Truck Build Update
Posted on September 13, 2019
I am so excited to share with you, this week, an update on my truck build! Last month, I posted briefly, but very excitedly, about the truck cap I found on the cheap. Thank you, facebook marketplace! If you follow me on Instagram or facebook, you may have already seen some pictures of my camping setup.
I had done lots and lots and LOTS of research (aka looking on Pinterest) to figure out how I wanted the layout. There’s a couple options like a platform bed with storage underneath…..having the bed right on the bottom of the truck bed with storage along one side – could sleep two if you don’t mind getting snuggly…..a raised (or not) bed in only half the truck bed (to sleep only one) and storage on the other side….. bed right on the bottom with storage over your feet…..SO MANY OPTIONS!! I seriously have so many pins related to truck bed camping I didn’t like the storage-over-your-feet idea for a couple reasons. Firstly, all my stuff would be all the way in the front of the truck, so I would have to climb in to get anything (although that makes it a bit more secure from theft). Secondly, I just don’t like the idea of sleeping under stuff. Like, I know it would just be my feet, but what if something falls on me while I’m sleeping? Not ok. Plus, I’d prefer to sleep with my head toward the front of the truck. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. And I’m definitely not sleeping with my head under a shelf of stuff. Again, what if something decides to fall? Having side storage would reduce the width of the sleeping area. Hubby won’t always be with me, but when he is, we don’t want cramped sleeping quarters. I mean, I love him, but I need my space to sleep. So, I ended up going with the platform bed with storage drawers underneath. This way we’ll have the entire width of the truck for sleeping. It’s actually six inches wider than a queen mattress!!
After taking a few photos, and numerous measurements, Hubby got right down to the modifications. He got the platform built in one day while I was at work. Hooray! My hero! He even remembered to take a few pictures of the process! The drawers are going to be added later.
After that, it was all up to me. I found a queen size folding memory foam mattress on amazon. It was a little pricier than some others I saw, but I liked that it was foldable, and it was 8 inches thick. Have I mentioned that I want to be comfortable? Like I said above, a queen mattress fits, width-wise, in the truck. When it arrived, I had to trim almost a foot off, length-wise, so it would fit. I did lots of internet searching about this too. Turns out it was super easy to trim. I just sawed thru it with a sharp kitchen knife (uurgh, I forgot to take a picture of this part). The remaining length still works for me because, well, I’m short. What can I say? Hubby was apprehensive about his ability to fit. I saved the cut-off piece, because it seemed like something I may be able to use for something else.
A quick trip to Walmart and I had sheets, blanket and pillows. Yep, no sleeping bag camping for me. Does that make me a “glamper”? I also picked up some inexpensive material, and some lightweight curtain rods. I spent a day with my sewing machine, and ended up with two curtains for each window. They can be pulled back and tied open, without obstructing my line of sight, when I am driving. But they can be pulled totally shut for privacy. Hanging the curtain rods inside the cap was a bit interesting. I actually used the screws that hold the windows together, to attach the rod hangers. Eek, I know! I was a bit leery about taking out those screws. In my history of projects, it seems like if something CAN happen, it DOES. I thought, this is going to be the thing, right here. These screws are going to be the death of this project. It all worked out really well though. My only issue with this method – and it’s more of a personal issue, like OCD-type issue – the screws are not symmetrically located around the windows, so the left side of each rod is not necessarily level with the right side. But the hangers were made out of cheap metal, and I was able to bend each one a bit, up or down, to bring it closer to level.
The last thing I wanted to address, before my first week truck camping, was lighting. I had flashlights and lanterns, but hand-held lighting is not always the most convenient thing. I found a string of LED fairy lights, about 30ft or so long, again on amazon. They’re battery powered, which is good because there’s no power source in the back of the truck…..yet (that’s a future add-on, sometime before next year’s camping season starts). They’re also super lightweight. So I cut little pieces of Velcro, like you would with tape, and used those to stick the lights up to the carpeted ceiling of the cap. For a little added fun, the fairy lights are remote controlled and can flash, pulse, and change colors! Ooooh!
I took my new setup camping for a week in the U.P. and I have to say, I love it! Even with nights getting down to the low 50’s, I was plenty warm enough without a heat source. Once the drawers are in, I’ll be able to store everything under the bed. Without the drawers, I left things in tubs inside the cab of the truck, otherwise it would be difficult to get stuff out of the cubbies if it gets shoved too far in. Hubby is not so enthused. He joined me for two nights, and was not comfortable because, being a bit taller than me, he was not able to stretch out all the way while sleeping. So, we shall see….this may end up being an “only when I go somewhere alone” thing.
Future plans include a power plug (with a second battery and isolator, so I don’t wear down my primary battery), drawers, heat of some sort for those cooler nights……. Do you have any ideas? If you were building a truck bed camper, what would you add? Let me know in the comments!
See you next week! Don’t forget to like, share, and follow me here and on social media. You can find me at #rgseekingadventure or by clicking the links at the top of the page.