I'm building an overland setup

BigRedRage

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Red rectangle in middle is stabilization and flatter sleeping surface. Likely plywood.
then boxes built along the sides for storage of gear. my sleeping pads, 2x fit perfectly between wheel wells. camper shell will have side vent windoors but also side windoors will open like a hatch. Gives easy access to box stored gear through hatch along sides of bed. Primarily things like recovery gear, air compressor for airing up tires after letting air out for 4x4 comfort and traction, tools and other in the storage compartments.

Camp in bins. sleep and sit camp permanently attached to cabin side of bed. Kitchen and/or specialty items like inflatable kayaks in bins ready to be added to truck depending on the planned adventure

I'm building to sleep two, be mobile and almost like backpacking but in a truck so can adventure vs stay in one place all weekend. most people who build a shell setup like this build a platform and drawers underneath that pull out to make kitchen and etc but platform = less headroom and I hate it. I have ONLY found people who do that setup. I'ma make something better. this way I am dialed in just the same but can actually sit up in bed and have room for activities. I also don't want to be stuck in a coffin if I have to go into the bed during severe weather or something. Instead of drawers that pull out I will have to take bins out and set on ground but I dont care. Easy.

set up camp and break down camp in under 10 minutes

then once dialed in, adding roof rack for multi storage, shovel, axe, solar panel and more. Have a prjector now but might just swivel mount a small TV that I can hook my phone to so I can watch cardinals games on youtube TV no matter where I am.

LArger over cab campers do not work for me. lots more money but more importantly, I like to go 90mph on the highway and 50+mph on dirt roads, offroad and get wild. Too much weight and I dont need all the fancy stuff.

carpet interior for noise dampening but also can then attach velcro to black out curtains for closing out all outside light when going to bed.






Those are the notes I made the other day. I just spent some money dialing in the truck and doing essential maintenance since it is at 180k miles and I want it to go 100k more at least. Doing diff fluids, spark plugs, new radiator hoses and more on my own.

Next major jump is getting a shell. Probably head down to the dealer this weekend and get it set up, usually arrives a month later.

Once I have the shell, gear and everything dialed into truck, I can see how much it may sag from weight. Once I know that, I am going to do a 4-6" life front and back. I currently ride 33's but want room to go 35s on the next upgrade. Also will be switching to 4.10 gears as the 33s already give me trouble going to payson and the 35s would be worse. 4.10 should be plenty without sacrificing top speed.

more to come.
 
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BigRedRage

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I cant go to dealer until SAT but I found a way to custom build one from my computer while at work. it doesnt give prices so I jsut went through and added things I would want that were not over the top. Figured I went overboard and dealer would email me something crazy like 4k.

Turns out my overboard was only $2,400 and I am STOKED to go on Saturday now. Attached are the options I added just messing around.
 

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Mainstreet

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I think I did something similar to what you are doing but not as detailed.

Years back I added a regular camper shell and carpeted inserts to the bed of my pickup. We used to go fishing overnight and wanted a place to occasionally sleep but mainly to store stuff. It worked great but then my needs changed and I had to start hauling stuff.
 
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BigRedRage

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I think I did something similar to what you are doing but not as detailed.

Years back I added a regular camper shell and carpeted inserts to the bed of my pickup. We used to go fishing overnight and wanted a place to occasionally sleep but mainly to store stuff. It worked great but then my needs changed and I had to start hauling stuff.

If I can make the sleeping and storage service removable somehow, that will be a goal, just not sure how to pull it off until I am in there building it. It would be nice to on occasion be able to pop the top, pull out the sleeping surface and take care of truck stuff.
 

Mainstreet

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If I can make the sleeping and storage service removable somehow, that will be a goal, just not sure how to pull it off until I am in there building it. It would be nice to on occasion be able to pop the top, pull out the sleeping surface and take care of truck stuff.

I had my carpeted inserts made. They were basically a plywood frame. It wasn't terribly expensive. They would slide out without taking off the camper shell. I think I bought them at an RV place.
 
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BigRedRage

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I had my carpeted inserts made. They were basically a plywood frame. It wasn't terribly expensive. They would slide out without taking off the camper shell. I think I bought them at an RV place.


Did it cover the whole bed, including around the wheel wells? My initial thought is that I will have plywood from cab to tailgate and touching each side of the wheel wells. That would slide in and out easy but then my thought was to use more plywood to make vertical boards that attach to the sides of those north and south of the wheel well to essentially delete the 12" or so on each side of the bed and turn all of that into storage but this could make it difficult to remove the whole thing depending on how I build it.

if that makes sense. They also sell stuff that fits automatically over there but I figure I can build something rather easily and I have extra unused carpet ready to go to carpet everything
 
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BigRedRage

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This little box is an item for sale that people make the kinda illustrates what I want the sides of the bed to be. I do want much bigger storage than that small thing too so building is likely my only option to fit my needs.I likely want to go much higher, maybe all the way to the top of the bed and then all the way across the side.

Looking at this photo, I could potentially have this type of rug setup and then just have something I put in there that is prebuilt and slides right in and out when I don't want it in there and find a way to secure it when it is in there.

Edit - I actually have cargo bars that would secure it quite well in the front and back if I cannot come up with a more permanent attach and detach option for the box storage. It's essentially a bar withing a bar with a ratchet in the middle. I currently use them to segregate items in the back of the truck.

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Thinking about it though, that wont work unless it is only needed when driving as I wont be able to have cargo bars in there when I am sleeping.
 
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Mainstreet

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Did it cover the whole bed, including around the wheel wells? My initial thought is that I will have plywood from cab to tailgate and touching each side of the wheel wells. That would slide in and out easy but then my thought was to use more plywood to make vertical boards that attach to the sides of those north and south of the wheel well to essentially delete the 12" or so on each side of the bed and turn all of that into storage but this could make it difficult to remove the whole thing depending on how I build it.

if that makes sense. They also sell stuff that fits automatically over there but I figure I can build something rather easily and I have extra unused carpet ready to go to carpet everything

I had two carpeted insert compartments that covered both sides of the truck bed and wheel wells with lift up lids (3) on each side. The middle lids of the compartments opened up over the top of the wheel well with nothing underneath so they could slide out.

Then their was a carpeted board that was against the cab and another one covered the inside of the tailgate with a carpeted sleeve that would slide underneath the compartments to hold it in place.

What separated the compartments on both sides was a carpeted plywood floor. When I tilted the floor to slide it out, I could then place it on top to make a flat bed across the top. There were lips or some type of protrusion on both sides of the compartments that would allow it to lay on top.

I bet there is a design out there somewhere. If I find it I will let you know.
 
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BigRedRage

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This is more representative of what I will build, but across the whole bed and without a lid

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BigRedRage

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I had two carpeted insert compartments that covered both sides of the truck bed and wheel wells with lift up lids (3) on each side. The middle lids of the compartments opened up over the top of the wheel well with nothing underneath so they could slide out.

Then their was a carpeted board that was against the cab and another one covered the inside of the tailgate with a carpeted sleeve that would slide underneath the compartments to hold it in place.

What separated the compartments on both sides was a carpeted plywood floor. When I tilted the floor to slide it out, I could then place it on top to make a flat bed across the top. There were lips or some type of protrusion on both sides of the compartments that would allow it to lay on top.

I bet there is a design out there somewhere. If I find it I will let you know.

It sounds interesting but yeah I would have to see something and maybe when I go buy the shell on saturday they will know of some things. I'm not quite getting the image in my head as I am bad at that. What do you mean by lift up lids?
 
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BigRedRage

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boom. thats essentially what I want to build.

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Mainstreet

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It sounds interesting but yeah I would have to see something and maybe when I go buy the shell on saturday they will know of some things. I'm not quite getting the image in my head as I am bad at that. What do you mean by lift up lids?

It's hard to envision. Maybe think of it as an upside pontoon boat in the bed of your truck with pontoons on each side as compartments.
 

Mainstreet

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boom. thats essentially what I want to build.

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That's essentially the design, one on each side. Then there is a carpeted (padded) floor that can lay on top and can be used as a bed as it could be made flat across the top.
 
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BigRedRage

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It's hard to envision. Maybe think of it as an upside pontoon boat in the bed of your truck with pontoons on each side as compartments.

Perfect! I totally get it.

That's essentially the design, one on each side. Then there is a carpeted (padded) floor that can lay on top and can be used as a bed as it could be flat across the top.

I plan to sleep on the ground floor of the bed, between the wheel wells but I could see that application. One question: did the pontoon boxes come out any further than the wheel well already protrudes? My two thermarest beds next to each other fit snug and tight inbetween the two wheel wells so one thing I want to avoid is any extra space being taken in the middle living area but if this is a product that already gets made and is inexpensive, it could potentially save me a lot of work.
 
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BigRedRage

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I'll be the dog. Sides will be deep storage with top openings rather than drawers.
 

Mainstreet

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Perfect! I totally get it.



I plan to sleep on the ground floor of the bed, between the wheel wells but I could see that application. One question: did the pontoon boxes come out any further than the wheel well already protrudes? My two thermarest beds next to each other fit snug and tight inbetween the two wheel wells so one thing I want to avoid is any extra space being taken in the middle living area but if this is a product that already gets made and is inexpensive, it could potentially save me a lot of work.

The compartments on each side were the full length of the truck bed with lift up lids. They didn't protrude any further out than the wheel wells so the middle was open. That's where the floor came into play to separate them and hold them in place.
 
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BigRedRage

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The compartments on each side were the full length of the truck bed with lift up lids. They didn't protrude any further out than the wheel wells so the middle was open. That's where the floor came into play to separate them and hold them in place.

If RV places build this and it is inexpensive, you may have just saved me a lot of planning. I will need to place some gear in my truck and measure just to make sure dimensions will be right but if it is built, holds in place and covers my needs....this is great. I can even attach the swivel mount and TV to it for watching cardinals games in the wilderness.
 

Mainstreet

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If RV places build this and it is inexpensive, you may have just saved me a lot of planning. I will need to place some gear in my truck and measure just to make sure dimensions will be right but if it is built, holds in place and covers my needs....this is great. I can even attach the swivel mount and TV to it for watching cardinals games in the wilderness.

They can probably build it for the specs of your truck. Good luck. Let me know what happens.
 
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BigRedRage

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Got my shell ordered. The salesman who claimed the shell with all my add ons was 2400 was full of poo of course, that was the stock price. To have the added lights, windoors, roof rack rails and etc, it came out to 3,800. its a mid high A.C.E. MX series. Will have a rhinoline coating.

@Mainstreet the sales people there are not helpful, I am sure shells are a low commission job so they do not attack it with vigor. I found an in bed carpeting setup like you are discussing in the showroom. It went way over the wheel wells and only allowed room for one sleeping in the middle. I asked him about it and he said that is the only option so I will be building my setup. With some of the things I have planned, I am fine with this as I can customize it to fit all my needs.

Also, turns out that the lights inside will turn on automatically when I open the back of my shell. PRetty cool. The buildout is 8-10 weeks so until then just going to be doing maintenance and upgrades and camping with no roof lol
 

Mainstreet

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Got my shell ordered. The salesman who claimed the shell with all my add ons was 2400 was full of **** of course, that was the stock price. To have the added lights, windoors, roof rack rails and etc, it came out to 3,800. its a mid high A.C.E. MX series. Will have a rhinoline coating.

@Mainstreet the sales people there are not helpful, I am sure shells are a low commission job so they do not attack it with vigor. I found an in bed carpeting setup like you are discussing in the showroom. It went way over the wheel wells and only allowed room for one sleeping in the middle. I asked him about it and he said that is the only option so I will be building my setup. With some of the things I have planned, I am fine with this as I can customize it to fit all my needs.

Also, turns out that the lights inside will turn on automatically when I open the back of my shell. PRetty cool. The buildout is 8-10 weeks so until then just going to be doing maintenance and upgrades and camping with no roof lol

I'm trying to remember the name on the camper shell where I bought it and had the inserts made. The dealer was in Mesa. I think it was Tom's Camperland but that has been so many years ago. If it's not too late you might check them out. On mine, the floor tilted to slide out and then it would lay flat on top to sleep two people.

I hope it works out well for you.
 
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BigRedRage

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I'm trying to remember the name on the camper shell where I bought it and had the inserts made. The dealer was in Mesa. I think it was Tom's Camperland but that has been so many years ago. If it's not too late you might check them out. On mine, the floor tilted to slide out and then it would lay flat on top to sleep two people.

I hope it works out well for you.
Thats where I was. It looked very similar to what you described except it built in much further than the wheel well and the salesman claimed that was the only in bed buildout they do. I'm looking to build something that does not come past the wheel well at all.
 
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BigRedRage

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rhinolined MX in the wild. I didnt want to go higher than cab but figure I should or I could regret it. Two concerns were height clearance and then just that I think they do not look as good. I'll take functionality over fashion though.

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Mainstreet

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Thats where I was. It looked very similar to what you described except it built in much further than the wheel well and the salesman claimed that was the only in bed buildout they do. I'm looking to build something that does not come past the wheel well at all.

Sounds like a plan. I'm sure you can build one better suited for your needs anyway.
 
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BigRedRage

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slightly off topic but I guess this can be my truck upgrade thread too. Getting new headlights in the mail today. My current ones, after dark, are embarrassingly poor. I cant see a damn thing. Brand new ones with smoke tint on them coming in the mail. Should look super slick but also make it so I can actually see at night. super stoked.

Someone elses photo with one stock headlight and one headlight of what I just ordered. I sent this to friends and they thought I took the photo. Looks just like my truck, dirty mess and all.

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