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Side boxes instead of fenders

Tacoma utility bed side tool box

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#11 craig333


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Posted 23 September 2017 - 07:26 PM

If I had the money and or skills I'd do something like that in a heartbeat. Looks great!

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#12 CougarCouple


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Posted 24 September 2017 - 12:30 AM

I also like the idea of being able to access the lost space in front and behind the wheel wells. Anyone ever put access doors on the outside of the truck bed, or seen it done?

Cool looking storage, is the floor of your camper one the flatbed much higher than your original truck bed?

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#13 ckent323


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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:17 AM



I have made arrangements with a local custom body man to cut the bed sides of my Dodge truck and make them fold down (like the now out of production Hide-n-side).   He will box in the bed to the depth of the wheel well to a template I have made that gives 1" clearance on each side of the camper when installed in the truck bed.  


It is my expectation that the side doors (actually the bed sides) will be hard to identify and blend with the truck bed contours.


The work will take a few months and I will post pictures when it is done.


Here is a picture of a similar approach.

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Edited by ckent323, 24 September 2017 - 02:18 AM.

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1993 Dodge Cummins W-250 Club Cab long bed, 2007 FWC Keystone

#14 klahanie


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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:24 AM

Thanks guys.


CC, truck is (was) a cab & chassis, delivered incomplete. But for sure the deck is higher than a PU model, depends on how the bed is constructed. FWIW I'll will say I haven't noticed a difference over the previous F250 PU we had. But of course this is a longer, more stiffly sprung, much heavier vehicle with a lot of weight below the belt line. With a hard side it might be different ...

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#15 CougarCouple


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Posted 24 September 2017 - 04:51 AM

That sounds cool. Looking forward to seeing the finished results.

Thanks for the insight on that I guess it's always best to keep weight down low.

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F250 extended cab, Cougar from ATC. You guys rock thank you!

#16 VanGoOutdoors


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Posted 24 September 2017 - 09:26 PM

You either have to raise the bed or raise the suspension - otherwise the tire will hit the bottom of the flatbed.   I also have a flatbed on a 2016 Tacoma, which I ended up mounting ~4" above the bed mounts.   I have a slight lift, so I could maybe have reduced that to 3", but either way you need the clearance, which ends up with a taller camper.   It is not the down travel that matters it is the compression or up travel that matters and airbags make this situation slightly worse as you loose your bump stops, so there is nothing to limit the up travel. 


not necessarily.  If you buy an off the shelf flatbed, they are very tall.  Mine is not. 

You could go the flatbed route then cut the flat bed and fab up a wheel well to keep it low. This would leave storage fore and aft of the wheel. 

But do you really want more storage space? It just means carrying more stuff which equals more weight.  A tacoma, gen 1 or 2 is already overweight with just the camper, some a little others a whole lot. ;)  Heck add bumpers, skid plates, sliders ,suspension,tires and rims, a winch, a few lights, driver,passenger a dog or kids, and now your overweight before loading up the camper :o



For me its just to keep chairs, tables etc out of the main camper. 

broverlanding, wow that looks great.  If you built that yourself more props to you !


To the OP, we also did something similar under the wings in the sense that it is open space covered by a large panel vs individual storage boxes. I chose this design because of the flexibility for storage and it worked better for use as a camper-off flatbed (our wants).  Custom boxes can get expensive but might be worthwhile if the size was maxed and they extended down to bottom of the cab door level. Then they could also serve as a wheel cover/fender for debris. Also agree, if you search flatbed/deck or service body sites I think you will find lots of ideas.


Certainly I can relate to the desire for more storage but I will second the caution that it can lead to overloading - possible even with a one ton srw.


some pics of our set up and some of the extra junk we can carry above the deck height ...







I did in fact build the entire thing myself. 

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