2014 Ram Big Horn - Build out as I wait

As I anxiously await the start of my build journey (spot #1921) I thought I would share what my current build out looks like. I’m curious if anyone has a V2 on a Ram that can shed some light on a few things. Mainly, where are the mounting brackets on the box rails? I’m really hoping they line up with my current cut outs. And also out of curiosity, how much does the front upper bed platform overhang inside the box?

As for my build, the truck is bone stock as I was waiting for it to be out of warranty as it just recently did. So on the wish list to start is a set of Air Lift 1000HD air bags, and MotoFab 2” leveling kit.

Bed build out was inspired by @takethetruck and another YouTube channel.

The bed has one side that is modular that neatly tucks away to give full box height. Added a ski/paddle rack along the right side with an upper shelf. There are two storage cubbies in the front of the wheel wells (one contains the power fuse centre). There is a storage latch in the front half that is split into two, one side for tools and tire chains (I live in northern BC and sometimes don’t make the best choice with the sled trailer :joy:). Then the other half is for storage.

The rear side has a storage tote on wheels that contains my cooking items. Left side of the reach wheel well is reserved for the potential permanent heater install. The right side has the C&D Tel 12-90 Gel battery. This is wired out to an Eco-worthy solar Charge controller and portable 100W eco-worthy solar panel. For power, on each side wall of the box there are 2 USB ports for charging and switches to control the LED strip lights (which need a dimmer). Left rear has a 12V socket used to connect the portable diesel heater.

The heater is installed in a transit case that is used as a step to get in the box. The heat is then piped though the window and works great. I am looking for Diesel heater piping suggestions for the GFC when it arrives, I’m totally racking my brain.

It’s a great setup for the fam in both winter and summer. If you have any questions or suggestions drop me a line.

Cheers,

WG

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Went with Firestone Coil-Rite air bags instead. Fairly easy install and mounted the airline valves inside the box. Unfortunately, I have a leak at the factory fitting in the air line. So, waiting to hear back from Firestone and looking for Female Schrader Compression fittings which are hard to come by in a small town.

The MotoFab levelling kit is on its way and I secured a closer build spot of 1921. Fingers crossed that there are no delays and Justin Trudeau opens the border by the time my camper is ready!

Looks awesome! Stoked for the adventures to come!

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Installed 2" MotoFab leveling kit yesterday. True 2" went from 5.5" to 7.5", levels the truck out nice. Once the struts begin to fail I’ll be looking at upgrading to a proper 2" suspension lift.



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@Dignon I’m curious about your heater setup. Plan to use my GFC some during hunting season and storm chasing during ski season. What heater did you buy, where did you get the box, etc. Thanks!

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@Whiteroom This is the Diesel heater I bought from Amazon:

It’s the 5Kw version, and so far it hasn’t let me down…with the exception of a field repair due to the exhaust burning a hole in the fuel line.

As for the box, I work in the Telecom industry so we call these cases ‘Transit’ cases. We have stacks of them sitting in various piles around our central offices. They’re usually used for transporting radio test equipment and the like. But nowadays there are far better options to safely carry test gear. So, I re-purposed it. If I were to build it out again, I would try to make sure the exhaust connections are outside the box. The way it is now I’m not sure if I’m pulling in diesel exhaust, from the outside or if there’s an exhaust leak inside, or if that’s just want diesel heaters smell like; but there is a faint diesel exhaust smell in the topper when you come in from the outside. If you have sheet metal skills, it would be fairly easy to build a box that allows those exhaust connections to be in a different air space than the intake air for the fan. Or…build the box out of 8020 extrusion.

Otherwise, it’s a super slick set up. With the GFC I plan on building a ‘plywood’ tailgate of sorts with a man door on one side. The way my bed is built out in the back it just so happens the tailgate height is just right to stash that wood tailgate under the bed. I haven’t gotten around to building that yet. That is how I plan on piping the heater into the truck. As it stands, I pipe the heater in through the side window of the topper and it works great.

I really like the idea of not having the heater permanently installed inside. As I’m sure many of you know, diesel stains and smells for months. So unless you have a way to store the tank outside it’s a real risk having it inside.


Above is a picture of it set up (and my 5 year old checking it out). I’ve since swapped out the dryer vent hose because it gets WAY too hot for that thing. I have also put some carpet on the lid for traction in the winter.

This is a picture of it all put away. Everything fits perfectly in the case.

I used the heater with my two boys in in -10C, their gear was soaked from playing in the snow. Set it just below 4 marks and it stayed about 15C in the topper and dried out all their gear.

Let me know if you have any more questions. When it comes to diesel heaters, John McK is the YouTube legend of this stuff.

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Looks like a sweet set up you’ve got going on. I had the V1 on my Ram and also have the first V2 installed on a Ram. Let me know if there’s anything I can help ya out with in terms of measurements or questions!

Awesome! Thanks Taylor! I think in a perfect world I’d love to know the measurements of the attachment points so I can pre-cut my plywood sides and shelf. But I fear that these may change based on year and box length. My plan when I get down there, right before the install, is to pull the pocket screws out of the sides and lay them down. I was told that if I showed up there with my build the way it is they’d potentially kick me out. Can’t have anything in the way of the mounting rails and it’s a long drive from Williams Lake BC, Canada to Belgrade to be turned around.

Then once it’s installed get out a saw and cut down the sides and shelf appropriately. I do hope in a perfect world that I’d actually not have to cut anything and it all just lines up. So in that scenario if your truck happens to be the same spec as a 2014 ram with the 6’4” box those measurements could help me mentally prepare.

:smiley:

I’ve got a 2018 with the 6’4 bed, my understanding is the 4th and 5th gen rams with the 6’4 bed are the same dimensions and will receive the same mounting points on the bed rails. I’ll send you a message with some pictures that may or may not help give you an idea of where things will line up.

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That would be awesome! I was looking at things briefly last night as I was packing up to head out for the long weekend. Pictures with measurements would be amazing! I super appreciate it.

Got some new rims for the rig, just waiting on my studded Toyo Open country’s for the winter. Camper should be getting picked up today by the courier and en-route to the puddle. :sunglasses:


Bronze 17x8 planning to be wrapped in 285/70/17’s for the winter.

Contemplating getting the gunmetal version for the summer with 295/70’s but haven’t 100% decided yet on a tire type and size. Just need something better for dirt roads than what I have now!

Nice! Great looking wheel for a black truck.

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Feeling cute, might delete later…



Pre-install clean out and seal.

Sealing the holes, will trim when dry. I never found the dust to be too bad before. But now it’ll be even less I suppose.



Little more work while I wait…camper is en route somewhere between Bozeman and here :man_shrugging:

Plasti dip attempt.




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The worst part of having tracking on shipments is that you know your camper is sitting hours away and you can’t get it!!!

In the meantime, tried out the Plasti dip on the grill. We’ll see how it fairs over the northern BC winter.


Now I’m trying to decide what to do with the bumper. Anyone have experience with Bumper Shells? Also eyeing up a few off road bumpers, but the cost should be spent on other upgrades, climbing ropes, professional avalanche courses, or the kids college funds :joy:

But I’ll take suggestions on a nice low pro relatively light bumper that is winch compatible. Although I’ve gone this long without a winch :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Well as some may already know, my shipment to Canada did not go well. I’m still waiting from confirmation on packaging from GFC. I was told that the camper would be secured to the pallet and I asked that cardboard be used to somewhat protect it. The cost of crating is not a viable option…especially considering that companies like Leer, ARE, etc ship canopies all the time bare bones.

Regardless, I accept that I took the gamble and lost. Fortunately, I can definitely speak to how well these campers are built! I can’t even imagine what this thing went through that I don’t know about. So lets tell the story.

Sept 9th - Camper picked up from GFC in Belgrade by a US courier K&L I believe. I asked GFC for pictures of the unit before shipment and I was not provided those. I get it they’re busy, but they’re still the shipper and their responsibility to make sure it’s somewhat packaged appropriately.

Sept 10th it makes its way to Salt Lake City where it gets transferred to another truck.

Sept 13 it goes to Boise ID where it gets transferred again and I get an email from the courier that they were not provided with a Bill of Lading or Commercial invoice from GFC for customs which I provided. I sent them the documentation and the camper cleared customs Sept 14th.

It then made it’s way to Oregon where it transferred again, then to Washington and transferred again. Sometime around the 16th of Sept it made it’s way to Surrey BC…YAY finally in canada. It was then shipped to Kelowna via Day&Ross where it sat until the 20th. It’s this point that it essentially got lost. I could get no information from anyone as to its whereabouts. Finally upper management and owners were engaged from the shipping firm. Day & Ross transferred the shipment to Overland West who deal with northern long runs.

The shipment was due on the 21st, at this point I was told the shipment didn’t leave Kelowna. The next day I got the same response, but escalated the issue and was finally told that somehow the unit ended up back in Surrey.

On the 22nd I was sent a picture showing that the front cab window had been popped out, but was confirmed no other damage. Was told the unit would for sure be in Williams Lake on the 23rd, it did not ship. I should’ve just drove down and got it. Regardless I was told for sure it would be shipped today, then the real nightmare starts. These shipping companies don’t ship on weekends so Thursday is their Friday and that shows with how they treated the camper. They stacked it on a quad and didn’t tie it down, and they must’ve run into it with the fork lift.

Regardless of all that, I remained calm and accepted the fact that there were multiple parties at fault. Getting angry wasn’t going to solve anything or get me anywhere. So I signed for the camper and brought it home. I installed it on the truck after getting the local glass place to pop the cab window back in. Took off the rear door so I could look at repairing it. Got that pretty straightened out just need to bring it back to the glass place to have them pop that window back in too.

There are some weird things with the brackets that I’m not sure about. Honestly it almost seems like it’s the wrong camper because it doesn’t fit like the one they show in the install video which is also a Ram. Regardless, I’ll wait to hear from GFC and I hope they can confirm that they were diligent enough to have properly secured the camper and other goodies to the pallet… Anyways, here are the pictures of the whole debacle.
image
When it was in Surrey BC - I should’ve gone and got it


Picture from receiver in Williams lake of how it was loaded in the truck

Rear door damage window popped out

Everything loose inside and not tied to the pallet at all

Left side bracket? It’s supposed to be 2mm

Same on the right side

Got it on the truck

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Man sorry to hear about all the headache. Amazing how much the shipping company messed up. Hope gfc can get you the parts you need quickly and you can get to the camping and ski trips asap!

Looks awesome on the truck!

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what a bunch of twats

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Your diesel heater is a great accessory for this type of system. I’ve installed a couple of these heaters (webasto and espar). For your safety, my unsolicited advice is to pipe the exhaust out directly- use a mounting plate adapter if needed and turn it on its side so the exhaust pipes are all external to the cabin air inlet box. Most of these heaters can operate right side up and on only one of the sides (check manual). My worry with your setup is the that those exhaust pipes are not impenetrable, especially when they age or are in a box with negative pressure. Piping it out directly also serves the benefit of minimizing fire hazard. @keeganbuilds lays out a pretty good description for his version of a portable diesel heater if you haven’t had a chance to check it out.