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2017 White TRD Off Road Tacoma Glamping Build

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Builds (2016+)' started by danneskjold, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:05 AM
    #1
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Never thought I would be the type of person to do a build thread, but I figure at the very least at least this is a good place I can grab photos from.

    I got out of a 7+ year relationship in the summer of 2017 and came away with 1 (of 2) dogs. I travel a lot for work and hate leaving the dog and have always wanted to see areas of the country that I would normally fly over so I decided to buy a Tacoma and set it up for camping and bring the dog with.

    I bought a brand new (17 miles!) 2017 TRD Off Road Tacoma from Lake City Toyota on August 18, 2017 and set off from there. I didn't want white in the beginning, I wanted blue - but the dealership had white and they were willing to negotiate on it so I ended up with white which to be honest has 100% been the right decision.

    I've tried to do as much of my own work on it as possible, and I have tried to be as conservative as possible with my upgrades. Every single modification changes how the truck behaves and I've tried to be very deliberate with what I have done. Not saying I have been deliberate, but I've tried to be.

    How the truck sits now, moving from front to rear:

    Suspension/Tires
    Icon Stage 4 Front and Rear
    OME Dakar Leaf Springs (096R)
    Stock Wheels w/ 265/75/16 KOs

    Communications/Electrical
    Larsen NMO2/70B Ham Antenna mounted to custom ditch light bracket courtesy of @Juforrest
    Firestik 2 or 3 foot CB Antenna mounted to custom ditch light bracket
    Icom 5100
    Cobrax WXT
    Dual Battery Setup with Optima Group 34 and Blue Sea ACR and Circuit Breakers
    SPOD HD

    Lighting:
    Rigid Ditch lights mounted to custom bracket
    40in Heretic Studios LED bar on Prinsu Rack

    Roof Storage:
    Prinsu Cab Rack
    2x Maxtrax
    2x Rotoxpax 2gallon fuel

    Camping:
    Alu-Cab RTT w/Shadow Awning
    Alu-Cab Explorer Canopy
    Custom Drawer Set Up
    Custom Fridge/Stove Slide w/ARB Fridge and Partner Stove

    Armor:
    Pelfrey Skid Plate
    CBI Sliders

    Wilco Hitchgate Solo
    Hi Lift Jack
    Front Runner Tire Grill
    2 Gallon Rotopax Water w/GoWesty Spout Kit
    Ferro Concepts Truck Ruck (carries fuel siphon, hi lift base, trash and bags, and rubber gloves)

    DSC05356.jpg
     
  2. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:09 AM
    #2
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    First "mod" I did was create a dog platform for the rear seats. Takes about 30 seconds to swap back and it keeps the seats dog hair free. I think I did this the day I brought the truck home.

    Plywood covered in fabric with a 1.5-2 inch memory foam pad cut to shape and wrapped in a fleece blanket.

    The platform covers the entire rear seats but recently I ended up cutting it so I can remove part if needed so I can have a passenger and a dog.

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  3. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:14 AM
    #3
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I think I brought the truck home on a Friday, and that Monday I placed an order for a color matched Snugtop Rebel Canopy with Yakima Tracks on the roof and the "sportsmans package" which reenforced the roof for the RTT I was going to put on.

    2 weeks later to the day I placed the order I picked the canopy up.

    This was also the same time there was crazy fires all around and Seattle was totally covered in smoke and ash hence the crazy lighting.

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  4. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:22 AM
    #4
    Juforrest

    Juforrest Dumb!

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    Justin
    Seattle
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    2013 Tacoma DCLB super awesomeness
    Front- Camburg uca’s 5100's with 886’s, rear- extended length 5100’s Dakars, 4.56 gears and powertrax locker, RCI skids, bumper and sliders by me, 315/75/16's on Poo Comp type 32’s.
    When do the 37's go on? One of these days we will get to some of the custom fab work.
     
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  5. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:23 AM
    #5
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    While waiting for the canopy to come in I picked up a CVT Mt Shasta Summit RTT off Craigslist and a Front Runner Rack to mount it to, and installed those the same day I got the canopy.

    That weekend I went out and used it for the first time near Lake Wenatchee and loved it. I have to sleep on the ground for work and while I don't hate it, I don't want to do it for fun. I grew up backpacking in the Cascade's and was never a huge fan of ground tents either.

    While I had a blast, I realized my camping setup needed to be improved a bunch if I wanted to be gone for weeks at a time (the eventual goal).

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  6. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:28 AM
    #6
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I also bought a companion Front Runner Cab Rack to hold a pair of Maxtrax and Rotopax.

    I'm paranoid about getting stuck, I've spent hours digging snowmobiles out, and I didn't want to drop money on a winch so figured this was a decent compromise.

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  7. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:33 AM
    #7
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I tried powering my ARB fridge off of the built in invertor but it definitely didn't work well so decided I had to wire the bed for some constant on 12V.

    Following some directions on TW I ran 10g wire to the rear to power accessories in the bed like a fridge and my CVT Mt Shasta Tent.

    I ended up removing and rewiring this later with heavier gauge wire - when in doubt just go up.

    Truck still had dealer plates and I was already drilling holes into it.

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  8. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:39 AM
    #8
    Papa Taco

    Papa Taco HARD CAAAAAAARRRRRRRL

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    Follow the yellow brick road
    Nice. How do you like your camper shell now?
     
  9. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:47 AM
    #9
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As I alluded to in a previous post, my camping set up kind of sucked. I was essentially using plastic crates for all of my camping and kitchen gear. It worked, but it was a pain in the ass and I had to remove everything to do it.

    I decided I wanted to move to a drawer system, however I knew I didn't want to pay $1000-2000 for drawers and I also had some specific desires.

    I wanted one long drawer with a divider down the middle, camping and misc on one side and cooking/kitchen on the other. Next to the drawer I wanted a stove/fridge slide combo. I didn't want this on top of another drawer as I wanted to still see out the back.

    Finally - I didn't want the drawers to run the length of the bed. I wanted a final large storage cubby at the back that would carry items I always wanted on me, but would rarely use - basically, recovery gear, jetboil, emergency food, and a poncho liner (blanket).

    The only power tool I had ever used before this was a drill, but I figured why not and bought a circular saw and went to work.

    I'll preface this by saying what I built works, it's not beautiful and it's way too heavy but it does work.

    First step was creating the base for the system. I bought a bed mat and some 1/4 inch baltic birch plywood and had it cut to shape of the bed mat - I think Goose Gear and other companies charge several hundred for some laser cut like this. Super easy and took 5 minutes.

    I had purchased a Front Runner Stove slide locally, so just needed to put the stove slide in.

    The drawer itself I put l-tracks on the top so I could use as FR stratchet (awesome piece of gear) to strap 2x waterbricks down.

    The cubby in back also had l-tracks put on top but I have never used them. Oops.

    Finally, it was all covered in carpet material.

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  10. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:56 AM
    #10
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    First time out with the new camping setup was September 29th - month and 11 days after I bought truck.

    I looked at the weather forecast and realized this was basically the last day before it started snowing and it became impossible to reach there so I went up to Snoqualmie area and got as high as I could go before stopping.

    New setup worked great, but I forgot some semi important items like paper towels.

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    Attached Files:

  11. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:58 AM
    #11
    Papa Taco

    Papa Taco HARD CAAAAAAARRRRRRRL

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    Definitely digging this build. Awesome
     
  12. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:03 AM
    #12
    stealthmode

    stealthmode Well-Known Member

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    Front and Rear lifts Tires ECGS bushing Lots of other crap +HP sticker
    Nice build man. Thanks for sharing. Since I've ditched the trailer I'm thinking of doing a more all in one set up like this. I deffinately see some advantages to this way.
    Keep posting!

    How did you get those far away shots? Drone?
     
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  13. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:24 AM
    #13
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I had to go to CA for a quick weekend trip, but before I left I stopped by @Adventure Ready and decided I knew I needed one of those Alu-Cab Explorer Canopies.

    I quickly listed my existing Snugtop for sale, and then while I was gone managed to negotiate a sale to someone who came and picked it up when I got back. I used the Snugtop for a month or so, and sold it at a loss - but have absolutely zero regrets. I paid for my Alu-Cab but still tell everyone I meet that it's absolutely the best one on the market.

    I will try and do an informal review on it here real quick, but would be happy to answer any additional questions.

    The Alu-Cab is absolutely the lightwest weight, strongest, secure, and most functional canopy on the market today.

    Lightwest Weight - It weighs around 150 lbs, while the fiberglass competitors 200+ (Snugtop Rebel is 220 according to manufacturer).
    Strongest - It's made out of aluminum
    Secure - The lack of side windows more easily conceal contents, while the foreign locks make breaking into it more difficult than normal. It's not impenetrable of course, but they are difficult to open if you don't know what you are doing.
    Functional - The fact that the side doors cover almost the entire side means you can access contents at the back of the bed (would have to remove everything from the Snugtop to get contents at the back), and the integrated tracks along the inside of the roof means you can mount accessories to the roof. Alu-Cab has a table that goes into the roof which is fantastic, and I have attached quick fists on either side to hold a fishing pole and shovel with plans to add a shotgun and I have also added in a paper towel roll holder which has been great.
    Included table - I think the table kit costs another $400, comparable to something like the Front Runner one, and is downright awesome. I was hesitant on it at first, but I can have it out of the truck and set up in 20 seconds flat which makes quick lunch breaks on the trail great. The gas struts on the legs seem kind of gimmicky but they work well - one thing I wish they had on it was about 1-2 inches of adjustment on the legs to make up for differences in terrain height.

    That being said there are three downsides:
    1. Price - It's $3000, however if you are already willing to drop $2200 for a BASE model fiberglass you should be able to drop another $800 to get something so much better. Once you start talking higher end fiberglass canopies I bet the price starts to become real similar at which point I think you are an idiot to not consider the Alu-Cab.
    2. Weather Sealing - It's not perfectly weather sealed. You have to add some silicon on the front edges of the bed to seal it up, and I still get dust in through the back. I just got back from a month in CA with several days in the desert and the dust isn't that bad.
    3. Insulation/Condensation - It's bare aluminum, so condensation would be a problem if you sleep in the back (I'm 6'2 so don't). To solve the insulation issue I just bought some of the shiny insulation sheets from Home Depot and have been glueing them in place and it's made a huge difference. If condensation is an issue then outdoor rug material like on the fiberglass ones should do the trick.

    Something else to add is that the back window does not come tinted and it's something you need to do yourself. Not a big deal by any means, but seems kind of odd.

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  14. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:31 AM
    #14
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The next step for me was a dual battery setup. It's ugly, but it works and everything is fused.

    Odyssey Group 34
    Blue Sea Circuit Breakers
    Blue Sea ACR
    Off Grid Engineering Battery Tray

    Probably my next step is redoing this, and might take it into a shop to do it. I've added more shit on since then and the wiring is kind of a mess.

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  15. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:41 AM
    #15
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I had plans to be gone south (California and Baja) the entire month of November, and the two last minute additions were an Icom 5100 Radio and a dual voltmeter to monitor battery levels and charging status.

    I saw a lot of complicated and expensive ways to mount the Icom control head, however the head is magnetic so I just bought a piece of steel bar from Home Depot and a RAM window mount and screwed them together. Voila! Also, no need to buy Icoms expensive handmic extender - a normal ethernet cable extender works just fine.

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  16. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:59 AM
    #16
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I left Seattle on October 30 for a work thing in Victorville, CA November 4-6.

    Night 1 was spent outside of Madras, OR on BLM land. Got down to 20 degrees or so.
    0660369D-8F4A-47FE-89A8-455F2BD169B1.jpg

    Night 2 was spent in Shasta NF near a lookout tower.
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    Night 3 was spent in Big Sur.
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    Final photo of the event just for yucks
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  17. Jan 31, 2018 at 12:24 PM
    #17
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    November 7th, right before a month long vacation and while driving to Vegas to open a PO box another motorist ran a stop sign and I t-boned him.

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    After chilling in Vegas for a couple days waiting for the other guys insurance to unfuck themselves (they never did), I drove the truck home and turned it into a body shop in Seattle on November 14th.

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    $16,000 later truck came out of the body shop on December 7th.

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  18. Jan 31, 2018 at 12:26 PM
    #18
    Papa Taco

    Papa Taco HARD CAAAAAAARRRRRRRL

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    Ouch......
     
  19. Jan 31, 2018 at 1:20 PM
    #19
    danneskjold

    danneskjold [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Truck comes out of body shop on December 7th, I installed the snorkel on December 8th and while driving down to Portland on December 9th I experienced transmission issues on I5. I exited, and then found that I had dumped all of my transmission fluid.

    After getting truck towed to Toyota dealer it was determined that the body shop had failed to clamp the transmission hoses in and they had popped loose...wrecking the transmission.

    Thankfully, the body shop accepted responsibility but I was still, and yet again, without my truck.

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  20. Feb 1, 2018 at 5:51 AM
    #20
    Kilo01

    Kilo01 Member

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    Nice setup, tell me, any issues on the weight added to your canopy with the RTT and yourself in it? They are telling me that a canopy can only support 300lbs in weight!
     

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