Born Free Butt Lift?

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Wildlands1

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Soon I will buy a well used Born Free Class C, maybe 24-27'. But I do ALOT of forest service backcountry dirt roads and the overhang will scrape. What can I do, on a budget, to give her a "butt-lift"?
 

kdbgoat

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Sounds like a truck camper would serve you better. No matter what you do, if you keep bumping and dragging the back end, you'll not be doing the camper any good.
 

Back2PA

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Many years ago I had a Tioga 23' Class C and it did a pretty good job with mild off roading. Get the shortest one you can tolerate which will limit the overhang.
 

AStravelers

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In 2011 I bought a 26' Born Free and had it converted to 4x4 with a 6" lift.  Very expensive upgrade.  It still had a tendency to drag.  The overhang is just toooooooo long.

The upgrade was done in Salt Lake City at:  http://advanced4x4vans.com/

There are other places on the west coast, CA & OR which do the upgrades as well. 

As others said, an F450 Ford pickup with a slide on camper would work better.

While you can add wheels or skid bars at or near the rear bumper, the frame is not strong enough to support a lot of weight.  Not to mention the more you drag, the less weight you have on the rear tires, so the less traction you have.

Some pics of the rig and boondocking spot in SE Utah, right after the upgrade.

 

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catblaster

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AStravelers said:
In 2011 I bought a 26' Born Free and had it converted to 4x4 with a 6" lift.  Very expensive upgrade.  It still had a tendency to drag.  The overhang is just toooooooo long.

  This is what I was building before I found our Winnebago,besides DW likes the comfort. 472 cu/in caddy, th400 w/ iron transfer, 4x4 with posi and 35-12.50-15 Toyo's. Now it is just one of those things I have to put batteries in every few years. I think she would pull a cypress tree out if it could get enough traction...perfect for weekends.
  The horns are just for show, little too much so I put them in the window of the RV
 

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Back2PA

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catblaster said:
  This is what I was building before I found our Winnebago,besides DW likes the comfort. 472 cu/in caddy, th400 w/ iron transfer, 4x4 with posi and 35-12.50-15 Toyo's. Now it is just one of those things I have to put batteries in every few years. I think she would pull a cypress tree out if it could get enough traction...perfect for weekends.
  The horns are just for show, little too much so I put them in the window of the RV


Very cool. Especially if you drive with the doors open like the UPS guys  ;)
 

Old_Crow

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Cat, thanks for my new desktop background photo.
472 Caddie, huh?  I bet that thing gets great mileage.
I have a kid who's got an old Ford E350 ambulance that's been converted to a camper.  He was after me to buy him a set of horns like that for it when I found a guy selling them in Quartzsite, until he found out the price.

I also have another kid(we've got 5 boys)who might be interested in that step van if you ever put a price on it.   
 

catblaster

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    I cant say about the mileage, It has not been out of the yard since I rebuilt it and the trans. It had a 350 crate motor before with a th350 and I never checked the mileage mostly used it to pull pontoon boat out of the creek we live on.
    Those horns were gifted to me from one of my coworkers that now has moved on. They were rough when I got them but after scraping and refinish they came out looking good. It's easy to get the wife fired up with them.
    There are several fire trucks for sale that would make a great base for an RV and some of them have all wheel drive. There are several people that drive to Fl from Ga in their old military trucks like mine for a show we have near here, and have them fitted up for overnight stays. Anyone that has been in the military knows how rough they ride and the mileage is worse than a DP but everybody waves when you go by. The last time out I had an old soldier salute me as I drove past.
 

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Old_Crow

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Awesome!  I'm a truck guy myself.  My daily driver before we went full time was a '61 F100 flareside.
A few years back I went to look at a '63 Ford 1 ton stake bed to buy as a shop truck.  The dude also had a Kaiser M-715 military pickup up for sale.  I almost had the wife talked into it, until the guy said I had to take the parts truck too.  We've got 9 acres, so I had the room, but DW has this thing about not collecting junk vehicles on it.  Non-running projects are okay, just not incomplete pieces of junk(really wasn't much left on the parts truck that was any good). 
I didn't get the one ton either, although it would have been really cool, as it started life as a Coke delivery truck and still had the paint job.
T
here's a guy here in Quartzsite that's got several H1's, still in the military trim, for sale, if you care.
 

catblaster

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    She might have done you a favor with that  M715.  We replaced our old M37's (3/4 ton) with those kaisers and even though they were rated at 1 ton they would not carry or pull anything like what the old flathead dodges would do, and they were half worn out. That parts truck would be needed it it had an engine, they were a supply clerks nightmare.....Right now I would take either one of them but I'm not headed to the DMZ either. (Korea)  My wife is the same way, fortunately almost everything in the yard runs except for a lawnmower she discovered last week....need to hide things better.

 

Old_Crow

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catblaster said:
    She might have done you a favor with that  M715.  We replaced our old M37's (3/4 ton) with those kaisers and even though they were rated at 1 ton they would not carry or pull anything like what the old flathead dodges would do, and they were half worn out. That parts truck would be needed it it had an engine, they were a supply clerks nightmare.....Right now I would take either one of them but I'm not headed to the DMZ either. (Korea)  My wife is the same way, fortunately almost everything in the yard runs except for a lawnmower she discovered last week....need to hide things better.

I didn't really need the one ton, either.  It was just something I saw on Facebook when I was shopping.  I ended up sinking the money into my old '61 F100 instead.  I had already swapped in a 302/C6 drivetrain, so I added a front disc brake kit and power steering to it. 
After that it suited my needs better.  It was a real PITA to back a car trailer when it had the old Armstrong steering.
 

catblaster

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Old_Crow said:
I didn't really need the one ton, either.  It was just something I saw on Facebook when I was shopping.  I ended up sinking the money into my old '61 F100 instead.  I had already swapped in a 302/C6 drivetrain, so I added a front disc brake kit and power steering to it. 
After that it suited my needs better.  It was a real PITA to back a car trailer when it had the old Armstrong steering.

  Good choice, love those old ford trucks. as far a power steering goes, my 2 1/2 ton does not have power steering. If I get the chance and the money is right I would give it up for an M35A3 that does have power steering, allison automatic trans and a Cat 3116 .....getting old and spoiled.
 

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