Funny thing about the Ford motor company, you can order a new pick up truck without the “box” on it and they’ll take $600 off the sticker price (by the you finish haggling you’ve probably only saved $500). But, when you do a box delete they also take away the rear bumper, the spare tire, the trailer wiring connectors and a few other things. So we ordered the truck with a box and hoped that we could sell it to a used parts dealer. We called around and found a place that was eager to pay us $600 for the box and lights and we kept everything else.
The new body started with an independent steel frame which would support everything that we added. The whole system uses a modular design, that way in the future the cabinets and kayak rack can be removed and the truck can be used as a regular flatbed. The “bumper of death” was a late addition to the plan. The truck lives in a neighborhood where you have to parallel park and since the old Toyota’s bumpers were all dinged up by neighbors who can’t park we decided to go with something a little more butch. As you can see from the picture it got out of hand. The bumper weighs over 150 pounds and we’re told that if we back into a fire hydrant the hydrant will lose. (and we found a used parts dealer who gave us $100 for the original bumper!)
The frame was then covered with aluminum diamond plate (you can never have too much diamond plate). The deck has hinges running its length that allow the edges (or wings) to fold up allow the cabinets to slide on from the sides. The beginnings of the kayak rack are also visible.
The rack was designed to be multi purpose serving as either a kayak carrier or a traditional rack for lumber. The kayaks are supported by several bars which are bolted to the rack. Since the tension from straps and ropes can warp the kayaks (they are made of a high strength plastic but when in the hot sun they will get flexible), they are held in place by flexible foam covered bars which gently keep them in place.
The cabinets are described in detail on their own page (Moving the Cabinets), because let’s face it this page took long enough to load as it is.