1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Vagabond Drifter Camper Buildout and Mods

Discussion in 'Vagabond Outdoors' started by MTNHABITOVERLAND, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Aug 9, 2019 at 12:43 PM
    #2241
    georginclay04

    georginclay04 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Member:
    #284699
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rob
    Denver, CO
    Vehicle:
    Future 2020 Tacoma TRD
    Hey All,

    I’m 4 months... crap 2 months in on my wait time and getting antsy. I was trying to play it cool but I’m breaking down for a post.

    I work remotely 100% of the time and want to be able to work 5 days and play for two weekends at a time. I must have reliable signal and work off my computer. My job eats my soul but it pays for the drifter too....

    Are the bed extenders worth the $100? I have a 60lb all black German Shepherd... so maybe she’ll fit or I can leave her bed at bottom when it’s my wife and I. Do they tend to get more in the way than anything?

    Has anyone used Goal Zero Yeti’s for their power source? I get a significant discount on goal zero and was wondering if a yeti 1400 and two Nomad 100’s would do for a 7 day period? The nomads would take up much less room and I figure I can toss one on top of the truck if I’m driving or place them in the sun while I’m in the shade.

    Does anyone have a good WiFi booster recommendation? Also any hot spot recommendations? I’m very new to this aspect.

    270 Degree awnings seem awesome. Are they truly awesome or are their quarks? Does the rear drifter window push up on the awnings forcing rain in that direction?
    Has it been a PITA to find a large enough spot to deploy it? I get the whole two awnings thing... one on the side and one on the back but... u still loose a lot of coverage space the 270 gives you. I get big discount on these as well so $$ is not a factor.

    Is it difficult to drill holes in the side to install tbars or how ever you all hang maxtrax on the sides?

    Are maxtrax really worth it? I’ve recovered my Jeep about 7 times with my hijack... it’s just a PITA and I’m left with a slew of scattered hijack parts... do maxtrax really work or do they work for a second and then you’re stuck again? I have too many hobbies to ever buy a winch so far. Rock/ice/snow climbing splitboarding mountain biking blah blah blah. So hoping maxtrax are the next cheap fix or if people mostly get them bc.... that’s what u get when you overland.

    Do any of you use hilift jacks? If so where do you put them? I don’t really see them on your rigs.

    Bare with me all I’m new to this luxury... I’m use to bombing Down a forest road with the wrangler sleeping in it waking up at 3am for some mountain play time. I’ve 4x4 a lot but overlanding with luxury is new so... if anyone has questions about climbing/mountaineering happy to answer but dang I need help with solar, WiFi.. mobile home office stuff.

    Any recommendations on a portable shower set up? This is more for my wife.... ok ok it’s for me too I mean who doesn’t like a quick scrub before jumping in that bag. I saw the road shower option... but sort of like the ones that u stick in a bucket and they just warm and pressurize it for u?

    Finally, do you all armor the bottom of your rigs? If so, what do you armor up? I’ll get rock sliders but is anything further necessary? Most extreme would be Moab Hell’s Revenge for me. I live in Colorado

    I’m purchasing a 2020 Tacoma trd Pro... will swap tires immediately to K02’s as those are on my wrangler now. Will see the sag after all the weight for new leafs if so I’ll work with deaver... but everything else will remain. I have plenty of other hobbies and will use this truck as a means to get me closer to objectives. I’m also starting a new company so.. the TRD Pro will be ready to go... just trust me. I can swap out shocks and all that.. I did on my Jeep but I’m not car savvy enough for field repairs and I just want as much factory as I can get.

    I realize this is a lot but... I’ve read all 112 pages of this forum.. most likely stalked ur rigs from afar so you’re the closest Tacoma family I have. Appreciate any responses.

    PS... you see a guy in a green trd Pro waving at u... wave back.. I’m bringing that over from the Jeep bc.. it’s just pleasant. #TacomaWave

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  2. Aug 9, 2019 at 1:17 PM
    #2242
    alldownhill

    alldownhill Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2018
    Member:
    #266862
    Messages:
    104
    I'm not a huge fan of the Goal Zero Yetis. However, with a discount, they can make some sense. The charging options out of the box are fairly limited. You can't connect directly to the starter batter to charge. For the Yeti 1000, you can get a "car charging" module but thats another $400.

    I have a small "traditional" awning on the rear. It's pretty easy to setup with one person but I pretty much only set it up if it is raining. I think I would use a free standing 270* a lot more but at this point, I don't think it's worth the money. Also, I would rather spend 5-10min setting up a tarp awning that I can leave up at camp than setup a vehicle awning that I have to break down to drive away.

    I bought a Waterport portable shower but was unimpressed with how long it stayed pressurized. I'm not sure what I expected. I ended up building/installing a simple 12v pressurized water system. I put in a 6gal water jerry can with a quick disconnect for refilling. A 12v pump connects to a kitchen sprayer with a 5 foot hose. It is mounted in the rear of the drifter. I can use it to fill water bottles, clean dishes, shower etc. All the parts ended up around $80. I didn't have that installed when you looked at my Drifter.
     
    georginclay04 likes this.
  3. Aug 9, 2019 at 5:53 PM
    #2243
    White Mountains

    White Mountains Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Member:
    #291007
    Messages:
    132
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Massachusetts

    Where did you see bed extenders at the Vagabond site?
     
  4. Aug 9, 2019 at 7:47 PM
    #2244
    monteredondo

    monteredondo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Member:
    #69325
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Nathan
    coquitlam British Columbia Canada
    Vehicle:
    2017 tacoma TRD off-road DCSB silver
    the top sleeping platform
     
    georginclay04 likes this.
  5. Aug 9, 2019 at 10:05 PM
    #2245
    jayemeh

    jayemeh Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Member:
    #242109
    Messages:
    21
    Vehicle:
    '02 tacoma
    Fucking right they are. If you take your trick off road they're even necessary. You'll make your money back saving on a 4x4 tow truck or a cold miserable night, or dying on a trail. I got popped out 3 or 4 times with no issues during snowpocalypse (5' in 2 days) on mt. Hood. Cheap trax will break. You can even use MTs as bridges & ramps. Check youtube.
     
    Gunshot-6A, georginclay04 and d.shaw like this.
  6. Aug 10, 2019 at 1:06 AM
    #2246
    thogan831

    thogan831 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Member:
    #244251
    Messages:
    49
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2016 DCLB
    @wackyacky - thank you for posting the link to the camper-shootout. made for a good read.
     
    Wackyhacky likes this.
  7. Aug 10, 2019 at 12:01 PM
    #2247
    huruta

    huruta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2018
    Member:
    #259440
    Messages:
    282
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Christy
    Seattle
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB TRD Sport
    Drifter....ARRIVED!
    Welcome to the Drifter club! Here's what we've done thus far (had Drifter since March). As you'll see, a lot of this is a moving target and reflects just our experience. We don't want to get more than we reasonably need and are buying stuff as we go. We did, for example, put in an air compressor which was not something we anticipated before, but we are on forest roads a lot and this is super nice. I realize on a deeper level now that we have the Drifter that what people needs are is so tailored to their own use cases that it's hard to broadly generalize. What works for us, may be terrible for others. Anyway, here are responses to your questions.

    1. No, but maybe someday. Husband is 6'3" and his legs get a bit achy with the regular bed. Dogs were supposed to sleep below us in the truck bed, but prefer the seats in our double-cab (cushier and warmer). Bottom of bed will likely be narrow with the tent coming down so I'd be skeptical about your plan working. Dogs seem contented and know we are around. We leave the slider window in truck and drifter open so we can hear each other.

    2. No. We looked at it and considered it but decided to put in an auxiliary battery - very glad we did. It's in our engine bay and out of the way and everything just works when we turn it on. It powers all the lights, the fan, our luminoodle that we hang on the awning, chargers for phones and our Dometic fridge (another item we initially thought no to, but now absolutely LOVE). Having a battery systems that doesn't take up space in the bed and powers everything reliably is awesome.

    3. We have the 270 alu-cab and IT IS awesome. Super easy to deploy and set up. Super nice to have the extra covered real estate here in the PNW where it rains alot. If we had to do it over, I would definitely get it, but we would probably get it on the drivers side since swing outs appear to go to the right and if we put a swing out it, it'll be in the middle of the covered awning (swing out TBD)

    4. We mounted max trax on our roof bars. We very quickly realized that not having any recovery gear was kind of stupid (!). We thought we'd just be forest road campers and we are, but we are having fun pushing the limits of what forest roads we'll go on and found ourselves rapidly in a nerve wracking situation with no recovery gear at all. Max trax were deemed essential. Have not used them yet.

    5. We've toyed with the idea of a hilift jack, but in the end decided no for now. They are dangerous if you don't know what you are doing (like us), are large and heavy. We could change are mind but that's where we are right now. We did get a kinetic rope for now (this is evolving and probably should be) to facilitate recovery, but we probably don't yet have everything - trying to be as minimalist as we feel comfortable.

    6. I'm not convinced about a portable shower for us. I lived without a shower for two years in Africa and was fine without one. Having enough water for a shower may be an issue. We take 10gal of water, which lasts about 3 days (drinking, cleaning, coffee, etc).

    7. No re: armor bottom of rig and while we could, we aren't yet sure it's worth it. Some discussion of a skid plate, but no action.

    Hope this helps.
     
    georginclay04 likes this.
  8. Aug 10, 2019 at 4:16 PM
    #2248
    leibbrand

    leibbrand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Member:
    #133520
    Messages:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Seattle WA
    Vehicle:
    3rd gen 4runner, 1st gen tundra
    3rd gen runner: ICONs, Light Racing, Camburg, TRD SC, URD, ARB, Thorley, etc . 1st gen tundra: LT, Solo/MCM Canti , King, ARBs, etc
    Pretty much finished my build and got it out into the wild. I got a few changes to make yet to refine a couple things further, but pretty happy with how it all turned out.

    I might hit up Phil for a stronger strut recommendation. Even when its warm, it takes a lot to raise the roof.

    I would also probably opt for a sleeping platform extension.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B0wyf68gg83/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B0p38LdA_qh/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzhqd3egdNf/

    good luck on your build outs...
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  9. Aug 10, 2019 at 6:21 PM
    #2249
    SenatorBlutarsky

    SenatorBlutarsky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2018
    Member:
    #270670
    Messages:
    396
    Gender:
    Male
    Utah
    Vehicle:
    2013 DCLB...Driftered,
    @georginclay04 as someone with similar hobbies to yours, I will mostly concur with what @huruta said. A few additional thoughts from the multiple vehicles I've built out...

    A hilift jack, or some other off-road jack, can be super useful if you get a flat in a bad spot where a regular jack doesn't reach high enough.

    If you can afford it, the alucab awning is one of the greatest camper additions you can make in my opinion. I've never seen another one that is so easy to deploy, literally takes ten seconds, which means you'll use it more often. We used my buddies all the time at trail heads in the desert when our arb awning was a bit too annoying to deploy.

    If you're not going rock crawling, the armor is probably unnecessary weight. I had full armor on my old Cherokee and Xterra, but nothing on the astro van. We drove that van down some serious forest roads in Alaska, northern Canada, and Utah without ever coming close to having an issue. I bet what comes stock on the TRD pro will be more than enough for your described uses.
     
    georginclay04 and huruta like this.
  10. Aug 10, 2019 at 10:27 PM
    #2250
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Member:
    #168805
    Messages:
    219
    First Name:
    Ken
    Oregon, USA
    Vehicle:
    '10 DCSB OR
    Any opinions on electrical connectors? I am finding a few things I want a disconnect for. These seem like a good experiment to try...

    https://www.amazon.com/KINYOOO-Connector-Waterproof-Electrical-Motorcycle/dp/B07NY1R6L2

    Some of the stuff on easternbeaver.com looks nice and more for OEM but substantially more expensive too.
     
  11. Aug 10, 2019 at 11:13 PM
    #2251
    leibbrand

    leibbrand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Member:
    #133520
    Messages:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Seattle WA
    Vehicle:
    3rd gen 4runner, 1st gen tundra
    3rd gen runner: ICONs, Light Racing, Camburg, TRD SC, URD, ARB, Thorley, etc . 1st gen tundra: LT, Solo/MCM Canti , King, ARBs, etc
    deutsch connectors, avoid the barrel inserts unless you have a barrel crimper
     
    xplorn likes this.
  12. Aug 11, 2019 at 11:54 AM
    #2252
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Member:
    #168805
    Messages:
    219
    First Name:
    Ken
    Oregon, USA
    Vehicle:
    '10 DCSB OR
    Yeah that looks the ticket. Kind of spendy to get into with the tools for solid pins but then it's not too bad for a quality connector.
     
  13. Aug 11, 2019 at 1:01 PM
    #2253
    leibbrand

    leibbrand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Member:
    #133520
    Messages:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Seattle WA
    Vehicle:
    3rd gen 4runner, 1st gen tundra
    3rd gen runner: ICONs, Light Racing, Camburg, TRD SC, URD, ARB, Thorley, etc . 1st gen tundra: LT, Solo/MCM Canti , King, ARBs, etc
    You can buy the more typical tab bend over type inserts and use a standard W anvil crimper. There are a lot of deutsch look-a-like connectors can be had for cheaper. $25 bucks gets you a barrel crimper on Amazon. i have both but tend to use the W anvil crimper and tab style inserts.
     
  14. Aug 11, 2019 at 3:39 PM
    #2254
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Member:
    #76081
    Messages:
    332
    Gender:
    Male
    Utah
    Vehicle:
    '17 DCSB OR V6 AT 4WD
    Some answers for you in red, inside the quoted section.
    Good luck!
     
    georginclay04 likes this.
  15. Aug 11, 2019 at 7:26 PM
    #2255
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Member:
    #168805
    Messages:
    219
    First Name:
    Ken
    Oregon, USA
    Vehicle:
    '10 DCSB OR
    I generally don't stay more than a couple days in one spot, so my main battery works just fine. Fridge has a low voltage cutoff and it is the largest off engine consumer of energy. If I were to add a battery it would probably be a LiFePo4 unit, like the one at GoWesty https://www.gowesty.com/product/electrical/25082/lifepo_aux_battery These batteries have some nice benefits and aren't at a massive premium over traditional batteries. In the land cruiser I have a dual system controlled by a heavy duty marine VSR that works perfectly fine- I just don't find myself needing to dip into the extra capacity. I carry a small jumpstart battery in the Tacoma but haven't used it more than for charging devices.

    For shade, I've had a Hannibal awning for years and it has been great. Lately I've been experimenting with ~$30 sail shades. They are pretty minimal to pack around and setup, and with a couple adjustable tent poles you have a lot of options. Shade cloth comes in different shapes and sizes. Down side is they don't stop rain.

    Depending on the type of environment you're usually in, especially snow or sand with minimal anchors to winch from, traction planks are nice to have. I guess sensibility and turnaround threshold play in too. I've been in two situations that would have made extraction pretty easy- 1) winter in Utah, when you don't realize until it's too late that some groundwater is saline with mud lurking under the snow and 2) I veered from an old track I couldn't see in tall grass and dropped into a soft creek. I called in local club troops for the first and cut/stacked old juniper fenceposts under the rear tires (and used brake/gas for weak locker effect and crawling) for the second. I used a hi-lift on my sliders to move the truck up and down onto the posts, and ended up with a nice scar as I was getting exhausted and let the truck down too fast on a lifting session. I've used hi-lifts as painfully slow winches and normally for many years. I think an exhaust jack would be safer to deal with but hi-lifts are pretty versatile. The Tacoma has a bottle jack and a couple blocks of wood in it.

    Pressurized water is luxury to have on trips, heated even more, but you can get by easily with cold water. If heated water is a line in the sand for the wife, I'd make it my highest priority and probably do a heat exchanger with engine coolant. It's nice to have fixed permanent solutions that don't rely on external sources of energy or other futzing to be working. The goal should be to make the experience enjoyable for her so that she continues to go. ;)
     
    georginclay04 and ETAV8R like this.
  16. Aug 12, 2019 at 8:00 AM
    #2256
    georginclay04

    georginclay04 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Member:
    #284699
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rob
    Denver, CO
    Vehicle:
    Future 2020 Tacoma TRD
    Wow, All thank you for the great responses. I’m not going to call out everyone but.. just know I’ve read each response at least twice so thanks!

    Solidified the 270 awning, wiboost and maxtrax. Still toying with Goal Zero idea and Shower.. I suppose I have time to ponder. I will not be getting extra armor for the bottom though.

    AllDownHill- first off thanks again for letting my check out your rig! I’m stealing your framing idea for sure. Sounds like I’ll have to take a look at the shower at one point. Will certainly be reaching out as things get closer.

    Anyway- thanks again all. When I get it I’ll be posting but... dang, some of the build outs.... may have to step up my “just throw bins in it” idea...
     
    snwbrdr852 likes this.
  17. Aug 12, 2019 at 8:10 AM
    #2257
    Anderson

    Anderson Move along, nothing to see here...

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Member:
    #130329
    Messages:
    3,042
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Anderson
    Benicia, CA
    Vehicle:
    ProBro
    Stuff
    Please trust me on this. Just throw bins in it for the first season. That way you’ll know what you really need and what you don’t also, it will help you plan your interior build should you decide to actually go that route.
     
  18. Aug 13, 2019 at 5:02 PM
    #2258
    tdubd

    tdubd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Member:
    #19843
    Messages:
    261
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Todd
    Arvada CO
    Vehicle:
    07 TRD sport
    ready for adventure
    Welcome to the Drifter fam! Just get in your truck and camp.....Stand in your camper and figure out what makes sense for you. I have slowly built my camper out over the last year. I only built out one side with my fridge because I still use my truck as a "truck" and don't feel the need to always have Everything in my truck. Maxtrax are not a must, a winch is haha. Get out there and enjoy it!
     
    Eazy.E and georginclay04 like this.
  19. Aug 13, 2019 at 5:06 PM
    #2259
    tacomgee

    tacomgee just ain't care....

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Member:
    #135522
    Messages:
    4,735
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Blake
    NorCal - Santa Rosa
    Vehicle:
    2015 Supercharged Taco
    Mostly whatever sweet stuff I can find at Vatozone
    This board is also a must :thumbsup:
    :drunk:E0BB69E9-D801-48C0-BC83-73F852C2D495.jpg
     
    Eazy.E, rob1208, Coop68 and 5 others like this.
  20. Aug 13, 2019 at 5:07 PM
    #2260
    tdubd

    tdubd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Member:
    #19843
    Messages:
    261
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Todd
    Arvada CO
    Vehicle:
    07 TRD sport
    ready for adventure
    :headbang:
     
    huruta likes this.

Products Discussed in

To Top