Truck Build- Phase 2, Sleeping and Storage
Building your sleeping and storage amenities is just as, if not more, important than your vehicle choice in my opinion. For many overlanders, there are three general choices: a camper (ie: a slide in truck bed camper), a roof top tent, or a sleeping platform either in an SUV or pickup truck with a cap.
I am not going to knock any one specific set up because they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Each choice is made based on vehicle choice, budget and living/lifestyle needs of the traveler.
Initially, we had a dream of a custom slide in/pop up camper. This camper was going to be sick! Aluminum framing, low profile, custom storage, energy efficient and ultralight. It was going to be the best of everything we could dream of. But… we eventually fell down from our dream cloud and looked at our budget and the calendar. It was not going to coincide with either. So we settled on what we had and what we knew.
Our list of pros and cons for living in a truck is as follows:
- Stealth Camping: You can park pretty much anywhere and no one can tell you are sleeping there
- Weight: relatively light weight compared to a camper
- Size: there is no question if we can fit into a cargo container
- Set up convenience- there is no set up required to go to bed at night
- Hard sides are more weather resistant and secure
- Custom built to suit your needs
- Cheaper than purchasing a camper or tent
- Can be cramped at times when you are both forced to hang out in there in poor weather
- Storage: you are limited in a direct relationship between sleeping area vs storage
- You pretty much always have something on your bed, even when you try not to
- A simple life required…also a pro
- More work involved designing and building
Additional requirements/features for this trip:
- Auxillary battery system with auto disconnect
- 700w inverter
- Multiple 12v plugs
- A fan that will actually move air (purchased an Endless Breeze thanks to Home on the Highway’s recommendation)
- Lighting inside and outside of the truck
- Storage area for dirty shoes. There is nothing worse than sleeping with your dirty, smelly shoes
- The fridge needs to be relocated to the back. The dog needs his sleeping space!
- The spare will need to fit underneath the bed this time. The tires are too big for the original location, and on the roof is not ideal
- We wanted a full length drawer for ease of access to items such as food, cooking gear and everyday clothing
- Everything needs it’s own spot. No more stuff on the bed!
- Better curtain mounts
- A cap that does not leak
Sarah and I had an advantage of a long haul road trip in this truck already. We knew what worked and what didn’t. Building a sleeping and storage area in a truck cap can be a very livable way to travel assuming it was built correctly. We may not have every possible flaw designed out of our build, but we came up with what we think will do the trick!