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'16 Bobcat '17 Tacoma

bobcat tacoma composite bed

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#1 James T Kirk

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 05:41 PM

I'd like to use this thread to document my progress in setting up and modifying a '16 Bobcat. I'd also like to address some topics that I couldn't find good descriptions of while searching. Should have named my previous thread, Wiring '16 Bobcat '17 Tacoma, differently to include those posts here but, oh well....

 

The composite bed on a Tacoma

 

I was curious how the ATC is tied down securely within this type of bed. I discovered the bed bars offered by FWC. I was concerned about the fact that the camper would sitting on top of those two bars. Of course, you could place rubber matting around the bars to fill in the gap. I spoke with the crew at ATC and they informed me of how they deal with composite bed. So I followed their advice and had some tie down plates fabricated. The plate thickness is 3/16 steel. Cost me $130.

 

atcplates.jpg

 

The front plates tie-in with the front bed bolts.The rear bed bolts aren't in a good position to be utilized. So the rear plates act as a giant washer, spanning two ridges underneath the bed. I tried to place the tie down points around 6" forward and behind of the eye-bolts on the camper.

 

To get the bed bolts out you'll need a Torx bit size 55. I thought I would need to break out my impact driver, but a breaker bar worked easily enough.

atctorx.jpg

atcbedbolt.jpg

 

Initially I planned to just have a hole on the vertical end of the plate for the turnbuckle. But then, I found if I put an eyebolt there it would be a easier tie down point for the turnbuckle.

atcfronttie.jpg

 

For the rear bolts, I needed to drill a hole in the bed that would be in a good position for both the 6" span and the ridges under the bed. There was also an obstruction under there so I had to choose a spot that was a little closer to the camper eye-bolts.

atcbeddrill.jpg

 

Finished product.

atcfronttie2.jpg

atcreartie.jpg

 

I'm thinking now that I should have created another plate on top of the bed for the rear bolts. One that covers those two ridges and spreads out the tension...

 

Next Up:

 

I need to install a Propex HS2000 heater which should be showing up in a couple days, then I'll get the Bobcat on the truck to see how well these work....Kirk Out


Edited by James T Kirk, 02 May 2018 - 12:17 AM.

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#2 takesiteasy

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 05:53 PM

Nice job! We used the ATC system in our Tacoma and have 5 years of use with no issues. I like that the eye bolts give some additional secure cargo tie down points in the bed when the camper is not mounted on the truck.

 

I'll be following your thread to watch your build progress. Thanks for posting.


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#3 longhorn1

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 08:48 PM

Nice job. Look forward to seeing the rest of your build. jd
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#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:21 PM

Nicely done!
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#5 James T Kirk

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 05:01 PM

OK! The Propex HS2000!

 

This job used practically every tool I own and taxed my handyman-construction skills to the utmost!

 

First, it began with purchasing the heater, which is spendy! I found one brand new in the box on craigslist, up in Sun Valley Idaho. Got it for $600 plus shipping.

 

I planned to install it in the driver's side floor compartment near the door. My Bobcat came without fridge or heater but was pre-rigged for both appliances. On the ceiling of that compartment was the pre-rigged wiring:

 

Purple- Power/wiring for rear spot lights. (nice, will install soon)

Red- Power for heater

Blue- Thermostat for heater (no need, propex has it's own)

Yellow- Power for switched exterior light, installed.

Black- Ground, of course.

 

bobcatheaterwiring.jpg

 

You can easily remove the door and wall. Great access for installation!

 

bobcatheaterlocation2.jpg

 

The big problem with the Propex is that it's meant to be installed on a vehicle floor. It has exhaust and intake pipes for the combustion chamber extending from the underside of the unit. Every youtube video I watched had those pipes routed haphazardly under various vehicles. Well, that can't happen here. It's a small heater and it made me think I would still be able to use that compartment for storage as well.

 

No way. Bummer.

 

I have to build a shelf for it to sit on, then route the intake and exhaust to the exterior of the camper. That exhaust line is HOT! I have to think about clearance or the whole rig is going up in smoke!  :o

 

The heater just barely fits North/South and it has to be installed horizontally. I planned to have the hot air run straight out. No bends, lots of hot air! The hot air inlet vent for the compartment would be on the floor.

 

bobcatheaterpanel.jpg

 

Like I said that combustion chamber exhaust is HOT! I really wrestled with how to protect the camper. Then I thought about exhaust wrap. For motorcycles, you know? I found a great product at the car parts store. A protective heat shield sleeve, $19! Perfect! I'll need 1 1/4" inch minimum. The exhaust will be routed to the rear of the camper.

 

bobcatheatershield.jpg

 

The combustion air intake is easy. I decided to run it to the front of that compartment, which ends up just behind the wheel well of the truck. I purchased a 'Through Hull' fitting from amazon. 1", $7.

 

bobcatheaterintake.jpg

 

bobcatheaterintake2.jpg

 

I removed the bottom two panels of the exterior sheeting, exposing the rear wall of the compartment. I removed the insulation and cut a large square of the 1/4" paneling, replacing it with sheet metal. Then cut a 1 1/4" hole for the exhaust line.

 

bobcatheaterexhaust.jpg

 

bobcatheaterunderside.jpg

 

bobcatheatertopside.jpg

 

Now, there's a lot of talk about the length of the two pipes. Propex says don't cut them down or some kind of fault in the system will occur and the heater will shut down. Especially if you are at altitude. I've seen other installations where the piping is cut to fit. I really was confused about the pipe length or the length of the two extensions on the underside of the unit. Which are each a different size. Whatever, I live at 4500, and will definitely be camping at higher altitudes. I'll keep everything at stock lengths. All of this piping wandering around in that compartment is a bummer. Another reason I've lost storage capacity. Oh, well...

 

This post is getting big...think I'll split it in two...Next Up: Part Two!

 

 


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#6 James T Kirk

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 02:12 AM

Propex HS2000 installation Part Two:

 

Like I mentioned before, my rig is set up for a fridge and heater. It was very nice to find propane stubbed-out to the 'Fridge Compartment' above the heater by ATC.

 

bobcatheaterstub.jpg

 

I need to run 1/4" copper down to the heater. I learned that not all copper pipes are created equal! You must have a special copper pipe that is designed for LPG. My previous experience with this stuff has always been with water applications. So, I had to drive a total of 3 hours round trip to the Home Depot in Grand Junction to get it. Jeeeeeze!

 

That fitting pictured above takes a 3/8" gas flare that has to be reduced to 1/4" compression.

 

bobcatheatergasline2.jpg

 

bobcatheatergasline.jpg

 

The unit comes with various brass fittings to tap into an existing line. You really want some of those fittings! Because the threads coming out of that British heater are British! BSPT thread. The elbow to 1/4" compression was supplied, fortunately...

 

bobcatheatertopside.jpg

 

There are two electrical connections within the unit to be made. One cable for power then another for the thermostat. No shots of the details, but routed up within the wiring loom then behind the paneling to the thermostat.

 

bobcatheaterthermostat.jpg

 

Fired it up, works great! Phew! The vent is a little close to the hot air outlet. Instructions say 12" minimum, I got 2". Been running the heater for a couple hours, the vent's not melting. We'll see? Final product:

 

bobcatheaterfinal2.jpg

 

bobcatheaterfinal.jpg

 

Next up? Time to get the Tacoma in shape for 900lbs in the bed!

 

OME HD Dakars with AAL. OME 887 coils in the front. Bilstein 5100's all around... Kirk Out

 

tacomasuspension.jpg


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#7 takesiteasy

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 02:43 AM

Nice job on the heater installation- quite a project!


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#8 James T Kirk

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 03:41 PM

Oh, but first:

 

When I bought the rig used from a private seller I was surprised to find that plugging in shore power neither charges the battery nor powers the 12v system. Well that had to be remedied.

 

Thanks to this thread: http://www.wanderthe...e-power-scotty/

 

I learned about multi stage charging and how our batteries are always under charged. I picked up this charger from Amazon, a DLS-30/IQ4 $164.

 

31uHCQWBGbL.jpg

 

I had to run another 120v line to the other side of the camper via some interesting methods, then set up the charger right next to the battery. It went to work, and worked flawlessly! Once fully charged it maintained a level of 13.7v.

 

bobcatbatteryvoltage.jpg

 

 

bobcatbatterycharger.jpg

 

-Kirk Out


Edited by James T Kirk, 15 January 2018 - 03:44 PM.

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#9 Vic Harder

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:28 PM

Oh, but first:

 

When I bought the rig used from a private seller I was surprised to find that plugging in shore power neither charges the battery nor powers the 12v system. Well that had to be remedied.

 

Thanks to this thread: http://www.wanderthe...e-power-scotty/

 

I learned about multi stage charging and how our batteries are always under charged. I picked up this charger from Amazon, a DLS-30/IQ4 $164.

 

-Kirk Out

:)  Glad that thread helped you!   :)


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#10 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:49 PM

Nice project.I like where the heater puts the hot air into the camper.

It should really keep you toasty.

Thanks for posting

Frank


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