Tacoma Camper - (Continued)
|In this photo you can see two of the three halogen lamps that I installed inside the camper. There is one light at each forward corner - one for each person to easily operate from the sleeping bag, or within easy reach from outside when accessing the camper from the win-doors. They are nice and bright for reading at night, or they work well for a very faint glow if aimed directly at the ceiling of the camper with the lens close to the ceiling. This is great for when you just need some faint light without ruining your night vision.|
|I installed one light at the rear window of the camper for use near the tailgate, or when I need light at the toolbox.|
These are Osram Copilot 'K' halogen lamps. They are very bright while only using 5 watts (.417 amp) and operating on 12VDC. I powered all three lights from the auxiliary battery.
Each light is on a flexible arm which is really nice for aiming the light where it is needed. The light is switched on and off with a twist of the domed cap on the back of the housing.
My impression of the ARE camper shell thus far is very positive. My biggest concern when I bought the shell was leaks. I initially had a problem with small leaks when I first installed the brackets for the roof rack, but I cured those by using some brand new rubber washers and ample amounts of RTV silicone on the bolts before they were passed through the holes and fastened. I also noticed a problem with the way water was channeled off of the rear window. This issue was addressed by using some tailgate gasket material. To see how I did this, click here. Overall, I am extremely happy with the quality of the shell. The paint color match is perfect. The front window is a slider window, that also has a hinge so that it can be opened from inside the camper. This flip-down window is perfect for cleaning the glass on the back of the truck cab, and cleaning the camper glass on the cab-side of the window. It seals tight with no leaks. The side windows also seal tight with no leaks. One thing I learned from experience is that a boot closure at the cab is not the way to go with the contoured body of the Toyota Tacoma. The boot I had on the last camper shell leaked really bad. I would only recommend getting a window at the front (and a flip-down at that). The ARE shell also has a nice "thickened" rectangular section in the ceiling that I believe is some kind of honeycomb construction, that provides strength and also allows you to mount fixtures to the ceiling (within reason - the screws cannot be very long) such as my halogen lamps.