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Old 02-09-2009   #1
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 221
Catching Z's in the back. Ideas?

just got a new truck and will be putting a shell and rack on it shortly. my biggest question is what kind of sleeping system will be going in the back?

i know there are kits out there, but i am more of a "do it yourselfer", and i think i can do it cheaper by myself. i will be using a paco pad to sleep on so i dont think i need to carpet anything. i am leaning toward a one side for sleeping with an extra deck to put next to the other one for a two person sleeping arrangement.

any pictures, ideas are very welcome.

Jace Crane
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Old 02-09-2009   #2
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
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Posts: 844
I always ran with a half bed in back with carpet and pad. That allowed me to hide stuff out of site under the bed, and have room for anything tall on the side. The carpet and padding was more to cushion stuff strapped down on the 'bed' and gave my dog something to grip when he rode in back. It is easy to rig something that can be placed on the other half, but I never did. If I had company, I preferred setting up a tent instead.

One of the summers I spent in Alaska, if it was pouring out, I would sleep in the truck if I was just traveling. Once I got somewhere, I would set up a decent tent for a base camp. Worked great and my dog could be inside on rainy nights with out being at the same level if I was sleeping in there.

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Old 02-09-2009   #3
bobbuilds's Avatar
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Jace, I have an idea I am using in my van. I am putting 2x12's on end running the length of the bed(floor) just inside the wheel wells and using cross re-inforcement L iron 3/4 over the top for rigidity and to keep it square. Then I am doing a plywood deck over the top of that.

My deal with the decking can go two ways, either I am going to cut in storage bays and sitting areas around the decking that would be removable (like a bass boat) and keep the deck flat, but load bearing for sleeping and hauling, or I am going to do a floor like a raft table. The kind that roll out like planks, so I can roll it up and get full use out of the van floor.

Still in research stages but it's coming together.
good luck, and if you want to build a rack for your truck let me know if I can be of help.
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Old 02-09-2009   #4
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
I used three 2X4's as support that just rested/wedged on the edge and put a 1/2" board on top. Bought carpet and pad from Home Depot. The platform is two pieces, which you can split up in whatever fraction you want. I did about 80/20 so I could use the 80 piece to put on the floor of the bed when the supports weren't in, so I couldn't feel the gutters. It takes up very little room and is super easy to remove. Total cost was about $50. The pad is unnecessary, especially with a paco pad, but the carpet is nice to prevent splinters.
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Old 02-10-2009   #5
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I put two "bench" pieces running lengthwise just inside the wheel wells and just above them leaving a lip on their inside edges. These were constructed of mostly plywood (on edge vertically, then flat with 2x3's for attaching screws/creating the lip.) Then I have three slats that are each about 2.5 feet long and as wide as the space between the two benches that slide in and out on that lip so that I can either use it as a bed or pull them out and have full storage space. The slats are made up of two pieces of 3/8th inch plywood screwed together and are plenty rigid without any support structure underneath. The space under the benches is good for chairs, come-along, tow straps, cam straps, stove, stuff that lives in the truck full time. I'm trying to figure out a way to install either a water or propane system in front of one of the wheel wells as this space is relatively inaccessible at the moment. The other side will probably house an auxiliary battery sometime in the future...good luck with your setup, and don't be afraid to let it evolve and remodel after a couple seasons...

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Old 02-10-2009   #6
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 221
after looking through many photos, the two benches on the sides with the removable centers seems like the best of both worlds. it can be a bed and with the center removed you still have lots of room to haul things. i am thinking of making the two benches wide enough to drop milk crates in front and back of the wheel wells. now i am just contimplating carpet or not.
Jace Crane
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Old 02-10-2009   #7
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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Check out this link. These guys have done some very cool stuff with their Tacomas.

Featured expedition vehicles
You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you. - Heraclitus of Ephesus
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Old 02-10-2009   #8
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Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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I am on my third design of my bed, and have been happy enough with this one to have left it alone for almost three years.

Things I learned:

-Make it easily removable, I have only three components: sleep shelf, supports, and cargo box

-Cargo Box: Make it as big as you can between the wheel wells, the only real wasted space is in the back corners. Also build the cargo box with a high back and sides in the back so nothing can come out. I added the separators to hold my sand bags in place and also limit things sliding around. Combo of the plywood, 6x9's, and 2x4's

-Sleep shelf: Somewhere I saw a hinged side that makes it easy to remove and allows me access to gear stored there even when in the truck. I put the shelf as low as possible pretty much right on the wheel wells to give myself the most sleep space and most height once in the truck. Definitely at least carpet, I did double carpet padding but did not know about paco pads then, but more than anything to cover the wood for slivers. Pretty sure I used 3/4" plywood. I am sure you could just split it down the middle and have two sections without the hinges

-Rails: Just three 2x4's support me and the dog fine, and I am a big guy. I have a duraliner in my bed and it has spots for the wood to fit in like many people before me have done this, which worked out awesome. Sure you can rig something depending on liner or bed that will work.

Its snowing so pics are little shady, and my camera is about to die
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