Let's see your pickup truck camper shell build outs

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by BigEasy, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
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    14,211
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    Northcentral PA
    Found this guy, several videos on making your own battery box and making connections for LED strips. Makes it look real easy, has parts links too!

    https://youtube.com/c/JDSOutdoors
    Night_Wolf likes this.
  2. MTBRALPH

    MTBRALPH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    253
    Location:
    Waxhaw, North Carolina and Taos, NM
    I am just getting started with my build. Plan is to add a “night stand” and maybe a “kitchen” although most cooking will be on the tailgate protected by an ez up.
    I will try it out on a few short trips to be sure I am on the right path, then add storage access, trim and paint.
    35D4B658-B4D2-4750-8D35-83412C932216.jpeg F9EA8FFC-13DA-4FB6-916A-E4CDB2830740.jpeg
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  3. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

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    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Ammo can battery pack... Hmmm. Just what I need. Another project. :)

    Am I the only sucker that bought an off-brand "travel" CPAP which only has 110v power? Grr.
  4. BigEasy

    BigEasy Fish Eyed Heathen

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    Location:
    South of Indy in the hills
    What brand of truck/cap is that? Is the cap cab high or higher?
  5. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

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    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    If I may ask, what's the width of the top of your sleeping platform?



    I accept that the length is dependent upon the length of the bed of one's truck.:snore
  6. matteblack

    matteblack Adventurer

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    Denver, CO
  7. MTBRALPH

    MTBRALPH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    253
    Location:
    Waxhaw, North Carolina and Taos, NM
    7F70F079-718A-46CE-A713-67980E4BA5C8.jpeg
    It is the ARM and it is 6” higher than the cab. I will post a pic later. View attachment 2905813
  8. MTBRALPH

    MTBRALPH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    253
    Location:
    Waxhaw, North Carolina and Taos, NM
  9. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

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    Apr 27, 2005
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    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    Thanks.:thumb
  10. FAW3

    FAW3 Old wanderer

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    No.VA.
    ARM? :y0!

    Looks like an ARE MX. Good looking rig there. The 6" of extra headroom are priceless for cap camping.
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  11. FAW3

    FAW3 Old wanderer

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    Being the Spring season right now...where I typically roam means a fair chance of some rain. Other trips have taken me to desert areas where lack of shade is an issue. Rigging a rain/sun tarp and a small ground mat are great ways to get more enjoyment out of your truck cap rig.

    With a truck cap rig (or SUV) it is really easy to rig up a functional and inexpensive tarp system. Photo below shows my basics of two extendable metal tarp poles, 4 tent stakes - I use galvanized or aluminum gutter spikes to avoid rust, guy line - get orange or white...something easy to see in the dark. Tarp size depends on the truck - my Taco fits a 10x12 tarp well. One 10' side is attached to the truck using bungee cords to tension the tarp across the rear edge area of the cap. You can use two short sections of bungee and hook the ends to the holes in your wheels or to the fender well. A better rig for handling weather is to weave a length of line in and out the perimeter grommets along the truck end of the tarp, and then use bungee cord and a hook to provide tension all along the edge. This keeps the line taught all across the top of the cap and less tarp fluttering. Once your rig it, the length is set and it's ready to go next time.

    The edges of your raised cap window need to be cushioned to avoid wearing holes in the tarp. A section of pool noodle works great for this.

    If you cap is older...you might find the window frame "droops" with the tarp on top of it. If so replace your lift arms or use a section of EMT tubing so you can lock the window "up". If you use the tubing trick...do both sides so your window is not "flexed" by the loading.

    For shade I use the tarp as shown. If trying to fight significant wind/rain...I rig the tarp with one centerline pole and do an inverted "V" with the side points staked out lower to the ground.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a nice store bought kit that does the same - a neat bit of kit, but more $$. The listing does show some variations on how to rig tarp:

    https://www.amazon.com/Slumberjack-Roadhouse-Tarp-Shelter-Tan-One-Size/dp/B06Y3NDMLJ

    Another nice bit of gear is to carry a woven mat like a beach or rv entrance mat. I have a 4'x6' mat that I place at the tailgate. Gives a "out of the dirt" area for dressing or other activities. Easy to store, clean and very practical. Really nice when working under the tarp in the rain to have a dry ground area. Rolls up to about 6" diameter x 48" for easy storage.
  12. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Base Camping and Day Tripping

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    895
    Location:
    central KY
    I just finished the camper build on my 2017 Taco and took it on a 3 night trip down to western NC

    20210409_162908.jpg

    Goals for the build:
    * easy set up and tear down since I use my truck for other activities
    10-15 minutes
    * light weight. I need to be able to manage all of the parts by myself
    * keep the cost down by using materials and gear I already have - I spent about $200
    * storage for all of my riding gear, camping gear, clothes, small cooler and a few days of food.
    * storage for an extra set of wheels
    Detailed build thread is here: Camper Shell Build for Dirt Bike Hauling and Moto Camping | Tacoma World

    Overall the trip went well. Nightly temps were in the low 40's to low 50's F
    Sleeping was comfortable but I still need to do a little work on the gear storage area
    Here is how it looked on the trip

    20210409_163315.jpg

    I built frames for the bunk and storage shelf to keep the weight down. I had some cedar and poplar left from another project and used the Kreg pocket screws
    20210327_150554.jpg

    Used 1/2" cabinet grade plywood for the bunk top and 3/4 for the storage drawer under the bunk and floor filler between the bunk and storage shelf.
    I used some of the foam interlocking tiles (like you use for exercise areas) for all of the top surfaces
    20210409_163831.jpg
    My drawer just slides on wooden rails. I used totes that I can also acess from inside the shell thru the openings in the bunk rails
    20210401_161535.jpg
    Also built a shelf to go behind the seat.
    Copied a pattern posted over on Tacoma world
    20210331_155552.jpg
    And I did ride for 2 days in the mountains
    20210409_163135.jpg
  13. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Nice build!

    Curious as why you carry an extra set of wheels?
  14. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Base Camping and Day Tripping

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    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    895
    Location:
    central KY
    I'm planning a 10 day trip to Colorado this summer.
    If there is one thing that can ruin a big trip it's a flat or damaged tire.
    Normally I have one set of wheels set up for off road with Tubless and the other set for dual sport with HD tubes
    DyrWolf and scootac like this.
  15. Scotty P

    Scotty P Funny Like a Clown

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    WTF........ Doesn't everyone have a set with 50/50 and a set with knobbies? Heathens.
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  16. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    Orange County, CA
    I had a 19/17 set with sticky street rubber and a 21/17 set with knobbies on my dr650

    could go from this
    E8EAEACD-B1EB-4B83-83D6-21DF08A7BBE9.jpeg

    To this

    0348A695-DB65-44B5-A6FA-2B4D87E2B3A5.jpeg
  17. keyzard

    keyzard Falls over a lot....

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
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    415
    Location:
    Buffalo Area, NY
    Drz-400......one set with knobbies tires and +3 rear sprocket, one set with 80/20 and OEM rear sprocket. Quick and easy!
    Scotty P and Night_Wolf like this.
  18. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Base Camping and Day Tripping

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
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    central KY
    It is definitely a luxury item.
    In more than 50 years of owning motorcycles this is the first time I've been able to have an extra wheel set.
    I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
    Hannda, Scotty P, Night_Wolf and 3 others like this.
  19. MrBob

    MrBob On a whim Supporter

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    Oct 27, 2005
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    Wisconsin?
    Suggestion: Use your sander to ease the plywood edges and round the sharp corner. Fewer splinters and greater comfort
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  20. Scotty P

    Scotty P Funny Like a Clown

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Built the platform today. Neighbor will build me a templete for the plywood top...........

    Let me know if the pic disapears.


    upload_2021-4-10_19-8-48.png
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