And the road goes on forever...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Guy Thing

Our life hasn’t all been about caring for our elders lately. Marc had decided some time ago that he would like to put a flat bed back onto the Dodge. When, many years ago, I had decided that I wanted a camper on the Dodge, Marc had gotten rid of the original flat bed and installed a regular pickup bed. He had never been happy with that—the truck never looked right and rode even worse since it was sprung for the heavier bed.

After drawing up plans for what he wanted he visited the local steel supply and purchased the necessary raw steel and then went to work. Initially he fabricated much of the welded pieces together using the bed of his flatbed haul trailer since it was of the correct size to use as a work bench. Work started when Bend was having its minus temps and freezing rain and fog so it was miserably cold working in the shop without heat.

Progress was slow but eventually things took shape, day by day (over three weeks of day by day actually). Long ago Marc had an additional fuel tank which sat directly behind the back window so he resurrected that to give us the additional range that 125 gallons can provide. Knowing how handy the davit hoist has been on the Freightliner he also decided to build one on the Dodge. As he has gotten older and is now under a weight lift restriction due to his knees, the hoist has become invaluable as a means to lift heavier items. In addition to a regular hitch he also re-installed the fifth wheel 20,000 lb. hitch we originally had on the Freightliner for our RV (we currently tow with a 30,000 lb. on the FL). He also decided to undercoat everything to prevent rust.

The final steps involved working with some pretty green lumber, winching it all tightly into place to form the deck. He would have preferred steel or aluminum but at this point that was cost-prohibitive. Unfortunately, the paint job currently leaves a lot to be desired given paint really doesn’t work well in freezing temperatures. We will fix all that once we reach Yuma’s heat and offer up a finalized picture at that time.