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2014 Top Mod Contest Level 1

The 2014 truck camper mod madness begins with Level 1 Big Mods including custom step systems, shell build-outs, home brew flatbeds, and more.  The Level 1 winner is…

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Based on our extensive research into truck camper owner behavior, we know the following Top Mod Contest articles can have some fairly intense side-effects on Truck Camper Magazine readers.  If at any time you become overly excited, can’t breathe, or begin running up and down your neighborhood streets naked yelling, “I can’t wait to see the next installment of the Truck Camper Magazine Top Mod Contest!”, we honestly can’t help.  This is normal readership behavior during the Mod Contest, and should be expected.

At the end of this week we will publish the first of two installments of Level 2 Medium Mods.  The second installment of Level 2 and Level 3 Mods Decorative Mods will be published the following Tuesday and Friday.  That’s two straight weeks of mod madness folks, so you might want to warn the neighbors.  Let the streak begin.

Level 1 Big Mod Winner: Mark Siminoff, California
2005 Dodge Ram 3500
2004 Alpenlite Saratoga 935

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Above: The cabover before the modification

My wife, two children who are seven and nine years old, and I do a lot of extended traveling in our truck camper.  We were constantly struggling with not having enough well-organized storage space.  To address this need, I modified the wardrobe and cabinets on both sides of the cabover area of my truck camper so that we would have room for all of our clothing (both clean and dirty), linens, towels, toys, books, and musical instruments.

The factory installed wardrobe on the passenger’s side consisted of a small, difficult-to-access closet with a pair of doors that opened over the mattress.  It only offered space for items hung on hangers or placed on the floor.  The cabinets on the driver’s side were small, difficult to access, and didn’t have any shelving.

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Above: The overcab renovation process – click to enlarge the photos

To better manage our storage needs, I built custom cubbies that are designed to hold folded clothing, plastic bins (for things like socks, underwear, toiletries, and personal electronics), and/or shirts and jackets on hangers.

All of the individual shelves are easily removable so that space can be made for large items if necessary.  On the driver’s side there is a canvas dirty laundry hamper which can be easily carried into the house or laundromat.  A spare flat-folded hamper is stored alongside the open one and can be deployed if the primary one gets full.  On both sides there is a generous space along the floor where long items, like fishing poles, umbrellas, and kites, can be stowed.

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Above: The driver’s side of the finished cabover, note the bungee cords across the front of the cubbies

The top shelf on the driver’s side is designed to carry a guitar and a ukelele.  In addition to the small wooden lip at the front of each shelf, there are provisions for bungee cords to be attached across the front of the cubby openings.  These will prevent items like books from falling off out while on the road.  By the way, to date nothing has ever fallen out.  The vertical partitions and shelves are made from birch plywood and the front faces are solid maple.

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Above: The passenger’s side of the finished cabover

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Above: The cabover after the modification

We now have lots of room for all of our stuff and each person has their own dedicated cubbies that can be used or reconfigured as they see fit.  Truth be told, the best part of the whole mod is the laundry hamper.

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