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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in using my 04 as a camping rig (will be getting a shell on it soon.) In the past I've had the 6-piece carpet kits (I'm sure you've seen them - benches on the side and a panel that runs along the bed that can be used to make a bed-width platform to sleep on) but I don't want to spend the $500 to get one of those.

Anyway, I'm here soliciting opinions/ideas. I hate reinventing the wheel, so I figure there must be others who have been in a similar situation, and I'd be interested in seeing what solutions people have come up with.

My requirements are:

1. I need to be able to use the full width of the bed, this means some kind of platform that sits as high as the fender wells.

2. It does not need to be padded or carpet-covered, as I plan on putting an air-mattress on top of it anyway. Plain plywood will work fine.

3. It needs to be something that can be quickly, easily, and completley removed from the bed, preferably without tools, and

4. It needs to be something that I can build with my limited mechanical skills (basically I can saw, hammer, and drill.)

It would also be useful if the area under the platform was still accessible so I could store stuff there.

One of the things I'm thinking of is something like a waterbed frame: Put an X-shaped crossmember in the middle of the bed that is the same height as the fender wells, then put two sheets of plywood (split in the middle so I could have access) on top of that. The advantages of this would be no need to build a 2x4 frame - I should be able to build the whole thing out of 3/4" plywood.

As I said, I'd love to hear about (or better yet, see photos) of what other people have done.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
That Baja Taco is nicely done! It's a little beyond my current capabilities but it's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. Thanks for the links.
 

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Heres what I did on my old truck. I wish I had more photos but I sold it. I used 1" square tubing and built two rails(one on each side) the same height of the wheel wells with three vertical legs. I bolted them to the floor as close to the wells as possible, and tied the rear into the tie downs. It took some minor welding to attatch legs but if I can do it you can! I then used three equal sized pieces of plywood(if you use two it will be hard to lift them or pull them out) and upholstered them. The plywood stacks on each other if you have something big to put inside or you can easily remove them. The side rails stay in all the time but work great as large tiedown points for cargo, you can even fit jerry cans between them and sidepanels. Not a ton of room underneath but I found rubermaid bins that slid under perfect. Overall it worked well.
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The shell is a Callen made in El Cajon. Steel frame, it was pretty heavy but can hold a lot of weight on top for gear. They have pictures in the factory of trucks that have flipped over. The trucks are worked but the shell holds up pretty good. It acts like a giant cage.
 

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Is the rear window removed with that setup?
I have been working on a design based on BajaTaco's design for a while now.
 

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I took out the rear window so I could crawl through and so I could slide a lonboard inside and lock it up. The boot was made by an upholster shop for about $260. It was made of marine grade vinyl, it worked well and never leaked, looked nice from inside the cab too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
CYI: That's a slick setup! Never seen something like that with a soft topper before, either!

So it looks like you used 1x2's to build a frame the width of the wheel wells and the height of the bed, am I right?

Question: Is that metal diamond plate the top of a toolbox or some kind of storage box? Is it custom made? Just wondering how you got it to be the exact height you needed.

You don't, by any chance, still have the plans for that, do you? It's very similar to the kind of setup I'd be looking to do.

Rynosurf: I like your setup too but unfortunately I don't (yet!) have the skills nor the time/equipment to weld. Plus I'd really like something that's completely removable.

Thanks for all the tips, guys! I've got my shell on now (a Leer fiberglass that only cost me $150! - though I'm going to have to spend at least double that to get a window for the back) and I'm going to start doing up sketches and making plans.

Will definitely post photos when I get done.

PS: What kind of carpeting are you guys using? I presume it's some kind of rugged, low-nap indoor/outdoor?

Below: Pic of my new topper
 

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Indoor outdoor from Home Depot, it comes in a lot of different colors and is thin so you can use a staple gun to tack it.
nowhere2wheel I like your setup. does the canvas ever leak along the sides?
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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This is what I built for my truck. 3/4" plywood on top and sides, 1/2" on the bottom. I can slide it in and out by myself, and it has storage in front and back of the wheel wells.





 

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Great ideas, keep em coming!

What did yall do about sealing the tailgate? I used some foam tape, but that's just a temp fix. Still isn't sealed though.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oxnard: What did you use to attach the plywood? Did you just screw it end to end to end or did you use L-brackets?

By any chance, do you still have the measurements? That's very close to what I'm looking to do.

By the way, thanks for all the help, guys. I knew there were solutions out there but I'm not that mechanically inclined and I would never have thought of an arrangement like some of the ones I've seen here. Simple and inexpensive are my goals.

Ryno: I thought the same thing about that big mattress! Honestly, it would be my "last resort" choice - just seems like it's not a very efficient use of space, but it does fill my needs of being both inexpensive and easy! And it's fitted to the Taco bed, which is nice (the Tacoma version sells for $69.95 in the "weekender" model and about $150 for the "expedition" version, and those prices include the 12v air pump.)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
=ACID RAIN= said:
Great ideas, keep em coming!

What did yall do about sealing the tailgate? I used some foam tape, but that's just a temp fix. Still isn't sealed though.
I've seen some rubber tailgate seals at camper stores. Never tried them out, though.
 

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The box is a Kobalt box which originally came from Lowe's I believe. I don't have plans for it, but i could probably take some more pics and/or take some measurements for you if you'd like.

As far as the mustard goes, cheap plastic table clothes are amazing :)

No, the canvas does not leak when wet, puddles will actually form ontop after it rains. Some dust does however manage to get inside it when wheeling, at least in seriously dusty conditions in the desert. Not too shabby on trails thankfully.

 

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nice dude
 
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