Offroading with tool box or camper shell. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-28-2006
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Offroading with tool box or camper shell.

Would the bed mounts of our trucks handle offroading with lets say a camper shell with a roof rack with a spare and jack. Not a camper type! Or would it be ok with a soft type shell. Should i just do a tool box? I would have winch accesories, battery, tools and air compressor in there. Has anyone done any of this?
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Old 11-28-2006
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tool box and should be fine with weight
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Old 11-28-2006
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Ya I have a tool box loaded with a winch compressor shovels tools ropes and other things and it handles fine.
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Old 11-28-2006
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I have a tool box fully loaded(heavy too) and I some off-roading and I have never had any problems.
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Old 11-28-2006
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Elmo_4_vt (Don) has a color matched camper shell with a roof rack and a full sized 33" spare tire on top of it. I believe the weight does not exceed the limits and so far it appears to be a working combination.
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Old 11-29-2006
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I have a leer cap on my truck, holds up fine. Seems to flex with the bed without a problem. My spare is in the back, with tools and all kinds of junk. No rack on the roof, I get 14mpg as it is, my spare will hopefully be on a rear bumper soon.
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Old 11-29-2006
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thanx for the info guys
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Old 11-29-2006
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I have been been doing some very rough off-roading with a shell on my Ranger since 89. It was on my 89 STX until 02, then it got transferred to my FX4. It does not have a rack on it but it is fairly heavy at around 350 lbs. I just check the tie down bolts occasionally and tighten them if needed. Otherwise I have had no problems.
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Old 11-29-2006
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i have never had any problems... it creaks on the spray in bed liner but thats all...
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Old 11-29-2006
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My shell does just fine. It limits visablity some but I like the dry area. Plus it locks so I can just pile crap in there and not worry too much.
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Old 12-01-2006
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my box does great!
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Old 12-02-2006
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On my 96 i have had both a tool box on at one time and a camper at another time, they both worked fine i never had any problem.
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Old 12-02-2006
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The bed of a Ranger is solid mounted to the frame, it will withstand anything that does not crush the sides, which would be far more than the weight of a cap or toolbox.
So long as the box or cap are bolted or clamped solidly so they can't move or bounce around, you should be just fine. The weight of a cap or tool box is spread over a large area when mounted, so there's very little weight in any one area.

I would be more concerned with the cap being strong enough to hold the weight of the spare on it's roof. Make sure that your cap has some sort of built in reinforcment before mounting anything to the roof. I've seen several ways that cap manufacturers do this, most use a honeycomb material sandwiched in the roof panel, others use wood or foam to form channels or reinforcement ribs. It's pretty much a judgement call, if the top of your cap feels soft or flexes easy, I'd think twice, but if it's sold and looks to have good support you will probably be fine.
If your planning on drilling and bolting to fiberglass, besure to seal the holes well from water, if water is allowed to get between the layers of fiberglass it can rot any of the reinforcement materials inside. Water can also get inside and freeze as well.
If I were to mount a spare tire rack to the roof of any cap, I would consider adding some good solid backing plates to reinforce the holes, as well as make sure that the spare itself was securely mounted.
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