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Camper Ordered, But Which Truck to get?

payload truck choice dependability advice for new truck owners vehicle choice

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#61 Dirtroadsavant

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:41 PM

Captain Dorky, fellow newbie here who recently went down your path so here are some thoughts.

We have been very happy with the Flatbed Hawk on a Norweld bed on a 2017 F350 gas super cab with the 6.5 bed (now gone).

Truck thoughts: After about 20,000 miles of everything from cross country highway runs at 70 mph to creeping along a faint two track in the Henry Mountains, I’ve never felt a want for power. We are getting 11-12 mpg overall. With my cast iron skillet and full water tanks we come in at about 10k whick keeps us under the limit by a good bit. I had to lower the headlight beams to please oncoming traffic and may look to some sort of non-airbag support to steady the back end just a bit (advice welcome). But I am also getting smarter about what not to bring and what not to pack aft of the rear axle, so that is helping a lot. The shorter wheelbase has paid off dozens of time in maneuvering on back roads. The backseats came out right away and have been replaced with storage and a dog bed for a worthy old guy who likes to ride along. The seats in our Lariat are wonderfully comfortable on our 60ish year old bodies. (P.s. if you are buying a newer truck, talk to your installer about vehicle electronics. If you are going to a flatbed, things can get really difficult as more bells, whistles and driver assists get added.)

Bed thoughts: We worship the storage, the extra water tank and built-in gray water tank on the Norweld bed. I have had some challenges getting the fuel filler neck to work right, but after some mods I can run it at medium speed at most stations. The larger challenge is the rear end layout. The original install left the ford bumper on, but it looked so ridiculous in conjunction with the aluminum flatbed that I pulled it off. That then left the problem that the rear of Norweld bed does not come down far enough to mask any of the wiring and innards of the Ford. I’ve spent the last year with a piece of black 2x8 masking it all and am now rigging up an aluminum facade/bumper to cover the mess and provide mounting for tow lighting hookups, camera and, maybe, reinstalling the sensors. We’ll see how it goes. If I had a do-over with time and money, I think I would probably try to connect with someone who does custom flatbed work and get one put together just for this application. But then again, it all works well enough and the modifications keep me out of trouble. If you go Norweld, I would encourage you to have a very clear agreement with the installer regarding what the finished rear end will look like.

I would be happy to share other lessons or even try to figure out how to post a picture if I can be of any help.
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Flatbed Hawk on a Norweld Tray on an F350 Supercab Gas. All 2017.

#62 BigRanchInSky

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 03:48 PM

OP here...

 

We did nine days in S. Utah with our brand new Ford F250 with a hawk in the bed, and this is my first truck, ever. We did mostly easy dirt roads with only a couple of times putting into 4WD for creek crossing and muddy washes.

 

It handled *very* well, i.e. no overt swaying side-to-side and braking was easy-peasy and didn't feel as though we were needing any more stopping power. And of course with an eight cylinder gasser engine the rig takes a couple of seconds to move from a dead stop, but other than that I can't tell it's having a hard time getting up to speed (I drive kinda slow anyway).  SO glad a got an Ford OEM camera to replace the one nixed by taking the tailgate off (mentioned on sep post on WTW).

 

Overall am very happy with our 3/4 tone choice of vehicle. Here she is...

BGRIS__002.jpg

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#63 BBZ

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 01:53 AM

OP here...

 

We did nine days in S. Utah with our brand new Ford F250 with a hawk in the bed, and this is my first truck, ever. We did mostly easy dirt roads with only a couple of times putting into 4WD for creek crossing and muddy washes.

 

It handled *very* well, i.e. no overt swaying side-to-side and braking was easy-peasy and didn't feel as though we were needing any more stopping power. And of course with an eight cylinder gasser engine the rig takes a couple of seconds to move from a dead stop, but other than that I can't tell it's having a hard time getting up to speed (I drive kinda slow anyway).  SO glad a got an Ford OEM camera to replace the one nixed by taking the tailgate off (mentioned on sep post on WTW).

 

Overall am very happy with our 3/4 tone choice of vehicle. Here she is...

Good looking Rig!!


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14 F150 SuperCrew 6.5 Bed, 5.0

 

 80's Granby rebuilt from frame..


#64 captaindorky

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:43 PM

Out of curiosity, any specific reason for going with a F250 versus a F350?  


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#65 Beach

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:25 AM

Can you give some specifics on that wind deflector. Brand, Pricing??
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#66 BigRanchInSky

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:10 PM

Out of curiosity, any specific reason for going with a F250 versus a F350?  

op: I just didn't think I'd need the extra umph and capacity of the F350. And the F250 was a bump up from a Tundra, so I figured I already went one click up the totem of capacity/brakes with the F250. Again, first truck, I come from a long line of city folken.


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2019 Hawk / Ford F250


#67 BigRanchInSky

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:15 PM

Can you give some specifics on that wind deflector. Brand, Pricing??

AeroShield® found here: https://tinyurl.com/yyzd3hf6

 

I purchased mine used for $180 used on a local classifieds. The webbing needs replacing, but the unit is still pretty strong and this one looks to be about 4-6 yrs old I estimate. I had to monkey around with he doorjamb clips, they hold though. I have replacement dj clips from Yakima I've yet to install.


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#68 captaindorky

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 08:29 PM

Waking up this thread once again given some recent information I have come across.  It appears Ford is coming out with a 2020 Tremor version of the F-350, which includes the 7.3L V8 engine.

 

https://www.motortre...er-duty-tremor/

 

 

Is this overkill or in line for use with a Hawk?  

 

The new engine makes me hesitate, but this setup looks pretty solid.  

 

Thoughts and opinions welcome!

 

Thanks Everyone.


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#69 klahanie

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:51 AM

Waking up this thread once again given some recent information I have come across.  It appears Ford is coming out with a 2020 Tremor version of the F-350, which includes the 7.3L V8 engine.

 

https://www.motortre...er-duty-tremor/

 

 

Is this overkill or in line for use with a Hawk?  

 

The new engine makes me hesitate, but this setup looks pretty solid.  

 

Thoughts and opinions welcome!

 

Thanks Everyone.

 

I like it and would seriously consider. Too bad for me tho, not avail with long box.


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~David.  2010 F350 C&C w camper deck. 1997 Granby, orig owners.


#70 RC Pilot Jim

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:28 PM

As an oldster...age 75 plus,  my comment is the problems Back in the 1980's had carrying a 2500 pound  "wet" Lance camper on a half ton chevy 4wd truck towing a ski boat. Even with heavy duty upgrades: rear springs, E-rated tires, sway bars I was still experiencing tire blow outs and side wind issues.

 

It was scary to drive on freeways when passed by big semi trucks pushing huge walls of air as they passed plus the axles and brakes were not designed to carry that much weight.

 

I replaced the truck  with a 3/4 ton, 454, turbo 400 4-door (1977). 10 years old when purchased. A very capable "Mule" designed for the task.  The stock truck had no problem with the weight and no problem with cross-winds. And no problems with semi trucks.  I'm a Toyota lover and I would not by the Tundra as its not up to the task. Buy a 3/4 ton whatever make you like. 


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Jim

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