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Dust-proofing a shell?

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by allochthonous, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Apr 24, 2011 at 10:16 PM
    #1
    allochthonous

    allochthonous [OP] New Member

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    I'm planning to use my new-to-me '04 Taco for a lot of off-road driving in the Mojave, and I really want to keep the camper as dust free as possible, as it'll be my office and home. The first time I took it off-road the bed ended getting filled with dust. Anyone have any experience tackling this problem (successful or not)?

    I was thinking of using some compression tape around the tailgate, and tightening the shell door some... granted, there's probably a million routes for dust to get in.

    Cheers.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Apr 24, 2011 at 10:32 PM
    #2
    Celtic

    Celtic Tactical Trunk Monkey

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    I think you are fighting a loosing battle keeping dust out. If you do tape everything, you will eventually need to replace it due to body flex, shell shifting and road vibration. Not to mention just things drying out and going bad. I have seen some carpet kits do a pretty good job at keeping the dust limited, but those were really old school with heavy carpet and wood frames. Maybe get a 4 Runner? Good luck! :)
     
  3. Apr 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM
    #3
    allochthonous

    allochthonous [OP] New Member

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    I'm not expecting a permanent solution, by any means. Tape is cheap and easy enough to replace.

    This thing has a really nice carpet kit, but it seems like it'll only be a dust collector, rather than a dust inhibitor.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2011 at 9:01 AM
    #4
    tanzak88

    tanzak88 Well-Known Member

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    Foam window weatherstripping. I'd do the bedrails under the canopy, and cap window itself, also where it meets the tailgate. Really, if you do that.. you should be pretty good. Dust is going to get in no matter what.

    I live on a dirt road, and I never drive it with my window down. I detail my interior once a week from all the dust.
     
  5. Apr 25, 2011 at 9:11 AM
    #5
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    I did mine last fall with a couple different linds of weatherstrip around the tailgate (where most of it comes in). I believe it was actaully a smoke seal for doors. Down around the tailgate hinge corners is a bit of a pain. I used some thick, dense adhesive foam in there, and that worked pretty damn good. I also put some packing tape over the two drain slits at the front of the bed just behind the cab. This helped a lot.

    But the gaps between the cap door and the tailgate are a pain. I haven't attacked that yet.

    You can actually buy tailgate gaskets online, but I am not sure how good they are. I imagine pretty generic.

    I also found some guy's website for his expedition/camping Tacoma, and he had a lot of pics and ideas of what he did, but I don't have the link handy.

    Oh, by the way, did you steal my truck? :D
     
  6. Apr 25, 2011 at 1:48 PM
    #6
    RedTaco2134

    RedTaco2134 Well-Known Member

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    Double sided foam tape (window weatherstrip) is what we always used. The forest service roads here get very dusty, the fluffly powder dust about 6 inches deep, and that has always kept out the dust.
     
  7. Apr 25, 2011 at 2:03 PM
    #7
    wmdpowell

    wmdpowell Well-Known Member

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    Mabe a fan. have it draw filtered air through an opening. That might keep the preasure up enough to keet the dust out. Would only need to run when in dusty conditions.

    I have no idea how to rig but I picture some sort of clean room thing that keeps preasure inside just a bit higher than outside.
     
  8. Apr 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM
    #8
    allochthonous

    allochthonous [OP] New Member

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    Awesome suggestions, thanks all!:D

    I've looked around at a weatherstripping, and it looks like there are a few types specifically marketed toward trucks and/or Tacomas:

    Fairchild

    HST

    Cabela's

    Pace Edwards

    Then, of course, just generic weatherstripping... Sometimes having so many choices makes things harder!!:confused:

    I really like the idea of pressurizing the shell to keep dust from coming in - a future project! Maybe popping a hole in the shell and installing a filtered fan (the front window of the shell does not have an excess)? Looks like there are many option made specifically for RVs.

    @ scocar: No, but I'd like to steal the background in your truck pic!
     
  9. Apr 29, 2011 at 10:39 AM
    #9
    Aquatic Tacoma

    Aquatic Tacoma Well-Known Member

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    There's a seal available on the internet for the lower part of the tailgate that helps alot.
     
  10. May 9, 2011 at 1:30 AM
    #10
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    Don't know about the 1st gens, but my 2nd gen has holes in the bottom of all the cubbies for drainage. So I covered all of those with black duct tape. The ones that I could also get to from the bottom were sealed with tape from the top & the bottom. The 2nd gens also have holes in the actual bed .. sealed those the same way before tossing a Bedrug mat in.

    Then I used this on the tailgate...

    http://www.autoanything.com/tonneau-covers/69A3562A0A0.aspx

    Works great. Just cut to fit. I used it on the bottom, and sides. It's pretty maleable. I cut a 6" test strip to play with and fine the perfect places to place it. Figuring this out on the bottom is easy enough (note - I stuck it to the bed and not the tailgate so I could extend beyond the edges of the tailgate all the way across for a better overall seal). I had to play with the sides a little more to find the right "line". I had a bunch left over, so I could have made even more test strips if I wanted. So one package will be more than enough. Clean the areas you are going to still to with rubbing alcohol first to create a better stick.

    Finally, my shell still had some openings just above the tailgate, where the weatherstrip on the bottom of the shell door didn't extend all the way to the edges. I went to Wal-Mart and got a roll of 2" wide stick on velcro (got the heavy duty / industrial strength stuff). Then I cut sections of the fuzzy velcro side, and folded them over the ends the door weatherstrip, sticking it to the strip and to itself, effectively extending the weatherstrip. I could have just used duct tape for this, but the fuzzy velcro is much thicker, and so actually lays better against the gaps, with the fibers of the velcro helping to filter out dust.

    Overall, I was able to reduce dust in the bed probably 95-98% by doing all this. A year later, and everything I did is still in place.
     
  11. May 11, 2011 at 3:56 PM
    #11
    superdave

    superdave Active Member

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    No way to be "dust-proof", but resistant? I wad up a small rag (hand towel) & put in where the shell window has a small opening at the points where it meets the tail gate & stuff the rag (towel) into the tailgate slots where you can see light from the inside. If you see daylight, dust can come in. Also the other guy has the right idea. I put a truck boot or "doughnut" between the shell & cab & leave the A/C on outside air in. This causes a higher pressure inside than out. Only thing is you have to do the "Max A/C" thing if following someone in the dirt. If you're alone, it works pretty well.

    Taco in NM 1.jpg
    Taco in NM.jpg
     
  12. Mar 14, 2016 at 1:18 PM
    #12
    brewster83

    brewster83 New Member

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    I live on a gravel road and have tried to dust proof or reduce the amount of dust coming into my camper shell. The best solution I have found is to leave the window open a half an inch or so on the camper shell between the cab and the shell. This changes the pressure inside of the camper shell and prevents most of the dust from coming in through the tail gate.
     
  13. Mar 14, 2016 at 1:41 PM
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    wildfyr3

    wildfyr3 KEØGLC

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