I don't understand open bed trucks with racks and tents.

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Viking1204

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Like has been said before, everyone has a different reason for how they have their truck setup. I like to hunt and camp and when I bought my truck I was a ground tent person. I needed a way to store things securely in my truck and decided on a Diamondback bed cover. This is a heavy duty bed cover that I can stand on yet keep things like my tools, chainsaw, camping gear, etc. secured under the cover. It's aluminum so it's easy to under 4 bolts and remove it if I need to hall something in the back of my truck. Recently I built my own RTT Rack as I plan to have a RTT by this fall. I custom built the RTT Rack so I can still open the front half of my Diamondback cover and access things I have secured there. I was able to build it on top of my Diamondback cover and again it is all easily removed if I need to remove it. 6 nuts hold the RTT Rack down on the mounting brackets which can easily be removed and the RTT Rack taken off, again the Diamondback cover comes off with 4 bolts loosened. 99% of the time my truck will have the Diamondback bed cover and RTT Rack on it. Another nice thing about the rack is I can now tie down anything I want on top of the Diamondback cover and have multiple mounting points to secure things. I've already hauled a new ladder home on it and it was sweet how easily I could just throw it on the rack and tie it down with a ratchet strap! To each their own but this is what works for me!

RTT Rack Build 2.jpgRTT Rack Build 1.jpgRTT Rack Build Traction Boards Mounted.jpg
 

grubworm

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Like has been said before, everyone has a different reason for how they have their truck setup. I like to hunt and camp and when I bought my truck I was a ground tent person. I needed a way to store things securely in my truck and decided on a Diamondback bed cover. This is a heavy duty bed cover that I can stand on yet keep things like my tools, chainsaw, camping gear, etc. secured under the cover. It's aluminum so it's easy to under 4 bolts and remove it if I need to hall something in the back of my truck. Recently I built my own RTT Rack as I plan to have a RTT by this fall. I custom built the RTT Rack so I can still open the front half of my Diamondback cover and access things I have secured there. I was able to build it on top of my Diamondback cover and again it is all easily removed if I need to remove it. 6 nuts hold the RTT Rack down on the mounting brackets which can easily be removed and the RTT Rack taken off, again the Diamondback cover comes off with 4 bolts loosened. 99% of the time my truck will have the Diamondback bed cover and RTT Rack on it. Another nice thing about the rack is I can now tie down anything I want on top of the Diamondback cover and have multiple mounting points to secure things. I've already hauled a new ladder home on it and it was sweet how easily I could just throw it on the rack and tie it down with a ratchet strap! To each their own but this is what works for me!

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Excellent job, extremely versatile. Gotta LOVE uni-strut! Its an erector set for adults...
 

Lanlubber

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Like has been said before, everyone has a different reason for how they have their truck setup. I like to hunt and camp and when I bought my truck I was a ground tent person. I needed a way to store things securely in my truck and decided on a Diamondback bed cover. This is a heavy duty bed cover that I can stand on yet keep things like my tools, chainsaw, camping gear, etc. secured under the cover. It's aluminum so it's easy to under 4 bolts and remove it if I need to hall something in the back of my truck. Recently I built my own RTT Rack as I plan to have a RTT by this fall. I custom built the RTT Rack so I can still open the front half of my Diamondback cover and access things I have secured there. I was able to build it on top of my Diamondback cover and again it is all easily removed if I need to remove it. 6 nuts hold the RTT Rack down on the mounting brackets which can easily be removed and the RTT Rack taken off, again the Diamondback cover comes off with 4 bolts loosened. 99% of the time my truck will have the Diamondback bed cover and RTT Rack on it. Another nice thing about the rack is I can now tie down anything I want on top of the Diamondback cover and have multiple mounting points to secure things. I've already hauled a new ladder home on it and it was sweet how easily I could just throw it on the rack and tie it down with a ratchet strap! To each their own but this is what works for me!

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Is the Diamondback strong enough to support the RTT ? The rack itself looks good and capable I'm sure.
 

Ram Rebel Overland

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Is the Diamondback strong enough to support the RTT ? The rack itself looks good and capable I'm sure.
Yes. If you check out Mike's YouTube video at Last Line of Defense, he has an RTT on a diamondback and says it works very well. I mean the things designed to support the weight of quads and dirtbikes on top.
 

Lanlubber

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Yes. If you check out Mike's YouTube video at Last Line of Defense, he has an RTT on a diamondback and says it works very well. I mean the things designed to support the weight of quads and dirtbikes on top.
Thanks, very good to know. I thought it was more like a tonneau cover which cant hold anything on top I don't think.
Viking 1204 is too smart to not know that about what he has. He did a masterful job on the racks and I was impressed with his ability when I first saw a picture of his rig. It's just out of my knowledge range, I don't think I have ever even seen one.
 

BrianP

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I have a double cab short box Tacoma, with rack and RTT for traveling and a double cab short box Tacoma for my daily driver (with rack and RTT, most of the year). I don't use my rig exclusively for traveling. The reason of my choice? First off with a family I need the double cab, and to be able to help them move when they call for Dad's moving service AND with the tent on I can fit into the 2 parkades I need, home and work. Had I gone for the canopy with tent over top of that, I would be parking in the street. I keep all my gear in waterproof bins and they are covered , mostly, by my tent so not too worried about that, and the essentials can still be inside in the backseat. As a bonus, I'm the guy that can just say "throw it in the back of Truck, there's room". ;-)
 

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Bootsie624

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I'm glad to see this post getting so much attention! I think this is a really good point of conversation and one I've wondered about often.

I run a camper shell with a cheapo "drawer" system with a mattress on top. This was only possible because I had the long bed (6ft for Tacoma), I'm 6-3 so just have to sleep at a slight angle. I've seen guys my height camp like that in a 5ft bed. Got a good deal on a shell for my make/model/paint for $200. The rest was less than $100 for plywood and those storage boxes that fit under your bed. I don't have the money or expertise to build full drawers or run an RTT. This was a very opportunistic build that helps me get out more for relatively little cost.

What I like about my build is the flexibility, PRICE, and security (both theft and weather). Whatever gets you out there! Pics of the dog in the back, a trail at Big Bend, and everything taken out.View attachment 104321View attachment 104323View attachment 104324
That dog looks pleased as punch about it too. Haha.
 

Anak

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You know, there isn't just one solution.

I think a lot of folks get hung up on the idea that there has to be "a" solution, and there simply isn't. There are a bunch of ways to attack the problem, and each way has its pros and cons.

I say this as one who has tried a bunch of them. And has a bunch of them. I have 2 SUVs, 2 pickups and 1 service body truck. All of them trying to deal with the various issues of carrying and storing a variety of gear for a variety of activities. There is not one of them that represents a universal solution.

Oh, and then there are the trailers. I have several of those too. Actually if I stop and count them all I think it comes to 6. No, wait, 7. Sheesh. They have their pros and cons too.

You just have to pick what works best for you. Odds are it isn't the same answer for the next guy. But that's okay. It would be a pretty boring world if we all drove the same thing and did everything the same way. We would probably all end up on the same trail, fighting for the same camping spot. That doesn't sound like any fun at all.

Phooey on that. Be free to chart your own course your own way.

BTW, one of the best definitions for "freedom" that I ever heard was "The right to make the wrong choice." I like that. I make a lot of choices that others think are wrong. And I am just fine with that.
 

MMc

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I get this! I am just trying to learn, why reinvent the wheel? I f I/we came learn from success or unsuccess so much the better. Thank you Anak.


You know, there isn't just one solution.

I think a lot of folks get hung up on the idea that there has to be "a" solution, and there simply isn't. There are a bunch of ways to attack the problem, and each way has its pros and cons.

I say this as one who has tried a bunch of them. And has a bunch of them. I have 2 SUVs, 2 pickups and 1 service body truck. All of them trying to deal with the various issues of carrying and storing a variety of gear for a variety of activities. There is not one of them that represents a universal solution.

Oh, and then there are the trailers. I have several of those too. Actually if I stop and count them all I think it comes to 6. No, wait, 7. Sheesh. They have their pros and cons too.

You just have to pick what works best for you. Odds are it isn't the same answer for the next guy. But that's okay. It would be a pretty boring world if we all drove the same thing and did everything the same way. We would probably all end up on the same trail, fighting for the same camping spot. That doesn't sound like any fun at all.

Phooey on that. Be free to chart your own course your own way.

BTW, one of the best definitions for "freedom" that I ever heard was "The right to make the wrong choice." I like that. I make a lot of choices that others think are wrong. And I am just fine with that.
 

MidOH

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For those that have a Open bed and racks, do you worry about theft?

I don't have my gear mounted in the open like the ''cool'' Overlanders. And the ratchet straps holding my crates down are a PITA to get open due to rust. Nobody is going to bother a simple 55g Stanley tote. It's likely filled with junk. Riping open a topper window or door is just as easy.

Some of ya'll display your gear when you get to camp, like you're a booth for Expo East or something. Lools cool, but bad idea.

I'm not usually too far from my truck, and stick to wheeling in areas of like minded folk.
 

Boostpowered

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It's hard to shuttle multiple mountain bikes over the tailgate with a cap.

Some people feel clausterphobic sleeping inside a cap.

Short bed mid-size trucks only have a bed length of around 5 feet making them too short to sleep in.

Caps are crazy expensive when purchased new.

My wife thinks caps turn pickups into "grandpa trucks. So she won't approve my request for one. lol


There are pros and cons with both systems. Some people start with one system then switch as needs change or deals pop up.
Haha my wife feels the same about caps being for old people. Im lucky to have been allowed a contractors rack and even that is only allowed when its absolutely needed. She wont even allow a tonneau cover on the colorado, im suprised she hasnt made me remove the one on my ranger yet. Ibe seen some bed rack prices put caps to shame. If i still lived in a cold state i would definately be pushing for a sleeper cap but when its 90+ degrees 3/4 of the year you want a tent up high in the breeze. Rtt bed racks keep you off the ground away from bugs, snakes and other critters they also keep you in the breeze. If a group of rigs park in a semi circle and everyone has ground tents then the camp space gets filled out pretty fast, tent on rack frees up alot of space. I dont drink alchohol anymore but i can see how climbing up in a tent at night and out in the morning would discourage drinking. As they say there is more than one way to skin a cat, there are window screens you can get for vehicle windows and matresses for rear seats so you could just turn your rig itself into a tent, then there are the cap toppers you can sleep in, can sleep under a tonneau cover but it gets stuffy, ground tent, rooftop tent, pop up camper trailer, tear drop trailer and rtt trailer. Lots of options. My ground tent fits on top of my contactors rack or on the ground my rack allows me to carry a bed full of gear and put 2 -10.5 ft kayaks on top. It also lets me carry stuff longer than 6 ft without hanging out the bed
 
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If I only used my truck for camping I would probably have a cap (or an SUV). But for non-camping purposes convenient access to the bed is important. For example, when I'm building things out of plywood I like to use 5'x5' sheets of plywood, which I just load over the side. Everyone has a different set of uses, so the optimum solution will vary.
 
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JCWages

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Haha my wife feels the same about caps being for old people. Im lucky to have been allowed a contractors rack and even that is only allowed when its absolutely needed. She wont even allow a tonneau cover on the colorado, im suprised she hasnt made me remove the one on my ranger yet. Ibe seen some bed rack prices put caps to shame. If i still lived in a cold state i would definately be pushing for a sleeper cap but when its 90+ degrees 3/4 of the year you want a tent up high in the breeze. Rtt bed racks keep you off the ground away from bugs, snakes and other critters they also keep you in the breeze. If a group of rigs park in a semi circle and everyone has ground tents then the camp space gets filled out pretty fast, tent on rack frees up alot of space. I dont drink alchohol anymore but i can see how climbing up in a tent at night and out in the morning would discourage drinking. As they say there is more than one way to skin a cat, there are window screens you can get for vehicle windows and matresses for rear seats so you could just turn your rig itself into a tent, then there are the cap toppers you can sleep in, can sleep under a tonneau cover but it gets stuffy, ground tent, rooftop tent, pop up camper trailer, tear drop trailer and rtt trailer. Lots of options. My ground tent fits on top of my contactors rack or on the ground my rack allows me to carry a bed full of gear and put 2 -10.5 ft kayaks on top. It also lets me carry stuff longer than 6 ft without hanging out the bed
No doubt! I couldn't stomach paying $800+ for a bed rack. I had my farmer buddy rig me up a 2 hoop rack out of scrap angle iron and 1 length of 1"x 3" rectangular tube. It cost me $100 in materials after factoring in all the primer and bedliner I'm applied to the thing over the last 3 years. On the flip side I could have purchased a nice Leer cap for $700 on Craigslist which is dirt cheap. So one also has to factor in their level of "cheapass" into the engagement over Cap vs. Rack. Sometimes your specific access to resources can make your decision easier. For me I could do a rack and RTT (connections with Tepui) for MUCH less money than a Cap. :)
 

vdeal

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If I only used my truck for camping I would probably have a cap (or an SUV). But for non-camping purposes convenient access to the bed is important. For example, when I'm building things out of plywood I like to use 5'x5' sheets of plywood, which I just load over the side. Everyone has a different set of uses, so the optimum solution will vary.
Off topic but where do you get 5'x5' plywood? All I ever see is 4'x8' or 4'x12'?
 

jimbofoxman

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Off topic but where do you get 5'x5' plywood? All I ever see is 4'x8' or 4'x12'?
Check with Lumber Yards, not the box stores. 5x5 I'm guessing he is using Baltic Birch. More stable, stronger as it has more layers. Baltic Birch is the only plywood I've ever seen in 5x5. The lumber yard here is now also carrying 4x8 Baltic Birch. Woodworkers use it all the time in shop projects, so a good lumber yard should have it. I do have to drive 45 mins for mine.
 
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Anak

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Off topic but where do you get 5'x5' plywood? All I ever see is 4'x8' or 4'x12'?
The European stuff, like Baltic Birch, comes in that size.

Probably find it at a wood supplier that caters to cabinet shops. Not likely you will find it at the big box stores.