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Sleeping Platform Build. Thoughts?

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Old 08-14-2011, 06:43 AM   #1
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Sleeping Platform Build. FINISHED!

I am in the process of turning my 99 4WD Xtracab into a long term travel vehicle that I will be living out of. The reason? I want to explore North America and paddle my whitewater canoe all over, and need a vehicle that will get me to some crazy places with all the gear I'd need to live long term out of the truck.

Here's a pic after I bought a Leer 122 for 100 bucks. At that price, I didn't mind the slight color difference. Besides, this isn't going to be a show truck.

Leafs are a bit saggy. Maybe when I have some spare cash I'll grab some.

Anyways, I have a few mods planned, but the first I was able to work on was a sleeping platform. I decided to model it after Bajataco's. I'm going to have wet paddling gear and I needed a way to separate it from my sleeping area. So I put a 54" x 72" platform on top of a framework that went in between the wheels. Framework and plywood underneath was 39" inches wide.

Pics:

Screwing in the framework to the bottom plywood

Biscuit joining 3 inch pieces of wood to either side to make the top platform 54 inches wide

Cut outs for doors that will provide access to the compartments behind the wheels

Today I'm going to put all the doors and hinges on, and then carpet the top. One question I still have is should I take the bed liner out? Will I regret doing this in a month or a year?

Anyways, thanks for looking, I'll have pics as I finish this up today.

Part Two

I finished for the platform for all intents and purposes. When the carpet adhesive dries, I'll drop it in.


The compartment doors with piano hinges.


The compartments are just large enough to hold the old Pelican case I have, which will nice to keep it out of sight.


The front door. I used barn hinges to allow it to rotate all the way back.


The hasp and padlock for a bit of security


Laying out the carpet


I can't upholster worth a damn, but I was able to trim the carpet and make it look decent.


The front. I carpeted over the hinges, leaving just the hasps showing.


Close up. I haven't glued the carpet to the door, I've just trimmed and stapled it while I trim the edges to make a good fit. I haven't decided whether I should cut the carpet around the barrel of the hinge.

So that's where it sits today. I still have to put it in, and I'm almost certain I'm taking the bed liner out, unless someone wants to talk me out of it. I'll have some more pictures on Wednesday when I'm able to put it in.

Part Three

I dropped it in this afternoon. It's heavier than hell, probably close to 150 pounds. In the end, considering damn near everything I own will be in the back of the truck, I like the added security.

The bed after I took the liner and cleaned it out with a little TSP. It was dirty beyond belief. I found a bunch of pencils and previous owner's shirt.



Here was the completed platform with the door carpet cut and glued. I ended up cutting the carpet to allow the barrels of the hinges to poke through.


Fits like a glove


With the cap back on and tailgate up, and my canoe racks on top. I put a layer of neoprene tape to help seal the cap, and I'll be gasketing and caulking as I go.


With the door up.


I'm taking it out to the Lower Yough this weekend for a test sleep. Also, I'll be putting the liner up for sale soon

Chris
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:58 AM   #2
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Looks good! My only comment is you used 2x's for the framing and it's going to be heavier than hell! 1x's would have supported your weight and weighed less leaving you more for cargo. In the end, it's a truck, it'll handle it. Post up pics of your North American tour!

Regarding the bed liner, my shell does let some water in when it rains so I would think having the bed liner wouldn't be a good idea since the water would be trapped. Yours may seal up better thouh.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:20 AM   #3
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It absolutely is heavier than hell, but I want it to last. I'm buying some gasket material to seal up the cap. The goal is to make it waterproof or as damn close as can be.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:23 AM   #4
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I know you're fabbing your own but here's one I always dug:

http://www.bajataco.com/Camper1.html
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisOC1 View Post
I'm buying some gasket material to seal up the cap. The goal is to make it waterproof or as damn close as can be.
From that same guy I posted to above:

http://www.bajataco.com/camper/camper_seal/index.htm (the link from the "click here")

My impression of the ARE camper shell thus far is very positive. My biggest concern when I bought the shell was leaks. I initially had a problem with small leaks when I first installed the brackets for the roof rack, but I cured those by using some brand new rubber washers and ample amounts of RTV silicone on the bolts before they were passed through the holes and fastened. I also noticed a problem with the way water was channeled off of the rear window. This issue was addressed by using some tailgate gasket material. To see how I did this, click here. Overall, I am extremely happy with the quality of the shell. The paint color match is perfect. The front window is a slider window, that also has a hinge so that it can be opened from inside the camper. This flip-down window is perfect for cleaning the glass on the back of the truck cab, and cleaning the camper glass on the cab-side of the window. It seals tight with no leaks. The side windows also seal tight with no leaks. One thing I learned from experience is that a boot closure at the cab is not the way to go with the contoured body of the Toyota Tacoma. The boot I had on the last camper shell leaked really bad. I would only recommend getting a window at the front (and a flip-down at that). The ARE shell also has a nice "thickened" rectangular section in the ceiling that I believe is some kind of honeycomb construction, that provides strength and also allows you to mount fixtures to the ceiling (within reason - the screws cannot be very long) such as my halogen lamps.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madjik_Man View Post
I know you're fabbing your own but here's one I always dug:

http://www.bajataco.com/Camper1.html
That's what I modeled mine off of, and I'll be using the same gasket material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m3bassman View Post
looks great!
i almost did this too but just through a mattress in instead. sooo comfy!
I actually designed my platform to be 54" x 72" which is the same width as a full mattress. Conveniently for me, the company I work for makes memory foam toppers.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madjik_Man View Post
I know you're fabbing your own but here's one I always dug:

http://www.bajataco.com/Camper1.html
That is an awesome build! The little hidden compartments with opening doors looks amazing! Op it looks like yours is commin along nicley. Cant wait to see the finished project.

Question for all of these sleeping platform people, do you guys store more stuff ontop of the platform while driving and remove it at night and leave it outside to sleep? I would assume so seeing how you are going on extended trips, it looks like you would need more gear than fits in the cubby holes
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
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I finished for the platform for all intents and purposes. When the carpet adhesive dries, I'll drop it in.

[pics now at the top]
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:41 AM   #11
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such a great idea would love to go and do the same kinda thing with my truck drive around north america only problems i see 1 my trucks 2wd 2 not a double cab for the little extra room and 3 my leer isnt as awsomely high as yours

im only 26 so im sure later on in my life this will be a great project and great knowledgable page for me

anyways your build looks awsome keep us updated
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:54 AM   #12
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Looks awesome man, I will be doing the same type of platform here in a few weeks. I have a different approach but it will be close to this.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:16 AM   #13
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Ive always been wanting to do this! But im Going to try to add another battery as well as a inverter so I can plug in 120v plugs such as my phone charger.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:26 AM   #14
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That's really neat and I'm going to be jealous of your travels...does that cap have an interior light you can switch on and off from the bed? That would be super handy if you could make that happen.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:32 AM   #15
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Chris-

That's really coming out nicely.

(that's what she said)

Can't wait to see the final product
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:49 PM   #16
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Thanks for the comments guys, I really appreciate it.

I don't have interior lights yet, but I will soon. I'm also planning to put a battery in at some point, but I'm considering putting in a solar panel to power it. Just a thought now, but it would be nice to run some kind of heating pad in the winter and a fan in the summer.

Wednesday or Thursday, I should have the liner out and the platform in.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisOC1 View Post
Thanks for the comments guys, I really appreciate it.

I don't have interior lights yet, but I will soon. I'm also planning to put a battery in at some point, but I'm considering putting in a solar panel to power it. Just a thought now, but it would be nice to run some kind of heating pad in the winter and a fan in the summer.

Wednesday or Thursday, I should have the liner out and the platform in.
would be baller to have under a roof rack some solar panel connected to second battery or so im actually learning how to DIY my own solar cells since they are becoming alot cheaper

something that could be connected to the campershell and moved around to sun when parked or whatever

ahh the possibilities of a mobile tacoma heh
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:36 AM   #18
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That looks great! I have been wanting to build one for a while as well. I'd like to get a plastic bed liner to put in so the cargo boxes slide in nice and easy. The upholstery job looks great in the pics. I like the covered hinges, not sure how they will hold up to wear and tear.
The solar panel running a second battery is a neat idea. I'd like to know how y'all go about that. I'm not sure how many panels/etc you'd need to charge a car battery in a day. Someone had a write up on using the alternator to charge the second battery (second battery stored in the bed) and it was a clean install.
Are the padlocks necessary if the camper is locked?
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:12 AM   #19
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Looks great man. I love mine. It comes in extremely handy. I built mine with drawers up front and compartments in the back and sides.


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Old 08-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #20
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Looks awesome Tacomazach!

I dropped it in this afternoon. It's heavier than hell, probably close to 150 pounds. In the end, considering damn near everything I own will be in the back of the truck, I like the added security.

The bed after I took the liner and cleaned it out with a little TSP. It was dirty beyond belief. I found a bunch of pencils and previous owner's shirt.



Here was the completed platform with the door carpet cut and glued. I ended up cutting the carpet to allow the barrels of the hinges to poke through.


Fits like a glove


With the cap back on and tailgate up, and my canoe racks on top. I put a layer of neoprene tape to help seal the cap, and I'll be gasketing and caulking as I go.


With the door up.


I'm taking it out to the Lower Yough this weekend for a test sleep. Also, I'll be putting the liner up for sale soon

Chris
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