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Just another Ram build

Discussion in 'Member Trucks' started by Fallen Leaves, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Fallen Leaves

    Fallen Leaves Junior Member Military

    Age:
    28
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    10
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    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Ram Year:
    2003
    Engine:
    Hemi 5.7
    So a few months ago i bought my '03 1500 SLT 5.7 with the Big Horn trim package from a dealer here in Kentucky, and have been loving it thus far. Well, the fuel economy ain't the greatest, but i was expecting that going into a truck coming from an SUV. Anyway, this thread is going to be my very slow and long term build, showcasing my upgrades, repairs, mods, and adventures i intend to have with this vehicle. So in short, this will honesty end up being more of a journal of my truck. Any questions or concerns i run into that i can't find an answer with using the search or Google, I'll ask here. I hope this thread will serve to help others who may have my same issue with their truck.

    And without further hesitation, here are a couple pics of the truck when i bought it used a few months ago![​IMG]
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  2. Fallen Leaves

    Fallen Leaves Junior Member Military

    Age:
    28
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    19
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Ram Year:
    2003
    Engine:
    Hemi 5.7
    And my first mod! The back story; my wife and I will be taking Christmas leave out in Utah this year, and decided to use the truck to haul all our gear effectively, as we will be taking not just us and the baby along, but our cat too. We settled on the Ram for one reason only; it has the cargo space we need for all the baby, personal, and pet gear we will need for the time we will be gone. When we settled on the vehicle, we then got to discussing bed coverage to help keep gear from getting wet in the event if inclement weather, as well as a very mild deterrent to any would be thieves looking for a quick bag to just grab and go.

    Looking at all our options; i hate tonneau covers because they seem to be more of a detriment to my utility desires, and proper camper shells are too darn expensive for our current situation. Then the wife happened across soft campers. After a bit of research and looking around, the one we settled on is by Softopper. Mainly because of price, and quick turn around, but then the reviews i'd found and read said that it was a sound choice. So we went for it.

    Installation of the frame was easy, installation of the fabric topper however.... they weren't joking when they said that the fabric needed to stretch, and that it may be easier to install in warmer temps! That thing is very tight to install.

    Anyway, the following pics are the installation process for before, what came in the box, and after.

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    I will post a review about it after i've used it for the Utah trip.

    Thanks for checking in!


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  3. JStulting

    JStulting Junior Member

    Age:
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    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2020
    Location:
    SoCal/Havasu
    Ram Year:
    2020
    Engine:
    3.0 Ecodeisel
    is your bed weather proof if you catch rain?
     
  4. Mr Black

    Mr Black Member

    Age:
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    Location:
    Dallas
    Ram Year:
    2017
    Engine:
    5.7 Hemi
    That's pretty cool.
     
  5. Fallen Leaves

    Fallen Leaves Junior Member Military

    Age:
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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Tennessee
    Ram Year:
    2003
    Engine:
    Hemi 5.7
    Apologies for the prolonged response, things got busy for me at work and then my trip to utah took up a bunch of time.

    Not quite, but it is pretty well water resistant. The only place I've noted that water can get into the bed, is in those square holes in the bed rails (I've never known what those were officially called). And even then I've only ever had a little water get in. Nothing that would ruin gear, or really soak clothing in a duffle bag.


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  6. Fallen Leaves

    Fallen Leaves Junior Member Military

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
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    Location:
    Tennessee
    Ram Year:
    2003
    Engine:
    Hemi 5.7
    Well, it's been a little bit since my last update. As mentioned previously, work got needlessly busy, packing for my holiday block leave to Utah was needlessly busy, and my time out here was relaxing to the point where i dropped everything except family. So now it's time for a quick update!

    The Softopper: overall, i would say it has been well worth the investment. There was one morning it was down in the 10's-20's, and i had forgotten that the clear plastic of the back window likes to crack and break in the cold. So when it got time to load up after a hotel stay, i accidentally cracked the top of the window. Nothing a little heavy duty clear packing tape can't fix, it'll just look odd is all. But it kept our gear secure while on the road, and definitely discouraged individuals at the hotel our first night on the road (someone had left a mark in the grime on the window from peeking in). So in all while i would much prefer a hard top, I'm happy.

    The truck: i absolutely have been converted to Ram trucks as of this vehicle. All the power i could ever want/need at this point in time, all the hauling capacity that a good work truck needs for a hobbyist carpenter who moves every 3-5 years, enough space for my family for now, and having looked in the engine bay, there seems to be more than enough room to work on things as the need arises (unlike my old Isuzu). For sure will be looking very strongly at Ram for my next truck, most likely their eco-diesel as i have a strange fascination with wanting to own a diesel. The only two things about it that i dislike is the fuel economy (but thats what i get with driving a V8, half-ton), and the open differentials when it comes to the 4 wheel drive (but that's an easy fix with some ARB lockers down the road).

    As for how the trip went, it was much needed time. My dad doesn't have a lot of time left alive, so i spent a good amount just hanging out with him and talking, as well as with my mom. Went snow shoeing with my sister a couple times, then we had an early birthday celebration for our kid who turns one next week. Overall we just had a relaxing three weeks away from the hum-drum of work and life. But it's time to go back.

    Earlier this morning my dad and i loaded it up full of lumber to work on their shed/shelter on the property. When we got there, it had snowed at least 4 inches in some spots on top of the 4-10 that was already there. Which gave me the opportune chance to try out the low range in the transfer case. I was very impressed at how easily the truck moved in the snow on street tires! Anyway, after doing some work on the shelter, we finished offloading the truck and headed home for the day, before i go back east as mentioned previously.

    I think i've mentioned before my plans for this truck if i keep it long term, but come tax season i will be replacing the wheels with something nicer looking than the chrome stock wheels as well as replacing the street tires (recommendations are always welcome on both these fronts!!!), and seeing about trying to black out as much of the chrome as i can (i dislike chrome). But before all that jazz happens, i need to fix the rust on the cab i didn't notice until earlier today looking down at it, and checking elsewhere for rust. After these items are cleared up, it will be time to make this beast truly mine!

    Thanks for stopping in, i will hopefully be better about replying to others' comments rather than being that uncaring new guy no one likes.

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  7. marshall634

    marshall634 Member

    Posts:
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    Location:
    Deerfield Beach, FL
    Ram Year:
    2019 Classic
    Engine:
    5.7
    thats a cool bed cover, dont see many of them
     

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