2020 Ram 5500 DIY Camper Build Thread - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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2020 Ram 5500 DIY Camper Build Thread

Hey All

It FINALLY arrived after a 9 week wait. I am itching to get started on it!

Its POURING out now, so can't get many pics, but ill be adding a ton soon and on my YouTube and IG (links in my sig). Ill add pics here too as time allows and the process progresses.

2020 Ram 5500
CA84 Regular Cab 4x4
167.5" Wheelbase
6.7L Cummins Diesel
6-Spd Aisin AS69RC HD Trans
SLT Trim (only because I wanted OEM LED headlights)
4.89 Gears (rear limited slip)
Dual Fuel Tanks (Total of 74 Gallon Capacity)
Dual Alternators (Total of 440amps)
TPIS System to monitor tire pressure but not give the annoying alerts when i air down like TPMS does.
GVWR 19,500lbs
Fancy 5 Camera system i still havent totally figured out yet! hahahaha
Gob of hideous chrome i will be removing ASAP

Estimated camper weight will be around 6500-7k or so, and will be documented all throughout the process.

Could i have gotten away with a 3500? Maybe/Probably... Does ride like a sherman tank, and will until i get the camper box done, and suspension dialed? Most Definitely!

Why did i get such a big truck when i wont be near the weight limit? That's kind of a long story, and there's many reasons, some not popular but here we go...

Durability! Bigger axles, bigger brakes, bigger suspension, wider track width, better turning radius (by a lot), etc...

Many folks buy and build their trucks so be just under, or at GVWR. Well... GVWR is measured assuming paved driving, smooth roads, stock center of gravity, etc... You start going off road, or down trails, with all that jarring, raised center of gravity, and suspension working, it's putting a TON more stress and wear on the suspension, brake, frame components than if you are driving down the freeway in a stock vehicle. I've seen many suspension parts ripped right off of frams of heavy maxed out trucks.

You take a 9500lb rig with a 10k GVWR down some dirt roads or on some rougher trails, you are more than maxing out the limits of the ratings, and beating the crap out of the chassis in the process.

So in short, I want a lot more of a buffer between the rated limits, and my actual weight to put less stress and wear on everything. That's my reasoning!

I had originally ordered the gas version, but SOOOO many folks (diesel owners and unbiased mechanics) I trust convinced me the diesel was the better option for this build. I was originally scared off of all the new emissions stuff that everyone has hyped up enough as being satan, gonna get stuck and die type scenarios. 4 good friends have the new Rams with not a single issue, one is close to 75k on it. Unbiased mechanic friends both said all the emissions stuff is pretty dang reliable until you start trying to tune it and such and then its a can of worms issue and gets very pricey very quick. I NEVER mess with the motors on any of my builds, so thats a non-issue for me.

This is my first Domestic Vehicle ever, and my first diesel ever, so there is obviously going to be a learning curve!

Ford "vs" Ram... I went back and forth between this and the F550. Both about the same price, specs, features, etc... Basically came down to me HATINGGGG the interior on the new Fords, personal preference. Other than that, either is a good option.

I am using the Buckstop super single wheels to convert it. I know some folks rant and rave about the flat plate steel wheels being weak... But Buckstop has been in business 20+ years and not a single failure, ever. Some competitors say otherwise, but cant provide any proof or photos, sooooo.... GXV uses them on some of their Adventure Trucks. There is one company (Stazworks) producing super single steel wheels that has had some wheels break, and several photos of their stuff broken on the web, and those are the only “failures” I’ve seen proof of. Im confident the Buckstop wheels will serve me well.

The wheels will have the standard 41" MPT81s mounted to them for the load rating. I know the Goodyears are more road friendly, but they are even bigger, and harder to source. I don’t want to run hard to source tires on a rig that will spend a lot of time in the back country.

I'm working with a company developing a complete 3" suspension kit for the 5500, and more details will be posted about that very soon!

As for which panels, and torsion free subframe design i am going with, that is still up in the air, and looking at various options.

Buckstop "Outback" bumper currently on order and waiting.

Flares will most likely be custom, as i don't care for whats currently offered.

The madness begins!!!!

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 07:08 AM
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That's what I'm talking about.

I'll be following throughout, no doubt.

Well done, sir.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 09:52 AM
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in for teh build. that is a sweet looking front end. i like those wheels, too !

i was at the dealer yesterday and they had a 5500 with no bed on it. i
noticed how beefy all the hardware was.

'19 2500 t'man
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otis30 View Post
That's what I'm talking about.

I'll be following throughout, no doubt.

Well done, sir.
Thank you sir

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elephantrider View Post
in for teh build. that is a sweet looking front end. i like those wheels, too !

i was at the dealer yesterday and they had a 5500 with no bed on it. i
noticed how beefy all the hardware was.
Thank you sir!

Like that front end? Happen to have a Trademan with the black by chance you want to swap out? I hateeee chrome! hahahaha

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 11:02 AM
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actually, yes!! but i'm in tx...

'19 2500 t'man
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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actually, yes!! but i'm in tx...
email me: [email protected]

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 02:28 PM
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i agree with everything above i approve this message except i love the chrome. everyone else these days go for the military /law enforcement look all black they can get lol

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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 02:35 PM
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Congrats on the new truck. Of course, you need to post up more pics...


Where was the thread about the gent that built up a RAM 4500/5500 for multiple use.
Custom suspension (Kelderman), custom 9 foot pickup box, etc,etc..
It was an amazing truck..


Edit: Found it. Username Ridofpwrstroke. 2013 5500.

He keeps it pretty straight-forward. Problem. Solution. Done..

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/4...ed-photos.html

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/4...up-w-pics.html

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MBRP S.S. muffler. BD short shifter. Brakesmart tow controller.
BD exhaust brake. Pullrite 24k Superglide.

Last edited by StealthDiesel; 03-11-2020 at 03:21 PM.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 03:18 PM
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Sub. Looking forward to a great build. I agree with the user that stated the black look is so boring and over done. I think the front end looks great with the chrome and LED lights. Reason I like a chrome front end compared to the sport front end, is no rock chips and the bugs remove easier when washing.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthDiesel View Post
Congrats on the new truck. Of course, you need to post up more pics...


Where was the thread about the gent that built up a RAM 4500/5500 for multiple use.
Custom suspension (Kelderman), custom 9 foot pickup box, etc,etc..
It was an amazing truck..


Edit: Found it. Username Ridofpwrstroke. 2013 5500.

He keeps it pretty straight-forward. Problem. Solution. Done..

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/4...ed-photos.html

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/4...up-w-pics.html
Thank you sir! Excited is an understatement! Tons of pics and video coming soon!

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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savage99ss View Post
Sub. Looking forward to a great build. I agree with the user that stated the black look is so boring and over done. I think the front end looks great with the chrome and LED lights. Reason I like a chrome front end compared to the sport front end, is no rock chips and the bugs remove easier when washing.
I'll politely disagree, strongly...

My last truck (2014 Tundra) came with the chrome grille and bumper. Within 20k it was pitted to all hell and looked absolutely horrible.

I got the base model flat black "landscaper edition" grill and bits for it, and when i sold it, it still looked new after 5+ years and tons of abuse.

The matte black bits were a completely different plastic made for durability. At least it was on the Toyota anyway!

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