Truck Camping

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Postby Cheryl Jones » Feb 6, 2006 12:23 am

Check this out for a minimalist, funky alternative to pick-up (or tent) camping! Sweet! :cupcake:

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Postby karst97 » Feb 6, 2006 2:47 am

My vehicle is a '95 Chevy Blazer (the small size Blazer). We use it to carry all sorts of stuff, plus occasionally 4-5 people, so any mods would have to be quickly removable. I don't have much space to store something like that outside of the vehicle (I've already got 3 cars in a 2-car garage, plus a climbing wall).

It turns out that the '95 model had fold-flat rear seats, and the bottom cushion doesn't flip up (taking up length), but forward & down. So you get a fully flat load floor all the way to the backs of the front seats, which can be moved forward and the space filled with someting for additional length. If backpacks/equipment is put in the front seats, two people can sleep in the back as long as they aren't much over 6'.

The only time I've had to move stuff out of the truck is when doing some longer-term car camping, and the ice chest would sometimes go under the truck at night (in non-bear areas). For solo camping, I just put stuff on one side of the back and sleep on the other. It works pretty well.

Unfortunately, even though newer SUVs are longer than ours, almost all don't have fold-flat rear seats! The closest we found at the auto show this year is the Nissan Xterra. So when our Blazer finally gives up the ghost, that might be the replacement...

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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Feb 6, 2006 5:04 am

Cindy Heazlit wrote:
And the bed is soft, cushy, and waiting for you.

Sorry if this sounds so MALE but does the accessory in the third photo come with it or is it extra?? :grin:
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Postby BenC » Feb 6, 2006 1:29 pm

AHHH the wonders of a teadrop camper, a friend on mine built his own. Although I hear after living in it for 7 months he and his wife decided to sell it.
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Postby NZcaver » Feb 7, 2006 3:57 am

Truck, schmuck! :tonguecheek:

You people are too soft. :laughing: I'll stick with my good ol' tent...:wink:

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Postby tchudson » Oct 6, 2006 2:15 pm

I had a good solution on my first truck for the problem of having the bed available for hauling stuff even with a platform. I had attached angled aluminum to the bed rails and my platform, two carpeted pieces of plywood cut to the width of the bed, slid into place. They were easy to remove and store if I needed room to haul anything.
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Postby Mellow Yellow » Oct 12, 2006 10:04 am

I have a station wagon, so it's not exactly truck camping. When I set up my camp I have a tent to put all my stuff in so have room in my car to fold down the seat and sleep comfortably. A tent also gives a person someplace to stand up and change or what ever. I can lock my car, and yet fellow grotto members can get to my stuff if they have need to; i.e. raid my cooler cause their making dinner that their going to share with me.
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Postby Anonymous_Coward » Oct 14, 2006 8:59 am

Squirrel Girl,

I can't help with the leaky windows, but I do have a solution for the daylight gaps between the cap and the truck.

I had the same problem with my new truck. The holes in the front were letting in water when driving in the rain. The gaps around the tailgate (the taligate gaps on the new Tacomas are huge) were sucking in dirt from dusty roads.

Anyway, I got this spray can from the hardware store called Great Stuff gap sealer. It's expandable foam that you spray into the cracks. My truck has been dirt and water tight ever since.

I can't wait to start building a platform system for the back. I always make mine easy to remove so I can still haul big stuff if needed.
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Postby JoeyS » Oct 14, 2006 7:04 pm

I bought a camper top on ebay this week for my F250, and will pick it up next weekend. I want to put a bunk on one side and make it light and easily removed. I'm thinking of making a frame from aluminum square tubing (I have a metal shop so it's "free"). This topper supposedly has a leak at the front window so we'll see how bad it is very soon. Ebay is like a box of chocolates, as Forest would say..
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Postby Ron Fulcher » Oct 15, 2006 8:59 am

An extra roll of foam cap tape will usually fill any cracks and make up for the differences in cap and bed. Since most pick up truck beds were never intended to be dry you have those pesky drain holes and the holes in your stake pockets to contend with and I never thought about using the spray foam to fill them kudos on the idea!!! A new rubber seal left long might help on that gap around the tailgate to bed contact. Foam weatherstrip for tailgate?? I have to stake a tarp on mine but, that also allows for better sleeping.

most of the fixed and slider windows are installed with 1/4 inch heads on screws that fit into the outer frame and window assembly. Put tape on, between the cap and the window if you remove the inner trim panel so that you do not lose it !!! around the outer edge of the window frame is a foam weather strip seal and that may be where a leak can hide. of course you could wipe clear silicone around the outer dege and hope that fills the pesky leak too...

Keep in mind that there are drain slots cut at the bottom of the window tracks too make surethey are not plugged. Condensation on the roof gets me but mine is neither water or air tight but it gets the job done.

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Postby Uncle Muddy » Oct 19, 2006 10:30 am

The plywood platform in my old full-size Blazer was built just tall enough to slide plastic milk crates beneath. I covered the floor carpetting with a piece of that plastic which is used in offices beneath caster-wheeled chairs. You know, the stuff with little nubbins that grab the carpetting. Gear can easily be retrieved from the rear of the Blazer by reaching in with a 3-foot length of 1-inch aluminum flat stock that has an end bent over. The platform is short of the tailgate by the width of a beer cooler. 2 can comfortably sleep with sit-up head room, and most of their stuph stored beneath. The factory rear seat has been discarded after many years. It's more comfortable for rear passengers to sit up in back with their legs stretched out.
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Postby cave rat » Oct 25, 2006 4:51 pm

I used to sleep in the back of a 1987 Bronco II. Lot of you might have seen it.

Back in August I got rid of it and bought a 1990 fully custom Astro Van. Last month me and my dad removed the bench seat in the back and install a sleeper in the back.

It lets me sleep on top and store all my gear under it. Heres a pic of my set up.
Pic on left is my new set up. Pic on right is my old set up. A big differance.

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Postby chh » May 4, 2007 8:30 am

Ok, I'm rehashing this topic because I'd like some advice, and I've got some ideas. My current (soon to be former) vehicle is a much loved Dodge Caravan. I've camped in it lots of times and never needed to build anything as even with another person we could always get everything stacked into the front seats or under a tarp outside. The benefits for napping in teams while driving and such were outstanding. But alas, it's time for a new vehicle.

I bought a 91 Toyota pickup, and even though its older than my van, it's got a lot less miles, and it's in good shape. I have two problems. First, I called the local century cap dealer here (haven't called the toyota dealer yet) and he said they didn't have any tall caps that fit that model. I REALLY want a tall cap. But I think that the cost and availability may be prohibitive. I also REALLY want long, screened in windows in the cap, and fiberglass, but by that time the cap starts to be just about as expensive as the truck itself - and I don't have that kind of cash.
Is there anyone out there who has a high cap for their older Toyota pickup? And who makes it and where did you get it? Cost? etc. My budget is really around 5-900 dollars.

As far as the platform goes how about this for not "castrating" the hauling abilities of your truck? Cut and cover 3 (or whatever number) thick plywood sheets so that they fit the long way across your bed and rest on the shell. Now to be able to remove and install them easily you are going to want to have a little "wiggle" room on each side right. How about using 1 inch square wood strips that fit the length of your bed in between the sleeping platform and the shell. They just take up the space there and make the thing solid when driving around, acting like locker bars. Best part is, it's totally and easily removable, CHEAP, and you could do it in an hour including covering the plywood with indoor/outdoor carpet.
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Postby cave rat » May 4, 2007 8:58 am

Contact Central Camper on AVE. C in Ensley, Alabama. I used to work there and they be able to get what you are looking for.
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Postby Scott McCrea » May 4, 2007 9:14 am

chh wrote:I'd like some advice

I got my cap used. I got very lucky. Exactly what I wanted for less than I was planning to spend. It was listed in the classifieds.

For my platform, I use four 2x4's that span the bed from side to side sitting on the lip of the cap. Then I have two pieces of plywood cut so the seam runs right down the middle, the length of the bed. I even got the plywood for free at Lowes. It's 1/4" bead board. They slap a sheet of it on the top and bottom of stacks of better plywood for protection. The edges of the bead board are usually beat up, but they get cut off anyway to fit in the truck. Good luck!
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