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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. May 17, 2022 at 7:54 PM
    #6441
    huruta

    huruta Well-Known Member

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    Drifter....ARRIVED!
    That was us who got broken into with a bunch of stuff stolen. Sucked. The solution you proposed is the most secure that we've come up with, though the hassle of getting in and out of that has been a barrier to implementation. We got Strawfoot covers (if you can't see it, it's less likely worth the trouble of breaking in for) and are installing some goosegear on one side. On the other side we will screw in plates into the goosegear place that we are going to lock our stuff to. The goosegear drawers are also lockable. We have installed D-rings in place of the cleats around the perimeter channel which will be harder to undo than the cleat we had our last fridge locked onto. We had a high deductible, which sucked when we had to replace all 3K+ of stuff ourselves so we reduced our deductible on home owners insurance to 1k. We also have a camera on the truck now (not that it would do much more than record the next a**hole who does it). We've stopped short of installing a car alarm or putting the crossbar onto it. We are having the goosegear installed this week and then will see how we feel about leaving it on the street (garage in our 1930s home is too small for truck). It's hard to deter every thief, but hopefully all this will reduce the likelihood of repeating this experience.
     
    surfjones, fastgherkin and Miggypac like this.
  2. May 18, 2022 at 3:39 PM
    #6442
    Eze1139

    Eze1139 Well-Known Member

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    long story of Drifter induced car problems but read on. Something useful to check.

    Washed my truck last Friday. A nice couple with another camper top of some sort saw the Drifter and wanted to see inside. Sure!
    Move the truck, open it up, show them around, close it up. Get in to leave.
    No start. Brake Override Malfunction.
    upload_2022-5-18_15-35-8.jpg
    I try everything I can think of, check fuses (I’ve only added two add a fuse for Redarc charger relay and dashcam). Disconnect battery. Run reader and clear everything (there was nothing).

    Getting frustrated and running out of ideas I call Toyotacare and get a tow on a Friday at noon. Get nowhere with the dealer Friday.
    towed.jpg

    Monday morning (dealer doesn’t work weekends) I head to the dealer to unload my fridge I left full all weekend. Dealer states they are leaning towards an issue with the tail lights after checking all fuses, dashboard, etc. I know exactly what it is.

    Take the service rep, open up the Drifter rear window and I see all the Drifter tail light wires were all worn through. I had noticed they were started to bend and wear before. Bingo. Unhook the Drifter cable. Ask for the keys to check it-no keys and they can’t find the tech. Of course.
    cable.jpg

    Very long story short (finally got my truck back Wednesday afternoon) it was the shorted cable which shorted the brake circuit which I’ve heard can also be caused by bad tail lightbulbs or bad bulb installation.

    A reminder to all who have played with any of the factory wiring/fuses/settings/etc to check it for worn, frayed, corroded etc conditions from time to time. These new vehicles have every little thing ran by a computer so some simple lights or worn out cable can leave us stranded.
     
    SliMbo4.0, Sinner2, d.shaw and 4 others like this.
  3. May 18, 2022 at 3:50 PM
    #6443
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    The 3rd brake light on the Drifter needs a better stress relief on the wires coming out of it. I have a replacement that I still haven't installed because I haven't fixed this issue yet on the replacement (and forgot about it since I run a 3rd brake light on the rear of my bike rack at license plate height.)
     
    splashflash and Eze1139 like this.
  4. May 18, 2022 at 4:09 PM
    #6444
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    A good heads up, thanks for posting.

    I had been noticing similar stress on mine, but never saw any wear of the individual sheathing. However, this prompted me to go take a closer look, and I found that the brake light is almost not even illuminating anymore, so looks like I can add another little project to the list.
     
  5. May 18, 2022 at 4:48 PM
    #6445
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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  6. May 18, 2022 at 4:49 PM
    #6446
    Eze1139

    Eze1139 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I had noticed the loom coming loose and then then the wires starting to wear but didn't think much of it. Tail light goes out. I fix. Yah no, whole truck goes out.

    New project to dig into and hopefully fix. Small cables to buy and a soldering iron perhaps. Or just remove and live with two normal brake lights and assume that's legal...
     
  7. May 18, 2022 at 4:51 PM
    #6447
    Eze1139

    Eze1139 Well-Known Member

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    Makes we also want to dig in and look at the other wiring that has been done to my truck (including my own) just to check on it and see if anything has come loose or been exposed to water/dust that could short something out. All this technology is great until it's not.
     
  8. May 18, 2022 at 5:46 PM
    #6448
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    The "center high-mounted stop lamp" or "CHMSL" aka "third brake light" is required.

    CHMSLs have been required in autos since the 1986 model year and in light trucks since 1994, after pilot tests involving taxicab and corporate fleets found that the lights reduced rear-end collisions by 35 percent.

    So my bike rack 3rd brake light at license plate level may not be helping as much as I had hoped (but since the tail lights are partially obscured by bicycle wheels…)
     
    Eze1139 likes this.
  9. May 18, 2022 at 6:04 PM
    #6449
    Eze1139

    Eze1139 Well-Known Member

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    Ah! Good point. Forgot it was on the truck before it got covered up with the Drifter. Thank you.

    Brings up the point to have have spare bulbs along with your fuses. Was on my way to changing out everything in the truck to LED until I was sent the wrong set and only got 1/4 way through them and now they are buried with my small spools of wire and tools needed to fix my BO Drifter light.
     
  10. May 18, 2022 at 6:08 PM
    #6450
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a pic of the internal board in my 3rd brake light, in case anyone wants to dig around to find a direct replacement (outside of going through VO).
    ....Though I didn't have any luck finding the same thing (in red), and the matching ones in other colors were really just alibaba listings anyway.
    The lens mounts broke when trying to unscrew those, half of the LEDs were out completely, and the other half very dim, even testing directly to the solder points, so I'd suggest it's not worth trying to fix if yours goes out.
    I just ordered a few different similar options off Amazon to see which one will work/adapt best.

    Note that I was in the first batch, so maybe it has changed since.

    20220518_174926.jpg
     
  11. May 18, 2022 at 6:15 PM
    #6451
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    Interesting. The board looks like it's epoxy coated for water resistance/waterproofness even though it's mounted inside the Drifter. The solder joints on the surface mount components (SMC) don't look bad, so I'm not sure it's a cold soldering joint failure or other component. Could be a resister, capacitor, or another component.

    I think I found it on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/292961061711
     
  12. May 18, 2022 at 6:31 PM
    #6452
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    It is coated, but not very well.
    Powering the individual LEDs, they were still somewhat functional, so probably definitely one or more other bad components. But I'd rather just swap it out, especially since the lens mounts broke anyway.

    And yeah, I found several amber and blue versions, even on Amazon. But no red, strangely.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
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  13. May 18, 2022 at 8:55 PM
    #6453
    beardy

    beardy Active Member

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    xplorn, snwbrdr852 and JasonLee like this.
  14. May 18, 2022 at 9:10 PM
    #6454
    trashrose

    trashrose Well-Known Member

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    On the note of the brake light, I gotta say the only (small) disappointing aspect of the drifter is the lack of polish in these areas. The parts, including the brake light, that are 3d printed just feel and look kinda cheap. Would much rather something that has been used in a bunch of products and is stress tested than something with the VO logo
     
  15. May 18, 2022 at 9:16 PM
    #6455
    trashrose

    trashrose Well-Known Member

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    Oh.. and for those who have powder coats… how are you treating scratches? I just noticed a scrape down to the aluminum on the back bottom outer corner on mine that I presume was there when installed. -_-
     
  16. May 18, 2022 at 9:17 PM
    #6456
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    I just had an idea for adding a stress relief on the rear brake light. Sugru comes in a putty form then cures in a semi-flexible state. Could probably get it to stick to the rear of the light where the wires go in and extend it about an inch along the wires.
     
  17. May 18, 2022 at 10:21 PM
    #6457
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, thanks.
    That's definitely not the same one I had, but it looks like it may just be an updated version, as it seems to match up dimensionally.

    Interesting stuff. I might have to try this out now.
     
  18. May 18, 2022 at 10:39 PM
    #6458
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I see now. These seem to only ever be labeled as "strobes", but they're all a standard size, and can be found on all the major marketplaces.
    The one originally installed on mine appears to be the generic versions I'm seeing on Amazon/Alibaba/etc.
     
  19. May 19, 2022 at 4:28 AM
    #6459
    splashflash

    splashflash Vagabonding

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    This ain't much help but I live with them. I hand wash my truck two times a year, drifter included and then coat them with wax. They're little badges of honor.
     
  20. May 19, 2022 at 11:33 AM
    #6460
    trashrose

    trashrose Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, totally. This was more like 'it was delivered like this, so what can I do from the outset to prevent any issues arising." My camper is currently locked away in a parking structure in the bowels of SF until tomorrow, can post a pic of the issue when we head back north tomorrow.
     
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