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Which truck for FWC flat bed?

hawk fwc flatbed

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#11 Mighty Dodge Ram

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 06:12 PM

“The owner of the American Adventurist website, Dave, built a great rig on a new Ram but sold it just about as soon as he finished the build.
The biggest problem with the Ram 3/4 ton was the rear spring suspension which wasn’t strong enough for the task.”

I believe his rig had the coil springs in the rear, which are not available on 1Ts. Many have gone that route with the notion of more “off road flexing” but quickly discover that their load is better suited to traditional leaf springs. Not saying that coils won’t work in any situation...but plenty of stories surrounding the Dodge coils and heavy loads in the rear. Note: I’m not a Dodge Ram hater; I owned one for 21 years and still miss it.

Edit: re-read a portion of the build. There is no mention of coil springs involved in his decision to sell the Ram. My comments are solely based on conversations with others and not with Dave.

Edited by Mighty Dodge Ram, 18 February 2019 - 07:05 PM.

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Richard
1996 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4, lightly lifted, ARB bumper/Warn winch, BFG AT/KO2, Snugtop shell. SOLD! But not forgotten!
2002 Chevy 2500HD XC LB 6.0L 4X4, Leer Hi-Rise shell, completely stock...for now!

#12 klahanie

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 07:26 PM

 

 (all the while obsessing over which kind of adventure-mobile would make the perfect go-anywhere dream rig), I'm now convinced that a 4x4 truck with a FWC Hawk flatbed is the way to go for my particular desires, budget, and values. 

 

 

No offense but I'd be keeping resale in mind when purchasing. I could see (and have seen) a person spending a whole lot of time effort and money on this type of project and then to not get the intended use out of it.

 

Buying turnkey used seems a good solution here but IDK if possible.

 

X2 on an extended cab. also for reclining passenger seat for longer drives if that might apply.

 

We're well over 11,000lbs and that hasn't limited us, but I avoid sand and mud (if poss). So I wouldn't be opposed to a heavier truck for off highway.

 

 

 

Things I've considered:

 

A truck with higher mileage may not be as reliable. 

An older truck with low mileage may have an inefficient engine in it. 

Some trucks are much harder to find in the used marketplace.

Some brands/years are better than others and unicorns might exist out there.

 

 

I'm going to take what may be to some a quite different approach ... at the end of the day the brand of truck is not going to make much difference. I'm mean, if the idea is to go out exploring and having fun, then, really, does it matter if it's a Chevy or a Ford  ?

 

Sounds like you'll be pretty loaded up, so I'd consider having sufficient payload then shop for the best deal on the newest truck.


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


#13 CougarCouple

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 04:22 AM

Hi thjm
Which flat bed model are you looking at?
Russ


Sorry don't know why I missed you are looking at a hawk flatbed. One ton for that setup is what I would choose. By the time you install the camper and load it seems like one ton is called for. The post suggesting try existing setup before having a flatbed built to see if that's the way to go for you sounds like solid advice. There are plenty of real good used campers out there.

Russ
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F250 extended cab, Cougar from ATC. You guys rock thank you!

#14 thejm

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 05:03 AM

Thank you everyone for your responses. Definitely got my wheels spinning. I now think 1 ton is the way to go and I think I should up my budget on the truck and put some serious consideration into going with a newer, low-mileage truck.

 

My intention with going FWC over a van setup is not only off road capabilities, but the ability to transfer the camper from chassis to chassis as the trucks wear out over time.  I've tried the RV and as much as I love the uber-comfort, it doesn't get me to the places I want to go. I'll spend $60K+ on a 4x4 Sprinter and another $50K to build out its permanent interior after I win the lottery.

 

My plan was to pay cash for a cheap truck and a nice flatbed and finance a loaded FWC Hawk flatbed. Drive it for a few years and move it all to a new truck down the road. I'm hoping to keep the FWC and flatbed for the long haul but of course, anything can change. 

 

Going the used slide-in route is definitely a much cheaper way to go but I'm not a fan of that particular layout, want the added space of a flatbed, and know I'll always be wishing it was a flatbed so I figure why not do it "right" the first time. 

 

I have a close friend who's uncle owns a Dodge dealership...I've been considering going Ram.

 

@Mighty Dodge Ram, based on your knowledge and conversations about Dave's experience, would a 1-ton without rear coils be something to consider? Or should I look to Ford? Again, reliability is a high priority and I'd go Toyota if it could handle the weight without struggling.


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#15 Durango1

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 04:30 PM

I'm on my second Ram flatbed (2012 and 2018) and they both have had zero issues.

 

Look into a 'chassis cab' since the flat frame rails  will make the flatbed fabrication and installation much easier.  I even have a 'shovel box' accessible from the rear that gives great storage between the frame rails.)

 

If you're in the Southwest I have a killer fabricator for custom aluminum flatbed work i can refer you to.

 

Best wishes, Steve


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#16 thejm

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 04:45 PM

Hey Steve, 3/4 ton or 1 ton for your Rams? Did you go with a a chassis cab for the 2018? I'm in Los Angeles so I'm Southwest-ish! I'd love to see photos!


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#17 Mighty Dodge Ram

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 05:39 PM

I’d definitely go 1-ton if I was considering a flatbed. The price differential is minimal for the additional carrying capacity.

Ram 1-tons are only equipped with leaf springs...coils not available at that weight rating.

Ram vs Ford: both offer great platforms. I’m biased after owning a Dodge for 21 years and getting 302k miles out of it with the original engine/trans. (I now drive an ‘02 Chevy...long story) YMMV. My FIL drove a similar truck for the same amount of time with the Cummins before selling it for a new Ford 1-ton. It’s a great truck!

I didn’t see whether you have a definite preference for diesel or gas...you just mention fuel efficient. I prefer gas and as ntsqd mentioned, newer gassers are seeing numbers that are close to diesels. The Ram 6.4 and the Ford 6.2 gassers are both reported to be very reliable. The newer Chevy 6.0 has similar mpg ratings but IFS...not sure whether that’s a deal killer or not.

Since you’re in the L.A. area and now considering a newer truck with fewer miles let me suggest this: go visit your closest Carmax. Most of the trucks there are coming off lease and were owned by people that didn’t use them in a commercial setting. Not a lot of 1-tons, but I’ve seen them. Go drive a couple of them. Your friend’s dealership may have also taken one in trade. Of course, maybe he could get you a smokin’ hot deal on the aforementioned chassis cab!

Good luck with your search...
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Richard
1996 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4, lightly lifted, ARB bumper/Warn winch, BFG AT/KO2, Snugtop shell. SOLD! But not forgotten!
2002 Chevy 2500HD XC LB 6.0L 4X4, Leer Hi-Rise shell, completely stock...for now!

#18 Durango1

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 12:05 AM



Hey Steve, 3/4 ton or 1 ton for your Rams? Did you go with a a chassis cab for the 2018? I'm in Los Angeles so I'm Southwest-ish! I'd love to see photos!

The 2012 was a 3/4 ton crew cab short bed. The 2018 is a regular cab one-ton (11,000 GVWR) single rear wheel chassis cab with a Grandby on it. I'm not a big truck guru but we have the 6.4 gasser in it with a 4.30 rear end and I've been very happy with it.

 

I'm not smart enough to figure out how to get the 2018 photos on here. But here's a shot of the 2012 Ram/Hawk which BTW was also a good truck with the 5.7 Hemi and a 3.73 rear end. Oddly enough the mileage between the two trucks is about the same. (Around 13 mpg driven conservatively on the highway.) I think the 6.4 may be a bit more efficient engine.

20151023_094017 (1).jpg

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#19 klahanie

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 12:20 AM

Thank you everyone for your responses. Definitely got my wheels spinning....

 

I'm with you on most all of this post. Just want to add .02 on the flat deck.

 

Allow me one stereotype, that my cousins to the south love their pick ups. Personal use flat decks..., prob not so much.

 

One "solution" might be to store the PU box take off and re install for truck re sale. But a pain for most of us.

 

I think Rando nailed it; the end package likely being indivisible. I can't say how that should direct your choices only that it would be best to make them with eyes wide open.

 

We bought our truck new and spent a bunch on a custom deck. The justification was 10-15 years use out of the truck and I do have a history of keeping stuff. Camper was existing and had some life left in it. Can't say, tho, that I ever envisioned how the expiry would, and will, play out.

 

Clearly switching out a regular PU and/or slide in is much easier in comparison. If we weren't "locked in" we'd prob have a different camper right now. But we can live with what we have, YMMV.

 

On used, I wasn't referring to slide in. Rather something turnkey like that adventure fellow had. Don't know why he sold. I hear some like the build part best. I know these sell events do happen, unplanned.

 

Not to dissuade you. Life is short. If you can swing it, go for it.


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


#20 fireball

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 12:29 AM

The F250/350 6.2 gasser is a great platform and pretty reasonably priced. You can build up an XL base model with a few choice options and still have the vinyl seats and interior (easy to clean, great for adventure and outdoor activity) and be in the low 40s brand new.
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