Tacoma Camper - (Continued)
|I designed two forward cargo access panels (right panel shown open) to allow access to the space at the front of the cargo deck, where items that are rarely needed are stored. (Such as spare parts and fluids). I also made a rear access panel with padlocks for added security.|
|The access doors were attached with piano hinge. The white plastic that you see is the lid for one of the storage bins below the deck.|
Here is a shot with the left side open and more storage items visible. The green colored bin lid is for water storage, and the clear plastic stow bag contains miscellaneous spare parts and supplies such as various wire, hose clamps, spark plugs, filters, etc.
A close-up of of two smaller compartments created by utilizing the space in front of the wheel well. The diagonal pieces of plywood are to provide bracing strength to the pieces running perpendicular and parallel to the truck bed. Also note where the deck meets the side of the truck bed - I left a small gap to allow flexing without the plywood binding up on the metal (I'm not sure if it's necessary, but it seemed like a good idea.) I filled the gap using armaflex split-seam pipe insulation by cutting it to length and slipping it over the edge of the plywood.
|I cut out a corner of the deck to accommodate my Kennedy toolbox and allow access to the top-opening lid. Due to the space required behind the toolbox to allow the lid to pivot open in front of the bed rail, there is some room to stuff a few more goodies, such as spare belts, rags and the like. Note that the clasp for the toolbox is hidden below the deck. If I lock the clasp before putting on the rear panel of the deck and locking it, the toolbox cannot be opened or lifted out.|
|"Win-doors" are not exactly new to the camper scene, and I had considered them previously but decided against it because all of the win-doors I had seen used fixed glass, so as far as ventilation was concerned, they were either open or shut. A.R.E. now offers win-doors with a sliding window and screen option. This is the best of both worlds. The screens can be used for mild ventilation in colder or windy weather, or on buggy nights, or when traveling on the road.|
When the weather is gorgeous, the win-doors can be fully opened to make it almost as good as sleeping under the stars with no tent. It's also extremely useful for packing the truck, or getting things out of the camper. This is like a night-and-day difference compared to the old camper with the fixed windows. It just makes life SO much easier! I eventually plan to make full-length bug screens using no-seeum mesh with somehook tape that will stick to the carpet liner. This would allow for the windows to be fully open on warm nights in regions where the bugs might be a problem, and I can easily roll up the screens and stow them when not in use.