1973 Wagoneer - Full Size Camping Goodness


sweet pickup on the pickup.... i've been looking for a similar pickup to use for stuff around town recently. You got the perfect truck for that! Looks like fun.

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagoneer
Wow! Its been months since I've worked on or written about the lil' trailer. I recently picked up a 1974 F250, and told myself before i got too deep into that I need to put the trailer back together. Well, i spent 3 weeks or so messing around with the truck and still ignored the trailer. Finally got off my butt yesterday, painted the tub, painted the frame (and battled a wasp nest in the process), stripped the fenders, and painted them, then set it all back together.

Today, I'll be picking up hardware and bolting it all together. At this point I will at least have a usable trailer that isnt in bits and pieces. Not sure how fast the build will progress as we are diving into major home renovations this month and cash flow will be tied up for a bit.

So, I'll call this a 3/4 assed restoration. Not half assed, but not full on either. Pulled the tub, stripped it, wire wheeled the inside, wire wheeled the frame, primed and painted the tub, repainted the frame with summit racing chassis paint, should be good enough for my needs.

Next up is bed lining the interior.

I wasnt super sold on the color at first, its some metallic matte chestnut, I wanted something fairly low key, didnt want to do a hammered finish, too glossy and too busy. But as this dried and the sun went down, its growing on me, especially with the two tone. I like it.

Untitled by Marn, on Flickr
Untitled by Marn, on Flickr
Untitled by Marn, on Flickr
Untitled by Marn, on Flickr


Jason McDaniel
Put a nerf bar on the front of the fender. Keeps it from getting folded up against the wheel when you pull it up against a tree/rock/hydrant. Make it stout enough, and it's also a step to get into the trailer.

On Edit: something like this one on my old Lotus-7. I ran the bar inside the fender to keep the fender from being pulled off behind the bar.

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagoneer
Got new hardware for the trailer and bolted it all back together. So, it’s road ready at this point, not that I really have any need to take it on the road what with the addition of the ford to my fleet.

Put a good number of miles on the Wagoneer yesterday, and man it’s running well. Hot day and we gained a lot of elevation. The truck runs warmer now, I regularly see it approaching or hitting 200* on climbs, but I assume it’s running leaner than when carbureted, and also I know that EFI prefers a bit hotter engine temp. Factory operating temp was supposed to be about 215* so it doesn’t bother me. I should probably drain and replace the coolant one of these days though. It’s been several years.

Anyway. It needs a tail pipe badly, because of the exhaust popping. Otherwise it’s runnin’ Great.


Nothing special, and nothing FSJ related (except using a hand full of the same parts).

Picked up this exceptionally straight 1974 F250 Ranger XLT Camper Special from a buddy. Literally one ding in the bed side, and two small dings in the tailgate. Interior needs help, but I can take care of that. I'm blown away by how clean the body is!

390/C6 2 wheel drive. Thing runs great. Steering is pretty wonky, but I'll take care of that. Ordered some basich highway tires last week, and getting it registered today. I need to get the trailer stripped, painted, and reassembled before I do pretty much ANY work on this truck other than getting the tires mounted so we can safely drive it.

Untitled by Marn, on Flickr
Untitled by Marn, on Flickr
Untitled by Marn, on Flickr

Man, we have very similar taste in vehicles, that's a very cool truck. I had a '73 f350 super camper special with 390/c6. Bought it to haul my Cayo C-11 truck camper but got made an offer on it I couldn't refuse, so sold it. Still miss it as it was a tank.

50 fiver

Trailer looks great, I really have got to get going on mine.... now where did I put the fender and body to frame bolts???

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagoneer
Well. One of my sayings is "use your ********". Wednesday rolled around, wife and I were talking.

"We should go camping this weekend"
"Where do you want to go?"
"Up around gold lake?"
"Sounds good, but will we be able to get a camp site?"
"We'll find out, there are 9 campgrounds up there"
"Wanna take the camper?"
"Okay, i'll pack the gear and ready the rig, you do the meal planning and shopping?"
"Lets try to leave at 3 on Friday"

And, well, you know where it goes from there. I drug the camper out, aired it out for a day, loaded it with bedding, a gas can, and fire wood, loaded the camp chairs and coolers into the jeep, and off we went. Left right around 3pm on Friday.

Headed up towards Graeagle, CA.

Now, once we hit Gold Lake Highway, we started trying campgrounds. We hit a total of 7 campgrounds, and had to head down the 49 towards Loyalton, before we could find a single spot. We landed at Chapman Creek Campground, which was our 8th stop.

Let the weekend begin!

Saturday we headed out to for some exploration. I turned the wrong way out of our campground, and we ended up driving out towards Weber Lake, and down to Lincoln Valley which is hidden in the mountains several miles from the main road. I think this will be our first camping spot once we finish the trailer build, we were all alone.

We drove the jeep up to Packer Saddle, the trail head for Sierra Buttes Lookout is at about 7000'. We headed up the old jeep trail, which probably any modern 4wd vehicle could take. It's quire steep, but overall pretty tame.
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Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagoneer

That little trail is the PCT.

The jeep was running warm as we were climbing in 4 low at a few mph. It didnt overheat, but I dont like seeing the temp gauge hit 220, so I parked a few times and allowed it to cool.

We intended to hike the final half mile or so up to the fire lookout, but it was super hot even at about 8000', and the dog is supposed to be on bed rest due to an injured shoulder, so the heat for him as well as his injury meant we didnt think it was a good plan, so we just hung out for a bit.

After that, we cruised down the mountain, which was some of the steepest trail AND steepest pavement I have ever driven on, and went back to the campground to relax. It was still in the 90's, but we went for a little walk in the woods along Chapman Creek with the doge.

View from the campground:

Packed up in the AM and headed home. Jeep ran 100% awesome the entire time, i feel like it runs BETTER when towing. Nearly 200 miles,. and got 10mpg with towing, and a bunch of 4 low, idling, etc. I'll take it. Need to do some extended highway driving though without towing to see how efficient it is.

It was a good trip, but it made both the Wife and I remember exactly why we are building the expedition trailer. The campground was nice, but it was busy. we were located right next to a bathroom out of lack of spaces, and everybody kept just walking through our campsite. Not to mention the constant oompa oompa music playing from some peoples truck speakers, the nonstop SCREECHING, not even screaming or yelling, but SCREECHING children, the idiots with their off leash dogs, so on and so forth. Typical campground stuff.

That being said, we drove home, unpacked, I IMMEDIATELY called up a fella on craigslist, drove over to his house, and came home with this:

Shiz is about to get real on the trailer build.


Finally got updated on this, Nice score on the F250! Ironically enough i just picked up one myself recently though a bit older with it being a 1969 but it is an F250 Ranger Camper Special much like yours.


Trailer looks great! I like the red brake handle. Hope that helps to keep from pulling it with the brake on. I worry about accidentally doing that with mine. Been following this thread for awhile and really like your fsj. You’ve done a great job with it also!

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagoneer
Trailer looks great! I like the red brake handle. Hope that helps to keep from pulling it with the brake on. I worry about accidentally doing that with mine. Been following this thread for awhile and really like your fsj. You’ve done a great job with it also!

Thats my intent, every time i pull it imn like oh ******** did i release the brake?!!! It sucks, the trailer is so small i cant see it in my mirrors lol.

Untitled by Marn, on Flickr

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