I've read through all the links on the tow body thread, but I didn't see any upfitter that puts a regular truck bed on the chassis cab. I appreciate all the do-it-yourselfers who can find a bed at a junk yard and make it work, but unfortunately I don't have the time, tools, and resources to do that, so I need to pay someone.
Does anyone know of companies that will put a regular truck bed on a F450 DRW? I'm in Phoenix, AZ, so someplace close to there would be best.
Thanks for your help.
1997 F350 CC 4X4, 3" lift, 315/75R16, shimmed, pyro/boost gauges, downpipe, 33' Skyline Sport Wagon 5th-wheel.
Yes, Centurion that Joshs linked to will mount an ordinary F-350 Dooley bed on an F-450. They're in Michigan.
So will Manning near Louisville, KY. http://www.truckequip.com/ They don't mention it on their website, but they are probably the biggest upfitter of pickup beds on chassis cabs in the country.
The Fontaine Classic Traveler is not exactly a pickup bed - it's called a composite bed. But it will work fine for your slide-in camper - and it looks better than a steel pickup bed - IMHO. In Indiana, I think. http://www.fontainemod.com/ClassicTraveler.asp
But Roll-A-Long is probably closest to you, and they have an outstanding reputation for quality work. http://www.roll-a-long.com/homepage.htm then click on F-450/F-550 and notice the pickups. They are near Los Angles.
If you are ordering a brand new truck, then simply tell the dealer to "ship-through" Manning to have an ordinary DRW pickup bed added. It won't cost you any extra shipping fees, and when your dealer receives the truck, it will be complete with the bed installed.
Or if you are ordering a new truck and prefer to pay a bit extra for the Fontaine Classic Traveler, your Ford dealer can arrange that as a ship-through upfitter too.
If you want to have Roll-A-Long do the work on a new truck, then the dealer can "drop ship" the new truck to Roll-A-Long at no extra cost to you. But I don't think Roll-A-Long is a Ford ship-thru upfitter, so you may have to go to SoCal to pick up the finished new truck.
One more option. Gene Feldhans (username weweld) built his own F-450 pickup. Including shortening the frame (to omit the 3" gap between cab and bed). And he won't give up his day job, but if you'll let him have your truck for a couple of weeks, I'll bet he'll work nights and weekends to get it done ASAP. He's in Ventura CA - west of the LA area. At least give him a call and discuss it with him. If you don't require him to shorten the frame then I'll bet he'll be a lot less expensive than the $5,000 Manning will charge you for a ship-thru bed.
But realize that Gene is a nut. Every year we hold a PowerStroke get-together on the Texas/Oklahoma border at Lake Texoma, north of Dallas. Gene has driven that F-450 to at least two of those shindigs, and he's planning to come again this year in the middle of May. In addition, his wife has driven her own PSD to that same shindig. Over 4,000 miles round trip just to hob-nob with some other PowerStroke nuts. Now, if that's not a couple of dedicated PowerStroke enthusiasts, I don't know the definition. :warmsmile:
My Sierra Blanca in the sig pic was a great pickup for 11.5 years. I sold it a coupla years ago. I drove a hand-me-down 2003 F-150 SuperCrew 4.6L 2V for a while, but it was unacceptable for towing more than a rowboat. Replacement is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew Lariat that tows my 5,000-pound TT like a dream.
Last edited by SmokeyWren; 09-22-2010 at 09:03 AM.
Reason: Update to VBulletin code
[quote]I have another related question. You mentioned shortening the bed rails, I assume I order the 176-inch chassis with 60" Cab-to-Axle, is that correct? [/QUOTE ]
And they still need to be shortened?
Only if you don't want the 3.8" gap between the back of the cab and the front of the bed.
A longbed pickup has 56.2" cab-to-axle (CA), or 3.8" less than a 60" CA chassis cab frame.
You can cheat a little bit when you locate the Dooley bed wheel wells over the rear axle, but not enough to make up the whole 3.8" difference. So you'll wind up with about a 3" gap even if you cheat a bit.
Centurion uses a 3.8" or so piece of plastic molding to cover that gap, so very few people will notice it. Especially with a headache rack mounted on the front of the bed. I suspect Manning does the same thing. And probably Roll-A-Long too. That's a lot less expensive than shortening the frame by 3.8". Maybe Centurion will sell you just that piece of gap filler?
But Gene is a perfectionest, as well as a world-class welder, so he chopped his frame. Check out the photos in his sig to see his handiwork.
The chassis cab frame also has too much rear overhang for a pickup bed. But even I can chop a few inches off the back of the frame, so that usually goes unmentioned as a "Well, duhhhhhh!".
Note that the Fontaine Classic Traveler pickup bed is custom made for the chassis cab frame, so it fits without a lot of hand wringing. And Fontaine has dealers that will install their bed, so maybe they have one near Phoenix? (On edit: Fontaine stopped production of the Classic Traveler a coupla years ago. Note the date of this post in the 5-year old thread.)
And another consideration. The stock 40-gallon chassis cab fuel tank is behind the rear axle. Where the spare tire goes on a pickup. You can also order a "dual fuel tank" option that adds a small fuel tank on the side of the frame. But the Dooley pickup bed has only one fuel filler door, so if you do it yourself under a shade tree, you'll have to design and fabricate a way to get fuel from the fuel filler door into one or both fuel tanks.
If you order the bed installed from a ship-through upfitter through your Ford dealer, you (or your dealer) will need to coordinate with the upfitter as to exactly which fuel tank(s) your chassis cab must have - unless you want to pay them a lot extra for a custom installation. Same song if Gene is your upfitter. My guess is they'll require the stock fuel tank without the 2nd tank.
Last edited by SmokeyWren; 09-22-2010 at 09:20 AM.
Reason: Convert to VBulletin code
I'm working on it, but Darling Wife is reluctant. I'm too old to sit around the campfire and drink beer all night with you and Sid and the other young whippersnappers, so I don't have as much fun as you do.
Last edited by SmokeyWren; 09-22-2010 at 09:19 AM.
looking at the frame in my 05 f350 chassis cab , the frame start narrow in in joint below cabin near the front cab mounts . it is welded and riveted to the front part of the frame .
It is possible to remove the two rails and replace them with pick up rails on that joint?