Some of you have been waiting for us to write a post about our floating platform. It is finally here!
Not sure when we exactly came up with this idea, but by the end of Summer 2015 we had a floating, 3m long, slideout platform installed on our expedition truck / overland camper. This is our icing on the cake. And from the amount of inquiries we received and the pictures taken, we conclude that many of you love it as much as we do.
- Mud/Dirt/Sand…-free Outdoor shower. For us showering alfresco is an integral part of overland travel. If we can do this without getting our feet or crocs dirty, even better! But also cleaning our boots and other gear is lot easier and less messy with this elevated shower and drying rack.
- Sitting high above ground.
- Who doesn’t love the smell of the outdoors after a rain cloud has passed? A muddy chair on the other hand is far less pleasant, especially if you have to pack it up soon after*. Since we can sit high above ground, a muddy ground is no longer an obstacle to go outside.
*Note: We start to notice that we don’t seem to mind how muddy and dirty the truck gets on the outside, but that we are extra vigilant about keeping the inside clean. Do you have this as well?
- Also when the ground gets cold and wet during the night, it’s nice to be able to move upstairs and still enjoy the night sky.
- Probably more important for me than many of you, but this floating platform is musophobia-friendly. I have a “tiny” issue with everything that looks like a mouse or rat. And even with Elmer calling them “just little rabbits, nothing to worry about” I find it challenging to relax (e.g., not to scream frantically) when these creatures decide to show up. The further I can stay away from them the better. Therefore, Terratrotter will never visit the Karni Mata Temple in India…no not going to happen, ever :-).
- Easy access to the roof. We had not thought about this in advance, but you can now find us a lot more on the roof. With the standard steps that are already fixed to the shelter we quickly climb on top for a better view of the surroundings, to relax or to clean the solar panels. As someone has pointed out to us, we have created a 3-story tiny house.
- Clothesline. Underneath the platform we have two clotheslines that don’t need to be taken down. This makes air drying our clothes effortless and we don’t need to claim more space or trees. Especially when camped in full view or busy areas these clotheslines comes in handy.
Of course the platform adds weight to our truck, but not as much as most people expect it to be. Two man or strong women can remove the platform completely when needed. And I – a not so muscled woman – can slide the platform in and out in a jiffy without asking a friendly bystander for help.
Thus, with all we get in return for it we have not regretted the additional weight (or cost) for one moment. Of course it does make it easier that we both have a class C drivers license, allowing us to drive trucks above 7.5 ton
The platform is constructed out of galvanized steel and six industrial casters (wheels). The tracks are glued and bolted to the shelter, using 8mm headless bolts (tread rods) and Tec7 glue. The total apparatus spans almost the entire width of the shelter (± 2m), but only half of it contains grid panels (the other half always stays underneath the shelter).
We want to thank our metal builder and welder Markus Ullrich (Mömbris-Hohl, Germany). Not only because he took an interest in our crazy ideas, but also because he had the insight and creativity to realize these ideas within the concept of our expedition truck and travel plans. Working with him has been truly a lot of fun and we look forward to see the next projects come to life.
Books that might interest you:
Build Your Own Overland Camper
by Steve Wigglesworth
selbst austbauen und optimieren
by Ulrich Dolde