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

423618 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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When I get my Taco, I will post pics and keep you updated regarding the sleeping platform and shell...

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.

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Thanks guys, I had fun making it.
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!
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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?

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.
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