Badass Basecamp

Next on the agenda was to finish sealing off the bed.

This involved removing the three cubbies in the bed and making them dust/water proof. A few beads of silicone and little glued plastic dams did the trick.

OR, If you want to save yourself some serious time and effort…

I recently found a thread on Tacomaworld where a guy is selling caps for these cubbies. They appear to do EXACTLY the same thing – prevent water and dust from coming up the little slots.
If I had found these earlier, I would have DEFINITELY bought a set.

Check it out!

My next piece of advice to every single Tacoma owner out there is…


Do it. NOW!

I’ll Even help you: Click HERE

Add to Cart. Checkout. Happy Camper.

I don’t care what generation Tacoma you have, GET A SET OF THESE
before this happens…

Yes, that would be a crack in my bed. This was from running a bed rack / RTT combo for two years. The rack rested directly on the bedsides – another thing I would personally steer away from (knowing what I know now). Sure the crack isn’t really all that bad now, but THAT is a ticking time-bomb and will only get worse if left untreated.

Funny thing was, I was even told that:
A) 2nd gen beds are stronger than the 3rd gens, therefore we don’t need stiffeners.
B) My welded steel bed rack would not bow out and force the bed to crack, so again, I don’t need stiffeners.

YES it is true the 2nd gen beds are stronger than the new 3rd gen beds. There have been numerous problems supporting this statement.
However, this does NOT exempt a bed from cracking. If you have ANY sort of weight involved with the bed at all, just fucking pony up and buy a set of these.


When installing the Total Chaos bed stiffeners, you bolt the bottom portion first. This will immediately reveal just how much your bed is bowed out.
As you can see, mine had a pretty noticeable gap.

Side note for a second.

The more and more experience I gain over time, the more I realize there are some things that are undoubtedly worth spending money on. Think of them as investment purchases that factor straight into the longevity of your rig.

Yes, sometimes they are more expensive, making them a harder pill to swallow for many people. I get it! I bought pretty looking Fuel wheels right out the gate because looking good is what it’s all about, right?


I mean, okay maybe it is for people who don’t offroad their trucks.
Cool. More power to them.

But for those of us who do, think of it like this…
Say you’re out on the trail and you slam down on a rock so hard that you end up denting your side under-belly to the point that your door no longer opens.


Betcha you’ll be wishing you had spent the money on sliders, huh.
Especially because now, I guarantee the fix-it bill for this “oops” will be greater than a set of sliders would have been.

It’s food for thought.

I personally think bed stiffeners fall squarely into this category. It’s worth having that peace of mind and I wish I had bought a set YEARS ago. We live and learn.

Next up is the base plate.

The base plate would be the foundation for the camper interior. The aluminum framework would attach directly to this plate, which would then be attached directly to the bed of the truck.

(More photos of all that later.)

I picked up one 5′ x 5′ sheet of 0.5″ birch plywood from MacBeath Hardwood in Salt Lake City. This sheet of plywood weighs roughly ~50 lbs, if you’re curious.

Since I literally have maybe a dozen small tools in my shed, none of which would do the job I need, I reached out to my community to see if anyone could help me with cutting the floor board.

In steps Mr. Drew.

(Little did I know then what an AWESOME friend he would become.)

Drew is a contractor, so he had all the right tools to get the job done. He owned a modified Tundra himself, so working on trucks and projects was right up his alley.

You will hear me say it a thousand times but I cannot thank him enough for all of his help on this project. I literally could not have done it without him!

Taking multiple measurements is key with this, and Drew nailed it!

The plan to attach the base plate was to use the original bed bolts. This would require creating a pocket for the bolt to sit down in, within the base plate.

I would also be coating the plywood in truck-bed liner for weather-proofing and durability.