I’m a total noob, picking up my Platform camper on 11/27. Driving from Ohio, any tips,advice, prep work that anyone could recommend would be much appreciated!
Stay aware of the weather, especially over the Bozeman pass. It’s not uncommon for huge storms to close the pass or add many hours to your drive. That’s true for any part of I-90/I-94 in MT. Give yourself plenty of time and make sure you’ve got some emergency supplies. You can find real-time camera streams here:
Thank you so much for the link! That should be really handy
Weather, as mentioned by globemaster, is the big one. You didn’t mention what kind of truck you have, for Tacomas there is a common pre-install sealing of the bedrails to try and weatherproof things while you still can. I would make sure the bedrails are in good shape & cleaned up as once that camper is on there you are not going to want to take it off.
Sorry about that, yes I have a 3rd Gen Tacoma. I assume the planting bed rail pieces just pry off and snap back on? I’ve read of people using aluminum tape under there and then silicone everywhere else. Not gonna lie though, feels like I’m just gonna destroy those plastic pieces, kinda nervous
I stayed in a dog friendly airbnb nearby (8 min) so had a place to store everything I brought under my tonneau cover while I prepped the truck for the install… ps gfc gets super happy if you wash it before you come in and there was a place just down the road.
I scheduled in advance for Darkhorse Customs to install my brake light, bed stiffeners, awnings and a gate seal so hung out at the airbnb loading in everything in their driveway & geeking out in between appointments. Darkhorse was so awesome I went back a couple weeks later and had them install a new leaf spring also!
I stuck around Montana for a couple weeks to shake everything out before heading back to the east coast & ended up going back to the gfc shop twice with questions & simple repairs, which they were super gracious with both times.
Fairy Lake is an awesome 4x4 blm shake out trip nearby if you only have a few days to test everything, but there are easier spots to get to & camp, like the red mountain area on 84 west of town… if the weather conditions are too much!
The whole trip ended up being 51 days in seriously everything but snow (desert sun, sub 26° nights, 30mph winds, high elevation storms, crazy sideways hail, lots of dirt driving, etc) and I was really glad for all the prep of reading everything on the forum and bringing out all the mods I liked with me, so I could really use it to the max right from the start & had my expectations in check before it was ever installed.
Have a blast with your install trip & I’m in Ohio a lot to see fam if you ever want to meet-up!
Thank you for asking the question Moose, I pick my platform camper up next week. Thank you to globe master for the link, I was looking for weather updates and conditions as the weather seems to be getting dicey now.
Yep, that’s what I did. I have a 2nd gen Taco and the bed rails came up and went back on without any breakage. I did exactly what you mention. Double layered aluminum tape on the million or so different holes under the plastic bedrails, and ran a bead of silicon sealant along the bedrail to bed on the interior side.
I honestly don’t know if it’s needed but it wasn’t that much extra work beforehand.
That sounds like a great trip! Unfortunately I will pretty much be there to do the install and then have to head back. Does anyone know if Darkhorse is open on sundays? Also if anyone has done the 3rd brake light wiring on a Tacoma, is it difficult? I am an absolute wiring dummy, I know nothing lol
Depending on when/where you end up in Ohio, I’d be down to meet up with any and all GFC owners in the area!
Okay great, I’ll do the same. When you put the plastic piece back on will the clips just push through the tape? I assume at least some of the holes underneath are for the clips. Sorry for so many dumb questions, just trying to get everything right before I go
No worries. With the aluminum tape I used the clips do push right through the tape. If they don’t want to go you could just cut a small slit and I’m sure they’ll pop right through. Overall you’re just trying to eliminate/reduce points of entry for dust and water.
Taillight wiring on the 2nd gen Tacoma was fairly easy. I drove home and then hooked it up later. I can’t speak to technically what is legal and what isn’t but seems like you’d be given latitude by police for a camper that just got installed to be able to drive home.
Thanks again, you’ve been very helpful. I will get to work on those bed rails in a couple weekends before I head that way. Hopefully I can either figure out the brake light thing while I’m there, or make it home and do it in my garage. Lots of miles without it though if I can’t figure it out.
Eh I drove home 9 hrs without it. Its fine. But did it on my Gen3 Tacoma once home and it was less than 5 min but I got a pre-wired adapter from someone for it that made it plug and play. Search the forums for the vendor.
Here you go…
Protip if you plan to do the wiring yourself: disconnect the battery first. If you touch the wires wrong it’ll blow a fuse and you may be stranded if you don’t have a spare one. If you don’t want to splice into your stock wiring, you can get one of these harnesses:
Thanks for that link I’ll check it out! My drives right around 26 hours to get back home lol
I ordered one! Does anyone have any install videos, I know it says plug and play, but I can’t stress enough how over my head things like this are lol I may just be overthinking it all