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2021 ZR2 CCSB Bright Blue Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Any idea what your setup will weigh when your done?

Just curious because your build is pretty unique given your woodwork.
I'm not sure, but the ARE Z series shell weighs 180 lbs, I used less than 2 sheets of 3/4 inch MDO which weighs 61 lbs for a full sheet, the jack screws probably weigh under 60 lbs for the set. So my guess would be about 350 lbs.
 

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2020 Colorado Z71 Trail Runner
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If you don't require great radio reception/range, you can switch your antenna to a Stubby Jr. I did on my truck because I was concerned, needlessly, that the stock antenna would hit the rack on my shell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
I notched the four corner lids of the carpet kit to clear the jack screws and wires. Now I have a flat platform that is the size of the truck bed with lots of storage space underneath. Tomorrow I'll round over and sand the cut edges and put some varnish on the raw plywood. Next I need to install the Weekender tent.
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Pretty darn cool! Sir you are a woodworking expert. So is the idea to raise the shell up when camping? What will fill in the voids between the shell and truck bed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Pretty darn cool! Sir you are a woodworking expert. So is the idea to raise the shell up when camping? What will fill in the voids between the shell and truck bed?
Yes. I bought the Weekender tent from Topper EZ Lift. Do a YouTube search on weekender tent and you will see lots of videos. I need to install it now. I realize that the tent covers the dome light switch which also controls the strip lights so I need to add another switch that I can get to when the tent is installed.
 

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Yes. I bought the Weekender tent from Topper EZ Lift. Do a YouTube search on weekender tent and you will see lots of videos. I need to install it now. I realize that the tent covers the dome light switch which also controls the strip lights so I need to add another switch that I can get to when the tent is installed.
I have the same problem with my Nomad tent, when the tent is set up, the dome light is outside the tent.

I got a set of Goal Zero Light-a-Life LED lights. LINK I string them up around my shell and plug them into my Jackery. One reason I want to do the power panel like you have is so that I can plug them into it and the Jackery can do other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
I have the same problem with my Nomad tent, when the tent is set up, the dome light is outside the tent.

I got a set of Goal Zero Light-a-Life LED lights. LINK I string them up around my shell and plug them into my Jackery. One reason I want to do the power panel like you have is so that I can plug them into it and the Jackery can do other things.
I wired in a switch to control the dome light and the strip lights in my shell. One thing nice about the Topper EZ Lift is that the jack screw brackets give me secure places to mount things to.
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I wired in a switch to control the dome light and the strip lights in my shell. One thing nice about the Topper EZ Lift is that the jack screw brackets give me secure places to mount things to.
View attachment 404874
Not sure how your tent will work, but on my Nomad (from Topper) the dome light is actually outside the tent shell so it doesn't illuminate inside the tent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Not sure how your tent will work, but on my Nomad (from Topper) the dome light is actually outside the tent shell so it doesn't illuminate inside the tent.
I ordered the dual LED strip light option when I bought my shell. The two strip lights turn on with the dome light which is now controlled by the switch I installed on the lift bracket. So with the tent covering the middle dome light, I don't really care since most of the light comes from those two LED strips.
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I ordered the dual LED strip light option when I bought my shell. The two strip lights turn on with the dome light which is now controlled by the switch I installed on the lift bracket. So with the tent covering the middle dome light, I don't really care since most of the light comes from those two LED strips.
View attachment 404875
Ahhhhh, nice!! I wish I had ordered those with mine.

This is my solution:

 

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Discussion Starter · #71 · (Edited)
I just did the F40DA and F44DA 50A fuse swap so now my 12V outlets in the center console are hot all the time. This will come in handy when we use the lights in the ARB awning so we won't need to have the key in the ignition. I also just ordered an Antigravity H8 Group 49 80AH LiFePo4 battery with "restart" so you can't accidentally drain your battery while using accessories and lights when camping. I also have a Noco GB150 (I got it with the truck using the Chevy Accessories Allowance) to act as a poor man's Jackery and jump starting battery plus I have a set of jumper cables.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 · (Edited)
My wife sewed some curtains from Reflectix. She was able to make all three the same size (front, left, right) which is convenient. They just stick to the carpeted shell using hook Velcro and Reflectix is stiff enough so they stay put. She also made a loft from some cargo netting for storing the curtains on the ceiling of the shell when we are not using them.
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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
We installed the Weekender Tent and figured out how to stow it. It is very roomy and easy to use since it just installs with Velcro. That makes it easy to adjust too. I figured out that I can stow it without taking it out of the bed, except for the bimini awning which rolls up but is sort of clunky to stow on the ceiling because of the ARE Z series hinges. Once we go camping we'll probably figure out the best techniques for using it.
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I wish you were in SoCal so I could get your wife to make me a set of Reflectix shades like those, mine look like crap. :ROFLMAO: They work but they look like a 4th grader made them.

For my Nomad, I just roll the top up. It was velcro straps and I supplemented them with an additional strap in the middle. It looks like crap (sensing a theme here?) in this picture, but I had knocked it loose sticking the wheels in my bed. Normally you can't even see that it's there. I keep the bottom half rolled up and in the cubby at the front of my sleeping platform and the tent pole is in my left drawer.

 

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I like the reflectix sewed up like that. I put black gorilla tape on one side of mine but a fabric would have much better blackout properties from the outside (gorilla tape has some shine to it). Readyrig4x4 on Instagram has the same setup as you with the topper and tent btw incase you need some inspo. Looks like you already have it figured out though!


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Once we go camping we'll probably figure out the best techniques for using it.
Are you new to camping or just new to your current setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Are you new to camping or just new to your current setup?
I should have said with the ZR2. My wife and I grew up camping as kids. When we married in 1986 we went on a 3 week Western states camping trip for our honeymoon. We received a 3 burner Coleman stove as a wedding present and we still use it. This afternoon I pulled out the stove and lanterns to make sure they are working. I had to replace the pump on the old lantern (the one that is not on) today but now it is working like a champ.
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These are our camping rigs over the years: 1984 Dodge Daytona (after taking it on the dirt in Death Valley we decided we needed to upgrade). 1987 Jeep Comanche long bed with high top shell and home made carpet kit (which I refined for the ZR2 version). 2002 Chevy Avalanche Z71 with truck bed tent. 2018 Cadillac ATS-V (pavement only). 2021 ZR2.
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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
I just installed a battery upgrade to the H8 Group 49 diesel size. I also went lithium ion (LiFePo4) for even more capacity to run accessories, 80AH 2000 CCA. Although larger than the stock battery, it is quite a bit lighter.
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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
I'll be getting a battery like that when mine goes. Or I run out of other projects. Whichever comes first.
My 2018 Cadillac ATS battery seems to be getting worn so I'll put the 2021 ZR2 battery that I just pulled out into my Cadillac. They appear to be the same size.
 
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