Ever since I can remember, I have always loved pickup trucks. In fact, I learned to drive in a Chevy Cheyenne and recall the driving test woman asking me if I was sure I wanted to do my final test in it as she was going to make me parallel park, to which the 17yr old me confidently replied, “sure do”. I passed, and after a few years driving a '91 Pontiac Sunbird and then a 2001 GMC Jimmy I finally got the truck that I've always loved, the Toyota Tacoma.
My Taco, “Dirty Gurty”, hasn't had too many mods. Up until recently just some more aggressive tires and a truck cap. Living in the city I've always been careful to keep things in the bed “out of sight, out of mind” but the truck-bed has become storage despite my best efforts. I searched the internet for a remedy to my problem and came across loads of custom truck beds. This was the answer to my problems and knew I had a great spring project in the making. Since finishing my project I have had quite a few truck owners take notice and inquire on the project, so I'm sharing it here with you.
I had some requirements in mind for my custom truck bed.
It had to continue to be useful as a truck bed
No drilling into the truck itself
I wanted a slider
It had to be useful as a camper
I found a set of heavy duty 4ft slider rails online from Lee Valley Tools for just over $200. The one regret I have looking back is I didn't spent the extra 30 bucks and get the removable ones which would have made the install much easier. I used 3/4inch plywood for the build and re-learned how to use a router for extra strong joints. The finish is a waterproof deck stain and the whole thing is held to the bed of the truck using turn-buckle hooks and the existing tie-downs.
As shown in the pics, the centre is removable so the sliding drawer can accommodate larger items but with the centre board in place, secures items in the slider as long as the tailgate is locked. There's 4 storage cubbies that keep the regular truck items like rope and jumpers etc secure and neat. Overall I'm very happy with the project and can't wait to get on an extended road-trip to really enjoy it.