Big Green - My 2016 F-350 build

smlobx

Adventurist
#1
Since there seems to be some love for full size rigs here :) I thought I would document my ongoing build of our new truck.

First a little background, I'm in construction and regularly need a full size truck to haul materials or equipment. My previous rig was a 2006 F-350 CC LWB with the infamous 6.0 diesel. I have always maintained our vehicles to a very high degree and for the most part the 6.0 had treated me well. Well last year we decided to get more into vehicle based adventures and after visiting several manufacturers we decided to order a Hallmark Everest pop up truck camper.
Here is the original rig just outside of Denver where we picked it up.
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#2
For a variety of reasons we decided to get a new truck and in looking at the '17's we quickly discovered that the dimensions were significantly different than the '16's ...so much so that the Hallmark might not fit without some modification. Long story short we picked up a new '16 that is exactly like our '06 except this has the 6.7 diesel....man what a difference in power.

Here are the two rigs next to each other..
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#3
So now the fun part begins!
In looking what others have done and how we plan to use our rig we have started upgrading the beast!

The first step was to line the bed, install the B&W gooseneck hitch and install the camper plug.



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smlobx

Adventurist
#4
IMG_0496.JPG One of the things the truck did not have were running boards to facilitate getting into the rig. I was never a friend of the factory set up that (to my mind) protrude too far down and might get hung up on something offroad. An acquaintance of mine has a Tiger offroad RV and he has a set of retractable running boards so we plagiarized his ideas!
These things tuck up neatly under the truck and even have LED lights that come on when the door is opened.
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#5
One of the things I have never been a fan of is the lighting on Fords...
When we went to Expo East we had a chance to chat with the guys at Baja Designs about our dilemma and as luck would have it they had a great stealth option for us! A 30" combo light that fits recessed into the grill.

Man this light literally turns night into day and will light up my world.



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smlobx

Adventurist
#6
We have some other upgrades planned for the truck and camper but until I get my new Torklift tiedowns and have a chance to see how the combination works we'll wait..
 

Scott

Adventurist
#8
I like where you are going.. There is a lot of full-size love on this forum..
Can't wait to see more.

Sent from my LG-H810 using Tapatalk
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#10
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Nice set up. Would like to see more about the camper also. I like the picture windows on the sides...
Well if you insist...

We have the North South arrangement and really love it. We don't have to trip over each other if one of us has to get up in the middle of the night. Another benefit of it is that we each have a pair of what we call our nightstands. We have enough space in there for a weeks worth of clothing. Of course there is also a huge storage area underneath as you can see as well as a "hidden" compartment for things like long guns etc.
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#11
On the starboard side we have a nice dinette with the large windows that allow us to pass food through when we're cooking outside.
Behind that there is a cassette toilet that is hidden under a bench seat.
Another nice thing about Hallmark is that we got to choose the fabric for the Upholstry. In our case we chose a couple of Sunbrella colors on the advice of another adventurer...
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smlobx

Adventurist
#12
On the port side we have a solid surface counter top with integrated sink and a 3 burner cooktop. We opted not to get an oven and use that space for additional storage.
Aft of that is our 2 way fridge along with additional storage that is easily accessible from the outside.
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smlobx

Adventurist
#13
More upgrades!
When we were at Expo East we noticed that the two LED's on the right side were extremely bright at night and not necessarily conducive to gathering around the campfire so to speak.
I mentioned my dilemma to my electrician and he said he had just the answer...led tape lights!
These things are super easy to install and are infinitely adjustable in both intensity and color!

I guess it's the Overlanding equivalent of the disco ball! But it really just provides just enough light to see at night.
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#14
Thanks for the pics. Ann and I were intrigued by the pick up slide ins we saw and toured at Expo east. I don't know if we will go that way just yet... but it is a possibility in the future for sure.
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#16
Time for a little update!

I have spent a considerable amount of time investigating what leveling kit I wanted to use in this beast. It boils down to either a hockey puck like bracket for the springs with a similar set up for the front shocks that would allow you to use the existing shocks or jumping into the deep end and getting taller springs and matching shocks.
I figured in for a penny, in for a pound, and decided to get the taller springs and new shocks as the factory shocks are pretty lame. One of my overlanding buddies with a similar rig has also spent considerable time looking into the same upgrade and he brought up a good point. It turns out that some of the manufacturers, Carli for example, uses a smaller diameter "wire" to make their springs and the result is that you give up some of the load capacity of the truck in exchange for a softer ride. I had no interest in that so I contacted several manufacturers and to make a long story short I decided to go with Bilstien's leveling kit with matching 5100 series shocks.

The truck now sits more or less level (there is about a 3/4 inch difference now instead of almost 3 inches). The ride is nice and firm and I'm happy I made the upgrade!

Here are a few pictures ...

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smlobx

Adventurist
#17
Well life seems to be getting in the way lately but since I use my truck for business (construction) it has a tendency to get dirty.
I didn't want to trash the leather interior so I started looking into some seat covers and came across a set from Cover King
https://www.coverking.com/seat-covers/skanda-intro/tactical-ballistic-custom-seat-cover.html
That had a molle back on the seats so I decided to try them. I also got a set of pouches to use on the back as well.
Contrary to what you see in my pictures the fit is actually pretty good once I got everything adjusted..

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smlobx

Adventurist
#18
If you look at the picture of my new front springs where I raised the front of the truck by about 2.5" you can see the flexible brake line in what I would consider a fairly tight radius. This is fine on compression of the front springs but if I drop a wheel in a hole there could be problems and I could conceivably find myself with a busted brake line in the boonies...
So I did a little looking around and ended up buying the brake line extension bracket sold by Carli. Installation took only about 15 minutes and returned the range of flexibility of the brake line back to OEM specs.

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smlobx

Adventurist
#19
Well I had a little bit of time yesterday and decided to install the rear shocks that I had. When I pulled the old ones off ( only 5 months and less than 6000 miles on them) I found out they were shot!
When I compressed them by hand they barely moved in over a minute!
The 5100 Series Bilstein should make a world of difference!
 
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