??s for Desertdude about Maggiolina bed frame
I have a Maggiolina RTT that I will be putting on the back of my new (to me) 2003 DC Tacoma. Iím going to have a local fab guy make up a frame similar to the one Iíve seen on few pics of your Taco. Before I do, I have a few questions about your set up if you donít mind?
First, it looks like you have very little clearance between the roof and your tent up front. Do you have any trouble with the latches? I measured mine and it looks like they need 3Ē to fully extend. On my fj60 they are 2.75Ē above the roof and they hit when dropped down. They latch ok, but Iím concerned about not getting the full throw of the clasp to grab the tent top and pull it down. But I like the look of the tent close to the roof.
Second question is, how is your frame held down? Did you need to drill the bed rails?
Third question is, is there anything you learned from doing that frame that might be useful info for me before I tackle the same project?
Last edited by DaveM; 02-27-2008 at 06:39 PM.
Pasquale gave me a bit of guidance for my rack. For me the concern was clearance so that as the frame/bed flexed there wouldn't be contact at the top of the cab. He suggested that 1" would be adaquate. My fabricator, Hunter, actually did just a bit more... I could measure it for you. When you add the diameter of the tubing it came out perfect! I have just enough room for the front clasps to hang down.
Not the best pic... but what I already had. Again, I could measure and take better pics if you want. If Pasquale surfaces, he's the man... take his advice!!!
Thanks, if you get a chance to measure that would be cool. I'm looking for the distance between the RTT bottom and the roof of the cab at the latch. I looked at mine and found that it was 2.75" and that I was getting almost full extension from the latches. I think I could make it as low as 2.5" and still have almost full extension. With your top the bars hide the height of the RTT above the cab where mine will show as an open space, so I'm trying to keep it low without making it hard to close the tent.
Paquales top looks really close thats why I want to see ho well it has worked for him.
I just finished a new rack design, the older model was a bit to close to the roof, for those RTT latches.
IIRC with the new rack, we came up 23" off the bed-rail with the tent mounting hoops. This gave two more inches for the clasps to come open on the RTT.
You can see the new rack design here
Originally Posted by DaveM
1) I liked the tent close to the roof too but decided on the second rack version to lift it up above the cab a bit more.
2) Drilled down through the bed rails, first installed rivnuts, they did not hold in the long run, so went back to bolts with washers. I also included two side drilled (into bed rail) holes for more grip. Just through bolted with washers.
3) Bent tube bracing (at the rear) has given this new rack much more stability. I also added a smaller dia. Tube behind the rear cab to hole the bed together. Older rack model did not have this and I have noticed a separation at the bed corners (up front). The new design fixed that issue.
I installed those secondary smaller dia. Tubes the length of the bed which gives me a place to store a wet dirty ladder ( out of the tent) and also a place to strap anything I need.
Having all the tubes bent to the same arc makes the fit better. Cut the tubes and bend first before you decide to start welding, this really makes the build it time easier. Leave the bent tube (part) ends wild until you get ready to build. Last thing build it on the truck and tack it, it will be a better fit when you need to take it on and off. Weld it solid on the ground or table, then you can move it around so its easier to weld.
The man speaks...
I measured 3" from the bottom of the latch (slightly lower than the bottom of the tent) to the top of the cab. When they are unclipped and hanging I have about 3/8" of extra space.
Thanks for the reply Desertdude. Your new rack looks great, love to see some pics of the RTT on it when you get them.
I'd like to be able to bring my sides in like yours but I think I have a wider tent than you, the medium size, so I'm going to go straight up from the bed rails. Sounds like giving the latches proper clearance is a good idea. And thanks for the tip on reinforcing the bed from side to side.
Below is a quick illustration of my idea (more or less to scale). The 2 vertical bars in the middle of each side will help with mounting my high lift on one side and axe & shovel on the other. I'm going to weld down a a sheet of expanded steel or similar on the cross bars below the tent to create a shelf there for extra space. If the bid for the work is low enough I may see if I can have the area enclosed with a lockable door at the back to make a little compartment. I'll use round for the main frame parts but flat or box steel for the 2 top cross members where the tent bolts though and for the side bars that hold the jack and axe.
thanks, having the rack extend out to the front of your RTT really cleans up the look IMO.
Originally Posted by viatierra
Yeah the new rack top has lost a few inches on either side...
Please post photos when you get close