The tow pig - 2004 F550 Crew Cab with hauler flatbed

So, if your reading this, you should know that we got a new 5th wheel trailer to call home.  Unfortunately that means that we can no longer tow with the Fummins Excursion that we built for this journey.  So as we were shopping for a new trailer, I started shopping for a new tow pig.  I wanted something that could handle the weight of a toy hauler.  I wanted a dually, and although a 3500 truck could do the job, weight wise they might not be able to safely stop, etc.  After researching the various weight capacities of different lines of trucks, I decided that a F450 or F550 would be the best option.  Unfortunatley the cost of a newer truck just wasn't in our budget.  I looked around and found 2 trucks in the area that fit the bill for what i was looking for.  After driving 2 trucks, I settled on a 2004 F550 with the Powerstroke Diesel engine.   Now I know that the 6.0 engine is not the most reliable, but the seller I was working with, had service records dating back to 2005, and receipts for engine, transmission and other various component replacement.  I felt comfortable with how it drove, and the records to back up its upkeep.  So we pulled the trigger.   If you know anything about F550's, you know that they do not come with a truck bed, they are sold as Cab and Chassis.  This one, had a custom "hauler" flatbed on it, so it is perfect for towing a 5th wheel.  It did come with a hitch, but it didnt appear too good, so we did replace it with a brand new B&W hitch.
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    Add ons

    Obviously when you buy a used vehicle, it is never quite "accessorized" enough to fit your needs.  Most people will add some things to make it more functional for their lives, and we are no different.  First we needed the ability to carry bikes.  I went with a Yakima system with a fit kit designed for the truck, and round bars.  For the bike racks themselves, I went generic, as the cost for Yakima ones is just way too expensive, especially when you need 3.  We moved the Garmin RV GPS from the excursion along with the Easyblade GPS mount.   The truck has a custom flatbed that has a couple small storage boxes, but no real storage.  So I added a 60" tool box against the cab, and the tongue box we had on the travel trailer that gives me a large amount of storage on the back of the truck!

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