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1985 Conestoga


85_Ranger4x4

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For our new overlanding adventure as a TRS Vagabond this fall after much thinking and researching tents... I decided to just built a sleeping platform in the back of my truck. Quick and easy setup, no worries about water leaking on us or critters sneaking in.

So we picked up some 2x4's for stringers.



I have a drop in bedliner I am going to add to my truck, and I have a really nice bed someday I hope to put on my truck that is currently in the barn. So I put the bedliner in my new bed and now I have a testbed for the platform.

Test fit the first board.



The Ranger bed is designed to haul a sheet of plywood with a 2x4 in those slots and the center of the sheet supported by the wheel wells. When used as a sleeping platform I didn't know how well that would work so I wanted to added a 2x4 stringer across the center too. So I had to shim up the outer boards to match.



And I think that will work great.



So there is the basic structure of it. I added eyelets so I can tie gear down on top the platform if I want as well.



I might add another set of shims though, plastic tote selection is kind of slim for 8" and under.



Currently thinking about having a section ahead of the forward stringer hinge up so I can have water, fuel, lantern(s) etc stored up there that are too big to go into a tote. I also want to have as much weight forward as I can get for weight balance. The totes I like are 30" long and I have a foot to play with up there so it might work out slick. I need to figure out what all I want up there, how big it is and how make a frame so the totes are not sliding around and hitting that stuff.
 


85_Ranger4x4

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I would have recommended 2x6's
Jeesh, slightly harsh... and the slots in both the bed and bedliner are made for 2x4's.

I can always add a second across the wheel wells too.
 
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Jazzer

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When I had a service job, I ran stringers like yours and put a plywood top on them for tools. I built two long "drawers" for underneath so I could pull them out for access. Their width was sized at distance between wheel wells minus 1/4". They slid well on the plastic liner, and I had a plastic liner on the tailgate so I got almost full extension. I put foam on the back end of them so they clamped themselves in when the tailgate was shut so no rattles.
 

Uncle Gump

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Maybe something along these lines to slide up under your platform?

1709144355916.png


When I had a service job, I ran stringers like yours and put a plywood top on them for tools. I built two long "drawers" for underneath so I could pull them out for access. Their width was sized at distance between wheel wells minus 1/4". They slid well on the plastic liner, and I had a plastic liner on the tailgate so I got almost full extension. I put foam on the back end of them so they clamped themselves in when the tailgate was shut so no rattles.
I was planning something similar for the back of my truck. A full slide on one side with no "deck" above. Then a decked drawer on the other side. I bought some of these rollers for the slide but had thought of just sliding it on the bedliner. I just worry if parked on an incline if the rollers would just let it roll right out. What thickness plywood did you use for your slides? I'm a little concerned about flex... my slide will have my 12 volt fridge on the leading end... and it won't be light.

SHEUTSAN 20 PCS 3/4 Inch Silver Roller Ball Transfer Bearing, Carbon Steel Screw Mounted Round Swivel Ball Transfer Unit Universal Ball Bearing Casters for Conveyor, Roller Stand,Transmission https://a.co/d/8gr7qyB
 
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85_Ranger4x4

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@Josh B, I was just messing with you.

I know it wouldn't be ideal like for a real floor and to get technical usually when used as floor supports they would be much stiffer on end.

But this is for a bed like to sleep on and very light duty cargo platform, like a tent awning, folding chairs and a cooler. And while I might crawl on it I won't be able to stand on it with the topper on my truck.

Maybe something along these lines to slide up under your platform?

View attachment 106787



I was planning something similar for the back of my truck. A full slide on one side with no "deck" above. Then a decked drawer on the other side. I bought some of these rollers for the slide but had thought of just sliding it on the bedliner. I just worry if parked on an incline if the rollers would just let it roll right out. What thickness plywood did you use for your slides? I'm a little concerned about flex... my slide will have my 12 volt fridge on the leading end... and it won't be light.

SHEUTSAN 20 PCS 3/4 Inch Silver Roller Ball Transfer Bearing, Carbon Steel Screw Mounted Round Swivel Ball Transfer Unit Universal Ball Bearing Casters for Conveyor, Roller Stand,Transmission https://a.co/d/8gr7qyB
Where did you find those at?

I was thinking like these, I do like that they have lids but I like the looks of yours too...

 

Uncle Gump

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I found that at Grainger or U-Line...
 

Roert42

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My ranger has the same Mitch built into the inside of bed, I always assumed they were there specifically for building a sleeping platform with plywood. Except the notches are wider for 2x6.

Never considered someone would go through that work just to carry some sheets of plywood.

I was planning on doing something similar after I put on my topper.
Figured I would build my own storage boxes out of ply wood so they would be the size I needed. Figured two long skinny ones.


On my F150 when I built the sleeping platform for inter the topper. I had hatch doors in the deck to access boxes up near the nose of the bed, for stuff I didn’t need very often. The. The boxes underneath were shorter but easier to access since they were of 4 or so feet instead of 6+.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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I guess I never checked the notches in the actual bed. I want the bedliner though.
 

SenorNoob

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I had a board here cut for that purpose with the front resting on the top of my toolbox. It works pretty well. Just have to mindful of overloading it. It doesn't take many sheets of 21/32 or whatever to get squirrelly.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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I had a board here cut for that purpose with the front resting on the top of my toolbox. It works pretty well. Just have to mindful of overloading it. It doesn't take many sheets of 21/32 or whatever to get squirrelly.
It's mainly just for a sleeping platform, I won't be hauling much gear on it.
 

SenorNoob

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It's mainly just for a sleeping platform, I won't be hauling much gear on it.
I was referring to the hauling plywood. You'll be fine for your use case. As long as nobody is napping while you go get breakfast. LOL
 

MXGerry

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That's a cool project with your little carpenter!
 

85_Ranger4x4

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I cut the plywood decking tonight, my goal is to have stowage at the front for two water/fuel cans at the front plus a can of coleman fuel plus whatever else I can fit in up there. Once at the campground the fuel/water comes out and the small piece of plywood will be hinged over to complete the deck with the structure to secure the water/fuel cans providing support.



 

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