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New Member's 1st Gen Tacoma Questions

payload tacoma 1st gen camper stock new member newbie alaska

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#1 _Ish_

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 08:49 PM

Greetings everybody!

While trying to find answers on the very informative TacomaWorld forum, I was directed over to WTW. What a great site! I'm looking forward to falling into some fun rabbit holes on here.

 

I have a 1st Gen tacoma and want to upgrade from the camper shell build out that I've been using for a couple years. I understand that there are nearly unlimited options out there for where to go next but what I'm looking to do right now is try to find a camper that will work with my truck as is or with minimal upgrades. Being up in Alaska, there are simultaneously many options and few options. Lots of campers have made their way up here over the years but if it's not here now, I basically can't get it without making the drive south. And of the ones here, many are in disrepair.

 

While I'm not mechanically inclined, I am trying to get a better understanding of my vehicle, its capabilities, and how to upgrade things to suit my needs. Right now, everything is stock except for a set of 16" wheels and a hitch that came with the truck when I bought it from a little old lady.  Eventually, I want to upgrade the suspension, get a 2.5 lift, etc. so I can do some 4x4 traveling. But for right now, I'm just looking to get a camper that I can take on modest (for alaska) adventures. So my question is:

If I find a camper for sale within my weight range (I believe that is 1,200lbs) what do I need to add/change/upgrade about my truck before picking it up and going camping?

 

As much as I want to get the lift and suspension before the camper, with the summer season fast approaching I doubt I will be able to do much to the truck until Sept. So I'm just trying to figure out what minimal adjustments (airbags and better tires?) need to be made for me to get on some summer trips. Once I have that figured out, I want to start exploring what options there are for upgrades. Then I can order parts and hopefully everything will have shown up by the end of summer.

 

My sincerest thanks in advance for any help you all can give. I am sure there are some threads out there that could help me out with navigating this new hobby and I'd be happy to read through those if someone wants to post a link. I've tried using the search function on the forum but couldn't get concrete answers.

 

Thanks everyone! This is a really cool forum and I'm excited to join!

 

btw: mods, if this is posted in the wrong place, please let me know and I will move it 


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#2 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 09:11 PM

Ish welcome to the site.

I recommend getting in touch with Marty at All Terrain Campers

 I think a  Bobcat shell or full camper would be a good fit for your truck.

ATC makes a very high quality camper and will work with you on some custom work.

 

Also keep your eyes out for used Bobcats or FWC Eagles/Fleets.

These campers don't come on the market often and get purchased quickly.

 

This is a great site lots of very knowledgeable members.

Frank


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#3 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 09:37 PM

Ish welcome to the site.

<snip>

ATC makes a very high quality camper and will work with you on some costume work.

<snip>

Frank

Ish, welcome to the group.  We are all a bit crazy, but relatively harmless.

 

I’ll second what Frank said about ATC, but they actually do custom work, not costume :P work.  Frank, I’ll fix that for you.

 

If you need help with anything reach out to the site team, or pose a question to the group.  Someone will know the answer.


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#4 Cottonww

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 09:57 PM

Mods to the 1st generation Tundra:

 

I recommend finding a shop with experience installing helper springs rather than air bags or both. I had a lot of problems with leaky air bags and had a shop install an extra leaf spring. It works great. 

 

Also get 10 ply tires!


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#5 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 10:34 PM

Ish, a bit more info on the ATC Bobcat shell.  If I remember correctly, Marty said mine came in a little under 700#, with battery, furnace, side dinette, and solar.  It got heavier as I built it out.  No water system or stove.  
 

I had my Bobcat on a 2007 Ranger, 4.0L, automatic, with 6’ bed.  I added Airlift airbags, and load range E Cooper tires.  I’m not sure the tires were necessary, as I know one member with a similar truck/camper who takes his rig into rough, rocky areas frequently.  The heavier the tire, the more it takes to move them.  You should plan on airbags or a new spring pack for your Tacoma.  Springs if it’s on full time.

 

I have another ATC on order, and this time it’s going to be for a full size truck, but still a shell.  The interior will have a furnace/stove combo, a bench storage locker for hiding the battery, the insulation pack, and not much else.  
 

Regards,

 

WS
 


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#6 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 28 March 2022 - 12:29 AM

Thanks Steve for the correction.

 

Ish I also had my Bobcat on a 06 Ranger 3.0 V6. The smaller engine

made some uphill and head winds slow us down.

I now have it on a 02 Tundra what a difference.

 

The ranger I used  Supersprings and the Tundra I use Firestone airbags.

I like the airbags better as the lift can be adjusted is needed.

 

Feel free to ask questions.Someone will for sure answer you.

Frank


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2002 Tundra AC TRD 4WD Limited 2009 ATC Bobcat loaded http://sharychic.blogspot.com/


#7 KLillie

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Posted 02 April 2022 - 05:01 PM

I have a custom ATC shell on order for my 1st gen Tacoma. It will be the same size as the FWC Finch model. It is similar in cost if not less than a used FWC Finch (if you can find one) or Eagle. I have OME Dakar leafs and an AAL with bumpstops. I'm going to try that when I get my camper but might end up with air bags instead. I will also probably add frame stiffeners in that weak spot on the that is notorious on 1st gen Tacomas just in case. 


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