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Anatomy of a Hawk Flat Bed Build.

Flat Bed Flatbed

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#21 DrJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 04:27 AM

Wow. What a build. I am very impressed.
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#22 CamperCamper

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:08 PM

Well, I finally had some time to make some more progress on the build.  I am going to do 4 posts today: entry ladder, stealth entry step, interior plumbing connections and Maxtrax recovery boards.  Still need to finish the diesel heat, front bumper and winch, OME suspension mods (compensate for weight of bumper and winch) and another visit to Deaver Springs to re-arch the rear springs and compensate for OME 2.5" front lift.  

 

The entry ladder required some tweaks in order to work more effectively from the original design.  You just never know about these kinds of projects until you use them in the real world.  As built, the steps were not parallel to the ground (level climb in) so I found some basic ladder extensions that contractors place on extension ladders when working on uneven surfaces.  These extensions solved the problem of leveling the steps and also working to reduce fatigue on the ladder legs and rub rail attachment from being deployed on uneven surfaces.  The ground is never perfectly level so the ladder would tilt to one side and place unneeded stress on one side of the ladder.  For those of you who opted for the Brophy scissor steps, they make a similar extension for them.

 

This photo shows a mock up of the extensions prior to welding an attachment bracket and bolting them in place.

 

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Another angle of the mock up:

 

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And the finished ladder being stowed in the rear storage box:

 

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Notice the foot step inside the tow hitch.  More on this in the post about the Maxtrax boards!


Edited by CamperCamper, 13 July 2017 - 08:47 PM.

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#23 Happyjax

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:17 PM

Sweet build! Thanks for the great pics :)


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#24 CamperCamper

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:32 PM

For some strange reason, this little device/gadget just might be my favorite piece of the entire build project.  I don't know, maybe because I find it to be a simple yet elegant solution to a major problem.  When out on the road, a camper will run out of important provisions, like cold beer.  You will find yourself passing through a small town with a grocery store and want to stop and re-provision.  But, setting up the full on entry ladder takes a bit of time and is not even possible when some clown pulls in right next to your rig when you are in the store.  Hence, the need for a STEALTH ENTRY STEP!  Now the younger (and older yet more nimble) guys and gals will have no problem stepping up on the top of the tire and pulling themselves right into the camper.  Me, I worry about dropping all of that beer in the parking lot.  And besides, my back does not like it when I over stretch the hip flexors that much.

 

The design for this step has to go to Jerry at Precision Welding (the builder of the flat bed).  We talked through various ideas but the actual design is all his.  He is one talented guy!

 

This photo is of the finished solution lying on the ground.  The right hand semi-circle locks around the lower piece of C-Channel that comprises the frame of the flat bed.  And the lower left portion is a backer plate that a foot step is bolted to.

 

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I chose a Heavy Duty (800 lbs capacity) Foot Step that is bolted to the backer plate.  The backer plate pushes against the tire to provide stability.  Notice the three holes in the backer plate.  This allows me to adjust the height of the step.

 

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And one more photo of the step from another angle.  In the lower left corner of the photo, you can just notice another foot step that is attached to the inside of the rear box, just behind the tire.  That step drops down and provides just enough room to snuggle in a toe to get your climb to the primary step started.

 

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Edited by CamperCamper, 13 July 2017 - 07:38 PM.

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#25 CamperCamper

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:03 PM

This post will find some interest  to not only someone building a Flat Bed but also those with a slide-in camper.  Grey water storage is a popular discussion topic.

 

A primary objective of the build was to be able to carry additional fresh water for extended off grid excursions and free up the back seat of the water jugs I used to carry that extra water.  In addition, I wanted to incorporate a built-in grey water storage tank.  The left front storage box looks like the rest of the storage boxes but in reality, behind the door is a 10 gallon grey water tank and directly under the factory fresh water tank (and in the frame of the flat bed) is an additional 20 gallon fresh water tank.  I detailed those items in an earlier post.

 

Having installed those items, I needed to utilize the in cabinet water pump to bring the exterior water into the camper and to remove the grey water from the sink and into the grey water storage tank.

 

The next two photos show the holes that were drilled through the floor of the camper and the two hoses used to accomplish the task.  These photos were taken prior to filling the voids with spray foam to keep critters, bugs and water out of the camper.  Two different diverter valves were deployed to plumb in the additional water lines.  The actual valves used and links to where you can find them are included later in this post.  I have included the links because it took a bit of time to figure out what would work and then to source the parts.  If I think of it next time I am out, I will take photos of the valves plumbed in place and add them to this post.

 

Inside the hot water heater storage compartment in the flat bed Hawk is a bit of extra room to accomplish this task.  You will notice the washer and bolt head that holds the camper to the flat bed in this corner of the camper (left front).  It took a bit of planning to place the reinforced backer plate (for the bolt) in the flat bed in a location that would be out of the way of the plumbing and then coordinating the bolt placement at install with the folks at the factory.

 

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This photo shows the fresh water diverter valve.  It is the same as the equipment being used in the factory plumbing system.  It is a SeaTech 3 Way Selector Valve, Type 38-1/2CTS x 1/2CTS x 1/2CTS valve.  It is PN 3538-10 and can be found here: https://www.freshwat...s-x-12-cts.aspx  This particular valve allows for one or the other of the fresh water tanks to be selected.

 

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The grey water diverter valve was sourced from a marine supply source.  It works in the same manner as the fresh water valve so that I can direct the flow of water from the sink to either the standard side discharge or into the grey water tank.  It is a Bosworth Sea-lect Diverter Valve.  It carries a manufacturer's part number of: S#94AB-3/4CPH. And it can be purchased here: https://www.westmari...24?pCode=399313

 

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Edited by CamperCamper, 13 July 2017 - 08:18 PM.

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#26 CamperCamper

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:45 PM

The final post of progress for today shows the Maxtrax recovery boards installed on the back wall of the Hawk Flat Bed.  I take no credit for this mod since it has been done by others before me.  I'm not even sure where I saw it first but it is a good idea!

 

This photo shows the welded up aluminum support bracket for the boards.

 

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The Maxtrax bracket was reinforced so that I could use it to pull myself up on the rear step which is installed in the tow receiver slot.  The step will support up to 300 lbs. and is shown in this photo in the open position.  This step allows me to reach both rear latches without getting out a step stool.  Unless you are at least 6' 2", you can't reach the latches without a stool of some kind.  Much to the frustration of Jerry at Precision Welding, we covered the aluminum in the same bed liner material as the rest of the flat bed.  He wanted to show off his welds somewhere on the build.  And they are beautiful welds!  But, the aesthetics of consistent looks won out over the aesthetics of beautiful welds.

 

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And, this photo shows the step in the closed position.

 

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#27 Vic Harder

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:12 AM

VERY slick.  I like the precision and ingenuity!


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#28 Bluedog

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:55 PM

Great build, thank you for documenting the process so well.

Looking forward to some trip reports.


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#29 CamperCamper

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 04:18 PM

This rig is for sale! https://hawkflatbed.com/
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