabilities
2) Under 8'
3) Power
4) Lightweight


Say Hello to our *6000lb 2009 Poverty edition Dodge Power Wagon (1.2.2020)
Within 1 minute you know what every switch and knob does. It has everything you want and nothing you dont need.

* Actual weight 5880 for the guys calculating payload 🤪



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2009 Power Wagon - last year for the short 2nd row (wheelbase 140")
5.7 Hemi
5 speed auto
3.5 first gear
Crawl ratio 43.41: 1
Lockers Front & Rear
Rear posi when unlocked
Electric swaybar disconnects
12000lbs Warn winch
4:56 gear
Manual T case
Full underside Skid plates
Bilstien 2" lift
160amp alt
Cooling package
Tow package
▲ALL FACTORY▲
 
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LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
The end goal is a composite cabin. I decided to go with a popup camper similar in size to the purposed cabin to determine layout and needs upfront. In the beginning, I was excited and interested in an ATC camper with a short build time and the ability to make some build changes but the lack of response from ATC pushed me to the used FWC market.

On 1-16-2020 I located a 2017 FWC Fleet basic model with a few options. A few days and 950 miles later I picked up my FWC. I asked that the propane and the batteries were full because I would be sleeping in it on the way home. Freshly installed pictured below.


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I went with the Fleet model because I didnt want the camper to be wider than the truck and wanted it as close to the roof as possible (1") also to closely mimick the purposed cabin size. As many know the Fleet model is marketed for a Tacoma size truck and for fitment you need to build a dead floor to clear the cab.

Pictured is the dead floor and jack extensions to clear the wider truck.

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The first night was along the Arkansaw River. The ice floating along the river should of told this AZ boy it would be cold. The first night was 25° and I was warm all night BIG WIN.

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Thinking I was in a Land Cruiser I found my self in trouble quickly with the increase in size and made the FWC camper mine by personalizing it on the second day.

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The second night it rained hard with no issues and woke to it snowing and warm inside. I say to myself this is looking positive. What to do when your popup camper is wet and covered with snow. Having no choice I closed it up only to open it later that day to a dry inside. Another win and Im not even home. A forced air heater is not as nice as an air heat exchanger for cabin heat. You get zero condensation with a much better feel with an air exchange heater. An air exchange heater is in my future.

Fuel economy ~14.5mpg to pick up and ~13.5mpg returning with the camper. Camper published weight 525lbs making estimated travel weight counting options and with me in it 7000# wet. My goal of 7500lbs is not looking so good.

Next off road testing and it not disappointing.
 
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leucadiacruiser

Beach N Toys Chapter TLCA
Congrats! You’ve been one of my main go-to’s on Mud for years “What would Phil do?” - even went with a stand alone deep cycle and solar panel following your lead. This will be our next step too as we get closer to retirement. The flat bed setups look pretty sweet. Baja wind and tent life is becoming a drag at 50-something. Can’t wait to follow along. Cheers!
 

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Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I tent camped In Baja until I was invited into an Alaskan at one of the spots down there.
The owner asked if I wanted a beer? Yeah!! I was at another spot,another Alaskan same thing. Out of the elements. Too cramped and not enough headroom for me.
I elected to get a 2000 Northstar TC800 that same year.
Your fuel economy is better than a lot of empty ones. I barely get that with 35's and my diesel w/G-56.
There's a guy in Escondido that builds a mean auto if the need ever arises. You have access with the narrow camper for long items too. Full size shovel,broom,fullsize axe etc.
 

LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
Congrats! You’ve been one of my main go-to’s on Mud for years “What would Phil do?” - even went with a stand alone deep cycle and solar panel following your lead. This will be our next step too as we get closer to retirement. The flat bed setups look pretty sweet. Baja wind and tent life is becoming a drag at 50-something. Can’t wait to follow along. Cheers!
Thanks I hope this build also helps. For the time being, the camper is 100% stand alone for power using a 160watt solar panel and 110AH of battery. For me the flatbed model was much too big and heavy with a stupid price tag. Side note - Ms LCP and I just returned from a week of isolation and she wheeled her RamCruiser like a pro and stamped it wife approved.
 

LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
I tent camped In Baja until I was invited into an Alaskan at one of the spots down there.
The owner asked if I wanted a beer? Yeah!! I was at another spot,another Alaskan same thing. Out of the elements. Too cramped and not enough headroom for me.
I elected to get a 2000 Northstar TC800 that same year.
Your fuel economy is better than a lot of empty ones. I barely get that with 35's and my diesel w/G-56.
There's a guy in Escondido that builds a mean auto if the need ever arises. You have access with the narrow camper for long items too. Full size shovel,broom,fullsize axe etc.
Maybe a little out of order but the last 1000 miles of travel and wheeling has our combined MPG down to 12.25mpg. With the need for larger tire (because the diff is like 2" off the ground) and more weight I foresee a little less coming soon. Admittedly Im a MPG nerd but if I got 3mpg it would not change my driving.
 

LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
In you above photo of the rear with camper it appears the camper is offset to the drivers side. Is there a reason or did it just shift
Probably, the camper was not happy in the beginning with the places I wanted to go. After some more shoreing it now stays in place and has not moved. I will soon eliminate the FWC turnbuckles and bolt it down I feel is needed for serious off road travel.

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MuleShoer

Adventurer
Probably, the camper was not happy in the beginning with the places I wanted to go. After some more shoreing it now stays in place and has not moved. I will soon eliminate the FWC turnbuckles and bolt it down I feel is needed for serious off road travel.
kinda what I thought, ive been thinking about the same approach for the Tundra, How did you determine the weight Of 525lbs, FWC spec indicates it weighs 1045lbs
 

LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
kinda what I thought, ive been thinking about the same approach for the Tundra, How did you determine the weight Of 525lbs, FWC spec indicates it weighs 1045lbs
Tundra was MS LCP first idea and choice when we proposed it to Maltec for production (pictured below). But for my needs and wants the payload or lack of, longer wheelbase, IFS, low ground clearance, and no off road package made the Power Wagon a no brainer for our needs.

A local guy tried to do a Tundra ext cab aluminum flat bed equipped with a FWC camper and it was over weight. IIRC Tundra payload was 1500lbs barely workable with carbon fiber above. How did you plan to make the Tundra payload work?

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I used the camper nameplate for the weight of 525lbs pictured below. Did I read it wrong? On the plus side, the Power Wagon has a payload of 2750lbs (per Dodge) so I hope to still be within its limits if wrong. Also noted is mine does not have the fully built out interior.

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Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
That truck looks brand new. With that smaller FWC it looks very capable. Good luck with the project.


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Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
I may be wrong but I believe the payload is under 2000lbs on a Power Wagon. It is lower than a regular 2500. I would double check the GVW sticker.
 

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LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
I may be wrong but I believe the payload is under 2000lbs on a Power Wagon. It is lower than a regular 2500. I would double check the GVW sticker.


Im a spec nerd 🤪 Like I said before my info comes from Dodge using my VIN and the Dodge Vin Decoder. Where are you getting your info from?
 

MuleShoer

Adventurer
Tundra was MS LCP first idea and choice when we proposed it to Maltec for production (pictured below). But for my needs and wants the payload or lack of, longer wheelbase, IFS, low ground clearance, and no off road package made the Power Wagon a no brainer for our needs.

A local guy tried to do a Tundra ext cab aluminum flat bed equipped with a FWC camper and it was over weight. IIRC Tundra payload was 1500lbs barely workable with carbon fiber above. How did you plan to make the Tundra payload work?

I used the camper nameplate for the weight of 525lbs pictured below. Did I read it wrong? On the plus side, the Power Wagon has a payload of 2750lbs (per Dodge) so I hope to still be within its limits if wrong. Also noted is mine does not have the fully built out interior.
i read your tag the same way
regarding the tundra, payload is 1620lbs, my current configuration with expedition one bumpers with twin winches frt and rear and the wedge camper top is 1000lbs, add fridge and two peeps and your close to max GVWR.. now considering alternatives like returning to stock bumpers and front winch then selling the bumpers and wedge and going with your similar setup.
the power wagon is a great alternative but i want to keep the tundra
this can drive one mad 😡 😂
 
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