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Wedge & Pop-up Camper mods

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by MJonaGS32, Aug 18, 2023.

  1. Aug 18, 2023 at 9:20 PM
    #1
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 [OP] MJ on a GS

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    SF Bay Area (East)
    Vehicle:
    07 LT 4x4 DCSB 6spd Vagabond
    Drifter wedge camper, Dual battery, OBA, ARB locker, 4.56 gears
    Wedge and pop-up campers are getting really popular nowadays. So many different companies are now on the market and maybe a centralized thread with mods will be helpful to give folks ideas and inspiration. I'm hoping others will chime in so we can see a lot of different ideas. I'll start.

    How I prepped the bed for the camper: Removed bed cubbies (replaced with ABS plastic). I have a 2nd gen and did the same to the top (useless) bed cubbies. These are by far the most intrusive way for dust. Used some sealant around the perimeter and the screws sandwich it all in.
    [​IMG]

    Removed bed caps and covered the holes with some HVAC duct seal tape
    [​IMG]

    Added Voodoo bed caps
    [​IMG]

    Bed stiffeners (Don't have a good pic, but you can see the driver side here next to the pull out drawers)
    [​IMG]

    Dakar custom leaf pack (stock +1200 lbs)
    [​IMG]

    I have a ton of electrical mods on the camper and in the bed, which required a bunch of wiring. Ran all wires in between the cab and bed using two firewall boots
    2BB6BF80-A7BF-48C0-8BB3-E0EC21D91F01.jpg

    You can also see in the above pic the platform that I made. I had an old bed mat that I essentially traced on a sheet of 1/2" birch plywood. They only had 4x8 sheets at Home Depot so I cut out a small piece to fill in the rest of the bed on the left side and connected it by the Kreg jig edge joining option

    [​IMG]

    You can kind of see where it joins in the next picture on the left, but it's hidden well by the roll on Herculiner.
    [​IMG]

    I reused the OEM middle and rear bed bolts to fasten it down, but got longer bed bolts for the front two bolts (can be seen two pictures up)

    Also added the Relentless Fab tailgate reinforcement panel and rubber tailgate seal.
     
    tyfoon11, Steves104x4 and ETAV8R like this.
  2. Aug 18, 2023 at 9:21 PM
    #2
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 [OP] MJ on a GS

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    SF Bay Area (East)
    Vehicle:
    07 LT 4x4 DCSB 6spd Vagabond
    Drifter wedge camper, Dual battery, OBA, ARB locker, 4.56 gears
    I added solar back in 2018 when I got the camper. I added aluminum angle iron to the L-Track and it holds (2) 100W Renogy solar panels. (If I can do it over, I'd probably pay the considerable extra for a single large flexible panel).

    [​IMG]

    I think I read somewhere that these panels stop functioning at 100% when they are subject to offroad driving, which I do a lot of. Don't quote me on it though as I don't have evidence. This set up has served me well though.

    The panels connect to a charge controller, then to the 2nd battery located in the passenger side of the engine compartment. Used the Blue Sea ML-ACR to connect the batteries.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2023
  3. Aug 18, 2023 at 9:21 PM
    #3
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 [OP] MJ on a GS

    Joined:
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    SF Bay Area (East)
    Vehicle:
    07 LT 4x4 DCSB 6spd Vagabond
    Drifter wedge camper, Dual battery, OBA, ARB locker, 4.56 gears
    Everyone has different interior lights, some come factory from these camper companies. I opted to wire my own LED strip in the lower section.

    [​IMG]

    Up top is a cheap LED bar with it's own switch so I can control it from up top. Stole power from the fan.

    [​IMG]

    Exterior lights
    40" LED bar up front and side ditch lights. To avoid adding more holes to the exterior of the camper, I found these stainless bolts on eBay that can feed a wire through. Negative wire is ground to the same bolt.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Larger bolt to account for the larger gauge wire of the LED bar
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rear lights turn on in reverse and/or from a rocker switch at the rear of the camper. Helps a ton for night time cooking on the rear bumper swing out.

    [​IMG]

    IMG_8182.jpg

    This is also where I added a reverse camera since the tailgate handle is covered by the rear bumper swing out
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Everything electrical has a quick disconnect in case I want to take off the camper (even though I've only done this once).

    [​IMG]

    This is Drifter-specific, but here is the main electrical hub in the camper (Probably would have done it all different all said and done)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2023
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    #3
  4. Aug 18, 2023 at 9:21 PM
    #4
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 [OP] MJ on a GS

    Joined:
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    SF Bay Area (East)
    Vehicle:
    07 LT 4x4 DCSB 6spd Vagabond
    Drifter wedge camper, Dual battery, OBA, ARB locker, 4.56 gears
    So many cool onboard water options. I wanted a tank that was out of the way but easy to access. Built my cabinets around a 10 gallon water tank using a water pump with access on the side of the camper.

    [​IMG]

    The hatch is where I fill the tank and hook up either a short RV hose and garden nozzle for washing dishes or a RV shower.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2023
    POOLGUY, tyfoon11 and Steves104x4 like this.
  5. Aug 18, 2023 at 9:22 PM
    #5
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 [OP] MJ on a GS

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    SF Bay Area (East)
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    07 LT 4x4 DCSB 6spd Vagabond
    Drifter wedge camper, Dual battery, OBA, ARB locker, 4.56 gears
    Heating. I really wanted to go the Propex route, but instead did a Chinese diesel heater. Originally got an all-in-one unit, but have since taken it apart and installed it very custom for my needs. Did this for several reasons: larger tank (now 10L), easier access to add kerosene (every now and then I'll mix in diesel), and used a stand pipe to eliminate potential gravity leaks and because the stock fuel line didn't reach the bottom of the tank.

    IMG_8177.HEIC.jpg

    IMG_8178.HEIC.jpg

    Larger 10L tank hidden behind the fridge (easier to fill in this location)
    4DC563CF-95E6-4A64-961A-C30BE98A0531.jpg

    I also added a breather (similar to the diff breather mod) since the tank is stored inside the camper and this eliminates leaks and smell. Routed it to the where the upper bed cubby that I replaced with ABS plastic to seal.
    [​IMG]

    And me just showing off snow camping
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2023
  6. Aug 18, 2023 at 9:22 PM
    #6
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 [OP] MJ on a GS

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    SF Bay Area (East)
    Vehicle:
    07 LT 4x4 DCSB 6spd Vagabond
    Drifter wedge camper, Dual battery, OBA, ARB locker, 4.56 gears
    Other exterior mods

    Added L-Track to the side of the camper for Maxtrax boards and shovel mount.

    [​IMG]

    ARB 8' awning on driver side
    [​IMG]

    55" CVT Hybrid Series awning off the rear. I believe it's the smallest awning that you can attach a room to
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To mount the L-track and the awnings, I used aluminum flat bar on the inside of the camper to strengthen it and close cell foam to prevent any leaks. Also used silicone on the bolts for added measure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2023
    POOLGUY, tyfoon11, SliMbo4.0 and 2 others like this.
  7. Aug 18, 2023 at 11:21 PM
    #7
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 [OP] MJ on a GS

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    07 LT 4x4 DCSB 6spd Vagabond
    Drifter wedge camper, Dual battery, OBA, ARB locker, 4.56 gears
  8. Aug 19, 2023 at 2:15 AM
    #8
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 IG: great_white_taco

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    Subd. Will post later today. I dont have much
     
    MJonaGS32[OP] likes this.
  9. Aug 19, 2023 at 11:26 AM
    #9
    BKinzey

    BKinzey Well-Known Member

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    Hollywierd, CA
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    2015 White Tacoma Access Cab TRD Off Road 4x4 V6
    RCI aluminum front skid, SnugTop, Sliders, bedside supports, LED interior, CaliRaised fogs & brackets, rear diff breather mod, DIY bed platform
    Really nice build. I've got a Lone Peak Camper on order and looking for ideas.
     
  10. Aug 19, 2023 at 11:26 AM
    #10
    SenatorBlutarsky

    SenatorBlutarsky Well-Known Member

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  11. Aug 19, 2023 at 1:02 PM
    #11
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    I have way too many camper mods, haha. I've been full-time in mine (most of the year) for 3 years now, so there have been a lot of additions since the old thread.
    I'll probably get some pics and kind of just list out all the main stuff, and then specific details on different aspects can come if/when somebody wants them.
     
    MJonaGS32[OP] likes this.
  12. Aug 19, 2023 at 2:05 PM
    #12
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 [OP] MJ on a GS

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    07 LT 4x4 DCSB 6spd Vagabond
    Drifter wedge camper, Dual battery, OBA, ARB locker, 4.56 gears
    Boo!! Haha no I hear ya. After our 2nd baby I now sleep downstairs on a small folding mattress like a peasant while my wife and 2 kiddos sleep up top.

    That’s actually the reason why I switched the rear awning to one that has an attached room. The idea is that when they’re old enough, they sleep down there while the wife and I claim our space back in the Drifter.

    Yea same. Been through a few revisions, it was actually kinda hard compiling pics for the OP.

    But definitely interested in seeing what’s new on your camper. Since the main thread closed it’s been difficult to find a common place to see other people’s builds.
     
  13. Aug 19, 2023 at 8:07 PM
    #13
    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.
    I have a Vagabond Drifter, #6 brought second hand in 2020 from @Anderson
    When we camp we usually move daily.

    IMG_7784.jpg

    Starting with power, I run a single main Optima Bluetop D31M battery (I run a HKB electronics voltage booster) connected to a Cascadia 90W hood mounted solar panel, we usually only run the fridge consistently and I find the battery has no worries keeping it running thru the night (have stayed for a couple days without moving no worries) all our accessories run thru a 'low level disconnect' so in the event the battery actually gets low (adjustable setting) it will cut power to the camper etc. We live in SoCal and generally camp in fair weather - ie we dont camp in the snow. We carry a NOCO GB40 battery booster as well

    IMG_6842.jpg

    Dometic CFX3-55IM located in the backseat on a homemade 40% seat delete allows us to access when driving but not hear it thru the night. Recently deleted the 60% seat with Goose Gear. I homemade some window covers which drastically reduces heat in the back of the truck

    IMG_8513.jpg

    We run lights in the camper, factory installed in the wedge which was white and I covered using a 'red light tape' picked up from local auto parts store, helps keep the bugs away. The Lower level has some @Anderson installed led's in the channel. We generally don't use the lights too much at camp, partly as we usually have a head lamp with us - partly as most of our time is spent outside anyway (see above fair weather camp comment)

    IMG_9151.jpg


    I made a shelf to store our bags keeping them above the floor and allowing easier access when changing or thru the side frontrunner doors - and still allowing space underneath to store things.

    IMG_9294.jpg
    IMG_9391.jpg

    Our camp stuff we keep in some pelican cases, allows us to be modular when grabbling things (only going for a night we only need this bin, going for 12 days - need these ones) They are water and dust proof (?) - and double as tables or whatnot at camp. As my wife has a 2017 with a GFC we can easily move things between trucks as well

    IMG_4132.jpg

    Both trucks run Mountain Hatch tailgate inserts and both have swing outs with tables, so we can have a lot of 'kitchen space'

    IMG_9491.jpg

    IMG_8147.jpg

    For water we use Scepter water cans and now use this rechargeable $20 Amazon special water dispenser, it slots on top and provides running water, we also have one with a JAGMTE pressurised kit (we have on-board air) which we can shower with or wash hands, etc etc

    water.png

    We have VRNCLR sewn storage top shelves in the tent to hold all the things

    IMG_0362.jpg


    IMG_4013.jpg
    IMG_7921.jpg

    Somewhat simple - full build thread listed below:
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2023
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  14. Aug 20, 2023 at 8:25 AM
    #14
    jimlangfordphotography

    jimlangfordphotography Well-Known Member

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    Made a few screens for our trip to the Arctic Ocean. Saved our sanity and the radiator.

    IMG_7448.jpg
    IMG_7278.jpg
    IMG_6633.jpg
     
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  15. Aug 20, 2023 at 12:54 PM
    #15
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 IG: great_white_taco

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    Picked up my GFC in 8/2021. Had to get the truck ready for it to be installed. Added KB Voodoo aluminum bed rails, sealed the bed as best I could. Also ordered some 8020 to make my own cross bars.

    After I got back from driving VA > MT > VA (and a few places in between) I ordered a Duluth Trading Co seat back organizer. That adds alot of storage.

    Also built out a dual battery system. Dual inputs: solar and trickle charging from the alternator. Haven't had any issues with this setup.

    I also got distracted with a new-ish hobby - adventure motorcycles. Took me back to my roots of ground tents. But makes you appreciate the amenities that a gfc and other truck camping accessories can provide.

    Truck still exists, but mostly a dd. Its crossed my mind to go back to a fiberglass shell or even a GFC shell and a RTT, but im not there yet. Plus i have both of those combined already in the GFC camper. Its not hurting me to keep them, so i will.

    IMG_3106.jpg
    IMG_3359.jpg
    IMG_7218.jpg
    IMG_7873.jpg
     
  16. Aug 20, 2023 at 1:36 PM
    #16
    jimlangfordphotography

    jimlangfordphotography Well-Known Member

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    Built storage in the back of the bed and the back of the cab.

    IMG_5473.jpg
    IMG_6210.jpg
     
  17. Aug 20, 2023 at 5:54 PM
    #17
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Being that I'm following @jimlangfordphotography's pics of his beautiful, clean interior, I have to start with a disclaimer that I'm very much a function-over-form guy, so do not expect anything as nice as his work, haha.

    My Drifter is #7, picked up in July 2018. I did the bed platform and main structural layout over the next couple months, and I'm lucky that that original layout is still working very well for me, even with living out of this thing full time since summer 2020. But there have been a ton of additions over the years.

    I'll keep this post (relatively) high-level, but I can give more detail in the future, if anybody wants more info.

    20230819_142552.jpg

    20230819_142822.jpg

    -4x 100w and 2x 50w panels (yes, I need it all, haha)
    -Just finished the very custom mounting solution for the Starlink in the back
    -80/20 crossbars

    20230819_142843.jpg

    -8' x 8' Awning
    -Cheap rock lights on three sides for exterior lighting (which is plenty of light, imo)
    -And then a secondary port to connect the Starlink when I need to take it down and put it on a stand further from the truck

    20230819_142857.jpg

    -Shower
    -Bullfinch Shower Point in the lower left corner

    20230819_142945.jpg

    -Articulating cell booster antenna on the back of the lid
    -You can see the two rear PiranhaLox quick mounts. The awning and shower mount the same way, and the spacing is the same on all three sides so that I can move each one to the side I want it on.

    20230819_144627.jpg

    -Interior is a center aisle layout with top counter on passenger side
    -The BCDCs throttle charging down when they get hot, so I'm trying to help cool it. I've even added a heatsink and fan inside the thing, but it's still not enough to keep it from throttling down from the max charge rate.
    -Couple wire mesh drawers
    -The mixer valve feeds both the pot filler faucet used at the tailgate, and the folding faucet on top of the counter
    -Table, chair, shoes, etc, (things that would really only be needed outside) slide in underneath the shelf and drawers

    20230819_144315.jpg

    -Water pump and water heater switches on the passenger side. The attachment of those switches is one of those things that I like to call long-term-temporary. :D ....and there's plenty more of those throughout the build, haha.
    -6 port USB charger that will actually supply enough power for six devices

    20230819_144142.jpg

    -Above the rear hatch is a lightweight extendable pole that my most common use for is to brace the tent sides against each other and minimize all that flapping if I get stuck in high winds
    -There's one of those magnetic-closing bug screens rolled up over that I can drop down and clip/magnet to the hatch and bed sides
    -I've just semi-permanently blacked out the rear hatch with this film thing

    20230819_143947.jpg

    -Some of the Starlink stuff lives on the front wall of the camper (we can get into that later if anybody's interested in all that)
    -A little display to show the water heater temp, along with LEDs to indicate when the BCDC is charging, when the water heater is on, when the battery heaters are on, and a fourth still open for later use
    -Yes, I have two diesel heater controllers because the blue one works with a little remote I can take up to bed when needed, and the black one gives the burn chamber temp, which is necessary for the method I use to tune for elevation. I've definitely considered just ordering the "Afterburner" controller, but this way works fine for me.

    20230819_145146.jpg

    -I just use LCI cans for water, plumbed in through a quick-disconnect
    -The compartment to the right of that is my battery (12v 560ah self-made from raw LiFePO4 cells), BCDC, distribution blocks
    -Above that is the 2.5gal water heater , thermostatic mixing valve, and some other plumbing ....I know, FAR from ideal electrical and plumbing arrangement, but I've gone to great lengths to address it with plumbing sealant, electrical fusing, even a water alarm in the battery compartment
    -In order to have the top of the fridge and compartments all flush (it was so my dog, who's gone now, could have a nice sleeping platform), I only had enough clearance for the e-panel as a lid for the water compartment - like I said, function over form, haha

    20230819_143904.jpg

    -Just a bunch more gadgetry in the front driver corner

    20230819_145023.jpg

    -Top down view into the front driver cabinet, where the stove, diesel heater & tank, 12v "oven", GoTreads, toilet stool, etc live

    20230819_142926.jpg

    -The heater exhausts out the side of the bed and runs down behind the rear tire

    20230819_144808.jpg

    -And it blows into the aisleway
    -The fridge is a dual zone, 62 quart, I believe. It's definitely overdue for a new top Reflectix cover, at least

    20230819_144413.jpg

    -Fuse blocks (again, not pretty, but it's done safely)
    -500w pure sine inverter
    -Main switching
    -Main battery/power display

    20230819_145445.jpg

    -LED strip (warm white/R/G/B) along the roof perimeter for lighting
    -I've added a variable speed controller to the original 3-speed Fantastic Fan
    -GoPro mount right below that for which I setup an articulating arm that holds my tablet to watch a movie or youtube in bed

    20230819_151013.jpg

    -And there's desk mode. A few years back, I had Phil make me 2 custom bed platforms (I want to say maybe 14" and 19"?) to replace the single 30". Just much more convenience and usability for me that way. This config also puts me at perfect window level, so I always get the view while I'm working.
     
  18. Aug 20, 2023 at 8:36 PM
    #18
    jimlangfordphotography

    jimlangfordphotography Well-Known Member

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    Your build is fantastic! So well thought out.
     
  19. Aug 20, 2023 at 8:37 PM
    #19
    Andrewkcrow84

    Andrewkcrow84 Well-Known Member

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    That thing is sick. I just bought lone peak camper. I'm excited to try it out
     
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  20. Aug 20, 2023 at 10:08 PM
    #20
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but 1) I spent an absurd amount of time researching/thinking/planning over the, probably, year between seeing Iggy's prototype camper and finally getting mine, and 2) a whole lot of it is little updates and evolutions that I've needed to make over time, and I really have gotten super lucky that I've just been able to adapt the original design (well enough) to accommodate those changes.
    Oh, and 3) improvements usually come from use and experience, which I'm also just lucky to have gotten plenty of the last few years, so that definitely helps.
     
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