The Grey Mouser: Reboot

Greg

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More progress...
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I’m pretty happy I went this route.

Except the supplied Comeup hook...don’t like it so it’s on just temporarily until I get something better.
Nice. I like the recovery points on the aluminum winch mount. Can't use soft shackles on the steel.

Do the recovery points run almost all the way back to the frame like on the steel bumper?
 

Haggis

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Do the recovery points run almost all the way back to the frame like on the steel bumper?
Yes. I also really liked that I could keep both factory recovery points utilizing the bumper. No hacking off needed. It was a pretty simple install other than steeling yourself up to cut up the plastic bumper surround.
 

Haggis

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One of the minus of the Maggiliona is wet weather entry. I did come up with a home brewed solution utilizing a camping tarp, that while functional wasn’t very elegant. Also that tarp worked better with the Maggie on the trailer than the truck.

While scoping out the OK4wd site for other things I noticed that they were selling Autohome stuff. And lo and behold there was a more elegant solution... Batwings.

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Made up of two canvas wings with aluminum perimeter poles they make for a more sheltered entry. The top rod slides through the top sleeve and than slips through two sewn hoops on the top edge of the tent fabric. Side stiffeners and a three piece bottom perimeter rod form the shape. 4 tie down points, and tension ropes anchor it.

Pretty easy to assemble and mount, even eaiser to disassemble. We’ll give them a try this coming weekend.
 

Haggis

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We have this awning that lives on the BaseCamper trailer. Darn thing has hardly been used and I often consider it my worst thought out purchase. Either we are setting up camp late and don’t need the shade or it’s storming like hell and we don’t want to see it destroyed. It just didn’t get used.

But Michelle is diggin’ the trailer less travel set-up these days and one day while we were out in the garage she looked over at that awning and said “Why dont you figure out a way to use that thing on the truck.”

So that meant longer crossbars for the truck and figuring out a mounting system...

Ended up with a set of ARB awning mounting brackets modified to fit the Eezi Awn rails, and a new pair of 60” Thule load bars. Turns out the new style bars are slotted to accept accessories so installing the brackets was easy utilizing Thule cam nuts so no drilling needed. Super simple to mount up and quick to remove. I think it looks a bit off but Michelle was pleased. Rides rock solid.

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Greg

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Nope. Door just lightly brushed the bag. It does negatively effect my perception of the truck but the wife likes it so....
I'd raise it up a little if you can. I originally mounted the Darche just so the driver's side suicide door could clear it when opened. With the awning extended, and giving it a little slope for rain water to run off, it was annoyingly low on the outside edge.
 

Haggis

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I'd raise it up a little if you can. I originally mounted the Darche just so the driver's side suicide door could clear it when opened. With the awning extended, and giving it a little slope for rain water to run off, it was annoyingly low on the outside edge.
Negatory there.

Mounting it higher would interfere with tucking the Maggiolina’s fabric back in when closing it back up.
 

Haggis

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We like having the fridge up front in the cab of the truck. Easy to grap a cold drink or a snack while on the road and it doesn’t eat dust in the bed of the truck. Usually it rides on the folded down portion of the 60% rear seat. Works good back there but eats a lot of rear interior room, plus the passenger has to wiggle and giggle to open the fridge while moving. Than @Dave posted a pic of his fridge solution awhile back with the fridge facing forward behind the drivers seat. That frees up a bunch of interior room, he’s a clever boy. Photo shamelessly stolen from the Gator build thread.
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Out of curiosity I checked out the Goose Gear site for the Tacoma equivalent...nearly $500 for a 40% seat delete..ah, nope, ain’t doing that. My wallet screamed in agony at even the thought. So I did what I normally do, rummage around in the shed and see what can be imagineered more homebrew than hipster.

First it was time to remove the rear 40% seat to see if the fridge would even fit. Luckily the opening in the drivers side rear wall enclosure is just about an inch wider than our ARB 50 fridge so I could make it fit utilizing the set back there. I imagined possible mounting methods for a tray and realized the hinges for the rear seat back would work perfect but I would have to space the front up. Than I found the old aluminum scaffolding planks from Fafhrds RTT rack that were our entry porches to the Maggie. Hmmm. Placing them side by side they would fit perfect between those seat hinges, now we’re getting there. Than I found an old cut off piece of aluminum extrusion from my LJ rack when it was being used as a test fit mule. Holy crap it’s the perfect height when placed on the lower seat hinge to match the height of the tray in the rear. The truck mod gods are smiling on me today!
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I cut one scaffolding plank in half, bolted them together and than made front and rear supports out of 2x2 aluminum angle to add support. The slotted extrusion was cut 2” longer than the planks to allow for a hold down mount. The slotted rail bolts to the lower seat hinges making it moveable, and the planks mount to the underside of the seat back hinges. Stainless steel button head Allen bolts were used so there would be no hard edges. Also I had them in the toolbox from another project so...

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That above is the tray in the up position. I don’t really need it to hinge as that under seat tool box is readily accessible from the other side but why the hell not.

Tray in the down position, the eye bolt allows me to bolt down and secure the tray easily for the side. It locks the tray very securel, there’s no wiggle or give at all. I need to source the correct length bolt but It’s what I had in the shop and for once I did a project without having to make a run into town. It’s true.

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There was a piece of carpeting left over from my bed drawer build so I cut it to fit the tray to act as an insulator between fridge a tray...
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Here you can see the fridge slid back into the rear panel access.
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The fridge is secured with 2 cam buckle straps that wrap around the rail and the lift handle of the fridge in the front, and a single cam buckle secured to the child safety seat hoop in the rear. This past weekend bouncing down the forest roads of southern PA the fridge rode great, we we’re very pleased with this set-up. Both front and rear feet of the fridge are setting squarely on the tray. I could bolt it in but that would be a pain as it’s rarely in the truck other than when we are out wandering.

Theres room under the tray for storage, I’m thinking winch controller, soft shackles and a tree strap tucked into a low profile bag would ride nice there.

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All told I figure I have about $40 max in this thing and it looks pretty good. Wait for the Haggis Gear Tacoma Seat Delete Kickstarter campaign..

Nah, just imagineer some stuff for yourself. Now what to do with that extra $450 in my pocket?
 
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Haggis

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When the need to keep the truck to be able to do truck things conflicts with wanting to keep certain items outside the truck itself sometimes you have to open yer wallet. Yes, it is me, i haven’t been hacked...

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Now the gas can, trash bag and hi lift can ride outside. Possibly the propane tank as well if I can figure out a mount. The Wilco is for trips only, not a permanent fixture. Most of the time it will hang in the garage, especially during the winter months. I can’t imagine road salt would be kind to that hitch wedge lock.
 
When the need to keep the truck to be able to do truck things conflicts with wanting to keep certain items outside the truck itself sometimes you have to open yer wallet. Yes, it is me, i haven’t been hacked...

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Now the gas can, trash bag and hi lift can ride outside. Possibly the propane tank as well if I can figure out a mount. The Wilco is for trips only, not a permanent fixture. Most of the time it will hang in the garage, especially during the winter months. I can’t imagine road salt would be kind to that hitch wedge lock.
It would stop rattling...
 

Haggis

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The Mouser all dressed up in its traveling outfit...

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And I think this is where all the fiddling will end for awhile. It’s pretty much got all that we need for our wanders and I don’t feel a case of Bolteverythingoncauseicanitus coming on so we’re good.

Now it’s time to step back, see what works and what doesn’t and than figure out where our future vehicles needs lean. We’re kicking around ideas about getting a work/hunt truck and keeping the Tacoma as a dedicated travel rig. Until we figure it out we’ll enjoy this truck the way it is and wander about as is our wont.
 

Haggis

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That's a good place to be. How's the tire carrier working for you?
Okay so far. Doesn’t rattle or bounce around and it swings easily. The back view out the rear window is decent but of course the rear camera just sees gas can. I wish it had a detent or two to hold it in a half closed or 3/4 open position. Our upcoming trip will be the test of it but I already know I can’t live with it as a permanent fixture, that’s the main reason I choose this over a swing out bumper.
 
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