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Thread: 2001 Tacoma SR5 camper build (2WD)

  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Los angeles
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    Default 2001 Tacoma SR5 camper build (2WD)

    I have recently purchased a 2001 Tacoma SR5 5spd 2wd and sold my old 94 T100 as gas was too much and I can get down most forest roads I need to with 2wd and chains for snow. Giving up 4wd was a big decision however 27mpg's on trips is pretty nice.

    -My main goal is to set up a daily driver with a hard shell camper and platform that I can take off with for the weekend and still drive around town. I recently found a nice A.R.E DCU cap that I bought for it the utility style with side doors and barn doors on the rear. I was able to sell the fiberglass model it came with and finance the ARE shell and sleeping platform. Now I would like to add a window to the passenger side and sand it down and paint it a textured tan color.

    -I need some help on suspension upgrades as my trip to Humbolt a couple weeks ago was a little rough going on the twisty roads. We made it just fine out to the lost coast (Sinkyone) down some washed out dirt roads but I think new shocks are needed. I was not sure if anyone could suggest something not too expensive that will give me a more firm ride? I was thinking four OME shocks? Not sure I want a true lift or anything just a nice long lasting solid suspension upgrade?

    -Next my question is in regards to insulating my utility shell. It has no carpet and is all aluminum. I was thinking of cutting pieces of foam to size (a little big so they will fit really tight) and sticking them in between the aluminum framing of my shell. Once that was complete I was not sure if I could put carpet over it as it would be one nice large smooth surface or if I should put some sort of plastic over the foam and then carpet it? For this I was planning on using rivets to attach the carpet to the frame of the shell. I also was thinking of filling the frame tubing with great stuff spray foam to help with condensation?

    I will post pictures soon any feed back is appreciated!IMG_0639.jpg
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    Last edited by tstege; 01-09-2013 at 02:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Carpet and insulation

    I meant to post this picture to explain a little better what I mean. This is from another persons build but what I was referring to is filling in all of the spaces between the frame with this blue foam and then carpeting (marine carpet) over it as it would be a flush surface. I want to prevent condensation not have it trapped under the carpet and causing mold. I generally leave a window or two cracked to help with airflow. Thanks again for any tips
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2008
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    Medford, Oregon
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    You can always contact ARB directly and they can be very helpful with your suspension figuring. Good luck with your build and keep it coming, it's good to see some more unconventional builds. I don't think I want to give up 4wd but if you can do it, go for it.

  4. #4
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    Default 4wd

    Giving up 4wd was hard at first but then I remember all of the times I never used it and got into gnarly spots without it. Then again I only tried it because I had it. Now I just have to scout a little ahead. I work for the Forest Service firefighting in the summer and live out of the truck and travel on days off. I have been down alot of logging and fire roads and normally 2wd works. So hopefully my gas savings will make up for not being able to play in the mud anymore.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Englewood, CO
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    I presume this is a 4 cyl? Good on ya for this build. With gas prices going up, sooner or later people are going to have to start re-thinking their priorities and needs. Seems to me there's no point in having the biggest, best, most built up trail-ready rig and then leave it in the driveway because you can't afford to put gas in it!

    From 1999 - 2003 I drove a 2wd Ford Ranger with a shell and I put nealy 93,000 miles on it in less than 3 years! I drove that thing all over Wyoming, Colorado and even Montana. I also drove it to North Carolina to attend a military school in the Summer of 2002 and it was one of the best "road trip" vehicles I ever owned (though it could have used cruise control.)

    Sure, there are a lot of roads that are "off limits" but this country is criscrossed by good all-weather dirt roads that will get you to some pretty interesting places if you put in the research and are willing to park the truck and hike a little.

    One of the things I like about 2wd pickups is that they are simple. No CV joints, no T-case, no ADD, no hubs, no complex transaxle, just a simple, old fashioned engine/transmission/rear axle layout.

    If circumstances forced me into a 2wd I think I'd adjust to it just fine. Certainly I'd miss the ability to drive on the more gnarly 4wd roads but I wouldn't let that keep me from getting outside and enjoying the world.
    Martin KD0PHH
    2007 Toyota 4runner SR5, 4.0 V6. FJC lift, FJC black steelies, 255/75/17 BFG MTs & custom front bumper!

    I'm a million miles before you, I'm a million miles behind
    I'll take you straight and narrow, I'll ramble and I'll wind
    So curse my broken brimstone, or kiss my bricks of gold
    I'm not the reason - I'm just the road
    - Aaron Watson, "The Road"

  6. #6
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    I might recommend a rear locking diff of some kind - they make up a lot of the difference between 2WD and 4WD when the going gets a little rough.

  7. #7
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    Red rock that is something that I had not thought about before. Are there several options of locker for a 2wd Tacoma that exist? It would help a lot with ruts and ravines I would think. Thanks for the new addition to my list!

  8. #8
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    Missoula, MT
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  9. #9
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Locker

    Thanks I checked the Powertrax locker out it seems like a nice one. Anyone have any experience with these lockers? Seems like a decent price.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    I would be cautious of "lunchbox lockers" or other automatic lockers. I've had two spin-outs on ice that I'm pretty sure were caused by automatic LSDs kicking in at the wrong time.

    An E-locker is more expensive but will give you much more control.
    Martin KD0PHH
    2007 Toyota 4runner SR5, 4.0 V6. FJC lift, FJC black steelies, 255/75/17 BFG MTs & custom front bumper!

    I'm a million miles before you, I'm a million miles behind
    I'll take you straight and narrow, I'll ramble and I'll wind
    So curse my broken brimstone, or kiss my bricks of gold
    I'm not the reason - I'm just the road
    - Aaron Watson, "The Road"

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