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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm looking to start accessorizing my Frontier. I want to make it super comfortable for road trips.

Currently the vehicle is stock with just a cap on the back. The cap has bars on it already.

I'm having a difficult time visualizing how I want to set it up.

Ideally, I'd like to travel with a kayak and bike. I want to be able to sleep in the back. I also want to be able to bring fishing rods + camping gear..... Seem like way too much stuff but I hate not having my gear with me.

The kayak might be a bit much. I'm debating whether or not to buy a Thule hullavtor or just load it in the back and use it locally. I bought a bed extender and it's really easy to move solo like that.

The fishing rods I'm thinking I might be able to build a rack inside cap on the roof, opposite where I'm sleeping.

The camping gear, I'm thinking a basket up top would be great. Get some waterproof totes and strap them down. However, I might have to end up dividing the back in half. Half as a bed, half for storage bins.
 

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kayak on the top of the cap, hitch mount bike rack, build a platform for sleep with storage under it (some camping and fishing gear) then place the remaining gear in the truck or next to your sleeping area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
kayak on the top of the cap, hitch mount bike rack, build a platform for sleep with storage under it (some camping and fishing gear) then place the remaining gear in the truck or next to your sleeping area.
That sounds like it could work provided I keep my camping gear consolidated.

Do you have any experience with the hullavator? It's essentially a rack that drops down the side of the vehicle so you can load it. It has a hydraulic lift built it so it's easy to push it back up on the roof. I will be doing everything solo, plus I have a left knee that has had multiple surgeries.

What would I do for a mattress? Just buy a regular mattress designed for a twin bed?
 

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kayak on the top of the cap, hitch mount bike rack, build a platform for sleep with storage under it (some camping and fishing gear) then place the remaining gear in the truck or next to your sleeping area.
That sounds like a pretty good plan right there
 

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Best thing for fishing rods is PVC pipe with screw caps. You can get the pipe in different sizes so multiple rods can fit in it and it floats if you flip while on the water.
Sassle
 

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kayak on the top of the cap, hitch mount bike rack, build a platform for sleep with storage under it (some camping and fishing gear) then place the remaining gear in the truck or next to your sleeping area.
Ditto to this idea. A lot of climbers do this to their vans and camper-topped pickups. Bear in mind that these guys and gals actually live in their truck beds, but you should get some inspiration if you go this route. I found a way-too-long description at Truck Camping - Outfitting and Living in the Back of a Pickup. If you want more pics, just Google "dirtbag climber trucks". A fair number of the image results will be vans, but there ought to be more truck ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Ditto to this idea. A lot of climbers do this to their vans and camper-topped pickups. Bear in mind that these guys and gals actually live in their truck beds, but you should get some inspiration if you go this route. I found a way-too-long description at Truck Camping - Outfitting and Living in the Back of a Pickup. If you want more pics, just Google "dirtbag climber trucks". A fair number of the image results will be vans, but there ought to be more truck ideas.
I've read the dirtbag truck blog and a few others. There is some good info on those sites; however, most of those pictures do make the truck look very cramped. I'm trying to avoid that. I want to bring as much stuff as I can while still maintaining comfort.

Right now the kayak is up in the air. It might be a major pita. If I ditch the kayak, I can put all the fishing rods up in a ski rack on the roof.

I'm not exactly trying to live out of my truck. What I'm mainly looking to do is one major road trip all around the U.S. Possibly for two months. If the opportunity presents itself, I may do other trips like it.

Only issue with the PVC idea is that I want my reels mounted to the rods at all the time. I just did two trips, one down to Cape Cod and another to Fire Island, NY. Both trips I would show up to a beach and have to remount the reels. Then string up the rods. Then tie on the lures. I went to at least 10 different beaches on the last trip and every time I wanted to relocate, I had to do that procedure all over again. It was a hassle. I want to just show up and start fishing.
 

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I've read the dirtbag truck blog and a few others. There is some good info on those sites; however, most of those pictures do make the truck look very cramped. I'm trying to avoid that. I want to bring as much stuff as I can while still maintaining comfort.

Right now the kayak is up in the air. It might be a major pita. If I ditch the kayak, I can put all the fishing rods up in a ski rack on the roof.

I'm not exactly trying to live out of my truck. What I'm mainly looking to do is one major road trip all around the U.S. Possibly for two months. If the opportunity presents itself, I may do other trips like it.

Only issue with the PVC idea is that I want my reels mounted to the rods at all the time. I just did two trips, one down to Cape Cod and another to Fire Island, NY. Both trips I would show up to a beach and have to remount the reels. Then string up the rods. Then tie on the lures. I went to at least 10 different beaches on the last trip and every time I wanted to relocate, I had to do that procedure all over again. It was a hassle. I want to just show up and start fishing.
This is semi flawed thinking. You really need to pair down and think about what you truly need and how to pack and store it. and modify this each and every time you go out. Each time you road trip or camp, pay close attention to what you actually used and what has never been used as well as what worked well and what was a failure.

Are you road tripping, or travelling out to the middle of nowhere? does it require all the gear or will you always be on well travelled roads?

How often will you have the opportunity to do laundry? What space is available under seats and in door pockets for soft sided bags?

My wife and I camp at state parks frequently and we have it paired down to one backpack each, 3 medium totes that stay packed, the cooler, the tent, one tool bag and two chairs. Easily packed and loaded in 15 minutes. Now, this is for a simple weekend at a state park, but, you get the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is semi flawed thinking. You really need to pair down and think about what you truly need and how to pack and store it. and modify this each and every time you go out. Each time you road trip or camp, pay close attention to what you actually used and what has never been used as well as what worked well and what was a failure.

Are you road tripping, or travelling out to the middle of nowhere? does it require all the gear or will you always be on well travelled roads?

How often will you have the opportunity to do laundry? What space is available under seats and in door pockets for soft sided bags?

My wife and I camp at state parks frequently and we have it paired down to one backpack each, 3 medium totes that stay packed, the cooler, the tent, one tool bag and two chairs. Easily packed and loaded in 15 minutes. Now, this is for a simple weekend at a state park, but, you get the idea.
I plan to take trips out to the middle of nowhere. As in remote parts of Nevada, the Sonoran desert, Pacific northwest, Bishop CA, etc. My next trip I mapped out on Google maps. It's going to be about 8600 miles roundtrip. I need to have everything on hand. I can't just run back to the garage. Sometimes I'm sure I won't even be able to run to a Safeway.

I do some camping in state parks but those are local trips. When I used to live out west I did all of my camping on BLM land, national forest, etc.

I agree that I really need to put a lot of thought into packing. Everything needs to have it's place. Anything that is just taking up space is going to be a hassle. I'm not trying to bring stuff for the sake of bring stuff but it drives me crazy when I missing something I need.
 

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Are thinking you may have problems loading the Kayak solo?
I have never owned a kayak so this thinking may be way off...and apologies in advance if this is stating the obvious.
Drop the tailgate , close the topper/camper shell door , stand on the tail gate grab the kayak and put it on your load bars.
Then place your feet on top of your rear tire and stand up to reach on top of your cap/topper/camper shell and secure the kayak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Are thinking you may have problems loading the Kayak solo?
I have never owned a kayak so this thinking may be way off...and apologies in advance if this is stating the obvious.
Drop the tailgate , close the topper/camper shell door , stand on the tail gate grab the kayak and put it on your load bars.
Then place your feet on top of your rear tire and stand up to reach on top of your cap/topper/camper shell and secure the kayak.
Yeah, I'm concerned loading it solo.

I used to have an Audi and I could barely get it on my roof solo just lifting it. It's especially tricky trying to do it without marking up your vehicle.

The kayak is listed as weighing 75lbs. That's without anything inside. No safety equipment, etc. It's 13 feet long. It's just awkward to lift it on top. With two people it would be no problem.

My other concern is it would take up most of my roof space. If I ditch the kayak I could put a cargo basket up top to store all the camping gear. That would allow me to be really comfortable in the back.

It would be really nice to have the kayak though. Last time I didn't bring it and I found a lot of really good spots to launch from. It would have been fun. Could have done some fishing on it. A lot of good fishing spots are not accessible from land.
 

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^^^^ ---Yep, been doing it this way for years with my Explorer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Check out this clubfrontier member, Post #102 , Qty Two kayaks and a cargo basket:
Click on the link...post #102
http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f10/post-your-truck-cap-pics-here-737/index11.html
Thanks for the pic. That helps me get a visual.

Looks like he has a Yakima setup like me but has the longer bars. Plus he used the kayak racks that hold the boats sideways. I thought about getting one of those racks. The only thing that turned me off was that I'd have to lift it manually. I didn't think of the longer bars.

I was down in my basement last night and actually found another pair of Yakima bars. They are the same length as the ones on my cap.
What if I mounted a total of 3 or 4 bars on top? Put one or two more above the cab?
 

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I would just do some reading/research/googling...
Check out other websites like Expedition Portal and sometimes I go to the enemy website for ideas www.tacomaworld.com or even TheXterra.org

Google things like:
kayak on camper shell tacomaworld
camping in topper cap clubfrontier
fishing rod storage expeditionportal
 
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It looks like you have a King cab. Have you thought of removing the jump seats and building in some type of storage / platform / shelving? Even just a tray with room for one level of plastic totes under and one over will help to organize and fit things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It looks like you have a King cab. Have you thought of removing the jump seats and building in some type of storage / platform / shelving? Even just a tray with room for one level of plastic totes under and one over will help to organize and fit things.
I do have a king cab. I have thought of doing that. I can't see anyone being comfortable back there. I could care less about those seats.

Currently, I do put stuff back there but I like your idea.
 
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