After an initial consultation, a professional photographer came to us from a thousand miles away for a very thorough phase 1 build of her Gen 2 Tacoma. She went all in with this initial build to make it as efficient as possible for her to hit the trail in search of landscapes and animals to photograph. Her Gen 2 Tacoma received an Alu-Cab Explorer Canopy (with table kit, and load bars), Alu-Cab Shadow 270 Awning, ARB Drawers (with roller top), dual battery system powered by a Redarc 1240D, a Magnum Pure Sine Inverter/Charger with shore power hook-up, and an Spod SE Source with HD control pad to control all of her electrical accessories.
With many of her travels in the hot and sunny Southwest, an awning is a welcome addition. We mounted the Alu-Cab Shadow Awning to Alu-Cab crossbars, atop an Alu-Cab Explorer Canopy. This is a very efficient and streamlined setup great for anyone looking for rugged usability.
The Alu-Cab Shadow Awning is the quickest and strongest awning on the market. Simply unzip the awning case, undo the velcro straps, pull it open and tension it at the opposite corner.
It is free standing but does have one support leg that can be setup when the weather is sour. There are 3 additional guidelines stored in each arm for windy days.
With access in mind the Alu-Cab Explorer Canopy was a no brainer, allowing her to access every corner inside her bed. Note the orange strap that is hanging down from the roof – that is the quick release latch to pull the Alu-Cab table down from the ceiling. Light enough to handle with ease and setup, the table sets up in mere seconds (we’ll be sure to make a video of that next time).
For inbed storage we custom-installed a set of ARB RDRF 1355US. The drawers slide out completely and the tops of the drawers also slide out full length. The drawers themselves are fully lockable for added security.
Just like the drawers, simply pull on handle and the tops of drawers slides out. This is extremely useful for getting say a duffle bag that’s all the way in the back.
The customer needed the ability to charge various gear while on the road and out on site. We started with dual batteries in the engine bay – on the left we have a Full River deep cycle AGM battery handling auxiliary needs. On the right is an Odyssey Extreme starting battery. Top right is the Redarc BCDC1240 Dual Battery Controller (w/ integrated solar charge controller) and corresponding breakers for safety and security of the new electrical system. Forward of that is the Spod SE Source, whose HD Control Pad is located along with a REDARC LCD Dual Voltage Gauge on a custom plate in the center console of the cab (see below).
The customer now has ability to mount up to 8 accessories to her sPod with no other wiring to do. The picture above shows her control panel which resides near her cup holders for easy engagement. A sheet of pre-printed labels comes with every sPod, to keep switches distinguished.
As a photographer, the customer needed power to charge various accessories and types of gear – from cameras and laptops to phones and drones. Here we installed a Magnum Dimensions MMS-1012-G 1000W Pure Sine Inverter/Charger with control panel (shore power socket on driver’s side rear fender). Next to that is a Blue Sea fuse block for powering rear accessories. To carry all of this we fabricated a custom aluminum control box that mounts securely to the drawers and the bed rail.
(let us take a second to admire Jay’s custom fab work on this control box. Tig welding is beautifully done and fits snugly against wheel well.)
On the front we mounted a Magnum Dimensions ME-RC Controller to optimize inverting and charging settings and statuses. Right below that control panel we have dual Blue Sea Quick Charge USB ports for phones, tablets and other various accessories, and an additional 12v socket for any accessories needing power with that input.
That concludes phase 1 of this build. Phase 2 will include a rooftop tent, dual-swing-out rear bumper, suspension, tires, and more.
– Lance at Adventure Ready