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HomeOff Grid & Self SufficiencyA New Path: A Customized F-250 Constructed for a Triple-Amputee EOD Veteran

A New Path: A Customized F-250 Constructed for a Triple-Amputee EOD Veteran

Andrew Bottrell’s life modified immediately on October 1, 2011. Lower than 4 months earlier, he deployed to Afghanistan as a U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) tech connected to SEAL Crew 10. On that fateful day, the automobile Bottrell was using in was struck by a roadside IED. Within the wake of the explosion, he realized he had sustained extreme accidents to his left arm and each legs — this may outcome within the amputation of all three limbs. As he spent the next months enduring painful bodily remedy and studying to make use of his new prosthetics, he maintained a powerful sense of dedication. “All the time dominate your life — don’t let your life dictate what you do or how you reside. If you don’t like your scenario, change it. Don’t blame someone else for it and don’t anticipate someone else to do one thing about it.”

Editor’s Notice: This text initially appeared in Situation 65 of our sister publication, Recoil journal. | Images by Iain Harrison

A Tremendous Obligation Constructed for a Distinctive Goal

In 2018, Richard Harrison (aka The Previous Man) of the well-known TV collection Pawn Stars handed away. He was a Navy veteran and beloved automobiles, so his son Rick Harrison determined to provide a customized truck to a wounded Navy vet in his father’s reminiscence. Rick teamed up with Wounded Warriors Household Help (WWFS) to perform this objective; Bottrell was nominated by the EOD Warrior Basis and finally chosen.

Above: Searching is one in every of Bottrell’s favourite hobbies, so he enjoys having a truck that serves as a cushty base of operations in distant areas. Including a Pores and skin It Ceremony gambrel to the crane permits him to pores and skin recreation simply.

WWFS had constructed customized vehicles for different wounded veterans prior to now, in order that they approached Bottrell and provided him a brand new 2019 Ford F-250 Tremendous Obligation with hand controls, an automated wheelchair raise, and some other modifications to make his life simpler. Bottrell defined that he doesn’t personal a wheelchair, and so they replied, “Nicely, what would you prefer to have added to your truck?” After he put collectively a want checklist, WWFS began on the construct.

First, Bottrell’s F-250 was despatched to Kelderman in Iowa to obtain quite a lot of the corporate’s air suspension upgrades. The entrance suspension was changed with a Kelderman 2-stage inventory peak equipment, and the rear suspension was swapped out for a inventory peak 4-link system. An Air Carry management system was additionally put in, together with twin compressors in a weather-resistant field, two 3-gallon air tanks, sensors, wiring, and extra. Bottrell says, “It’s like using on a cloud — it’s so clean.”

Above: The Kelderman adjustable air suspension permits this F-250 to trip easily, each on and off street, no matter how a lot weight is loaded into the mattress.

The subsequent cease was at Nuthouse Industries in Ohio, the place it obtained a Tech 3 Sequence Expedition Mattress Rack outfitted with quite a few equipment. One aspect of the rack options two Rotopax diesel containers and a water container; the opposite aspect carries one other water container plus two 18-inch Nut Shell modular storage containers. The primary field accommodates the mind of the Tremendous Obligation’s auxiliary energy system, a Xantrex charger/inverter, which is linked to the truck’s alternator and 4 Dragonfly Power LiFePO4 batteries within the mattress. This technique gives 400 amp-hours of energy, which is accessible from an influence strip contained in the second Nut Shell field.

Above: One Nut Shell container homes a battery monitor, circuit breaker, and grasp energy swap for the 4 onboard LiFePO4 batteries. These batteries are hidden between the outer partitions of the TruckVault drawer system and the interior partitions of the truck mattress.

This electrical energy can be utilized to energy a SpitzLift DC-powered crane within the mattress, permitting Bottrell to raise heavy gear out and in of the truck, and even droop a deer for gutting and skinning after a hunt. The batteries additionally energy the deluxe lighting bundle Nuthouse Industries put in on its rack, a Dometic CFX100 fridge-freezer for tenting journeys, and varied different small electronics. The fridge usually sits alongside a Canyon Coolers Navigator on a Cargoglide sliding platform, which is bolted to the highest of the TruckVault locking drawer system. Nuthouse additionally put in Fab Fours bumpers, Warn winch, Inflexible Industries LED lights, and even ported air from the Kelderman tanks so Bottrell can re-inflate his truck’s tires on the path. In case of emergencies in distant places, a WeBoost mobile phone community extender and a Garmin InReach satellite tv for pc communicator guarantee he can at all times name for assist.

Above: All sides of the Nuthouse Industries mattress rack is supplied with storage for gasoline or water tanks and different gear. It’s additionally outfitted with space lighting for nighttime actions.

Lastly, Bottrell had an iKamper rooftop tent and a Bush Firm 270-degree awning connected to the highest of the rack, making the truck a cushty base camp for multi-day outings. However even with out the spacious tent, Bottrell identified one upside to having removable limbs: “I disassemble, so I can stretch out on the again seat to sleep.”

Above: The facility-operated SpitzLift crane swings out and extends as much as 4 toes, serving to Andrew Bottrell hoist coolers and different heavy objects into the mattress or the TruckVault drawers. With a mast extension, it could actually additionally raise the rooftop tent off the highest of the rack.

With all these upgrades, Bottrell’s F-250 is supplied with all the pieces he wants for an lively life-style off the grid — spare gasoline, shelter, water, chilly meals and drinks, lighting, and greater than sufficient juice to run energy instruments and different electronics. To date, he has used the F-250 to hunt wild pigs along with his dad in central California, hunt elk in Montana, and hunt Nilgai antelope in Texas, in addition to for a number of cross-country street journeys.

Though shedding three limbs wasn’t the trail Bottrell anticipated taking in life, he hasn’t let that cease him and even gradual him down. He’s grateful for the brand new truck that has made it simpler for him to take pleasure in adventures along with his household and pals.

2019 Ford F-250 Lariat Sport 4×4 Specs

Drivetrain: 6.7L Energy Stroke turbo-diesel V-8 with hand controls and a Titan 55-gallon gasoline tank

Suspension: Kelderman 2-Stage entrance and 4-link rear air suspension, Air Carry 3H Digital Air Management System, twin air compressors, twin 3-gallon air tanks

Wheels & Tires: Inventory 20-inch wheels with 285/65R20 BFGoodrich KO2 tires

Physique Modifications: Nuthouse Industries Tech 3 Sequence Expedition Mattress Rack with Nut Shell storage containers, Rotopax plates, and Maxtrax mounts; TruckVault Discipline Ranger mattress drawer system, CargoGlide CG1000XL mattress slide, Fab Fours Matrix entrance bumper and Vengeance rear bumper, iKamper xCover rooftop tent, Bush Firm 270 XT awning

Electronics: 4 100-amp-hour Dragonfly Power heated 12-volt LiFePO4 batteries with Xantrex Freedom XC 2000-watt inverter/charger and customized energy field containing a Victron Power battery monitor, Blue Sea Programs circuit breakers, and an influence strip; SpitzLift LTD-4QRT 4-foot DC-powered crane, Inflexible Industries bumper lights, Nuthouse Industries deluxe mattress rack lighting bundle, Dometic CFX100 fridge/freezer, Warn Zeon 12-S Platinum winch

Inside Upgrades: Console Vault middle console protected, Greyman Tactical seat again MOLLE panels, Garmin Navigator pill on a Ram Mount, WeBoost mobile phone community extender

Proprietor: Andrew Bottrell – San Diego, CA

Particular Thanks: Wounded Warriors Household Help, Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars, Nuthouse Industries, and Dragonfly Power

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