Overlanding setup for the uncivilized/stealth camper

Espo78

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Actually one of the planned mods was/is the Topper EZ lift system. I really wanted a GFC type setup but living in Florida makes the cost/benefit ratio way out of range. Now I'm worried about sealing up the topper but you're right some garage door bulb seals could do the trick nicely, maybe doubled up at the front bulkhead.

https://topperezlift.com/





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charwest

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Actually one of the planned mods was/is the Topper EZ lift system. I really wanted a GFC type setup but living in Florida makes the cost/benefit ratio way out of range. Now I'm worried about sealing up the topper but you're right some garage door bulb seals could do the trick nicely, maybe doubled up at the front bulkhead.

https://topperezlift.com/
thats a really interesting product. adds a lot of moving parts, but would certainly expand headroom and flexibility. if you were regularly putting the topper on and off, or raising it up and down, i think the bedrail seal will be an important sticking point. perhaps they have a specific system which works well.

it would be tempting in an effort to level the bedrail to just bolt a piece of sealed wood onto the forward bulkhead to level the bedrail all the way around, then it would suddenly be super easy to seal the topper and you could have a long bulky compressible unbroken seal. a ranger topper woudlnt work anymore, but i know there are plenty of trucks which have that setup and i bet there is another model that would work. The other advantage of using a f150 or whatever fits topper is there may be some better mature designs that seal around the liftgate better. let us know how it goes if you go with the EZ lift topper, thats an interesting project for sure.

we originally wanted the GFC (i assume this is the go fast camper) and after some fretting and worry decided to shell out the big bucks for it. then we found out how long the waitlist was and that went up in smoke.

however we have been so satisfied with our system as-is that i dont think we would go back to a GFC. our slim profile, being able to drive into low clearance city parking lots, better MPG etc all seem like fair tradeoffs for us at this point.
 
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Espo78

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The EZlift guys claim it seals up just fine. They sell a heavy duty bulb seal as well as the regular topper tape type seal. I keep trying to find videos from people other than the guy selling the lift but theres not much out there. He's been selling the thing for like 8 years though.

 

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This is how Retrax filled the bulkhead gap.

The latest RetraxPRO XR tonneau cover design includes a bulkhead foam seal attached with 3M tape which stuck very well to my spray-in bedliner.

Image 1363.png


Image 1362.png



Earlier Retrax kits used a metal filler channel that bolted down onto the bulkhead using two existing holes.

Image 1403.png



You may be able to source these parts from Retrax. If not, this may give you ideas.
 
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charwest

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This is how Retrax filled the bulkhead gap.

The latest RetraxPRO XR tonneau cover design includes a bulkhead foam seal attached with 3M tape which stuck very well to my spray-in bedliner.Earlier Retrax kits used a metal filler channel that bolted down onto the bulkhead using two existing holes.
You may be able to source these parts from Retrax. If not, this may give you ideas.
If I remember correctly, the OEM tonneau that came with our truck also had a metal leveler piece that bolted on to the front bulkhead wall. Might be an easier source if it’s a ford part. But then again I suspect it would be pretty easy to make one with a piece of painted wood, a couple machine screws, and some silicone to seal the edges.
 
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charwest

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Bed Storage II:

Our ranger, as set-up, has more than ample room for stuff, if you're a weekend warrior or going on overlanding rides. But if you are packing a lot of gear for other various adventures because you are living out of the truck, not just using it for trips, or if you are carrying work stuff as well as normal clothes as well as outdoor gear its tight.

To maximize storage space, I made some tubular mesh storage sacks to recapture the last segment of unusable space in our 'build'.

1610495857725.png


As you can see, in its base state, there is an approximately 4x5" space that is not really usable along the entire edge of the bed, where the lip of the bedrail and topper rail overhang. It is too small for an arm or a leg to overlap tuck in there, and just shoving clothes or gear in there was annoying because they tend to spill out into the bed while driving or tossing around at night.

So i made these:
1610495917825.png


there are 5 custom sized tubular storage sacks, each with a full length YKK coil zipper and heavy duty cargo netting that is soft enough that it isn't scratchy if touching it at sleep, but open weave enough that you can tell what is in the sack and vents well to avoid mustiness. The total cost of materials was under 20 dollars, plus an hour of sewing time.

It works well, may increase the R value of the walls a fraction when its super cold, and adds a chunk of usable storage if you're really trying to maximize your options.

1610496070166.png

these are a little overstuffed, they tuck in deeper with less junk in the tubes.


1610496745843.png


Admittedly, these are especially convenient because they are the right lengths and diameters to fit our slot, but there are various similar options available online for folks looking for an out of the box solution. google keywords for these kinds of products are "mesh, storage, drawstring, organization, bag, etc" ie: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=mesh+storage+sack&ref=nb_sb_noss

68188-8d2bfcd02cb4f0930b3560af5a83f24a.png
 

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