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Old 10-23-2011, 09:06 PM   #1
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Ready for Boondocking

When you do serious boondocking, you tend to take the kitchen sink with you in order to handle any situation in the wild--like a compressor, so you can pump your tires back up after deflating them so you can get out of the sand. So the bed of the pickup can get pretty full of stuff, stuff you don't even remember you threw in at the last minute. The last trip was so bad I couldn't even get to stuff I knew was there, but I was too lazy to dig out.


So, time to get organized. The design rules were simple
  1. Be able to remove any shelves/cabinets, so no gluing or welding of supports
  2. Be able to haul 4-5 sheets of 4x8' plywood without having to remove the shelves/cabinets
The end result is pictured here--the trailer spare tire is elevated on a platform that provides 3.75" clearance to the bed, to allow for the plywood. Most of the items on the shelves are accessed through the side windows of the topper:

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The street side shelf holds the small grill, compressor, a cubby for the electrical cables, a support for the outdoor carpet, and a sub-shelf over the wheel well for odds and ends:

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The curb side holds the medium grill, water hoses, 5-gal buckets full of odds and ends, and sub-shelf for the chains, jacks, 50/50 anti-freeze (for the J-traps in cold weather), and jumper cables:

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Under all this there is space for the generator, propane bottle, and 5 gal containers (2-water, 1-diesel, 1-gas). Note that the supports for the sub-shelves are notched so that they also allow for the 4' wide plywood on the bed--these supports provide about 6" of bearing on the bed, as well as providing cantilever against the wall, in order to provide maximum support to the shelf above.

It took almost a week to put all this together, but I think it will be worth it! It required just under 2 sheets of plywood and a couple 2x4s.

Zep
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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That's pretty slick indeed. I like it a lot.

But my "vertical, sequential, random access" system (i.e. just pile it on top of something else - heave it in wherever it will fit) involves more "adventure" - as in "gee, wonder whether I brought the ______, and wonder if I can ever find it again!" And isn't 'streaming basically about adventure?
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:41 PM   #3
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Now that's way past kewl. Another well thought out, practical addition to the motor pool.

I do have one question, tho. What would do you intend to do with those 4x8 sheets of plywood while boondocking??

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Old 10-24-2011, 09:15 AM   #4
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My compressor and generator fit nicely in the trunk of our Rigeline with room to spare. We generally leave the bed empty or carry extra water or firewood.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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Nice! Great job, Roger.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:37 AM   #6
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Tell Me ABout the Grills

Hi Roger, kindly tell me about the two grills. If you've already described the grills in a different thread, feel free to point me to it.
Your design is very practical, especially your choice of bed toppers. In my 2005 tow vehicle, I installed a very nice shell; but without access through the side windows. What a mistake.
As usual, many thanks for sharing your innovative designs.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:44 AM   #7
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Looks great. Also don't forget to pack into there "discipline". Now tell me how to explain to my wife why the trunk of our TV convertible can't look like that.

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Old 10-24-2011, 10:48 AM   #8
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Very nice!

I love to be organized.


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Old 10-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #9
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That is a really neat setup, thanks for posting.

Pap
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:29 PM   #10
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It looks great Roger. Is this post Balloon Fest? I don't remember this much order in the back of your truck?

Jim
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
Hi Roger, kindly tell me about the two grills. ... In my 2005 tow vehicle, I installed a very nice shell; but without access through the side windows. What a mistake.
We had the small grill ($250 ripoff, but I was a newbie and thought it looked great next to the Airstream), but I just couldn't resist the big one when I saw it for $100. I think they are now available at Costco for $110. We still use the small one 90% of the time. Oh, well.

See below regarding the side windows--I'm finally doing the shelves in the Ford and it has a used topper without the side openers.

Zep
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:42 PM   #12
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OK, the Ford F-250. I thought it would be pretty similar, and it is in a lot of ways, but also different. For example, the Ford bed is 3" shorter (can't quite get the same stuff under the shelves), but it's 4" wider, so it's easier to carry a couple of bikes in the back. Neither of these dimensional differences is readily apparent and I didn't measure for them.

The biggest difference, however, is that the interior side panels have a lot more wiggle [for stiffness] in the Ford, making the above-wheel-well shelf very complicated. To get any useful height between this and the main shelf, the underside and back edge of the shelf has to be shaped fairly aggressively in order to get the shelf as low and close the wheel well as possible.

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The only real improvement in the design is that I glued the spacers to the top shelf, which made installation 1000% easier. The spacers are required in order to tighten the bolts, othewise the shelf is supported only against the turned down edge of the bed rails.

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Zep
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:03 AM   #13
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How about the question of load securement?
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:10 AM   #14
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We have the opportunity to buy a used Honda 3000i Handi. The issue is that we will have to carry it in the rear of our Suburban. Has anyone done this? Seems that the fuel cutoff will prevent fumes. I also have not had any luck yet in finding a large enough container. Have not checked dimensions, but what about carrying it in the Airstream? Thanks.
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