Building Up the Cab and Chassis
We got some sound and heat dampening liner for the cab. I lined the whole interior of the cab with the dampening liner. It should help with the sound of the engine and road noise. The noise was not super bad before but I want to keep the cab as well insulated as I can. And without AC in the cab for now I wanted the cab to be as cool as possible.
We trashed the seats and ordered a couple Mastercraft seats and a folding center seat for McKenzie. We also ordered some 5-point harnesses, because, why not? We were able to simply modify the existing seat mounts to accept the new seats.
We also had to do something with the headliner, it was stained and peeling. We decided to use gray bedliner to line the headliner. My thought on that is the liner will be easy to clean (dust and whatnot) and might even help with insolation. I added a simple stereo and speakers, since there was not one before. I also added LED-reading lights (red and white) to help with map reading and whatnot. We put in some bungee netting above the driver and passenger seats for putting maps and other stuff.
I wanted to intergrade a tablet into the cab some how to be used as a GPS, store music, store maps, and even some movies for the kiddo. The only problem was finding the space. The dash was full of switches and air vents., there was virtually no space to add anything. The headliner though had tons of space. There are 3 sun visors and the visors happen to be almost the same side as an iPad. I removed the center visor and replaced the plastic visor with a metal replacement on friction hinges. I will attach a hard iPad case to the visor because there was no real other way of attaching the iPad. When the visor is flipped up the iPad is hidden, when the visor is down it looks just like a sun visor from the front.
Since the switches and all of the cab electrical all works off of 24-volt, and all the accessories work off of 12-volt, we needed to figure a way to power the cab. The other problem is we have a 12-volt ComeUp winch for the front and the batteries are located in the area of the vehicle. The solution was to install another battery under the passenger side of the cab and run all the cab and winch from the single battery. We were able to grab a trickle charge from the first battery in the 24-volt sequence and have that charge the battery under the cab.
The chassis really was in good condition. We were able to raise the dual air tanks up using the same brackets. XP Camper will be building custom aluminum storage boxes along the frame rails on both driver and passenger sides. XP Camper wanted me to get the chassis the way I wanted it (ie: move the air tanks) and they will build the boxes around what was there.
I ordered a 75 gallon steel fuel tank with 2 baffles from a local-ish shop. It was about $500 and came with all hook-ups needed. I picked steel because my thought was if it ruptures somehow I would be able to find a local welder to fix it, no special welding equipment needed. The tank takes up nearly up all the space on the passenger side frame rails. Full the tank weighs about 600lbs; we took the “over kill” route when it came to mounting it. There will also be boxes built around the tank and will serve as our locking gas cap.
We took off the standard headlights out of the front bumper and replaced them with dual LED light bars. My thought on this was the bulbs in the headlights were nearly impossible to get here is the US and are very expensive. Also, when a hot bulb hits cold water the bulb has a tendency to stop working. Since I plan on driving through at least a few puddles I wanted to avoid this problem. These LED’s have a 50,000-hour run life, so they will “never” burn out. I have one bar set to Low Bean the second turns on for High Beam. I also eliminated two rickety fog lights.
We installed the ComeUp winches behind the chassis frame rail end caps. We reinforced them with plating and gave access to the winch controls. For the outer cage I took the truck to Stellar Fabrications in Lakeside, AZ. The cab got a roof rack and crane to store the spare tire. We installed a 2k lbs ComeUp winch to rise and lower the 300+ lbs tire. The cage also gave us a place to mount sand rails and LED light bars. The metal was left bare so it will be painted with the cab.
I also raised the air tanks up about 6 inches to make sure they were far away from danger. I replaced a few worn air hoes too. I replaced the headlights with small LED light bars, 50,000 hour life so I shouldn’t have to worry about them burning out for a while.
The battery boxes, rear swing up bumper, and side storage boxes will all be built and installed by XPCamper.