The Truck

So we spent a long time looking for a vehicle. The original plan was to get ourselves a truck of some kind, a pickup truck, that is. We were looking for something in the half ton flavour such as a Ford F150 or a GMC/Chevy 1500. The idea was to get a machine with an extended cab and a 6.5' bed to allow us to build a deck in the back to allow us to sleep on the top and store stuff below.

However, we started to run into problems when we went to dealers and told them our budget was around 5k. They reacted as if we'd asked for a car in exchange for the lint in our pockets which was irritating. It seems the dealers are interested in getting you to finance a bigger and better car which was something we did not care about. So, we had to start thinking of a plan B; either put up our budget or think of another car.

We ended up doing both, and our budget started to creep to nearer 7k which was not the plan! We visited many dealers, looked at dozens of cars but everything in our budget had 200k miles plus, or was very rotten. For instance, we found a 2001 Expedition with a 6 inch hole in the rocker and they wanted 7k for it! That's plus tax, of course.

We gave up on that machine and got back on the road to see, a mile later, a Chevy Suburban and a cheap Expedition.  The latter was rough looking and rusty but the former was surprisingly non-rusty and straight. We got underneath it, drove it, tinkered with it and eventually bought the thing! We got it for less than 4k which was very much under budget and under the industry value.

Everything seems to work but for the A/C. That's not great, but for that money and no rust, we'll live with it and accept that it'll cost us one day to get it fixed.

Now we have to figure out how to create a deck in the back for sleeping and storage purposes. More detail on that will follow, but for now, here are some pictures:



Steff can comfortably lay out straight in the trunk/boot. I can't....We need a bed in the back. 

There is plenty of room to lay down in the back of the car, but we wanted a little storage space in there too so I started to create. This project has taken me days, but it's about finished. The idea was to put something back there that would give two drawers for tidy storage and still allow the use of the back seat by providing room to let it fold up. 

Therefore, a deck was needed that could be extended to 6'5" to allow for comfortable and flat laying out. 

Stage one was to go get some plywood and other supplies from the hardware store:


The box is assembled and the drawers ready to be fitted. As I am no carpenter and I used cheap wood, there were a few fitting issues, but nothing that a little planing didn't fix 

The deck needs to be extended as it's only 57 inches long. The next stage is to work out how to make an extension that can be folded away to allow the use of the back seats. The answer was to make a foldable extension

This shows the box from underneath. The wood sticking out is one of the three supports that slides out from the deck to allow the extension to be fitted

The whole thing was varnished to keep it a little more water resistant

This is the back of the car with the rear seats folded down - ready for the magic

The three supports are pulled out of the body of the thing

There are 2 extension boards to make the full length bed. This is the first of them located on the support bars.

Next job was to carpet to some extent. We got some cheap office carpet from Lowes and covered the deck on top, and the drawers on the front and on the bottom on the inside. That should stop their contents sliding around a little.

Ready for the road