Coastal - 2019 Tacoma Build

Hey! Using this space to document updates to my 2019 DCSB Tacoma TRD Sport. The goal is for a clean build that fits my needs.

As it sits now:


March 2023

Background:
The truck is my daily and also used to haul gear for all the activities (surfing, fishing, biking, diving, skiing, etc.). I’ve wanted a Tacoma since I was a kid, and finally made the move in 2019. I immediately put an ARE camper shell on the truck in order to safely store gear and utilize the roof racks for longboards and lumber.

I built a simple platform (two 2x6’s and a sheet of carpeted plywood) to sleep on which worked for about 25 nights over 2 years. Having to move all your gear into the cab each night did get old.

Coffee Break

I never wanted an RTT since they always appeared to be heavy blocks that sat on top of vehicles 24/7. Then the GFC SuperLite entered the chat. The SuperLite was light enough to take on/off the truck for camp trips, enabled the truck bed to be fully utilized for gear storage, is quick to setup, and met my budget. Being able to store an RTT in your garage and take it on/off in 10-15 mins is huge! Having the full bed available increased organization (less time looking for gear) and allowed me to bring more fun on each trip (gear, people, boards, etc.).

Eventually, I let the SuperLite go and upgraded to the full GFC Platform Camper. The biggest sell for this was the pass through space (Transform-a-Floor) , side bed access (Cabana Mode), and a hardshell platform to build upon. I picked up the GFC at the new Orange County location in January 2023. Prep work included a good rinse out of the bed then sealing the bed sides with foil tape and silicone. GFC options included two beef bars, tent windows, and both front and rear glass windows. Build #4684.

Current Buildout
Suspension:
Bilstein 6112
Bilstein 5160
Icon AAL

Lighting:
MESO Map and Dome Lights
Diode Dynamics SS3 LED Fogs
Baja Designs S2 Chase Lights

Wheels/Tires:
Stock Wheels with Black Vinyls
Falken Wildpeak AT3W 265/70/17

Others:
CTX Ceramic Window Tint
Goal Zero Yeti 500x
WaterPort Day Tank
Total Chaos Bed Stiffeners
Mountain Hatch Tailgate

Very excited to continue chipping away at this build!

5 Likes

Congrats on upgrading to the Platform Camper from the SuperLite! Your truck is looking solid already, but I’m stoked to see how this build pans out through this thread. Keep sharing updates, as there are a lot of us Tacoma fanboys looking for rad inspiration. :call_me_hand:

1 Like

Sheets:
California experienced some abnormal rain events, which provided a good time to sew some pieces together for the camper. I wanted to go a different route than the plaid flannel sheets, so I found some “topo” looking fabric at the store and put some sheets together. The sheets have enough room to add a 1” foam block if the GFC pads turn out to be too hard. Also, the Aeronaut Hoverquilt is the real deal, it barely takes up any space when packed up and covers most temperature ranges I camp in.

9 Likes

I recognize those rocks and that wave. Ventura county?

Yessir! Popped the top for some coffee and debris clean up from the storms.

1 Like

Right on! Love hanging out up there. Won’t name it for obvious reasons :no_good_man: dig the sheets! Nice goin cleaning up, we definitely need it around here right now

Looks great! What dimensions did you follow for sewing your own sheets?

1 Like

Congrats on the amazing build! How is the stock suspension holding up with the GFC? Do you stick to roads only or go off-road?

These dimensions are for the V2 Standard camper, not XL. I actually cut the fabric before getting my camper, so my sheets didn’t account for the varying thickness of each of the sleeping pads. The “Fixed” and “Modular” rectangles are not attached to their bottom white panels, where as the squares are attached to their bottom panels. Below are the dimensions of each of the GFC sleeping pads that sheets fit on:

  • 50" x 40" x 2"
  • 25" x 50" x 2"
  • 25" x 25" x 3"
  • 25" x 25" x 3"

The updated fabric dimensions account for each of the pad thicknesses, 3" of sheet overhang on the bottom sides of the pads, and the space required to sew in an elastic band around each sheet. With the overhang you should be able to add a 1" topper in the future and still have the sheets fit.

  • 60" x 50"
  • 35" x 60"
  • 37" x 37"
  • 37" x 37"


Diagram via GFC Support.

4 Likes

Is the aeronaut truly worth it???

@GainzGFC - Previously I would use a sleeping bag (solo) or a comforter and blankets (with my SO). Now, the Hoverquilt works in both of those situations and packs down way smaller (to the size of a rolled up pillow). I’ve slept in the quilt above 60 and below 30 and its been solid. Space savings and warmth come at a cost, so essentially its up to you if you think the price is worth what you’ll get out of it.

@felipe_gp - Thank you! The suspension is doing just fine on the road now, but I can feel a little extra sway and bounce with the added load (as anticipated). I did add Sumo Springs for another reason, but they are definitely helping out with the GFC. “Off road” driving mainly consists of fire/gravel/sand roads.

1 Like

Organizers:
The next sewing project was to make an organizer pocket for inside the tent and a place to store bedding (Hoverquilt + Pillows). I added Nite Ize Small S-Biners to the lower bedding storage piece since it will likely only be attached when going on trips. The bedding piece was fairly straightforward to sew (fabric and a bungie cord), but the inside tent organizer took a good amount of time and effort to put together!

7 Likes

Looks great! Would love more details on the up top organizer. I just did my 1st sewing project with fiances machine and made a grill/campstove bag so ready for the next!

1 Like

I saw the bag you made in another thread and it came out great! For this bag, I built mine based around the VRNCLR Top Shelf and used 500d Cordura material from Sailrite. If you’re comfortable with a sewing machine, the options (size, pockets, zippers, webbing, etc.) are pretty limitless. I’m not going to post cut sheets or dimensions on this one, but I encourage you to craft something custom that fits your needs.

That is helpful about Sailrite and Cordura, familiar with the material from backpacking world.

That bag was my first foray into sewing so amped to trying something else. How did you attach it to the roof?

3M Dual Lock. Make sure to sew it into the fabric too!

Recent Adds:
Added on a few things and took the camper out for a test run and some mediocre waves down south!

  • Beef bars
  • ShittCo awning blocks
  • T-9 Boeshield spray for the locks (much smoother now)
  • Caps for the bolt attachment point holes
  • Tent lock (looks OEM and no drilling required)
  • Got the camper insured (via GEICO)


I’ve seen photos of people making a couch setup in the truck bed, but not this way. It worked great for staying out of the light rain and gave a much better view!

8 Likes

Suspension Update:
Bit the bullet and ordered new suspension for the truck! I did a lot of research on this and went with one of the more popular “bang for your buck” options for Tacomas. All parts were ordered through CJC Offroad, which had everything in stock and shipped to my door in a few days. The stock suspension was semi-adequate but gave me issues with heavier camp loads and when trailering. I previously added in Sumo Springs to help out when trailering, but with the added weight of the GFC they were always compressed. The rear parts were installed at home and I had the fronts done by a local shop (shock assembly, install, and alignment). The front 6112s are set to the 10/8 clip positions (Driver/Passenger).

7 Likes

Looks great, congrats on the new suspension, and thanks for the build thread. I’ve returned to check out your build quite a few times.

Thanks! Next up on the list is exterior/interior lights and running power to the bed, so I’ll be combing through your page multiple times (BuckPuck and switch look great!). I’ll be holding off on that until the water intrusion fixes are in place though.

1 Like