"Uno" the 2015 Tacoma

#81
More wiring progress today. Pulled a group of 5 wires through to the storage area behind the drivers side rear seat. Under hood I fed these up through a grommet in the plate I fabbed.

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Behind the seat i drilled two holes to allow a pass through for the wiring and installed rubber grommets.

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Everything was loomed and run through factory grommets to exit under the truck in the driver's foot well.

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Made some quick initial connections to test things:

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After this i brought constant 12v power into the storage box using one of those 5 wires i pulled. This went into a 6 circuit terminal to shoot into the relays on the relay board. Two other wires were used to provide power to the arduinos which are in turn powering the relay board and Nextion screens. I pulled a 6 wire cable back to the engine bay to carry the relay outputs into the engine bay. Everything was terminated and connected in the storage area so now I just need to make final connections under hood. So close to being done but I ran out of daylight.

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#84
Put on the Wheelers Offroad ubolt flip kit with their super bump stops this evening. Took me longer to find my torque wrench then it did to do the work.

Goodies organized :
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Comparing bump stops to oem:
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New ubolts vs the Old Man Emu set that were not long enough.

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Top Plate vs oem

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Mounted:

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Bump stops added:
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#86
Came across a local Chemical Guys franchise and picked up something new yesterday. Highly recommend this stuff for restoring trim and plastic. There's no greasy residue and it seems to repel water quite well.

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#87
While at lunch with @Scott B. The other day he pointed out the difference in the bumper positioning on the truck.

Right side:

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Left side:

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From what I can tell someone must have slowly backed into the truck in a parking lot. It wasn't a hard enough hit to cause any creases in the bumper, but it bent one of the mounting brackets. Very strange. Investigated the merits of filing a hit and run claim with insurance and determined it wasn't worth it.

Took advantage of SOS Concepts Black Friday sale and ordered a new bumper with swing out today.
 
#88
Buttoned up a couple projects here on my last week of vacation.

Installed a heated seat kit in the front driver and passenger seats. Placed the pads between the factory upholstery and the seat covers so that portion of the install was super simple. The provided wiring harness was a bit too short. The distance from what should be the battery connection to the connector that ran to the heated pads measured roughly 40 inches. The front seats of a Mini Cooper might be 40 inches from the battery, but mine weren't. Cut up the harness and extended it as necessary to make everything work. To wrap up the wiring for the heated seats I finally buttoned up everything in my 3D printed enclosure / arduino project that I've been working on. It's now mounted in the truck using a couple of RAM balls and a medium length arm:

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Heated seats are activated by two of the relays connected to the Nextion screen and then adjusted using the provided dials that were mounted in the enclosure.

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Still need to clean up some wiring, but I haven't quite decided what I want to do here yet. Part of me wants to cut a whole in the silver portion of the center console and run everything up through there using a grommet and wire loom to keep it neat. I'm going to live with it for a few weeks and see what I decide.

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The Auxbeam spot lights mounted on the SOS hood brackets are also controlled by the relay panel.

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Now it's time for a headlight/fog light upgrade. Not big on mismatched bulb colors...

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Also had a friend come over and give me a hand getting the SOS sliders installed. Other than relocating the brake hard lines on the drivers side it was a simple installation. They're very stout and I'm quite impressed with them. My rear bumper from SOS should be done in another couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing the quality of it.

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#90
Decision time...

Option 1: Bed rack with hard shell tent

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Pros:
- Easy to deploy and stow
- Fairly easy to remove when the truck bed needs to be used as a truck bed
- Relatively light weight

Cons:
- No protection for what's in the bed from water or dust without adding additional containers
- Tent will have to sit above the roof line causing additional drag and lowering MPG
- If the tent doesn't sit above the roof line it will hang over the tailgate. Somehow I'll have to fit all 6'3" of me into the area over the 5' bed...
- Tent is tied to the vehicle so I'm sleeping where I park...less flexibility on camp locations.

Option 2: RLD Designs Aluminum Shell with roof rack to carry Oz Tent

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Pros:

- Lots of dry, secure storage in the bed for cargo.
- With the addition of a sleeping platform the bed would become a sleeping space for someone smaller than me (daughter)
- OzTent not tied to vehicle so it opens up some other camping options

Cons:

- Adding more weight even as light as the shell is. Might be a wash between this and option 1 depending on exactly what equipment I go with.
- Having the capacity to bring more stuff usually leads to bringing more stuff.
- Shell is quite pricey. (I know, I know...buy once, cry once) :D

Option 3: Folding bed cover w/ custom rack

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Pros:

- Cargo area protected from water and dust
- Low profile
- With some sort of height adjustable bars could carry the OzTent across the cab roof rack with the overhang over the bed.
- I already own the folding bed cover :p

Cons:

- Not as much protected cargo area as with the shell? Of course the ability to bring less stuff encourages a tighter load out which could be considered a pro...
- Going to have to fab something to work with my current BakFlip tonneau as it doesn't appear anyone makes a compatible rack system.


Heavily leaning toward option 3 at the moment and then just honing down the rest of my equipment to fit the capacity of this setup.

Open to thoughts and suggestions in case there are things I haven't considered...
 
#91
Just because you have the space does not mean you have to fill it up. My truckbed is not full to top of my shell.

Otherwise, it's simply a matter of what looks best for the 'gram... :p

I'm on my 4th truck, and have had open bed, shell, soft tonneau and hard tonneau covers. So the answer to your question is "it depends".

You need to figure out what make the most sense - most of the time - for you. I know, obviously, right? I have liked and used all options at one time or another.

At this point in my life, I am very happy with my current setup. The tonneaus were sportier looking, but I no longer live in Cali, and am more mature. Although I did have a shell on some of the time which was great when I was racing sailboats. And backpacking, and camping, and shooting. I use my truck to haul stuff - not work stuff, fun stuff. A hard tonneau can limit what you carry - I have run out of room with one.

Even though I have a teardrop, the truckbed is set up to sleep in. It will be more setup once I finish my tire carrier - which just needs paint. (Too bad it's going to snow today...)

There was one option you missed - a RTT on top of the RLD shell.

Gas mileage? You're kidding, right? You do drive a Tacoma.

Maybe you should come at this from a different angle. Get all your gear out, and figure out how you want to organize and store it. That may give you an idea as to how you want to carry it. Also, don't forget about carrying a kayak.

For what I do now, I am very happy with my setup. Remember, I am on my second shell. I sold the first one (and took a bath :() as I (we) did not like it - this one is so much better.

We can get together if you want to look closely at my setup - it may help your decision making. And, we can get BBQ!
 

Haggis

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
#92
Hard shell on rack above tonneau....did that on the Tundra. Worked good but it had a bigger and deeper bed so more real estate was available. Could get a bit tight depending on your load out and how many you travel with. For just Michelle and me it was a good setup.

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Hard Shell on cap...current Mouser configuration. Works great with plenty of room for stuff, more than you’ll use probably. Weight is the issue with ours, that contractor cap is stout but it is heavy. About 500 plus pounds with cap and Maggie alone. But it makes for a great travel setup.

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We recently took a step to remove static weight from the Mouser...
 
#93
Thanks for the feedback fellas. Still bouncing all this around in my head.

@Scott B. we need to get together so I can go through your setup and ask questions. I also have some brake lines to put on, a rear bumper to install (or will soon hopefully) and would like to be present next time you service your transmission. :D

Gas mileage? You're kidding, right? You do drive a Tacoma.
Just trying not to weigh her down to F250 level fuel economy. Liking the 18mpg I'm getting now, trying not to fall too far below that.

There was one option you missed - a RTT on top of the RLD shell.
I thought about this option, but ultimately ruled it out because the parking garage at Hartsfield is the truck's second home. I want to try to keep things as low profile as possible. That being said a thin enough hard shell tent on top of a shell would probably still be ok.

I did have the opportunity the other day to see an RLD cap on an F150 and I have to say, I wasn't impressed. It was nice, but not nice enough to justify that they're double the cost of a Leer / ARE / SnugTop. That's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison given that it's steel vs fiberglass, but for me it's not the material but the purpose I'm after.

@Haggis what model topper is that you have on The Grey Mouser? After seeing the RLD Designs cap I'm pricing Leer, ARE and Snugtop.
 
#94
@Scott B. we need to get together so I can go through your setup and ask questions. I also have some brake lines to put on, a rear bumper to install (or will soon hopefully) and would like to be present next time you service your transmission. :D
You didn't mention BBQ?!?!?!?!?

I'd like to service my transmission and install the shift kit soon - once it warms up a little. We can do yours at the same time, if you want.

Just trying not to weigh her down to F250 level fuel economy. Liking the 18mpg I'm getting now, trying not to fall too far below that.
I get that. I am really surprised the Tacoma does not get better mileage. I don't know that I've ever seen 18mpg. :(

I thought about this option, but ultimately ruled it out because the parking garage at Hartsfield is the truck's second home. I want to try to keep things as low profile as possible. That being said a thin enough hard shell tent on top of a shell would probably still be ok.
Have you tried The Parking Spot? They are cheaper than the airport, and covered. The roof is proably 20+ feet up, so clearance is not an issue. The only issue is waiting for the shuttle bus - which normally isn't long. Things could be different these days, though.

I did have the opportunity the other day to see an RLD cap on an F150 and I have to say, I wasn't impressed. It was nice, but not nice enough to justify that they're double the cost of a Leer / ARE / SnugTop. That's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison given that it's steel vs fiberglass, but for me it's not the material but the purpose I'm after.
I've never heard of RLD, but would like to see one in person. Have you seen Tradesman Truck Tops? I have not seen one in person, but a lot of folks really like them.

I do like my Snug Top.

@Haggis what model topper is that you have on The Grey Mouser? After seeing the RLD Designs cap I'm pricing Leer, ARE and Snugtop.
The closest Snug Top dealer is in St. Louis. :eek: The end result is well worth the drive.
 
#95
You didn't mention BBQ?!?!?!?!?

I'd like to service my transmission and install the shift kit soon - once it warms up a little. We can do yours at the same time, if you want.



I get that. I am really surprised the Tacoma does not get better mileage. I don't know that I've ever seen 18mpg. :(



Have you tried The Parking Spot? They are cheaper than the airport, and covered. The roof is proably 20+ feet up, so clearance is not an issue. The only issue is waiting for the shuttle bus - which normally isn't long. Things could be different these days, though.



I've never heard of RLD, but would like to see one in person. Have you seen Tradesman Truck Tops? I have not seen one in person, but a lot of folks really like them.

I do like my Snug Top.



The closest Snug Top dealer is in St. Louis. :eek: The end result is well worth the drive.
BBQ is a given.

I looked at Tradesman for a bit, but much like SnugTop there's quite a trip involved in getting one. Closest SnugTop dealer I can find (according to their website) is outside Oklahoma City...who'd you use outside St. Louis?
 
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