This post is a continuation of converting my truck into the ultimate camper.
To not adjust your original plan when building a camper or in life is foolish. Life takes unexpected turns for better or for worse. The only constant is change and if you’re not adjusting, well, you may be falling behind or not living to your full potential. The same can be said when building a liveaboard space. It takes fine-tuning to make the most efficient camper for your lifestyle. It’s not just a one time build, it requires modifications to best suit your current needs. Over the past two months since the start of converting the back of my truck into the ultimate camper, I’ve added and made modifications to the original design. I will go over what modifications I have done to the original design, give you reasons as to why I made those decisions and explain some of the trouble shooting I went through for each step.
Additions and modifications to the original design:
- Solar panel
- Deep cycle battery storage
- 300W Inverter
- 12v Led light
- Rubber maid containers for under the lower section
- Three tiered container on the side of the bed
- Made the bed wider
- Cut the bottom rail off from the lower section (as shown in picture below)
- Take pressure off the car battery.
- Use less gas to run the engine while charging items.
- Power when there is no access to electricity.
- Being off the grid is bad ass.
I attached this by drilling into the aluminum frame and using u-bolts that directly attached to the roof rack. It’s pretty secure and I used rubber washers to allow for some flex. I drilled holes directly into the cab just big enough to allow the wires to slide through. I plan to silicone the holes but it’s dry season here and I see no immediate need.
Deep cycle battery storage (100AH)
- To store the electricity from the solar panel for later use.
In between the solar panel and the battery is a charge controller that makes sure the battery is not overcharge. The battery is positioned near the front of the bed. My reasoning being that I didn’t need constant access and anything that heavy, I try to position towards the front for better driving control.
- To run AC items that isn’t on DC current.
- This inverter is enough to power small appliances like laptop, camera, cell phone charger and juicer.
The 300w inverter I wired directly to the battery.
12v Led light
- Uses very little electricity. It’s installed at the end of the bed to light up the tailgate for cooking duties and other miscellaneous activities.
This was installed using 12g size wire directly to the battery. It’s positioned towards the back. It’s 12v so it can be directly wired to the battery.
Rubber maid containers for under the lower section
- Mainly for food storage (nuts, dried fruit, coffee)
Food is going to be difficult, it gets hot in the back so having it in a place that stays cool is key.
Three tiered container on the side of the bed
- Items that I use frequently (Some clothes, bathroom stuff, some electronics)
This is great because it allows me easy access to clothes I use frequently and it also doubles as a nightstand.
Made the bed wider
- Now can sleep two.
I added an extension to the original bed that can be taken out with two screws.
Cut the bottom rail off from the lower section
- Didn’t sacrifice structure and allowed for bigger containers and items to slide in.