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Old 09-01-2012, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
B.O. Zen
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 207

Pickup - '99 Toyota Tacoma 2wd, Regular Cab, Short Bed
90 day: 34.62 mpg (US)
Thanks: 130
Thanked 136 Times in 58 Posts
Project Extended Pop-Top Aerodynamic Camper Shell ('99 Tacoma)

Update with current photos:

Next steps are:
* Build back door for shell.
* Build lift Mechanism and canvas sides.
* 2nd layer of fiberglass on outside
* Finish sanding, primer, and paint
* Misc stuff.

-------------- First Post Below ---------------

I Had a shell on my truck a few years ago, but it cost me ~4mpg, per the scanguage. I'd really like to have something to sleep under on trips and stuff, so I'm working up designs for a pop-top aero camper shell.

Design Criteria Are:
  • Lightweight and Aerodynamic - Improving my MPG rather than hurting it!
  • Extend to end of lowered tailgate so I (6'2") have room to stretch out under it
  • Have enough room for me to have a raised floor to hide snowboards/other gear while still having room to sit up and move around comfortably (about a 3' lifit)
  • Follow the body lines of the truck
  • Simple and convenient to use

I'm planning on using fiberglass over 1/2" pink foam construction. In the CAD drawing below, I'm working on the cross-sections that I'll lay the foam over to get the shape right. I'm using a single radius curve for the shape right now. Given the non-agressive shape I'm using, do I need to think about the complex curves used in the aero template?

CAD drawing (will keep this updated) is here:
If you use chrome browser and google docs, you can install the "AutoCAD WS" addon and view/edit the drawing in the browser. Pretty cool stuff.


Last edited by a8ksh4; 05-21-2013 at 01:51 AM.. Reason: (added "Aerodynamic" to thread title)
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