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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 31, 2022 at 11:48 AM
    #6101
    Eazy.E

    Eazy.E Big gulps huh?!

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    I got a question for ya:

    how many of you ever get co sedation between your mattress and the sleeping platform? It’s always been pretty minor and seems to be mostly on the slide out platform vs. the over hang. I’m wondering if I were to cut some 1.00 or so holes in the aluminum top sheet if that would provide enough circulation to help.

    Anyone done this or considered it?
     
    Sinner2 likes this.
  2. Jan 31, 2022 at 12:12 PM
    #6102
    Asphaltcowboychip

    Asphaltcowboychip Well-Known Member

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    A lil this a lil that.
    mine is in a similar location but in the drifter. I stick a steel disk to the top and mounted a magnetic antenna to it.
     
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  3. Jan 31, 2022 at 12:36 PM
    #6103
    Spacegoth

    Spacegoth Member

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    Great idea as well! Would love to see where that cord runs from? Thank you!
     
  4. Jan 31, 2022 at 12:52 PM
    #6104
    Bentrodder

    Bentrodder PeeRunner Fanboy

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    Kings and a TW DECAL!!!
    Mine is just mag based to the roof of my truck and the cable runs down the cab wall and enters through a grommet in the floor.

    585DB0D0-596C-4B5E-B955-9C67CA8DD49F.jpg
    09525075-1746-40FE-BEF1-07029FFE4FC2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
  5. Jan 31, 2022 at 1:12 PM
    #6105
    Spacegoth

    Spacegoth Member

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    This seems Very easy for me to change to, thank you!!
     
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  6. Jan 31, 2022 at 1:25 PM
    #6106
    SliMbo4.0

    SliMbo4.0 Well-Known Member

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    BP51, BAMF hangers, BruteForce HC, SCS, Vagabond Drifter
  7. Jan 31, 2022 at 2:31 PM
    #6107
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    Original mattress with waterproof Sunbrella fabric: never.
    Exped MegaMat - once but only on the movable platform sections that are over the truck bed area. It was super cold at night and I think my body heat warmed up the entire mattress and it caused condensation between the mattress and the movable platform piece where it was not insulated under it like the overhang.
    Hest mattress - one night in so far down to 28 degrees INSIDE the camper (colder outside) - no condensation under.
     
    Eazy.E likes this.
  8. Jan 31, 2022 at 9:03 PM
    #6108
    cobes

    cobes habitual line-stepper

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    Ordering my first batch of extrusion and hardware to test build some things. One thing I'm not fully confident on is how to attach the extrusion to the baseplate. Pronged t-nuts on the underside of the baseplate makes sense to me, but what sort of mounts or brackets on the top side for attaching to the extrusion and bolting down. Something like this? https://www.tnutz.com/product/fm-010-a/

    Also anyone have any insight on how they planned and mapped all this out? This is the first time ever ever used a lot of these materials and have had 2 years now to ponder these things but I need to finally start piecing it together. Here is my current plan and could use some feedback.

    1. Cut baseplate to shape of bed. Will require 2 pieces of baltic birch plywood, probably do two 3' sections. Bolt in all 4 corners of each piece on the 'peak' part of corrugated bed to keep it flat.
    2. Plan/measure/build box and fridge slide unit almost exactly like alldownhill's build here: https://i.imgur.com/rQa8Nl4.jpg
    3. Place build inside. Mark and drill holes for prong nuts.
    4. Remove baseplate, sink prong nuts to underside of baseplate holes.
    5. Replace baseplate, line up build and bolt down.

    Sound about right?

    My 1st gen has the corrugated metal bed. With the wood prong t-nuts, I feel like I'll need to place everything in such a way that the mounting holes are drilled above the 'valley' parts of the bed to allow room for the bolts to sink into and below the baseplate?

    Also, any ideas on how to anchor the build to the 'lip' of the camper?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  9. Feb 1, 2022 at 1:11 AM
    #6109
    evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

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    I ultimately decided not to go with a baseplate at all. My cabinet just sits on my bed mat and is bolted to the side of the bed using L-brackets. Admittedly I don't do any hardcore wheeling. If I did maybe I'd want it bolted down better, but this setup has been very solid so far. My camper (not a Drifter) has rivnuts along the top of the bed that I bolted to. You should easily be able to bolt to the bed rails with a Drifter.

    [​IMG]

    L-brackets:
    [​IMG]
     
    cobes likes this.
  10. Feb 1, 2022 at 2:33 AM
    #6110
    Sinner2

    Sinner2 Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I have had it quite a bit. I bought this:
    HYPERVENT AIRE-FLOW™ MOISTURE BARRIER - 8 ft
    Item# aire-flow-8 $79.92 USD 1. From Mattress Insider.

    It seems to do the job. Its been a while since I’ve been in the Drifter, so my recall is limited. I believe there is still moisture on the platform, but not on the mattress, which is what the hypervent pad is supposed to do; keep the mattress dry. They cut it in two for me. It makes moving the platform around more difficult as you now have these other two pieces to deal with. All said: Worth it for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2022
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  11. Feb 1, 2022 at 8:32 AM
    #6111
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    I'll give my $0.02 on a couple things here.

    In my opinion, getting the most functional buildout for you is 95% in the planning. If you can design the buildout around the exact items that you plan to use/store, that's always the best way to maximize space and functionality.
    On the flip side, if you're not already fairly confident about the overall design and those exact items working for you in the longer term, consider a cheaper, quicker, more temporary build until you've decided you're happy with it.

    For the tee nuts, I believe I tried the pronged ones with the Baltic birch and decided I wasn't a fan of how hard they were to seat, considering the hardness of the wood. But I could be remembering wrong, and avoided those for a completely different reason...
    Anyway, I went with these particular ones, and ended up being very happy with them. If you just drill the hole slightly undersized, they seat nice and tight, and I haven't had any issues yet with mine coming loose in 3.5 years.
    https://www.mcmaster.com/90611A400/
    Another reason I went for those particular ones is that they're the perfect depth with 1/2" Baltic birch where you can use a flat spade bit to create just enough of a recess so they'll sit flush with the face of the ply without protruding on the other side.
    That's exactly what I did for the baseplate in any locations where they would have been sitting on top of one of the bed ridges.

    As far as anchoring the buildout to the camper, I chose to avoid that entirely. I do have a few spots where the buildout kind of rests on the camper lip or something, but it's secured to the bed only, with L brackets bolted to track nuts that go in the bed rails just like evdog.
     
    cobes likes this.
  12. Feb 1, 2022 at 8:57 AM
    #6112
    SenatorBlutarsky

    SenatorBlutarsky Well-Known Member

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    This! It may be due to my growing family, but I think it's way easier to picture how you'll use the space after you've used the camper a bit.
     
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  13. Feb 1, 2022 at 10:06 AM
    #6113
    Twizted

    Twizted 1GR FE

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    stock af, but hover if you think you disagree... RV living: Vagabond Drifter (6' bed) Custom bed cabinet buildout 175w Renogy solar panel 40a Rich Solar MPPT solar controller 1000w Wagan Pure Line inverter Lavaner Pro 2kw diesel heat exchanger Suspension/wheels: Toytec Aluma 2.5 front shocks with resis 13x700 coils (soon 14x700) Toytec Aluma 2.5 rear shocks SPC UCAs Deaver Stage 3 rear leaf springs Wheeler's 3 degree axle shims Wheeler's U-bolt flip Wheeler's Super Bumpstops 18"x9" XD Monster (x5) 275/75/18 Cooper ST MAXX (x5) EBC Stage 3 pads/rotors Electronics: Kenwood DNX773S iDatalink - Maestro RR Stubby Antenna No-name Switchback LEDs Hella Sharptone horns (no relay) Relocated backup camera w/DIY bracket Armor/recovery: BruteForceFab Rear HC w/swingout BAMF Sliders (DOM, 10 degree w/kick out, rattle-canned) BAMF IFS Skid (BAMF powder-coated) BAMF Mid Skid (BAMF powder-coated) BAMF TC Skid (BAMF powder-coated) BAMF LCA Skids (BAMF powder-coated) BAMF Rear Diff Skid (early model, powder-coated) BAMF CMC Plates US Offroad Winch Bumper Smittybilt X20 10k synthetic rope winch Total Chaos Bed Stiffeners ARB compressor w/air-up kit DIY cowl snorkel ARB rear air-locker Interior: Husky Floor Liners (F&R) Rear 40% seat-delete Hinged fridge platform in place of rear seat Exterior: CaliRaised Low-profile Ditch Light Brackets CaliRaised Side-projecting LED pods CaliRaised Faux TRD Pro Grille Morimoto amber LED fog lights One-of-a-kind 1GRFE plate (second iteration) Removed: OEM Bed Mat CaliRaised bed molle panels
    Agreed. I've been calling mine "v1" ever since sketching the original ideas in a notepad.
     
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  14. Feb 1, 2022 at 10:49 AM
    #6114
    SenatorBlutarsky

    SenatorBlutarsky Well-Known Member

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    I'm on v3 of actual plywood prototypes and probably building v4 this winter. Most of that is due to accommodating growing kids, but also new and better ideas for organizing stuff.

    Someday I'll build it out of fancy extruded aluminum!
     
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  15. Feb 1, 2022 at 4:41 PM
    #6115
    jimlangfordphotography

    jimlangfordphotography Well-Known Member

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    Im just starting my buildout after logging 14k miles and many nights in heat and cold. I have a solid plan but wanted to spend time in the camper and see how we moved around and lived out of it. Its time for sure. First step, cardboard.
     
  16. Feb 2, 2022 at 7:47 AM
    #6116
    4wdExplorer

    4wdExplorer Well-Known Member

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    What gear ratios is everyone running in their 2nd gen 4.0L Auto? I search TW for hours and still undecided, so coming over to the VB crew for help.

    I made an appointment for gears but having a very difficult time choosing between 4.56 or 4.88 ratios.

    I am running 285/75/17 tires which are 33.86" in diameter. I do not plan to go to 35's anytime soon, if ever.

    I did some calculations with my tire size:

    4.56 ratio

    70 mph 2281 rpm
    75 mph 2443 rpm
    80 mph 2606 rpm

    4.88 ratio

    70 mph 2441 rpm
    75 mph 2615 rpm
    80 mph 2789 rpm

    Since I live in California and I have to drive a minimum of 4 hours on highway between camping spots. I am leaning towards 4.56 gears. Many people say just go 4.88 and be done with it. Others say 4.56 gears is good even with upgrading to 35's in the future.

    I tend to drive 70-75 mph on the highway. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2022
  17. Feb 2, 2022 at 8:27 AM
    #6117
    cobes

    cobes habitual line-stepper

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    Sweet, thanks! Those nuts look way easier to work with and I guess I can just get exactly the right length bolt so no threads are sticking through.

    And completely agree with build philosophy. I'll be doing a V1 build just to get the practical things in, and then redoing everything this winter when I have more time and insight.
     
  18. Feb 2, 2022 at 8:28 AM
    #6118
    cobes

    cobes habitual line-stepper

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    I'm in the same boat wondering what to do. I only have 31" tires and am leaning 4.56 as well. Dilemma for me is that I climb 2-4000' canyons and passes about 2-4 times a week usually and hope I can still cruise up those happily with the additional 700 lbs. Usually only go about 70-75 as well on interstates.
     
  19. Feb 2, 2022 at 8:40 AM
    #6119
    MapJunkie

    MapJunkie Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have an idea where I can buy a replacement bulb seal for the Drifter? I want to buy a bulb seal of the correct size and foam density for this application, I have not gotten any responses to messages to Phil or the VO shop. I think I am on my own at this point.

    I suppose 24 months of continuous 350lb of weight might have compressed the bulb seals. I am guessing that bulb seals aren't designed for this type of long-term full compression. In a car door, the seals only compress part way when the door closes. I can see light under the bulb seal and above the KB Voodoo bedrail cap. I have the Drifter clamps tightened to 80 ft-lb per spec, so I don't think there is anything I can do to get a better seal with the existing bulb seal.

    Per Uni-Grip in their Bulb Seal Design section, "The amount of compression that is needed to achieve the perfect seal is typically 25% to 50% of the original bulb size. If the compression is much more than 50% then you risk over compressing the bulb and creating a situation called compression set. Compression set is the negative result of having a rubber bulb not return to its original size after being compressed over a period of time. This can reduce the life of the bulb and compromise the seal creating leakage and warranty issues for your product."

    I am guessing the bulb seals in this application are compressed to near 100% and that might be why I have seeing issues after only 2 years. I have had not a single leak that I knew of until this winter.
     
  20. Feb 2, 2022 at 10:14 AM
    #6120
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 MJ on a GS

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    4.56

    4.88 would be overkill for you based on what you described.
     
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