Dual Cab camping/4x4 set-up?

Submitted: Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 16:01
ThreadID: 138707 Views:22199 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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what kind of setups you guys run on your dual cab?
where you keep your fridge, esky? cooking stuff, battery box? water storage?
sleeping arrangements?
awning or gazebo?

i currently have a roof top tent sitting over the tub
bull bar and a roof rack to hold my kayak. otherwise im pretty stock

still lookin for ideas, would love to see some pics

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Reply By: Kazza055 - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 16:51

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 16:51
Can't help with roughing it as we tow a house behind us, well a caravan actually.

I have a SMM Steel Canopy on the back and also have drawers fitted. We take a 32L Waeco beer fridge plus a 40L Engle as a freezer. As can be seen in the photo I fitted an extension on the top of the drawers where the fridges sit.

The drawers are divided with the front section used for storage or tools etc.

I also have a dual battery in the left side plus 2 x 160W solar panels.

AnswerID: 626682

Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 11:47

Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 11:47
Neat and simple. Nice! Did u make the drawers? Because i got filing cabinets at home about the same size.
Do your panels keep your battery topped up for both fridges? Im reading heaps of contradicting stuff about solar

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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 16:44

Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 16:44
Thanks Damian G1, it is very dirty from gravel roads up at Exmouth.

The drawers are from Outback Equipment and they are great but next time I will go for the Titan Drawers as they are the same but a heap cheaper.

When I came up with the idea I sent Outback Equipment the drawings of what I wanted to do, they made the side panels (x4) and lined the outside to match the drawers. All I did was take the top sheet off and cut them to the length of the raided section. I closed the rear opening by using some of the security stainless steel fly wire as sued on security doors - saves stuff falling into the back but allows air flow.

The battery (100AH) sits behind the the distribution panel on the left. The panels should recharge the battery and keep the fridges cool but I got court out with three solid days of rain and it killed the battery so now if I have 240V available I plug it in. Most the time we stay in parks so the solar does not really get used that much now. The unit above the switches is a low voltage cutout I made up to save me killing another battery.

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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 17:27

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 17:27
On my BT50 I removed the tub and had a tradie canopy installed. Together with a local mob we designed a storage system.

A 70 litre SS water tank and 120Ah second battery are up agains the front wall.

Behind them on the left side is a fridge on a drop slide, then drawers for pantry stove storage and a small slide out work suface for food prep. Above the fridge is a shelf for a hose bag, collapsible bucket and portable 12v shower.

On the drivers side behind the water tank there is a cavity for a second spare lying flat (won't roll into the door) and above that on a floating shelf, axe, wheel step, tarp, groundsheet.

Behind that are drawers for tools, spares and sundry camping hardware.

We carry a table and solar panels upright inside the back door.

The top of the unit is a deck with an adjustable tie-down system where we carry 10 storage boxes for other stuff like non perishable food, campfire cookware, fire pit, wet weather gear, boots and other sundry stuff.

There are roof bars on the canopy to mount an awning and a Rhino roof basket for firewood. We have a roof rack on the turret for recovery tracks, gas bottle, shovel and swags.

Works well


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AnswerID: 626683

Reply By: Member - christopher w2 - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 19:36

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 19:36
Hi Damien,
Not quite the same as I have a BT50 king cab as there are only the two of us. I wanted the extra room in the tray that the king cab would give me. As we predominantly use a tent when there are just the two if us I needed total flexibility so I could get to pretty much anything I needed with out having to move anything out of the way.
Basic set up is a ARB canopy with a Rhino Rack. Inside the tray I have built a false floor in 5 sections so I can remove the floor at anytime. In the centre of the tray running the full length I put the tent on the lhs halfway along I keep 2 tables plus the solar panel and on the rhs haifway along the length of the tray I keep another table plus chairs. On the rhs at the front a have a removable panel in the floor where I keep my tools, compressor etc and on the lhs I have room for ground sheets collapsible buckets etc.
The Engel freezer and large esky live on the back seat in air conditioned comfort.
Sleeping wise we use tent but when travelling by myself I have an ARB awning with or without walls or if it’s raining I can sleep in the back of the false floor.
All cooking gear primus etc are put in containers from Bunnings. Water wise I carry 4 x 20 litre jerry cans plus 20 litres of fuel all split between the rhino rack and the tray
Sorry no photos available
I built the false floor myself from marine ply and marine carpet for a total cost of about $700.
Trust you find the comments useful
AnswerID: 626687

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 07:45

Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 07:45
Something to consider before you head down the path of additions and modifications
On a dual cab you get 1m2 of additional floor space with a tray over a tub plus it is more useable space with no wheel arches and good access from all sides.

You may be happy with a tub and that is fine but better to make that decision first. A few mates of mine spent considerable dollars fitting fibreglass canopies and drawer systems only to ditch them later and fit a tray after seeing my tray back with a gullwing canopy
AnswerID: 626692

Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 21:00

Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 21:00
Mate trust me if i could go back in time, i would. Unfortunately i think thats too big of a job for me ill keep this truck for a while, my next will be a 79 series single cab tray back haha (5 or 10 years)
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 09:09

Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 09:09
Damian G1,

I do not own a dual cab, but have seen quite a few set up. Whatever you do, ensure the heaviest items are placed as close as possible to the front of the tub/tray behind the cab wall. This places the weight above, or just forward of the rear axle, and will lesson the stresses on the chassis. There are a number of photos posted on this site and others showing bent chassis from poorly loaded dual cabs.


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Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 20:44

Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 20:44
Never thought of this. Legendary advice :)
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 07:26

Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 07:26

I don’t have a pic of it set up properly. The kitchen drawer sits under the fridge, containing stove, wash bowl, cutlery, crockery, cleaning gear etc.
The extension sits in the top of the drawer. Pretty simple but works well.
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Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 20:39

Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 20:39
I like that the big table over your drawer. id use that for everything!
Using a weber? How longs the little canister last ya?
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 21:10

Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 21:10
Easily a weekend with one roast 2 brekkies and a steak night. The little bottle fits inside so it is really portable. A q goes nearly everywhere with us these days.
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Reply By: Member - Billy - Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 09:11

Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 09:11
My Engle sits on the back seat, or if it is a long trip then the seat comes out, and the two 100 ah batteries live in the box with recovery gear, all the other stuff fits around it is never the same.]
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Follow Up By: Member - Billy - Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 09:26

Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 09:26
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Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 20:41

Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 20:41
Looks like the direction in heading in. Still got room in the ute to actually use the ute! Do u take the tent off when ur not using it? Though it sits in line with your cab, i guess i wouldnt really hurt fuel consumption?
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Follow Up By: Member - Billy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019 at 09:26

Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019 at 09:26
yes the tent comes off when I'm home I reverse the ute into the shed/garage and I have 4 I bolts attached to the roof then just connect the straps to each corner and up she goes out of the way, I don't have a pic of it in the shed.
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Reply By: Hoyks - Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 09:53

Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 09:53
I find a drop side tray back is much better suited to my needs and makes fitting a camper so much easier. Its around 100kg lighter than a pressed metal body, gives more flat area to stack stuff, better departure angle and less shiny metal to scratch.

If you trawl Gumtree you can pick up drop side trays and tradesman canopies for a tray back for reasonable money and they make a great blank canvas to start with.

The camper was built for a different ute, so is a bit short for this tray. Overall it works out as the extra 300mm lets me stack 5 jerry cans (around 100kg when full) across the headboard. Fridge, a spare carton & battery all fit up the front on passenger side and tool box on the driver side, the rest from there back is reasonably light, apart from the optional spare wheel on the carrier.
The folded tent is the same height as the roof racks, so my kayaks fit nicely on top, either side of the stowed ladder.

This one is a reasonable deal, just sell the trailer and get some of your $$ back.
AnswerID: 626715

Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 20:43

Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 20:43
Mate thats like a ronny dahl stage 6 setup. Haha, im nowhere near that level yet! Love it
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Reply By: harryopal - Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019 at 19:43

Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019 at 19:43
Damian, sorry lost pics of two vehicles which I set up with drop side utility trays on each vehicle. One was a Landcruiser the other a Holden Rodeo 4x4 dual cab.

As you will see you can spend many thousands of $ on custom made arrangements with immaculate fittings and rigs that I guess add quite a bit of weight. Instead I used ply wood to make a camper on the back with a lift up roof to standing height. Looking at it from the rear, the left side I had a lift up side that provided cover and then used a tarp over this if rainy, windy or cold. so that area was fully enclosed including floor. This side I used as my kitchen with 3 way fridge, gas cooker etc, a fold up card table, fold up chairs to put out on the ground. At night I parked the fridge using gas on the ground.
The right side lifted out and I devised an arrangement where the side lifted up as a roof. A floor hinged at the floor level of the tray that folded out and was securely locked level with wooden supports that slotted into the drop down side tray of the utility. A couple of panels fitted into place either end and I could then use this area to shift across gear from tray and use the tray for sleeping.
The rear had a lift up panel across the width of the vehicle so I could prop this up and it made easy for loading. Within that panel I made a door with rear window do I could still use the rear vision mirror in the cab. A fold up compact short step ladder for getting in and out. The door was in two parts with the top part opening at the level of the of the tray panel when locked in place. I could put things in and out, (foodstuffs or whatever) without dropping the rear tray panel.
I called this The Half Star Hotel. It had many advantages. The structure was lightweight but well secured. (I had a five ply panel across the floor ) The ply provided insulation against heat and cold.
In making this every element was based on low cost and simplicity so that I could set up without any assistance and it took 5 minutes. It also meant you could stop anywhere at night without having to worry about wet ground for setting up a tent or whatever.
The cost for the whole thing came in at under $3000 with paint being one of the more expensive elements.
.I ran a line from the battery to the 3 way fridge and had long extention cords for camping in a park with lighting etc in the rear.
P.S. The plywood camper gives much better insulation that a canvas pop up or tent. Windows I made up using car window glass bought cheap from a wrecker.
AnswerID: 626773

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