Barlowrs Expedition Tacoma Build

idgara007

New member
I am upgrading my aux fuse box mount and like your idea with an easy off top portion. However, I dont know where to buy the long nut things or even what they are called. If you can help me out with a source or what to ask for at homedepot/lowes, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a ton, and amazing build!
 

barlowrs

Explorer
Magnetic Comm Mounts

Well I am revising my whole interior (lots more to come in next few weeks), however, one thing that has always bugged me was the stupid hangers for the CB and HAM handset, I always thought they were hideous, so I decided to change it up. A friend of mine (4RunAmok on Expeditionportal.com) had a great idea of using magnets to hold the comm handsets, so I got to be the guninie pig, and sure enough they work amazing! (I beat the crap out of her on the trail and they hold on tight).

It’s a very simple mod, Just get some rare earth magnets (common these days) and mount them wherever you want your handsets. I mounted mine behind the lower center panel.



Then just change out the back clip on the handset to a magnet of the opposite pole, and viola, completely hidden magnetic mounts:


 

barlowrs

Explorer
Hood Blackout

Well for an upcoming mod, I finally decided I needed to black out my hood, so rather than spending a lot of money on vinyl or expensive paint, I decided to give plastidip a try. I previously used it on my emblems. So first off I took the hood off and masked off where I wanted to black out. I also removed the hood scoop and painted it separately. Then I started with 2 cans of platidip. One thing to note, as all online tutorial say, you need to do heavy coats around the tape so that the paint is still wet when you remove the tape, otherwise it will peel..mine came off perfectly and left very crisp, clean lines.




The plastidip works perfectly!!
 

barlowrs

Explorer
LED Light Bar

You were probably wondering why I blacked out my hood..well here is the reason. This is an Alien 50” LED Bar (bright as HE!!).


Because I am getting the flippac, which opens up pver the hood, I had to be careful to not mount it too high, so I decided to fab up some custom brackets that will put the bar out over my windshield and practically flush with my roof line.

First up was templates:


Then I got some material. I want them light but strong. Originally I was going to use steel since I have to do somre pretty large bends to go from my rain gutter to the outside of the 50” bar, but I decided to give 7075 T6 a try first, if it breaks during the bends, then I will go to steel (T6 is not really meant to bend at all).

Well, as you can see, the aluminum bent just fine (it was REALLY close to snapping haha). I then welded the feet to it so that they would fit in the rain gutter. Then I drilled all the holes. I also machined around the holes to make room for a socket to tighten them down (remove material from weld) as well as add clearance to the bottom to allow for the head of the rivnut.







Since the access cabs do not have holes for the factory roof rack I had to drill and install rivnuts in my roof. Its pretty straitforward as long as you have a rivnut tool. Just drill, add a LOT of silicone since it’s your ROOF) and install rivnut. I chose M6 to make them standard with other bolts on my truck (Good call Mark).



Then a bit of black rustolium and viola:



 

barlowrs

Explorer
Relay Bank

Well since I am revamping my interior and adding a bunch more lights (LED Bar and many more) I decided to revise how my wiring is done for these. Also, if anyone has ever been driving down a dark road with their auxiliary lights on, and a car come around a bend at you, I’m sure you have noticed how much of a PITA it is to switch 5 million switches off to get all your lights off to not blind them (or maybe I’m the only one, but I hate it), so I decided to wire up my main auxiliary lights (Lightforces on bumper and LED bar on roof) to be able to either independently switch with an internal cab switch OR trigger on and off with my high beams. To do this I derived the following circuit:



The reason for so many relays is so that my high beam harness does not get overloaded and also so that I can use standard 40a relays available everywhere. I could have reduced it by one relay but it would require at least a 60A relay, and that is a pain to get if you need one in a pinch in the middle of nowhere.

So onto the mount…like my aux fuse block mount I got some stainless, and bent and drilled it as follows:



Then some rustolium and you have:



Using rivnuts again, I made a spot above the steering rack to mount the bracket; this also keeps it close to the aux fuse block (power supplies)



Then I started working on the harness for the relays (based on the circuit above)



And here it is all mounted. And the circuit above works great, everything can be set to “Auto” to go on and off with High Beams, or they can be set to “Off” to stay off, or “On” to stay on (it’s a 3 position switch for each light)

 

barlowrs

Explorer
Flippac

And now for the best mod to date.

DISCLAMER: If you do not know what a Flippac is, I advise you not to read any further, as it may result in you wanting one and spending a LOT of money to get one. Otherwise, continue (but I warned you).

OK, for those that do not know what a flippac is, it is basically a camper shell that opens up over your cab/hood to form a tent. The result is a Full/Queen sized mattress over your hood and a cull 7” or so of standing room in the bed of your truck. This basically makes your truck a mobile apartment.

I got my Flippac from adventure trailers (http://www.adventuretrailers.com/flippac.html). They are FULLY customizable, with LOTS of options. For now I got no side windows, so it is very secure and just fiberglass on the sides. I may later add a windoor on the passenger’s side to give me easy access to the fridge mounted in the bed.

Once I start building the flippac out, I will start a new thread like this one for it, so watch out for that.

Anyway, here are a few shots of the interior mattress form this weekend.

Mattress:



Standing in the bed looking up to mattress:



Here are a few of the tent collapsed (this is how you normally drive around, pretty low pro, and you still have an normal truck bed for storage/load carrying, just with a camper on the top.







Here are some deployed with the “$hit is hitting the fan rain fly” installed:





A few at night of JUST the tent, no fly:



 

Rattler

Thornton Melon's Kid
OK. Now for a bunch of Flippac ??s.
I am in the Midwest and someone has said that the Flippacs don't seem as suited for the colder climates here. How has yours done in colder weather and how long have you had it?

Can you leave your bedding in it like in a RTT (well, the half that doesn't fold)?

Is the rainfly required for rainy weather? (yea, I know that one sounds dumb).

What would you guess the wieght on the Flippac is?

I really like the setup!
 

barlowrs

Explorer
OK. Now for a bunch of Flippac ??s.
I am in the Midwest and someone has said that the Flippacs don't seem as suited for the colder climates here. How has yours done in colder weather and how long have you had it?

Can you leave your bedding in it like in a RTT (well, the half that doesn't fold)?

Is the rainfly required for rainy weather? (yea, I know that one sounds dumb).

What would you guess the wieght on the Flippac is?

I really like the setup!
Ok I'll try to answer to my best knowledge, but I suggest you also talk to Mario on this forum, (he works for AT who sells them. He is VERY good source of info)

So:

1: As far as I can tell, it's like any other tent, there is a separate fly for heavy rains, however, for cold, I do not see it being a problem. The only thing I can think of is that it's a lot of area (your truck bed and the mattress area) so it may not stay as warm as a 1 person tent just from body heat, but the nice thing is you can pile blankets and lots of ppl for lots of heat. You can also install heaters in them. Dave (Tacodoc on this forum) runs a heater in his. He is also a good source of flippac info as he has had one for a long time.

1.5: This weekend was my first trip out in it, she is brand new. But I have several friends with them and have done a lot of research.

2. Yup you can, as we speak my bedding is folded up inside. The way it works is that there is a "hammock" that spans the roofline of the camper, when you close the shell up, so the mattress flips from the open position over your hood to the closed position on top of the camper, the tent and mattress and any bedding you had there is resting ONTOP of the hammock, this way the tent material does not interfere with the truck bed, so you can still haul stuff. NOW with that being said, of you pack a BUNCH of blankets and pillows and everything, it may get very thick and hard to close all the way and comprise the seal. But right now I have a down comforter, big fleece blanket and a pillow up there and it closes just fine. If you do it this way, your bed will not be made when you open it though, as it all falls the hinge point while opening. To prevent this i plan on adding straps around the mattress so "tie" my bedding in place.

3. I would say talk to Dave (Tacodoc) on this one (See his website here as well). I believe he has done some weather proofing to the tent material and if I remember right, he has yet to actually use his fly. I put mine up just in case because I have not done waterproofing yet.

4. Weight depends on your truck bed length (long or short) but they are both right around 300 lbs. Honestly, now that I have it on the back, I don't even notice it's there.
 
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