RAM 2500 Custom Overland Build, RTT Rack, Aux Batt, Transfer Tank, Sliders & Other Stuff!

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PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
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Explorer I

4,285
Kennewick, WA, USA
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Michael
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Denniston
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My goal for this rack is not just to support the weight of a RTT. Below is a list of goals for this build,
  1. The rack must provide a fair amount of Rollover protection. (Safety First)
  2. It should complement the styling of the truck.
  3. Should be modular. I will not always run the RTT. At times I will want to throw my dirtbike in the back. Or maybe I need to pull a gooseneck trailer.
  4. The rack, when fully assembled on the truck, should provide a fair amount property protection.
I will be starting with a custom headache rack and bed rail plates made of 3/16” mild steel. This will provide the bulk of the roll over protection, and will be a mainstay no matter the configuration of the RTT rack.
The cage portion will be attached to the headache rack using roll cage tubing disconnects.
The plan is to make the top horizontal tubes removable allowing the handle bars of a dirt bike to fit.
My initial brainstorming…
94513

I am not locked in on the final design yet. I do have a general idea of what I want, but I like to leave room for change as I start the build. Sometimes things won’t work as planned due to real world restrictions like available space vs bend radius. I will use some of the racks below for ideas…

94514

94515

94516


Your thoughts…..
 

mylilpwny

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Member

Pathfinder I

I like the model you designed. My only thing would be that a rack is a rack and a roll cage is different. Only way it will really give protection in a roll over is if it is built as a roll cage first then adapted to carry the gear you want. Also having a cage in the bed really won't give much in the line of protection to the occupants of the vehicle as the cab would be the weak point. Personally if you don't plan to cage the cab then no need to build a cage for the bed.
 

Roam_CO85

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Influencer I

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Loveland, CO, USA
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Casey
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Barch
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My goal for this rack is not just to support the weight of a RTT. Below is a list of goals for this build,
  1. The rack must provide a fair amount of Rollover protection. (Safety First)
  2. It should complement the styling of the truck.
  3. Should be modular. I will not always run the RTT. At times I will want to throw my dirtbike in the back. Or maybe I need to pull a gooseneck trailer.
  4. The rack, when fully assembled on the truck, should provide a fair amount property protection.
I will be starting with a custom headache rack and bed rail plates made of 3/16” mild steel. This will provide the bulk of the roll over protection, and will be a mainstay no matter the configuration of the RTT rack.
The cage portion will be attached to the headache rack using roll cage tubing disconnects.
The plan is to make the top horizontal tubes removable allowing the handle bars of a dirt bike to fit.
My initial brainstorming…
View attachment 94513

I am not locked in on the final design yet. I do have a general idea of what I want, but I like to leave room for change as I start the build. Sometimes things won’t work as planned due to real world restrictions like available space vs bend radius. I will use some of the racks below for ideas…

View attachment 94514

View attachment 94515

View attachment 94516


Your thoughts…..
The model that you designed is cool. The rack on that jeep is sick though. Look pretty tough on a ram!!
 
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PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
Member
Supporter +

Explorer I

4,285
Kennewick, WA, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Denniston
Member #

3030

Ham Callsign
KJ7LYZ
I like the model you designed. My only thing would be that a rack is a rack and a roll cage is different. Only way it will really give protection in a roll over is if it is built as a roll cage first then adapted to carry the gear you want. Also having a cage in the bed really won't give much in the line of protection to the occupants of the vehicle as the cab would be the weak point. Personally if you don't plan to cage the cab then no need to build a cage for the bed.
I completely agree with you. If the rack is not designed with the intent of preventing a cab collapse in a roll over situation it will more than likely fail when it’s needed.
I do intend to tie the headache rack and tube section into the frame of the truck using the bed to frame mounting locations. I will also be using 2” DOM tube. With that being said, this will not meet NHRA cage standards. But it will help prevent the cab from crushing if I go shiny side down.
Thanks a bunch for the feed back. This is the type of discussion I was hoping for. I am no pro,
 
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PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
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Supporter +

Explorer I

4,285
Kennewick, WA, USA
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Michael
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The model that you designed is cool. The rack on that jeep is sick though. Look pretty tough on a ram!!
I really like the lower horizontal bar that could be used for a hand hold or rub protection for the body.
 
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mylilpwny

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

I completely agree with you. If the rack is not designed with the intent of preventing a cab collapse in a roll over situation it will more than likely fail when it’s needed.
I do intend to tie the headache rack and tube section into the frame of the truck using the bed to frame mounting locations. I will also be using 2” DOM tube. With that being said, this will not meet NHRA cage standards. But it will help prevent the cab from crushing if I go shiny side down.
Thanks a bunch for the feed back. This is the type of discussion I was hoping for. I am no pro,
Always glad to help bounce ideas around. I would be slightly worried to rely on a bed roll bar to protect the cab in the case of a roll over. Will usually "help"( to a degree) for the rear of the cab but usually do nothing for the front of the cab, ask me how I know lol, usually making it worse as the energy will always want to find the weakest point kinda like crumple zones. I would think that what we tend to do with overlanding I wouldn't be to worried about a cage. If you find yourself pushing the limits more often and want the added protection for yourself and family I would look into having a cage designed and have the stuff you wanted added to it.
 

PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
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Supporter +

Explorer I

4,285
Kennewick, WA, USA
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Michael
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Denniston
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3030

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Part of my plan is to use the below Tubing Disconnects to give me the ability to remove sections of the rack with relative ease. Keeping in mind that the headache rack will remain installed, when I remove the cage I will have replacement tubes / Rails to install so it all remains visually pleasing. I didn't realize that these would be so expensive. $30 each.
94787
 

Roam_CO85

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Its amazing what some of that hardware costs. Like a bushing for example. The ability to take it off when you dont need the weight or add subtract things is huge I think. I like stuff being modular When I had my ram I was thinking about the same mindset
 

PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
Member
Supporter +

Explorer I

4,285
Kennewick, WA, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Denniston
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3030

Ham Callsign
KJ7LYZ
Its amazing what some of that hardware costs. Like a bushing for example. The ability to take it off when you dont need the weight or add subtract things is huge I think. I like stuff being modular When I had my ram I was thinking about the same mindset
The cost sometimes makes me second guess the design and various features I want to incorporate. But when I weigh it out I think the $300 added cost will be worth it. Guess I will have to work a couple extra days.
 
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PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
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Explorer I

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This is a Rev 1 rendering of the headache rack that this project will start from. Changes will be made to allow me to maximize useable space in the bed.

97794

97795
 
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Roam_CO85

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How do you like the mega cab. I had one as a company vehicle once. 06 single wheel 3500 that i loved. Ranch i worked at did alot of hauling back an fourth and used that back seat as a bed a few times! Good for a night at the bar too. Drink and stay the night...haha. They are cool! The rack looks like a good deal. Are you gonna cage it?
 
Last edited:

PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
Member
Supporter +

Explorer I

4,285
Kennewick, WA, USA
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Michael
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Denniston
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3030

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KJ7LYZ
How do you like the mega cab. I had one as a company vehicle once. 06 single wheel 3500 that i loved. Ranch i worked at did alot of hauling back an fourth and used that back seat as a bed a few times! Good for a night at the bar too. Drink and stay the night...haha. They are cool! The rack looks like a good deal. Are you gonna cage it?
Actually my truck is not a mega. That is just the model truck that was used for the design. I am not sure that the extra few inches of space would be worth the cost increase and the larger turning radius.
 

PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
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Explorer I

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Man thats a bad ass cad system too!
The company that I am using for the design process have a SEMA membership. This gives them access to the actual 3D files for various trucks. It is really helpful to see it this way.
 
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Roam_CO85

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Yeah for off road use they arent so good the wheel base is the same as the long bed I think? Thats why I asked how you liked the mega cab for this application. One of the reasons why when i had my 17 1500 i kept with the quad cab and instead of the crew cab... wheel base is the same but wanted a larger box. I dont have kids so i didnt need extra interior space. We just bought an extended cab f150 that is the old lady’s i am looking for a jeep. Mopar or no car
 

PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
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Explorer I

4,285
Kennewick, WA, USA
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Michael
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Denniston
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Today I ran down to the metal supply shop. Picked up 80' of 1 3/4" tube.
Had to get that done in order to remove the old rack.
Shot some black on the new headache rack to keep the rust at bay while I mock things up.
Mounted the bed rails....
106609
106610
106611

Then I mounted the headache rack....
106612
The two holes in the top corners of the rack are to run wiring through for accessories.

106613
 

PNW EXPLR

NorthWest Region Member Rep Southeast Washington
Member
Supporter +

Explorer I

4,285
Kennewick, WA, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Denniston
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Ham Callsign
KJ7LYZ
More progress today....

Got rear bar fabbed.
106678

Made some captured nuts to mount the upper horizontal bars. Took the advice of @mylilpwny in regards to making this double as a roll cage. Mostly due to my wanting to get it done.
106679

106680

And with the upper bars tacked and bolted.
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