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Repainting my camper shell

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Cutter_, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Jan 12, 2019 at 7:00 PM
    #1
    Cutter_

    Cutter_ [OP] I probably could have googled this

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    Recently picked up a new Vision hi-top fiberglass camper shell. It is a white color, my truck is silver. I've got a few things that I'm going to do to it, including -
    • Repainting
    • New rear plexiglass window
    • New seals
    • Sealing of small holes
    • Upholstery
    • Surf rack
    • 3rd brake light backup camera combo
    My shell currently has this brake light on it - https://www.amazon.com/Alpinetech-Q...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=JMEQ4W9MYQFQW5HQX9MJ

    It is 15" long and I am trying to find one that is of similar size with a built in backup camera, like this one - https://www.tadibrothers.com/products/universal-wireless-3rd-brake-light-backup-camera-system

    Has anyone ever found a brake light with a built in backup camera, 15" long?



    I haven’t painted anything before, but my buddy has a paint gun I’m thinking I could buy OEM paint for and then blast my camper + clear coat.

    Once I get holes+dings from previous owner filled, what are my steps in getting this thing repainted?

    My friend painted my old camper, we went to autozone and bought OEM spray cans of paint and clear coat, sanded the camper, then did the whole thing with cans. Came out pretty good, but a gun, of course, will always look much better.



    I think the hardest thing about this project will be the upholstery - sourcing the marine carpet/upholstery and applying it will be difficult.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  2. Jan 12, 2019 at 9:32 PM
    #2
    lucky13don

    lucky13don Well-Known Member

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    Is it painted of is it gel coat? Makes a difference
     
  3. Jan 12, 2019 at 10:08 PM
    #3
    Cutter_

    Cutter_ [OP] I probably could have googled this

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    Not sure, just put some new pics up
     
  4. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:07 PM
    #4
    BartMaster1234

    BartMaster1234 American Auto Horns

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    Is that fiberglass?

    That stuff is nasty when you start sanding it. Wear a very good respirator and a Tyvek chemical suit so the fibers won't get on your skin or your clothing.
     
    Currygoat likes this.
  5. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:36 PM
    #5
    Cutter_

    Cutter_ [OP] I probably could have googled this

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    Yes - Should I be sanding until I see the grey material underneath?
     
  6. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:42 PM
    #6
    BartMaster1234

    BartMaster1234 American Auto Horns

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    Once you fill in the holes and scratches with Bondo, liberally sand the shell until it's uniform. You don't need to remove material all the way to the fiberglass.
     
    Cutter_ [OP] likes this.
  7. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:42 PM
    #7
    05prerun82

    05prerun82 Your local friendly Taco Mule TTC#0202

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    If you have 05 to 15 taco the tailgate handle has a backup camera option for like 60 bucks on eBay
     
  8. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:45 PM
    #8
    Cutter_

    Cutter_ [OP] I probably could have googled this

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    '02 first gen. Only option I have seen so far for backup cameras is through license plate or small 3rd brake light, trying to find a compromise
     
    Hamer95USA likes this.
  9. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:46 PM
    #9
    BartMaster1234

    BartMaster1234 American Auto Horns

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    Mine is license plate mounted. Perfectly fine for me.
     
    Hamer95USA likes this.
  10. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:49 PM
    #10
    Cutter_

    Cutter_ [OP] I probably could have googled this

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    Worst case scenario I will end up doing a license plate camera. I saw a thread on here somewhere with someone thinking backup cams for hi-rise shells would be useful - especially with a surf rack on top
     
  11. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:53 PM
    #11
    BartMaster1234

    BartMaster1234 American Auto Horns

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    Just get one of those pod style backup cameras and stick it above the 3rd brake light. Easy as that.
     
  12. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:54 PM
    #12
    05prerun82

    05prerun82 Your local friendly Taco Mule TTC#0202

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    I looked and 05 and newer only have tailgate handle backup camera but if your good with a Dremel you can cut a small hole to the left or right of the handle and install an aftermarket camera it looks like there would be enough room to do it
     
    Cutter_ [OP] likes this.
  13. Jan 12, 2019 at 11:56 PM
    #13
    Cutter_

    Cutter_ [OP] I probably could have googled this

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    You're right - for some reason I didn't know those existed. Something like this -

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Jan 13, 2019 at 12:04 AM
    #14
    05prerun82

    05prerun82 Your local friendly Taco Mule TTC#0202

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    Here something interesting if your worried about somebody stealing your tailgate they make custom locks for first genScreenshot_20190113-020246.jpg
     
    Hamer95USA and Cutter_ [OP] like this.
  15. Jan 13, 2019 at 1:45 AM
    #15
    Rburdeaux

    Rburdeaux Well-Known Member

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    i rock a pop and lock and its great
     
    05prerun82 likes this.
  16. Jan 13, 2019 at 7:09 AM
    #16
    Jay-coma

    Jay-coma Well-Known Member

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    if your canopy is unpainted and still gelcoat then just give it a good sand and prime.You do not want or need to sand through the gel coat.That is actually doing more harm than good.I would recommend starting with degreasing as you can force contaminates into the gelcoat which could cause issues like fish eyeing ( a reaction that happens when fresh paint hits things like grease/silicone etc).I would fill holes with a fibreglass filler and slight imperfections with an autobody filler putty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  17. Jan 13, 2019 at 7:10 AM
    #17
    Jay-coma

    Jay-coma Well-Known Member

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    Yes and no,still requires the same basic prep.
     
  18. Jan 13, 2019 at 7:17 AM
    #18
    Jay-coma

    Jay-coma Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely not unless you want to create a lot of unnessasary work.
     
    Cutter_ [OP] likes this.
  19. Jan 13, 2019 at 7:29 AM
    #19
    Jay-coma

    Jay-coma Well-Known Member

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    When I was younger and just getting started in the autobody industry,I spent a day in the summer sun repairing a badly busted up boat hull.I spent hrs laying up and sanding fiberglass wearing only shorts.Made for a very itchy evening.hahaha(I wasn’t laughing that evening).
     
    BartMaster1234 and Cutter_ [OP] like this.
  20. Jan 13, 2019 at 7:59 AM
    #20
    tony2018

    tony2018 Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering if its possible to combine this with their other pop & lock option..
     

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