Because I’ve taken so much inspiration from this forum over the past two years I figured I would add my own build thread and thank those who’ve made my life easier. The main focus of this build was to keep things super simple and modular so I could still use my truck as a truck, while really maximizing the fairly limited space of the access cab. My core use cases for the GFC are skiing and mountain biking.
- Hest mattresses w/ passthrough
- Dual battery with under hood lithium
- Hard korr lights
- Iceco fridge
- MTB mounts
- Espar B2l AS3 gas heater
- Swing-out bike stand
- Lower sleeping platform
- New C5 locks or covers
- Rear bedding catch
- New AT tires.
August 2021 - Truck Purchase
Purchased my first-ever truck in August of 2021 - I’ve only ever owned Subarus and live in the city so I wanted to keep things as compact as possible but needed a 6ft bed for skis. I ended up in a 2021 offroad access cab with a manual transmission. I was very excited the day I drove it off the lot.
January 2022 - GFC Pickup
Placed a deposit shortly after purchasing my truck and in January ’22 made the trek from Calgary to Belgrade to pick up my camper. The team at GFC knocked out the install efficiently and I was on my way.
January 2022 - Test Run
9 days later I was taking the camper for its first test run in Golden, BC. Needless to say, we were a little cold and found the mattress kinda firm so this trip sparked a few ideas for future mods down the road…
April 2022 - Bed Stiffeners, Bed Mat, Molle Panel (fork mount)
Throughout the winter I picked up a few initial accessories to start the buildout. Total Chaos Bed Stiffeners because the internet said I should, a Cali Raised Molle Panel for internal MTB fork mounting along with mounting other accessories, and a Black Armour Bed Mat all added some nice touches to the downstairs area.
July 2022 - Summer Adventures (Whistler, Squamish, Revelstoke etc)
Once summer hit I got to really test things out on a bunch of camping trips to Whistler, Squamish, Golden, Revelstoke, and Invermere.
February 2023 - Dakota Lithium Under Hood Battery Install
Took a deep dive down the rabbit hole on battery setups and thanks to @Takethetruck and their blog on the Dakota Lithium DL+ 135ah. I ended up settling on a dual under-the-hood setup with the second battery being lithium. Dakotas temperature ratings seemed to best fit the harsh temperatures we see up in Canada and I wanted something that could live in the truck and not need constant tweaking.
The folks at Krave Automotive in Calgary did the installation and made things super clean with a Victron DC to DC Orion 30, 2x 12v Blue sea accessory ports in the cab and in the bed, and a Victron Smart shunt. They also fabricated a nice little 2nd battery bracket for the DL+ 135.
The way I camp these days I’m not in places for long so I decided to opt out of solar and just go bigger on the battery. The Victron DC to DC charges the battery extremely fast and most days I move the truck so the system stays fairly topped up.
Feb 2023 - Drip Rails and Zipper Pull Delete
I got sick of the constant drips from the camper in Whistler the previous summer and ended up pulling the trigger on some @jedgar drip rails. Game changers - I should have bought these when I first bought the camper.
I also took the opportunity to get rid of the jingle bells and replace them with some Amazon cord zipper pulls.
April 2023 - Iceco Fridge
Once I had the battery installed it was time to start taking advantage of all the power I had access to. Purchased an Iceco JP50 and tucked it in the back corner behind the wheel well. Cold beers all summer long!
July 2023 - Hest Mattresses + Hest Panel™
I purchased two Hest Foamies the previous summer and had been using them non-stop after my first few trips. But since they kind of ruined my transform-a-floor, I’d been looking for ways to still access the upper sleeping area easily. I ended up purchasing another rectangular panel from GFC and cutting it to about half the width. Now it’s not a Super Pacific sized passthrough, but it works for me and will allow hot air to flow upwards once the heater is installed.
July 2023 - More Summer Adventures (Swansea, Revy, Montana etc)
Spent the summer travelling and camping fairly close to home with trips to Montana, Revy, Invermere, Oregon etc. Lots of mountain biking and fun was had.
August 2023- Hard Korr Lights
I finally got around to permanently installing the lower Hard Korr lights and still have plans to install the final strip in the tent portion. Took a little bit of cutting and a few butt connectors but overall I’ve been happy with the installation and the quality of the lights.
September 2023 - L-track and Fork Mount
Added some L-track to the rear of the bed and picked up a Freedom Coast fork mount so both bikes can live on one side when they are stashed in the truck.
That’s all for now… will add more updates and photos as the build moves further along.