Picking a truck to use for a custom build (1-ton vs. 2-ton, gas vs. diesel)

You should be able to order the F-550 with or without a CHMSL (Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp), but, remember that it is an incomplete vehicle, and many are ordered to be used with a big body which will have the needed lights.

I suggest you order your truck with the CHMSL to use with your flatbed when the camper is dismounted from (off) your truck.

Depending on Federal and Sate laws, you may, or may not, need to have lights on your camper body as it will be cargo on your flatbed,

Even if you don't legally need to have lights on the camper body, I suggest lights for safety reasons.

Check out the following regarding CHMSL on truck caps in Maine:

" The letter from Lt. Dow of the Maine State Police agrees that "you are correct in determining that a dealer must include a third brake light when a cap is installed on a truck required to have a high mounted brake light. However, it is also correct that the owner of a truck equipped with a cap is not required to have a third brake light on the cap." Maine has concluded that it "will tell the owners of pick-up trucks that the law does not require them to have a third brake light on a cap, but that dealers are required to include them." "

from:

agreed. I’ll be doing it for safety reasons. Looking at what’s on my travel trailer now and matching it to the NHSTA guidelines.
 

zb39

Adventurer
I just finished a 2500 mile trip with mine. AVG MPG 11.6. I have 4.44 gears and I set the cruise at 65mph. 2020 Ram 5500 with 6.7 cummins. This rig works well for me. Easy to boon dock etc. I don't know the other 2 rigs in the pic, they were just there at the same time. They were prob using the TSB app to save on fuel like I was. I have tool boxes on the way.IMG_5648.jpgIMG_5673.jpgIMG_5674.jpgIMG_5676.jpg
 
I just finished a 2500 mile trip with mine. AVG MPG 11.6. I have 4.44 gears and I set the cruise at 65mph. 2020 Ram 5500 with 6.7 cummins.
Nice, and thanks! That's really helpful, and right around what I'd hope to see. Of course, the diesel engine you have gets better MPG than the gasser I was planning to buy.

I wonder if a tuner would help...
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
The current Ford 6.2L gas engine and the 7.3L gas engine would likely both serve you well. The diesel will cut into your payload for a given DRW truck.
The 6.2 can't get out of it's way with that kind of load. The 7.3 can but it'll devour gas.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Nice, and thanks! That's really helpful, and right around what I'd hope to see. Of course, the diesel engine you have gets better MPG than the gasser I was planning to buy.

I wonder if a tuner would help...
Diesel's fly compared to gassers but the price difference and extremely high cost of replacement is a negative.
 

1000arms

Well-known member
The current Ford 6.2L gas engine and the 7.3L gas engine would likely both serve you well. The diesel will cut into your payload for a given DRW truck.

The Ford 6.2L is currently available for the F-350 pickup and the F-350 chassis cab (But not the F-450/550/600-pickup/chassis-cab combinations).

Just make sure to get the 4.30s in the pumpkins.

The 7.3L gas would likely serve you "even more well" than the 6.2L gas. :)
The 6.2 can't get out of it's way with that kind of load. The 7.3 can but it'll devour gas.
I edited the post you quoted to clarify that the Ford 6.2L gas is currently only available in the F-350s, which, combined with 4.30s in the pumpkins, would probably serve him well if he can keep his camper light enough to use a F-350.

I do think the Ford 7.3L gas engine, with the 4.30s, if he can keep his camper light enough to use a F-350, would work even better for him. :)
 
I edited the post you quoted to clarify that the Ford 6.2L gas is currently only available in the F-350s, which, combined with 4.30s in the pumpkins, would probably serve him well if he can keep his camper light enough to use a F-350.

I do think the Ford 7.3L gas engine, with the 4.30s, if he can keep his camper light enough to use a F-350, would work even better for him. :)
Everyone keeps telling me whatever I estimate will be wrong, so... I have no idea.
 

1000arms

Well-known member
Everyone keeps telling me whatever I estimate will be wrong, so... I have no idea.
People often underestimate how heavy things are (or will be). Many people have purchased "too small a vehicle".

Many people are kind enough to offer advice to help prevent other people from doing the same thing! :)

It is possible to make checklists of everything needed/wanted and then measure (or calculate) the weights involved. Then consider bringing less and/or choosing a vehicle with a greater payload. :cool:
 
People often underestimate how heavy things are (or will be). Many people have purchased "too small a vehicle".

Many people are kind enough to offer advice to help prevent other people from doing the same thing! :)

It is possible to make checklists of everything needed/wanted and then measure (or calculate) the weights involved. Then consider bringing less and/or choosing a vehicle with a greater payload. :cool:
Oh I wasn’t complaining!

I meant that based on that repeated refrain I have 0 confidence in my ability to gauge final rig weight.

Thus, an F-550 platform makes more sense IMO since weight becomes less of a worry. I feel like I’d have to really work to go overweight with it.
 

1000arms

Well-known member
Actually, weight isn't the big issue. Length is. I'm pretty sure I need the F-550 for the length I want to build.
The current F-350 CC DRW chassis cab is only available with a 60" CA, but the current F-550 CC (DRW) chassis cab is available with a 84" CA. That 2' can help! :cool:

BUT, do keep in mind using your vertical space too!

A flatbed with under-bed boxes, plus a camper with (about) a 2' deep insulated basement, plus 8' of insulated living space, would be road-legal and FREE UP a lot of volume inside the living compartment.

Yes, taller steps would be needed to get in and out of the camper! :cool:

Use "trapdoors" to the basement through the walking space of the camper, and place tanks and batteries in the basement under the cabinets in the living space.

Use a couple of horizontal "Murphy bed" bunks that flip up out of the way at the back of the camper, combined with a flip-up bench. Place your side door to create a "cross-camper hallway" just in front of the flipped-down-Murphy-bed space. Put flip-up seats, mounted to the cabinets, that open in to the "cross-camper hallway". This will create seating for 4 people (and sleeping for 2 people). :)

Time for some cardboard, markers, and hot melt glue to make a small model of your living space ideas. This should be followed up by a full-size model! :cool:
 

1000arms

Well-known member
... I feel like I’d have to really work to go overweight with it.
Muwahahaha! :cool:

I couldn't resist. :)

You might want to plan your camper with storage that could easily be filled with additional water/gray tanks if you have the payload for them once your camper has been completed.
 

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