2011 F150 Overlanding Rig a.k.a Ethel

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Contributor I

60
Calgary, AB, Canada
First Name
Christopher
Last Name
Reader
Good morning everyone!

So this thread is going to be all about the build of my 2011 F150 that my wife Sarah and I have named Ethel. As of right now, there are some modifications done to it but they are all suspension related as well as power-related. I am currently running :
2" Levelling kit,
33" tires (hoping to bump it up to 35's in the spring)
K&N cold air intake
3" Borla Exhaust (This is going to be getting swapped out for something that does not sound so pissed off when we want to just cruise down the trail).

To give you all a background on who I am, I retired from the Canadian military in 2013 after ten years and two tours to Afghanistan. Once I retired I decided that I wanted to be a welder and open my own company. So after working on everything from oil and gas skids, to Highway trucks to finally race cars and aircraft parts. I went to school, graduated and then opened Veteran Welding Company LTD. Once I opened my doors I had a few customers come in that had asked me to build them a trailer as well as other Overlanding parts/equipment. I quickly realized that I could bring a ton of knowledge to the Overlanding community here from my military background, seeing as how I was armoured reconnaissance. Overlanding is exactly what I did for 10 years.... only with guns, lots of yelling, super late nights and a lot of early mornings. So with that, all realized and with my knowledge of building offroad rigs for 10 years, everything from bumpers, side steps, roof racks to solid axle swaps and more, stepping into the Overlanding community was a no brainer.
IF anyone is interested in our products/services there will be a link at the bottom of my threads.

Now.... onto the actual build


So Ethel is a 2011 F150 XLT 4x4 super cab with the 5.0L engine. It has done everything from being used as a daily driver, hauling all of my tools across Canada (twice) to now being used as the daily runner for the company. My plan is to retire this truck by spring of next year and only use it as an overland rig. As mentioned above I will be making a few more modifications to this truck on the power side of the house, But for the most part, the stock power is more than enough for what I need.

The storage in the back, however.... is in need of some serious work. My wife loves canoeing so I am going to half to build something to carry the canoe without having it scratch and dent the hell out of the roof of the truck, as well as hold my RTT, secure lockable storage for my Max Trax, pioneer tools, fuel and freshwater storage, spare tire carrier, as well as side steps, bumpers and some lighting as well.

So I have been hoarding ideas for what I like and don't like from other peoples builds that I have found on Instagram, and have a pretty good idea of what I am going to go with. My thought process is to build a box rack that extends over the cab. The material of choice for this build is 1.5" D.O.M, .125 steel plate, .188 aluminum plate and an assortment of parts from TMR Customs.

I will post pictures later today/tonight of the build.


Cheers
Chris Reader

www.veteranwelding.ca
 

Knight

Rank II
Supporter

Contributor II

355
Wainwright, AB, Canada
First Name
Mackenzie
Last Name
Knight
Member #

17515

Awesome stuff. I am looking forward to the pictures! Might have to commission some welding from you when I am in Calgary next as I prefer to contribute to a fellow vets business. No offense civi welders!
Love the truck name by the way.
 

Contributor I

60
Calgary, AB, Canada
First Name
Christopher
Last Name
Reader
Awesome stuff. I am looking forward to the pictures! Might have to commission some welding from you when I am in Calgary next as I prefer to contribute to a fellow vets business. No offense civi welders!
Love the truck name by the way.
Anytime you are in town I would be more than happy to meet up with you and make some cool builds happen.
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Pathfinder I

4,077
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Good morning everyone!

So this thread is going to be all about the build of my 2011 F150 that my wife Sarah and I have named Ethel. As of right now, there are some modifications done to it but they are all suspension related as well as power-related. I am currently running :
2" Levelling kit,
33" tires (hoping to bump it up to 35's in the spring)
K&N cold air intake
3" Borla Exhaust (This is going to be getting swapped out for something that does not sound so pissed off when we want to just cruise down the trail).

To give you all a background on who I am, I retired from the Canadian military in 2013 after ten years and two tours to Afghanistan. Once I retired I decided that I wanted to be a welder and open my own company. So after working on everything from oil and gas skids, to Highway trucks to finally race cars and aircraft parts. I went to school, graduated and then opened Veteran Welding Company LTD. Once I opened my doors I had a few customers come in that had asked me to build them a trailer as well as other Overlanding parts/equipment. I quickly realized that I could bring a ton of knowledge to the Overlanding community here from my military background, seeing as how I was armoured reconnaissance. Overlanding is exactly what I did for 10 years.... only with guns, lots of yelling, super late nights and a lot of early mornings. So with that, all realized and with my knowledge of building offroad rigs for 10 years, everything from bumpers, side steps, roof racks to solid axle swaps and more, stepping into the Overlanding community was a no brainer.
IF anyone is interested in our products/services there will be a link at the bottom of my threads.

Now.... onto the actual build


So Ethel is a 2011 F150 XLT 4x4 super cab with the 5.0L engine. It has done everything from being used as a daily driver, hauling all of my tools across Canada (twice) to now being used as the daily runner for the company. My plan is to retire this truck by spring of next year and only use it as an overland rig. As mentioned above I will be making a few more modifications to this truck on the power side of the house, But for the most part, the stock power is more than enough for what I need.

The storage in the back, however.... is in need of some serious work. My wife loves canoeing so I am going to half to build something to carry the canoe without having it scratch and dent the hell out of the roof of the truck, as well as hold my RTT, secure lockable storage for my Max Trax, pioneer tools, fuel and freshwater storage, spare tire carrier, as well as side steps, bumpers and some lighting as well.

So I have been hoarding ideas for what I like and don't like from other peoples builds that I have found on Instagram, and have a pretty good idea of what I am going to go with. My thought process is to build a box rack that extends over the cab. The material of choice for this build is 1.5" D.O.M, .125 steel plate, .188 aluminum plate and an assortment of parts from TMR Customs.

I will post pictures later today/tonight of the build.


Cheers
Chris Reader

www.veteranwelding.ca
Good post Chris. I'm anxious to see what you come up with and see some of your work. Wish you were here, it's hard to find craftsmen for my projects and I'm to old now to do them myself. Tally ho
 

Contributor I

60
Calgary, AB, Canada
First Name
Christopher
Last Name
Reader
Good morning everyone, I so here is an update and some pictures of where we are right now with the build. Currently, we are waiting on some parts to come in so we can build the basket that will be over the cab. but as for the rest, it is coming along nicely. I am taking my time because this is something that I want to eventually offer as a kit for full-size pickups as well as 1/4 ton trucks like the Rangers and Tacomas.


So to give you guys and gals an idea of what I am building this out of, I am using a mix of 1.5" D.O.M tubing and 1" D.O.M tubing. For those of you who don't know D.O.M stand for Drawn Over Mandrel. This material is the same thing that they use in roll cages. Nice strong and easy to work with. I will also be using some 1/8" steel plate that I will be dimple dieing.

The steel plate that is in there is from a project that a customer bailed on long ago and I had these parts leftover and kicking around. So I figured I would tac one in place to get an idea of what it is going to look like. There will be a platform that hangs down in between the rails to carry a few (2-3) Large action packers. This section is where the rooftop tent will be mounted.
IMG_0812.JPG

I am building this to fit as I go. The rear angle is the same as the windshield on the truck. I wanted this to look like it belonged on this truck so instead of reinventing the wheel I am adopting angels and lines that the truck already has. I also will be creating mounting plates that connect the front and rear legs. This will add stability, strength and make it easier to mount by yourself once we turn this into a kit, And it will make shipping a hell of a lot easier and cheaper. IMG_0814.JPG
IMG_0813.JPG

I will also be adding lighting to the sides and in front of this so that it will be able to light up the whole campsite if the need arises. Let me know what you guys think. I am open to suggestions.


Cheers
Chris Reader
Veteran Welding
 
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Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Pathfinder I

4,077
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Good morning everyone, I so here is an update and some pictures of where we are right now with the build. Currently, we are waiting on some parts to come in so we can build the basket that will be over the cab. but as for the rest, it is coming along nicely. I am taking my time because this is something that I want to eventually offer as a kit for full-size pickups as well as 1/4 ton trucks like the Rangers and Tacomas.


So to give you guys and gals an idea of what I am building this out of, I am using a mix of 1.5" D.O.M tubing and 1" D.O.M tubing. For those of you who don't know D.O.M stand for Drawn Over Mandrel. This material is the same thing that they use in roll cages. Nice strong and easy to work with. I will also be using some 1/8" steel plate that I will be dimple dieing.

The steel plate that is in there is from a project that a customer bailed on long ago and I had these parts leftover and kicking around. So I figured I would tac one in place to get an idea of what it is going to look like. There will be a platform that hangs down in between the rails to carry a few (2-3) Large action packers. This section is where the rooftop tent will be mounted.
View attachment 113930

I am building this to fit as I go. The rear angle is the same as the windshield on the truck. I wanted this to look like it belonged on this truck so instead of reinventing the wheel I am adopting angels and lines that the truck already has. I also will be creating mounting plates that connect the front and rear legs. This will add stability, strength and make it easier to mount by yourself once we turn this into a kit, And it will make shipping a hell of a lot easier and cheaper. View attachment 113933
View attachment 113932

I will also be adding lighting to the sides and in front of this so that it will be able to light up the whole campsite if the need arises. Let me know what you guys think. I am open to suggestions.


Cheers
Chris Reader
Veteran Welding
Will this set on the Truck bed floor or up on the side panels ? I wouldn't worry about lighting, that's a separate issue for the buyer. If it's for yourself, it's a different story. Very nice looking so far !
 

Contributor I

60
Calgary, AB, Canada
First Name
Christopher
Last Name
Reader
Will this set on the Truck bed floor or up on the side panels ? I wouldn't worry about lighting, that's a separate issue for the buyer. If it's for yourself, it's a different story. Very nice looking so far !
This will sit on the bed itself. I might make arms/Extensions to go down to the floor but I don't think that will be necessary. But we will see.
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Pathfinder I

4,077
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
This will sit on the bed itself. I might make arms/Extensions to go down to the floor but I don't think that will be necessary. But we will see.
I saw a post on the subject the other day and the guy who posted said he always took the load off the bed on his builds and down to the floor. I guess he planned a pretty good load on the top, That is why I asked.
 

Contributor I

60
Calgary, AB, Canada
First Name
Christopher
Last Name
Reader
Ya, I know some guys who swear by it but if you stop and think about it. A fibreglass top is about 300-400lbs. but fibreglass is not designed to take that kind of load. Hence why you see guys building interior cages for the caps etc.
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Pathfinder I

4,077
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Ya, I know some guys who swear by it but if you stop and think about it. A fibreglass top is about 300-400lbs. but fibreglass is not designed to take that kind of load. Hence why you see guys building interior cages for the caps etc.
Do you mean kinda like a roll cage under the topper ?