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Shell and Sleeping Platform; Is 300 lbs Too Much Weight?

424930 Views 31 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Poodle Head Mikey
Planning on buying a Tacoma Access Cab TRD Off Road 4x4 in the next few weeks. One of the first priorities will be to put on a shell (probably ARE) and bulid a sleeping platform in the back. Total weight will be +/- 300 lbs. Based on all the suspension issues that the Tacoma's seem to have, will I have an issue with this ammount of weight? Will I need to upgrade the suspension, or will the existing suspension (with or without the TSB) be good enough? Also, if I do need an upgrade, what would you suggest?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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i would say no. mine never really sagged with two dirtbikes in the back, and that's much more than 300lbs. on the other hand, some people have had different experiences. the only thing you can do is try it. if it does sag, you have a legit reason to ask for the tsb to be performed on your truck. if for some reason they do not do it for you (i don't see WHY they would but..) then you could look into an aal, or helper spring or possibly an air bag setup if you wanted. like i said though, i don't personally think you'll have an issue.
be sure to post up a pic of that setup when you do it-i'd like to see what you come up with.
good luck.
ya there is no telling, judging by what ppl are saying trucks seem to very as to what they bottom out on and to what extent they sag, id say you'd be fine with 300 lbs unless you hit quite a bump, worse comes to worse you get a suspension upgrade
300lbs is nothing. I have an ARE shell. When packed with gear ~700lbs, hit the bump stops sometimes - when youd expect, big dip etc. Not like before I had springs replaced per toyota tsb. I say, get the shell load it up and decide fr yourself.
Planning on buying a Tacoma Access Cab TRD Off Road 4x4 in the next few weeks. One of the first priorities will be to put on a shell (probably ARE) and bulid a sleeping platform in the back. Total weight will be +/- 300 lbs. Based on all the suspension issues that the Tacoma's seem to have, will I have an issue with this ammount of weight? Will I need to upgrade the suspension, or will the existing suspension (with or without the TSB) be good enough? Also, if I do need an upgrade, what would you suggest?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Partner,
What year Taco do you have and how many leafs do you have in the rear?
If you have an 07+ with 3-4 leafs you should be fine. If you have an 06 like me that came it 1.5 then no... if you are getting this for sure you can wait til afet you intall or go and get the TSB before you have this installed.
Either way... get the TSB f you plan on hauling anything other than the sleeper IMO.
Search under the rear suspension TSB and you can look at how to get this done.
Good luck and make sure you post pics if you do get the sleeper.
Thanks for all the great responses. After driving a Subaru WRX and a Honda CRV for the last 6 years, I have decided to make the move to Tacoma. My girlfriend and I are really into rock climbing, and the combination of being able to off-road and have a place to sleep during road trips are driving my decision to get a Taco. This site has been a great source of info, and has really helped me to narrow down my decision regarding the year and model Taco I want to buy. The suspension issue is the only thing that has given my pause, but it seems that the TSB or minor suspension upgrades could alleviate any issues that I might (hopefully do not) have.

One other question; if I do decide to do a minor suspension upgrade (AAL, helper spring, etc), will this void my warranty?

Thanks again for all the comments. When I get my Taco, I will post pics and keep you updated regarding the sleeping platform and shell...

Charles
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It will only void the warranty if it causes whatever failure you have.
no, it will not void the warranty. IF something were to fail as a direct result of your adding an accessory, toyota would not assist in repairs on that specific thing. that's all.
Checkout suspensionconnection.com for up grading. I had the TSB mod but it did little to easy the bottoming out but then I keep equipment in the back but I don't it should be enough to make it hit as often as it does so I might just add a leaf. Looks factory so won't show up as a add on.
I have a topper too, ARE along w/ the equipment in the back always
When I get my Taco, I will post pics and keep you updated regarding the sleeping platform and shell...

Charles
Did you get your truck yet? I built this a couple of weekends ago. Total weight (canopy, deck box, and stuff in box) I'm guestimating that it's in the neighborhood of 350 lbs -ish. It caused the truck to squat down level with the front, but the TSB brought it back up 1" or so. Waiting to see what happens when the springs settle. The side bins keep the deck from moving side to side or fore and aft, and can also hold stuff.



This picture is with one of the deck drawers pulled out.


And this is of the top of the deck that pulls out to get stuff that is in the front of the bed without having to crawl in the back. It's long enough for me to sleep on.


Cheers!
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Thanks guys, I had fun making it.
I love the looks of it. I love what you can use it for. But I'd want something just a tad less permanent. Which obviously defeats the purpose.

Still I love the full length drawers, nice touch.
Wao Sinjin that looks great... How long did it take you to build that?
WOW!!! That looks amazing!

I have postponed my Taco purchase to free up cash for a new home and wife. This has alos given me time to plan how to spend more money on my Taco when I get it in March!

Again, your deck / storage area looks amazing. It is probably beyond my woodworking abilities, and I am very envious!
Thanks for the comments!

I built it so it could be removed from the truck without too much fuss. The top slider pulls out, and the four side bins unbolt and lift out. Then the deck with drawers can slide out, but it weighs about 100 lbs. It would probably take me longer to pull all the junk out of the drawers and bins than to yank the whole assembly. One of these days I need to pull it all out and caulk those holes in the front of the bed (that thread about waterproofing the bed made me realize I forgot to do that!), and when I do that I might coat it with some polyeurethane before putting it all back together.

It took me about 2 1/2 days to build, but I've been planning the design in my head for a long time! I had something similar in my last truck, but there were always a couple of things that bothered me about the previous design.

I have a utility trailer, and use that for anything that is too big to fit under the canopy, but this arrangement of boxes and deck has worked well for a long time (daily driving, hunting, camping, road trips...) Tire chains are messy to deal with, and this keeps them out of the way (but easily accessible), and secure.

Watch enough Norm Abrams on PBS and you pick up quite a lot of wood working tips!
Cheers!
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Can you give us rough dimensions? How much headroom do you have, and with what cap? Did you put any finish on the wood?

Greg
Can you give us rough dimensions? How much headroom do you have, and with what cap? Did you put any finish on the wood?

Greg
I have a Cab-Hi Snugtop Cap (the top of the cap is even with the cab), and it measured 37 7/8" from bed to roof of the cap. I didn't want to reduce the headroom any more room than I had to, so designed the top sliding tray (sleeping platform) to be 6 1/2" tall, which leaves me with roughly 31" of headroom.

The bed dimensions are: 53 1/8" wide x 73 1/4" long when the tailgate is closed. The space between the wheel wells is 42 3/8". Height to the bed rails is roughly 18". Height to top of the wheel wells is about 9 1/2".

The dimension of the main box that holds the drawers is: 42 1/4" x 72" I used 1/2" ply for the bottom, 3/4" for the top. 3/4" ply for the sides and middle drawer divider.

The bins on the side are fore and aft of the wheel wells to keep the main box from moving around or sliding out the back. It fit well enough that I didn't have to drill the bed. The front bins are 5 1/4" wide by 10 3/4" long, and I made them 12" tall to leave enough room to turn the cleats on the bedrails. The rear bins are 5 1/4" wide by 23 1/2" long by 12" tall. I had to do some fitting of the rear bins to clear the bolts on the built in storage cubby holes. I also left the rear d-rings exposed.

Hope this helps.
Cheers
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that may be the coolest DIY I've ever seen on TN, especially since it was from scratch... :thumbup: Great work.....
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