I previously had a built Jeep and just used a JeepSleep when camping, but with our family growing I decided to change it up and do more mellow camping trips rather than so much rock crawling. I decided a full size truck with a GFC fit the bill. The truck is a 2020 RAM 1500 bighorn with both the sport and off road packages. So far I have added a Addictive Desert Design front bumper and a Trigger4+ switch panel. I also got rid of the ridiculous chrome 20s it came with and went with a stock 18 that I powdercoated black as well as some 33” Duratracs.
I was originally GFC spot #1341, but found #815 for sale brand new and still at GFC. He had ordered the exact setup I wanted so it was a perfect deal.
It is an XL with a grey frame, black panels, tent side doors, and a window on the back door. I added the wind skid, a ladder, and a set of beef racks.
Drove over from Bend Oregon November 5th and it was installed Nov 6th. I installed the racks and wind skid in the parking lot before I headed out.
Took a few days to work my way home with my first night in the camper just outside of Stanley ID. It was a cool 18 degrees when I woke up but I slept great and had zero condensation with the two smaller windows open.
My goal with this camper is to have a good setup for trips with my family (wife and 10 month old), and also a remote workspace to get me out of the house a few times a week. So far I have been really impressed with the versatility of the camper and have had some great views working already.
I hope to get things all dialed in once I get a decent feel for things and what makes sense for my needs.
Thanks for following along!
I plan to have limited electronics tied directly into the truck, and really have no need for extra lighting etc, but when I ordered my front bumper it was only available with a cutout for a 40" light bar. It looked weird with the empty hole so I ordered a Rough Country Black Series mostly for looks but also figured more light wont hurt!.
While I had the bumper off for light install I also cut off the factory frame brackets that held on the electronically controlled air dam since that was long gone.
I originally just used my factory fog circuit to trigger the relay, but quickly learned that when going under 30mph the truck activates the fog light the direction you are turning to help light through the turn. It was quite a surprise when every time I turned left the 20,000 lumen light bar came on! So needless to say I needed a better solution and ended up going with a Trigger 4+ to handle my electronic needs. It has a RF remote that you can have in the cab, as well as a bluetooth app, and also buttons on the unit itself. You can wire it to the ignition circuit (which I did using a fuse tap), or you can go always on which makes it so you can turn on lighting even when the truck is off. This seemed like a cool way to turn on area lights if needed from inside the camper. Super simple install to the fuse box cover.
For the switch panel I just stuck it with velcro into my sunglasses holder.
This system seems like a good setup for my needs as I think I’ll wire my ARB Compressor into it (with a relay), and also some area lights on the camper in the future, and that is about it. I really wanted an under hood solution and the Trigger was one of the cheapest in that category.
Do those Trigger products work for all males and models? I saw on their website it seemed to just be for Jeeps
Yeah it is not Jeep specific just marketed that way. I think they were originally a side by side product. Any 12v system works. I have been overall impressed with the quality, but I will say the remote switch feels really cheap and low quality.
Did a quick single night trip around Central Oregon. Love how easy the GFC makes it to get out.
Got a Duluth Back Seat Bunker installed (thanks @DannyEnder for the heads up on the sale!) I still need to modify the straps a bit to get it closer to the top, but overall I think it seems like a great product and fits really well.
I also got a BedRug Impact Liner installed mostly. I am waiting for some adhesion promoter to show up to help it adhere to the bed liner. The floor surface seems a little bit slippery and firm, but it will be really easy to sweep out.
Realized today one of my new favorite uses of the GFC is a changing area for before and after riding! So nice to be out of the wind in a space you can stand up in.
Very small modification but added some Canyon Dancer Strap Rings to the accessory points around the space frame. They are overkill for holding cargo from sliding around (they have a 2000lb rating), but I like that they are stainless steel, have a perfect sized mounting hole for the GFC bolt, have no sharp edges, and fit a coated strap hook or standard carabiner perfectly.
Took a day trip to the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes today. So nice to have a camper that you don’t have to worry about when you are bouncing around.
Added a new shift knob from AJT design. Seems kinda pointless, but for anyone who has been in a newer ram they made the transmission shift knob look exactly the same as the volume knob. As a User Interface designer is bugged me every time I got in the truck. This one differentiates them a little bit more. Really nice quality aluminum part and good customer service.
Added the step I designed, and also ordered some bubble levels and mounts from mcmaster carr after seeing @shittco post on it. Painted them black with some VHT and just need to stick them to the camper.
I have a few of the Black Diamond Remoji lights that are magnetic, and they work great and I like that I can move them around with or without the truck, but with the GFC panels being aluminum and the space frame being round there is limited places for them to stick well. I came up with a little steel panel that attaches to the panel strut bolt that gives a good solid spot for the magnets. When the panels are closed it is a great angle to light up inside, and when open it is perfect for lighting up the tailgate.
Added a CVT awning. I have been on the fence and was debating building a 270 (even bought all the fabric and steel), but in the end I just want something simple with a screen room that is cheap.
Added some Mopar Utility Rails. Seems weird how low they are, but the bed as pre cut holes so I just had to install some nutserts and bolt it up. Hoping to come up with some rail based ideas like a ladder holder, that would apply to Tacomas and Tundras too.
Added some underhood lighting to the RAM. I pulled off the sound deadening panel and added some stainless rivnuts to the hood supports. I also was able to run the wires inside the hood.
I made a small harness to go from each KC Cyclone into the supplied Trigger+ harness. I then cut a hole for the wiring and bolts and re-installed the sound deadening. (waiting form the replacement plastic clips to secure it)
I rewired the Trigger+ to have constant power so even if the truck is off I can turn the lights on with the switch, the app, or a button under the hood. Next I am adding some more Cyclones as bed lighting for daily cargo needs (The MagSpot Remoji setup is better for camping), so I decided to redo how I had the switch panel mounted. It is magnetic so I wanted to take advantage of that feature, so I added a painted steel plate in the cab over a cubby that was too small to use anyways.
This lets me stick my switches to it in a nice easy spot.
I added the factory Trigger+ roll bar mount to the rear of the spaceframe, so I can put the switches back there too if I am going to be stationary camping for a while.
Sweet set up! How do you like the Trigger system? Is it pretty easy to work with?
Awesome set up! Cant wait for mine! Just wondering what awning mounting brackets you used? Thanks!
I like it overall. The switches are a bit cheap feeling, but the rest of the system seems really well built and setup is really easy.
Added some lights to the truck bed. I had bought the Mopar factory lights, but realized they wont work with the BedRug, and also I don’t want them coming on when I unlock or open the tailgate when camping. I was trying to come up with a good way to mount them and even printed a mount for the rollbar, but then realized I could just use the existing 5/8 threaded hole in the spaceframe! Worked great and they have enough spread that one on each side is good light coverage.