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2019 Chevy Colorado WT 2.5L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m considering selling my current trifold bed cover and getting into a softopper for some future camping trips. I saw this picture online and I like that platform for the mattress because it leaves space under for storage.

Has anyone ever built anything like this? Also, would you recommend when building something like this?
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2010 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab 4x4 Z71 V8
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@RKTROY has a pretty impressive build in progress. I’m difficult to impress but his work seems to be very nice and well thought out.

His build caught my attention because it’s somewhat different than all the cookie cutter “Overlanding” builds that are currently fashionable.

 

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I recently got a softopper so I'll share some things I've learned on the journey. Kind of unrelated to your platform questions but you may want to skim over my thoughts.

It's awesome. The canopy and dog window feature. Easy to fold and install. Water tight for me so far. I did apply the seam sealer.

People go back and forth about the security of it. Which isn't any compared to your tri fold, something to keep in mind.

I opted for a tinted rear window and immediately scratched it wiping it off with a wet gas station paper towel to clean it off. So be conscious of the window panels when cleaned them.

It will be good to camp and sleep in but I suggest adding some reflectix panels for insulation. I did just the roof of mine and it was sunny out when I did it and it instantly lowered and controlled the temperature once I had it up.

I've seen some very cool dedicated overhead light setups I plan to try to mimic out there for interior lights as it's kind of dark inside.

The third brake light is blocked but there are ways to add one some members herr have done and lots of toyota guys. I haven't really found a good walk through of it yet. And don't want to use my 4pin trailer harness to do it which may be the easiest way.. bestop owns softopper and they have a third brake light on theirs with directions of how to tap the wiring after running wires into the cab. Presumably because the brake lights on our trucks are also turn signal lights and they are going upstream of that? Not sure exactly.

The assembly comes with 4 clamps to hold the button rails to the top of your bed sides. I've read multiple times on the Taco forums that the rails can kind of bow in the center so I ordered 2 extra c clamps to further secure the rails and stop any sort of bowing as per people's suggestions.

Anyways food for thought. GL.

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2019 Chevy Colorado WT 2.5L
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey thank you so much for that update. I felt it was a little difficult to get a decent, recent review of the softopper. The security of it isn’t a huge factor to me, I never keep anything of value anywhere in my truck at all times. But I was hoping to find a platform that’ll be easy to take out so I can fold down the top and use my entire bed if needed. Thank you for the insulation tips. I’ll definitely look into that. I saw some guys wrap their custom platforms in carpet, hopefully that’ll keep the interior a little bit more warm. I was a little worried about the 3rd brake light issue, I’ll probably just figure something out in the future lol. I live in LA/OC area of California so I’m a little confident that cops probably won’t pay much attention to that. Worse comes to worse, I’ll probably find a custom shop who can maybe just add a custom light or something. Again, thank you for your help!
I recently got a softopper so I'll share some things I've learned on the journey. Kind of unrelated to your platform questions but you may want to skim over my thoughts.

It's awesome. The canopy and dog window feature. Easy to fold and install. Water tight for me so far. I did apply the seam sealer.

People go back and forth about the security of it. Which isn't any compared to your tri fold, something to keep in mind.

I opted for a tinted rear window and immediately scratched it wiping it off with a wet gas station paper towel to clean it off. So be conscious of the window panels when cleaned them.

It will be good to camp and sleep in but I suggest adding some reflectix panels for insulation. I did just the roof of mine and it was sunny out when I did it and it instantly lowered and controlled the temperature once I had it up.

I've seen some very cool dedicated overhead light setups I plan to try to mimic out there for interior lights as it's kind of dark inside.

The third brake light is blocked but there are ways to add one some members herr have done and lots of toyota guys. I haven't really found a good walk through of it yet. And don't want to use my 4pin trailer harness to do it which may be the easiest way.. bestop owns softopper and they have a third brake light on theirs with directions of how to tap the wiring after running wires into the cab. Presumably because the brake lights on our trucks are also turn signal lights and they are going upstream of that? Not sure exactly.

The assembly comes with 4 clamps to hold the button rails to the top of your bed sides. I've read multiple times on the Taco forums that the rails can kind of bow in the center so I ordered 2 extra c clamps to further secure the rails and stop any sort of bowing as per people's suggestions.

Anyways food for thought. GL.

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There's a Facebook page called "Pickup truck camping" that is all about this platform building. As said above you'll want 3 clamps per side, I wouldn't make the floor to high as it reduces head room. I have the Decked drawers and it is just at the top of the wheelwells and has enough room for sleeping.
 
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I built a lower platform in my truck. The drawers are tall enough for tools, flip flops, etc. But I can still sit up under the shell no problem. If you want more details, there's a link to my build thread in my signature.
That slick. I missed it on your thread before.

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2019 Chevy Colorado WT 2.5L
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I built a lower platform in my truck. The drawers are tall enough for tools, flip flops, etc. But I can still sit up under the shell no problem. If you want more details, there's a link to my build thread in my signature.
You should sell that as a kit, I’d definitely it lol
 

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You should sell that as a kit, I’d definitely it lol
The only part that took any skill was welding up the aluminum frame underneath. Total for all the materials was less than $200 (not including the tools). If I remember correctly, I bought two 6' sections of 2x2 aluminum framing and two sheets of 1/2" marine grade plywood. With the measurements, any welding shop could fabricate the frame. It took my friend about 2 hours and he doesn't weld for a living. The hardest part was getting the shape of the plywood right. I bought a rubber bed mat and used that to start with but had to add about 2" around it because the platform doesn't sit on the bed and the walls slope out. I used a big cardboard box that I carefully trimmed and cut into the right shape and then transferred that to the plywood.
 

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2021, Colorado WT
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406262


This is my current design haven't built it yet, I am using the Pasks Makes slides style using skateboard bearings and steel tubing. This design is shorter than a decked so you have more headroom for sleeping and is about 25lbs lighter (if I did that math correctly).

 

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View attachment 406262

This is my current design haven't built it yet, I am using the Pasks Makes slides style using skateboard bearings and steel tubing. This design is shorter than a decked so you have more headroom for sleeping and is about 25lbs lighter (if I did that math correctly).

Any progress? You get the softopper yet?

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Built a few years ago for my Tacoma. Now sitting in my ZR2. Made from stupid heavy 3/4" plywood with heavy duty 60" slides. She probably weighs 200-225# empty. Got a revision planned for this summer to cut weight and increase capacity, along with a camper shell build that should do the same.

IMG_20191002_114313.jpg
 

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2021, Colorado WT
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I built this for the ranger I bought just out of college. It is a twin bed frame that I welded up new legs and used old garage door tracks and rollers for the slides. I pretty much live in it in the summers. The one I am going to build for my colorado will be much more shallow since my cap is cab height.

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That is really nice. If I had a topper, I would fabricate something like like that. I love camping but hate sleeping in a tent. I love the outdoors but hate having to setup camp. My dream rig would be a 14x7 cargo trailer that I convert into a camper/toy hauler. Gotta bring the 4 wheeler wherever I go!
 
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I posted my CAD drawing up a few months ago and had some people asking how the drawers were going. I've got one weekend in on the project now, that includes sourcing materials which thanks to the COVID lumber market was not as easy as normal. I used 2 sheets of 1/2" cabinet grade sande (I wanted burch but was not available and the top is 3/4" burch.

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I started by breaking down all the ply with the tracksaw and table saw I recommend some sort of circular saw guide. If you don't have a tracksaw.
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Then I Started Assembling drawers. I used a ton of biscuits they were my main way of strength and alignment. I considered other options like dados but in the end biscuits offered the best space to weight to strength solution. I also used trim screws.
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when drilling for the bearings I stacked the cabinet sides and middle together then drilled all at once. I would have prefered to do this on the drill press but my mini drill press was too small for these pieces.
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I double checked my spacing it's a pretty tight tolerance.
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More biscuits, I used glue and screws along with them of course.
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At the end of my weekend this is what I had done. I'll keep you all updated as I start to riddle out some of the issues CAD can't show you. Hopefully in the next two weeks it will be complete.
 

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Moving on very well, looks awesome.
 
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