Ram with canopy

#31
While I know you're kidding, in no way would one compare an ag guy in Idaho to a farmer or rancher in Texas lol. The majority of farmers/ranchers down here do a lot of the work themselves and are in the fields daily. I know in my family and many others around here that migrants are only brought in at harvest to possibly run combines or assist in the field with refueling, fertilizer/seed, grain trailers etc. as simple manual labor.

Most, actually all of the hands on my families operation are younger white kids and some even have agricultural bachelor degrees from Texas A&M. Some drive diesel HD's and a few drive half-ton gassers, it's a mix really, but when they aren't working they are usually hunting or fishing so they need a competent truck that can put in the work and get things done.
So they do all the real work then? ;):D:) and the bosses handle business side of the industry. I don't know about you, but damn glad my ditch diggin' days are over, much rather be filling out paper work in the air conditioned cab of a leather clad F350, figuring out where I am going fishing next. ;)

I think what is...it is the death of the family farm...and now just about everything is now corporate owned. Some of the family farms still exist...but they lease out the land.

There was an article in the local paper, about how most of the locals don't want to do the work. So they have to hire migrant workers.

Things have definitely changed since I was younger. I grew up on PA, quite a few friends were farmers that has been in the family for generations, and I remember helping out, baling hay, shoveling out stalls sort of thing.... Those farms have been sold off, and now are luxury housing developments.


...anyways...thought the discussion was about the practicality of a flat bed, not how popular they are. (or aren't :D )


@Clutch, can you tell me what brand that canopy/tray setup is? That setup actually seems pretty decent in terms of space compared to the Patriot Camper's setup.

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UTE ltd, and ARE are making the shells.


https://www.facebook.com/UteBed/?ref=br_rs

http://www.uteltd.com/
 
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#33
Yeah, I've seen that company's website before. I don't know much about their product quality, but they sure do need to update their website and re-evaluate their marketing strategy.
They do a lot corporate sales...and kinda sell to the public on side is my take on them. Or just a dude selling them on the side out of his garage type of thing. So no real need for a fancy website. I was looking at one the other day. There is one on a F250 at one of the local lots here for sale, believe it was an ex-home depot rental truck. Seem decent enough. Not quite as burly as some of the flat bed manufactures...but it will do for a base for a camper. I am thinking a F250 sitting on 37's with a flat bed version of that OVR LND shell I posted earlier.
 
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#36
The canopy and bed set up is definitely a class above something like NorWeld which can be purchased through Main Line Overland.

The tray on the Ram is 7 feet and built specifically for the Ram. This is a different (longer) unit than the PCOR canopy on the Tundra.

This PCOR canopy raises the COG
- Compared to what? I will assume a standard bed with a drawer and bed rack system a roof top tent... The PCOR deck height is definitely higher than a stock bed. Think bed height above the top of the wheel wells in your truck bed. Essentially, the same deck height as a stock bed with drawer storage such as Decked or Truck Vault. With a NorWeld system a good part of that space is not utilized, but with the PCOR essentially all of that space is utilized. That is where the batteries, water storage, drawer system, etc. go. You are keeping the COG low by putting the heaviest things the lowest (underneath the tray). Likely lower than you would be able to achieve with a stock truck bed.

Let us compare three Ram trucks:
1) Nuthouse Industries Ram with bed rack system
2) NorWeld Ram with tray and canopy
3) Patriot Campers/Exploration Outfitters Ram with tray and canopy.

You would find that:
3) PCOR Ram will have the best COG and weight distribution at the end of the day
1) Nuthouse Ram will be second best
2) NorWeld Ram will come last in COG and weight distribution - The NorWeld tray is actually 8 feet which is not optimal for the short bed trucks.

Keep in mind that the PCOR bed is the only one which includes a winch, kitchen, fridge, 160AH battery bank, on board water storage, and other things that the others just don't have.

This canopy is expensive
Yes, the canopy is expensive. It is not for poor people and nice things cost money. It is made by non-communists in Australia and is made with premium materials and finishes. It is, however, not as expensive as you might think. The tray and canopy is actually less expensive than the NorWeld unit.

This canopy has less usable space than a stock bed with topper/bed cap
A normal Tray and canopy would likely have less usable space. But with the integration of drawers, battery storage, water storage, etc. in the area with low COG, maximum protection, and maximum security you can have more space for other items elsewhere.

In the end it is definitely less money to just put a topper on your truck and a Decked storage system. But by the time you add an Expedition One rear bumper with swing away tire carrier for your 37s or 40s that don't fit under your truck, add a fridge, water storage, aux batteries, roof rack, kitchen, rear winch, and other items the PCOR bed starts to look like a good value.
 
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#37
Do you really think that a truck with a stock bed has more storage capacity and lower COG? Look where the fuel and water is stored. Look where the spare tire is. Look at the underutilized space in the bed.

Nuthouse does make the best bed rack though and this setup would be less than half the cost of the PCOR setup
 

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#38
This NorWeld has an abundance of storage above the tray but an underutilization of potential under-tray storage space (it does have a drawer though). It is taller and wider than the cab of the truck making an already large truck even more so if you are on tight trails or places with clearance issues. It is more expensive than the PCOR.
 

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#40
@RF2200 are you a sales rep for PCOR? If so, maybe dial your sales pitch back a bit. We don't need 5 consecutive posts telling us why PCOR tray and canopy is the best solution for a Ram pickup.

And BTW, if you look closely at all the pictures you posted, you'll notice that the regular pickup bed does in fact have the best COG characteristics. Both the Norweld and PCOR tray have the storage platform about level with the pickup's door handles. The gear sits a bit lower on a regular pickup bed, even one with a drawer system.
 
#41
This NorWeld has an abundance of storage above the tray but an underutilization of potential under-tray storage space (it does have a drawer though). It is taller and wider than the cab of the truck making an already large truck even more so if you are on tight trails or places with clearance issues. It is more expensive than the PCOR.
I would prefer if it had straight walls with a poptop if it were my truck, as I don't do anything super tight with the truck...save the super tight gnarly stuff for the dirt bike. And rather have more storage space.

These seem like the best use of space to me out of any of them.

 
#42
Just look at how low and compact the PCOR is in comparison
Thanks for posting,I have seen the PC trailers before,they have been at the top of the heap for some time,I suspect their canopy's are of the same quality.
I have seen Ronny Dahl's channel,those LC's with canopys and gear on the roof rack don't seem to have issues with COG.
 

taz223

ExplorationOutfitters.com
#44
Hey guys, just stumbled across this thread and thought I'd chime in and make myself available to answer any questions.

The Ram w/ the PCOR gear is actually my personal truck, and it is my daily driver. It serves as everything from our family adventure rig, to regularly towing loads up to 16K pounds, takes my daughter to school every morning, and everything in between.

Here are some specs on the truck:

2015 Ram 2500 Cummins
AEV Dualsport 3" Suspension
AEV Front Bumper
AEV Raised Air Intake
Warn 16.5ti - Front
Warn VR12-S - Rear
F55 Prolink XXLs F&R
Rigid Amber Duallies - Front Fogs
Rigid 30" E-Series Bar - Front Bumper
SPOD SE System
Rhino Rack Prototype Backbone for the Ram Platform
Toyo 37x12.50x17 M/T
Method Wheels
PCOR Prototype (Patriot Campers Off Road) Ram 2500 Tray W/ 20 Gals. Water + ARB Twin Air Compressor
PCOR Prototype 3/4 Canopy W/ Dometic Upright Fridge, PCOR Drop Down Kitchen, RedARC BMS System W/ 160AH Lithium Battery, Dual Spares, etc.
Cell Signal Booster
Communications
More To Come

Truck just rolled over 50K miles. Prior to the PCOR fitment, the the truck was equipped with a Decked Drawer system, Wilco Offroad tire gate, and an in-house built bed rack carrying a rooftop tent, Maxtrax, etc.

Obviously, there are questions/comments in this thread that are purely speculative, and from all appearances, heavily biased one direction or the other, and I'd like to give my honest feedback as the owner & user of this truck, in it's previous version plus the current. We just finished 4 days of pretty heavy wheeling in Colorado after Expo West, and I really had a good opportunity to put the truck through it's paces (along with the XO Tundra + the 79 Cruiser) on some pretty decent trails (trails that people look at you cross-eyed for taking a full-size rig on) as well as camping out of it with the new canopy setup.

STORAGE:
In it's previous configuration (bed rack, Decked, etc.) the truck was just darn near worthless. I loved the Decked and think it's a great product, but between it and the bed rack, the bed was pretty much useless. Everything that lived in the Decked drawers moved easily over to the PCOR tray storage, and I actually have significantly more room for gear in the PCOR tray compartments than I ever did in the drawers. The ONLY thing that fit in the Decked that didn't fit in one of the storage compartments on the tray was my floor jack, which was easy to mount inside the canopy.

Additionally, with the previous configuration, when we went on a trip, or, even to the grocery store, all of our stuff that we were concerned with securing had to go inside the cab, or in dry bags in the bed (which aren't always dry). With the canopy, there is a TON of room for stuff, whether it be camping gear or normal stuff on a day-to-day basis. When I first got the canopy in, I honestly thought "There's not much room for my stuff in here"... until I started packing it. I'd say there is probably 1.5X the space for gear that I had with the Ram bed, and it's a HECKUVA lot easier to access & organize than it was with the drawers and open bed, not to mention its easier to GET TO. If I wanted/needed even more room, unbolting the drop kitchen setup takes about 10 minutes to do.

One of the absolute best features on the whole system is that EVERY compartment on the tray, and on the canopy locks with the keyless entry on the trucks. No fumbling around trying to lock/unlock 7 different compartments, or waking up in the middle of the night hoping you remembered to lock something. Hit the keyless on the truck, every compartment is locked.

CENTER OF GRAVITY:
There is absolutely no difference in this truck today than there was with the previous configuration as far as handling goes. We just finished a 2000 mile round trip in the truck, a trip that I've done several times and is very easy for me to compare. I'll be doing a 5000 mile round trip in it coming up in a few weeks, and I'm 100% confident in the truck on the highway, on the trails, etc. The reality is that the majority of the weight (with the exception of the canopy) is in a lower spot than it was, and the tray is lighter than the factory bed was. I honestly figure that in exchanging the bed for the tray, the canopy for the bed rack/decked system, and then adding a second spare, I've probably only increased the weight of the truck by around 350-400 pounds, which the 2500 doesn't even begin to notice. The truck rides, in my opinion, far better with this setup than it did with the previous setup. I do run airbags, but they're kept at 5 pounds unless I'm towing one of our heavier trailers. The only thing that changed on the truck during the re-build pre-Expo West was the tire/wheel setup, the addition of the roof rack, and of course the PCOR gear.

After West, we headed to Ouray to film for TV and do some real world testing of the products and the trucks carrying them. The truck blew my expectations out of the water. It'd been wheeled before, across New Mexico, parts of Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, etc. but this would be the first real world use of the PCOR gear in the US. To be clear, this is a BIG truck. Most of the trails in the area are pretty straight-forward, and on a good clear weather day can be done in just about any vehicle with a half-competent driver. There are some exceptions in that neck of the woods, and one of those (in my opinion) is Mineral Creek (sometimes known as lower Engineer). It's rated as a Difficult by pretty much everybody, for good reason. Lots of tight switchbacks, lots of "rock crawling", etc. This truck is point and shoot. Even getting it into some off-camber and tippy sections, never so much as lifted a wheel or spun a tire. One of my favorite things about the truck is it is so easy to control the throttle that you can pretty much do anything you want with it. Of course, there were some 3-point turns involved in a couple of spots, but nothing that wouldn't be expected with a full-size rig on predominantly Jeep & SXS trails.

CAMP/USE:
After finishing a long day of wheeling & filming, we snagged a beautiful camp spot off of Engineer Pass, and I was eager to see how the new setup worked as far as ease of use at camp, etc. and I definitely wasn't disappointed. There are a few things that need "tweaking" but 99% of that comes down to how the truck was packed before we left for the show. Additionally, I acquired some new gear at Expo West and I didn't have any place to displace the old equipment so I was carrying quite a bit of redundant gear and/or storage boxes/cases. Without those in the picture, things would have been even better. Camp setup was extremely easy, and it made for a great night. All our gear was literally exactly where we needed it to be and there were no dramas with finding anything and getting everything out to cook, sleep, etc.

POST TRIP:
This kind of circles back to the storage, but when we packed for Expo West, we took two Ram 2500s, pretty much packed to the hilt with gear, plus a 40 foot gooseneck and I towed a Patriot out to the show. Going home, one of the crew pulled the 40' back with most of our show stuff, but 3 of us went on to Colorado w/ the crew from Patriot & XO. We snagged a hotel room to store all of our gear (plus camera gear, etc.) so on the trails we were packed fairly lightly. But on the trip back to Oklahoma, we literally stuffed every nook, cranny, and square inch of space in the canopy, the tray, and the rear 60% seat of the truck as full as it could possibly be to get everything back home. Again, I was blown away by how much stuff we got crammed into the canopy, all nice & dry and secure. Absolutely not something we could've done with the normal truck bed, and, even if we had, any rain storm or stops we'd be worrying about everything in the bed getting wet/being messed with.

COST:
Yep, its expensive. Very expensive in fact. If you bought a new Ram 2500 & built it out the same way (even doing all of the work yourself), you'd be north of 100 grand to replicate the truck. There is a lot of money in the truck, with a big chunk of that being cab-back. However, there is NO ONE on the market that builds gear as high quality as Patriot. That is why we distribute their trailers and now, the PCOR line. No one builds products as well engineered/designed/thought-out, and theres definitely no one that builds them with all of the features while still retaining fantastic styling. Additionally, I don't believe that anyone tests their products as hard as Patriot does. That was point two of the trip to Colorado, aside from filming for the TV show, but to put these trucks through their paces in real world use, test the PCOR gear, find things that need addressing before production begins, etc. Looking at the canopy itself, with a retail price of around $18K starting out, there will inevitably be people who don't get it, don't want it, don't understand it, and that is absolutely fine. But if you get into the nitty gritty and start breaking down components, its very easy to see where the cost comes from. Central locking, lithium batteries, redARC BMS, Dometic fridge, etc. Buy once, cry once.

Sorry for the long winded post. I'm happy to answer any questions or discuss why I think this is a superior product to anything else out there (keeping in mind that I'm slightly biased).

Matt - EO
IMG_0755.JPG IMG_2346.JPG
 
#45
Matt thanks for posting up with such a detailed response. So pleased you found this thread and chimed in. I didn't get a chance to visit expo this year but was blown away when I saw that someone was finally brining the canopies to the US market.
With you teaming up with Patriot, you guys are ahead of the game offering these over here.
I look forward to seeing the PCOR line when it hits your website.

Are they specific to one vehicle or can they be adapted to other vehicles?

Thanks
 
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