2018 Toyota Tundra Double Cab build

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Cobblecrazy

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Does a fridge fit on top of the deck syste
I use a Yeti cooler right now so I can't say from experience, but there is 25 1/2" from the top of the Decked system to the top of the Leer shell rear hatch (there are a few more inches of space inside the shell). I believe the fridges I have looked at would fit.
 

T.Shack

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Now we come to the back.

We travel with our dog. As a member of the family she rides in the back seat 99% of the time, but on occasion we have guests for an extended period of time. A little cramped conditions are okay on short excursions, but the more people who are along might push her into the back (occasionally she has a play buddy who comes along as well). I am not a fan of having a dog riding in an open truck bed.

I went to several of the local truck shell retailers. I have experience with the ARE shells, but I also liked the looks of the Leer shells. Recently there have been a growing number of aluminum shells with a pop top sleeper coming into the market. One company, GoFast Campers, had been making a top for the Tacoma for a few months, and they were just coming out with one for the Tundra. Their design appeared bombproof and the price point was within budget so we put down a deposit. The completion date was slated for late October. I wasn't able to make it to Overland Expo to see the shell, and I wasn't able to make it to any of the meet up days they had during their deliveries.

One of the issues I noticed was it did not appear the GoFast had a way to vent for my dog. I contacted the company and learned that the design of their shell/cab window could not have a slider, and they did not have an option for side windows. I learned they have been trying to design something for venting for animals, but nothing had come to fruition after several months (I'm assuming they have been testing options). Ultimately I decided to pull my deposit on the GoFast and go with a shell (they had a 100% refund as long as you did it before they started your build and I was close to two months away from them even getting to me).

Now, if you want to be confused go talk to several shell retailers. Kind of like buying a car and trying to find a salesperson who will actually give you an unbiased opinion on other brands. I get it, they are in the business to sell their product, not the competitors brand. Like I said before I have experience with the ARE shell. I think they were a great company, but I did have some fit and finish issues that I found others experienced. I really liked the Leer shells. I knew I wanted the side windoors as they make it easy to access items in the back of the truck bed without crawling inside. Leer had a really cool windoor that was a three window pane design with one of them being a screened slider. I wanted to have the access window that matched up with the rear cab slider window to the truck, and I wanted the lines of the shell mirror those of the truck. After a couple weeks the shell arrived.

IMG_7798 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

IMG_7799 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

IMG_7800 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

Installation day was excruciatingly long, but I think it was worth the wait.

IMG_7812 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

IMG_7813 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

IMG_7814 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

IMG_7818 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

IMG_7823 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

IMG_7825 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

When all was said and done I achieved about a 4" lift in the rear between tires and suspension with he front slightly lower (similar to the factory rake). The tire/wheel combo certainly have the more aggressive look than stock with the tires slightly protruding from the wheel wells. I had about a 3 to 4" rub area on the plastic in the front lowest portion of the wheel well at full lock. A little trimming of the plastic solved the issue. Overall I am very pleased with how it turned out.
That is a sweet camper shell. I miss the Windsor my S10 had I should contact my shells manufacturer to see if I could change to them. That is a beautiful truck Cobblecrazy!
 

Cobblecrazy

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That is a sweet camper shell. I miss the Windsor my S10 had I should contact my shells manufacturer to see if I could change to them. That is a beautiful truck Cobblecrazy!
Thanks. So far so good. Just got back from a week down around Bishop, Lone Pine and the west side of Death Valley. One of the days we took the Saline Valley road for a little over 70 miles of dirt (think the total loop was around 150 miles). No issues with the shell moving around. It was nice having a partially shaded area to sit under when we stopped along the way for lunch. Had a little bit of dust get in, but nothing major. A little foam (or something) in the cracks around the tailgate would have eliminated what we had come in. It wouldn't have touched the sleeping bags/cots if we would have had them set up in the back.

Two things that really stood out during the trip were the access to the cooler via the side windoors, and the second was being able to put things/valuables into the drawers and walk away without wondering if everything was still going to be there when we got back.

I had the Yeti cooler set up in the upper right corner of the bed with the tabs up next to the windoor. I could open it then pop open the tabs and easily reach inside for a cold drink. We had nights in the low 40's and highs into the 80's (mostly 70's). Since the cooler was out of the sun, I was able to keep the drinks and lunch stuff cold for an entire week with a small block of ice and an ex-lemonade bottle with frozen water (I added a small bag of ice when we ventured into Death Valley, and it was almost completely intact when we got home 3 days later).
 

PB&Me

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Love this write-up, thanks for this. I have a ‘16 Tundra and like the Southern Style front bumper as well due to its light weight.

Did the bumper come pre-drilled for the various sensors like the Pre-Collision System, Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert etc?

Thanks
 

Cobblecrazy

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Love this write-up, thanks for this. I have a ‘16 Tundra and like the Southern Style front bumper as well due to its light weight.

Did the bumper come pre-drilled for the various sensors like the Pre-Collision System, Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert etc?

Thanks
Thanks. The sensors on mine are in the outer portions of the front bumper that you don't have to cut. During the installation you have to unplug the sensors so you can move the bumper around a little, but then plug them back in as you put everything back together.
 

SoDak

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Exelent write up. I'm running a 2018 Tacoma and also looking at Leer's caps. If you don't mind me asking, what model of the Leer cap did you get?
 

Cobblecrazy

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Exelent write up. I'm running a 2018 Tacoma and also looking at Leer's caps. If you don't mind me asking, what model of the Leer cap did you get?
Mine is the 100XR. So far very pleased with the fit and finish. I had a fleeting thought to get the higher roof 180XR (mostly for using the shell and a sleeping platform), but I'm glad I stayed with the more streamlined version. I really like the side windoors as they make getting stuff out of the front of the bed so much easier - especially when I had my ice chest in there.

This was my 2013 Tacoma with an ARE shell and the solid windoors. I wanted the slider windoors, but they didn't make one for the shell that fit the 5' bed at that time so I went with the solid style.

074_zps4e2833f9 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr
 
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SoDak

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Mine is the 100XR. So far very pleased with the fit and finish. I had a fleeting thought to get the higher roof 180XR (mostly for using the shell and a sleeping platform), but I'm glad I stayed with the more streamlined version. I really like the side windoors as they make getting stuff out of the front of the bed so much easier - especially when I had my ice chest in there.

This was my 2013 Tacoma with an ARE shell and the solid windoors. I wanted the slider windoors, but they didn't make one for the shell that fit the 5' bed at that time so I went with the solid style.

074_zps4e2833f9 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr
The sliding/door window combo is catching my eye on the Leer as well. I had an older GMC with a higher roof and it was nice, but looked like something my grandpa would of driven in the mid-90's. Still, it was super functional, esp on an 8' bed.

I've also looked at the softopper with a bedrack over top, but the amount of money I would spend comes to about the same.

Thanks for the info. With my growing family, I may be forced to upgrade to the Tundra sooner than I'd like.
 
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fliberto38

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Does your Tundra have the Toyota Safety Sense with the lane departure, pre-collision, and radar cruise control? If so, does the bar on the bumper mess with it?
 

Cobblecrazy

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Does your Tundra have the Toyota Safety Sense with the lane departure, pre-collision, and radar cruise control? If so, does the bar on the bumper mess with it?
Yes, I've got all the sensors. No issues. You have to unplug the sensors during the install but just long enough to get things into place then they're plugged back in. The bumper is just about flush like the stock so it doesn't seem to interfere with the sensors "field of view".
 
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HappyOurOverlanding

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During my 4Runner build I did the Southerstyle Offroad slimline bumper with the integrated light bar. I liked the lines so I decided on the same for the Tundra.

After a while of waiting patiently, the delivery guy finally arrived.

IMG_7689 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

I opened the box and began going through the parts and pieces.

IMG_7690 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

During the inspection of the bumper I noticed the two "tabs" on the bottom appeared to be bent - one more so than the other. I contacted Southernstyle Offroad, and I sent them a few pics. They confirmed the tabs should not be bent and gave me suggestions on how to flatten them out with a rubber mallet and a block. A few easy blows and they straightened out to normal (the people at SouthernStyle were great to deal with by the way).


IMG_7699 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

I liked the design because there is minimal cutting involved and the weight is rivaling that of what you end up taking off. Installation was pretty straight forward, but the tricky point came not during installation of the winch, but in mounting the winch controller.

IMG_7787 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

There is a cross bar in front of the radiator just above and slightly behind the top of the winch, and it appeared as if you could still mount the controller on top of the winch, but alas it was about 1/4" too tall. I ended up drilling holes in the plating to the side of the winch, and using some of the hardware from the winch, I was able to get the controller low enough to clear the bar. I have a remote controller, but I was still able to get the hard wired connection to work before we put everything back together. I apologize for the lack of images, but I was fairly frustrated and tired at this point so I did not get any pictures (maybe later).

IMG_7816 by cobblecrazy, on Flickr

I still have to wire in the light bar, but I noticed there aren't as many predrilled holes through the firewall and into the cab, and I also don't have any open/empty places for the switch. I have a few ideas...
Nice choice on bumper and winch. Of course I'm bias since it's what I have. And I agree with you that the folk at SSO are great to work with.
 

Cobblecrazy

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Awesome build, your goals fall in line with mine almost to the T. I don't want to just slap every accessory onto the truck, just want bare essentials that just work. Decked system and camper shell seem to quickly becoming my first real purchase.
Thanks. So far no complaints, other than too much chrome when the truck came off the lot, but everything seems to be working as I had envisioned. I've been going back and forth on using my Yakima roof top box for some extra lockable storage for some of our trips. I've had it forever so it wasn't anything extra I had to buy. Just one thing I'm trying to sort out though...

We purchased a 6' Tepui awning with a detachable tent/room for our small teardrop trailer - that we have since replaced but the awning/tent does not work with our new trailer (a NuCamp T@B Boondock edition). In my "design" of the truck I was hoping to use the awning for when I was camping out of my truck this winter. I was also hoping to use the tent portion as the part that is up against the truck/shell zips open and I could then open the shell windoor into the tent and have my Little Buddy heater make things a little more comfortable. The problem has been attaching the awning to my Yakima rack round bars, but I haven't found anything that I thought worked well enough for some of the places I'm taking the truck. I've been looking at the Frontrunner rack that fits shells as they have some nice brackets and some rack accessories, but I'm not sure I want to put out the $1200 to $1400 just to use my awning. We'll see...
 
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