David Dehaven's Ram Tent
1500 SB 4X4 with a PVC pipe tent frame

Ram Tent recovered from an RTML posting I had archived long ago.
Photos were archived from http://www.off-road.com/~ramzilla,
which I just discovered is still up with a gallery of 4wheeling photos.

Subject: [RAM] RamTent version 1.1
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997
From: David DeHaven   davidd@ixmicro.com

Call me crazy, call me stupid, but you can take my Mac when you pry my cold dead fingers off the mouse...

NO! wait, wrong list.... er... oh yeah.. I'm like going camping this weekend and well... I uh... don't have a tent. So I called the local REI (rugged outdoorsy kinda place) and asked them how much for a cheapo tent... they said $80!!    I coughed and hung up the phone and my pride...   what to do what to do... when I had my 2500, I could kick back the seats and crash in the cab...  not anymore...  then a lightbulb appeared over my head! I sat up and said "By George, I've got it!!!" And I rushed off to my local hardware store, at which point my Girlfriend suddenly felt that I was acting very strangely, even the cat who was busy cleaning his rear looked up at me... life continues.

Here's what you need:

Assembly: (A child could do it)

1>   Measure the distance from the very front of the bed to the back of the bed along the rails (not in the bed). Mine was something over 6 feet.

2>   Cut two of the PVC pipes to this length. Hacksaws are awesome for this part.

3>   Measure the distance between the holes in the bed rails from the center of each hole.

4>   Cut the two pieces from step 2 to this length and save the extra length.

5>   Cut a 3/4" length off of each of the pipes made in step 4.

6>   Attach a T connector to each end of both pipes and test fit the pipe on the bed. The perpendicular connector of the T connector should stick into the holes in the rails, it doesn't matter if it lines up exactly. We'll call these pipes A and B.

7>   From the left over pieces from step 4, cut a length from each that is long enough to extend from the open end of the front T Connector in A and B to the very front of the bed. Leave about 3/4" for an angle connector.

8>   Attach the pieces from step 7 to pipes A and B at the front and attach two 90 degree angle connectors to the ends at the front. The tips of the connectors should roughly line up with the edge of the bed.

9>   Take the remaining pieces from step 7 and attach them to the other end of A and B. Attach 90 degree angle connectors to the ends of these pieces. Since I'm planning on keeping the tailgate down while this is in use, then it doesn't really matter if it extends beyond the bed, which it shouldn't by more than 1.5" if I have done my math right.

10> You should now have two complete pieces that fit nicely in the holes in the rails and extend to either end of the bed. Now measure between the angle connectors in the front and the rear and cut two more sections of pipe longe enough to fit.

11>  Attach the two sections made in step 10 and you should now have a box that runs the perimeter of your bed. Now we raise it a bit.

12> Hold one of the front T Connectors (with the pipes in it) level with the roof of the cab, or the height you want to make the thing, and measure from the T Connector to the bottom of the hole in the rail.

13> Cut two sections to this length and attach end caps to one end of each piece.

14> Attach the pieces from 13 to the T Connectors (All three holes should be used now) and place the capped end into the hole.

15> Repeat 12-14 for the rear T Connectors but make the sections a bit shorter so there is a slope in the roof of the tent so water doesn't pool as badly when it starts to rain. Or you can make it taller, the same size, or not at all, it's your choice.

16> You should now have a complete frame sticking out of the holes in your bed. Throw the tarp (hopefully it will fit) over the frame and secure it with Bungee cords, straps or ropes.

Optional:

Cut parts A and B in half and mark them (I scored each piece with roman numerals using a hacksaw) so you can tell which one goes where. When you need to use them, attach the two pieces with the straight connectors. Do the same for the pipes going across the bed. Now you can break it down and tie it up with tape, rubber bands (I stole some #64 bands from my model air plane), or rope/string and store the whole thing in your bed. You long bed guys might need to cut twice, just be careful not to make the piece too weak, you may need to tape up the joint when in use if the connectors fit loosely.

Now throw a bunch of blankets or padding (egg crate stuff works great) or even an air mattress in the bed and yer done!!!

I spent a whopping $30 (with tax and some other goodies) and all of an hour measuring and cutting on this project and it will last longer than any cheapo $80 tent will ever last.

-DrD- The Baconizer knows how long $80 tents last...

 


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May 14, 2003