View Full Version : Uh oh - I went and done it... F550 and Chariot RV hauler bed

08-21-2007, 09:49 PM
Finalized an order for a new tow vehicle tonight.

I will be having a Chariot RV aluminum 7-door hauler bed built and installed on a new Ford F550 XLT chassis cab.

Here's what it will look like (http://www.chariotrv.com/haulers-ford.html?page=photogallery&product=ford).

Traded in the RAM. Five weeks of waiting only to get it in time to put her away for the winter. Poor thing. The time value of money calculation showed I was still money well ahead to take the incentives to clear the lots of 2007s versus doing the deal in February on a 2008 chassis cab.


08-21-2007, 09:55 PM
It looks great. You'll enjoy the feeling of having a truck that is not imtimidated by anything you're towing.

08-21-2007, 09:55 PM
Looks awesome and let me be the first to congratulate you on coming to the good side.

08-21-2007, 09:58 PM
I guess you really are the man Jim. Congrats. on your new FORD hauler. It will be a long six weeks but well worth it.

08-21-2007, 10:02 PM
Thanks guys. I really liked my RAM. Especially the Cummins Turbo diesel. But I am sure I'll come to like the PSD too.

Jim, I nearly stopped by your trailer tonight as I passed it. Saw your lights on. Did the truck deal over at Tom Peck Ford in Huntley and had to run over to the trailer afterward as I feared I left the water heater on. I didn't. But we did leave all the 110 VAC lights on when we left Goshen last weekend. Glad I went by to check things out.

I can hardly believe all the water out there at Lehman's. Karen and crew have their hands full. Hope the flooded transformers and meter pedestals I saw are not affecting your power.


08-21-2007, 10:08 PM
Thanks Terry. If the man is measured by the size of his tow vehicle, I gotta give this one to Bob and Christina (seamo) with their "Big Mama (//heartlandowners.org/rally/2007/pictures/Trucks%20&%20Trailers_files/Heartland%20Owners%20Rally011.jpg)". That was one big TV at the rally last June.

I have lusted over the Freightliner Sport Chassis TVs in the past and saw 3 of them in person at the Midwest RV Supershow and Rally. They were locked up but I crawled up on one to peer in.

Actually, someone over in the CG was pulling their Travel Supreme with one and before I saw it, I heard it. Sounded like a jet engine powered truck coming down the road as it whined along at 2 MPH. It was really loud.


Forrest Fetherolf
08-21-2007, 10:11 PM
Jim B,

Good for you on your new ride, you need to update your picture on your posts, I think the grin just got a lot bigger!!!!!!!!!!:D :D :D :D


08-21-2007, 11:51 PM
Nice truck...I think that will pull anything Heartland builds! I saw one almost identical at Flying J yesterday. It was pulling a huge Teton. He said it rode better than the 350 he had prior to this new 550, and had just applied graphics to the truck to match the coach. I think this was his maiden voyage from Wisconsin, and he tried to show me the truck interior but his dog wanted out so I didn't see much. Looks like you, Nancy and the dogs will be haulin' in style soon.

08-22-2007, 06:24 AM
You'll have the coolest rig out there - I better keep George away from it ;) !!!!

08-22-2007, 07:37 AM
With a huge amount of envy I congratulate you on an awesome truck. Just the thing for for pulling these big coaches. I bet you can't wait to pull your rig to see just how nice it will be. Better ride, better control and more confidence when stopping, by far a great feeling.

Guess we'll have to wait till Branson to see it in person.

Later Dude,


Ray LeTourneau
08-22-2007, 08:42 AM
One word. AWESOME!!!

08-22-2007, 08:53 AM
Congrats Jim, it will make a nice tow rig and safety is always a concern. I know what you mean about getting rid of the Ram, we hated to get rid of ours in 05 when we bought the Kodiak but we are now back to the Ram with big smiles. If I could only sell the Kodiak now we would be smiling even bigger! :)

Enjoy your new truck!

Uncle Rog
08-22-2007, 09:50 AM
Congratulations, of course! You always seemed concerned about the GVWR, that is now a non- issue......Good job!

08-22-2007, 11:43 AM

Hope you like yours as much as I like mine!

Link air ride in back??

One note!! make sure you check the wiring in the back when you pick up your chariot. If you do a google search, you will find some posts about some unhappy chariot owners (I think these were mostly problems when Chariot first started doing these conversions, all bugs should be gone by now)

08-22-2007, 01:47 PM
kognito - Yes, Link Mfg. air ride on the rear. Thanks for the heads-up. I'll research and check it at PDI and probably at the factory (they're close to me).

UR - It was GVCWR that I was worried most about. I was pretty well over for the truck with the entire weight of the truck/trailer. That is no longer a worry for sure.

08-22-2007, 04:56 PM
Jim, your making way to much money. And congratulations, I'm envious.

08-22-2007, 07:05 PM
Hi Jim
We're not having any problem with the power. The boxes you saw are for the new sites they're building. Water is the problem. We can't dump anything into their septic system right now. They've got us dumping gray water on the ground and can't dump black at all. They've asked us to come to the office when our black tank is full. I'm assuming they'll pump us out. I don't know yet if they plan on charging us for that. I'll certainly question that since our rent supposedly includes full hookup.

Stop by when you have a chance. I hope we'll still be here when you get the new truck so we can take a look.

08-22-2007, 08:09 PM
Yeah Jim
Real nice truck! Did you get the 4.30 ratio rear or 4.88? The 4.88 is real low, for the flat land. Will you have the TV before the Hershey show? If so bring pictures of the new baby.

08-22-2007, 10:55 PM

The truck itself is on-site at Chariot in Elkhart now but it will take 5 weeks to have the bed built. They put out a couple beds per week so I guess I am in the backlog.

I'll get it in time for my October birthday though!

The chassis has a 4.88 geared rear axle. If I wanted a 2007, I had to take the last one they had. The incentives were great on the 2007 chassis cab. Nothing near that was being offered on the 2008. But they had a lot of 2008s on hand.

Hershey is not a for sure trip yet. Hope to make it though.


08-23-2007, 04:47 AM
Niiiice.....I've always wanted one of those hauler bed trucks.

08-23-2007, 05:16 AM
You the Man

08-23-2007, 07:17 AM
congrats, Jim on your new baby. Bring it to Houston so we can see it.
Christina Seaman

08-23-2007, 07:20 AM
Thanks Christina. I am flying to the Houston and Myrtle Beach rallies as I can't get another week off work for each of these. Should have baby pictures by these fall rallies though.

Please email me an update on that other matter you guys are working through.


Ray LeTourneau
08-23-2007, 01:55 PM
I noticed you bought through Peck. They sure are great people to deal with. We bought a pick up from them several years ago (In Hampshire) and it was the best dealer we've ever used. Enjoy!

08-23-2007, 03:05 PM
Jim, you probably need to start buying some new shirts cause you know your chest size is going to be two sizes larger when you drive that new puppy home.:) Congrats, Ken & Kathy

08-23-2007, 04:04 PM
The chassis has a 4.88 geared rear axle. If I wanted a 2007, I had to take the last one they had. The incentives were great on the 2007 chassis cab. Nothing near that was being offered on the 2008. But they had a lot of 2008s on hand.

IMHO, you did well Jim. When I got mine I searched and searched for a 2007 (Charoit was closed for the 4th of July when I was shopping for my truck)

From what I was reading on other forums, the 6.0 4.88 combo is getting much better mileage than the 6.4 4.88 combo.

I have only towed about 200 miles so far, and I got just under 10 MPG, but I'm still breaking everything in. Our trailer isn't full loaded yet, we move into it next month. So the 10MPG was only with about 16K weight, I'm sure I'll loose some when we get closer to 18K in the trailer.

Classy Chassis has a few 2007 F550 2X4's if anyone else wants to jump on the end of year specials. Tuscany and Utility Bodywerks (and now Chariot) only have 2008's


08-23-2007, 08:26 PM
Doug - thanks. Also glad to hear that the PSD 6.0 with 4.88s should work well.

Ray - Went really well with Tom Peck Ford. I had no allegiance with any dealer and just went with who Chariot found that would do the deal I wanted. Bob Wright, their Fleet guy was great. I was also pleased with the trade value I received for my RAM. Now I really have to baby the RAM until the new truck comes in. Two more trips with the RAM and with the Mt. Rushmore.

I posted a small blurb about it in the For Sale forum and will add to it in the next couple weeks, but if anyone knows anyone who has an interest in an original platform Landmark Mt. Rushmore that is well maintained and pretty well appointed, send them my way.


10-09-2007, 09:20 AM
BigBlue, get a macerator pump! Pump yourself out into a (temp.) watertank on your TV. It certainly makes life a little bit easier.

10-09-2007, 11:24 AM
I have a macerator pump. The problem was with the campground. They didn't want any more water in their septic system because the campground was flooded. After our tank was filled I went to the office and they let me dump. They just wanted to control how much water was going into the sytem.

10-10-2007, 06:06 PM
Sweet ride Jim, let me know, I can have it broke in for you by the time spring hits out there HA!HA!

10-11-2007, 08:45 AM
Hey Jim,
I was just looking at your pictures again and was wondering if the lights in the bed are LED lights or incandescent? It would look really cool with LEDs


10-11-2007, 09:56 AM

I paid for the LED upgrade. They all have a chromed bezel too. A couple in the photo need the bezel added but it will be done. Note too that I had the Line-X taken 6" up the inside of the bed area. Standard was floor only. Didn't make sense to me. Toss something in back and as soon as it moves around, you have scratched and gouged paint.


10-11-2007, 10:17 AM
I see what you mean about the liner. Good idea. I think I would have been back and forth on whether or not to just go ahead and take the liner all the way up the side wall of the bed.

Glad to hear you will have LEDs and those chrome trim rings will look great.


sidney dreyfus
10-11-2007, 04:20 PM
Good luck with the new truck! Nice going. Something great to look forward to and should be a lot of fun to drive.

10-16-2007, 03:43 PM
Well, got a call from the Tom Peck Ford out in Huntley, IL - Beast II has arrived.

Planning to go pick it up tonight. Heading outside now to wash up the Ram. Gonna miss that truck. Maybe.....


10-16-2007, 04:01 PM
Sweet, a new truck is always nice.


10-16-2007, 04:03 PM
Are there any ram parts that fell off your old truck? Maybe you can send the droppings to me. ;)

10-16-2007, 09:50 PM
Sorry DE, no Ram droppings.

Beast II is home. I'll take some pics tomorrow and post them up when I get time.

I noticed the engine seems to chatter pretty loudly. I expect it will quiet down some as it gets broken in. It had 35 miles on it when I picked it up.

Suppose it's time for me to start evaluating extended warranties. Get one, don't get one. Get this one, get that one. Lot's to research. I didn't have one for the Ram. Good thing too as it required no uncovered R&Rs except batteries. But I killed them, not Dodge. Doubt batteries would have been covered anyway - so glad I saved the cost of an extended warranty on the Ram.

Now with the Ford, with the price I just paid for this beast, I'd hope I'll be keeping it for a good while. Since it no longer needs to be my daily driver (I now drive Nancy's 9 year old Toyota), I figure we'll put about 10,000 miles on the truck per year on average.

Here's the Ford coverages on this truck (2007 F550):
Bumper to Bumper - 3 year / 36,000 miles
Powertrain: 5 year / 60,000 miles
Safety Restraint System: 5 year / 60,000 miles
Corrosion (perf. only): 5 year / unlimited miles
6.0L Powerstroke Engine: 5 year / 100,000 miles

So, questions for y'all:

1. What's your thoughts on taking an extended warranty on a truck like this that I plan to keep for at least 5 to 7 years? I realize it's paying up front for repairs you may need down the road. I sense diesel repairs can be $$$.

2. What about The Protector system (paint, corrosion, interior and sound shield)? Anyone feel these are worth doing? The A package with all that stuff can be had with discounts at about $900. This truck has a fair amount of rusty components underneath already. Probably not the ones that get coated under this plan though. Sound dampening sounds like a nice idea. I suppose they do a heavy undercoating on the cab for that. I'll bet $500 in Dynamat under the carpet and in the doors would help too :eek:


Ken Washington
10-16-2007, 10:40 PM
Hi Jim,
I for one do not go for extended warranties! If you put 30,000 miles on it the first three years, I believe that most problems will show up in that time! You are one that takes very good care of your vehicles so I would keep the money and hope for the best!


10-16-2007, 11:08 PM
Hi Jim,
Congratulations on the new tow vehicle. I hope you have many miles of trouble free service. You ask for opinions of extended warranties, here is mine. I put in 34 years of service as parts and service manager of a GM dealership. I have done it all from sweeping floors to working on the vehicles and working with trying to get paid from these extended warranty companies. If you keep good records and stay in contact with you dealer, staying in good relations, you will most likely never need an extended warranty from an outside provider. Almost all manufacturers will go the extra mile to keep a customer happy if that customer has been faithful. Almost all aftermarket warranty companies that I have ever had anything to do with always tried their best to get out of paying for anything and usually succeeded. Usually for the least little thing, like the problem was caused by something not covered by the warranty.

So,,,, in my opinion... you waste your money with an aftermarket extended warranty. If the manufacture will give or sell one, that is a different story, they usually will cover everything. The manufacture likes happy customers.


10-16-2007, 11:56 PM

For extended warranties I would only go with one from Ford (since that is what you bought). My parents had bought a 3rd party one and they went out of business and there was no recourse on getting their money back. Fords warranty is pretty good depending on the level you get. If you do some shopping online you can get the top of the line warranty for a pretty good price. Biggest thing is it is a gamble, you are betting around $3,000 that you are going to have repair issues, and Ford is hoping you wont. An example is the transmission is about a $4,000 repair bill out of warranty at a dealer. Under the extended one you pay your deductable if you chose one.

I dont like the paint protection products, a good detailing once a quater is cheaper in the long run for me.

Sound deading is a good idea.

Just my 2 cents.


10-17-2007, 09:09 AM

With the ford extended plan, you must purchase it before you have 12,000 miles. I learned this the hard way with my F350, I thought I could extend the factory warranty when we got close to the end of the 3year 36,000 but then found out you have to do it before 12,000 miles.

10-17-2007, 09:13 AM
Congratulations on your new ride Jim.
I bet you'll really enjoy that when you start camping again.

As for extended warranties, I go back and forth on these. Although with my current truck, which is my first ever diesel truck I did buy an extended warranty 7 years, 100,000 miles. While I know it is a crap shoot whether or not I get my money out of it I feel better that most high dollar things will be covered. As it happens I recently needed a new wheel bearing which also incorporates the speed sensor needed for ABS brakes. This was a pretty expensive repair if it was not covered under warranty. The bearing itself was in excess of $450.00 and I can only imagine the labor was a least 1.5 hours+ at some outrageous hourly rate.

Another school of thought is to not buy the extended warranty and instead set money aside monthly in a separate account that would have been spent on the warranty itself. In essence creating your own insurance policy. This sounds like a good idea but I for one do not always have the discipline to do something like this.

Have fun with the new awesome toy,


10-18-2007, 05:36 PM
HEY Jim congtats! on your new truck,the example looks great in the signature. I've started "Blinging" up my truck. I now have the chrome door handle covers on, Line-X done, hitch is in, rear Mud-flaps are ordered, Bugshield in chrome is ordered, not much out there for the 08' Super Duty's yet. I hope you have good success with your new "baby".

As far as extended warranties go, I'm getting the Ford ESP 6yr/75K-$100 deductable online for $1515. My local dealer was higher.

10-18-2007, 11:45 PM
I think I'm right, but why buy an extended warranty that covers 6yrs-75,000 miles, when the factory warranty is 5 yrs- 100,000 miles.. Please check to be sure.

10-19-2007, 06:40 AM

You make a good point.

I am just discussing ideas and exploring options.

Note that the 5 year / 60,000 miles warranty is Power Train only - which is probably pretty inclusive.

Thereafter, to 100,000 miles unless I have hit 5 years already, it's certain covered engine components only.

Maybe I'll get the best truck ever produced and be a happy man for a long time.

Thanks Jim and everyone for all the great input.


10-19-2007, 07:50 AM

I really don't want to spend any more for the truck, Lord knows it was enough to start with, BUT, if you look at the things COVERED in the bumper to bumper 3/36, then think about just one of the big ticket items, you'll be money ahead. the 6/75, doubles the original warranty time.

You know the companies are always changing their product(making it cheaper)and most of the time it doesn't last as long. I hear that Ford went to a "cheaper" wheel bearing set up in the front 4 wheel drives. It's a "sealed" bearing that CAN'T be serviced like normal, it is removed and replaced totally, at a cost of $900 per side.

Lets face it, you spend $60+K for a truck, whats $1-2K for some peace of mind way down the road. On my Dodge I bought the basic 6/75 plan for $1000, My radiator sprung a leak about 4yrs old, the radiator alone with out labor was over $600. Then at 72K miles, it started shifting funny (only when pulling my 5ver) it took a new valve body in the tranny, I don't know how much that would have cost. I more than covered my butt on that one. With labor rates in the $70-$80+ in my area, it doesn't take long to eat up the $1500 or more for the ESP. This is just my opinion based on the past, I never buy ext. warranties on DVD players,washers,dryers etc. I know it's another way to make big $$$ for Sears etc.

10-19-2007, 12:56 PM
WOW Jim, that is one fine looking piece of machinery. Congratulations.
Just completed a 23 states, 18,000 mile trip with our new Landmark Grand Canyon and 2007 Dodge Ram 1 ton 4x4 quad cab Big Horn pac brake set of wheels. Had no problems whatsoever towing up the steepest grades or going down the same. Totally happy with truck and 5er. In all the travels, saw only 1 Landmark on the road. This full timing is really great. Once again, congratulations on the new wheels. Tell the bride we said howdy.

10-19-2007, 05:41 PM
Mel my friend! I have been thinking about you and Nina. You don't write, you don't call ;)

So happy to hear you guys are out there enjoying life full-time on the road. Guess who I am here in Houston with?

A lot of fine folks including some of your full-timing buddies you met in Goshen. Bob and Christina (seamo) are here with their Landmark pulled by Big Momma and Tom and Judy (Tom of Ypsi) are here with their Landmark.

And just two weeks back, I spent the weekend with more of your full-timing friends from the Goshen rally - Joseph and Gene (jcd8822) and Kathy and Connie (kathcon) among others from the 2006 and/or 2007 Goshen rallies.

Fun times - wish you could be here at Rayford Crossing north of Houston in Spring, TX.

Take care,

Jim and Nancy (yorkiemom)

PS: Nancy says hi as well

10-20-2007, 02:01 PM
Hey, was anyone caught up in the terrible storms in Elkhart County a couple of nights ago ? On the evening news, we saw the GulfStream factory which really took a hit.....scary stuff, hope no one was riding it out in their RV !

10-20-2007, 02:13 PM
I bought extended warranty for my 04 but not for the 06. In Canada you can buy the extended warranty up until 60000km(36000mi). If you buy the extended warranty your $100 deductable for engine repair over 36000m is waived. I think they have most of the bugs worked out and should have no problems.