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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jan 26, 2013
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
I've been dead set on getting a full size 1/2 ton pickup with an 8' bed with topper for road trip purposes for awhile now. That and the fact that a standard 6.5' bed won't fit in the garage anyways so I've had no reason to not get the long bed. Until I started talked to dealers...

Apparently a double cab long bed 4x4 Tundra is much like a unicorn. It'll have to be special ordered and that'll take up to 3 months and I'll miss out on all the deals going on now. So my question is does anyone here use a double cab truck with the standard 6.5' bed and feel they have enough r oom to sleep in the bed for two people and potentially a dog and still carry a weeks worth of supplies?

I'd love to hear your likes and dislikes. Doesn't have to be a Tundra... I;m also looking at Ford and Chevy but leaning heavily towards Toyota.

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By Boodge Nomchompski
Jan 26, 2013
Ancient wall art
I used to have a Titan with a standard 6.5 foot bed. The wife and I slept cozily with two dogs and easily fit 10 days of food and gear with the right storage set up. Definitely get a shell with extra headroom - that was nice. We had a futon mattress on the bed and sliding shelves built across the top of the bed so we could sit upright with no problems.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jan 26, 2013
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Boodge Nomchompski wrote:
I used to have a Titan with a standard 6.5 foot bed. The wife and I slept cozily with two dogs and easily fit 10 days of food and gear with the right storage set up. Definitely get a shell with extra headroom - that was nice. We had a futon mattress on the bed and sliding shelves built across the top of the bed so we could sit upright with no problems.


I already have the mattress :) Any pictures of your shelf setup?

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By Boodge Nomchompski
Jan 26, 2013
Ancient wall art
Sorry - I sold the truck a couple years ago and the pics are on an old computer I don't use anymore. Basically it was 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood big enough to each cover half the bed. On top of that were plastic storage bins. Nothing fancy like some of the other rigs I've seen on here. Simplicity worked well for us.

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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 26, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
I have an '08 Tundra with the 6.5' bed, and I'm 6'2". No camper, just a hard tonneau cover. I leave it open when I'm camping, sometimes only just cracked about 2" if it's cold or windy. It's big enough for two people to sleep comfortably. Room for 2 + a small dog would probably be fine. Lab or bigger and it would be pretty tight, especially if you start adding storage tubs. I would recommend keeping the majority of your bulky supplies in the cab. The back seats in a double cab fold up and give you a ton of space. Last time I moved, I think I got six or eight standard rubbermaid storage tubs back there plus other misc stuff.

Although I would love to have a new Ram with the bedside trunks...

I've been super impressed with my Tundra with just about everything except the mileage (it's the 5.7L V8). Unloaded I get around 15-16mpg, hauling a 6x10' box trailer (even empty) drops me down to about 10mpg on the highway. Maybe it's the way I love driving fast so YMMV. (hey, it's actually referring to mileage!)

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jan 26, 2013
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Brian Hudson wrote:
I have an '08 Tundra with the 6.5' bed, and I'm 6'2". No camper, just a hard tonneau cover. I leave it open when I'm camping, sometimes only just cracked about 2" if it's cold or windy. It's big enough for two people to sleep comfortably. Room for 2 + a small dog would probably be fine. Lab or bigger and it would be pretty tight, especially if you start adding storage tubs. I would recommend keeping the majority of your bulky supplies in the cab. The back seats in a double cab fold up and give you a ton of space. Last time I moved, I think I got six or eight standard rubbermaid storage tubs back there plus other misc stuff. Although I would love to have a new Ram with the bedside trunks... I've been super impressed with my Tundra with just about everything except the mileage (it's the 5.7L V8). Unloaded I get around 15-16mpg, hauling a 6x10' box trailer (even empty) drops me down to about 10mpg on the highway. Maybe it's the way I love driving fast so YMMV. (hey, it's actually referring to mileage!)


Cool, that's exactly what I'm looking at. I'm used to shitty mileage with my Xterra (16-18 avg) so that shouldn't be a big shock. I just realllllllly miss having a truck.

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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Jan 26, 2013
Me on Supercrack
I'm 6'4" and a 6.5 bed is fine for me & wife to sleep in. I would definitely prefer a double cab over an 8' bed, the cab is much more useful than the extra bed space. I used to have to have a long bed truck for work (construction) the extra length was worthless except for hauling lumber. Now that I don't need it for work I prefer vans. Even the Dodge mini-van I drive now is much better suited to camping than my trucks were, we'll 'cept for off-road use.

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By shotgunnelson
Jan 26, 2013
Lived in a truck with a 6.5 bed for quite awhile climbing. I am 6.2 and was able to fit fine but I had a nice set up to keep all my stuff under the plywood and mattress I slept on top of. Even was able to entertain some lady friends and be pretty comfy although lack of head space made some things not work :)

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By TWK
Jan 26, 2013
I've got a chevy 1500 z71 6 1/2' bed stretch cab (suicide doors). Love it.
I just wish now I bought a 2500 (boat, horse trailer).
Plenty of room for two kids, two Labradors, gear.
Mileage sux, but hey it's a full size 4wd pickup, not a Prius!

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By Dan W.
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 27, 2013
Go time..
06' 5.9 cummins Ram 2500 crew cab long bed 4x4, i get 22-24 mpg all day long. Loaded, unloaded, trailer, cabover,doesn't matter. #justsaying.

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By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Jan 27, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert.  Info coming soon maybe?  Fun 5.10 hands and fingers.
NickinCO wrote:
Apparently a double cab long bed 4x4 Tundra is much like a unicorn. It'll have to be special ordered and that'll take up to 3 months.


Doubt that, actually. I used to be the Internet Sales Manager to Toyota here in Flagstaff. We almost always had 1-2 sitting on the lot (we were big into trucks, though) and there were always half a dozen new ones within a couple hundred miles. Always pretty basic and always a 5.7L. Have you asked about dealer trading? They might be lazy and trying to sway you into something on the lot... I'm sure if they did a dealer locate they could find one. You can't be totally picky on color, but I'm sure there's a white, grey, silver, or black one in either AZ, UT, CO, or NM.

Unless they're behind in production and haven't let the 2013s hit the lot yet...

I've always loved Tundras... Bombproof. The 5.7 has nearly 100 more HP than the 5.6 in the Nissan Titan, and gets about about 1 mpg overall (difference of about $400 a year in gas).

Only downsides I've seen personally are a little bed wobble. If you're going really fast on really rocky stuff you might notice, just like you might notice if you load the bed to capacity. Otherwise it won't matter.

With that being said, the long bed Tundras are a bit unwieldy in town... much more so than the standard bed models.

I sold a lot of trucks to dirtbag types (I seemed to attract them... and was the only one who would want to talk to them a lot of the time).

My personal recommendation that many customers of mine would vouch for:

4.6L Double Cab Standard Bed Grade.
the 4.6L does awesome in fuel economy terms ($650 a year less than the 5.7) and unless you need to tow more than around 5k, you won't miss the extra power and torque.

The Grade model comes with everything you need, nothing you don't, and you can flip the front middle seat up and down to seat 6 in a pinch, or, if you're short like me, sleep a total of 4 in a pinch.

These configurations are everywhere and I believe right around $34,500 (always the cheapest Tundras we kept on the lot, actually).

6.5' is more than enough for 2 people and a dog. The coolest setup I saw (wish I had pictures) was a couple that built a platform in the back even with the tops of the wheel wells (totally flat floor) and set it up with drawers behind the tailgate and a trapdoor by the cab. Lots of storage while still keeping a flat floor. They finished it with a camper shell with a couple inches of rise above the cab. You probably could've slept 3 and a couple dogs in there.

^^ I'm planning on doing that with an old T100 Extracab for my camping mobile... once I have $5k laying around to justify another old Toyota...

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By TWK
Jan 27, 2013
Davis Stevenson wrote:
The coolest setup I saw (wish I had pictures) was a couple that built a platform in the back even with the tops of the wheel wells (totally flat floor) and set it up with drawers behind the tailgate and a trapdoor by the cab. Lots of storage while still keeping a flat floor. They finished it with a camper shell with a couple inches of rise above the cab. You probably could've slept 3 and a couple dogs in there.


Yeah, it's cool. I've built similar storage/sleeping systems for my trucks through the years. Take a look at "Truck Vault", I think that's their name, they make storage bed systems commercially. Very nice, but expensive.

I've built them so the sleeping platform can slide in at truck bed level, or slide in at the height of the top of the wheel wells. A nice touch is to have the center/forward storage box (the one right below the slider window) capable of sliding all the way out. It's my kitchen box, and I can set it right on the tailgate, or a table in the campground. Measure stuff like your camp stove, fuel can, and lantern first and plan the box around them. If you hunt or fish, design long storage for fishing rods or shotguns along the sides, and a removable top tray or two for small stuff.

And don't forget the recessed cutouts for holding the dog bowl and beer cans!

A couple of downsides. You'll use about two or three plywood 4x8s, so it'll be heavy. It tends to get bounced around on rough roads, so try to build it so it fits snugly together. You have to take it out the truck to clean it. Enamel paint helps keep it clean.

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By Ian Stewart
Jan 28, 2013
If the only reason you want a truck is for road trips, I would highly recommend looking at vans, too. Older conversion vans can be found pretty cheap, and if 4x4 is something you need it's definitely harder to find but it can be done. I picked up my extended conversion van for $2k, built a queen sized bed with tons of storage underneath, and still have plenty of standing room (I have a sport top, so there's pretty good head room). It's rwd, which definitely sucks in snow, but it does have good clearance so as long as the roads aren't slick it manages pretty well.

Of course, a truck certainly comes in handy for countless other things and I'm not sure I could be a homeowner and not own a truck. Which is why I own both a beater 4x4 truck ('89 Toyota Pickup) in addition to the van. The truck was only $3k, so my total investment has been about $5k for both. I have the truck for truck/hauling duty or for when the weather gets bad and I need the 4x4, otherwise I always have the van ready with my camping stuff stored inside, so it's ready to roll on a Friday after work. Insurance is only around $50/month for both of them. I've also never been a fan of truck toppers when it comes to using the truck for hauling shit...an open bed is so much more convenient to throw shit in. If you build a bed in it too, the usefulness of the truck is greatly diminished.

Also, to help answer your question, a queen bed is 80" long which is only 2" longer than a 6.5 foot bed. So as long as you're comfortable on a queen bed with 2" chopped off, you'll be fine.

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By Whippin
From Bend, OR
Jan 28, 2013
Haha Nick, totalled the 4Runner recently and I just got a doublecab '06 Tundra with a 6.5 foot bed and topper. I researched the bed length thing as well, the only 8 foot bed I found was on a 93 Tacoma! The used market is pretty good. Got it for 15k with 106k miles. The only thing I would change is to get a topper that is higher than the roof for a bit more headroom, but since it came with a topper I went with it. I did some consumer reports research on Ford and Chevy, the short story is basically everything sucks pretty hard for reliability so I settled on Toyota. Fuckers hold their value too. I sold the totalled 98 4Runner to a dude in Portland for $1700. Not bad!

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jan 29, 2013
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
After settling on the 6.5' bed I checked out Ram too. I owned to Rams previously and thought they were great trucks.. New ones are even nicer. Cadillac interior with all the function of a truck. Couldn't do a Van, need a bed for too much other stuff. Leaning towards the ARE MX topper in a month or two.



'13 Ram 1500 4x4 QC Sport






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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 30, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
Nice choice man! You'll be craggin in style with that rig.

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By Dan W.
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 30, 2013
Go time..
Yaaaaaaaaa! Nice choice man.

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By Andy Novak
From Golden, Co
Jan 30, 2013
Living the High Life.
Wow. Must be nice to be able to buy a shiny truck like that just to go camping.

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By TWK
Jan 30, 2013
Andy Novak wrote:
Wow. Must be nice to be able to buy a shiny truck like that just to go camping.

Nah not just for camping. He's gonna use it to pick up hillbilly chix at the county fair rodeo! }:-

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By Tom T
Jan 30, 2013
NickinCO wrote:
After settling on the 6.5' bed I checked out Ram too. I owned to Rams previously and thought they were great trucks.. New ones are even nicer. Cadillac interior with all the function of a truck. Couldn't do a Van, need a bed for too much other stuff. Leaning towards the ARE MX topper in a month or two. '13 Ram 1500 4x4 QC Sport



I love truck threads!

I had the ARE MX topper on my tacoma for awhile. It was great and the extra head room is definitely something i'd pay for again. I had one issue when it was really cold - the plastic border around the hatch cracked in two places when I closed it a less than gently. The [topper] dealer replaced it under warranty for free.

I'd go with the duel locks instead of the single in the middle. The carpet headliner also had an outrageous VOC type smell that lingered for at least a year...i might opt out of that if i could do it again. Who know's what kind of glue they used but it was something super volatile and toxic smelling.

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By Br'er Rabbit
From The Briar Patch
Jan 30, 2013
'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en bawn in a brier-patch!'
NickinCO wrote:
'13 Ram 1500 4x4 QC Sport


Nice. And in black, no less. Congrats.

TWK wrote:
Nah not just for camping. He's gonna use it to pick up hillbilly chix at the county fair rodeo! }:-


They'll be a swarmin'!

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By Wally
From Denver
Jan 31, 2013
Nick - sounds like you have ruled out a van. My AWD Toyota Sienna minivan has an 8 1/2 foot bed - is incredibly reliable - gets to 95% of the climbing areas I want to visit - gets 22 MPG - I can crank the heat and the tunes and enjoy that from the comfort of my bed, without having to exit the vehicle to access the sleeping area - has more head room in back (4 1/2 feet of space from the floor of the bed to the ceiling). I bought it new in 2004, have racked up 180,000 miles on it, and the only repairs have been maintenance.

The minivan also rules in flexibility - if 6 of us want to drive down to Shelf for the weekend - minivan wins. Second row seating for when Mom and Dad come to town - way more room in the minivan. If it is just the two of us heading out for the weekend (or the week), third row seats fold down, second row seats come out, futon mattress goes in.

That being said, four wheel drive trucks will get you to more places, have some advantages for transporting stuff that vans don't (although in some cases vans are better than pickups), and are certainly more cool. That Ram Charger is certainly a more stylin' ride than my plain jane boring blue Toyota minivan.

Whatever you get - looking forward to seeing your new rig.

Climb on! Wally

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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Jan 31, 2013
My wife and I sleep in the back of a Tacoma with a 6' bed with no problem. But it's usually our second choice. If we have time and the right place we'd rather set up a tent. The key for us is having plenty of storage room under the platform. We don't care about headroom. We live in the Rockies and the weather is usually great so we rarely need to do anything but sleep in there. Check out these photos of how we set up the bed.
This is set up in the double bed configuration.
This is set up in the double bed configuration.


It's easy to stack the half platform on top of the other a give space for bikes or whatever.
It's easy to stack the half platform on top of the other a give space for bikes or whatever.


Bolt Hangers in all four corners. The bolts are from Yakima Side Loaders
Bolt Hangers in all four corners. The bolts are from Yakima Side Loaders


A bottle opener is important. Chalk bag to catch the tops.
A bottle opener is important. Chalk bag to catch the tops.


The whole tailgate is a plywood cutting board with cupholders in it. The circle perfectly fits a Jet Boil cylinder.
The whole tailgate is a plywood cutting board with cupholders in it. The circle perfectly fits a Jet Boil cylinder.


The best part of this rig is that it's made from 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood, scrap carpet and a 2" x 4". It sits on the bed lip and straps to the left side tie-downs and can be taken out in about 30 seconds leaving a clean bed. If you're going to put in a new Tundra, you might be able to lower it for more headroom but, as I said, headroom is overrated. What is key is that you need to be able fit a full size cooler and full height Rubbermaid storage boxes below it.

An MSR Parawing is the perfect back porch. I back the truck up underneath it for shade and rain protection.
An MSR Parawing is the perfect back porch. I back the truck up underneath it for shade and rain protection.


Mal

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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Jan 31, 2013
Just a few more thoughts. When shopping for a camper shell be sure to get a high-top one. The higher door in the back makes it a lot easier to get in and out.

Get a high-top camper shell.
Get a high-top camper shell.


And, importantly, make sure the shell is lined. This may seem frivolous but when you and your bride get in there, close the hatch and do some heavy breathing (any breathing, not just sexual breathing) condensation will rain down on you if you don't have the lining.

Also, get a contractor window on the floating bed side. It costs extra but these flip-up windows (They work just like the back hatch window.) make it tons easier to load and unload the truck.

Also, again, get an extndable pole with a painter's hook on the end. This will allow you to reach back into the truck, underneath the bed and pull stuff out.

Mal

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jan 31, 2013
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
thanks for all the replies! Loving the truck so far, hope to have linex put in and the MX top on in a month or so! then ill be building a platform like the one above. I'll try to post some photos along the way.

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