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Vagabond Drifter Camper Buildout and Mods

Discussion in 'Tonneau Covers, Caps and Shells' started by MTNHABITOVERLAND, Mar 27, 2018.

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  1. Jan 16, 2022 at 10:13 PM
    #6061
    bmf276

    bmf276 Member

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    question about insulating the bed of the truck. i just switched from a 3rd gen tacoma to a new f150 tremor while waiting for my drifter (now nomad) to be built (#247), i didn't get any bed liner/spray. does anyone have any experience with these products or anything like it for insulating the bed of the truck? I plan on sleeping in the snow and i'm trying to keep warm as much as possible

    https://alsliner.com/shop/heat-and-noise-reduction/

    https://lizardskin.com

    the thought was to use one of these coatings, then line-x or rhino liner etc, then start the buildout on top of that
     
  2. Jan 17, 2022 at 9:36 AM
    #6062
    Haven Overland

    Haven Overland Well-Known Member

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    I’m a custom camper van builder. I’ve had vans with a lot of in floor insulation as well as those with minimal insulation, and I can tell you that from my experience the floor is probably the least important place to insulate. Especially with the products that you mentioned which are more designed for absorbing radiant heat. The fact is that unless you’re adding a heat source to the floor such as a radiant heat pad etc it is always going to be cold in cold weather. Cold is far to good at radiating through solid materials. My suggestion for folks with vans and overland rigs which don’t have heated floors is to get a rug. This at least makes it so the cold doesn’t transfer through your feet as quickly. Kinda like walking on cold tile versus cold carpet with bare feet, the carpet feels much better even at the same temperature.
     
    tacomgee, Trdooper, Sinner2 and 4 others like this.
  3. Jan 17, 2022 at 9:12 PM
    #6063
    bmf276

    bmf276 Member

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    thanks! i appreciate the info, you just saved me a bunch of time and money
     
    ETAV8R likes this.
  4. Jan 19, 2022 at 3:44 PM
    #6064
    cobes

    cobes habitual line-stepper

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    slc
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    Hot damn I should have bought my baltic birch for a baseplate last year when I looked. Went from $30 to $100 a sheet.

    What thickness have people been using. I'm leaning towards 1/2" or 5/8". 3/4" seems like a lot.
     
  5. Jan 19, 2022 at 7:13 PM
    #6065
    OG_BajaTaco

    OG_BajaTaco Well-Known Member

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    It works great. I still haven't added the little flip-down brace that gets mounted to the end of the slides, to brace the outboard side to the floor. I've just been using a piece of 4x4 wood and that works fine for now. No improvements to recommend thus far. I will say that the shower basin and curtain setup inside the Drifter could work well with any hot shower system; I already had the propane water heater so that's what I'm using. But I imagine this would work just fine using a pot of boiled water from the stove mixed with some cooler water in a bug sprayer pump can. Or any hot water source of choice. Being able to set up inside the camper when needed, and all the water drains outside, is a really cool option to have.

    Edit: Here's a previous post after the first use with the curtain hanging from the top of the Drifter:

    Vagabond Drifter Camper Buildout and Mods
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
    Spacegoth likes this.
  6. Jan 19, 2022 at 7:22 PM
    #6066
    OG_BajaTaco

    OG_BajaTaco Well-Known Member

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    Report on the custom sheets: AWESOME. I love 'em. So much easier to use without all the excess fabric, and very comfy. They look and feel nice.
     
    socalexpeditions and cobes like this.
  7. Jan 19, 2022 at 7:38 PM
    #6067
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    1/2" Baltic birch is no problem. Mine is about 3.5 years old now and there hasn't been a single time where even the question came to mind whether I should have gone thicker.
     
  8. Jan 20, 2022 at 9:25 AM
    #6068
    cobes

    cobes habitual line-stepper

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    A tangent but I just realized it's your website I'm looking at to make a bracket to get my E-brake cable off the top of my leafs. So thanks for that
     
    socalexpeditions likes this.
  9. Jan 22, 2022 at 3:12 PM
    #6069
    cwhet10

    cwhet10 IG: badassbrunette

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    I second this.

    I started with a rug and then added one of those squishy mats underneath the rug. Super easy.
     
  10. Jan 23, 2022 at 10:42 PM
    #6070
    socalexpeditions

    socalexpeditions IG: @socalexpeditions

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    Squishy mats can be found at harbor freight!
     
  11. Jan 24, 2022 at 9:24 AM
    #6071
    MapJunkie

    MapJunkie Well-Known Member

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    Does Anyone Have 100% Dry Front Corners?

    Have you found a way to 100% seal the front corners of the Drifter / Bedrail Cap? If so, how did you achieve this?

    I have had my Drifter for 2 years now, and thought I didn't have any leaks. I have had a BedRug installed the entire time, and never found any wet spots, even at the front two corners (near the cab). When I installed my Drifter, I followed manufacturer instructions for the install of the KB Voodoo Aluminum bedrail caps: Aluminum tape, but no adhesive or silicone. Now, I am finding lots of water is coming in the front corners.

    Driver.jpg

    Passenger.jpg

    In the last heavy rain we had in Eastern Washington, we had 1 inch of rain fall in less than 3 hours. I was parked in a location that left the truck tilted toward passenger, and the front. So, all the water drained down the sides of the camper and funneled it toward the corners. I found perhaps a quarter cup on each corner. The water had seeped through the BedRug all the way to the rear.

    Corner.jpg

    Do you have any ideas for solving this problem? Has the Drifter slid forward (toward the cab) over the years? Am I just now experiencing "Real" rain?

    I would prefer not to get my wood build wet with each rain.
     
    splashflash likes this.
  12. Jan 24, 2022 at 9:30 AM
    #6072
    splashflash

    splashflash Vagabonding

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    This is the reason I haven't or won't do a build other than fridge slide and bedrug on mine. I added silicone to the front corners and have left my drains open with a one way plug to let water escape. Even with silicone I occasionally get water, but it's mainly due to me power washing and always seeing where and if I can get water inside lol.

    I'd be curious too if anyone has done more work into sealing
     
    MapJunkie[QUOTED] likes this.
  13. Jan 24, 2022 at 10:16 AM
    #6073
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's exactly what I did too. Super cheap, easy, and comfortable.

    I think it's been a combination of luck and Southwest weather that has prevented me from having much water intrusion, but my biggest issue has just been the bulb seal along the front of the bed working its way backwards into the bed (mainly from the corners) and obviously hindering the seal there.

    But other than that, I haven't had any issues.
    Before the Drifter install, I pulled the 3rd gen bedrail caps and siliconed under them, pulled the front riser bar and siliconed behind that and then in the huge gaps it leaves at the corners, siliconed up underneath the bed rails (from inside the bed) and back in the rear corners towards the tailgate where there are some seam gaps, etc, etc.

    There's always an answer, but I think it just becomes a question of deciding where your preference is along the spectrum of keeping the Drifter easily removable and having some leaks vs mounting it more and more permanently and eliminating all the leaks...
     
  14. Jan 24, 2022 at 10:25 AM
    #6074
    SliMbo4.0

    SliMbo4.0 Well-Known Member

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    Is the Drifter centered? It looks like a there's a fair amount of room on that bedrail but I guess it could be the camera angle.
    I still get a little water near the little side cubbies but I never put silicone around those. I've also noticed that I may need to unclamp my Drifter to readjust the seal Vagabond put on, it looks like it worked its way out a little even though all the clamps are still tight.
     
  15. Jan 24, 2022 at 11:56 AM
    #6075
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    The Drifter does look off center in the photo.

    It may be time to fully remove everything and seal it up all good if you're planning on at least another few years of Drifter+Tacoma.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIWht8rxbW8
     
  16. Jan 24, 2022 at 9:01 PM
    #6076
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 MJ on a GS

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    I have zero leaks - 2nd gen, KB voodoo alum rails. The only part I have a potential water entry is at the rear hatch corners where it meets the tailgate, but that’s probably because I was Drifter #2 or #3 (@916TacoTruck and I picked up on the same evening) and I have an old design. And that area doesn’t get wet in the rain, only if I take a pressure washer to the Drifter, but I always stuff it with some rags from the inside when I do this so it’s really a non-issue. Also, keep in mind that I live in CA and don’t have to deal with crazy PNW rain.

    The only thing I kinda regret is not insulating the floor, bed walls, and tailgate (which I still can do but lazy). However, even that isn’t really an issue because the Chinese diesel heater has been awesome.
     
    d.shaw, rob1208, 916TacoTruck and 2 others like this.
  17. Jan 26, 2022 at 9:42 AM
    #6077
    piotr1aj

    piotr1aj Well-Known Member

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    I’m getting ready to install a weboost drive reach otr, and I’m wondering if anyone can recommend a good weatherproof tape I can use to secure the external antenna wire without damaging the powder coat. Doubt I should use regular ol’ gorilla tape here.

    My idea is to mount rhino rack’s folding aerial bracket to the l-tack and run the wire on the inside of the l-track towards the front overhang, over the front hinge (or to the side of it), and through one of the pressure relief vents behind the passenger seats to the cab.

    Eventually I will work up the courage to drill into the roof for a cleaner install, but for the time being this is the best idea I got. If you have other ideas/suggestions please share!
     
  18. Jan 26, 2022 at 12:02 PM
    #6078
    OG_BajaTaco

    OG_BajaTaco Well-Known Member

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    Ha! You're very welcome. The site is in archive status for now, but I keep it up for that very reason; sometimes it's useful for reference.
     
  19. Jan 26, 2022 at 3:50 PM
    #6079
    Trdooper

    Trdooper Well-Known Member

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    After camping with the full buildout multiple times I have reconsidered my floor plan. With the wife and kid and one more on the way I need more floor space. 20220124_152026.jpgSo much more room for activities.

    My wife also had trouble getting enough grip on the lid edges to get the top open on her own,, so I added a handle. This one seemed to go with the drifter design.20220126_143458.jpg 20220126_143455.jpg 20220126_143503.jpg
     
  20. Jan 27, 2022 at 12:22 PM
    #6080
    d.shaw

    d.shaw Well-Known Member

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    vagabond drifter, king 2.5 coilovers, king 2.5 rear, pelfreybilt front / rear bumpers and skids, rock sliders, safari snorkel, smitybilt winch, baja designs 20in, wide cornering spots, s2 rear. deaver expedition series stage 3 rear leaf.
    do you need it driving and whilst at camp ? we have ours on a hood mount and run the antenna thru the passenger side “gland” thru the firewall
    you could mount it to a roof rack and run it down the A pillar and thru the gland as well
    on my wife's third gen i ran the antenna down under the passenger seat to bring it into the cab
    ive been meaning to buy another antenna to mount to the rear of the wedge for when we need to get it higher whilst at camp

    some info on it here post #118 i think

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/d-shaw-2012-dcsb-build.578471/page-6
     
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