Putting a FWC Hawk in a short-bed truck?

zuren

Adventurer
I'm currently in research mode (and in negotiations with the wife) over our next vehicle. When we got married, I brought the van in my sig. and a VW station wagon into our relationship. Now that we have 2 kids in car seats, the van doesn't really work well for a family of 4, and I'm tired of insuring and maintaining 3 vehicles.

My target vehicle is a crew cab truck that fits in the garage, with the plan to put a lightweight camper in the bed (e.g. FWC Raven or Hawk shell model). A friend has a 2019 F150, crew cab, 5.5' box and I was able to pull it into our garage. It seems that a F150 CC with a 5.5' box fits comfortably with room for me to move around and/or work on the truck with the garage door down (a consideration for my Michigan climate). A 6.5' box would fit but I would not be able to walk around the truck.

I think the compromise with the wife (who doesn't want a "huge" truck) will be a crew cab with a short bed, but I want the largest living space that is possible. The Hawk is designed for a 6.0-6.5' bed, but I've seen pics of Hawks in short-bed trucks...I know this is not ideal but seems possible. Seems that FWC has no issue with a Hawk in a short-bed truck (based on info I've found at other forums). There would be some overhang if you jammed the Hawk into a short-box truck. Is anyone doing this? Any pros and cons I'm not considering? I don't love the look of the camper overhanging, but if I can make me and wife happy, that is the ultimate goal! I found another forum where guys were discussing the overhang; some leave the tailgate attached, giving you a little bit of a step/shelf, others remove the tailgate to save weight and prevent paint damage to the tailgate from stones being kicked up.

As far as payload, it looks like a FWC Hawk shell with the couple options I want is coming in at 943 lbs.; I think I will be okay no matter the make of truck.

So if it is possible, I think the compromise will be a short-bed truck (should appease the wife) and carry a FWC Hawk shell (I get more space), but would like to hear some real-world experience/reviews with this setup!

Thanks!
 

Josh41

Adventurer
A few thoughts for you:
When calculating your load, don't forget people, water and stuff. You will be hard pressed to find a FWC in a 150/1500 that is not over the GVWR.
The more you overhang behind the axle, the more sway you will get and weight on the rear axle vs spreading it out over both.
You won't notice an issue until you need to stop suddenly or swerve to avoid an accident.
Insurance: Discussed often on the forums, and I'm not giving my opinion here, but may want to think about what happens if I am overloaded and file a claim.
Just a few thoughts.
Josh
 

Rando

Explorer
Personally, I wouldn't do it.

If you are thinking about buying the truck and camper (possibly new) then this would be a lot of money to spend on a compromise solution.

It is pretty much guaranteed that you will end up with a heavy truck (whether it is over GVWR or not is somewhat immaterial), but having it hang out way beyond the rear axel will lead to a greater handling impact than just the weight alone. Any FWC is also going to be tight with four people, so I am not sure going from the Raven to the Hawk will improve your experience that much - it is going to be tight either way.

So yes it can be done, and FWC will happily sell you either, and I am sure it will work well enough, but it doesn't seem like an elegant solution for the price.

Could you make a van work?
 
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To echo what has been posted in here: "Another Over GVWR truck in the making." I wouldn't do it but you will find lots of people on here that are okay with it and for the life of me I cannot figure out why...

Look at the sticker on the door of the exact truck you are buying and do the math. A family of 4 in that truck with the camper alone could be at max payload without any stuff loaded in yet.
 

crazysccrmd

Observer
Look at a super cab f-150 with the 6.5’ bed. It will take up about the same space as the crew cab in the garage and the backseat is still a pretty decent size. A pretty much fully loaded XLT with the 3.5EB I looked at buying had a 1900lb payload.
 

alldownhill

New member
Have you considered a shell pop-up for the truck and a small trailer (teardrop, offroad/rtt, etc) to get what you need? That way, the truck is setup for quick solo/2-person trips and you can bring the trailer for an extra bed and storage for the full family trips.
 

mkish

Adventurer
Unless it's temporary, you're going to find you outgrow that camper pretty soon anyway. "Living space" and family of 4 do not really work in a Hawk. :) (I have a larger popup camper and it works for 4, tightly, but living space? Noop!)
 

zuren

Adventurer
Thanks for the replies.

Have you considered a shell pop-up for the truck and a small trailer (teardrop, offroad/rtt, etc) to get what you need? That way, the truck is setup for quick solo/2-person trips and you can bring the trailer for an extra bed and storage for the full family trips.
My goal is have sleeping space in the truck, and the hitch available for a boat, so that kind of eliminates the ability to pull additional sleeping space.

Unless it's temporary, you're going to find you outgrow that camper pretty soon anyway. "Living space" and family of 4 do not really work in a Hawk. :) (I have a larger popup camper and it works for 4, tightly, but living space? Noop!)
Maybe "living space" was not the right term to use. All I'm looking for is 4 insulated walls and a roof, that could be heated, with a sleeping arrangement for 4, that is more secure and comfortable than a tent. Any "living", cooking, etc. would happen outside.


So in the interest of not having an overweight truck, assuming a camper shell weighed 1000 lbs., what would be a good payload number for the vehicle in order to have a "safe" reserve capacity? I understand that more would always be better, but I'm talking reasonable vs. unreasonable.

I tried to put together a rough spreadsheet with items and weights (roughly assuming 100 lbs. of gear/food per person) and I get around 2000 lbs. Considering 2 of these people are small kids, I feel that the 100 lb. per person estimate is high for them. I looked at some truck specs again and agree that a 1/2 ton with a crew cab, 4x4, and 5.5' box would be right up to the published payload specs of 2100ish lbs. (if my numbers are somewhat accurate).

However, a 2017 F150 crew cab, 4x4, 6.5' bed with the "heavy-duty payload package" has a total payload of 2630 lbs. (3.5L EcoBoost) or 2660 lbs. (5.0L). That leaves 630-660 lbs. in reserve. Is that enough of a margin? Is 100 lbs. of gear/food per person enough of an estimate?

Going to a F250 gets me to a payload of around 3200 lbs., but justifying a 3/4 ton truck to the wife, and getting her to drive it, would be nearly impossible.

Thanks!
 

Stan@FourWheel

Explorer
It's a personal choice, but we have customers doing that all the time (putting the short bed Hawk Model, on the shorter 5.5' bed trucks).

If it was a fully loaded Hawk Model weighing in at 1450 lbs (plus all of your gear & water), I would be much more hesitant.

But a somewhat empty "shell model" Hawk weighing in around 1000 lbs, to me would be very doable.

Add a rear suspension upgrade, and some E rated tires, and go have fun.

Again, just my personal opinion. See it done all the time, and customers seem happy with it.

The new Aluminum body ford F-150's have a good payload, and with E Rated tires, it will up the rating a little (unofficially).
 
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