Part 1: Electrical, Storage, and Camp
We recently had the pleasure of spending some quality time with a new 2017 Toyota Tacoma Long-bed. The goal? Prep this truck for a full year of overland travel, circumnavigating the entire continent of North America. The customer, a recently retired professional photographer, had four main requests: comfort, secure storage, ease of us, and power to charge his gear. Mission: Accomplished.
We started with a James Baroud Explorer rooftop tent and James Baroud rear awning, giving an quick and easy sleeping area, and protection from the elements while accessing all of the gear stored in the bed. The new James Baroud awnings are streamlined and more compact than any other awning out there, and are matched to their line of tents. More info to come.
James Baroud Explorer Evolution rooftop tent and James Baroud rear awning mounted to low profile, custom-fit Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform roof rack.
We then fit two ARB Outback Solutions drawers in the rear of the Tacoma. The Longest drawers available are the 1355, which leaves about a foot and a half of room behind the drawer for extra storage, when installed at the rear of the long bed Tacoma. In the short bed these would be a near-exact fit. In this install we mated one RD1355 to one RDRF1355, providing a slide-out worktop on the driver’s side.
We then moved on to the electrical upgrades, including a REDARC SBI12D dual battery controller and power to the bed for a high-end Magnum Dimensions 1,000w pure sine inverter-charger. This unit is unique in that when installed with a shore power plug on the exterior of the vehicle the inverter switches to a 50-amp 3-phase battery charger. A true two-in-one system. We also added quick-charge USBs to the rear of the vehicle installed with a fuse block so the customer can easily add additional electrical components in the back in the future.
110v waterproof shore power socket fit to exterior of canopy at rear driver’s side.
Magnum Energy inverter-charger tucked along driver’s side of drawer system. Wiring protected by routing under drawers to main rear fuse block on opposite side of truck.
Quick-charge USB sockets and main rear fuse block on passenger side of drawer system.
We then moved on to something a little more interesting: we removed the passenger side rear seat and fabbed a bracket out of 12-gauge stainless to accept an ARB fridge slide in place of the seat. We ran power from the auxiliary battery under the hood into the cab, to a dedicated fridge socket below the new slide and bracket. This set up allows quick and easy fridge access from the rear passenger side door.
More to come in Part II…