Meet SHERPAH, my Gladiator build...

smlobx

Adventurist
#26
OK...time for a project update!

Since there are only going to be two of us on our trips I decided to put the back seat area to better use. I like the Goose Gear platform but damn they are proud of their Plywood! So I decided to make my own for less than $100!

First, let’s get a piece of 1/2” Baltic Birch plywood. Now as I’m sure some of you know this isn’t the junk you get at Lowe’s etc. This piece of wood has 8 plies to it and is cabinet grade. In fact you’ll probably have to go to a specialty wood supplier to find it. The good news is that it was only about $32. BTW it comes in a 5’ by 5‘ sheet! C571356F-168C-4147-B4DF-70FAC33312F3.jpeg
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#27
Then after removing the seats and storage area underneath I spent a long afternoon creating a template for the main deck. Measure twice and then cutting only took me a few pieces of cardboard!

Once the cardboard template was completed I started cutting the plywood. I used a jigsaw to round out the corners and then sanded the edges nice and smooth..

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smlobx

Adventurist
#28
I laid it in the Gladiator and it fit!

I then took a piece of 5/4” yellow pine stair tread and ripped it into the pieces that I used to glue and screw the vertical pieces together. I was sure to recess the tread pieces 1/2” to allow the vertical pieces to sit flush..

when I predrilled the holes for the 1 1/2” wood screws I also beveled the holes to allow the screw heads to sit flush.. 80AB690C-3445-45BF-A4E1-7E04032F7CB7.jpeg 8683AF57-02B9-4C51-9AD4-2B43D891D5A7.jpeg
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#29
When I put it together it looked like this...

As you can see I also cut out a couple of access panels to get to the space below the platform..

In the third picture you can see the four holes I drilled out that will allow me to use the factory seat bolts to secure the platform in place!

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smlobx

Adventurist
#31
All in all it wasn’t to hard just time consuming getting the pieces formed correctly. I decided to make some templates of the plywood pieces in case someone is interested in duplicating the project and save them a few hours of head scratching!

Another benefit is that the truck is now 77 pounds lighter and I have way more usable space to store items inside the cab.
 
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smlobx

Adventurist
#33
Things are starting to come together!

After looking for a drawer system that would work for my bed and not finding anything suitable, I finally contacted the fine folks at Truck Vault (www.truckvault.com). As some of you may know they make various drawer systems primarily for law enforcement and the military but also sell to civilians. What is more interesting is that they are completely comfortable with making a custom set of drawers for whatever situation you can think of. So I contacted them and heard back the same day with CAD drawings and a quote. The price was what you would expect with a top of the line drawer system but had the added advantage of using all the available space I had set aside for the drawers.

Here are a few pictures. The space toward the front of the bed will be for the Frontrunner water tank that I’m still waiting on and the space in front of the fridge is where the second battery box set up will be located...

This allows the fridge to sit on the bed floor and is easily reachable by my 5’-4” wife...

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smlobx

Adventurist
#34
In the last picture above you can see one of the many dividers that were included and were sent loose for me to customize as appropriate. They sent 4 horizontal and two longitudinal dividers which is way more than I’ll use so I’m going to use a couple to fill in the left side of the drawer and make a hinged storage space there.

The drawer is secured via a Kaba lock that is both keypad and/or key usable. Very high security.
Mine is carpeted as it is under the canopy but they also make versions that can be left out in an open bed.
 
#35
Things are starting to come together!

After looking for a drawer system that would work for my bed and not finding anything suitable, I finally contacted the fine folks at Truck Vault (www.truckvault.com). As some of you may know they make various drawer systems primarily for law enforcement and the military but also sell to civilians. What is more interesting is that they are completely comfortable with making a custom set of drawers for whatever situation you can think of. So I contacted them and heard back the same day with CAD drawings and a quote. The price was what you would expect with a top of the line drawer system but had the added advantage of using all the available space I had set aside for the drawers.

Here are a few pictures. The space toward the front of the bed will be for the Frontrunner water tank that I’m still waiting on and the space in front of the fridge is where the second battery box set up will be located...

This allows the fridge to sit on the bed floor and is easily reachable by my 5’-4” wife...

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That looks really sharp! Nice that you could use all the available space vs settling for something that kind of works.
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#37
Very nice. What is the weight of the vault?
Dave I didn’t weigh it but guessing from picking it up I would say it’s in the 50 - 60 pound range. One note the packaging of this drawer system weighed almost as much as the drawer itself with a custom pallet skid, multiple layers of heavy cardboard followed by more plywood etc... You could tell this was made in the USA by people who cared!
 
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smlobx

Adventurist
#38
We’re on a roll!

I finally got around to getting my HAM radio installed. I ended up getting a Kenwood TM-V71A along with a Diamond antenna and mounting bracket ( K400SNMO, NR-K73BNMO). I also picked up an inexpensive speaker off Amazon as you’ll see why in a minute.

The idea for this particular radio came from Brad (TrailRecon) on his YouTube channel and I really liked the idea of hiding the main unit, in this case under the passenger seat, while allowing me to mount the head just above the rear view mirror. It‘s very easy to see and use. I ran the power for the unit to one of the factory aux switches.

Due to the main unit being under the seat the included speaker would probably be an issue and so (on advise of my car stereo guys) we ended up mounting it under the drivers dash where you can’t see it and it is as clear as I could want it.. I mounted the microphone to the driveshaft tunnel on the passenger side and my wife said it doesn’t bother her...


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The antenna and mount were installed on the drivers side hood and was pretty straight forward. Anyway, here’s a few pictures.
 
#39
Dang! That Alu-Cab cap with the cupboard is what I want for my truck so bad I can taste it. Mine came with a Leer cap and it's decent, but that Alu-Cab cap is the business. Pair it up with my cargo glide and I'd be over the moon.
 
#40
Things are starting to come together!

After looking for a drawer system that would work for my bed and not finding anything suitable, I finally contacted the fine folks at Truck Vault (www.truckvault.com). As some of you may know they make various drawer systems primarily for law enforcement and the military but also sell to civilians. What is more interesting is that they are completely comfortable with making a custom set of drawers for whatever situation you can think of. So I contacted them and heard back the same day with CAD drawings and a quote. The price was what you would expect with a top of the line drawer system but had the added advantage of using all the available space I had set aside for the drawers.

Here are a few pictures. The space toward the front of the bed will be for the Frontrunner water tank that I’m still waiting on and the space in front of the fridge is where the second battery box set up will be located...

This allows the fridge to sit on the bed floor and is easily reachable by my 5’-4” wife...

View attachment 53678 View attachment 53679 View attachment 53680
Truck vault for the win!! Guessing yours was built on the east coast? I absolutely love mine and the programmable mechanical lock is outstanding. Can't be a lifetime warranty either. Mine was built in Sedro Woolley WA just an hour from the house.
 
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